Continued from previous page… Srila Prabhupada explains why the Supreme Lord is described as antiseptic and prophylactic. Purports to Mantra 8 ends here. In Manra 9 discusses vidya and avidya.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.5.30-31) it is stated that those who are captivated by the temporary beauties of the external energy forget the real aim of life, which is to go back to Godhead. Forgetting this, one tries to adjust things by various plans and programs, but this is like chewing what has already been chewed. Nonetheless, the Lord is so kind that He allows the forgetful living entity to continue in this way without interference. Thus this mantra of Sri Isopanishad uses the very appropriate word yathatathyatah, indicating that the Lord rewards the living entities just in pursuance of their desires. If a living being wants to go to hell, the Lord allows him to do so without interference, and if he wants to go back home, back to Godhead, the Lord helps him.
God is described here as paribhuh, the greatest of all. No one is greater than or equal to Him. Other living beings are described here as beggars who ask goods from the Lord. The Lord supplies the things the living entities desire. If these living entities were equal to the Lord in potency—if they were omnipotent and omniscient—there would be no question of their begging from the Lord, even for so-called liberation. Real liberation means going back to Godhead. Liberation as conceived of by an impersonalist is a myth, and begging for sense gratification has to continue eternally unless the beggar comes to his spiritual senses and realizes his constitutional position.
Only the Supreme Lord is self-sufficient. When Lord Krishna appeared on earth five thousand years ago, He displayed His full manifestation as the Personality of Godhead through His various activities. In His childhood He killed many powerful demons, such as Aghasura, Bakasura and Sakatasura, and there was no question of His having acquired such power through any extraneous endeavor. He lifted Govardhana Hill without ever practicing weight-lifting. He danced with the gopis without social restriction and without reproach. Although the gopis approached Him with a paramour’s feelings of love, the relationship between the gopis and Lord Krishna was worshiped even by Lord Chaitanya, who was a strict sannyasi and rigid follower of disciplinary regulations.
To confirm that the Lord is always pure and uncontaminated, Sri Isopanishad describes Him as suddham (antiseptic) and apapa-viddham (prophylactic). He is antiseptic in the sense that even an impure thing can become purified just by touching Him. The word “prophylactic” refers to the power of His association. As mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita (9.30-31), a devotee may appear to be su-durachara, not well-behaved, in the beginning, but he should be accepted as pure because he is on the right path. This is due to the prophylactic nature of the Lord’s association. The Lord is also apapa-viddham because sin cannot touch Him. Even if He acts in a way that appears to be sinful, such actions are all-good, for there is no question of His being affected by sin. Because in all circumstances He is suddham, most purified, He is often compared to the sun. The sun extracts moisture from many untouchable places on the earth, yet it remains pure. In fact, it purifies obnoxious things by virtue of its sterilizing powers. If the sun, which is a material object, is so powerful, then we can hardly begin to imagine the purifying strength of the all-powerful Lord.
TRANSLATION. Those who engage in the culture of nescient activities shall enter into the darkest region of ignorance. Worse still are those engaged in the culture of so-called knowledge.
PURPORT. This mantra offers a comparative study of vidya and avidya. Avidya, or ignorance, is undoubtedly dangerous, but vidya, or knowledge, is even more dangerous when mistaken or misguided. This mantra of Sri Isopanishad is more applicable today than at any time in the past. Modern civilization has advanced considerably in the field of mass education, but the result is that people are more unhappy than ever before because of the stress placed on material advancement to the exclusion of the most important part of life, the spiritual aspect.
(To be continued to the next page…)
Source: Sri Isopanishad. Translation and purports by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Copyright BBT International http://www.vedabase.com/en/iso