Bhagavad-gītā 2.16 , Mexico City , 1975-02-16

[translated throughout by Hṛdayānanda]

Nitāi: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse]

nāsato vidyate bhāvo
nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ
ubhayor api dṛṣṭo 'ntas
tv anayos tattva-darśibhiḥ


Hṛdayānanda: [leads recitation of verse in Spanish] [break]



nāsato vidyate bhāvo
nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ
ubhayor api dṛṣṭo 'ntas
tv anayos tattva-darśibhiḥ

So we are discussing about the soul and the body for the last four days. Now it is being concluded---not concluded; further informed---that tattva-darśibhiḥ. Tattva means the Absolute Truth. Who has seen the Absolute Truth, they are called tattva-darśī. The tattva means the Absolute Truth, the spirit whole. The spirit whole is realized in three features. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11] = "Those who are actually realized of the Absolute Truth, they say that the Absolute Truth is realized in three features." The brahmeti, bhagavān iti..., brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate [SB 1.2.11] = "Absolute Truth is realized in three features = Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān." Brahman is the impersonal feature, Paramātmā is the localized feature and Bhagavān is the personal feature.

So in the first stage... Just like the example we have given many times that the sunshine, sun globe and the sun-god. We are, every one of us, experienced what is sunshine. That means the sun, the sunshine and sun globe..., sun globe, the sunshine and sun-god, although it is one, the sunshine portion we can easily understand. But nobody of us has gone to the sun globe. Therefore there cannot be any direct perception of the sun globe. Rather, if we attempt to go to the sun globe, on the way we shall be finished. But the sun globe is not different from the sunshine. And still, the sunshine is not the sun globe. Being in the sunshine, you cannot say that you have seen the sun globe. You can simply understand that it is of the same quality, namely, as the sunshine has light and heat, the sun globe has also light and heat. So although the quality is the same, the quantity is different. The temperature in the sun globe is very, very high. Similarly, tattva, the Absolute Truth, the first realization is impersonal Brahman. That can be realized by ordinary man---not ordinary man; a little advanced can understand what is the sunshine. But to have experience of the sunshine, we can put some theories, but directly it cannot be experienced. So again, within the sun globe there is the predominating deity, sun-god. Actually the heat and light is coming from the body of the sun-god. So those who are expert in studying the sun = the sun-god, the sun globe and the sunshine---this is an example---similarly, there is possibility of understanding God, His Paramātmā feature, all-pervading feature, as well as His Brahman feature.

So here it is said that na asataḥ vidyate bhāvaḥ. Asataḥ means that which does not exist forever. Just like our this body. It will not exist forever. Everyone knows it. Everyone knows that this body will be finished. And to finish the body... Suppose if somebody comes immediately with some weapon, and if he says, "I shall finish your body," so immediately we shall be facing some danger. But it is known to us that this body will be finished. That means the danger is ahead. I may meet the danger... Today or tomorrow or hundred years after, the danger is awaiting. So what we are going to stop the danger? That is intelligence. A cat and dog, an animal, cannot protect them from the danger of death. But a human being, they also try to... Animals, they also try to save themself from danger, but they cannot do very nicely, but a human being tries and can stop. So every intelligent person should know that "The danger is there. I do not want that danger. Then how to stop it?" That is intelligence. So if we do not try to stop the danger, then we are not better than the animal.

So if you want to stop the danger of death, then you have to understand what is that Absolute Truth. Just like I have given already the example of sunshine. If you come to the sunshine, there is no darkness. But if you keep yourself within closed door, do not like to see the sunshine, that is your own choice. So everyone should try to come to the light. That is Vedic injunction = tamaso mā jyotir gamaya, means "Do not remain in darkness; come to the light." Light means knowledge, and darkness means ignorance. So every one of us now in the ignorance that we do not know "What I am." Everyone is in darkness in the concept of body. Ask anyone what you are. He will say, "I am this body. I am Mr. Such-and-such," "I am Indian," "I am American." This is all bodily description. And we have already discussed = this body is temporary, but I, the spirit soul, I am permanent. I have already experienced that I had my childhood body, I had my babyhood body, I had my boyhood body, youthhood body. I know it. But the bodies are no more existing, but I am existing. So therefore I am permanent, and the body is nonpermanent. Therefore it is said, nāsato vidyate bhāvaḥ: "Permanency is not there in the body." Nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ: "And there is no annihilation of the permanent or the eternal."

So this is... Kṛṣṇa, although He is the authority, still, He says that ubhayor api dṛṣṭaḥ antaḥ tu anayos tattva-darśibhiḥ. He says, "All the tattva-darśī, the knower of the Absolute Truth, they know it very well, and they have decided like that." The purpose is that we have to accept the experience of the tattva-darśī, of the seer of the Absolute Truth. That is knowledge. Our knowledge is imperfect because our senses are imperfect. Therefore we do not come to the right knowledge by exercising our senses. The idea is that we should accept the statement of Kṛṣṇa and the śāstra that we or I or you, we are spirit soul; we are permanent. And the body is not permanent. But we should be intelligent enough how we can get the condition of permanence. That is possible when you or I, we come to the platform of eternity. That is explained in another place of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, bahavo jñāna-tapasā pūtā mad-bhāvam ādigacchati, like that. Means that "Many persons, by cultivating knowledge and tapasya, jñāna-tapasā, pūtāḥ, became purified. They have got the same status like Me." The same status means God is eternal, God is full of knowledge and God is full of bliss.

So we are all part and parcel of God. We are part and parcel of God; therefore we have got the same quality, just like a particle of gold has got the same quality as the big gold, and the small drop of seawater has got the same chemical composition as the large mass water. That God is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1], eternal, full of bliss and knowledge, we can also attain that stage by purifying ourself. That purificatory process is stated as jñāna-tapasā, means knowledge and austerity. We can come to the real knowledge of our existence by purifying ourself. The purificatory process we are introducing by this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. And the method is very simple = chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. The more you chant this mahā-mantra, or the transcendental vibration Hare Kṛṣṇa, you become purified. Then you can understand what you are. Then every one of us, we can understand that "I am not this body. I am not American. I am not Indian. I am not Mexican. I am spirit soul."

This stage is called brahma-bhūtaḥ, means self-realization. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54], means as soon as you are self-realized, you become jubilant. In the bodily concept of life we are always full of anxiety and morose. Yes. That is the material condition. But as soon as you realize yourself that you are not this body, you are different from this body, you become jubilant. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā. This means as soon as one is self-realized, immediately he becomes happy, jubilant. And what is the symptom of becoming jubilant? That is also stated, na śocati na kāṅkṣati: "He does not hanker after anything, neither he laments for any loss." In the material condition we are in the platform of lamentation and hankering. Everyone is trying to possess something which he does not possess, and everyone is lamenting after losing his possession. These are the condition of the materialistic person. So Brahman realization, or self-realization, means no longer lamentation, no longer hankering.

Then next stage is samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu, means then he becomes equal to everyone. He does not treat differently to different living entities. Because he can see the spirit soul in everyone, he sees everyone on the same equal position. This stage is called the bona fide stage for devotional service. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā,

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām

That is our perfectional stage. Mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām means to be engaged in the loving service of God.

So for cultivating knowledge, we are opening so many centers. You can take advantage and cultivate knowledge, jñāna-tapasā, and practice little austerity. Get the knowledge. Just like we are discussing in this meeting. It is meant for acquiring knowledge. So we hold meeting at least twice, thrice in every center. So you can also participate and take the knowledge. And if you practice little austerity, then---two things, jñāna-tapasā---you become purified. And as soon as you are purified, you understand what you are and what is God and what is your relationship with God. And as soon as you know these three things, your life is perfect.

Thank you very much. Now you can ask questions. [break]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] How can anyone in any part of the world understand that he is part of God?

Prabhupāda: Have you got any understanding of God? Do you know what is God?

Mexican man: Yes.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] It is the essence. He calls it some big thing, the essence.

Prabhupāda: "Some." That means he has no clear idea. You do not know what is God clearly. You say "some," "this," "that." That is not clear idea. So how you can understand the part and parcel of God if you do not know what is God? How you can understand what is part and parcel of God?

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He's saying that God is love, and therefore we should love each other.

Prabhupāda: So that we are preaching, that we are... Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu, see everyone on the equal level, and love.

Mexican man: Thank you.

Prabhupāda: That's all. [break]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] ...happens after death, where do we pick up?

Prabhupāda: That we have explained, that you have to accept another body. And there are 8,400,000 different forms of body. And you will be awarded one of the bodies out of the 8,400,000. The body is awarded according to your karma, or action. We are acting in three modes of material nature. Some of them are acting in goodness, some of them are acting in passion, and some of them are acting in ignorance. So there are three different modes of activities. Now, when you mix up three, three into three, it becomes nine. And again if you multiply nine by nine, it becomes eighty-one. So it increases in so subtle division of the mixture of the three qualities. Just like the painter, he knows how to mix the three original color, namely blue, yellow and red. The red color represents passion, and the yellow color represents ignorance, and the blue color represents goodness. So as the color painter..., er, painter knows how to mix and make varieties of colors, similarly, the three modes of material nature being mixed up, they are represented in so many different forms of body.

So at the present moment, in your human form of body, you are also mixing the same qualities in your different desires. That means you are creating your next body. So at the time of death the thoughts and the activities which will be prominent within your mind, you will get a similar body in next life. Therefore the intelligent man should be very cautious to get the next body. We can get the body like God; we can get the body like the dog. Therefore the best intelligent person should try to endeavor to get the next body like God. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that you endeavor in this life so long you are alive to get a body like God. That will solve your all problems, namely birth, death, old age and disease. [someone asks something in Spanish] No, what he is speaking, first of all let...

