Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 28: Jñāna-yoga

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.28.10

śrī-uddhava uvāca

naivātmano na dehasya

saḿsṛtir draṣṭṛ-dṛśyayoḥ

anātma-sva-dṛśor īśa

kasya syād upalabhyate


śrī-uddhavaḥ uvācaŚrī Uddhava said; na — there is not; eva — indeed; ātmanaḥ — of the self; na — nor; dehasya — of the body; saḿsṛtiḥ — material existence; draṣṭṛ-dṛśyayoḥ — of the seer or the seen; anātma — of that which is not spirit; sva-dṛśoḥ — or of him who has innate knowledge; īśaO Lord; kasya — of whom; syāt — may be; upalabhyate — which is experienced.


Śrī Uddhava said: My dear Lord, it is not possible for this material existence to be the experience of either the soul, who is the seer, or of the body, which is the seen object. On the one hand, the spirit soul is innately endowed with perfect knowledge, and on the other hand, the material body is not a conscious, living entity. To whom, then, does this experience of material existence pertain?


Since the living entity is pure spirit soul, innately full of perfect knowledge and bliss, and since the material body is a biochemical machine without knowledge or personal consciousness, who or what is actually experiencing the ignorance and anxiety of this material existence? The conscious experience of material life cannot be denied, and thus Uddhava asks Lord Kṛṣṇa this question to elicit a more precise understanding of the process by which illusion occurs.

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