Spiritual practice involves distinguishing between that which is temporary and that which is eternal. Through the sacred texts, such as the Bhagavad-gita, we can understand what this material energy is. It is God’s energy. The energy itself is eternal, but its manifestations are temporary. These manifestations are always in the state of transformation. They change by the will of God under the influence of three modes of material nature—Goodness, Passion, and Ignorance, and by the power of the element of time.

Thus, everything in this universe is constantly changing. Everything is constantly being created, maintained for sometime, and ultimately destroyed. Every cell is like a universe in itself, going through these processes of creation, maintenance, and destruction. We may look at Himalayan Mountains covered with ice, and they may seem permanent, but even they are made up of molecules and atoms which are always changing. Because of our ignorance it appears that it’s the same mountain, but it too is always changing. Our body is also undergoing changes every moment. And the ultimate change where everything culminates, which we sometimes refer as death, is the end of all the change. Therefore, material nature is endlessly mutable. It’s always changing.

Similarly, all the worldly knowledge that we have accumulated will come to an end at the time of death. Thus, we should get knowledge by studying the sacred texts along with the guidance of true saints. This knowledge is eternal and has a specific purpose—to help us understand God and show us how to surrender to God. It is not our merely our mind, senses or intelligence that will help us understand God. They are all temporary themselves and can not reach the eternal. The sacred texts of Bhakti give information about God. And ultimately we can know God only through deep faith in the process of Bhakti – through devotion. Otherwise God will always remain beyond our perception.

 

advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam

adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca

vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau

govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

I worship Govinda (Krishna), the primeval Lord, who is inaccessible to the Vedas, but obtainable by pure unalloyed devotion of the soul, who is without a second, who is not subject to decay, is without a beginning, whose form is endless, who is the beginning, and the eternal purusa; yet He is a person possessing the beauty of blooming youth. – Sri Brahma Samhita 5.33