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] What is the difference between God and ourselves, and what is the relationship?

Prabhupāda: God is great; we are small. Otherwise, we the same. God is also living entity; you are also living entity. God is eternal; you are also eternal. God is full of bliss; you are also full of bliss. So quality, there is no difference. Only difference in quantity. Just like a drop of seawater, it is salty. So this means in the drop there is salt. But the quantity of the salt in the drop is not equal to the quantity of the salt in the vast water. And there is another example = Just like the big fire and the sparks of the fire. The spark of the fire, when it falls on your cloth, a pointlike space it can burn. But the big fire can burn the whole building. So the quality of God is in every one of us. We may take as a small god, that's all. But the power is different. God can create a planet like the sun, which is floating in the air, and you can create a small airplane floating in the air. God can create a mosquito which has got the same construction like the aeroplane, but you cannot do it. That is the difference between God and you. You can create; He can create. But His creation and your creation is not equal. Who put this question, "What is the difference between God and us?" You put? What is it?

Girl: Well, I think that since there is..., that what is the relation between you...

Prabhupāda: That you can understand, what is the relation between big and small. The big is the master, and the small is the servant, that's all. If somebody is big, big merchant, big factory owner, you go to serve him. So that relation is very clear, that the master..., the big is the master, and the small is the servant. Therefore our business is to serve God. We are serving, but we are now serving dog. We are taking care of dog, not of God. This is our position. Because we are meant for service, so instead of giving service to God, we are giving service to dog. Therefore we are unhappy. [indicating a questioner:] See there. [break]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] After taking birth again, how does one continue his spiritual progress? They have two questions. And also, when one is feeling very weak, fallen, how can he get going spiritually?

Prabhupāda: First of all, the next body may not be for cultivating knowledge in spiritual life, because we are already fallen, and if we do not elevate, we may accept another body, still fallen. Therefore the intelligent person in this human form of life should take to spiritual cultivation of knowledge immediately. Immediately means before another death takes place. Because death will take place---that is certain. So our duty is immediately take to cultivation of spiritual knowledge so that we may get next life either liberation or another opportunity for cultivating spiritual knowledge. So anyone who begins cultivation of spiritual knowledge, he is on the path of perfection. But even if he falls down immaturely, he is guaranteed to get next life a human body so that he can again begin his cultivation of spiritual knowledge and make his life perfect. Therefore the conclusion is that without delay, we should immediately take to spiritual life and try to make our life perfect, because there is no certainty when our death is coming. That is real intelligence. [break]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] How many births do we have?

Prabhupāda: Births? There is no counting. Because unless you come to spiritual knowledge, the birth and death will continue. Yes?

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] Do we have to liberate ourselves from karma in order to achieve Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes. The karma is the binding. So long our mind is karma conscious, then we have to take another body. Therefore bhakti is defined, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11]. Karma... People are very much enthusiastic to be engaged in karma, fruitive activities, and some of them are very eager to speculative knowledge. That is called jñāna. Therefore bhakti is jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. It must be uncovered by the speculative knowledge and fruitive activities. By karma, you are bound up to accept birth and death; by jñāna, you can be liberated for the time being, but you again fall down; but by bhakti, you are firmly fixed up in your spiritual platform. [break]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] Are there many universes, or only one?

Prabhupāda: Innumerable. You cannot count. [someone asks a question in Spanish about the spiritual world] This is one of the universes, with so many planets, suns, moon. That is stated in the Vedic literature = yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi [Bs. 5.40]. Jagad-aṇḍa means this universe. It is ball-like, aṇḍa, egglike. Jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi. Koṭi means millions. So all combined together, that is material world. This is only one-fourth part of the creation of God. And the three-fourth part is the spiritual world. [break]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] What do we think of Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Buddha and other bogus persons and all these different messengers of God?

Prabhupāda: They have got little advancement. Just like Muhammadan, they accept the kingdom of God, and the Buddhist, they say that this material world has to be finished. Buddhist do not give any information of the spiritual world, but they do not like this material world; they want to finish it. So every religious principle is preached according to the candidate, place and time. So if one surpasses these stages, then he can come to the higher stages of spiritual understanding. [break]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] ...take that maybe religion is simply imagination or a big business.

Prabhupāda: Yes, if there is no right information, it is something like that. [break] We should try to understand what is religion. Religion means the law of God. Just like law means the rulings given by the state, that is law, similarly, religion means the rulings given by God. But if one does not know what is God, then how he can accept what is His ruling? Therefore anyone who has got very scanty knowledge of God, that kind of religion is also scanty. That is the definition in the Vedic literature. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19] = "Dharma, or religion, means the codes or the law given by God." And the Bhagavad-gītā, the same ruling is given, law, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66] = "You give up all types of man-made religion; you simply surrender unto Me." Therefore the conclusion is, religion means to surrender to God. So one who is fully surrendered to God, he is religionist. [end]