The Indestructible Soul.

72/11/27 Hyderabad, Bhagavad-gita 2.23


nainam chindanti sastrani
nainam dahati pavakah
na cainam kledayanty apo
na sosayati marutah
[Bg. 2.23]

So definition by negation. Directly we cannot appreciate what is that spiritual fragment, particle, which is within this body. Because the length and breadth of that spirit soul is impossible to be measured by our material instruments, although the scientists say that we can measure it. Anyway, even it is possible, first of all, you have to see where the soul is situated. Then you can attempt to measure it. First of all, you cannot see even. Because it is very, very small, one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. Now, because we cannot see, by our experimental knowledge we cannot appreciate; therefore Krsna is describing the existence of the self soul in a negative way: "It is not this." Sometimes when we cannot understand, the explanation is given: "It is not this." If I cannot express what it is, then we can express in a negative way that "It is not this." So what is that "not this"? The "not this" is that "It is not material." The spirit soul is not material. But we have got experience of material things. Then how to understand that it is the negative? That is explained in the next verse, that nainam chindanti sastrani. You cannot cut, the spirit soul by any weapon, knife, sword, or thistle. (pistol?) It is not possible. Nainam chindanti sastrani. The Mayavada philosophy says that "I am Brahman. Due to my illusion, I feel I am separated. Otherwise I am one." But Krsna says that mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7]. So does it mean that the, from the whole spirit, this fragment has been separated by cutting into piece? No. Nainam chindanti sastrani. It cannot be cut into pieces. Then? Then the answer is that the spirit soul fragment is eternal. Not that by maya it has become separated. No. How it can be? Because it cannot be cut into pieces.

If I say... Just like they put the arguments: ghatakasa-potakasa, that "The sky within the pot and the sky outside the pot, on account of the wall of the pot, the sky within the pot is separated." But how it can be separated? It cannot be cut into pieces. For argument's sake... Actually, we are very, very small particle, molecular parts of the spirit. So... And they are eternally part. Not that circumstantially it has become part, and again it can join. It can join, but not that in a homogeneous way, mixed-up way. No. Even it is joined, it, the soul keeps his separate existence. Just like a green bird, when he enters into the tree, it appears that the bird is now merged into the tree, but it is not that. The bird keeps its identity within the tree. That is the conclusion. Although both the tree and the bird being green, it appears that the bird is now merged into the tree, this merging does not mean that, that the bird and the tree has become one. No. It appears like that. Because both of them are the same color, it appears that the bird has..., there is no more existence of the bird. But that is not a fact. The bird is... Similarly, we are individual spirit soul. The quality being one, say, greenness, when one merges into the Brahman effulgence, the living entity does not lose his identity. And because he does not lose the identity, and because the living entity, by nature, is joyful, he cannot stay in the impersonal Brahman effulgence for many days. Because he has to seek out joyfulness. That joyfulness means varieties.

So in the Brahman effulgence it is, simply being cin-matra, simply spirit, there is no varieties of spirit. It is simply spirit. Just like the sky. The sky is also matter. But in the sky, there is no variety. If you want varieties, even in this material world, then you have to take shelter of a planet, either you come to the earthly planet or go to the moon planet or sun planet. Similarly, the Brahman effulgence is the glowing rays from the body of Krsna. Yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti [Bs. 5.40]. Just like the sunshine is glowing effulgence from the sun globe, and within the sun globe, there is the sun-god, similarly, there is, in the spiritual world, there is Brahman effulgence, impersonal, and within the Brahman effulgence, there are spiritual planets. They are called Vaikunthalokas. And the topmost of the Vaikunthalokas is Krsnaloka. So from Krsna's body, the Brahman effulgence is coming out. Yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti [Bs. 5.40]. Everything is existing in that Brahman effulgence. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. In the Bhagavad-gita also it is said, mat-sthani sarva-bhutani naham tesu avasthitah [Bg. 9.4]. Everything existing on His effulgence, Brahman effulgence...

