Bhagavad-gītā 2.13 , London , 1973-08-19
Pradyumna: [leads chanting of verse] [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat]
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
Translation = "As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change."
Prabhupāda: Hmm. This simple thing they cannot understand. Therefore it is mentioned here, dhīras tatra na muhyati. Dhīra means sober, cool-headed man. And just the opposite is adhīra. Adhīra means third-class, fourth-class man. Or rascals, adhīra. Dhīra means sober. Just like... The exact translation is "gentleman," dhīra. Those who are not gentlemen, uncultured, uneducated, rascal, they cannot understand. Otherwise where is the difficulty?
How plainly, how easily explained that kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā. There are three stages, kaumāram. Up to fifteenth year, it is called kaumāra. And then from sixteenth year, it begins youthful life up to fortieth year. Then after forty, one becomes jarā, old man. Primarily old man, and later on. Say, forty to fifty, primarily old man, and after fifty, he is old man. Therefore it is advised, pañcāśordhvaṁ vanaṁ vrajet. Pañcāś means fifty; ūrdhvaṁ, fifty-one. And rest of the days, maybe one hundred years, but that is not possible nowadays. Maybe seventy, eighty, utmost. Somebody lives ninety, ninety-five.
Hundred years, although the limit, nowadays nobody lives. So those who are dhīra, gentlemen, sober-headed, cool-headed, they can understand that "I have changed my bodies. When I was a boy, up to fifteenth year, I remember how I was playing, how I was jumping. Then I became young man---how I was enjoying my life with friends and families. Now I am old man." "I am" means my body. Dehinaḥ. Dehi and dehinaḥ. Dehi means the proprietor of the body, owner of the body, and deha means the body.
In the previous verse Kṛṣṇa said that "All of us---you, Me, and all these soldiers and kings who are present here---we existed in the past, we are existing now, and we shall continue to exist in the future." This was the statement. But rascals would say that "How I was existing? I was born only in such-and-such year. Before that, I was not existing. At the present time I am existing. That's all right. But as soon as I will die, I will not exist. So how Kṛṣṇa says that I was... Both..., all of us, we were existing, we are still existing, and we shall continue to exist?" Is that contradictory? No, that is not contradictory. It is fact. We were existing, maybe in different body, and we shall continue to exist in different body. Dehāntara-prāptiḥ. This is to be understood. Not that my existence...
The example is given, dehāntara. Just like I was boy. Then I became young man. So the body changed. And now I have become old man. The body changed. But I am existing, dehi, the proprietor of the body. So where is the difficulty to understand? Dehinaḥ. Dehinaḥ means "of the proprietor." The body is changing. I can understand that my body has changed. So next life the body may change. "May" not; it will change. But I may not remember. That is another thing. Just like in my last life, what was my body I do not remember. So forgetfulness is our nature. Because I forget something, that does not mean the things did not take place. No.
In my childhood I did so many things. I do not remember. But my father, mother who have seen my childhood, they remember. So forgetting does not mean that things did not take place. Similarly, death means I have forgotten what was..., I was in the past life. That is called death. Otherwise I, as spirit soul, I have no death. Suppose I change my dress. In my boyhood I was in a different dress. In my youthhood I was in a different dress. In my old age, or as a sannyāsī, I am in a different dress. So dress may change. That does not mean the owner of the dress is dead or gone. No.
This simple thing, transmigration of the soul, is explained. And individual. All of us individual. There is no question of mixing together. Every one of us, individual. God is individual, we are also individual. That we have explained yesterday. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. Only difference is that God does not change His body; I change my body. That is also in this material world. When I shall go to the spiritual world, there is no more change of body. Eternal. As Kṛṣṇa has got His eternal body, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1], form, eternal blissful of knowledge, similarly, when we go back to home, back to Godhead, then we get also similar body, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. That is the difference. When Kṛṣṇa comes, He does not change His body. In this material world, Kṛṣṇa does not change. Therefore His name is Acyuta. He never changes. He never falls down, because He is the controller of māyā. And we are controlled by māyā. That is the difference. Material energy.... We are controlled by the material energy. But Kṛṣṇa is the controller of the material energy. Not only material energy---spiritual energy, all energies.
Everything that we see, everything manifested, whatever we see, that is Kṛṣṇa's energy. Just like heat and light is the energy of the sun, similarly, Kṛṣṇa's energies... There are many energies, but they have been divided principally into three = external energy, internal energy and marginal energy. So we are living entities. We are marginal energy. Marginal means we may remain under the external energy or we may remain under the spiritual energy, as we like. The independence is there. Yathecchasi tathā kuru [Bg. 18.63] = "Whatever you like, you can do." Kṛṣṇa gives this independence to Arjuna. After describing Bhagavad-gītā, He said, yathecchasi tathā kuru.
