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Fifteen and eight, twenty-three, and the soul. This is twenty-four. That is the subject matter of Sankhya philosophy, how these twenty-four different items are combined together and work

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"fifteen and eight, twenty-three, and the soul. This is twenty-four. That is the subject matter of Sankhya philosophy, how these twenty-four different items are combined together and work"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

We are acting with our hands, legs, ears, eyes, nose, everything, karmendriya. Ten kinds of activities are being performed by the senses, and there are five kinds of sense objects, tanmātra, fifteen, and the eight elements material, earth, water, fire. So fifteen and eight, twenty-three, and the soul. This is twenty-four. That is the subject matter of Sāṅkhya philosophy, how these twenty-four different items are combined together and work. This is the study of Sāṅkhya philosophy.
Lecture on SB 3.25.32 -- Bombay, December 2, 1974:

So desireless is not possible. Desirelessness means you have to purify your desire. Don't desire anything except the service of Kṛṣṇa. That is desirelessness, animittā. Animittā bhaktiḥ siddher garīyasī. If you come to that position... As Caitanya Mahāprabhu, teaching us, na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye, mama janmani janmanīśvare... (Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4). He says, janmani janmani, "birth after birth." That means He does not require even salvation, because salvation means apunar bhava-janma, no more janma, no more birth. No more birth—there are two kinds of more more birth. For the Māyāvādīs, or impersonalists, they want to stop birth, to merge into the existence of the Supreme, brahma-nirvāṇa. Brahma-nirvāṇa... The Buddha philosophy teaches nirvāṇa, devoid of all material desires, that much. He does not give any more. Śaṅkarācārya gives further, more, that brahma-nirvāṇa, that "You become desireless of this material world, but you enter, merge into Brahman." That is called brahma-nirvāṇa. And the Vaiṣṇava philosopher says that "You make null and void all your material desires, enter into Brahman and be engaged in the service of the Lord." This is called bhakti. So brahma-nirvāṇa is also siddhi, but more than that siddhi is to be engaged in the service, Brahman service.

That service is not ordinary service. The service to the Lord is not to be calculated as equal to this material service. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they cannot understand it. But Kṛṣṇa says personally that this devotional service is in the transcendental platform, Brahman service. Therefore He says, māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena sevate (BG 14.26). This bhakti-yoga, one who is actually employed, engaged in pure devotional ser..., animittā, without any motives, without any material purpose, that is real spiritual service.

māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
(BG 14.26)

Brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. That service is on the Brahman platform.

So some people, they do not know that there is another platform of service or another platform of activities which is called Brahman activities, because those who are grossly in the bodily concept of life, they have no information there is Brahman, or soul, within this body. So mukti means to deliver that Brahman from this material encagement. But actually, if you don't give him engagement, because actually the soul is working... That everyone can appreciate. We are very active. "Oh, I am prime minister." "I am president," "I am Birla," "I am Srila (?)," and so many things. That's all right. But is... That prime minister is this body or the soul? Because as soon as the soul is out of the body, what is the value of this prime minister's body? It is no more useful—finished. That we do not understand. Actually, the soul is working in different capacities. Either as prime minister or Lord Brahmā, King Indra, or the cat, or dog, or the insect, the soul is working in different atmosphere, in different body.

So the perfection of these activities, of the soul, that he has got already indriyas... We are acting with our hands, legs, ears, eyes, nose, everything, karmendriya. Ten kinds of activities are being performed by the senses, and there are five kinds of sense objects, tanmātra, fifteen, and the eight elements material, earth, water, fire. So fifteen and eight, twenty-three, and the soul. This is twenty-four. That is the subject matter of Sāṅkhya philosophy, how these twenty-four different items are combined together and work. This is the study of Sāṅkhya philosophy. Yesterday we talked about sāṅkhyam. Tattvāmnāyaṁ yat pravadanti sāṅkhyam. So there is material Sāṅkhya philosophers. They (they're) simply satisfied, simply studying these twenty-four types of elements. But the real Sāṅkhya philosophy, as propounded by Kapiladeva, that is bhakti. That is... He has said, bhakti-vitāna-yogam. The activities of the spiritual field, that is Sāṅkhya philosophy, not of the material fields. In the material field you will find these twenty-four kinds of elements analyzed, but beyond these twenty-four there is soul, and the soul is acting. That is called spiritual activities, or bhakti-yoga.

So because it is transcendental to material activities, therefore in the bhakti-yoga there is no such desire for material benefit, animittā. Therefore it is said, animittā. Here all activities are done for some material profit. Nobody is... Even the so-called political leaders sacrifice everything. That's all right. But everything is for material benefit. Even in our country a big man like Mahatma Gandhi, he sacrificed everything—his family, his profession. And many other leaders... But what for they were working? They were working for some material benefits, that's all, not for any spiritual benefit. So that is not transcendental activities. That is material activities, expanded material thoughts. Somebody is working for his family or somebody is working for himself, like animals, the cats and dogs. They work for himself. And human being, they're little advanced. They work for family, for wife, children, or, further extended, for society, for community, for nation. You can expand. Even international. They are all material activities, nimittā, simply expanded, expanded. Suppose if you steal for yourself and if you steal for your family or if you steal for your community, that stealing is there. Because you are stealing for greater family, that does not mean that you are not a thief.

