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ŚB 11.28.10


श्रीउद्धव उवाच
नैवात्मनो न देहस्य संसृतिर्द्रष्टृद‍ृश्ययो: ।
अनात्मस्वद‍ृशोरीश कस्य स्यादुपलभ्यते ॥ १० ॥


śrī-uddhava uvāca
naivātmano na dehasya
saṁsṛtir draṣṭṛ-dṛśyayoḥ
anātma-sva-dṛśor īśa
kasya syād upalabhyate


śrī-uddhavaḥ uvāca — Śrī Uddhava said; na — there is not; eva — indeed; ātmanaḥ — of the self; na — nor; dehasya — of the body; saṁsṛtiḥ — material existence; draṣṭṛ-dṛśyayoḥ — of the seer or the seen; anātma — of that which is not spirit; sva-dṛśoḥ — or of him who has innate knowledge; īśa — O Lord; kasya — of whom; syāt — may be; upalabhyate — which is experienced.


Śrī Uddhava said: My dear Lord, it is not possible for this material existence to be the experience of either the soul, who is the seer, or of the body, which is the seen object. On the one hand, the spirit soul is innately endowed with perfect knowledge, and on the other hand, the material body is not a conscious, living entity. To whom, then, does this experience of material existence pertain?


Since the living entity is pure spirit soul, innately full of perfect knowledge and bliss, and since the material body is a biochemical machine without knowledge or personal consciousness, who or what is actually experiencing the ignorance and anxiety of this material existence? The conscious experience of material life cannot be denied, and thus Uddhava asks Lord Kṛṣṇa this question to elicit a more precise understanding of the process by which illusion occurs.