khaá¹ vÄyum agniá¹ salilaá¹ mahÄ«á¹ ca
jyotÄ«á¹á¹£i sattvÄni diÅo drumÄdÄ«n
sarit-samudrÄmÅ ca hareá¸¥ ÅarÄ«raá¹
yat kiá¹ ca bhÅ«taá¹ praá¹amed ananyaá¸¥
kham - ether; vÄyum - air; agnim - fire; salilam - water; mahÄ«m - earth; ca - and; jyotÄ«á¹á¹£i - the sun, moon and other celestial luminaries; sattvÄni - all living beings; diÅaá¸¥ - the directions; druma-ÄdÄ«n - trees and other immovable creatures; sarit - the rivers; samudrÄn - and oceans; ca - also; hareá¸¥ - of the Supreme Lord, Hari; ÅarÄ«ram - the body; yat kim ca - whatever; bhÅ«tam - in created existence; praá¹amet - one should bow to; ananyaá¸¥ - thinking nothing to be separate from the Lord.
ÅrÄ«la JÄ«va GosvÄmÄ« has given this example from the PurÄá¹as: yat paÅyati, tat tv anurÄgÄtiÅayena âjagad dhana-mayaá¹ lubdhÄá¸¥ kÄmukÄá¸¥ kÄminÄ«-mayamâ iti-vat hareá¸¥ ÅarÄ«ram. âBecause of a greedy personâs obsession with money, wherever he goes he sees an opportunity for acquiring wealth. Similarly a very lusty man notices women everywhere.â In the same way, a pure devotee should see the transcendental form of the Lord within everything, since everything is an expansion of the Lord. It is our practical experience that a greedy man will see money everywhere. If he goes to the forest he will immediately consider whether it would be profitable to purchase the forest land and sell the trees to a paper mill. Similarly, if a lusty man goes to the same forest he will look everywhere for beautiful women tourists who might happen to be there. And if a devotee goes to the same forest he will see Ká¹á¹£á¹a there, knowing correctly that the entire forest, as well as the sky canopy above, is the inferior energy of the Lord. Ká¹á¹£á¹a is supremely sacred, being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and since everything that exists expands directly or indirectly from the body of the Lord, everything is sacred when seen through the eyes of a self-realized person. Therefore as stated in this verse, praá¹amet: one should offer oneâs sincere respects to everything. ÅrÄ«la JÄ«va GosvÄmÄ« has mentioned that we should see the personal form of Ká¹á¹£á¹a everywhere.
This verse does not approve of the impersonal, atheistic philosophy that everything is God. In this regard, ÅrÄ«la MadhvÄcÄrya has quoted from the Hari-vaá¹Åa:
sarvaá¹ harer vaÅatvena
ÅarÄ«raá¹ tasya bhaá¹yate
tad ananyam udÄ«ryate
na cÄpy abhedo jagatÄá¹
viá¹£á¹oá¸¥ pÅ«rá¹a-guá¹asya tu
âBecause everything is under the control of the Supreme Lord, Hari, everything is considered to be His body. He is the original source and master of everything, and therefore nothing should be seen as different from Him. Nonetheless, one should not foolishly conclude that there is absolutely no difference between the material universe and Lord Viá¹£á¹u, who is full of His own unique spiritual qualities.â
The example is often given of the sun and the sunâs rays. The sunshine is nothing but an expansion of the sun globe, and therefore there is no qualitative difference between the sun and its rays. But although the sunshine is situated everywhere and although everything is a transformation of the sunâs energy, the sun globe itself, the source of the sunshine, is not everywhere, but is situated in a particular place in the vast sky and has its own specific form.
If we penetrate further into the sun globe we shall find the sun-god, VivasvÄn. Although pseudointellectuals of the modern age who are incapable of even counting the hairs on their own heads will consider the sun-god a mythological figure, it is actually the foolish mythology of modern men to think that such a sophisticated apparatus as the sun, which provides heat and light for the entire universe, can function without intelligent administration. Transformations of solar energy make life possible on earth, and thus the earth can be understood to consist of an endless variety of secondary manifestations of all-pervading solar energy.