Just like the whole material world, innumerable planets, they are existing on the sunshine. The sunshine is impersonal effulgence of the sun globe, and there are millions of planets resting on the sunshine. Everything is happening on, on account of the sunshine. Similarly the Brahman effulgence coming out, the rays coming out from the body of Krsna, and everything is resting on that Brahman effulgence. Actually, different types of energies. Just like from the sunshine there are different types of colors, energies. That is creating this material world. Just like we can experience practically. When there is no sunshine in Western countries, when there is snow, all the leaves of the tree immediately falls down. It is called fall, the season. It remains only wood, piece of wood only. Again, when there is spring season, the sunshine is available, all at a time, they become green. So as the sunshine is working in this material world, similarly the ultimate bodily rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the origin of all creation. Yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti [Bs. 5.40]. On account of the Brahman effulgence, millions and millions of brahmandas, or universes, are coming out.

yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya
jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah
visnur mahan sa iha yasya kala-viseso
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
[Bs. 5.48]

So here, this beginning of spiritual understanding, that spirit, the Supreme Spirit, cannot be cut into pieces. Nainam chindanti sastrani nainam dahati pavakah. Now try to understand. We are thinking, the modern scientists, they are thinking that there cannot be any life in the sun globe. No. There is life. We get information from Vedic literature that there is life. There are also human beings like us. But they're made of fire. That's all. Because we have got teeny experience that "How in the fire a living entity can live?" To answer this problem, Krsna says that nainam dahati pavakah. (aside:) Why you are sitting there? You come here. Nainam dahati pavakah. The spirit soul cannot be burned. If it would have been burned, then according to our Hindu system, we burn the body, then the soul is burned. Actually, the atheists think like that, that when the body's burned, everything is finished. Big, big professor, they think like that. But here, Krsna says, nainam dahati pavakah: "It is not burned." Otherwise, how it exists? Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. Everything is very clearly stated. The soul does not burn; neither it can be cut into pieces. Then: na cainam kledayanty apah. Neither it is moistened. It cannot be wet in touch with water. Now in the material world we find that anything, however hard it is... Just like stone or iron, it can be cut into pieces. There is separated machine or instrument. It can be cut... Anything can be cut into pieces. And anything can be melted also. It requires a different type of temperature only, but everything can be burned and melted. Then anything can be moistened, can be wet. But here it is said, na cainam kledayanty apo na sosayati marutah: neither it can be evaporated. That is eternity. That means any material condition cannot affect the soul. Asango 'yam purusah.

In the Vedas it is said this living entity is always without any touch with this material world. It is simply a covering. It is not in touch. Just like my body, the present, this body, although it is covered by the shirt and the coat, it is not attached. It is not mixed up. The body keeps always separate. Similarly, the soul always keeps separate from this material covering. It is simply on account of various plans and desires that he's making for lording over this material nature. Everyone can see. The, every living being is trying to lord it over the material nature. That is his disease. He wants to lord it. He's servant, but artificially, he wants to become Lord. That is the disease. Everyone... Ultimately, when he fails to lord it over the material world, he says, "Oh, this material world is false. Now I shall become one with the Supreme." Brahma satyam jagan mithya. But because the spirit soul is part and parcel of Krsna, so by nature, he is joyful. He is seeking after joy. Every one of us, we are working so hard to find out some pleasure of life.

So that pleasure of life cannot be had in the spiritual effulgence. Therefore in the Srimad-Bhagavatam we get this information that aruhya krcchrena param padam [SB 10.2.32]. Krcchrena, after undergoing severe austerity and penance, one may merge into the Brahman effulgence... Sayujya-mukti. It is called sayujya-mukti. Sayujya, to merge. So aruhya krcchrena param padam. Even one goes up to that point, to merge into the Brahman existence after severe austerity and penances, still, they fall down. Patanty adhah. Adhah means again comes into this material world. Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adhah [SB 10.2.32]. Why they fall down? Anadrta-yusmad-anghrayah. They'll never agree God is person. They'll never agree. Their teeny brain cannot accommodate that God, the Supreme, can be a person. Because he has experience of the person of himself, or others. If God is a person like me and you, then how He can create universe, innumerable universes?

Therefore to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it requires enough pious activities. In Bhagavad-gita it is said, bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19]. After speculating in the impersonal philosophical way, when one is mature, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan, when he's actually wise,... So long he cannot understand that the Supreme Absolute Truth is person, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha... [Bs. 5.1]. brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate. Bhagavan. That... vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam [SB 1.2.11]. This is statement in the Srimad-Bhagavata: "Those who know the Absolute Truth, they know that Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan, they are one. It is different phases of understanding only." Just like if you see one hill from a distant place, you will find impersonal, hazy, something cloudy. If you go still forward, then you can see it is something greenish. And if you go actually within the hill, you'll see there are so many animals, trees, men. Similarly, those who are trying to understand the Absolute from distance place or far away, they are realizing, by speculation, impersonal Brahman. Those who are still forward, yogis, they can see localized aspect. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]. They can see, dhyana avasthita, localized within himself. This is Paramatma feature. And those who are devotees, they see Krsna, the Supreme Personality of God, eye to eye, one person to another. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13).

So actually, the ultimate, the last word of the Absolute Truth is person. But, but unfortunately, those who are mudhas, or less intelligent, avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam [Bg. 9.11], "Oh, Krsna? He may be God, but He has become a person, taking the help of maya." This is Mayavada philosophy. They are studying maya; they put God also within maya. This is Mayavada philosophy. But God is not maya. God is never covered by maya. Krsna says that mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te: [Bg. 7.14] "Anyone who surrenders unto Me, he becomes free from the clutches of maya." How Krsna can be within maya? That is not very good philosophy. Simply by surrendering unto Krsna, you become free from maya. How the person, the Supreme Person, Krsna, can be within maya? Therefore Krsna said, avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam, param bhavam ajanantah [Bg. 9.11]. They do not know how much potential the Lord is, how much powerful He is. They are comparing the power of the Supreme Lord with his own power. A frog philosophy. The Dr. Frog. Frog is considering, "Atlantic Ocean may be a little bigger than the well." Because he is living always. Kupa-manduka-nyaya It is, Sanskrit it is called kupa-manduka-nyaya. Kupa means well, and manduka means the frog. The frog is perpetually within the well, and if somebody informs him that there is another big span of water, Atlantic Ocean, he simply calculates that "It may be a little more than this well, little more than this well." But he cannot understand how great He is. So God is great. We cannot understand how great He is! That is our folly. We are simply calculating: "He may be one inch greater than me. Or one foot greater than me." That is mental speculation. Therefore Krsna says, manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye: [Bg. 7.3] "Out of many millions of men, one may try to make his life successful, understanding the Absolute Truth." And yatatam api siddhanam kascin mam vetti tattvatah [Bg. 7.3].

So we cannot understand God by our mental speculation. Neither we can understand what is the measurement of the soul. That is not possible. Therefore we have to take information from the highest authority, Krsna, what is the nature of God, what is the nature of Absolute Truth, what is the nature of the soul. We have to hear. We have to hear. Therefore the Vedic literature is called sruti. You cannot make experiment. That is not possible. But unfortunately, there is a section of people who think that they can make experiment, they can know the Absolute by mental speculation. The Brahma-samhita says:

panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo
vayor athapi manaso muni-pungavanam
so 'py asti yat prapada-simny avicintya-tattve
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
[Bs. 5.34]

Panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyah. For many millions of years, if you make your progress in the sky to find out God, where is God... Panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo vayor athapi. Not this ordinary plane, but on the plane of air, the velocity of air. Or mind. The velocity of mind is very quick. Immediately, you are sitting here, your mind can go many millions of miles away if you have got idea. So either on the plane of mind or by the plane of air, and traveling for many millions of years, you cannot find out. Panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo vayor athapi manaso muni-punga... [Bs. 5.34]. Muni-pungavanam. Not only ordinary persons, but great saintly persons, sages, they also cannot.

So another place it is said in the Brahma-samhita: vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. Vedesu. If you simply study Vedas, although the ultimate goal of studying Veda is to know Krsna, but if you want to study Vedas by your own speculative process, then He'll always remain rare. Vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. But if you approach a devotee of the Lord, he can deliver. He can deliver. Mahiyasam pada-rajo-'bhisekam niskincananam na vrnita yavat, naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim. Prahlada Maharaja says that "You cannot have Krsna consciousness..." Naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim. Krsna consciousness is not so easy. You cannot have it unless you surrender yourself. Niskincananam, mahiyasam pada-rajo-'bhisekam niskincananam na vrnita yavat. So long you do not take the dust of the lotus feet of a devotee, niskincananam, who has nothing to do with this material world -- he's simply concerned with the service of the Lord -- unless you are in touch with such a person, it is not possible to attain Krsna consciousness. These are the statements of the sastra.

So Krsna is the Supreme Absolute Truth. And He is person. But we cannot understand Him unless we go through a krsna-bhakta. Therefore to understand Krsna, Krsna has come down as a bhakta, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda. So we have to understand Krsna through Lord Caitanya. Because Krsna Himself has come... krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne. Rupa Gosvami, when he met first Caitanya Mahaprabhu... Not first, for the second time. First time he met when he, while he was minister in the government of Nawab Hussein Shah. And then, after meeting, Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted them to fulfill His mission. So they decided to resign from the government service and join Caitanya Mahaprabhu to spread this Krsna consciousness movement. Therefore when Rupa Gosvami met Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Allahabad, Prayaga, the first verse he composed in this connection, he said, namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te: [Cc. Madhya 19.53] "My Lord, You are the most munificent incarnation." Why? "Because You are distributing krsna-prema. People cannot understand what is Krsna, and what to speak of krsna-prema. But that krsna-prema, You are distributing like anything." Namo maha-vadan... "Therefore You are the most munificent, charitable person." Namo maha-vadanyaya. Vadanya means one who is very charitable, gives in charity as much as you like. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, because people misunderstood Krsna... Krsna asked in the Bhagavad-gita that "You surrender unto Me." What can He do? He's God. He's Krsna. He's ask you, orders you: "You surrender. I take charge of you." Aham tvam sarva-pape... But still, people misunderstood: "Oh, why shall I surrender to Krsna? He's also a man like me. Maybe a little important. But why shall I surrender unto Him?" Because here the material disease is not to surrender. Everyone is puffed-up: "I am something." This is material disease. Therefore to become cured from this material disease, you have to surrender.

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah
[Bg. 4.34]

So unless you are prepared to surrender... That is a great difficult job for the materialistic person. Nobody wants to surrender. He wants to compete. Individually, person to person, family to family, nation to nation, everyone is trying to become the master. Where is the question of surrendering? There is no question of surrendering. So this is the disease. Therefore Krsna demands that to cure this rascaldom, or most chronic disease, you surrender. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. "Then? If I surrender, then whole thing will be failure? My business, my plans, my, so many things...?" No. "I take charge of you. I take charge of you." Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah. "Don't be worried." So much assurance is there. Still, we are not prepared to surrender, This is our material disease. Therefore Krsna came again as a devotee just to show how to surrender to Krsna. Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam sangopangastra-parsadam [SB 11.5.32].

So this Krsna consciousness movement is very scientific and authorized. It is not a bogus thing, something manufactured by concoction of the mind. It is authorized, based on the Vedic instruction, as Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. So we teach only this philosophy, that you... Krsna, here is Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You are searching after God. You cannot understand what is God. Here is God, Krsna. His name, His activities, everything is there in the Bhagavad-gita. You accept and surrender unto Him. And as Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. So we are speaking the same thing. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. We don't misinterpret. We don't spoil the whole Bhagavad-gita. We don't do this mischief. Sometimes people, they say, "Swamiji, you have done wonderful." But what wonderful? I am not a magician. My only credit is I have not spoiled the Bhagavad-gita. I have presented as it is. Therefore it is successful.

Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)
>>> Bhagavad-gita 2.23 -- Hyderabad, November 27, 1972