(Reprinted from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust)
om purnam adah purnam idam
om--the complete whole; purnam--perfectly complete; adah--that; purnam-- perfectly complete; idam--this phenomenal world; purnat--from the all-perfect; purnam--complete unit; udacyate--is produced; purnasya--of the complete whole; purnam--completely, all; adaya--having been taken away; purnam--the complete balance; eva--even; avasisyate--is remaining.
The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the complete whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.
The complete whole, or the Supreme Absolute Truth, is the complete Personality of Godhead. Realization of impersonal Brahman or of Paramatma, the Supersoul, is incomplete realization of the Absolute Complete. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, and impersonal Brahman realization is the realization of His sat feature, or His aspect of eternity, and Paramatma or Supersoul realization is the realization of His sat and cit features, His aspects of eternity and knowledge. Realization of the Personality of Godhead, however, is realization of all the transcendental features -- sat, cit and ananda, bliss. When one realizes the Supreme Person, he realizes these aspects in complete form (vigraha). Thus the complete whole is not formless. If He were formless, or if He were any less than His creation in any way, He could not be complete. The complete whole must contain everything both within and beyond our experience, otherwise He cannot be complete.
The complete whole, the Personality of Godhead, has immense potencies, all of which are as complete as He is. Thus this phenomenal or material world is also complete in itself. The twenty-four elements of which this material universe is a temporary manifestation are arranged to produce everything necessary for the maintenance and subsistence of this universe. No other unit in the universe need make an extraneous effort to try to maintain the universe. The universe functions on its own time scale, which is fixed by the energy of the complete whole, and when that time schedule is complete, this temporary manifestation will be annihilated by the complete arrangement of the complete.
All facilities are given to the complete units (namely the living beings) to enable them to realize the complete whole. All forms of incompletion are experienced due to incomplete knowledge of the complete whole. The human form of life is a complete manifestation of the consciousness of the living being, and it is obtained after evolving through 8,400,000 species of life in the cycle of birth and death. If the living entity does not realize his completeness within the complete whole in this human life, which is blessed with full consciousness, he loses the chance to realize his completeness and is again put into the evolutionary cycle by the law of material nature.
Because we do not know that there is complete arrangement in nature for our maintenance, we make efforts to utilize the resources of nature to create a so-called complete life of sense enjoyment. Because the living entity cannot enjoy the life of the senses without being dovetailed to the complete whole, the misleading life of sense enjoyment is considered illusion. The hand of a body is a complete unit only as long as it is attached to the complete body. When the hand is severed from the body, it may appear like a hand, but it actually has none of the potencies of a hand. Similarly, living beings are parts and parcels of the complete whole, and if they are severed from the complete whole, the illusory representation of completeness cannot fully satisfy them.
The completeness of human life can only be realized when one engages in the service of the complete whole. All services in this world -- whether social, political, communal, international or even interplanetary -- will remain incomplete until they are dovetailed with the complete whole. When everything is dovetailed with the complete whole, the attached parts and parcels also become complete in themselves.