yadoparamo manaso nama-rupa-
ya iyate kevalaya sva samsthaya
hamsaya tasmai suci-sadmane namah
“When one’s consciousness is completely purified of the contamination of material existence, gross and subtle, without being agitated as in the working and dreaming states, and when the mind is not dissolved as in sushupti, deep sleep, one comes to the platform of trance. Then one’s material vision and the memories of the mind, which manifests names and forms, are vanquished. Only in such a trance is the Supreme Personality of Godhead revealed. Thus let us offer our respectful obeisances unto that uncontaminated, transcendental state.”
In our gross conditional stage we perceive things through material experience and remembrance, and in the subtle stage we perceive the world in dreams. The process of vision also involves remembrance and also exists in subtle form. Above gross experience and dreams is susupti, deep sleep, and when one comes to the completely spiritual platform, transcending deep sleep, he attains trance, vishuddha-sattva, or vasudeva-sattva, in which the Personality of Godhead is revealed.
Atah sri-krishna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih: as long as one is situated in duality, on the sensual platform, gross or subtle, realisation of the original Personality of Godhead is impossible. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah: but when one engages his senses in the service of the Lord – specifically when one engages the tongue in chanting Hare Krishna mantra and tasting only Krishna prasada with a spirit of service – the Supreme Personality of Godhead is revealed. This is indicated in this verse by the word suci-sadmane. Suci means purified. By the spirit of rendering service with one’s senses, one’s entire existence becomes suci-sadma, the platform of uncontaminated purity.
yathajnas tamasa yukta
upaste vyaktam eva hi
na veda purvam aparam
“As a sleeping person acts according to the body manifest in his dreams and accepts it to be himself, so one identifies with his present body, which he acquired because of his past religious or irreligious actions, and is unable to know his past or future lives.”
A man engages in sinful activities because he does not know what he did in his past life to get his present materially conditioned body, which is subject to the threefold miseries. As stated by Rishabhadeva in Srimad Bhagavatam (5.5.4), nunum pramattah kurute vikarma: a human being who is mad after sense gratification does not hesitate to act sinfully. Yad indriya-pritaya aprnoti: he performs sinful actions simply for sense gratification. Na sadhu manye: that is not good. Yata atmano ‘yam asann apildesada asa dehah: because of such sinful actions, one receives another body in which to suffer as he is suffering in his present body because of his past sinful activities.
It should be understood that a person who does not have Vedic knowledge always acts in ignorance of what he did in the past, what he is doing in the present and how he will suffer in the future. He is completely in darkness. Therefore the Vedic injunction is, tamasi ma: “Don’t remain in the darkness.” Jyotir gama: “Try to go to the light.” The light or illumination is Vedic knowledge, which one can understand when he is elevated to the mode of goodness or when he transcends the mode of goodness by engaging in devotional service to the spiritual master and the Supreme Lord.
This is described in the Svetasvatara Upanishad (6.23):
yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
“Unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master, all the imports of Vedic knowledge are automatically revealed.”
The Vedas enjoin, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: one must approach a spiritual master who has full knowledge of the Vedas and be faithfully directed by him in order to become a devotee of the Lord. Then the knowledge of the Vedas will be revealed. When the Vedic knowledge is revealed, one need no longer in the darkness of material nature.
According to his association with the material modes of nature – goodness, passion and ignorance – a living entity gets a particular type of body. The example of one who associates with the mode of goodness is a qualified brahmana. such a brahmana knows past, present and future because he consults the Vedic literature and sees through the eyes of shastra (sastra-caksuh). He can understand what his past life was , why he is in the present body, and how he can attain liberation from the clutches of maya and not accept a maaterial body. This is all possible when one is situated in the mode of goodness. Generally, however, the living entities are generally engrossed in the three modes of passion and ignorance.
In any case, one receives an inferior or superior body at the discretion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Paramatma, as stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam:
manasaiva pure devah
manasa bhagavan ajah
Everything depends on Bhagavan, or ajah, the unborn. Why doesn’t one please Bhagavan to receive a better body? The answer is ajnas tamasa: because of gross ignorance. One who is in complete darkness can not know what his past life was or what his next life will be; he is simply interested in his present body. Even though he has a human body, a person in the mode of ignorance and interested only in his present body is like an animal, for an animal, being covered by ignorance, thinks that the ultimate goal of life and happiness is to eat as much as possible. A human being must be educated to understand his past life and how he can endeavor for a better life in the future. There is even a book, called bhrigu-samhita, which reveals information about one’s past, present and future lives according to astrological calculations.
