Canto 1: CreationChapter 17: Punishment and Reward of Kali

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.17.19

kecid vikalpa-vasanā

āhur ātmānam ātmanaḥ

daivam anye 'pare karma

svabhāvam apare prabhum


kecit — some of them; vikalpa-vasanāḥ — those who deny all kinds of duality; āhuḥ — declare; ātmānam — own self; ātmanaḥ — of the self; daivam — superhuman; anye — others; apare — someone else; karma — activity; svabhāvam — material nature; apare — many other; prabhum — authorities.


Some of the philosophers, who deny all sorts of duality, declare that one's own self is responsible for his personal happiness and distress. Others say that superhuman powers are responsible, while yet others say that activity is responsible, and the gross materialists maintain that nature is the ultimate cause.


As referred to above, philosophers like Jaimini and his followers establish that fruitive activity is the root cause of all distress and happiness, and that even if there is a superior authority, some superhuman powerful God or gods, He or they are also under the influence of fruitive activity because they reward result according to one's action. They say that action is not independent because action is performed by some performer; therefore, the performer himself is the cause of his own happiness or distress. In the Bhagavad-gītā (6.5) also it is confirmed that by one's mind, freed from material affection, one can deliver himself from the sufferings of material pangs. So one should not entangle oneself in matter by the mind's material affections. Thus one's own mind is one's friend or enemy in one's material happiness and distress.

Atheistic, materialistic Sāńkhyaites conclude that material nature is the cause of all causes. According to them, combinations of material elements are the causes of material happiness and distress, and disintegration of matter is the cause of freedom from all material pangs. Gautama and Kaṇāda find that atomic combination is the cause of everything, and impersonalists like Aṣṭāvakra discover that the spiritual effulgence of Brahman is the cause of all causes. But in the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord Himself declares that He is the source of impersonal Brahman, and therefore He, the Personality of Godhead, is the ultimate cause of all causes. It is also confirmed in the Brahma-saḿhitā that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate cause of all causes.

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