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730823 - Lecture BG 02.17 - London

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

730823BG-LONDON - August 23, 1973 - 35:47 Minutes

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

avināśi tu tad viddhi
yena sarvam idaṁ tatam
vināśam avyayasyāsya
na kaścit kartum arhati
(BG 2.17)


avināśi—imperishable; tu—but; tat—that; viddhi—know it; yena—by whom; sarvam—all of the body; idam—this; tatam—widespread; vināśam—destruction; avyayasya—of the imperishable; asya—of it; na kaścit—no one; kartum—to do; arhati—able.

Translation: "Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul."


avināśi tu tad viddhi
yena sarvam idaṁ tatam
vināśam avyayasyāsya
na kaścit kartum arhati
(BG 2.17)

Now it is very clearly enunciated, the nature of the soul. Any sensible man can understand. This is practical. Formerly, all the verses, they were more or less theoretical: dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā (BG 2.13). This is . . . it may be taken theoretical. Not theoretically, but actually the fact, but still less intelligent cannot understand that there is a soul within this body. But here it is explained very clearly: avināśi tu tad viddhi. Tat—that thing which is spread all over the body. Avināśi tu tad viddhi. Tad—that, avināśi—imperishable.

So what is spread all over the body? Consciousness. That is spread all over the body. Everyone can understand that if I pinch any part of my body or your any part of the body, you feel pain. Or similarly, if you get some other facilities, pleasure, so pains and pleasure are felt so long there is consciousness. Any man can understand. And as soon as the consciousness is not there—sometimes we are made unconsciousness by drugs, by chloroform and other anaesthetic medicine, or by nature—unconscious stage.

There are three stages: jāgarti, svapna, suṣupti. Anyone has got this experience. One stage is that you are awakened, another stage is sleeping, and another stage is unconscious. Three stages: jāgarti, svapna and suṣupti, the Sanskrit name. Jāgarti, when you are awakened, our consciousness is very acute, very strong. In sleeping stage there is consciousness, but it is not so active. And unconscious stage means consciousness is some way or other subdued, not working. Three stages. So death means that unconsciousness for a long period. That is death. Because the soul is eternal. It will be explained. There is no birth and death.

So when this body is annihilated, so the soul remains unconscious for a period, seven months for a human being. Seven months' unconscious stage within the womb of the mother. After seven months, the consciousness revives. Just like if you have got an experience under chloroform, unconsciousness. The surgical operation takes place, you do not understand, you do not perceive pains and pleasure, but you remains for a certain hours unconscious. Then, gradually, dream comes. Just, from unconsciousness the dream comes. And from dream, you are awakened. As you go down from awakening stage to dream, dream to unconsciousness, similarly, you come up also—from unconsciousness to dream, from dream to awakening consciousness.

So death means when this body is lost, gross body, the soul remains in the subtle body—intelligence, mind and ego. That subtle body carries him to another body. But those who are not intelligent, they do not understand what is the subtle body, although it is clearly said subtle body means mind, intelligence. You have got mind, intelligence, everyone knows. But these rascals, because they cannot see mind and intelligence, they think that this man is gone, dead. Mind, intelligence, everyone knows that he has got mind. I know you have got your mind, I have got my mind, you have got intelligence, I have got intelligence.

But I do not see your intelligence; it is subtle. Just like there is sky, but here is sky in my front, but I do not see. The things, as they become more subtle and subtler, these gross senses cannot experience. Therefore, the soul is so subtle that it is not possible to perceive the presence of soul with these material senses. So these rascals, they simply say: "No, I cannot see soul." How can you see? That is not possible. It is so minute and so subtle that it cannot be seen by this gross eye. Acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvā na tāṁs tarkeṇa yojayet (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma-parva 5.22).

So Kṛṣṇa says: "Just imagine," tat, "that," yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. Idam, this body, tatam. Tatam means expanded, spread. We can understand the consciousness that if I press, if I pinch, or otherwise we feel pinch or . . . that is consciousness. So Kṛṣṇa clearly says that that thing is avināśi, imperishable. Now Kṛṣṇa has said previously that we, I, you and all others, we existed in the past. So we existed in the past. That means we are all individuals.

In the past also we were individuals, and at the present we are individuals, and we shall continue to be individuals in the future. There is no such thing, as the Māyāvādī philosophers or rascals they say, that after liberation they all intermingle, becomes a homogeneous lump. No. Even after liberation we remain individual, particles. It is not that we mix up, homogeneous mixing up. Even in matter, what to speak of spirit. It will be explained that spirit cannot be cut into pieces. That means we are all spirit soul. It is not we are lumped together at one time, now we have been cut into pieces, and therefore we are individual—this Māyāvādī philosophy. It is not that. We are individuals, sanātana, eternally. That will be explained. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhutaḥ jīva-loke sanātanaḥ (BG 15.7). Eternally we are individuals.

Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). The Supreme Lord is the supreme cetana, conscious. Just like we were consulting dictionary yesterday, "supreme being." Therefore His consciousness is also supreme. As we are living being—not supreme; subordinate—similarly, God is also being, but the supreme being. That is the difference. Very simple thing. You cannot say that, "I am supreme," as these rascals say that, "I am God." How you can be God? Are you supreme? As soon as we ask this question, "Are you supreme?" "No." Then how you have become God? The supreme means . . . that is also, we consulted dictionary, the supreme means the "highest authority." So is any one of us the highest authority? No. Nobody is highest authority. Everyone is under the grip of material nature. How you can be highest authority?

But they imagine, "Yes, I am high authority. I am . . ." Meditate: "I am the highest authority. I am moving the sun, I am moving the this, I am . . ." Simply rascaldom. This is their meditation. Falsely think that, "I am the supreme. I am controlling everything. The sun is moving under my direction. The everything, the water is, seas, I mean to say, there under my direction." Simply . . . this is their meditation. Impersonalist. Just try to understand how much foolish they are. Any sane man will say that, "I am moving the sun, I am moving the moon, I am moving the sea"? Any sane man will say like that? Nobody will say. Will you say, anyone here, that you are moving the sun, you are moving the moon? Who is there, anyone? Who can say? Nobody can say. And still these rascals, they are claiming that he has become God. God. "We are all God."

This rascal philosophy has killed the whole world, atheism. So many incarnation, Gods, all false theories only. This is going on. So many gurus—all rascals. All rascals. Take it for granted. Anyone who is speaking against the principle of Bhagavad-gītā, he's a rascal number one. That's all. Don't give any credit. Tell him on the face, "Whether you accept Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead?" If he says: "No," "Then you are rascal." That's all. There is no exemption. At least you must know that, "Here is a rascal." Because God is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1), accepted by all ācāryas, by all Vedic śāstra. And when He was present Himself, He proved Himself that He's God.

Nobody was equal to Kṛṣṇa when He was personally present. Throughout the whole history of Mahābhārata you can see, nobody was equal to Kṛṣṇa and nobody was greater than Kṛṣṇa. Many, many demons came to fight with Him, to kill Him. Even when He was a child, the Pūtanā demon came to kill Him by poisoning. But Kṛṣṇa is so kind that Pūtanā smeared over her breast poison, and Kṛṣṇa sucked the breast and sucked her life also. But she was given liberation, the position of mother. Kṛṣṇa is so kind. That is supreme consciousness that, "However this demon, Pūtanā, innocent or ignorant, she came to kill Me without knowing that I cannot be killed, that is her ignorance. But so far I am concerned, I have touched her breast as mother; therefore, she should be given the position of mother, like Yaśodā-mā."

This is Kṛṣṇa. She (He) felt Himself so much obliged, because this is service. Just like mother gives service to the child without any return. She gives from the very beginning of our life within the womb, the mother feeds the child. The process is given by nature, but mother feeds. Therefore, when pregnant, the mother should not eat any pungent things because it will give to the tender skin and heart of the child. She should eat only very simple things. But they have no conscious. They are now killing, what to speak of maintaining the child very nicely that, "There is a child, my son or my daughter. She must be provided with all comforts in the womb." There is no motherly affection even in this Kali-yuga. In the material world, motherly affection is considered to be the highest form of love. But the Kali-yuga is so polluted that mother is also giving up her love for the children. Just imagine how difficult it is. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (SB 1.1.10).

So this Kali-yuga is so strong that it attacks even the so-called devotees also. Kali-yuga is very strong. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended that if you want to save yourself, if you at all desire to take the position of amṛta, if you are interested . . . nobody is interested. Kṛṣṇa says, sa amṛtatvāya kalpate (BG 2.15). That is the aim of life: How I shall become immortal. How I shall not become subjected to the four principles of distressed condition—birth, death, disease and old age. Nobody is serious. They are so dull. Therefore they have been described manda. Manda means so bad, so rascal, that they have no ambition of life.

They do not know what is the goal of life. Manda. Manda means "bad." And sumanda-matayaḥ. And if some of them, just to become little recognized as very religious, he will accept some rascal as guru, magician, and eat everything, do everything, and become spiritualist, and his rascal guru will say: "Yes, you can eat anything. You can do anything. Religion has nothing to do with eating . . ." It is going on. The Christian people, it is explicitly, clearly said: "Thou shall not kill." But they are killing. Still, they are conscious very much proud, "I am Christian." And what kind of Christian you are? You are regularly disobeying the order of Christ, and still you are Christian?

So everything is going on. Either Christian, Muhammadan or Hindu, so-called, all of them have become rascal. That's all. This is Kali-yuga. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayaḥ. They have created their own imaginary religious principle, and therefore they are condemned. They do not know. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (SB 7.5.30). The life is . . . the aim of life is to realize God. This is human life. But they are so much embarrassed with this uncontrollable senses that they are going to the darkest region of material existence. Adānta-gobhiḥ. Adānta means uncontrolled. They cannot control the senses. They have become so unfortunate that simple thing, little effort, little austerity, to control the senses . . . the yoga process means to control the senses. Yoga does not mean that you show some magic. The magic, magician also can show magic. We have seen one magician, he created immediately so much coins—tang-tang-tang-tang. Next moment it is all finished.

So the life, they're missing the aim of life. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayaḥ. Why? Manda-bhāgyāḥ: they are unfortunate. So you take it for granted. We are trying, even our Kṛṣṇa consciousness mission, we are trying to awaken. Still, they are so unfortunate they cannot give up sense gratification. So unfortunate. Condemned, unfortunate. Repeatedly we are spending our gallons of blood, "Don't do this"; still they are doing. Cannot give up even sleeping. So condemned, Kali-yuga. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayaḥ.

So it is very difficult with these rascals. Very, very difficult. Therefore my Guru Mahārāja's Guru Mahārāja, Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, they were not preaching. They were disgusted, that "I have no power to reform these rascals. Better don't bother. Let them go to hell. At least . . . let them." But still, my Guru Mahārāja preached. He was so kind. And he asked us also to do the same thing. But it is very, very difficult job. People are so rascal, so condemned, so sinful, it is very, very difficult to raise them. Very difficult. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (SB 1.1.10). So only those who are very fortunate, they will understand that "I am eternal," avināśi, "I am imperishable. I am put into this condition of perishable condition due to this my material body." So how to get out of it? They have no ambition. Just like dogs and cats—simply sense gratification. Avināśi . . . Kṛṣṇa is so kind, how, very clearly explains, you try to understand what is the soul.

So who does not understand there is consciousness all over the body? Tad viddhi. Yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. They'll jump over, "Yes, I am the Supreme God." God's consciousness is also spread all over. That's all right. But is your consciousness spread all over the universe? Both of us, we are conscious. But He is supreme conscious. Therefore His consciousness is spread all over the universe, all over the creation. In the Thirteenth Chapter you'll find Kṛṣṇa says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata (BG 13.3): "I am also kṣetra-jña," Supersoul. What is the difference between Supersoul and soul? Soul, consciousness, is spread all over this body. You are soul; your consciousness spread all over your body. I am soul, my consciousness spread all over the body. But my consciousness not spread all over your body, neither your consciousness spread all over my body. But God's, Kṛṣṇa's, consciousness is spread over your body and my body, His body and everyone.

