Maharishi Kapila continued,
“Due to spiritual ignorance (avidya) at one point the spiritual aspirant used to believe that he was experiencing joys and sorrows. He now realizes that even this belief was due to his false ego (ahamkara, sense of I-ness) and that even such feelings of I-ness are, in reality, illusory. This will be the last birth for that Jnani (supremely knowledgeable person) who has attained Self-realization and who has fulfilled the purpose of life!
An intoxicated person is unaware whether any clothing covers his waist or not. Likewise a Jnani, who is totally established in the Self, is not aware of the gross body, irrespective of whether it is moving, sitting or standing.
He retains this gross body made up of the 10 senses and the movement of the five Pranās, as long as the prarabdha karma (the portion of karma responsible for the present body) remains to be completed. The Yogi, who has realized his true Self and who is established in this knowledge, does not have re-birth even if he appears to be connected to this material world and to the relatives herein.
The truth is that even this gross body is as illusory as a dream! It is non-existing. It is unreal. A human being always has feelings of me and mine towards his wealth and family although in reality, he shines differently from them all. Likewise the Self, who is the inner resident within the body, considers himself to be the body and senses, although in reality he is different from the body and senses!
Smoke, flames and sparks emerge from fire. As such they are considered to be aspects of fire. However in reality fire is different from the smoke, flames and sparks. Likewise the Self’s illumination, due to which the mind, body and senses get illuminated, is different from them all! The Lord who is known as Brahma is different from Prakriti (Nature).
Sarva-bhūteṣu cātmānaṁ sarva-bhūtāni cātmani
Īkṣeta ananya-bhāvena bhūteṣv iva tad-ātmatām
When the material objects, which emerge from the five basic elements, are scrutinized it is evident that they are nothing but the five elements themselves! Likewise the Jnani realizes that all objects exist within him only and that in the form of the Self (atma) it is he who pervades through all objects!
There is only one Fire! But yet, due to the differences in the different types of wood, fire appears differently. In reality, Self and Brahma are one and the same. It manifests through the different bodily activities. Due to the differences within the proportions of the trigunas (attributes of Nature) within different bodies, the Self (atma) appears to be different each of them.
Nature (Prakriti) is nothing but the illusory power (maya shakti) of the Lord! It transforms as both the cause and the effect (karya-karana) and deludes living beings. Therefore the devotee should discard it and establish himself in the Self!
With this the twenty eighth chapter of the third canto comes to an end.
Third Canto Chapter Twenty nine
In this chapter, the secrets of bhakti and the supremacy of time are explained.
Devahuti enquired, “O Lord! Until now you explained about Nature and Self and about Mahat and other principles, based on Sānkhya philosophy (Shastra). Based on these characteristics their inner essence can be understood. Our elders state that this knowledge is the tool for proceeding on the path of bhakti. Therefore now please preach to me in great detail the path of bhakti.
O Lord! Please explain to me that knowledge by which the person becomes totally disinclined towards everything. Please explain to me the different levels that are attained by living beings in this samsara.
Kālasya iśvara-rūpasya pareṣāṁ ca parasya te
Svarūpaṁ bata kurvanti yad-dhetoḥ kuśalaṁ janāḥ
Time, which regulates even Lords such as Brahma and others, is not different from You. It is with the help of time that living beings perform meritorious deeds. Please explain to me the form of time.
Human beings mistakenly consider the body, which in reality is illusory, as the eternal Self. Lacking Spiritual Knowledge, for a long time they sleep in this darkness known as worldly bondages (samsara). They are eternally engaged in actions due to which they get fatigued. At such hour You, the Sun called knowledge, have incarnated to rescue them.”
Kapila Muni was deeply pleased to hear these melodious words spoken by his mother. His heart was filled with compassion. Acknowledging her He said, “O Mother! In bhakti yoga there are many paths. Mahatmas acknowledge all the varied paths. In addition, the opinions of human beings vary based on their nature and the traits.
Abhisandhāya yo hiṁsāṁ dambhaṁ mātsaryam eva vā
Saṁrambhī bhinna-dṛg bhāvaṁ mayi kuryāt sa tāpasaḥ