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Merge into the ocean

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 1 - 6

Materialistic men compare the living entities to the bubbles of the ocean, which merge into the ocean.That is the highest perfection of spiritual existence attainable without individual personality.
BG 4.10, Purport: Generally, people who are attached to the bodily conception of life are so absorbed in materialism that it is almost impossible for them to understand how the Supreme can be a person. Such materialists cannot even imagine that there is a transcendental body which is imperishable, full of knowledge and eternally blissful. In the materialistic concept, the body is perishable, full of ignorance and completely miserable. Therefore, people in general keep this same bodily idea in mind when they are informed of the personal form of the Lord. For such materialistic men, the form of the gigantic material manifestation is supreme. Consequently they consider the Supreme to be impersonal. And because they are too materially absorbed, the conception of retaining the personality after liberation from matter frightens them. When they are informed that spiritual life is also individual and personal, they become afraid of becoming persons again, and so they naturally prefer a kind of merging into the impersonal void. Generally, they compare the living entities to the bubbles of the ocean, which merge into the ocean. That is the highest perfection of spiritual existence attainable without individual personality. This is a kind of fearful stage of life, devoid of perfect knowledge of spiritual existence. Furthermore there are many persons who cannot understand spiritual existence at all. Being embarrassed by so many theories and by contradictions of various types of philosophical speculation, they become disgusted or angry and foolishly conclude that there is no supreme cause and that everything is ultimately void. Such people are in a diseased condition of life.

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)

Just as rivers merge into the ocean or the nectar from many different flowers blends into honey, so all these conditioned beings eventually merge back into You, the Supreme, along with their various names and qualities.
SB 10.87.31, Translation: Neither material nature nor the soul who tries to enjoy her are ever born, yet living bodies come into being when these two combine, just as bubbles form where water meets the air. And just as rivers merge into the ocean or the nectar from many different flowers blends into honey, so all these conditioned beings eventually merge back into You, the Supreme, along with their various names and qualities.
Just as great sages in yoga trance merge into self-realization, like rivers merging into the ocean, and are thus not aware of material names and forms, similarly, the gopīs of Vṛndāvana were so completely attached to Me within their minds that they could not think of their own bodies, or of this world, or of their future lives.
SB 11.12.12, Translation: My dear Uddhava, just as great sages in yoga trance merge into self-realization, like rivers merging into the ocean, and are thus not aware of material names and forms, similarly, the gopīs of Vṛndāvana were so completely attached to Me within their minds that they could not think of their own bodies, or of this world, or of their future lives. Their entire consciousness was simply bound up in Me.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

Impersonalists are very fond of merging into the Supreme, like rivers that come down and merge into the ocean.
Nectar of Devotion Introduction: Let us offer our respectful obeisances to all the great devotees and ācāryas (holy teachers), who are compared to sharks in the great ocean of nectar and who do not care for the various rivers of liberation. Impersonalists are very fond of merging into the Supreme, like rivers that come down and merge into the ocean. The ocean can be compared to liberation, and the rivers to all the different paths of liberation. The impersonalists are dwelling in the river water, which eventually comes to mix with the ocean. They have no information, however, that within the ocean, as within the river, there are innumerable aquatic living entities. The sharks who dwell in the ocean do not care for the rivers which are gliding down into it. The devotees eternally live in the ocean of devotional service, and they do not care for the rivers. In other words, those who are pure devotees always remain in the ocean of transcendental loving service to the Lord and have no business with the other processes, which are compared to the rivers that only gradually come to the ocean.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Those who are impersonalists, they want to be merged into the Brahman effulgence. That is also acceptance of being controlled. Just like if you merge into the ocean... They give this example, generally. So they think that by merging, by dipping into the ocean, they become also ocean. That is not possible.
Lecture on BG 4.11 -- Vrndavana, August 3, 1974:

Prabhupāda: Practically, Kṛṣṇa, so far those who are transcendentalists, they want to be controlled by three phases of Kṛṣṇa: Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. Those who are impersonalists, they want to be merged into the Brahman effulgence. That is also acceptance of being controlled. Just like if you merge into the ocean... They give this example, generally. So they think that by merging, by dipping into the ocean, they become also ocean. That is not possible. You become controlled by the ocean. Suppose you dip, you dive into the ocean. Does it mean that you become ocean? You become controlled by the ocean. They are under the impression that "I am now a small drop. So if I merge into the ocean, the Brahman, then I'll become Brahman." Is that a very reasonable proposal? You are a drop of water. Scientifically, what is said? Suppose a drop of water is mixed in with the sea water, does it mean the drop becomes sea? What is your scientific explanation? It is also... Eh?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: It has become part of the sea. Prabhupāda: Part of, remains part of the sea. The part of the sea it was, and it remains part of the sea. The sea water means composition of so many molecules of water or...? What is that? Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So how the molecules can become the whole sea? Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ [SB 10.2.32]. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they are thinking that "Being merged into the, existence of Brahman, I become Brahman." No, this is a wrong. You cannot become Brahman. You remain the same.