Somehow or other one must be enlightened about his past, present and future. One who is interested only in his present body and who tries to enjoy his senses to the fullest extent is understood to be engrossed in the mode of ignorance. His future is very, very dark. Indeed, the future is always dark for one who is grossly covered by ignorance, and therefore everyone thinks his present body to be everything, without consideration of the past or future.
sarira esa pratipadya cetanam
kriya-phalatvena vibhur vibhavyate
yathanalo darusu tad-gunatmakah
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-pervading, but He is also manifested in different types of bodies which arise from a combination of material nature, time, desires and occupational duties. Thus different types of consciousness develop, just as fire, which is basically the same, blazes in different ways according to the shape and dimension of the firewood.”
The Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly lives with the individual soul as Paramatma. The individual soul has awareness in accordance with his material body, which he attains by virtue of prakriti, or material nature. The material ingredients are activated by the force of time, and thus the three material modes of nature are manifested. According to his association with the three modes of material nature, the living entity develops a particular type of body. In animal life, the material mode of ignorance is so prominent that there is very little chance of realizing Paramatma, who is also present within the heart of the animal; but in the human form of life, because of the developed consciousness (cetanam), one can be transferred from ignorance and passion to goodness by the results of his activities (kriya-phalatvena). A human being is therefore advised to associate with spiritually advanced personalities. The Vedas (Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12) give the direction tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: in order to reach the perfection of life or to understand the real constitutional position of the living entity, one must approach the spiritual master. Gurum evabhigacchet – one must; its not optional. It is imperitive that one approach a spiritual master, for by such association one proportionately develops his consciousness towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The highest perfection of such consciousness is called Krishna consciousness. According to the body given by prakriti, or nature, one’s consciousness is present, according to the development of consciousness, one’s activities are performed; and according to the purity of such activities, one realizes the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is present in everyone’s heart. The example given herein is very appropriate. Fire is always the same, but according to the size of the fuel or burning wood, the fire appears to be straight, curved, small, big, etc.
According to the development of consciousness, God realization is present. In the human form of life it is recommended, therefore, that one undergo the different types of penances and austerities described in Bhagavad-gita (karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, dhyana-yoga, and bhakti-yoga). Like a staircase, yoga has different steps for reaching the topmost floor, and according to one’s position on the staircase, he is understood to be situated in karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, dhyana-yoga, or bhakti-yoga. Of course, bhakti-yoga is the topmost step on the staircase of realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, according to one’s development in consciousness, one realizes his spiritual identity, and thus when one’s existential position is purified fully, he becomes situated in brahmananda, which is ultimately unlimited. Therefore the sankirtana movement contributed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Lord Chaitanya is the direct and easiest process for coming to the purest form of consciousness – Krishna consciousness, the platform which the Supreme Personality is fully realized. Directions for performing different types of yajnas are specifically arranged for the highest realization of the Supreme Lord, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita by the Lord Himself. Ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham (Bg. 4.11). The Supreme Personality of Godhead is realized according to one’s surrender. Full surrender, however, occurs when a man is perfectly in knowledge. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate (Bg. 7.19)
In other words, the consciousness of both the soul and the Supersoul is all-pervading; the limited consciousness of the living entity is pervading the entire material body, and the supreme consciousness of the Lord is pervading the entire universe. Because the soul is present within the body, consciousness pervades the entire body; similarly, because the supreme soul, or Krishna, is present within this universe, everything is working in order. Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa caracaram: “This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings.” (Bg. 9.10)
“One should be situated in the transcendental position, beyond the stages of material consciousness, and should be aloof from all other conceptions of life. Thus realizing freedom from false ego, one should see his own self just as he sees the sun in the sky.”
Consciousness acts in three stages under the material conception of life. When we are awake, consciousness acts in a particular way, when we are in deep sleep, consciousness acts still another way. To become Krishna conscious, one has to become transcendental to these three stages of consciousness. Our present consciousness should be freed from all perceptions of life other than consciousness of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
This is called duri-bhutanya-darsanah, which means that when one attains perfect Krishna consciousness he does not see anything but Krishna. In the Chaitanya-caritamrta it is said that the perfect devotee may see many movable and immovable objects, but in everything he sees that the energy of Krishna is acting. As soon as he remembers the energy of Krishna, He immediately remembers Krishna in His personal form. Therefore in all his observations he sees Krishna only. In the Brahma-samhita (5.38) it is stated that when one’s eyes are smeared with love of Krishna (premanjana-cchurita), he always sees Krishna, outside and inside. This is confirmed herein; one should be freed from all other vision, and in that way he is freed from the false egoistic identification and sees himself as the eternal servitor of the Lord. Caksusevarkam: as we can see the sun without a doubt, one who is fully developed in Krishna consciousness sees Krishna and His energy. By this vision one becomes atma-drk, or self-realized. When the false ego of identifying the body with the self is removed, actual vision of life is perceivable. The senses, therefore, also become purified. Real service of the Lord begins when the senses are purified. One does not have to stop the activities of the senses, but the false ego of identifying with the body has to be removed. Then the senses automatically become purified, and with purified senses one can actually discharge devotional service.