Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 13: The Haḿsa-avatāra Answers the Questions of the Sons of Brahmā

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.13.34

īkṣeta vibhramam idaḿ manaso vilāsaḿ

dṛṣṭaḿ vinaṣṭam ati-lolam alāta-cakram

vijñānam ekam urudheva vibhāti māyā

svapnas tridhā guṇa-visarga-kṛto vikalpaḥ


īkṣeta — one should see; vibhramamas illusion or mistake; idam — this (material world); manasaḥ — of the mind; vilāsam — appearance or jumping; dṛṣṭam — here today; vinaṣṭam — gone tomorrow; ati-lolam — extremely flickering; alāta-cakram — just like the moving red line created by whirling a fiery stick; vijñānam — the spirit soul, by nature fully conscious; ekam — is one; urudhāin many divisions; ivaas if; vibhāti — appears; māyā — this is illusion; svapnaḥ — merely a dream; tridhāin three divisions; guṇa — of the modes of nature; visarga — by the transformation; kṛtaḥ — created; vikalpaḥ — variety of perception or imagination.


One should see that the material world is a distinct illusion appearing in the mind, because material objects have an extremely flickering existence and are here today and gone tomorrow. They can be compared to the streaking red line created by whirling a fiery stick. The spirit soul by nature exists in the single state of pure consciousness. However, in this world he appears in many different forms and stages of existence. The modes of nature divide the soul's consciousness into normal wakefulness, dreaming and dreamless sleep. All such varieties of perception, however, are actually māyā and exist only like a dream.


The Lord now describes an additional process for transcending the illusory interaction of the material mind and material sense objects. Lāsa means "jumping" or "dancing," and thus manaso vilāsam here indicates that the material mind is jumping superficially from one conception of life to another. Our original consciousness, however, is one (vijñānam ekam). Therefore, one should carefully study the flickering "here today, gone tomorrow" nature of the material world and detach oneself from the illusory variety of māyā.

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