So within the sun planet is the personality VivasvÄn, the chief administrator of the solar functions; the sun globe itself is localized; and the sunâs rays expand everywhere. Similarly ÅrÄ« Ká¹á¹£á¹a, ÅyÄmasundara, is the original Personality of Godhead (bhagavÄn svayam); He expands Himself as the localized Supersoul (ParamÄtmÄ) in everyoneâs heart; and finally He expands His potency by His personal bodily glow, the all-pervading spiritual effulgence called the brahmajyoti. The entire material manifestation floats within the rays of this brahmajyoti. Just as all life on earth is a transformation of the all-pervading rays of the sun, the entire cosmic manifestation is a transformation of the spiritual rays of the brahmajyoti. As stated in the Brahma-saá¹hitÄ (5.40):
yasya prabhÄ prabhavato jagad-aá¹á¸a-koá¹i-
koá¹iá¹£v aÅeá¹£a-vasudhÄdi vibhÅ«ti-bhinnam
tad brahma niá¹£kalam anantam aÅeá¹£a-bhÅ«taá¹
govindam Ädi-puruá¹£aá¹ tam ahaá¹ bhajÄmi
âI worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is endowed with great power. The glowing effulgence of His transcendental form is the impersonal Brahman, which is absolute, complete and unlimited and which displays the varieties of countless planets, with their different opulences, in millions and millions of universes.â Therefore, the brahmajyoti is the spiritual light that emanates directly from the body of the Lord. This universe is a transformation of that spiritual energy, and therefore everything that exists is in one sense connected directly with the personal body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
It is emphasized here that we should offer respect to everything that exists, recognizing it to be the energy of the Lord. The example may be given that if a man is important his property is also important. The president of a country is the most important person in the country, and therefore everyone must respect his property. Similarly, everything that exists is an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and should be respected accordingly. If we fail to see everything that exists as the energy of the Lord, we risk the danger of drifting into the MÄyÄvÄda philosophy, which according to Caitanya MahÄprabhu is the most deadly poison for one trying to advance in actual spiritual life. MÄyÄvÄdi-bhÄá¹£ya Åunile haya sarva-nÄÅa (Cc. Madhya 6.169). If we try to understand Ká¹á¹£á¹a alone, without the expansion of His potency, we shall not understand such statements in Bhagavad-gÄ«tÄ as vÄsudevaá¸¥ sarvam and ahaá¹ sarvasya prabhavaá¸¥.
As already explained in this chapter, bhayaá¹ dvitiyÄbhiniveÅataá¸¥ syÄt: fear or illusion arises from thinking that there is something not dependent upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now, in this verse, the specific process for overcoming this fearful illusion is given. One must train oneâs mind to see everything that exists as an expansion of the potency of the Supreme Lord. By offering respects to everything and meditating upon everything as part of the body of the Lord, one will become free from fear. As stated in Bhagavad-gÄ«tÄ (5.29), suhá¹daá¹ sarva-bhÅ«tÄnÄm: Ká¹á¹£á¹a is the well-wishing friend of every living being. As soon as one understands that everything that exists is under the powerful control of oneâs most beloved friend, one comes to the stage in which the whole universe becomes a blissful abode (viÅvaá¹ pÅ«rá¹a-sukhÄyate), because he sees Ká¹á¹£á¹a everywhere.
If Ká¹á¹£á¹aâs personality were not the source of everything and if everything were not connected to Ká¹á¹£á¹a, one might be proper in concluding that Ká¹á¹£á¹aâs personality is a material manifestation of some impersonal truth. As stated in VedÄnta-sÅ«tra, janmÄdy asya yataá¸¥: the Absolute Truth is that from which everything emanates. Similarly, Ká¹á¹£á¹a says, ahaá¹ sarvasya prabhavaá¸¥: âI am the source of everything.â If we see anything totally disconnected from the personal body of Ká¹á¹£á¹a, we may doubt whether Ká¹á¹£á¹aâs personality is actually the absolute source described in VedÄnta-sÅ«tra. As soon as one feels this way, he becomes fearful and should be understood to be under the control of the Lordâs illusory energy.
ÅrÄ«la BhaktisiddhÄnta SarasvatÄ« á¹¬hÄkura has warned us that if we do not see everything as a manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we shall become victims of phalgu-vairÄgya, or immature renunciation. Whatever we see as disconnected from Ká¹á¹£á¹a will have in our mind no relationship to Ká¹á¹£á¹aâs service. But if we see everything as connected to Ká¹á¹£á¹a, we shall use everything for Ká¹á¹£á¹aâs satisfaction. This is called yukta-vairÄgya. According to ÅrÄ«la BhaktisiddhÄnta SarasvatÄ« á¹¬hÄkura, âOne who has experienced his own true identity understands that all things exist as paraphernalia for giving ecstatic pleasure to the Supreme Lord. Thus one becomes free from the separatist vision in which one sees the world as existing for oneâs own enjoyment. In the transcendental state, whatever a devotee sees reminds him of Ká¹á¹£á¹a, and thus his transcendental knowledge and bliss increase.â Because the impersonalist philosophers fail to see everything as belonging to the personal form of Ká¹á¹£á¹a, they reject this world as having no true existence (jagan mithyÄ). But since the material world is an emanation from the supreme reality, Ká¹á¹£á¹a, it does in fact exist. Its nonexistence is simply a creation of the imagination, and one cannot possibly act on such an imaginary platform. Therefore, having proposed an illusory theory and being unable actually to live on such a platform, the impersonalist comes back to the material platform for altruistic or gross sense gratificatory activities. Since the impersonalist does not accept the personal proprietorship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he does not know how or for whom to engage the things of this world, and since it is impossible to reject this world totally while living within it, he runs the risk of again becoming entangled in material fruitive activities. Therefore as stated in Bhagavad-gÄ«tÄ (12.5), kleÅoÂ âdhikataras teá¹£Äm: the impersonal path of imaginary philosophy is very painful to follow.
The conclusion is that this verse is spoken to help the devotee of the Supreme Lord advance in Ká¹á¹£á¹a consciousness. It can be understood from the previous verses of this chapter that the ultimate goal is pure devotional service to Lord Ká¹á¹£á¹a. If one falsely interprets this verse to sanction the imaginary MÄyÄvÄda philosophy that everything is God, one will simply become bewildered and fall from the path of spiritual advancement.