Lecture at Hotel de Ville , Paris , 1973-08-09
[translated simultaneously into French by Jyotirmayī]
Prabhupāda: Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kind invitation and reception. Spiritual value..., he has have spoken very nicely about the spiritual value of living entity. Actually, we are all spiritual entities. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said,
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
This is, in Sanskrit, it is said that within the body there is the proprietor of the body. The proprietor of the body is there within the body, but the body is changing from babyhood to childhood, to childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood, similarly aged man. The body is changing. As we are experiencing different changes of the body, similarly, when this body will no longer exist, I or you, every one of us, will accept another body. I can remember, you can remember your childhood body, your boyhood body---but those bodies are no longer existing. But I remember; you remember. Similarly, when I give up this body, I accept another body. It may not be I remembering it, but that’s a fact. But the spirit soul, the proprietor of the body, is described, nityaḥśāśvato 'yaṁ na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. The spirit soul is eternal. It does not annihilate after the destruction of the body.
So we have got two bodies, just like coat and shirt. The coating body is made of five elements---earth, water, air, fire, sky; and the subtle body is made of mind, intelligence and ego. So when the gross body is finished, we remain within the subtle body = mind, intelligence and ego. So as the air carries the flavor, similarly the mind, intelligence, carries the soul to another gross body. There are 8,400,000's forms of bodies. Some of them are aquatics, some of them are trees, some of them are plants, some of them are insects, some of them are birds, some of them are beasts---and at last the human body is obtained. Therefore human form of body is the nature’s best gift to the living entity entangled in repetition of birth and death.
So in the human form of body we can understand our real, constitutional position. So if the leaders of the human society do not give education to the human society, how the spirit soul can get out of the clutches of birth, death, old age and disease? You have rightly said that Indian sages and great personalities, they specifically cultivated this knowledge, how the living entity encaged in this material body can be liberated. Therefore, to give education to the human society how he can get out of this entanglement of birth, death, old and disease is the best welfare activity. We can remember the history in your country = there was great Napoleon. In other countries also there were many big heroes. They constructed their country very nicely, but at last they had to leave the country.
So whatever we create materially with this material body in this life, along with my giving up this body I have to give up everything. And after this, I have to accept another body. We do not know what kind of body I am going to accept. But suppose I am going to accept, say, a lower grade of body, less than human being. Then what is my condition? My love of country may give me another body in this country, or in my country, but if I am not well situated... Suppose if I get the body of an animal like cow, I shall be sent to the slaughterhouse.
Therefore, in the Vedic literature it is said,
yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam
Means a person, unless he is interested in his spiritual identity, whatever he is doing, he is simply being defeated. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to save the human being from repeatedly being defeated by the laws of nature. So I know your country has a great history behind you. You are very cultured and enlightened people. We admired the French people, from India. I have come to your country to spread this spiritual knowledge. If you cooperate with us, we will get great facility to preach this cult. Do not misunderstand us that we are a sect of religious people. We are spreading this knowledge from the spiritual platform. We accept God is the father of all living entities, never mind in whatever form he is staying. We are teaching people to forget his outward dress, bodily concept of life. Let everyone realize that he is Brahman, or spiritual identity. It is said when one realizes his Brahman identity,
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
Means when one is Brahman-realized---he understands his spiritual identity---then he becomes immediately joyful. And the symptom of joyful means, joyfulness means, no lamentation, no hankering, equal vision to all living entities. And then he is elevated to the platform of serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So equality, fraternity can be realized only on the spiritual platform, not on the material platform. The United Nations have tried for the last twenty-five years to unite people. Unfortunately, the disunited flags are increasing. So this Krsna consciousness movement is very important movement, scientific movement. We invite all scientists, philosophers, thinkers to understand this movement. It is very essential at the present moment for the human society. I invite herein, in this hall, some of you may come, personally talk with me about this important scientific movement and, if possible, kindly cooperate with us.
I thank you very much for your giving time to hear me.
Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]