The example is given: just like a green bird enters into the green tree. It does not mean that the bird is mixed. No. The bird is keeping its independence as an individual. But it appears to others, those who do not see properly, that it has merged into the tree. It has actually not merged. And because it does not merge, therefore they fall down.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Prahlāda Mahārāja says: Whenever I chant, then I merge into the ocean of nectarean.
Lecture on SB 1.7.47-48 -- Vrndavana, October 6, 1976: Ahaituky apratihatā. That is explained. Ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati. If you become situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you'll be so satisfied that in any circumstances nobody will be able to give you any trouble. This is Vaiṣṇava. Yayātmā suprasīdati. Ātmā, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati [Bg. 18.54]. There is no question of lamenting. But still, a Vaiṣṇava laments not for his own purpose. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja says that na udvije para. Kṛṣṇa is para. Nṛsiṁhadeva is para, the Supreme. "O the Supreme, I am not at all disturbed." Naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaraṇyāḥ. Why? Tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna-cittaḥ [SB 7.9.43]. "Because by the grace of Nārada Muni I have learned this art, how to chant Your holy name. That I have learned." Tvad-vīrya-gāyana. "I learned or not learned, but whenever I chant, then I merge into the ocean of nectarean."

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

The rivers merging into the ocean. Then you must take further consideration that the superficial water mixing with the ocean is again evaporated. The water is evaporated by scorching heat of the sun. Just like now we see cloud in the sky. This is nothing but evaporated water from the sea. So the water which merged into the water and into the ocean of the, water of the ocean, now it is evaporated in the sky. And again it will fall down.
The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, October 27, 1972:

Pradyumna: "Rūpa Gosvāmī further prays that by residing in that ocean of nectar he may always feel transcendental pleasure in the service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa."

Prabhupāda: Yes. "Ocean of nectar." The Māyāvādī philosophers, generally they give this example that the, all the rivers, they flow down to the ocean. This example is generally given that when the river mixes with the ocean, it doesn't matter which course it is following. After all, it is coming to the ocean, merging into the ocean. So that is ultimate liberation. But this analogy... Analogy, if you give some analogy, you must consider all the similar points. That is the way of analogy. The more you have got similar points, then the analogy is perfect. So the rivers merging into the ocean. Then you must take further consideration that the superficial water mixing with the ocean is again evaporated. The water is evaporated by scorching heat of the sun. Just like now we see cloud in the sky. This is nothing but evaporated water from the sea. So the water which merged into the water and into the ocean of the, water of the ocean, now it is evaporated in the sky. And again it will fall down. And then again glide to the ocean. So this is called avagamana, coming and going, coming and going. But our Vaiṣṇava philosophy is not to merge into the water, but keep your identity and go deep into the water. So that you may not be evaporated. The fish and the aquatic animals within the water, they are not evaporated. They are not going to become cloud and again fall down. Therefore Sanātana, Rūpa Gosvāmī says, "He further prays that by residing in the ocean of nectar he may always feel transcendental pleasure..."
The theory of merging into the existence of impersonal Brahman is to stay there for some time, again fall down. Just like the same example that the water of the rivers, they merge into the ocean, but again it is evaporated, in the sky, and it falls.
The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, October 27, 1972:

Prabhupāda: Merging does not mean, always, that losing one's individuality. The individuality's there. Therefore the theory of merging into the existence of impersonal Brahman is to stay there for some time, again fall down. Just like the same example that the water of the rivers, they merge into the ocean, but again it is evaporated, in the sky, and it falls. Again goes through the river, merges. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. This is going on. One mani..., once manifested, and again merging. This is going on.