There was a story, Alexander and the thief. The Alexander arrested one thief, big dacoit, plunderer. So when he explained, "My dear sir, Alexander, so what is the difference between you and me? I am also plunderer; you are also plunderer. I am a small plunderer; you are a big plunderer. So where is the difference in quality?" So Alexander the Great, he was very sensible. He released him: "Yes, there is no difference." So to become a big thief, big plunderer, does not mean that he is advanced. Similarly, our sense, for personal sense gratification or my family's sense gratification or for my nation's sense gratification—that is sense gratification. That is not spiritual activity. That is material activity.

So long you will have desire for sense gratification, localized or expanded, the quality does not change. The quality will change when this sense gratification will be transferred to Kṛṣṇa, not sense gratification for me, for my family, for my society, for my nation, or for my species. Just like there are many philanthropists. They are busy doing welfare activities for the human race, but they are not interested for the benefit of the animal race. "Animal race should be slaughtered, and human race shall eat." This is their philosophy. But we have already discussed Kapiladeva's philosophy, suhṛdaḥ sarva-dehinām. Suhṛdaḥ sarva-dehinām. The animal has got also body; we have also got body. But a Vaiṣṇava is not only a friend to the human society, but he is friend to the animal society also, the bird society, tree society, every society. A Vaiṣṇava does not like unnecessarily a tree should be cut down. That is Vaiṣṇava philosophy. A Vaiṣṇava does not like to trample over an ant. That is Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Sarva-dehinām. Titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ suhṛdaḥ sarva-dehinām (SB 3.25.21). We have already discussed this verse.

So how this can be possible? This suhṛdaḥ sarva-dehinām is possible when one has surrendered himself to the Supreme Being. On His account, because he has surrendered to the Supreme Being, he is friend to all living being. Artificially you cannot. Artificially you select some section, the poorer section, and worship him like Nārāyaṇa, and you call him daridra-nārāyaṇa. But a devotee, if he has got vision of Nārāyaṇa, he will see the daridra-nārāyaṇa, the rich Nārāyaṇa, the chāga-nārāyaṇa, and the every Nārāyaṇa, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). Why a section should be called Nārāyaṇa? If you have got such broader vision, that you are seeing Nārāyaṇa in everything, then what the rich man has done? He is also Nārāyaṇa. And the goat has... He is also Nārāyaṇa. The cow, he is also Nārāyaṇa. Then you should... If you have such broader vision, that you see everywhere Nārāyaṇa, then why should you specify a section, daridra-nārāyaṇa?

So it is not possible. So long one is not a devotee, one who is not on the transcendental platform, this equal vision is not possible. It is crippled, all crippled. Therefore bhakti-yoga should be animittā, ahaitukī. These words are used. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje, ahaitukī (SB 1.2.6). "I am serving Kṛṣṇa..." The devotee is serving Kṛṣṇa not with any purpose; just to satisfy Him, not any purpose, my profit-Kṛṣṇa's profit. That is the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā. I... Several times we have repeated. Arjuna, on his own account, he was not willing to fight. "No, no, Kṛṣṇa, I will not fight. The other side, they are my relatives, my brother, my nephews. No, no, I cannot kill them." But when he understood that "Kṛṣṇa wants this fight," he said, "Oh, yes, I shall do." Kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73). So this is bhakti, that we have to do anything for pleasing Kṛṣṇa. That is called animittā, no condition. Ahaitukī. Ahaitukī means no condition or animittā, no reason. Everything should be done for Kṛṣṇa.

So animittā bhāgavatī bhaktiḥ siddher garīyasī. That is better than siddhi. Siddhi means self-realization or Brahman realization. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says also. What Kṛṣṇa says and what Kapiladeva says, they are the same thing. Therefore here it is also said, bhagavān uvāca. And in the Bhagavad-gītā also, you will find, bhagavān uvāca. Never said, kṛṣṇa uvāca or kapila uvāca, because They are Bhagavān. So those who are self-realized soul, who know what is Bhagavān, so instead of speaking kapiladeva uvāca, he says, Vyāsadeva says... Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is compiled by Śrīmad Vyāsadeva. So as Bhagavad-gītā also, it was heard by Arjuna, it was released to Sañjaya, and then, from Sañjaya heard Vyāsadeva, and he made it recorded in writing in Mahābhārata... So he says, bhagavān uvāca. Bhagavān uvāca means that is the perfect version. There is no mistake. If some ordinary says, there will be so many defects and cheating, because ordinary person has no perfect knowledge. He may be very, very advanced scholar, but that does not mean he is perfect. Perfection is different thing. Perfection means there should be no mistake, no illusion, no cheating, and no imperfections of the senses. That is perfection. And therefore it is said here, bhagavān uvāca. Bhagavān is all-perfect. Therefore we should take knowledge from Bhagavān or one who speaks according to the version of Bhagavān. We should not hear anybody else. That is imperfect.