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Prabhupāda: ...ātmā and Paramātmā the same, but quantitatively ātmā and Paramātmā different. So the Supersoul is present everywhere. Supersoul is present within you, Supersoul is present within me, Supersoul is present in all ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls present here. But ātmā is individual ātmā.

He is present in his body. For example, that you can feel what is happening in your body—the pleasure and pains of your body you can feel—but you cannot feel the pleasure and pains of other's body; therefore you are individual. Others are also individual.

And the Paramātmā, He is everywhere.


[Bs. 5.35].

[He is an undifferentiated entity as there is no distinction between potency and the possessor thereof. In His work of creation of millions of worlds, His potency remains inseparable. All the universes exist in Him and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore.]

This ātmā and Paramātmā, kṣetra, kṣetrajña, is very nicely explained in the Thirteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā. You'll profit by reading that. The Lord says that this body is kṣetra. Kṣetra means the field of activities. Everyone is acting according to the body he has got by the grace of material nature. So the body is the field of activity, and you or me, ātmā, we are the proprietor of the body. We are called kṣetrajña. And Kṛṣṇa says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarve kṣetreṣu bhārata [Bg. 13.3].

[O scion of Bharata, you should understand that I am also the knower in all bodies, and to understand this body and its owner is called knowledge. That is My opinion.]

Now, I am present in my body, you are present in your body, but the Paramātmā, or Supersoul, is present in everyone's body. Another example can be given. Just like this house, there are many apartments. So I am occupying this apartment; another tenant is occupying another apartment. But the landlord is occupier or the proprietor of all the apartments. That is the difference between ātmā and Paramātmā. I am proprietor of the things which has been offered to me by material nature, but God, or Paramātmā, is the proprietor of everything. That is the difference.

Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ

[Bg. 3.27].

[The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.]

Prakṛti, the material nature, is offering me as I want. She is supplying ingredients. If I want to be human being, then he [she] supplies a similar body, and if I want to become a dog, she supplies similar body.

So actually, we are under the grip of this material nature, and we are being pushed life after life in different bodies by the influence of material nature. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27]. How prakṛti, nature, is working? According to the quality we acquire. Gunaiḥ.

There are three qualities: the good quality, the quality of passion and the quality of ignorance. So we are being contaminated by certain type of quality, and the nature is supplying me a type of body. And there are 8,400,000's of bodies, and we are going through them in a cycle. And as soon as we become, I mean to say, devotee, or we look forward to the Paramātmā, then we can be free from the cycle of repeated birth and death.

This yoga system is..., meditation means to find out the Paramātmā. The Paramātmā is described in the śāstras: His feature, His body, His hand, Supersoul. And one has to meditate. And by meditation, when one is in samādhi, always thinking of the Supersoul, then he becomes freed from this material entanglement. That is self-realization. That is liberation. So Paramātmā and individual ātmā, or the living creature, they are qualitatively one but quantitatively different. Yes.


Indian man: Bhagavad-gītā explains that every devotee is protected by the Lord, and Prahlāda Mahārāja, in this life as Prahlāda Mahārāja, his father becomes a demon, demon, and he has to fight Nṛsiṁha. That means it is the karma of a previous life, and he's praying..., he has to pray to the Lord to protect him. Or is it understood that he'll get the protection? So why this prayer?

Prabhupāda: He was protected. Devotees are not under the karma. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated, karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām [Bs. 5.54].

[I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, who burns up to their roots all fruitive activities of those who are imbued with devotion and impartially ordains for each the due enjoyment of the fruits of one's activities, of all those who walk in the path of work, in accordance with the chain of their previously performed works, no less in the case of the tiny insect that bears the name of indragopa than in that of Indra, king of the devas.]

Prahlāda Mahārāja was tortured by his father in so many ways, but he was not affected. He was not affected. Superficially... Just like in the Christian Bible also, that Lord Jesus Christ was tortured, but he was not affected. This is the difference between ordinary man and the devotees, or transcendentalists. Apparently it is seen that a devotee is being tortured, but he is not tortured.

There is one example, nice example. Just like the cat: the cat carries the kiddies in the mouth, and it carries a mouse also in the mouth. So apparently it is seen that a cat is carrying its kiddies in the mouth means it is in pain. But it is not in pain. That is a fact. Rather, she feels very comfortable.

You see? But when the cat, the same cat, catches one mouse, his life is gone. But you see that she is carrying in the mouth both of them. Similarly, whenever you'll find that a great devotee is placed into torturing condition, he does not feel. But the demon thinks that "I am torturing him."

[pause] Yes?

Guest: [indistinct] Govinda in the service of Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Govinda is another name of Kṛṣṇa. Go means cows, and go means land and go means senses. There are three meanings of go. So... And inda means pleasure-giving. So He gives pleasure to the senses, He gives pleasure to the cows and He gives pleasure to the land. That means whenever Kṛṣṇa appears, the land becomes very pleasing. The production, the situation, everything becomes very pleasing.

So Govinda means one who gives pleasure to the senses and to the cows. Kṛṣṇa in His abode, Kṛṣṇaloka, is always busy as a cowherd's boy. Surabhīr abhipālayantam [Bs. 5.29].

[I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of lakṣmīs or gopīs.]

He's always nursing the cows. He's always surrounded by cows. Surabhīr abhipālayantam. You see here is the picture. It is a cow. Govinda means the cowherd's boy, or one who gives pleasure to the senses. Gopāla. Go, the same. Go means cows and pāla means herds. One who keeps the cowherds, that is also Gopāla. That's all. [end]