So our philosophy is that once going into the ocean, no more coming back. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. That is our philosophy. If we once go in the spiritual world, we do not like to come back. We stay with Kṛṣṇa and dance with Him, or play with Him, or serve with, serve Him as tree, as plant, as water, as cows, as land, as cowherd boys, as father, mother, or as gopīs. This is our philosophy. Once we go to Kṛṣṇa, we live forever with Him in either of these capacities. Let me live at Vṛndāvana in any capacity. It doesn't matter. But live there. Therefore he says that "He further prays that by residing in that ocean of nectar he may always feel eternally continually, without any cessation..." Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). To remain ānadamaya. That is the principle of Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Go on.

Pradyumna: "Let us offer our respectful obeisances to all the great devotees and ācāryas or holy teachers, who are compared with sharks in the great ocean of nectar and who do not care for the various rivers of liberation. Impersonalists are very fond of merging into the supreme, like rivers that come down and merge into the ocean. The ocean can be compared with liberation and the rivers with all the different paths of liberation. The impersonalists are dwelling in the river water, which eventually comes to mix with the ocean. They have no information, however, that within the ocean, as within the rivers, there are innumerable aquatic living entities. The sharks who dwell in the ocean do not care for the rivers which are gliding down into it."

Prabhupāda: Yes. The shark, big fish, shark, big body, they have no place to come into the river, come back. There is no place. Big crocodile, big sharks, they do not come to the river. They constantly remain in the ocean.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

Then you will merge into the ocean of love for Kṛṣṇa. So this is the highest stage of ecstasy for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, always chanting Kṛṣṇa's name, dancing in ecstasy, and to be merged in the ocean of love for Kṛṣṇa.
The Nectar of Devotion -- Bombay, January 8, 1973: That is taught by the Gosvāmīs, kṛṣṇot-kīrtana-gāna-nartana, always chanting the glories of Kṛṣṇa. Kīrtana, gāna, nartana, nartana means dancing. Dancing is very good. The more you dance, the more you become light; means the burden of material contamination becomes reduced. Dancing is so nice. Even if you don't feel ecstasy, if you dance by force, that will also help us. Kṛṣṇot-kīrtana-gāna-nartanau-parau premāmṛtāmbho-nidhī. By dancing dancing, we shall develop our dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, love for Kṛṣṇa. This is a nice process. Kṛṣṇot-kīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau premāmṛtāmbho-nidhī. Then you will merge into the ocean of love for Kṛṣṇa. So this is the highest stage of ecstasy for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, always chanting Kṛṣṇa's name, dancing in ecstasy, and to be merged in the ocean of love for Kṛṣṇa. These are the perfection.
Impersonalists are very fond of merging into the Supreme, like rivers that come down and merge into the ocean. If you make analogy that as the different rivers are, the water is coming down and mixing with the sea, then it becomes one, but there are other points. This is superficial vision.
The Nectar of Devotion -- Bombay, January 9, 1973:

Pradyumna: (reading) "Impersonalists are very fond of merging into the Supreme, like rivers that come down and merge into the ocean. The ocean can be compared with liberation, and the rivers with all the different paths of liberation. The impersonalists are dwelling in the river water, which eventually comes to mix with the ocean. They have no information, however, that within the ocean, as within the river, there are innumerable aquatic living entities. The sharks who dwell in the ocean do not care for the rivers which are gliding down into it. The devotees eternally live in the ocean of devotional service, and they do not care for the rivers."

Prabhupāda: This comparison that the rivers, it does matter from which way it is coming down to the sea, when they mix together, they become one. But if this comparison is taken, that the rivers merging into the sea, and when it mixes there is no separate existence of the river, but they do not see analogy. Analogy, according to law of analogy, the points of similarities must be one. Analogy is perfect when the points of similarities are there. Just like we say, “Your face is as beautiful as moon.” That means the face, beauty of the face is as attractive as the moon is attractive. The points of similarity is there. We cannot say an ugly face, your face is like moon. That cannot be. That is not analogy because there is no points of similarity. That is the law of analogy. So similarly, if you make analogy that as the different rivers are, the water is coming down and mixing with the sea, then it becomes one, but there are other points. This is superficial vision. There is other points. The same water again becomes evaporated, and again thrown on the ground, and they again glide down as rivers. That is, this is a fact. But if you go deep into the water, just like the shark fish—the comparison is given there—the shark fish is never evaporated. The shark fish is within the water of the sea, and there is no question of evaporation. The water may be evaporated.
Facts about "Merge into the ocean"RDF feed
Compiled bySerene + and Haya +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entry12 December 8 +
Date of last entry8 February 9 +
Total quotes10 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 1 +, SB: 2 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 1 +, Lec: 6 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 0 +