Canto 3: The Status QuoChapter 31: Lord Kapila's Instructions on the Movements of the Living Entities

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.31.13

yas tv atra baddha iva karmabhir āvṛtātmā

bhūtendriyāśayamayīm avalambya māyām

āste viśuddham avikāram akhaṇḍa-bodham

ātapyamāna-hṛdaye 'vasitaḿ namāmi


yaḥ — who; tu — also; atra — here; baddhaḥ — bound; ivaas if; karmabhiḥ — by activities; āvṛta — covered; ātmā — the pure soul; bhūta — the gross elements; indriya — the senses; āśaya — the mind; mayīm — consisting of; avalambya — having fallen; māyām — into māyā; āste — remains; viśuddham — completely pure; avikāram — without change; akhaṇḍa-bodham — possessed of unlimited knowledge; ātapyamāna — repentant; hṛdayein the heart; avasitam — residing; namāmiI offer my respectful obeisances.


I, the pure soul, appearing now bound by my activities, am lying in the womb of my mother by the arrangement of māyā. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him who is also here with me but who is unaffected and changeless. He is unlimited, but He is perceived in the repentant heart. To Him I offer my respectful obeisances.


As stated in the previous verse, the jīva soul says, "I take shelter of the Supreme Lord." Therefore, constitutionally, the jīva soul is the subordinate servitor of the Supreme Soul, the Personality of Godhead. Both the Supreme Soul and the jīva soul are sitting in the same body, as confirmed in the Upaniṣads. They are sitting as friends, but one is suffering, and the other is aloof from suffering.

In this verse it is said, viśuddham avikāram akhaṇḍa-bodham: the Supersoul is always sitting apart from all contamination. The living entity is contaminated and suffering because he has a material body, but that does not mean that because the Lord is also with him, He also has a I material body. He is avikāram, changeless. He is always the same Supreme, but unfortunately the Māyāvādī philosophers, because of their impure hearts, cannot understand that the Supreme Soul, the Supersoul, is different from the individual soul. It is said here, ātapyamāna-hṛdaye 'vasitam: He is in the heart of every living entity, but He can be realized only by a soul who is repentant. The individual soul becomes repentant that he forgot his constitutional position, wanted to become one with the Supreme Soul and tried his best to lord it over material nature. He has been baffled, and therefore he is repentant. At that time, Supersoul, or the relationship between the Supersoul and the individual soul, is realized. As it is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā, after many, many births the knowledge comes to the conditioned soul that Vāsudeva is great, He is master, and He is Lord. The individual soul is the servant, and therefore he surrenders unto Him. At that time he becomes a mahātmā, a great soul. Therefore, a fortunate living being who comes to this understanding, even within the womb of his mother, has his liberation assured.

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