So Kṛṣṇa is the super or the supreme because His consciousness is spread all over the universe. You cannot hide anything from Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible. You cannot hide. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ (BG 15.15). After all, you are making your plan with your heart and soul. The soul is there and the heart is there, mind is there. Now we are making plan. But you cannot hide the plan from the consciousness of Kṛṣṇa. He is sitting there. That is superconsciousness. One . . . you know the Aurobindo. He was trying to get superconsciousness. His philosophy is superconscious. Anyone who is here knows about Aurobindo. The superconsciousness you cannot get. That is not possible. Superconsciousness is for Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vedāhaṁ samatītāni (BG 7.26), Kṛṣṇa says: "I know everything."

In the Bhāgavata it is said, janmādy asya yato 'nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ (SB 1.1.1). The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything is emanating. And He knows everything. Anvayād itarataś cārtheṣu. We have explained many times. Artheṣu. Just like I am conscious, but I do not know actually what is there within my body, how it is constituted, how . . . how many veins are there, how the blood is becoming red, how . . . we have no, actually, information. I do not know what is within this finger. I am claiming it is my finger. Here it is my finger, but I do not know how the finger is constituted. Therefore I am not abhijñaḥ. Although there is my consciousness, I am not abhijñaḥ. Abhijñaḥ means expert in the knowledge. That is called abhijñaḥ, very experienced. But Kṛṣṇa is abhijñaḥ. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Kṛṣṇa is abhijñaḥ. That is said. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), in the Bhāgavata, beginning. Janmādy asya yataḥ anvayāt: indirectly or directly. Anvayāt means directly. Itarataś ca: or indirectly. We may know directly that, "This is my finger," but indirectly I do not know what is the constitution of finger, how it is working, how it is moving. You do not know. I know directly this is my hair, but indirectly how I am cutting hair and again it is growing, it is unknown. I say these are my hairs, but I cannot count how many hairs are there.

So I am conscious to a certain extent only, not fully. I am not abhijñaḥ. I am not very expert. These are simple truth. But these rascals are claiming that, "I am God." The God is . . . means he is conscious; not only conscious, He's abhijñaḥ, very expert, knows everything, and svarāṭ. Now, to get abhijñaḥ, abhijñatā, or experience, we have to consult somebody. But God is svarāṭ. Svarāṭ means He's personally so independent that He doesn't require to take knowledge from anyone else. That is God. Svarāṭ. Svarāṭ means fully independent. That is God. Now how He become? Svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca. These are the description in the Veda. Svābhāvikī. His knowledge is very natural. Svābhāvikī.

Just like here something itching, immediately my hand, attention, "Yes." Svābhāvikī. It is not that I have to think, "Now here it is itching. What I have to do?" No, you have . . . immediately hand comes, svābhāvikī, by nature. Similarly, when God has to create, as soon as He desires, "Let there be a creation," immediately creation. He hasn't got to think, make a plan, how to do it, how to execute it, where to get the ingredients. No. His energies are so perfect that as soon as He desires, everything is there. That is God. That is God. And that is happening. Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10). He desires, "Prakṛti, nature, immediately produce a rose flower." Prakṛti helps immediately. The color is coming, the beauty is coming, everything is coming. These rascals say it is automatic. No automatically. There is expert knowledge behind it—that is God.

So let us utilize this consciousness, the sense how to understand that supreme consciousness, supreme God. Because I am not supreme. Although I am conscious, I am not supremely conscious. I am not expert. God is expert. So always there is difference between God and ourself. We cannot be equal with God. That is not possible. This is sense. Otherwise, all rascaldom. Don't be victim of the rascal.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya . . . (end)