prema-dhama-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram
But without a subject an object cannot stand, cannot exist. The conscious subject is the primary substance and whatever is felt or percieved is only an idea within cosciousness. Consciousness is first. It would certainly be a wonderful miracle if stone could produce the soul, but it is easier and more reasonable for us to think that the soul has produced the conception of stone. In the soul there are many conceptions and one conception is that of stone. Whatever I feel, it is only a part of consciousness. Everything is an idea. The vedanta vicara (understanding) is that consciousness is producing everything.
Knowledge and experience come to us from different planes of existence. There is pratyaksa, the sense experience of one's own body and the knowledge that comes from that experience. Then from the experience of others and their recorded knowledge we also are able to understand many things. A second type of knowledge. An example of this is the newspaper. The knowledge learned from reading is not knowledge gained through our direct sense experience, but through the sense experience of others. This is the second class of knowledge. The third level of experience is when there is almost no percepual experience but still some sort of experience is there, as in the case when on waking from sound sleep a person says "I slept very heavily". There is a sort of experience that develops from that region. The yogi and the jnani, when they enter into samadhi, they also have a similar experience to that. An experience of nondifferentiated existence. This sort of experience has been reported and discussed in the Upanisads: an experience that is neither the product of one's own sense experience nor the product of any other person's sense experience. The experience of deep, deep sleep. An experience independent of sense experience.
Ramanujacarya says that there is a more deep experience than this. Knowledge of a fourth plane is possible. Knowledge of the Adhoksaja plane. When God, the super-subjective person, has given some experience within me, I can feel that the higher type of illuminating knowledge has descended in me, in my conscious area, and I can feel something which cannot be experienced in this world. A new type of knowledge I have come in connection with. But when that insight given by God is withdrawn, we have no way to grasp it by our own power or strength. The direct perception of God's existence is adhoksaja knowlege: vaikuntha jnana (knowledge of the transcendental plane of existence). That knowledge can descend in our area of understanding and again that knowledge can withdraw - of its own accord. We cannot but admit the possibility of such transcendental knowledge. It supercedes all our personal efforts and according to its sweet will it comes down to us. Knowledge of the presence of God descends into our area of existence and then withdraws. Very subtle, very fine. Very independent in its nature, is this knowledge of the transcendental plane of existence. But still it is there. It is adhoksaja, transcendental consciousness.
Sri Caitanya, with reference from Bhagavatam, says that there is a fifth plane known as aprakrata. This adhoksaja plane is grand and wonderful, and knowledge of the adhoksaja transcendental plane of existence is not similar to knowledge of this world of our experience. But the aprakrata plane is very similar to this mundane plane of existence. The aprakrata plane is the land of Sri Krishna, which seems similar to this world where we experience sound, vision, touch, etc. In this fifth plane the awe, reverance and power of the fourth plane (adhoksaja) is not conspicuous. The land of Krishna is very similar to this mundane world, yet it is the supreme most quarter.
Srila Rupa Gosvami says that a superficial study of the literature of the Veda will frustrate you. But if with a positive mind and by the grace of the devotee you go to look into the scriptures then you will find the principle sruti (message) is there. The words in the scriptures are persuading us, or leading us towards the higher conception. The whole object of all the sounds in existence is to guide our understanding towards that central sound, that central plane of consiousness found in the names and words of God. The teachings of the sages recorded in the Veda are coming out to distribute the teachings of the absolute realm. But their center, the higher center the sages words are illuminating - they are all emitting light like a torch to show the central sound - that central sound is the whole truth and that whole truth is Krishna. And so many liberated sages are showing their respects to that central sound from which all these mantram of the Vedas have emanated. This is Rupa Goswami's argument.
Krishna. The aim and object of every letter to is show Krishna, to identify Krishna. Some words are showing Krishna indirectly, and some directly. In Bhagavatam, the character Hiranyakasipu is also playing a part to establish the character of Prahlad and Hari. It is necessary, in the background. So, in an indirect way, that Hiranyakasipu is also showing Krishna and Krishna's pastimes. Hiranyakasipu is showing the greatness, the character and devotion of Prahlad to Krishna. The structure of a building, the bricks and many other things, are all necessary, for every brick is helping construct the building.
The Vedic knowledge, it is sruti(knowledge that is heard). Then that sruti was written as the Veda and that was held dear by Vyasa and his disciples. Gradually it came into writing, but in the beginning direct knowledge was communicated through sound from one man to another, from lip to ear. Sruti.
