Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 11 - Chapter 1 - Verse 11


पुरुषेश्व‍रयोरत्र न वैलक्षण्यमण्वपि ।तदन्यकल्पनापार्था ज्ञानं च प्रकृतेर्गुण: ॥ ११ ॥


puruṣeśvarayor atrana vailakṣaṇyam aṇv apitad-anya-kalpanāpārthājñānaṁ ca prakṛter guṇaḥ


According to knowledge in the material mode of goodness, there is no qualitative difference between the living entity and the supreme controller. The imagination of qualitative difference between them is useless speculation.


According to certain philosophers there are twenty-five elements, among which a single category is stipulated for both the individual living entity and the Supreme Lord. Such impersonal knowledge is declared by the Lord to be material: jñānaṁ ca prakṛter guṇaḥ. Such knowledge can, however, be accepted to establish the qualitative identity of the Supreme Lord and the living entities who expand from Him. Materialistic persons sometimes believe that there is a supreme spirit in heaven but also think that human beings are identical with their material bodies and thus qualitatively and perpetually separated from the Supreme Lord. Knowledge of the Lord’s qualitative oneness with the living entity, as described in this verse, refutes the materialistic concept of life and partially establishes the Absolute Truth. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu described the actual situation as acintya-bhedābheda-tattva: the supreme controller and the controlled living entities are simultaneously one and different. In the material mode of goodness the oneness is perceived. As one proceeds further, to the stage of viśuddha-sattva, or purified spiritual goodness, one finds spiritual variety within the qualitative oneness, completing one’s knowledge of the Absolute Truth. The words na vailakṣaṇyam aṇv api boldly affirm that the individual living entity is indisputably part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and qualitatively one with Him. Any philosophical attempt to separate the living entity from the Supreme Lord and deny his eternal servitude to the Lord is thus refuted. Speculation arriving at the conclusion that the living entity has independent existence separate from the Lord is described here as apārthā, useless. Nevertheless, the theory of twenty-five elements is acceptable to the Lord as a preliminary phase in the evolution of spiritual knowledge.