Bhagavad-gita 16.8
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Hawaii, February 4, 1975

Nitai: “They say that this world is unreal, that there is no foundation and that there is no God in control. It is produced of sex desire and has no cause other than lust.”


asatyam apratistham te jagad ahur anisvaram aparaspara-sambhutam kim anyat kama-haitukam [Bg. 16.8]

This is the verdict of the asuras. We have discussed the characteristics of asuras for the last two days. Now, gradually, Krsna is explaining the demonic characteristic. He has explained the divine characteristic extensively before this. Now He is explaining what are the demonic characteristics. So, napi cacarah. They even do not know how to live nicely. That verse we have already discussed last night.

pravrttim ca nivrttim ca jana na vidur asurah na saucam napi cacaro na satyam tesu vidyate

Pravrtti and nivrtti means which one, which path, we shall take and which path we shall reject. That they do not know. Na saucam, not cleanliness. Even ordinary things, cleanliness, that is very hygienic. That also they do not know. Na saucam napi cacarah. They do not know how to behave also. Na satyam. And no truthfulness is there. This verse we have already discussed.

Now, the next characteristic is asatyam: “This world is simply phenomenal; it has no foundation.” The Mayavadis, they directly say, brahma satyam jagan mithya. So Mayavadi, at least they say that “There is Brahman. He is truth, but this phenomenal world is not truth. Manifestation of material energy, that is not true.” So, according to our philosophy, Vaisnava philosophy, we don’t say that this maya, or the… Maya means this temporary manifestation. This material world is fact, but it is temporary, not false. We cannot say it is false. Just like I am sitting on the seat or you are sitting on the floor. We are sitting on something. It is not false; it is fact. I am not sitting on the air. You are not sitting on the air. So how we can say it is false? No. Therefore our philosophy is… That is fact. One may consider. One who is philosophically inclined, he can judge the statement, of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Rupa Gosvami says,

prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah mumuksubhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate

He says, “The material things…” Prapancika means material. So this house is material. It is made of wood, stone. So we are giving up all material connection. Then why shall we live in this house? This is material. So prapancika. Prapancika means considering something as material. Hari-sambandhi-vastunah. Vastu means substance or thing which has connection with Hari. This stone, wood, air, fire, water—five gross elements—it has connection with Krsna. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca, bhinna me prakrtir astadha. These eight kinds of material elements, five gross and three subtle, namely the earth, water, air fire, sky—these are gross elements—and the subtle elements, mind, intelligence, and ego… So these are subtle. Mind is also material, and intelligence is also material, and ego, the false ego that “I am this material body,” that is also material. And above this, that is spiritual.

Above this, the soul, the spirit, that is spiritual. Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakrtim param. Krsna says, “These gross and subtle elements, they are inferior energy. That is My energy, but that is inferior energy.” Itas tu, apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakrtim param: “There is another superior energy.” What is that superior energy? Jiva-bhuta, the living entity. Jiva-bhutam yayedam dharyate jagat. That is superior because this superior energy, living entity, he is trying to utilize this inferior material energy for his sense gratification. Dharyate jagat. Whole world is going on just like a motor car. It is combination of gross material—iron, steel, copper, glass, like that, and cotton, and fiber. The car is combination of some material things, but it is operated or it is manufactured by the man. He is controlling this; therefore he is superior. Both of them are energies. The superior energy, living entity, is managing how to collect this iron, copper, this, that, and make nice car. And he is riding on. And this material supply is given by the material energy. The intelligence is given by Krsna.

Krsna says, sarvasya caham hrdi sannivistah: “I am sitting in everyone’s heart.” Mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca: [Bg. 15.15] “From Me he’s getting the intelligence.” So if you analyze the whole thing, the manufacturer of the car and the car itself and the, ingredients of the car, the platform on which the car is running— everything belongs to Krsna. That is the ultimate analysis. Therefore Rupa Gosvami says that in everything there is relationship with Krsna. Hari-sambandhi-vastunah. So why shall I reject it? I am concerned with Hari, Krsna; therefore anything belongs to Krsna—I am also interested. Property of Krsna, things of Krsna…

We are taking care of this house. Why? Because it is temple. What is temple? Temple means Krsna is there. Krsna is everywhere, but because we have got now our limited knowledge—we are not advanced—therefore we take a spot, the temple, and always think of Krsna that “This is Krsna’s place. This is Krsna’s temple. We must take care of it.” Sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana-srngara-tan-mandira-mar janadau **. These are the process of devotional service, that we worship the Deity, sri-vigraha, nicely dressed, nicely worshiped, first-class food offered. This is called sri-vigraharadhana, worshiping, arcanam. Arcanam vandanam dasyam. Tan-mandira-marjanadau, and again cleansing the temple very nicely everywhere. So this is our process, that we take everything in relationship with Krsna.

