Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.34
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Bombay, January 11, 1975

Nitai: “The activities and characteristics of the ethereal element can be observed as the accommodation for the room for the external and internal existences of all living entities, namely the field of activities of the vital air, the senses and the mind.”


bhutanam chidra-datrtvam bahir antaram eva ca pranendriyatma-dhisnyatvam nabhaso vrtti-laksanam

Space, accommodating space, this is the function of the ether. So this is technical description. There is nothing very much philosophy. Technical composition. So you can read the purport.

Nitai: The mind, the senses and the vital force, or living entity, have forms, although they are not visible to the naked eye. Form rests in subtle existence in the sky, and internally it is perceived as the veins within the body and the circulation of the vital air. Externally there are invisible forms of sense objects. The production of the invisible sense objects is the external activity of the ethereal element, and the circulation of vital air and blood is its internal activity. That subtle forms exist in the ether has been proven by modern science by transmission of television, by which forms or photographs of one place are transmitted to another place by the action of the ethereal element. That is very nicely explained here. This verse is the potential basis of great scientific research work, for it explains how subtle forms are generated from the ethereal element, what their characteristics and actions are, and how the tangible elements, namely air, fire, water and earth, are manifested from the subtle form. Mental activities, or psychological actions of thinking, feeling and willing, are also activities on the platform of ethereal existence. The statement in Bhagavad-gita that the mental situation at the time of death is the basis of the next birth is also corroborated in this verse. Mental existence transforms into tangible form as soon as there is an opportunity due to contamination or development of the gross elements from subtle form.

Prabhupada: So one important thing, that “The statement in the Bhagavad-gita that the mental situation at the time of death is the basis of the next birth is also corroborated in this verse.” Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6]. Generally, with our these material eyes, material senses, gross vision, we do not see how a person dying and he is being transformed to another body. The gross material scientists, scholars, because they cannot see with the eyes, they do not believe in, that there is soul and soul transmigrates from one body to another. Big, big scientists, big, big scholars, they do not believe. They think that life is nothing but a mixture of these material elements and at a time the vitality is finished; therefore everything is finished. But that is not the fact. The fact is the gross body is finished, but the subtle body—mind, intelligence, and ego—that remains with the soul. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. The… Just like in dream we do not work with this gross body, but we work in dream with mind, intelligence and ego. We create another atmosphere, and in dream we see or we place ourself in a different atmosphere, although the gross body is resting on the bed. So this we experience every night, that because the gross body stops working, it does not mean the soul stops working. The soul works with his mind, intelligence and ego. So when this body becomes incapable of working further, then the mind, intelligence and ego carries me to another body, means another process of formation of the body into the womb of the mother, and when the body is formed and in working capacity, even as a child or baby, then the body comes out and the living entity’s another chapter of life begins. This is the process of transmigration of the soul.

So mind is the basic principle of another form of body. Therefore our Krsna consciousness movement is training the mind how to remain Krsna conscious at the time of death, because Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, yam yam vapi smaran bhavam [Bg. 8.6]. Therefore in Bengali poetry there is a saying, bhajan kara sadhan kara mate janle haya,(?) means “You are doing everything in spiritual life, but everything will be examined at the time of death. How you have practiced your bhajana, sadhana, this will be examined at the time of death.” If at the time of death you remember Krsna, that will be the examination. We are chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, training the mind. So at the time of death, if you think of Krsna, then your examination is passed. Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam [Bg. 8.6]. That krsna-bhava immediately will carry you to the Krsnaloka.

That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita:

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ’pi mam [Bg. 9.25]

Mad-yajinah, Krsna says. “Those who are worshiping Me,” yajana… Yajana means worshiping. So Krsna therefore advises, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65] So Krsna worship, mad-yaji, worshiping Krsna… Krsna says, “Worship Me.” What is that? Mam namaskuru. If you simply come in this temple and offer little obeisances, dandavat… Danda, danda means “rod”; vat means “like.” Just like one stick falls straight on the ground, similarly, if we fall straight before the Deity, that is called dandavat, “like the stick.” Dandavat-pranama. Prakrsta-rupena namrata. Namrata is required. Jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva. Namanta. Be submissive. So this dandavat is the symbolic presentation of submission. And Krsna wants that sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66], submission. The bhakti process is simply submission. So mad-yajino ’pi yanti mam. If you do not study or if you have no education to study Vedic literatures, you simply… The temple is installed for this purpose, that if somebody comes, simply offers his obeisances before the Deity, before the spiritual master, simply by doing that, he will become perfect. Just like these children. A small child is offering obeisances. It may be said that they are imitating, but not all child imitates. There are many children. So there are fortunate children who comes here, offers obeisances, dances with kirtana, and… So these are not in vain. They are taken into account, and he also becomes developed in spiritual consciousness. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat.

