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If we are on the platform of knowledge, then there is no distinction between matter and spirit

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Expressions researched:
"there is no distinction between matter and spirit"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

So far our household affairs are concerned, by the same electric energy we are getting heat and we are getting also cold. In the refrigerator we see everything is cold. In the heater we find everything is hot, warm. But the same energy is working. So one who knows that this is the electrical energy that is working in a different way, for him, there is no superior or inferior. That is called jñāna. If we are on the platform of knowledge, then there is no distinction between matter and spirit.
Lecture on BG 4.20-24 -- New York, August 9, 1966:

The spiritual conception is that, that any number of fragments of the whole can be taken from the whole spirit, but still, the spirit whole is as it is. That is the description in the Vedic literature. We have got material idea: "One minus one equal to zero." But in the spiritual realm, one minus one equal to one. So these fragments, the fragments of the Supreme Brahman, Kṛṣṇa, we are. So with that consciousness, we have to sacrifice.

Brahmārpaṇam brahma havir. And the thing which we are sacrificing, we have to understand that the things belong to the Supreme Brahman. Brahmārpaṇaṁ brahma havir brahmāgnau. And the fire which is on the altar, that is to be understood as the energy of the Supreme Brahman. And brahmaṇā hutam. And the person who is offering the sacrifice, he is also part and parcel of the Supreme Brahman. In this way, if we offer sacrifice, then brahmaiva tena gantavyam. The person who is offering such sacrifice is sure to attain spiritual salvation. This is brahma-karma-samādhinā. And the performance is just according to the Vedic injunction. So in this way, if we, I mean to say, execute the duties of our living condition, then the result will be that at the end we shall be attaining Brahman. And the whole process is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

In the higher conception of life, just it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that everything is visualized as Brahman. Brahman means spiritual. So in the higher conception of life, one who has attained in the higher stage of spiritual realization, for him, there is nothing material. There is nothing material. The distinction of matter and spirit is this. Now, from the Bhagavad-gītā we understand that two energies are working. One energy is called inferior energy, and the other energy is called superior energy. Now, take for example the inferior energy. The energy emanating from the source, is there any possibility of dividing the energy and the energetic? No. That is not possible just like you cannot divide heat from the fire or the illumination from this light. This is not possible. If there is no illumination, then the light has no meaning. If there is no heat, then fire has no meaning. Similarly, if the energy is separated from the energetic, the energetic has no meaning.

So Kṛṣṇa says that there are two kinds of nature: superior nature, or higher nature, and inferior nature. Now, even the inferior nature... We take it for granted that there is something like inferior nature. Of course, this material energy, the material nature, is called inferior nature—inferior in the sense that matter has got no incentive. Without touch of spirit, matter cannot work. Therefore it is understood that it is inferior. But in the higher sense it is not inferior. How it is not inferior? Because it is emanation from the Supreme and you cannot separate this energy from the Supreme, and there is no difference between the Supreme and His energy.

Śakti-śaktimator abheda. This is the Vedic injunction. Śakti, śakti means energy, and śaktimat, śaktimat means the person who has got the energy. So abheda, they are nondifferential. You cannot differentiate between the energy and the energetic. Just like electric powerhouse. The energy is electricity. Now, from the electricity energy we are working so many things. So far our household affairs are concerned, by the same electric energy we are getting heat and we are getting also cold. In the refrigerator we see everything is cold. In the heater we find everything is hot, warm. But the same energy is working. So one who knows that this is the electrical energy that is working in a different way, for him, there is no superior or inferior. That is called jñāna. If we are on the platform of knowledge, then there is no distinction between matter and spirit.

And that knowledge we have to acquire. How we have to acquire? We must know it definitely that everything that is manifested... In the Viṣṇu-Purāṇa there is a nice verse which describes this energy and the energetic very nicely:

eka-deśa-sthitasyāgner
jyotsnā vistāriṇī yathā
parasya brahmaṇaḥ śaktis
tathedam akhilaṁ jagat

Akhilaṁ jagat. Whatever we are seeing in this, in our presence, whatever we are seeing, they are nothing but different energies of the Supreme Lord.

And how they are acting? Just like the electric powerhouse is situated far away from your residential apartment, but from there the energy is being distributed and you are finding heat, cold, and so many things, electrically, you are working, so although the Supreme Lord is far, far away... Of course, He is not far, far away, but in our conception, in the material conception, because we cannot see... We are on a different planet. So by His energy He is not far away. Just like the sunlight, the sunshine, in the morning you find the sunshine is within your room, the sun is just within your room. It is actually. But still, the sun is 93,000,000 miles away from you. Similarly, in all circumstances we must understand that Kṛṣṇa is, although far away from us, still, He is with us, within us. This is called knowledge. This is called knowledge.

And He says also in the Bhagavad-gītā that sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ: (BG 15.15) "I am situated in everyone's heart." So just think how much nearest He is if He is sitting on my heart, and He is actually there, which is called Paramātmā, or the Supersoul. So sarvasya, sarvasya means everyone's, not only in human body, but in animal body, in the atoms also. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham (Bs. 5.35). Paramāṇu means atom. He is situated. So practically, He is not far away. He is the nearest friend. He also claims in the Bhagavad-gītā, suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām: (BG 5.29) "I am the friend of everyone." So this knowledge, we have to acquire, that "We have got the greatest powerful friend in Kṛṣṇa, and He is with me." This is knowledge.

Just like when you chant Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, actually the fact is Kṛṣṇa is dancing on your tongue by sound vibration. Kṛṣṇa is not away. It is stated in the scriptures, nāhaṁ tiṣṭhāmi vaikuṇṭhe. He is addressing Nārada, Nārada, a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa. He is explaining to Nārada, nāhaṁ tiṣṭhāmi vaikuṇṭhe yogināṁ hṛdayeṣu ca. The yogis, the mystic yogis, they try to find out the Supersoul within themself. That is the yoga system. Yoga, actual yoga system, is to concentrate the mind, to focus the mind on the Supersoul. That is yoga system. So Kṛṣṇa says that nāhaṁ tiṣṭhāmi vaikuṇṭhe. In the scriptures we find that kingdom of God, that is called Vaikuṇṭha. Vaikuṇṭha means vigata-kuṇṭha yatra. Kuṇṭha means anxieties. The place where there is no anxieties, that is called Vaikuṇṭha. So Kṛṣṇa says that nāhaṁ tiṣṭhāmi vaikuṇṭhe yogināṁ hṛdayeṣu ca: "My dear Nārada, do not think that I am staying in the Vaikuṇṭha, in the kingdom of God only, or in the heart of the yogis only. No." Tat tat tiṣṭhāmi nārada yatra gāyanti mad-bhaktāḥ: "Wherever My devotees sing or chant the glories of Me, I stand there. I go there."

So this is brahmārpaṇam. This yajña, this is the highest yajña.