So when one comes to this understanding that Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva, He keeps Himself intact although He is all-pervasive... Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ (BG 7.19). Mahātmā means great soul. Just like you have heard the name of Mahatma Gandhi in our country, but the definition of mahātmā in Bhagavad-gītā is different. A mahātmā is not a politician. A mahātmā is not for the Indians and not for the Americans or any certain limited circle. Mahātmā is not like that. Of course, the Indian people awarded the title "Mahatma" Gandhi, but mahātmā means a different... Mahātmā's definition is given in the Bhagavad-gītā. There it is stated, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daiviṁ prakṛtim āśritaḥ (BG 9.13). A mahātmā is under the shelter of the internal potency of God. There are two kinds of potencies. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. You should read Bhagavad-gītā very carefully. You'll understand everything. Aparā and parā. These are stated. Bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca... bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā (BG 7.4). The Lord said, material world, what is this material world? This material world is composition of earth, water, air, fire, ether. And this is gross element, gross ingredients. But there are finer, subtle ingredients, mind, intelligence, ego. So these eight gross and fine elements which is the material world, that is expressed in the Bhagavad-gītā that bhinnā me prakṛti aṣṭadhā, "These eight kinds of prakṛti, nature, is my separated inferior energy." Apareyam, this is inferior. They are inferior. Itas tv anya me prakṛtiṁ parā. Besides these eight elements, there is another prakṛti, another nature, which is superior. And what is that? We can see earth, water, fire, air, and, of course, mind we can feel, intelligence we can feel, ego also we can feel. There is feeling, although we cannot see because they are subtle. And what about the other? That is expressed in the Bhagavad-gītā, jīva bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho (BG 7.5), "My dear Arjuna, they are these living entity." Some of the nonsense philosophers, they are identifying the soul with the mind, with intelligence, with ego, but they are all material. The soul is different. So this is daivī prakṛti, spiritual nature. The material nature and spiritual nature.
So mahātmā means, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritaḥ (BG 9.13). Mahātmās, those who are mahātmā, they take shelter of the spiritual nature, and those who are durātmā or kśūdrātmā... Mahā means great, and just opposite to mahā means, opposite to mahā is kśūdra, small. Just like somebody is very liberal and somebody is very miser. So mahātmā is broad, broader-minded, broader soul, whose soul has become broader. How you can become broader? If you dovetail yourself with the supreme broadest, then you become broader. Otherwise you become smaller. So this is the difference between mahātmā and kśūdrātmā. People are generally, they are doing something for his own body, something for his society, something for his family, something for his country. So you can expand your activities, but unless you expand your activities to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you become the smaller. So,
- mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
- daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritaḥ
- bhajanty-ananya manaso
- (jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam)
- (BG 9.13)
So mahātmā means Kṛṣṇa conscious, who is unalloyedly attached to the loving transcendental service of Kṛṣṇa. Bhajanti mām ananya manaso, this is the definition of mahātmā. Anyone who is cent percent engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa, he is mahātmā. Not by stamping, that "You are mahātmā, I am mahātmā." No. This is the definition of mahātmā. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritaḥ (BG 9.13). Daivī prakṛti means they are no more interested with this material world. They are interested with the spiritual energy. Because we are spiritual energy. We are... The same energy, we are seeking after the same energy. Just like water can mix with water. Oil cannot mix with water. If you put a drop of oil with water, the oil will remain separate. But if you put a drop of water with water, immediately mixes. Similarly we are spirit soul. As soon as we are in the spiritual world, in spiritual activities, then we are one. There is no discordance. There is no opposing elements. But so long we exist in the material world, everything opposing. Everything opposing. Therefore it is struggle. Struggle for existence. Suppose if you are thrown into the sea, however expert swimmer you may be, it is struggle. It is struggle for existence. But if you are on the land, there is no such struggle. You live natural life. Similarly, mahātmā, those who have become broader by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, by surrendering unto Kṛṣṇa after many, many births... Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). Ante means after. Janma means birth. And fully understanding that everything is Kṛṣṇa, everything is display of Kṛṣṇa's energy.