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SB 7.2.22

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


nitya ātmāvyayaḥ śuddhaḥ
sarvagaḥ sarva-vit paraḥ
dhatte 'sāv ātmano liṅgaṁ
māyayā visṛjan guṇān


nityaḥ—eternal; ātmā—spirit soul; avyayaḥ—inexhaustible; śuddhaḥ—with no material tinge; sarva-gaḥ—qualified to go anywhere in the material or spiritual worlds; sarva-vit—full of knowledge; paraḥ—transcendental to material conditions; dhatte—accepts; asau—that ātmā, or living being; ātmanaḥ—of the self; liṅgam—a body; māyayā—by the material energy; visṛjan—creating; guṇān—various material qualities.


The spirit soul, the living entity, has no death, for he is eternal and inexhaustible. Being free from material contamination, he can go anywhere in the material or spiritual worlds. He is fully aware and completely different from the material body, but because of being misled by misuse of his slight independence, he is obliged to accept subtle and gross bodies created by the material energy and thus be subjected to so-called material happiness and distress. Therefore, no one should lament for the passing of the spirit soul from the body.


Hiraṇyakaśipu very intelligently described the position of the soul. The soul is never the body, but is always completely different from the body. Being eternal and inexhaustible, the soul has no death, but when the same pure soul desires to enjoy the material world independently, he is placed under the conditions of material nature and must therefore accept a certain type of body and suffer the pains and pleasures thereof. This is also described by Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 13.22). Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya sad-asad-yoni janmasu: the living entity is born in different families or species of life because of being infected by the modes of material nature. When conditioned by material nature, the living entity must accept a certain type of body, which is offered by nature under the direction of the Supreme Lord.

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

"The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy." (BG 18.61) The body is just like a machine, and according to the living entity's karma, he is offered a particular type of machine to move here and there under the control of material nature. This continues until he surrenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead (mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14)). Until he surrenders, the conditioned soul is carried from life to life by the arrangement of material nature.

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Hiraṇyakaśipu +
Diti wife of Kaspya Muni and sister in law and nephews +