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Bhagavata Purana Chapter 14 Verse 22 And Verse 23 – Explanation

Meaning and explanation of Bhagavata Purana chapter 14 verse 22 and verse 23.

"The universe appears by Maya in you, the Infinite, the eternal Bliss-consciousness. Though the universe is only like things seen in a dream (and so unreal), and is devoid of consciousness and ever full of misery, it appears as real (and also conscious and blissful)". (Bhagavata Purana Chapter 14 Verse 22)

In Vedanta Reality is defined as that which does not undergo any change whatsoever in all the three periods of time, i.e., past, present and future. Brahman is the only Reality. Because of Maya, Brahman appears to us as the universe of names and forms. Maya conceals Brahman and projects the universe. Just as everything seen in dream ceases to exist as soon as the dreamer wakes up, the universe ceases to be real when Brahman is realized. The universe appears to be real only as long as we are under the spell of Maya (or Avidya or ignorance). The fundamental principles of Advaita Vedanta are brought out in this verse, namely, that the universe has no absolute reality, it is only a superimposition on Brahman and appears to be real only because of our ignorance of the substratum, Brahman, just as a rope appears as a snake in dim light when its real nature is not known.

You (Krishna, the supreme Brahman), are the non-dual Self, the primordial Person, the Reality, self-luminous, infinite, the first Cause, eternal, imperishable, ever Bliss itself, taintless, perfect without a second, devoid of all adjuncts (Nirguna) and immortal. (Bhagavata Purana Chapter 14 Verse 23)

This is exactly the description of the supreme Brahman as contained in the Upanishads. The expression "devoid of all adjuncts" indicates Nirguna Brahman or Brahman without attributes. The concept of Nirguna Brahman is peculiar to Advaita Vedanta.

Bhagavata Purana Chapter 14 Verse 25 to 28

Those who do not know the Atman as their own Self, look upon the entire phenomenal universe as real because of ignorance, but the universe disappears when Self-knowledge dawns, just as a snake seen on a rope disappears when the rope is known. Bondage and liberation, which are both products of ignorance, have no existence apart from the Atman whose nature is Truth and Consciousness. For, rightly considered, there can be neither ignorance nor bondage, and neither knowledge nor freedom from bondage for the supreme Self that is eternal and absolute Consciousness, anymore than there can be night and day for the sun. Taking the Atman for something else, and something else for the Atman, the Atman is sought for outside oneself; how marvelous is the folly of the ignorant! Men of discrimination seek the Infinite within the body itself, negating the unreal; without negating the unreal snake first, how can one know the rope, though it is very close?