ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मनः ।
तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् ॥
भावार्थ : परन्तु जिनका वह अज्ञान परमात्मा के तत्व ज्ञान द्वारा नष्ट कर दिया गया है, उनका वह ज्ञान सूर्य के सदृश उस सच्चिदानन्दघन परमात्मा को प्रकाशित कर देता है॥16॥
When, however, one is enlightened with the knowledge by which nescience is destroyed, then his knowledge reveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the daytime.
Those who have forgotten Krsna must certainly be bewildered, but those who are in Krsna consciousness are not bewildered at all. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, "sarvam jnana-plavena," "jnanagnih sarva-karmani" and "na hi jnanena sadrsam." Knowledge is always highly esteemed. And what is that knowledge? Perfect knowledge is achieved when one surrenders unto Krsna, as is said in the Seventh Chapter, 19th verse: bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate. After passing through many, many births, when one perfect in knowledge surrenders unto Krsna, or when one attains Krsna consciousness, then everything is revealed to him, as the sun reveals everything in the daytime. The living entity is bewildered in so many ways. For instance, when he thinks himself God, unceremoniously, he actually falls into the last snare of nescience. If a living entity is God, then how can he become bewildered by nescience? Does God become bewildered by nescience? If so, then nescience, or Satan, is greater than God. Real knowledge can be obtained from a person who is in perfect Krsna consciousness. Therefore, one has to seek out such a bona fide spiritual master and, under him, learn what Krsna consciousness is. The spiritual master can drive away all nescience, as the sun drives away darkness. Even though a person may be in full knowledge that he is not this body but is transcendental to the body, he still may not be able to discriminate between the soul and the Supersoul. However, he can know everything well if he cares to take shelter of the perfect, bona fide Krsna conscious spiritual master. One can know God and one's relationship with God only when one actually meets a representative of God. A representative of God never claims that he is God, although he is paid all the respect ordinarily paid to God because he has knowledge of God. One has to learn the distinction between God and the living entity. Lord Sri Krsna therefore stated in the Second Chapter (2.12) that every living being is individual and that the Lord also is individual. They were all individuals in the past, they are individuals at present, and they will continue to be individuals in the future, even after liberation. At night we see everything as one in the darkness, but in day when the sun is up, we see everything in its real identity. Identity with individuality in spiritual life is real knowledge.
नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभुः ।
अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तवः ॥
भावार्थ : सर्वव्यापी परमेश्वर भी न किसी के पाप कर्म को और न किसी के शुभकर्म को ही ग्रहण करता है, किन्तु अज्ञान द्वारा ज्ञान ढँका हुआ है, उसी से सब अज्ञानी मनुष्य मोहित हो रहे हैं॥15॥
Nor does the Supreme Spirit assume anyone's sinful or pious activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance which covers their real knowledge.
The Sanskrit word vibhuh means the Supreme Lord who is full of unlimited knowledge, riches, strength, fame, beauty and renunciation. He is always satisfied in Himself, undisturbed by sinful or pious activities. He does not create a particular situation for any living entity, but the living entity, bewildered by ignorance, desires to be put into certain conditions of life, and thereby his chain of action and reaction begins. A living entity is, by superior nature, full of knowledge. Nevertheless, he is prone to be influenced by ignorance due to his limited power. The Lord is omnipotent, but the living entity is not. The Lord is vibhu, or omniscient, but the living entity is anu, or atomic. Because he is a living soul, he has the capacity to desire by his free will. Such desire is fulfilled only by the omnipotent Lord. And so, when the living entity is bewildered in his desires, the Lord allows him to fulfill those desires, but the Lord is never responsible for the actions and reactions of the particular situation which may be desired. Being in a bewildered condition, therefore, the embodied soul identifies himself with the circumstantial material body and becomes subjected to the temporary misery and happiness of life. The Lord is the constant companion of the living entity as Paramatma, or the Supersoul, and therefore He can understand the desires of the individual soul, as one can smell the flavor of a flower by being near it. Desire is a subtle form of conditioning of the living entity. The Lord fulfills his desire as he deserves: Man proposes and God disposes. The individual is not, therefore, omnipotent in fulfilling his desires. The Lord, however, can fulfill all desires, and the Lord, being neutral to everyone, does not interfere with the desires of the minute independant living entities. However, when one desires Krsna, the Lord takes special care and encourages one to desire in such a way that one can attain to Him and be eternally happy. The Vedic hymn therefore declares:
esa u hy eva sadhu karma karayati tam yamebhyo lokebhya unninisate
esa u evasadhu karma karayati yamadho ninisate.
ajno jantur aniso 'yam atmanah sukha-duhkhayoh
isvara-prerito gacchet svargam vasvabhram eva ca.