Mahato bhayat. Bhaya, or fearfulness, is of our next life. That is bhaya. Everyone is afraid of dying. Why? There is fearfulness that after this body, after death, nobody knows where he is going. That is bhaya. Everyone should be afraid of that. Suppose you are pushed somewhere. You do not know whether…, where you are going. So that is very dangerous. One must know “Where I am going.” But they do not believe in the next life. Due to lack of knowledge, poor fund of knowledge, they… There is no question of disbelieving. It is quite logical, as Krsna says, tatha dehantara-praptih. Dehino ’smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara [Bg. 2.13]. As you are changing body… Everyone is changing. Everyone knows, “I was a child. Then I became a baby, I became a boy, I became a young man. Now I am old man.” So these, one after an…, change, one body after another, that is going on simply… Similarly, tatha dehantara-praptih, after this body is finished, I must get another body. So I am transformed to one body to another by mind, intelligence and ego. That has to be trained, mind. If you train up your mind where to go… We decide even in this life. We first of all decide in the mind, “Where I shall go?” We purchase ticket. We make arrangement. Similarly, the mind should be trained up how to go back to home, back to Godhead. This is called bhajana-sadhana, to train up the mind. If the mind becomes disturbed at the time of death, then… Even Bharata Maharaja, such an exalted person, he became very much affectionate with a deer calf, and he had to take birth as a deer. Such an exalted person, so much advanced in spiritual life, but at the time… Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam [Bg. 8.6]. He was absorbed in the thought of the small deer whom he loved very much, so he had to take the body of a deer.

So there is such chance. So how much careful we should be, training our mind so that at the end of life we can think of Krsna. That is the Krsna consciousness movement, training the mind to think of Krsna, the same thing. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. This should be trained up. And the… That is also practical. We can understand. Just like some air is passing before us, and there is some good smell, rose smell. We can understand that the air is carrying the flavor of this rose because it is passing through the rose garden. So you cannot see the mind or the air—it does not mean that subtle things are not there. Don’t believe your eyes in that way. You have to know things as it is stated here. The space, the air, they are acting. Prana-vayu. The yoga system is controlling the vayu, the air within the body. That is called pranayama, prana, prana, vayu, control the prana-vayu. So perfect yogi, they control the prana-vayu in such a way that by their sweet will they can transfer themselves through the prana-vayu in different planets. They can do that when they are fixed up, that “Now I am completely able to transfer myself,” so they can transfer to any planet, or if he wants, he can transfer himself to the spiritual world. That is the perfection. We have given this picture in our Perfection of Yoga book: a yogi is transferring himself to another planet. So if you want to go to the planets of the demigods… They are trying to go to the moon planet, but by yoga system, you can transfer yourself to any planet by yoga practice perfection. Therefore we have written that book Easy Journey to Other Planets. You can go to any other planet by bhakti-yoga or the astanga-yoga. Astanga-yoga, by practicing and becoming perfect, you can transfer to any planet yourself within this material world. But by bhakti-yoga, you can transfer yourself immediately to this spiritual Vaikunthaloka or Goloka Vrndavana. Mad-yajino ’pi yanti mam.

So the yoga system is meant for that purpose, that you practice yoga, and when you are mature, you can select an auspicious time and transfer yourself to certain planet, as you like. Yanti deva-vrata devan [Bg. 9.25]. If you want to go to the demigod’s planet, so you can transfer there. And if you want to transfer yourself to Krsnaloka—mad-yajino ’pi yanti mam—that is the best way. Because here, even if you transfer yourself to the Brahmaloka, the topmost planet, where duration of life is millions and millions of years… You can transfer in that planet, but that is not very good bargain. Krsna says, abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino ’rjuna: [Bg. 8.16] “Even if you transfer yourself to the Brahmaloka, where the duration of life is very, very long, still, you have to come back again.” Ksine punye punah martya-lokam visanti. So long your pious balance is there, you can stay there. But after that, you have to come back again in this material world. So sastra says, “So if you have to prepare yourself, then why don’t you prepare for going back to home, back to Godhead?” Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6]. Krsna says, “If you go to the spiritual planet, Vaikunthaloka or Goloka Vrndavana, then you haven’t got to return. That is eternal.” Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti [Bg. 4.9]. Mam eti. If you go to Krsna, then your complete success is…

mam upetya punar janma duhkhalayam asasvatam napnuvanti mahatmanah samsiddhim paramam gatah [Bg. 8.15]

Samsiddhim, that is the highest perfection, paramam. Therefore we should try, we should endeavor, for that purpose, how to go back to home, back to Godhead.

So simply you have to train your mind. Man-mana bhava…, this, the prescription. Mam evaisyasi asamsaya. Krsna says that “You, this practice,” mam evaisyasi, “you will come to Me.” Asamsaya. Krsna says, “There is no doubt about it.” So why don’t you do that? Train your mind, always Krsna conscious, and the method is simple. You do not require much education or university degree—nothing of the sort. Simply man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah: you just become devotee of Krsna and always think of Him. Where is the difficulty? You can walk on the street and remember Krsna. Is there any tax? No, the government will not ask you for any income tax, sales tax, that “You are chanting Hare Krsna.” They may do so. The time is coming. (laughter) They may say, “The Hare Krsna people must be taxed three times because they are chanting and doing nothing.” The Communist government will do that. So never mind. The tax will be sent by Krsna. (laughter) You haven’t got to bother. Still, yoga-ksemam vahamy aham [Bg. 9.22], Krsna says. You believe in Krsna. Then every problem is solved. We have no problem if we simply follow Krsna’s instruction. Krsna says, tesam satata-yuktanam yoga-ksemam vahamy aham [Bg. 10.10] Even they tax for chanting Hare Krsna, then Krsna will bring the money. We are getting that practically. So you know the history, how this land was purchased. There was no money, but Krsna sent money and everything was done nicely. So there is no anxiety, provided we are purely Krsna conscious, without any other desire.

anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam anukulyena krsnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama [BRS 1.1.11]

No other desire. Simply… Desire will not come. Krsna is so strong and nice. As soon as you allow Him to sit down within your heart… He is there already. Simply you have to see. Then the strength is already there. There is no need of acquiring external strength for acquiring Krsna. The simple thing is that you follow the instruction of Krsna, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]

So this is very natural. This temple worship is meant for that purpose. Actually, when we see the Deity, immediately our mind become Krsna conscious. At least, we think of Krsna: “Here is Krsna.” So that is man-manah. Chanting also, chanting, that is krsna-manah, man-manah. In this way you become bhakta. Regularly chanting, you become bhakta. Without becoming bhakta, nobody can chant. So man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji. And worship Deity. He has come very kindly to accept your service. You just dress Him, just bathe Him, just decorate Him with ornaments, with garland, with nice thing. So He is ready. Just like a child is ready to accept the service of the mother. The mother dresses the child nicely, and the child accepts. So Krsna is so kind that… You cannot capture Krsna in His virad-murti. You can capture Krsna in your capacity. So Krsna has agreed. So take this chance. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji. Worship Him. Why you are denying? It is not difficult, not expensive at all. And in this way, if you follow the process, then your bhava, your nature, will be changed. You will become a complete devotee.

So at the time of death, if you can maintain this bhava, Krsna conscious bhava… The bhava is the perfection. Bhava is attained after much practice of devotional service. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango ’tha bhajana-kriya tato ’nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah, athasaktis tato bhavah. Asakti, when there is asakti, attraction, attraction… Now, recently I have received one letter. One boy, he was engaged in worshiping the Deity in our Hyderabad center, and he was transferred to Madras. So he became madlike. He has come back. He could not stay there without serving. He has written me letter. So that is bhava. He cannot stay without worshiping the Deity. That stage comes. You have to simply adopt it. Tato bhavah. Tato ’nartha-nivrttih syat. Anartha. Anartha means we are accustomed to this material condition of life, so many anarthas. Just like there are so many people, they are going to the cinema in the evening. But those who have attained bhava, his anartha nivrtti is already done. He is not attracted any more by the cinema. He is attracted, bhava, in the worship of the Deity. That is called bhava. That bhava means prema. Only thinking of Krsna, serving Krsna, simply busy in Krsna’s service—that is the perfection of life. And if we can maintain that bhava, that situation, mentality, then yam yam vapi smaran loke tyajaty ante kalevaram, and at the time of death, if that bhava is maintained, that is samsiddhim paramam gatah. That is the highest perfection of life. This is Krsna consciousness practice, Krsna consciousness. We are trying to… We are not trying to give others. We are trying ourself also, how to get that bhava. That is the perfection of life.

So human life is meant for that purpose, not to practice how to imitate barking like the dog, no. That is not human life. Human life is meant for acquiring this bhava. Budha bhava-samanvitah. In another place in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, budhah…

aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate iti matva bhajante mam budha bhava-samanvitah [Bg. 10.8]

Bhava-samanvitah. Budhah. Those who are actually learned, actually advanced, such persons—budha bhava-samanvitah, bhajante mam. That is perfection of life. So take this opportunity, human life. Don’t miss. You may be very proud of your intelligence, but this intelligence is not very good intelligence if you are devoid of Krsna consciousness. Then you are a mudha. If, by your intelligence, you learn how to surrender to Krsna and worship Him with bhava, that is real intelligence. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19] And if you try to become intelligent, some tricks, material trick, to get some money or cheat others, that is not very good intelligence. These cats and dogs that… They have also such intelligence. How to steal food from the room, the cat knows very well. So that is not intelligence. That intelligence can be found, even birds, beasts, everywhere. Real intelligence is how to regain your Krsna consciousness and be promoted to the stage of bhava, and at the time of death maintain that bhava, and then your life is successful. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9].

Thank you very much. (end)