Bhagavad-gītā 2.13 , Bad Homburg, Germany , 1974-06-22

[translated into German throughout]


kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati

Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly participating in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and today's subject matter is life after death. So we shall try to speak something on this subject. The sound is not... [to translator:] So describe the meaning of this verse from our German edition.

[German translator reads German translation]

So life after death is not very difficult to understand. We have got different grades of life. Just like the child is crying, that is also life. Then the child body vanquished, then gets another body, boy's body. Then this body also vanquishes. Another body, youthful body. This body also vanquishes. And then an old man's body like me, this will also vanquish. So the logic is as the other bodies vanquish and I get a next body, similarly, when this old body will be vanquished, I'll get another body. So here it is stated by the supreme authority, Kṛṣṇa, that as these bodies are changing in this duration of life... It is changing. The old body, the child's body, boy's body of me, they are no longer existing, but I am existing. I know that I had a small body like this. I had a boy's body, youthful body. I can remember. Therefore I am eternal. The bodies are temporary.

So this is evolution. This evolution theory... It is not theory; it is fact, stated in the Vedic literature, Padma Purāṇa, how we have passed through so many bodies, and ultimately we have got this civilized civilized human form of body. We have to pass through 900,000 forms of aquatic body within the water. Then gradually we come to the form of trees and plants. There are two million varieties. Then we get the bodies of the insect. There are 900,000 forms of body. Then we enter into the species of birds, one million forms of body. Then after bird's body, there are three million different varieties of beasts' body. Then after this period, we become human body, but there are 400,000 species of human body. And thus we get this nice human form body, with good brain and good consciousness. So it should be utilized properly. By the laws of nature---prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27], this is the law of nature---gradually we develop different types of body and different types of consciousness. So when we come finally to God consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is the perfection of life.

So we are living in this planet, but in other planets also there are different forms of life. So there is one planet... There are many millions of planet. Specifically, there is one planet within this universe that is called Siddhaloka. There is other planet also, heavenly planet, Brahmaloka planet, and in different planets there are different species of life, different standard of comforts, but in the higher planetary system, the standard of comfort is more and more, thousand times more, thousand times more, in this way. Just like in this planet we have got different standard of life. In your Western countries your standard of life is..., at least, it is to be understood more comfortable than other standard of life. In this way, if you promote yourself to the topmost planetary system, which is called Brahmaloka, then you get your duration of life many millions of years. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ [Bg. 8.17]. In the Brahmaloka planet, the residents, they have got their one day. One day means daytime, not nighttime, twelve hours, say. That is equal to... Their twelve hours is equal to our millions of years, sahasra-yuga. Sahasra-yuga means forty-three hundred thousands of years multiplied by one thousand. That is called sahasra-yuga. Such is the..., the such duration of time is equal to twelve hours in the Brahmaloka planet. So even if you go to the Brahmaloka planet... [aside:] You read that, ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna. Read it.


ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ
punar āvartino 'rjuna
mām upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate

Prabhupāda: So our natural tendency is to go to other, better planet. Therefore people are trying to go the moon planet. Similarly, you can go to the sun planet, you can go to the Brahmaloka planet, Siddhaloka planet, heavenly planet. There are so many. But the information is, even though you reach the topmost planet of this universe, still, there the four principles of material life, namely birth, death, old age and disease, are there. So we can go to the topmost planet. There is process how to go:

ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā
madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ
adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ

If you keep yourself in sattva-guṇa, or in the modes of goodness, you are promoted to the higher planetary system, even to the topmost planetary system. That is called ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā. And if you keep yourself in the modes of passion, you shall remain within the middle planetary system. This is middle planetary system, this earthly planet; it is called Bhūrloka. Then above this there is Bhuvarloka. Then above that, Svargaloka. That is heavenly planet. The heavenly planets begins from the moon planet. So... And Jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthā adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ. And those who are in the modes of darkness, they go down, down, down. The animal life is also amongst the down, I mean to say, modes of life.

So this human form of life is a chance to make our choice where we shall go next---in the higher or in the lower, or we shall remain here. So how to go to the higher planetary system, that is also mentioned = yānti deva-vratā devān. [aside:] Read this.


yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vrataḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
yānti mad-yājino 'pi mām

Prabhupāda: So if we like, we can go to the higher planetary system, heavenly planetary system. Just like we are trying to go to the moon planet, but we have not been successful. In this way we cannot go there. Each planet, each and every planet, has got different atmosphere. So unless your body is completely competent to live in such planet, you cannot go there. Just like the scientists say that in the moon planet the temperature is two hundred degrees below zero. Similarly, in the sun planet, the temperature is very, very high, hundred and thousand times degrees above the normal. So in this way every planet has got different atmosphere, different temperature, different standard of life, different duration of life. So one has to become competent to transfer himself in a particular type of planet.

