This is Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.21.34 & 35…
Some of the scholars in the assembly seemed unconvinced that conventional duties could grant transcendental results. After all, such things were material but transcendental results are spiritual. “Spiritual” and “material” are certainly like day and night, they thought.
Seeing the look of confusion on their faces, Pṛthu explained that this dichotomy between material and spiritual is not very valid or deep. After all, everything is directly connected to the Supreme Transcendental Godhead. “Yes, he is beyond the limitations of this world,” Pṛthu said, “but all the countless limited things of this world are in him, too. All the different materials we use, all the qualities and talents we have, all the deeds we perform, and all the words and songs we say and sing… all of them exist within him. The names and forms of all of them attain their true spiritual significance when they are dedicated to serving him, who is the intrinsic form of concentrated, completely pure and distinct consciousness.
“This material body is produced by consciousness interacting with several things: the external reality, time, emotions, and the inherent principles of things. So, ultimately, the material body is a product of consciousness, spirit. It is therefore capable of achieving the greatest spiritual results – just as wood is capable of producing fire.
“Different types of wood produce different types of flame, similarly different endeavors with the material body can produce different results, even on the spiritual plane.”
– Excerpt from an early draft of Part 4 of
Beautiful Tales of the All-Attractive
A translation of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam’s fourth canto
By Vraja Kishor
Parts 1, 2, and 3 of Beautiful Tales of the All Attractive
are available at VrajaKishor.com