Shrimad Bhagavad Gita As It Is -Shri Shrimad A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
The Three Modes Of Material Nature
Chapter 14: Verse- 27
brahmano hi pratisthäham amrtasyävyayasya ca
And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.
The constitution of Brahman is immortality, imperishability, eternity, and happiness. Brahman is the beginning of transcendental realization. Paramätmä, the Supersoul, is the middle, the second stage in transcendental realization, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate realization of the Absolute Truth. Therefore, both Paramätmä and the impersonal Brahman are within the Supreme Person. It is explained in the Seventh Chapter that material nature is the manifestation of the inferior energy of the Supreme Lord. The Lord impregnates the inferior, material nature with fragments of the superior nature, and that is the spiritual touch in the material nature. When a living entity conditioned by this material nature begins the cultivation of spiritual knowledge, he elevates himself from the position of material existence and gradually rises up to the Brahman conception of the Supreme. This attainment of the Brahman conception of life is the first stage in self-realization. At this stage the Brahman-realized person is transcendental to the material position, but he is not actually perfect in Brahman realization. If he wants, he can continue to stay in the Brahman position and then gradually rise up to Paramätmä realization and then to the realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many examples of this in Vedic literature.
The four Kumäras were situated first in the impersonal Brahman conception of truth, but then they gradually rose to the platform of devotional service. One who cannot elevate himself beyond the impersonal conception of Brahman runs the risk of falling down. In Srimad-Bhägavatam it is stated that although a person may rise to the stage of impersonal Brahman, without going further, with no information of the Supreme Person, his intelligence is not perfectly clear. Therefore, in spite of being raised to the Brahman platform, there is the chance of falling down if one is not engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. In the Vedic language it is also said, raso vai sah, rasam hy eväyam labdhvänandi bhavati: “When one understands the Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of pleasure, Krsna, he actually becomes transcendentally blissful.”The Supreme Lord is full in six opulences, and when a devotee approaches Him there is an exchange of these six opulences. The servant of the king enjoys on an almost equal level with the king. And so eternal happiness, imperishable happiness, and eternal life accompany devotional service. Therefore, realization of Brahman, or eternity, or imperishability, is included in devotional service. This is already possessed by a person who is engaged in devotional service.
- brahmanah=of the impersonal brahmajyoti; hi=certainly; pratisthä=the rest; aham=I am; amrtasya=of the immortal; avyayasya=of the imperishable; ca=also; säsvatasya=of the eternal; ca=and; dharmasya=of the constitutional position; sukhasya=of happiness; aikäntikasya=ultimate; ca=also.
- Taittiriya Upanisad 2.7.1