We don’t find that this material energy is false. We don’t say. But the asuras. those who have no knowledge of Krsna, they say, asatyam: “This is all false.” Why it is false? If the source of energy is fact, brahma satyam, then the energy of the satya must be satya. If the cause is fact, then the effect is also fact. Just like cotton. If cotton is fact, then the thread is also fact. How you can say that thread is false and cotton is fact? That is not possible. If the cotton is fact, then the thread, effect of cotton, that is also fact. Therefore Rupa Gosvami says that prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah. Anything which has got connection with Hari, Krsna, prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi…, mumuksubhih parityagah. Mumuksu, those who are aspiring after liberation, mumuk… Moksa. The Mayavadis, they are aspiring after mukti. Mukti. A devotee does not care for mukti. Mukti’s not very important thing for them because, actually, one who is pure devotee, he’s already mukta, liberated. He doesn’t care for mukti. That is stated in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita that

mam ca yo ’vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena sevate sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]

“Anyone who is engaged in My devotional service without any adulteration, pure…” Pure devotional service means anyabhilasita-sunyam: [BRS 1.1.11] no other desire, no duplicity, pure—“I am servant of Krsna, and it is my duty to serve Krsna,” not, “I am serving Krsna with a motive. As soon as I get the opportunity, I shall utilize.” That is not pure devotion. Pure devotion means without any motive: “Krsna is my Lord. I am His eternal servant. It is my duty to serve”— no motive. That is pure devotion. So if one is on the platform of devotional service, mam ca yo ’vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena sevate [Bg. 14.26] Anyone who is serving Krsna without any motive, without any alloy, pure devotional service, he’s already liberated. Mam ca yo ’vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena sevate, sa gunan samatitya etan [Bg. 14.26].

Liberation means not to be under the influence of the modes of material nature, not to be infected by the modes of material nature, especially passion and ignorance. That is mukti. Mukti is not very wonderful thing. It is difference of consciousness. Everyone is conscious materially: “I am this body,” “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am this,” “I am that.” This is one consciousness, and when this consciousness is purified, tat-paratvena nirmalam… Nirmalam means completely cleanse. That is the bhakti platform. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. When one becomes purified completely from all this designation… The body is designation. So according to the body, we are placed in different designation: “I am human being,” “I am cat,” “I am dog,” “I am demigod,” “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am brahmana,” “I am ksatriya”—so many designations. So bhakti platform is sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170], anyabhilasita-sunyam [BRS 1.1.11].

Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, “I am not a brahmana, I am not a ksatriya. I am not a vaisya. I am not a sudra,” because the material human society designation is the varnasrama according to Vedic civilization. Even those who are not on the varnasrama platform, they are animals. That is Vedic civilization. So to come to the platform of truth, one has to know what are the defects of material life, how it is taken by the asuras. That is being described by Krsna, asatyam, asatyam apratistham, apratistham te. Te means these asuras. Jagad ahur anisvaram [Bg. 16.8]. It is controlled by the Supreme.

In the material stage we think that it is being controlled by the laws of material nature. That is also fact, but behind the laws of material nature there is Krsna. The material laws of material nature is not working blindly. That is a fact. Combination of material thing, a big, nice airship, is moving. It is combination of material things. There are iron, aluminium, wood, and petrol, so many other things, the combination of material things. But this combination of material things, if it is kept in one place, in many thousands of years it will not fly. It will not fly—the petrol is here; everything is there—unless the pilot is there. When the pilot comes he pushes the button. Then it becomes.