"The Lord engages the living entity in pious activities so he may be elevated. The Lord engages him in impious activities so he may go to hell. The living entity is completely dependant in his distress and happiness. By the will of the Supreme he can go to heaven or hell, as a cloud is driven by the air."
Therefore the embodied soul, by his immemorial desire to avoid Krsna consciousness, causes his own bewilderment. Consequently, although he is constitutionally eternal, blissful and cognizant, due to the littleness of his existence he forgets his constitutional position of service to the Lord and is thus entrapped by nescience. And, under the spell of ignorance, the living entity claims that the Lord is responsible for his conditional existence. The Vedanta-sutras also confirm this:
vaisamya-nairghrnye na sapeksatvat tatha hi darsayati.
"The Lord neither hates nor likes anyone, though He appears to."
न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः ।
न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते ।
भावार्थ : परमेश्वर मनुष्यों के न तो कर्तापन की, न कर्मों की और न कर्मफल के संयोग की रचना करते हैं, किन्तु स्वभाव ही बर्त रहा है॥14॥
The embodied spirit, master of the city of his body, does not create activities, nor does he induce people to act, nor does he create the fruits of action. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature.
The living entity, as will be explained in the Seventh Chapter, is one in nature with the Supreme Lord, distinguished from matter, which is another nature—called inferior—of the Lord. Somehow, the superior nature, the living entity, has been in contact with material nature since time immemorial. The temporary body or material dwelling place which he obtains is the cause of varieties of activities and their resultant reactions. Living in such a conditional atmosphere, one suffers the results of the activities of the body by identifying himself (in ignorance) with the body. It is ignorance acquired from time immemorial that is the cause of bodily suffering and distress. As soon as the living entity becomes aloof from the activities of the body, he becomes free from the reactions as well. As long as he is in the city of body, he appears to be the master of it, but actually he is neither its proprietor nor controller of its actions and reactions. He is simply in the midst of the material ocean, struggling for existence. The waves of the ocean are tossing him, and he has no control over them. His best solution is to get out of the water by transcendental Krsna consciousness. That alone will save him from all turmoil.
सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी ।
नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कारयन् ॥
भावार्थ : अन्तःकरण जिसके वश में है, ऐसा सांख्य योग का आचरण करने वाला पुरुष न करता हुआ और न करवाता हुआ ही नवद्वारों वाले शरीर रूप घर में सब कर्मों को मन से त्यागकर आनंदपूर्वक सच्चिदानंदघन परमात्मा के स्वरूप में स्थित रहता है॥13॥
When the embodied living being controls his nature and mentally renounces all actions, he resides happily in the city of nine gates [the material body], neither working nor causing work to be done.
The embodied soul lives in the city of nine gates. The activities of the body, or the figurative city of body, are conducted automatically by the particular modes of nature. The soul, although subjecting himself to the conditions of the body, can be beyond those conditions, if he so desires. Owing only to forgetfulness of his superior nature, he identifies with the material body, and therefore suffers. By Krsna consciousness, he can revive his real position and thus come out of his embodiment. Therefore, when one takes to Krsna consciousness, one at once becomes completely aloof from bodily activities. In such a controlled life, in which his deliberations are changed, he lives happily within the city of nine gates. The nine gates are described as follows:
nava-dvare pure dehi hamso lelayate bahih
vasi sarvasya lokasya sthavarasya carasya ca.
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is living within the body of a living entity, is the controller of all living entities all over the universe. The body consists of nine gates: two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, the anus and the genital. The living entity in his conditioned stage identifies himself with the body, but when he identifies himself with the Lord within himself, he becomes just as free as the Lord, even while in the body." (Svet. 3.18)
Therefore, a Krsna conscious person is free from both the outer and inner activities of the material body.