So we, as spirit soul, dehi, the possessor of this body... Dehi means one who possesses this body or the occupier of the body, the spirit soul. That is eternal, changing body only, but eternal. Therefore we should not be interested to these different types of temporary body. That is not very good intelligence. So we have to prepare ourself, if we want. There are the full description of each and every planet, and we can prepare ourself according to our desire which planet we wish to go. But Kṛṣṇa says, mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām: "Persons who are engaged in My occupational duties, they will come to Me."

So go to God, or Kṛṣṇa, means you will have to acquire your original, spiritual body. The spiritual body is already there, but we are now covered by this material body. So how we are eternal, that is described in the Bhagavad-gītā:

avināśi tu tad viddhi
yena sarvam idaṁ tatam
vināśam avyayasyāsya
na kaścit kartum arhati

The hint is given = "The something which is spread all over the body, that is eternal." And what is that something? That something is our consciousness. Here it is stated, avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tataḥ. In this body there is something. That is consciousness. That is eternal. Just like if you or I pinch my body, I feel pain because the consciousness is there. But when the consciousness will not be there, if I cut my hand or cut your hand, you will not protest. Even scientists have proved this consciousness is there in the tree also. If you cut the tree, there is sensation, feelings of pain, and that is recorded in the machine.

So here it is hinted that this consciousness is spread all over the body. That is eternal. The body is not eternal. As soon as the consciousness is gone, the body is dead. Therefore we should take care of the thing which is consciousness. That is the soul. On account of presence of the soul, there is consciousness. So Kṛṣṇa further says in this connection, antavanta ime dehā nityasyoktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ [Bg. 2.18]. This body---deha means body---antavat, it is perishable. Nityasya uktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ. But the thing which is covered by this material body, that is eternal.

So that consciousness of the rays of the soul is described here, na jāyate mriyate vā kadācit: this consciousness, or the soul, is never born, neither it is ever dead. Nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ: the soul and the consciousness has no past, present or future. It is eternal. Ajo. Ajaḥ means who does not take birth. Ajo nitya, eternal. Śāśvataḥ, ever-existing. Ayaṁ purāṇa, the oldest. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20] = when the body is annihilated, the soul and consciousness is not annihilated. Just like when we sleep, our consciousness works in a different body, subtle body = mind, intelligence and ego. That we have got experience every night. We sleep on our bed, but my consciousness goes to other country or other place and work in a different way. Again, when at the end of the dream, we come back to this body, gross body. So death means when the consciousness does not come back again to this gross body and enters another gross body, this period is called death.

So the subtle body, mind is there. I know you have got mind, you know I have got my mind, but I cannot see your mind; you cannot see my mind. So there is intelligence also. I know you have got intelligence; you know I have got intelligence. But you cannot see my intelligence unless it is acted; I cannot see your intelligence unless it is acted. So the soul is covered by two kinds of dresses, just like we are covered by the shirt and the coat. Similarly, the coverings of the shirt are mind, intelligence and ego. This is one covering. And upon this there is a gross covering---earth, water, air, fire, like that. In this way we have got two covers.

So our business is, because we are eternal, we should not remain in these temporary coverings. That temporary co... So long we are bound up or encaged in this covering, that is called conditioned life. So we are trying to become freed from this conditioned life. Just like people are trying to go to the moon planet. The desire is there, but because the life is conditioned, he cannot go. Just like I am a foreigner. I have come to your country. I am conditioned by your immigration law. There are so many conditions. One of the condition is that I cannot live here forever unless it is sanctioned by the government. So we are conditioned now. In this form of life, covered by the material elements, we are conditioned by this material nature. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate

We are conditioned in every step by the laws of material nature. Still, foolishly we are thinking we are free. This is foolishness. We are so much controlled by the material nature, exactly like a small child is pulled by the ear by its mother = "Come here"---he comes here. "Go there." Just like a dog. A dog may feel very freedom jumping, but as soon as the master says, "Come here," he comes and immediately chained. This is our position.

So that is our position, that we are completely under the clutches of material nature, and according to the modes of material nature we are acting, and changing our body in different species of life. So our real business in this human form of life is to get..., try to accept the process by which we can get free from this conditioned life. The process is that we have to give up all our false consciousness. We are under false consciousness. I am thinking, "I am Indian," you are thinking you are German, and the dog is thinking, "I am dog," and cat is thinking, "I am cat." So this bodily consciousness, bodily concept of life, will keep us conditioned within the material nature.