Sri Gopala-tapani Upanishad (1,27-29)
asav anavaratam me dhyatah stutah parardhante so'budhyataBrahma said: I continually glorified the Lord and meditated upon Him for millions of years, and at last I was able to understand the transcendental form of the Lord as Sri Krsna, in the dress of a cowherd boy. With devotion in my heart I bowed down before Him. He gave me the eighteen-syllable mantra to be used for the activity of creation, and then He disappeared (klim krsnaya govindaya gopijanavallabhaya svaha). When I desired to create the universe He again appeared before me, showing me in these syllables the universe that was to be. From the letter k, I created water, from the letter l, earth, from the letter i, fire, from the letter m, the moon, and from the entire word klim, the sun. From the word Krishnaya, I created ether, from Govindaya, air, from Gopijanavallabha, knowledge and the surabhi cows, and from svaha, men, women, and everything else. Everything else.
gopa-veso me purastad avirbabhuva
tatah pranato mayanukulena hrda mahyam astadasaranam svarupam srstaye dattvantarhitah
punah sisrksato me pradurabhuttesv aksaresu bhavisyaj-jagad-rupam prakasayan
tad iha kad apo lat prthivi ito'gnir vindor indus tat sapatakad arka iti klim-karad asrjam
krsnayad akasam khad vayur ity uttarat surabhim vidyah pradurakarsam tad uttarat stri-pumadi cedam sakalam iti
This world is sometimes pushing forth and sometimes withdrawing. In the same way that a heart expands and contracts again and again, the whole universe expands and contracts. Regrouping within the one, and again manifest as the many - the one and the many - the evolution and dissolution of the material universe takes place. As a heart expands and contracts, the whole universe is manifest and withdrawn.
The Manu Samhita begins by describing the creation. In that book, it is written how, before the creative movement began, the tatastha potency of the Lord was in eqilibrium. Tatastha means equilibrium. Everything was in darkness, fully enveloped by ignorance. There was no possiblility of estimation; no symptoms of reality existed by which any conjecture or inference about the nature of reality would have been possible. And that state of being was unknowable: science has no capacity for investigating the nature of that stage of existence. We can only say from here that it was completely immersed in deep sleep. The analogy of deep sleep may give us some conception of that period: Material existence was at that time as if in sound sleep.
At that time, movement began from within the spiritual plane, and light came. Light was seen by the suddenly awakened seers, the sages present at the moment of creation. That light was pre-existent, but at that moment the awakened seers received the vision to see light. They began to see. The first conception of this material world after light was water. The light revealed a moving substance like water seen by the sages.
That primal light is compared with personality. That light, or personality, first gave birth to onlookers - to the feelers of material existence - and then to an objective substance like water. The conscious world is represented by light and the first objective reality is represented by water. Then the seeds of consciousness are sown in the causal water which is the shadow of that light. Although the actual element of water was created long after this, the first conception of matter is compared to water because water is an accommodating, moving solution. The Sanskrit word for water - apa - means "of lower conception." In this way, the lower creation began.
Then, in connection with the seeds of consciousness and primal water, the next production was known as mahat-tattva: the energy of consciousness represented by light, mixed with matter as a mass. When the mass of matter is infused with the energy of light-consciousness, that is known as mahat-tattva.
After further development, that entity was divided into many units of ego. First there is a mass ego as a whole. The element of conglomerate ego is called mahat-tattva; and from that conglomerate a watery objective substance evolves - by the influence of consciousness. That objective substance expresses itself in five main ways: as substance that can be seen, smelled, tasted and touched and heard. These fivefold elementary substances are the primitive principles of material existence, known as fire, earth, water, air and sky (ether, space).
In a primitive state when the individual egos are massed together as a common whole, that conglomerate false ego, the primitive sense of awarenes that "I am", develops from a state of equilibrium. It evolves, it differentiates into innumerable individual units of localised awareness. Just as an atom can be broken down into subatomic particles, electrons, protons, neutrons and so on, the conglomerate ego gradually breaks into its component individual egos: jiva souls. Their position is tatastha; marginal and undetectable. From that subtle, undetectable plane of marginal energy, consciousness first develops into the detectable plane as a whole, and then innnumerable individual spiritual units are manifest from that lump of ego, or mahat-tattva. Gradually, the other elements of creation develop within this negative plane of exploitation - negative, because here every living being feeds on the bodies of others.
Consciousness is producing everything. Consciousness is eternal; this world is not eternal. So many times the sun, the Earth, and the solar systems disappear, and again spring up. We are in the midst of such thought in eternity. The sun, the moon, and all the planets appear and vanish: they all die and then again they are created. We are told by the sages who spoke the literature of the Veda to view things from this viewpoint: not only this living body I have, but the human race, the animals, the trees, the entire Earth, and even the sun, will all vanish, and again spring up. Creation, dissolution, creation, dissolution - it will continue forever in the domain of misconception. At the same time, there is another world which is eternal - the land of Sri Krishna. We are requested to enter there, to make our homes in that plane which neither enters into the jaws of death, nor suffers any change.
