That one Absolute Truth, remaining free from material dualities and inaccessible to ordinary speech and mind, divided Himself into two categories:
- the material nature and
- the living entities who are trying to enjoy the manifestations of that nature.
Of these two categories of manifestation one (energy) is material nature, which embodies both the subtle causes (mind, intelligence and false ego) and manifests products of matter (material objects of this world). The other (energy) is the conscious living entity (individual, spirit soul), designated as the enjoyer.
An ordinary object may sometimes be covered by a shadow, but the sun is never covered. In the same way, the individual soul may be bewildered by the illusory material potency of God, but the Supreme Lord Himself is never bewildered.
— Sri Paramatma-sandarbha 1.37.13
Those who see matter, do not see the Supreme.
Those who hear matter, do not hear the Supreme.
Those who know matter, do not know the Supreme.”
There are three types of manifestation:
- Manifestation of the spiritual world (Kingdom of God): The Supreme Lord is always situated in His own abode. He is always situated in His original position. He’s omnipotent and He’s the object of His devotees’ love. All spiritual substance is eternally existing.
- Manifestation of the living entities (souls): As sparks emanate from fire, so the living entities emanate from the Supreme being. Those entities that are free from material attachments and whose single aim is to please the Lord, also reside within that same eternal, spiritual abode, which is free from darkness or ignorance and defies all imagination. Those entities that have forgotten their eternal relationship with the Lord and whose interests lay in exploiting the resources of this material manifestation (including the body), are forced to accept one material body after another and stay within this material manifestation for an unspecified length of time.
- Manifestation of the material world: As the image of a tree, standing on the shore of a lake, is reflected on the surface of the water, in a similar way, this temporary material world is considered a reflection of the eternal spiritual world. It is manifested through the Lord’s energies. Although the sun’s energy enters the house through the window, the sun itself remains outside the house. The sun is inside and outside as well. In the same way, the Lord is inside this material creation, through His energies, but at the same time He remains outside as well. This is not so in the spiritual world, where He is personally present in full, within every element of that manifestation.
— Related to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.1
They conclude that sense gratification is the ultimate aim of life and thus they remain full of anxieties until the very end. Taking shelter of lust end greed, in order to gratify their senses, they unlawfully accumulate money.
They think, “I have so much wealth today and i will get more by means of my clever schemes. So much is mine now and it will increase in the future, more and more. I have already destroyed one enemy and I will soon eliminate all the others. I am the Lord of everything, I am the enjoyer, I am perfect, and I am very happy. I am the richest and I am surrounded by so many aristocratic friends and relatives. There is no one so powerful and happy as I am. I shall perform some sacrifices, I shall give some charity, and in this way, I shall rejoice.”
In this way, such persons are deluded by ignorance.
Being overwelmed with various anxieties and covered by a network of illusion, such people become attached to sense gratification and thus fall down to the hellish planets.
Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhāgavata Purāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries*. This beautiful Bhāgavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyāsadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhāgavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.
- suffering caused by other living entities (people, mosqitoes…)
- suffering caused by the mind (anxiety, stress,…)
- suffering caused by the elements of nature (cold, rain, wind…)
— from Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.2: