Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 7 Chapter 15:57-66

Book 7: Chapter 15

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 7: Chapter 15: Verses 57-66
An inquiry into right conduct (concluded)

(For) as a matter of fact, he (the knower of these two paths) himself comprises what exists before (as the cause of) and after (as the background of), outside (viz., the objective universe) and inside (viz., the subject or the ego) all bodies; and he is the high and the low. (Again,) he is the understanding (the cognitive faculty) as well as that which is worth knowing, the word and the thing denoted by it, darkness as well as light. (In other words, there is nothing other than him, which may infatuate him). Even as a reflection is taken to be real, even though (logically) disproved in everyway, so all objective existence (impinging on our senses as material) is (only) fancied to be real (though not real), being difficult to be reconciled with reason. The psycho-physical organism, which is (popularly believed to be) a combination of the (five gross) elements, earth and so on, is indeed none of the following possibilities : it is neither their collection nor compound nor even modification; (for) it is neither distinct from them nor pervaded by them. Hence it is illusory. [1] The (five gross) elements (the constituent of the body) too cannot exist apart from their finer components (in the shape of the subtle elements) because of their being compounds themselves (whose existence as apart from their components has already been disproved). (And) indeed, in the event of a compound as such being (proved to be) non-existent, a component too ultimately proves to be non entity;(for there is no proof for the existence of a component other than the fact that the appearance of a compound cannot be otherwise accounted for). (It may be asked here : how do you account for the identity of an individual at different periods if you deny the existence of an individual ? (Our reply to this is that) the delusion about the identity of an individual (whose existence as apart from his limbs along with that of the limbs has just been shown to be a mere illusion) persists (only) so long as we attribute diversity to God (the one Reality). The injunctive and interdictory force of the sacred texts (also) remains intact in the same way as the distinction of waking life and sleep persists (even) in the course of a dream. Pondering the unity of thought, action and material substances, a contemplative soul shakes off through Self-Realization in this( very) life his three dreams (in the shape of the three states of waking life, dream and deep sleep). To contemplate the substantial unity of causes and effects-on the analogy of (the unity of) cloth and its warp and woof-their diversity being unreal: this is called Bhavãdwaita (unity of thought). To resign with mind, speech and body all (one's) actions to the supreme Spirit directly (without expecting any fruit for one-self), O son of Prtha (Kunti)-this is what is called Kriyadwaita (unity of action). To identify one's own interests and enjoyment with those of one's wife, progeny and other relations as well as of all other embodied souls-this is what is called Dravyadwaita (unity of material substances). By whatever means, at whatever place and time and from whatever source a (particular) material is permitted to be acquired by a particular man, O protector of men, he should perform (his allotted) duties (sacrifices etc.,) with that material and no other materials except when in distress.



  1. The body of an embodied soul is believed to be a combination of the five elements. Now, that which is supposed to be a combination of two or more units falls under one of the following categories: (1) It may be a mere collection of those units as, for instance, what is known as a thicket is nothing but a collection of shrubs, trees etc,, growing close together. (2) Or it may be a compound, i. e., a combination of elements just as water is declared to be a combination of hydrogen and oxygen(3) Or again it may be a modification of two or more substances as, for instance, curds is a modification of milk combined with an acid. An organism falls under none of these three categories. It is neither a mere collection of the five elements of which it is believed to be constituted, as a thicket is of shrubs, trees and so on. For, the shrubs etc., of which a thicket is constituted do not cohere in the same way as the elements do in the case of an organism. Nor can an organism be said to be a compound or modification of the elements. For, a compound or modification of substances must be either distinct from or pervaded by those substances; and an organism cannot in the first place be conceived as altogether different from the elements, If, on the other hand, it is believed to be pervaded by the elements, the question arises: does the whole pervade every part of it in its entirety or only partially ? If it pervades every pail in its entirety, even a finger will pass for the entire body, And if it is urged that it pervades every part only partially, there will be no end to the process of partition. Hence the existence of a whole as apart from its parts is only illusory and not real. And since every part is a whole in relation to Its own parts the separate existence of the parts too is similarly disproved and thus the whole range of objective existence is proved to proved to be a colossal hoax,