By the inconceivable energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord can appear before us in His original spiritual body, but because we have no experience of the spiritual body, we are sometimes bewildered and see the form of the Lord as material
SB Canto 5
My transcendental body [sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]] looks exactly like a human form, but it is not a material human body. It is inconceivable. I am not forced by nature to accept a particular type of body; I take on a body by My own sweet will. My heart is also spiritual, and I always think of the welfare of My devotees. Therefore within My heart can be found the process of devotional service, which is meant for the devotees. Far from My heart have I abandoned irreligion (adharma) and nondevotional activities. They do not appeal to Me. Due to all these transcendental qualities, people generally pray to Me as Ṛṣabhadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the best of all living entities.
In this verse the words idaṁ śarīraṁ mama durvibhāvyam are very significant. Generally we experience two energies—material energy and spiritual energy. We have some experience of the material energy (earth. water, air, fire, ether, mind, intelligence and ego) because in the material world everyone's body is composed of these elements. Within the material body is the spirit soul, but we cannot see it with the material eyes. When we see a body full of spiritual energy, it is very difficult for us to understand how the spiritual energy can have a body. It is said that Lord Ṛṣabhadeva's body is completely spiritual; therefore for a materialistic person, it is very difficult to understand. For a materialistic person, the completely spiritual body is inconceivable. We have to accept the version of the Vedas when our experimental perception cannot understand a subject. As stated in Brahma-saṁhitā: īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). The Supreme Lord has a body with form, but that body is not composed of material elements. It is made of spiritual bliss, eternity and living force. By the inconceivable energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord can appear before us in His original spiritual body, but because we have no experience of the spiritual body, we are sometimes bewildered and see the form of the Lord as material. The Māyāvādī philosophers are completely unable to conceive of a spiritual body. They say that the spirit is always impersonal, and whenever they see something personal, they take it for granted that it is material. In Bhagavad-gītā (9.11) it is said:
- avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā
- mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
- paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
- mama bhūta-maheśvaram
"Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be."
Unintelligent people think that the Supreme Lord accepts a body composed of the material energy. We can easily understand the material body, but we cannot understand the spiritual body. Therefore Ṛṣabhadeva says: idaṁ śarīraṁ mama durvibhāvyam. In the spiritual world, everyone has a spiritual body. There is no conception of material existence there. In the spiritual world there is only service and the receiving of service. There is only sevya, sevā, and sevaka—the person served, the process of service and the servant. These three items are completely spiritual, and therefore the spiritual world is called absolute. There is no tinge of material contamination there. Being completely transcendental to the material conception, Lord Ṛṣabhadeva states that His heart is composed of dharma. Dharma is explained in Bhagavad-gītā (18.66): sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. In the spiritual world, every living entity is surrendered to the Supreme Lord and is completely on the spiritual platform. Although there are servitors, the served and service, all are spiritual and variegated. At the present moment, due to our material conception. everything is durvibhāvya, inconceivable. Being the Supreme, the Lord is called Ṛṣabha, the best. In terms of the Vedic language, nityo nityānām. We are also spiritual. but we are subordinate. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, is the foremost living entity. The word ṛṣabha means "the chief," or "the supreme," and indicates the Supreme Being, or God Himself.