Previous Acaryas text

Reality and Illusion

From Dialectic Spiritualism: Benedict Spinoza Page 182-3


Syamasundara dasa: Spinoza believes that the more we understand reality, the more we understand God.


Srila Prabhupada: This is because God is reality, and forgetfulness of God is illusion. Illusion is also God, but in illusion we forget God; therefore it is not real. Sunshine and darkness are both reality because they exist side by side. Wherever there is light, there is also shadow. How can we say that the shadow is not reality? It is maya, but because maya attacks the individual soul, Kn;J)a is forgotten. In that sense, illusion or the unreal is also reality.


Syamasundara dasa: But in illusion we forget the reality, the light.


Srila Prabhupada: Yes. But this is so-called illusion. It is darkness, the atmosphere in which Krishna is forgotten. Maya is the shadow of darkness, yet even if we come under the shadow of darkness, reality remains. That atmosphere of the unreal is existing side by side withthe real. Krishna states, “Maya is Mine.” (Bg. 9. 10) It is created by God; therefore how can it be unreal? Krishna is reality, and everything dovetailed to Krishna is reality. Therefore maya, or the unreal, is also Krishna. However, when we are in Krishna consciousness, we are situated in reality. This material world is called the unreal, but if we are Krishna conscious, there is nothing unreal.


Syamasundara dasa: Because there is no forgetfulness?


Srila Prabhupada: Yes. As long as you are engaged in the service of Krishna, there is nothing unreal for you.

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