He does not force. That is not good. Forceful thing will not stand. Just like we advise, "Rise early in the morning." This is advised. Not that I have to force everyone. That will... Force, I may force one day, two days, but if one does not practice it, then simple force is useless. So similarly, Kṛṣṇa does not force anyone to leave this material world. We all conditioned souls, material world, we are under the influence of the material energy. Kṛṣṇa comes here to deliver us from these clutches of material energy, that "You are suffering so much..."
Because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, or Kṛṣṇa's son, directly. If the son is in difficulty, the father suffers also. Although father directly has no suffering... Suppose a son has become mad, or nowadays hippie. The father is very sorry that "My son is not living like a gentleman. He is living like a," what is called, "wretch." So father is not happy. Similarly, we conditioned soul in this material world, we are suffering so much, living like wretches and rascals. So Kṛṣṇa is not happy. Therefore He comes personally to teach us, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati, tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham [Bg. 4.7].
So when Kṛṣṇa comes, He comes in His original form. But unfortunately, we understand Kṛṣṇa as one of us. He is one of us because He is father, we are sons. One of us. But He is the chief. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. He is more powerful, the most powerful, supreme powerful. We have got little power. That is the difference between Kṛṣṇa... We cannot be equal. Nobody can be equal with Kṛṣṇa, or God, or greater than Him. Everyone under Kṛṣṇa. Ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa āra saba bhṛtya [Cc. Ādi 5.142]. Therefore everyone is servant of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the only master. Bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram [Bg. 5.29] = "I am the enjoyer only. I am the proprietor," Kṛṣṇa says. That is the fact. So we are changing our body, but Kṛṣṇa does not change. One should understand this.
The proof is that Kṛṣṇa says, vedāhaṁ samatītāni [Bg. 7.26]. He remembers past, present and future. Just like Kṛṣṇa says Arjuna, in the Fourth Chapter you will find, Kṛṣṇa says that "This philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā I spoke to the sun-god, some forty millions of years ago." How He remembers? Because He does not change His body. This is simple fact. We do not remember because we are changing body every moment. That is medical science. We are changing the corpuscles of blood. Every second the body is changing, imperceptibly. Imperceptibly, body is changing. Therefore the father, mother cannot understand how the body is changing. Imperceptibly. But third person, if he comes all of a sudden and sees the child has grown very big, he says, "Oh, you have grown so big?" But the father, mother does not see that he has grown so big, because he is always seeing, and the change is taking place very imperceptibly, although every moment...
Just like cinema spool. The picture is changing, but it is changing in such a way, we are seeing that one man is dancing only. But he is dancing means he is changing his body. He is changing his picture. Similarly, our body is also changing. But I am not changing, you are not changing. My body is changing. That is to be understood.
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
So we are all individual souls and we are eternal. But because we are changing body, therefore the birth, death, old age, disease, these are calculation. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means that to get out of this changing position, come to the permanent. Because we are eternal. That should be the question, that everyone wants to live eternally. Nobody wants to die. Everyone. If I come before you with a revolver, "I shall kill you," you shall immediately cry, because you do not want to die. This is not very good business, to die and take birth again. It is very troublesome.
That I know imperceptibly, that "If I die, I will have to take place again in the wombs of the mother, and maybe nowadays mother killing the child within the womb. Then again another mother. This process is going on." So that trouble---being killed, to live within the womb of the mother---these things are very troublesome. We have got in the subconsciousness all this trouble. Therefore we do not want to die, because we have to again accept another body. And the process of accepting the body is very long and very troublesome. We know all these things. Therefore we do not want.
So therefore the question is that "I am eternal, and why I have been put into this temporary life?" This is intelligent question. This is the problem. But these rascals, they have set aside this real problem. They are thinking how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex, how to defend. Even if you eat nicely, if you sleep nicely, but ultimately you'll have to die. The problem is there. But they are careless about this real problem. They are very much alert in the temporary problem. So temporary problem, actually there is no problem. The birds, beasts, they also eat, sleep, they have sexual intercourse and they defend.
If they know all these things without becoming a human being, without having sufficient education or so-called civilization, how to live, how to sleep, how to defend, if they can live, so what is your problem? These things are not problem. The rascal says, "Overpopulation, this..." These are not at all problems. The real problem is that "I do not want to die. Why death comes, takes place?" This is real problem. But the rascals do not know it. They think these are problems, temporary things. He will live for fifty years and maybe... That will be explained in the next verse, mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ [Bg. 2.14].
Just like we are, temporarily, we are faced with so many problems. Suppose there is severe cold. So it is also a problem. We have to search out nice coat or fireplace and... These are problems. If they are not available, then we are in distress. These are problems also. But these problems are temporary. Severe cold, winter, has come and it will go. That is not permanent problem.
Permanent problem has been due to my ignorance I am taking birth, I am accepting death, I am accepting disease, I am accepting old age. This is real problem. These are real problems. Therefore Kṛṣṇa has said, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9] = "Actually those who are in knowledge, they should see all these four problems = birth, death, old age and disease."
So tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ. Kṛṣṇa said, "We existed. We existed in a different body. Now we are existing in a different body, and in the future also, we shall all exist in a different body." Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ. In this way we are transmigrating from one body to another, but we are existing. This is the sum and substance of this verse.
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
So dhīras tatra na muhyati, it is very simple thing. Suppose a young man, a boy, changes his body, bodily symptoms. Just like a boy has no mustaches or beard, but all of a sudden the hairs grow. Does he cry, "Oh, why I am growing hair? Why I am growing?" Because that is the necessary change of body. Why he should be perplexed, "Why my body is changing?" Similarly, my body is changing, this body to another body; I am dying. Why shall I be perplexed? The intelligence is that "What kind of body I am going to get?" That is intelligence. Otherwise why one should be perplexed? Dehāntara-prāptiḥ.
If you prepare yourself... Just like in childhood, boyhood, if you prepare yourself, nicely educated, then you get nice job, nice situation; you will be happy. Preparation for the next life. Similarly, if you prepare yourself in this life for going back to home, back to Godhead, then where is perplexity? There is no perplexity. "I am going to Kṛṣṇa. I am going back to home, back to Godhead. Now I will have not to change material body. I will have my spiritual body. I shall now play with Kṛṣṇa, dance with Kṛṣṇa, eat with Kṛṣṇa." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Prepare yourself for the next life. Don't be... The people... The man, dying man, cries because maybe he is dreaming next life horrible life. Because according to karma... Those who are very, very sinful, they cry, because they see horrible scenes at the time of death, and he is going to accept some type of body... But those who are pious, those who are devotees, they are dying without any anxiety. They are dying... The death may take place...
The example is given that... Foolish people may say that "You devotees, you are dying, and the sinful men, or nondevotees, they are also dying. So where is the difference?" No, there is difference. There is difference. This has been described by the example = just like a cat catches its cub and catches the mouse. So formerly we see that the cat has caught the mouse in the mouth and the cub also in the mouth, but there are difference of catching. The cub is feeling pleasure = "My mother is carrying me." And the mouse is feeling death knell = "Oh, now I am going to die." This is the difference. So although a devotee is dying and nondevotee is dying, there is difference of feeling at the time of death, like the mouse and the cub. Don't consider that both of them are dying in the same process. The process may be same, but the situation is different.
Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. This formula is there. Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ. Simply if you try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa, divyam. They are all divine, transcendental. Kṛṣṇa's activities, Kṛṣṇa's appearance, Kṛṣṇa's worship, Kṛṣṇa's temple, Kṛṣṇa's glories---everything transcendental. So if one understands these things or try to understand, even he does not understand, tries to understand, then he becomes liberated from this process of birth and death. Kṛṣṇa says. So become very serious to understand Kṛṣṇa, and remain in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then this problem, birth, death, old age and disease, will be solved automatically, very easily. There will be no problem.
That is the function of the human life, to understand that "I am eternal." Kṛṣṇa says that "In the past we existed, in the present we are existing, and in the future we shall continue to exist." Then why I have got this type of body by which I am actually..., not actually, superficially I am not existing? So this is the problem. A dhīra means a sober man will think of this problem, that "I want to live. Why death takes place? I want to live very healthy life. Why disease comes? I don't want to become old man. Why old age comes?" Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi [Bg. 13.9]. These are the problems. So solve this problem simply by taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, simply by understanding Kṛṣṇa. And for understand Kṛṣṇa, the Bhagavad-gītā is there, so nicely explained.
So make your life successful, that "I am not this body." Simply by understand... "I am not this body. I am embodied within this body, encaged. But I am not this cage." Just like a bird is within the cage. The cage is not the bird. But foolish person, they are taking care of the cage, not of the bird. The bird, out of starvation, is suffering. So we are suffering spiritual starvation. Therefore nobody is happy in this material world. Spiritual starvation. Therefore we see in an opulent country like America, enough food, enough residence, enough material enjoyment, still they are becoming hippies. All over the world. They are not satisfied, because it is spiritual starvation. Materially we may be very opulent, but if you starve spiritually, you cannot be happy. This is the process.
So spiritual rejuvenation required. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am not this body. I am Brahman, spiritual soul." Then you will be happy. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati samaḥ sarveṣu... [Bg. 18.54]. Then there will be equality, fraternity, brotherhood. Otherwise it is all bogus, simply high-sounding words. There cannot be all these things. Come to the spiritual platform, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na..., samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Then you can see equally. Otherwise you will see that "I have become human being. I have got my hands and legs, and the poor cow has no hands and legs.
Kill him and eat." No. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Asamata. Unequality. Why? What right you have got to kill another animal? Because you have no vision of equality, for want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore so-called education, culture, fraternity in this material world, all these are bogus, humbug. Simply Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the right subject matter to be studied by sane, sober, dhīra. Then the society will be happy; otherwise not.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]