BID 5: Augustine
Of course, one may be “eternally abandoned” in the sense that one may remain forgetful for millions of years. It may
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” From material nature—the mother—different species are coming. The living entities are found in earth, water, air, and even fire. The individual souls, however, are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, who impregnates them within this material world. The living entity then comes out into the material world through the womb of some mother. It appears that the soul is coming out of matter, but the soul is not composed of matter. The soul, always part and parcel of God, simply assumes different types of bodies according to his pious or impious activities and desires. The desires of the soul actually determine higher or lower bodies. But in any case the soul is the same. It is therefore said that those who are advanced in spiritual consciousness see the same quality of soul in each and every body, whether it is the body of a dog or a
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
āgamāpāyino ’nityās tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
“O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.” A man may perceive cold very acutely, while a fish may not perceive it. So the perception is relative to the body. Thus the body is a source of suffering and enjoyment—or we may consider it as punishment and reward.
īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine made of the material energy.” The supreme father, Kṛṣṇa, is within the core of everyone’s heart. As the living entity desires, the father supplies a body manufactured by material nature. This body is destined to suffer, but the spiritual bodies in the Vaikuṇṭhas are not subject to birth, old age, disease, or death or the threefold miseries. The spiritual bodies are eternal and full of knowledge and bliss.
upadraṣṭānumantā ca bhartā bhoktā maheśvaraḥ
paramātmeti cāpy ukto dehe ’smin puruṣaḥ paraḥ
“Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.” The Supersoul is also present within every atom:
So, apart from vegetarian or nonvegetarian diets, we are basically concerned with
patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ
“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I will accept it.” This is our philosophy. We are concerned with taking the remnants of Kṛṣṇa’s food, which we call
Since we want to act on the level of loving devotion to Kṛṣṇa, we have to find out what He wants and offer Him only that. We cannot offer Him anything undesirable or unasked for. So meat, fish, and eggs cannot be offered to Kṛṣṇa. If He desired such things He would have said so. Instead, He clearly requests that leaves, fruit, flowers, and water be given to Him. Therefore we should understand that He will not accept meat, fish, or eggs. Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk, and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed in this verse by Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. Whatever else we might wish to eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it, and thus we cannot be acting on the level of loving devotion to Kṛṣṇa if we eat such foods.