“The Lord’s external opulences are called mano-vikārāḥ, or ‘related to mental transformation,’ because ordinary people perceive extraordinary features of the material world according to their personal state of mind. Thus the word vācābhidhīyate indicates that conditioned souls describe the Lord’s material creation according to specific material circumstances. Because of the circumstantial relative definitions of material opulence, such opulence is never to be considered a direct plenary manifestation of the Lord’s personal form. When one’s state of mind is transformed into a favorable or affectionate state, one defines a manifestation of the Lord’s energy as ‘my son,’ ‘my father,’ ‘my husband,’ ‘my uncle,’ ‘the son of my brother,’ ‘my friend,’ and so on. One forgets that every living entity is actually part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that whatever opulences, talents or outstanding features one may exhibit are actually the potencies of the Lord. Similarly, when the mind is transformed into a negative or inimical state, one thinks, ‘This person will be the ruin of me,’ ‘This person must be finished by me,’ ‘He is my enemy’ or ‘I am his enemy,’ ‘He is a killer’ or ‘He should be killed.’ The negative state of mind is also expressed when one is attracted to the extraordinary material aspects of particular persons or objects but forgets that they are manifestations of the potency of the Personality of Godhead. Even the demigod Indra, who is quite obviously a manifestation of the Lord’s material opulences, is misunderstood by others. For example, Indra’s wife, Śacī, thinks that Indra is ‘my husband,’ whereas Aditi thinks that he is ‘my son.’ Jayanta thinks that he is ‘my father,’ Bṛhaspati thinks that he is ‘my disciple,’ whereas the demons feel that Indra is their personal enemy. Thus different personalities define him according to their mental state. The Lord’s material opulences, being relatively perceived, are therefore called mano-vikāra, which means they are dependent on mental states. This relative perception is material because it does not recognize the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the actual source of the particular opulence. If one sees Lord Kṛṣṇa as the source of all opulences and gives up all desires to enjoy or possess the Lord’s opulences, then one can see the spiritual nature of these opulences. At that time, even though one may continue to perceive the variety and distinctions of the material world, one will become perfect in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One should not conclude, as do the voidist philosophers, that the Lord’s spiritual manifestations in the viṣṇu-tattva and liberated jīva categories are also products of relative perception and mental states. This useless idea is contrary to the entire body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s teachings to Śrī Uddhava.”

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Eleventh Canto, Chapter 16 – Text 41.

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