So these foolish, these atheistic persons, mudhas, they cannot see. There must be a spiritual touch. In spite of all electronic arrangement, unless there is a spiritual… The pilot is spiritual being. Unless he touches his finger, it is not moving. So how this gigantic material manifestation can work independently? They have no sense. Therefore they say, jagad ahur anisvaram [Bg. 16.8]. Anisvaram: “There is no pilot. It is moving automatically.” This is asuric conclusion. How it can move? Where is your experience that simply combination of material thing can move the machine? Where is your experience? How do you say like that? It is very common sense. Therefore Krsna said these rascals, these demons, they say, jagad ahur anisvaram: [Bg. 16.8] “There is no controller.” He’s thinking. The scientist thinking. He’s practically doing in the laboratory, that he is a spiritual soul. He is mixing the chemicals, hydrogen, oxygen, acid and alkaline. He’s mixing, and there is reaction. Then something is coming out. He’s doing that. Still, he says, “There is no God.” What is this foolishness? Why do they say like that? Therefore they are asuras. They do not admit the existence. Big, big chemist…

Recently there is a book “Chemical Evolution.” He wants to prove it, that by combination of chemicals the life has come in. That is not the fact. The fact is: life has come from life. You cannot manufacture life by combination of chemical. Chemical comes from life. In our book… What is that book? “Life Comes From Life.” I have given this reason, that even though you think that chemical combination brings the living force, but the chemical is coming from life. Just like citric acid. The citric acid we see practically. There is a tree, lemon tree. This is life. The lemon tree is life. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavarah. They are sthavara life, non-moving life, but it is life. So from an insignificant lemon tree, tons of citric acid is coming. You have got experience. This lemon means citric acid. This chemical is coming from life. Without the tree, you cannot get this chemical, citric acid. From… Sometimes you have got experience. The perspiration is water, is coming from my body. The body is active so long I am there. So how you can say the chemical is coming from matter? No. Chemical is coming from life. Even if you accept that life is combination of chemicals, then chemical also coming from life.

So, therefore, life is the original source of everything, both matter and life. The body is coming from life, and the soul is coming from life, the supreme life, Krsna. Krsna says, mamaivamso jiva-bhutah: [Bg. 15.7] “This living entity, they are part and parcel of Me.” So Krsna is the supreme life. Therefore He says, aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8] So Krsna is the source of both life and matter. There are two energies. One is superior energy; another, it is inferior energy. The material elements, they are inferior energy, and the superior energy—jiva-bhutam maha-baho yayedam dharyate jagat. So how you can say jagad ahur anisvaram [Bg. 16.8]? How you can say that without the control of the Supreme Lord this material world has come into being? There is no sufficient reasoning.

They say because they are not very intelligent. Therefore Krsna says, mudha. Mudha. That is stated in the Seventh Chapter. Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bg. 7.15]. Those who are duskrtina… Duskrtina means very intelligent, but the intelligence is being misused in mischief-mongering. They are called duskrtina. Krti. Krti means very nice brain, but duskrti— the brain is used for creating misgivings. They will explain like that. But we should be very much careful not to become their victim. So although the atheists say there is no God, jagad ahur anisvaram [Bg. 16.8], but we are convinced that God is the origin—janmady asya yatah [Bhag. 1.1.1]of both matter and spirit. So aparaspara-sambhutam, they simply explain that it is the result of combination only.

Just like acid and alkaline combine together. Just like soap. Soap is combination of acid and alkaline. The caustic soda is alkaline, and the fat is acid. So you mix this acid and alkaline—there is another product. This is chemical science. So the acid and alkaline, they also come from the, I mean to say, life. Or if it does not come from the life, the product is made by another life. Acid and alkaline does not mix together. Unless the chemist or the soap-maker brings them together and mixes, the soap does not come. So how you can say that the chemical combination is the source of life? No, that is not possible. This is right conclusion.

But these rascals, they conclude like that. Aparaspara-sambhutam: “By combination of two or more material things produces another third or fourth thing.” Aparaspara-sambhutam, kim anyat kama-haitukam. They give example. This is the atheist Sankhya philosophy, atheistic Sankhya philosophy, combination, permutation. But the example is given, kim anyat kama-haitukam. Kama. Just like a man and woman becomes lusty and their combination brings forth a child, a third matter. They think like that. They are thinking everything is matter. No. There is good brain within the combination. That is explained in the Vedic literature. Karmana daiva-netrena jantur dehopapattaye [SB 3.31.1]. This body is not coming accidentally by the sex intercourse. That is not the fact. The fact is karmana daiva-netrena. Otherwise, why the same kind of body is not coming by material combination and permutation? Why there are different types of body? Why there is rich body? Why there is poor body? Why there is cat body? Why is dog body? Why there are varieties? That they cannot answer. If you say that “Simply by combination of matter the secretion of the man and woman emulsifies and takes another shape, and that secretion, discharge of matter, is due to lust,” that is all right. But unless there is the living spark, soul, within that material combination, there is no pregnancy. The pregnancy will take place when there is actually living soul within this material creation, material combination, emulsification. That is the knowledge we get from Vedic sources. Karmana daiva-netrena jantur deha upapatti: [SB 3.31.1] “Jantuh, the living entity, is getting a type of body by the karma.” It is not simply lusty combination. Because the living entity has got his karma, therefore one is born and Mr. Ford and one is born something else. It is due to karma. Otherwise, why he’s born one rich and poor? There must be some consideration.

So that they do not find. They do not… They have no eyes to see. They simply see the superfluous combination, permutation. No. That superintendence is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, mayadhyaksena prakrtih [Bg. 9.10]. The Bhagavata also says, daiva-netrena. Daiva-netrena means “under the leadership of the Supreme.” As soon as one dies, gives up this body… He does not die; he changes the body. Now, the next body… Here is a duration of changing body. Say for a hundred years the changing is going on. Then, after that, when he changes this body, then there is daiva-netrena, the judgement: “What kind of body should be awarded this living entity?” That is called daiva-netrena. And when it is decided that “He has done such and such thing; therefore he should be promoted,” “He has done such and such thing; he should be degraded,” “He has done such and such thing; therefore he should go back to home, back to Godhead”—all these judgements are taken—then he’s offered.

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ’pi mam [Bg. 9.25]

There is the judgement, supreme judgement: “He has done like this. All right, let him be promoted in the heavenly planet.” He goes there. Abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino ’rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. Abrahma-loka. The highest planetary system, Brahmaloka, he can go. That is also required, superior judgement, what he has done for being promoted. Janmaisvarya-sruta-sribhih. Janma, to take birth in high class family, to become very rich—they are not accidental. There is background, daiva-netrena, by the superior judgement. There are so many things to be learned. Simply to become blind without any knowledge and give some verdict, asatyam, that is nonsense. That is nonsense. Krsna is guiding us. Don’t be victims of these rascals. Asatyam apratistham te jagad ahur anisvaram [Bg. 16.8] There is God. There is supreme controller. And God says, mayadhyaksena: [Bg. 9.10] “Under My superintendence.”

The material power is very gigantic, undoubtedly. That is described in the Brahma-samhita, srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka chayeva yasya bhuvanani vibharti durga [Bs. 5.44]. This material energy is called Durga. Durga means… Duh means very difficult. When we are in this material world it is very, very difficult to get out of it. The sky is covering the whole material universe, and there are different layers. It is not so… You cannot go even to the nearest planet. Durga, very difficult. You cannot… You are conditioned soul. You cannot go. You are thinking, “I have got now, discovered this.” It is not discovered. The aeroplane was long, long ago. So you cannot go. That is our conditional life. They are trying to go to the moon planet, unsuccessful. They cannot go. Therefore we are conditioned. I am conditioned to live on this planet. I cannot go to other planet without permission. It is common sense. Just like India. One cannot come to America without proper visa. So how you can go to the other planet without proper visa. So they do not think. That is, therefore, asuras, demons. They are simply thinking that they are perfect, they can do everything. That is not possible. That is not possible.

Therefore a devotee knows how to do things. He knows not automatically, but he learns from the spiritual master, the representative of God. Then he becomes perfect. Otherwise asura. Na saucam napi cacarah. The asuras, they do not know what is cleanliness, what is proper behavior. That is asuric quality. So we have explained. By asuric quality we remain conditioned with this material world. But daivi qual…, by divine quality, we can become free from this material bondage and go back to home, back to Godhead. So these things are very elaborately explained in this chapter, Sixteenth Chapter. So let us know who is demon and who is divine. Thank you very much. (end)