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Chapter 4: Transcendental Knowledge

Bg 4.35
yaj jnatva na punar moham
evam yasyasi pandava
yena bhutany asesani
draksyasy atmany atho mayi
yat—which; jïätvä—knowing; na—never; punaù—again; moham—illusion; evam—like this; yäsyasi—you shall go; päëòava—O son of Päëòu; yena—by which; bhütäni—all living entities; açesäëi—totally; drakñyasi—you will see; ätmani—in the Supreme Soul; atho—or in other words; mayi—in Me.
And when you have thus learned the truth, you will know that all living beings are but part of Me—and that they are in Me, and are Mine.
The result of receiving knowledge from a self-realized soul, or one who knows things as they are, is learning that all living beings are parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Çré Kåñëa. The sense of a separated existence from Kåñëa is called mäyä (mä—not, —this). Some think that we have nothing to do with Kåñëa, that Kåñëa is only a great historical personality and that the Absolute is the impersonal Brahman. Factually, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gétä, this impersonal Brahman is the personal effulgence of Kåñëa. Kåñëa, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the cause of everything. In the Brahma-saàhitä it is clearly stated that Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes. Even the millions of incarnations are only His different expansions. Similarly, the living entities are also expansions of Kåñëa. The Mäyävädé philosophers wrongly think that Kåñëa loses His own separate existence in His many expansions. This thought is material in nature. We have experience in the material world that a thing, when fragmentally distributed, loses its own original identity. But the Mäyävädé philosophers fail to understand that Absolute means that one plus one is equal to one, and that one minus one is also equal to one. This is the case in the absolute world.
For want of sufficient knowledge in the absolute science, we are now covered with illusion, and therefore we think that we are separate from Kåñëa. Although we are separated parts of Kåñëa, we are nevertheless not different from Him. The bodily difference of the living entities is mäyä, or not actual fact. We are all meant to satisfy Kåñëa. By mäyä alone Arjuna thought that the temporary bodily relationship with his kinsmen was more important than his eternal spiritual relationship with Kåñëa. The whole teaching of the Gétä is targetted toward this end: that a living being, as His eternal servitor, cannot be separated from Kåñëa, and his sense of being an identity apart from Kåñëa is called mäyä. The living entities, as separate parts and parcels of the Supreme, have a purpose to fulfill. Having forgotten that purpose, since time immemorial they are situated in different bodies, as men, animals, demigods, etc. Such bodily differences arise from forgetfulness of the transcendental service of the Lord. But when one is engaged in transcendental service through Kåñëa consciousness, one becomes at once liberated from this illusion. One can acquire such pure knowledge only from the bona fide spiritual master and thereby avoid the delusion that the living entity is equal to Kåñëa. Perfect knowledge is that the Supreme Soul, Kåñëa, is the supreme shelter for all living entities, and giving up such shelter, the living entities are deluded by the material energy, imagining themselves to have a separate identity. Thus, under different standards of material identity, they become forgetful of Kåñëa. When, however, such deluded living entities become situated in Kåñëa consciousness, it is to be understood that they are on the path of liberation, as confirmed in the Bhägavatam: muktir hitvänyathä rüpaà svarüpeëa vyavasthitiù. Liberation means to be situated in one's constitutional position as the eternal servitor of Kåñëa (Kåñëa consciousness).


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Copyright (c) 1972 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada