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750217 - Lecture BG 02.17 - Mexico

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

750217BG-MEXICO CITY - February 17, 1975 - 39:59 Minutes

(translated throughout by Hṛdayānanda)

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

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


Hṛdayānanda: (leads reciprocal chanting of translation in Spanish)

(break) (01:19)


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

Now Kṛṣṇa is giving a practical way of understanding the presence of soul. He says, yena sarvam idaṁ tatam: "One thing, which is spread all over the body, that is avināśi." That means immortal. So what is that which is spread all over the body? It is not the skin, not the . . . This is also spread over the body. The skin, the bone, the marrow, the blood—they are also spread over the body. But Kṛṣṇa is not meaning these material things. The actual active principle within this body is the spirit soul. Now, in medical science, bones are being replaced; flesh also being replaced; blood is also being replaced by injection. So everything can be replaced materially by scientific improvement. But when that thing which is immortal, that is gone, it cannot be replaced. Even nowadays the heart is being replaced, but no medical science or any science has ever been able to replace the life.

So he's giving the example that that presence of the soul is perceived by consciousness. So the flesh is there, the bone is there, the blood is also there, but when the consciousness is not there, that means it is finished. Because the consciousness is there, therefore any part of the body, if we pinch, we can feel pains and pleasure. And when the consciousness is not there, when the man is dead, the flesh is there, the blood is there and other ingredients are there, but there is no more life because it is useless now. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. The tatam means "spread." The consciousness is spread. If we pinch in this part, by consciousness you'll feel pain, or this part or any part of the body, because the consciousness is there, you feel pains and pleasure.

So Kṛṣṇa points out that this consciousness is immortal, avyaya. Avyaya means which is never annihilated, avyaya. Vyaya means there is whole thing, and you can take out part of it, but avyaya means you cannot take a part of it also; it is always wholesome. So this consciousness is avyaya, means never annihilated, and avināśi means immortal. So when this consciousness is transferred from this body to another body, that is called transmigration of the soul. But one thing we must know it, that as there is consciousness in my body, as there is consciousness in your body, similarly, there is consciousness in the whole universe. So long the consciousness is there in my body and the consciousness is there in your body or everyone's body, the body is very nice, very fresh, everything is going nicely. So as soon as the consciousness is gone, immediately this lump of matter begins to decompose. Similarly, this material cosmic manifestation is working very nicely—the sun is rising; the moon is rising; the seasons are changes; the air is blowing; the light is there; heat is there—why? Because there is big consciousness. As that small consciousness in your body and my body, keeping this body fit, similarly, there is another, greater consciousness, which is keeping this material world fit and working order.

So what is this consciousness? This consciousness is the spread of the soul. Just like example: you take a small grain of arsenic acid or potassium cyanide, you put in your tongue, immediately it spreads all over your body and you die. So you can just understand the potency of a small grain of material thing. So how much potency is there of the spiritual thing? Because, we have already discussed, material things are inferior and spiritual identity is superior. So you study these material things, a small grain of poison or the sun, how much powerful they are. A small grain of poison immediately can finish the body, and the small disk, although it is not small . . . It looks . . . We can see. The sun globe is spreading the light and heat all over the universe. Similarly, the potency of the soul is so powerful that it is maintaining the whole body. Similarly, the potency of God is maintaining the whole universe. Just like on account of the presence of the soul the body is maintained, similarly, on account of presence of God the whole universe or the cosmic manifestation is maintained. As I am, a small particle of spiritual identity, I am maintaining this body so sound and healthy, similarly, the presence of the Supreme Soul, Kṛṣṇa, or God, is maintaining the whole material cosmic manifestation. Every one of us can perceive the presence of the soul and presence of God.

Another feature is that your consciousness and my consciousness is different. Therefore we are all individual. Similarly, God is also individual. That has been explained in the Second Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says that "Arjuna, you, Me, and all these people who have assembled in this battlefield, they were individual in the past, individual at present, and they'll continue individual after death also." Now, that individuality . . . God is great because His consciousness is big. He is maintaining the whole cosmic manifestation. And I am very small; therefore my consciousness is also limited, and I am spreading all over this body. So any sensible man, intelligent man, can understand the presence of God by seeing this cosmic manifestation in orderly being maintained.

It is said in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, just like fire remaining in one place spreads the heat and light, similarly, the soul also, being present in some part of our body—it is said in the heart—it spreads his heat and light, the consciousness. Similarly, God is also present. He spreads heat and light, and therefore we find so many varieties of manifestation. Just like . . . This example is very perfect: just like the light is here, it is localized, but it is spreading its illumination all over this room. The light is situated in one place. Similarly, God is situated in His kingdom or in His place; still, He is present everywhere. He is present within your heart. He is present even within the atom. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-sthaṁ govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi (Bs. 5.35). He is present in His abode, and He is present everywhere. He is present within the atom. He is present within your heart. This is called pariṇāma-vāda, or the presence of the energy of God.

Every one of us, we are also energy of God. There are three kinds of energies. He has got multi-energies—parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (CC Madhya 13.65, purport) - but they have been summarized into three. The one energy is called spiritual energy, the other is called material energy, and the third is called marginal energy. The spiritual and material we can understand. At least we can feel when the . . . a living man and a dead man. A living man means spirit and matter combined. And a dead man means the matter is there; spirit is gone. So you can distinguish what is spirit and what is matter. So similarly, there is, as this is material world, there is another, spiritual world. We living entities, we, by nature, we are spiritual, but because we have got the potency either to live in this material world or in the spiritual world, therefore we are called marginal.

The real position is, because we are spiritual, we should live in the spiritual world. At the present moment we have lost our spiritual constitutional position; therefore we are in this material world. Just like a man is generally healthy, but sometimes he falls sick, so at the present moment our condition is sick. It is called bhava-roga. Bhava-roga. Bhava means to become, and roga means disease. What is that bhava-roga? We are appearing, taking birth in the material world. This is called bhava: "You become." And after sometimes you become finished, means death. This is called disease. Bhava-roga. Yes. We have to cure this disease and come to our healthy standard of life. That opportunity is here in this human form of life. If you want to cure this material disease and revive your healthy condition of eternal spiritual life, the opportunity is here. Therefore our only business in this human form of life is to cure this material disease, not to aggravate it. Disease should be cured, not to increase it. But at the present moment we are mad after increasing the disease. We are acting in such a way that we have to accept another body. That means material disease will continue.

So to live irresponsibly like cats and dog is very risky life, because so long we shall be engaged in the matter of sense gratification—material life means sense gratification—we shall increase our prolongation of repetition of birth and death. So this irresponsible life of eating, sleeping, sex life and defense like cats and dog will not help us. Therefore . . . Because this kind of activities will oblige me to accept another body. And as soon as we accept another material body we become subjected to the stringent laws of material nature. And the material miserable conditions are summarized into four items: birth, death, old age and disease. So those who are not in knowledge of the spirit soul, they are very irresponsibly prolonging his life in material activities. Material science could not find out the spirit soul within the body because the magnitude, the dimension of the spirit soul, is very, very small. That is stated in Padma Purāṇa,

śatadhā kalpitasya ca
bhāgo jīvaḥ sa vijñeyaḥ
sa cānantyāya kalpate
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 5.9)

Bālāgra means the tip of your hair. Divide into ten thousand parts—that one part is the dimension of the soul. That is there within the body. So material science has no such instrument or perfection of study that they can see such a small particle. Therefore these foolish people say there is no soul. But the practical application—the soul is there; therefore the consciousness is there; therefore the body is working in order. The soul is minus, the consciousness is minus—this body is a lump of matter.

So we have to study this very intelligently. Then we'll understand that what is soul, what is the business of the soul, why the soul is entrapped in this bodily . . . material body, why there are so many varieties, body. This is a great science, and that science is explained in this Bhagavad-gītā. Actually, at the present moment there is no education, because education means to understand my identity. The so-called education which is going on, that is called art. Of course, they also say, "B.A., M.A., Bachelor of Art, Bachelor of . . . Master of Art." It is just learning an art only; it is not education. Just like an electrical electrician, he knows the art how to put the negative and positive wire and bring electricity. That is an art. But that electrician does not know what is the science of understanding soul. The modern education, they are simply giving lessons on some art, generally known as technology. So by that advancement of knowledge we can construct high skyscraper building, nice motorcar, nice aeroplane, nice machine. That is art. But we do not know what is going to happen next life, my soul. That we do not.

So this is the distinction between avidyā and vidyā. Vidyā means knowledge, and avidyā means ignorance. Suppose you construct a very nice skyscraper building and next life you become something—you remain a rat in that house—then what is your benefit? The soul has to accept a body according to his karma. If by karma he has to accept the body of a rat, it will not be excused by nature that "You have constructed skyscraper building; therefore you'll again come and live there." No, that is not possible. If by karma you are fit for becoming a rat or cat, nature will give you that body. On account of your high attraction of the skyscraper building you can remain there, a rat and cat, but you cannot enjoy anymore. Therefore every human being should be very intelligent that "What is going to happen, my next life?" and prepare for that. Because it is said, avināśi tu tad viddhi: "That small particle is avināśi," means it is not going to die; the body is going to finish. Then if my next life, next body, becomes rat and cat, then what is the benefit I get by this skyscraper building I have constructed with so hard labor and perseverance? This is knowledge. If you simply become interested on this small span of life, say fifty or sixty or hundred years, utmost, but if you neglect your eternal existence, is that intelligence? We are teaching that science, and the Bhagavad-gītā is there. Take advantage of it.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (break)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) . . . said that you said that if we're not careful we can become rats. We take birth as that. So now, can we become Kṛṣṇa conscious right now?

Prabhupāda: Yes, if you like, you can become immediately. If you like, you can become Kṛṣṇa conscious immediately.

Guest: (Spanish) (break)

Hṛdayānanda: He would like to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, only wants to know if you believe in God. (laughter)

Prabhupāda: Hmm? What is that?

Hṛdayānanda: He wants to know if you believe in God.

Prabhupāda: I don't believe in God? You believe in God? (break) Why I'll not believe? If you can believe, I can believe also. It is not believing; it is fact. We are explaining the fact, how the existence of God is there. There is no question of believe or not believe; the fact is fact. Just like if there is fire, you believe or not believe, the fire is there. That I have already explained. The fire is there, and the heat and light is expanded. If there is smoke, you can understand there is fire. This is knowledge. It is not that you have to see the fire, but because there is smoke, you can understand fully that there is fire. Similarly, the whole cosmic manifestation is working in order. That is explained as heat and light. Therefore there is fire or God. There must be. So it is not the question of believe or not believe. Fact is fact. (break)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) When we offer something to you, for example, your picture, he wants to know if the spiritual . . . if, simply by his act of offering can he become purified, or if the spiritual master is actually aware of the offering.

Prabhupāda: Offering? What is that offering?

Hṛdayānanda: For example, if we offer some food to you or if we just offer, for example, chanting, any activity we try to dedicate to you . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. The spiritual master is the representative of God. Whatever you offer to the spiritual master, it goes to God. Just like the tax collector. He collects taxes, but it goes to the government. The spiritual master does not take anything for himself. Whatever you give, that is carried to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just like in our movement we collect millions of dollars, but it goes for Kṛṣṇa's service—for constructing temple, for providing the devotees, for publishing books, for spreading this knowledge, in so many ways—not personal expenditure. (break)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) . . . his point is that if the spiritual master is actually conscious of our activities.

Prabhupāda: The spiritual master may not be conscious, but God is conscious, and through God he is also conscious. (break)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) . . . come a time when all these conditioned souls will become liberated?

Prabhupāda: Immediately, if he accepts the principle. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66): "You give up all your engagements. Simply surrender to Me." If one agrees to this principle, he becomes immediately liberated. And He says also, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ (BG 18.66): "I shall give you protection from all reaction of sinful activities. Don't bother. Don't worry." So He immediately squares up all account if you surrender to Him. And if you don't commit again sinful life, then your life is successful.

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He said when the devotees are chanting their rounds and when they think of their spiritual master, they feel a type of ecstasy. So why are they feeling this ecstasy?

Prabhupāda: That means spiritual standard. That feeling of ecstasy is required. That is spiritual standard. If he does not feel ecstasy, then there is still time to come to the point. That is very good qualification. (break)

Generally not, but there is chance. Because therefore we have said marginal. Marginal, we have got independence. You can fall down, but generally not fall down. (break)

Hanumān: (translating) How is that, that this world is unreal? Why do we say that there is good thing and bad thing in the world?

Prabhupāda: We don't say unreal. It is temporary. But "good" and "bad," that is our creation. There is nothing good here. Because there is death, then where is good? If after all your attempts you die, then where is the good? So "good" and "bad," that is imagination. There is nothing good; everything is bad here. (end).