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

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.31.14

yaḥ pañca-bhūta-racite rahitaḥ śarīre

cchanno 'yathendriya-guṇārtha-cid-ātmako 'ham

tenāvikuṇṭha-mahimānam ṛṣiḿ tam enaḿ

vande paraḿ prakṛti-pūruṣayoḥ pumāḿsam


yaḥ — who; pañca-bhūta — five gross elements; racitemade of; rahitaḥ — separated; śarīrein the material body; channaḥ — covered; ayathā — unfitly; indriya — senses; guṇa — qualities; artha — objects of senses; cit — ego; ātmakaḥ — consisting of; ahamI; tena — by a material body; avikuṇṭha-mahimānam — whose glories are unobscured; ṛṣim — all-knowing; tam — that; enam — unto Him; vandeI offer obeisances; param — transcendental; prakṛtito material nature; pūruṣayoḥto the living entities; pumāḿsam — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


I am separated from the Supreme Lord because of my being in this material body, which is made of five elements, and therefore my qualities and senses are being misused, although I am essentially spiritual. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is transcendental to material nature and the living entities, because He is devoid of such a material body, and because He is always glorious in His spiritual qualities, I offer my obeisances unto Him.


The difference between the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is that the living entity is prone to be subjected to material nature, whereas the Supreme Godhead is always transcendental to material nature as well as to the living entities. When the living entity is put into material nature, then his senses and qualities are polluted, or designated. There is no possibility for the Supreme Lord to become embodied by material qualities or material senses, for He is above the influence of material nature and cannot possibly be put in the darkness of ignorance like the living entities. Because of His full knowledge, He is never subjected to the influence of material nature. Material nature is always under His control, and it is therefore not possible that material nature can control the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Since the identity of the living entity is very minute, he is prone to be subjected to material nature, but when he is freed from this material body, which is false, he attains the same, spiritual nature as the Supreme Lord. At that time there is no qualitative difference between him and the Supreme Lord, but because he is not so quantitatively powerful as to never be put under the influence of material nature, he is quantitatively different from the Lord.

The entire process of devotional service is to purify oneself of this contamination of material nature and put oneself on the spiritual platform, where he is qualitatively one with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Vedas it is said that the living entity is always free. Asańgo hy ayaḿ puruṣaḥ. The living entity is liberated. His material contamination is temporary, and his actual position is that he is liberated. This liberation is achieved by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which begins from the point of surrender. Therefore it is said here, "I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Person."

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