Therefore our first business is how to get free from all these designations. Just like I am putting on this saffron cloth, but I am not saffron cloth. Or you are putting red cloth or black coat; you are not black coat. Within the coat, you are the person. Similarly, within the dress, I am the person. So at the present moment we are on the dress consciousness = "I am German dress," "I am Englishman dress," "I am Indian dress," "I am male dress," "I am female dress." So this is called conditioned life. So in this conditioned life we are accepting one type of body and we are dying. Dying means giving up and being transmigrated, transferred to another body by the laws of material nature. It is not under my control. You cannot say that "After giving up this German body, I shall accept again another German body." That is not in your hands, sir. It is under the laws of nature. You cannot propose. You cannot force material nature. After this body, I can get any other body. That is stated here = tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. Another form of a body. That form of body may be any one of the 8,400,000 forms of body. Therefore, if we are actually intelligent, we should try for being awakened, or placed in our original body, the spiritual body. That will stop this constant change of body.

So the simple process is, as we are preaching in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that if you try to understand only what is Kṛṣṇa---Kṛṣṇa or Christ, the same thing---then you get your original, spiritual body. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be awakened simply by chanting the mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, or the holy name of God. So keep yourself aloof from four kinds of sinful life, and keep always in touch with Kṛṣṇa and God. Then you will go back to home, back to Godhead. This advantage is possible in this human form of life; otherwise, we are missing the chance. We may be again put in the cycle of that 8,400,000 forms of body. The process is very simple and easy, because you can remain in your occupation, in whatever position you are. Simply you chant the holy name of God. Not only Hare Kṛṣṇa; you can chant the holy name of God, "Christ." Christ is also the same as Kṛṣṇa. So do it. There is no expenditure, but the profit is very, very great.

So the conclusion is we should not put ourself in the cycle of birth and death continually in 8,400,000 species of life; to stop it and go back to home, back to Godhead, and regain your original, spiritual life.

So thank you very much. If you have got any question on the subject matter, you can ask.

American man: Does chanting the name of God mean saying the name of God over and over, out loud? Can we do this while we are working, or all the time during our daily work?

Satsvarūpa: [explaining question] If chanting means out loud, how can you do it all day while you are working and in so many different situations? How can you chant out loud?

Prabhupāda: You chant slow. There is no harm. Either loud or slow, it doesn't matter, but you chant the holy name of God.

German lady: [translated] Why do we say to chant but not sing?

Prabhupāda: Same thing. Either you sing or chant, the same thing.

German man: [translated] What is the meaning of this chanting? If you chant all day long, do you reach a certain consciousness?

Prabhupāda: Yes. By chanting the holy name of God, you associate with God. God is Absolute. He is not different from His name. So when you chant God's name, means you immediately become in touch with God. And by chanting more and more, your association becomes more and more intimate. Then everything is disclosed to you. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te

If you keep in touch with God with faith and love, then God is within yourself. He will give you intelligence how you can go back to home, back to Godhead. There are many different processes or yoga systems to be in touch with God, but for the people in this age, this is the easiest method, to be in touch with God simply by chanting His holy name.

German man (2): [translated] [He's saying that] by chanting, it might be possible to get this result to reach a higher consciousness. But it can happen that on account of chanting I forget my neighbor and just drop the things around.

Prabhupāda: Well, by chanting loudly you will also help your neighbor, who will hear you. And when he comes to complain, "Why you disturbing?" then your mission is successful. That means he has heard. So that you hear and let your neighbors also hear---both of them benefited. And that is the greatest benefit you can render to your neighbor.

German man (3): [translated] Actually, there is no difference between, for example, chanting the word "tree, tree, tree" again and again or the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa. It depends on the meaning which we put into the words. And if you chant a particular word like Hare Kṛṣṇa and you have a particular meaning, like for you it's a holy word, then it might be something like auto-suggestion to you.

Prabhupāda: I have already explained that God and His name, the one, Absolute. In the material world your name and you, person, they are two different things. That is difference between God and you. So therefore, by chanting God's name, you actually contact with God. But in the material world that is not possible. Suppose I am thirsty; I want water. If I chant "water, water," it will not act. But in the case of chanting the holy name of God, it is as good as to associate with God. Try to understand. [break] That:

nāma cintāmaṇiḥ kṛṣṇaś
pūrṇaḥ śuddhaḥ nitya-mukta
abhinnatvāt nāma-nāminoḥ

[Cc. Madhya 17.133]

The name of God and God is equally pūrṇa, perfect; śuddha, purified; pūrṇaḥ śuddhaḥ nitya, eternal; and pūrṇaḥ śuddhaḥ nitya-mukta, and liberated from material contamination. So it is not the question of argument. You can try. There is no loss on your part. Chant the holy name of God and see the result yourself. In India also sometimes "Kṛṣṇa" is announced as "Kṛṣṭa." Or you announce as "Christo." It does not make... Because God will take your mind, not your pronunciation. If you mean to pronounce God's name, even it is not, I mean to say, formally or perfectly pronounced, still, God will understand that you are trying to chant His name. That is your perfection.

[break] ..."Christo" or "Kristo" or "Kṛṣṇa," if He understands that you are hankering after Him, He will give the resultant action. And this is the easiest process in this age for God realization.

Thank you very much. Let us chant. [kīrtana] [end]