The personified Vedas continued: “The cosmic manifestation, because of the flickering nature of its impermanent existence, appears to less intelligent men to be false.” The Māyāvādī philosophers take advantage of the flickering nature of this cosmic manifestation to try to prove their thesis that this world is false. According to the Vedic version, before the creation this world had no existence, and after dissolution the world will no longer be manifested. Voidists also take advantage of this Vedic version and conclude that the cause of this material world is void. But the Vedic injunctions do not say that it is void. The Vedic injunctions define the source of creation and dissolution as yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante, “He from whom this cosmic manifestation has emanated and in whom, after annihilation, everything will merge.” The same is explained in the Vedānta-sūtra and in the first verse of the First Chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by the words janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), “He from whom all things emanate.” All these Vedic injunctions indicate that the cosmic manifestation is due to the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead and that when it is dissolved it merges into Him. The same principle is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā: “The cosmic manifestation comes into existence and again dissolves, and after dissolution it merges into the existence of the Supreme Lord.” This statement definitely confirms that the particular energy known as bahir-aṅgā-māyā, or the external energy, although of flickering nature, is the energy of the Supreme Lord, and as such it cannot be false. It simply appears false. The Māyāvādī philosophers conclude that because the material nature has no existence in the beginning and is nonexistent after dissolution, it is false. But by the example of the earthen pots and dishes the Vedic version is presented: although the existence of the particular by-products of the Absolute Truth is temporary, the energy of the Supreme Lord is permanent. The earthen pot or water jug may be broken or transformed into another shape, such as that of a dish or bowl, but the ingredient, or the material basis, namely the earth, continues to be the same. The basic principle of the cosmic manifestation is always the same: Brahman, or the Absolute Truth; therefore, the Māyāvādī philosophers’ theory that it is false is certainly only a mental concoction. That the cosmic manifestation is flickering and temporary does not mean that it is false. The definition of falsity is “that which never had any existence but which exists only in name.” For instance, the eggs of a horse or the horn of a rabbit or the flower in the sky are phenomena which exist only in name. There are no horse’s eggs, there is no rabbit’s horn, and there are no flowers growing in the sky. There are many things which exist in name or imagination but actually have no factual manifestation. Such things may be called false. But the Vaiṣṇava cannot take this material world to be false simply because of its temporary nature, its manifesting and again dissolving.
The personified Vedas continued by saying that the Supersoul and the individual soul, or Paramātmā and jīvātmā, cannot be equal in any circumstance, although both of them sit within the same body, like two birds sitting in the same tree. As declared in the Vedas, these two birds, although sitting as friends, are not equal. One is simply a witness. This bird is Paramātmā, or the Supersoul. And the other bird is eating the fruit of the tree. That is the jīvātmā. When there is cosmic manifestation, the jīvātmā, or the individual soul, appears in the creation in different forms, according to his previous fruitive activities, and due to his long forgetfulness of real existence, he identifies himself with a particular form awarded to him by the laws of material nature. After assuming a material form, he is subjected to the three material modes of nature and acts accordingly to continue his existence in the material world. While he is enwrapped in such ignorance, his natural opulences become almost extinct. The opulences of the Supersoul, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, are not diminished, although He appears within this material world. He maintains all opulences and perfections in full while keeping Himself apart from all the tribulations of this material world. The conditioned soul becomes enwrapped in the material world, whereas the Supersoul, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, leaves it without being affected, just as a snake sheds his skin. The distinction between the Supersoul and the conditioned individual soul is that the Supersoul, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, maintains His natural opulences, known as ṣaḍ-aiśvarya, aṣṭa-siddhi and aṣṭa-guṇa.