In Vrindavana, the land of Sri Krishna, everything is conscious, though some things are posing in a passive way. But they are all conscious: the Yamuna river, the cows, the trees, the fruit - everything is conscious, spiritual; but they pose in different ways. Being able to contact the conscious characteristic in everything, the Aryans saw all of nature as conscious and personal, and addressed everything as conscious beings.
The Aryans, the spiritually developed persons of former times, used to see everything as consciousness. Everything is a person. The great rishis, whose thinking is highly developed, address whatever they find within the environment as if they were all persons. In the Vedas, the ancient scriptural inheritance of India, we find that the sages are always in the midst of so many persons in their natural surroundings; in the background everything we experience is a person. It is all personal. And so the rishis with such a vision of reality used to address everything as a person: the trees, the mountains, the sun, the moon, the ocean. They are conscious persons in some mixed stages of consciousness; a person suffering karma. "Person" means not a fully developed spiritual person at present, but a person in a mixed, worldly condition.
The first position of a soul in the material world will be like that of Brahma, the creator. Then his karma may take him to the body of a beast like a tiger, where he is surrounded by a tigerish mentality, or to the body of a tree or creeper, where different impressions may surround him. In this way, one becomes involved in action and reaction. The case is complex; to analyze the details of the history of a particular atom is unnecessary. We are concerned with the general thing: how the transformation of the material conception springs from pure consciousness.
Everything is conscious. As the present scientists say everything is matter, we have real cause to think that everything is consciousness.
Matter does not evolve into a human form and brain and then produce the idea of "soul;" rather the soul contains within it, in one negligible portion, the conception of matter. Like an eczema, it is a disease. The concept of a "material world" exists like an eczema in a wholesome body. This is the understanding given by the Veda, the literature of ancient India. It would certainly be a wonderful miracle if stone could produce the soul, but it is easier and more reasonable for us to think that the soul has produced the conception of stone. In the soul, there are many conceptions, and one conception is that of stone.
The conscious world is very near and the material world is very far off. Try to conceive of reality along these lines: Soul, Spirit, Consciousness, is nearer to you and you are a child of that soil. Matter is far, far away from you. But when we go to observe "objective reality" the interrupting planes of shadowy mundane consciousness are so close together that we don't see the nature of the spiritual reality, just as when you put your hand over your eye, you can't see your hand. But if the hand is one foot away, we can see it very clearly.
Although the Buddhists and atheists argue that consciousness is a material thing, I say that there is no material thing. If I am to answer the question of whether or not consciousness is produced from matter, then I shall say that nothing is material. Whatever I feel, it is only a part of consciousness. Everything is an idea. We are connected only with consciousness from the beginning to the end of our experience. Beyond consciousness, we cannot go. Everything is an idea: the stone, the tree, the house, the body - all are ideas. The plane of consciousness is very much closer to us than we perceive. We are involved only with ideas. Everything within our experience is only part of our mind.
Everything in Vrindavana, the land of Krishna, is Krishna conscious. Every tree, creeper and shrub. Their consciousness may be understood in this way: if a man meditating does not move about and harm anybody, that does not mean he is paralyzed; he is simply in a passive mood. So also in Vrindavana, service may be rendered to the Lord in a passive mood. The Yamuna river is absorbed in rendering service in a passive mood. Then there is also Govardhan hill in Vrindavana. That is also a kind of pose. How this is so can be understood by the analogy of a drama. In a drama in the theatre, an actor may play the part of a dead man. As his body is being carried, he can't say anything, he can't move - but that does not mean he is dead. Similarly, a meditative devotee may assume a passive role as a creeper, a shrub, or a tree in Vrindavana, in order to enhance the drama of Sri Krishna's daily pastimes.
Here in this material world a particle of sand is nothing; it is ignored. But there, everything is well-attended. In Vrindavana there is no ignorance. No interest of anything is ignored there; everything is harmonised within the Divine Pastimes of Sri Krishna, and therefore the conception of Vrindavana in Krishna consciousness is the highest concept of full-fledged theism. The ancient literature Srimad Bhagavatam says: "Whenever Krishna sets His feet like lotus petals on the ground within Vrindavana, the Earth Goddess personified says, "My fate is fulfilled, I have achieved my highest fortune." For in Vrindavana the earth, the very dust, feels the pleasure of the highest type of conjugal love merely by the touch of His lotus feet. Wherever Krishna puts His footsteps, the Earth's joy knows no bounds. By His touch, the Earth feels the most intense type of ecstacy.
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