Canto 3: The Status QuoChapter 26: Fundamental Principles of Material Nature

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.26.1

śrī-bhagavān uvāca

atha te sampravakṣyāmi

tattvānāḿ lakṣaṇaḿ pṛthak

yad viditvā vimucyeta

puruṣaḥ prākṛtair guṇaiḥ


śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Personality of Godhead said; atha — now; teto you; sampravakṣyāmiI shall describe; tattvānām — of the categories of the Absolute Truth; lakṣaṇam — the distinctive features; pṛthak — one by one; yat — which; viditvā — knowing; vimucyeta — one can be released; puruṣaḥ — any person; prākṛtaiḥ — of the material nature; guṇaiḥ — from the modes.


The Personality of Godhead, Kapila, continued: My dear mother, now I shall describe unto you the different categories of the Absolute Truth, knowing which any person can be released from the influence of the modes of material nature.


As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, only through devotional service (bhaktyā mām abhijānāti [Bg. 18.55]). As stated in the Bhāgavatam, the object of devotional service is mām, Kṛṣṇa. And, as explained in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, to understand Kṛṣṇa means to understand Kṛṣṇa in His personal form with His internal energy, His external energy, His expansions and His incarnations. There are many diverse departments of knowledge in understanding Kṛṣṇa. Sāńkhya philosophy is especially meant for persons who are conditioned by this material world. It is generally understood by the paramparā system, or by disciplic succession, to be the science of devotional service. Preliminary studies of devotional service have already been explained. Now the analytical study of devotional service will be explained by the Lord, who says that by such an analytical study, one becomes freed from the modes of material nature. The same assertion is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā. Tato māḿ tattvato jñātvā: by understanding the Lord according to various categories, one can become eligible to enter into the kingdom of God. This is also explained here. By understanding the science of devotional service in Sāńkhya philosophy, one can become free from the modes of material nature. The eternal self, after becoming freed from the spell of material nature, becomes eligible to enter into the kingdom of God. As long as one has even a slight desire to enjoy or lord it over material nature, there is no chance of his being freed from the influence of nature's material modes. Therefore, one has to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead analytically, as explained in the Sāńkhya system of philosophy by Lord Kapiladeva.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness