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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 2nd chapter, text number 14
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on August
20, 1973 in London, England.

PRADYUMNA: “Translation. O
son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent
appearance of happiness and
distress, and their disappearance
in due course, are like the
appearance and disappearance
of winter and summer seasons.
They arise from sense perception,
O scion of Bharata, and one must
learn to tolerate them without
being disturbed.”

PRABHUPĀDA: This is very
important verse. In the previous
verse it has been described,
dehino ’smin yathā dehe [Bg.
2.13]. Actually we living entities,
we are within the body. The
bodily pains and pleasure are not
the pains and pleasure of the
soul within. It is simply
abhiniveśa. It is called
abhiniveśa, absorption or
misidentify. The example I have
given many times. Just like you
are sitting in a nice motorcar;
another man is sitting on a
rickshaw. I have seen in India. So
the rickshaw has come in front of
the nice motorcar, and the driver
is asking that man who is
drawing the rickshaw, “You
rickshaw!” Means he is thinking,
he is sitting in a nice motorcar, so
he has become a motor, and the
man who is drawing the
rickshaw, he has become
rickshaw. This is the position.
Actually the man who is drawing
the rickshaw, he is also human
being. And the man who is sitting
in a nice Rolls Royce car, he is
also human being. But the rascal,
because he is sitting on a Rolls
Royce car, he is thinking, “I am a
Rolls Royce, and he is rickshaw.”
This is material conception of life,
that according to the body, we
are becoming designated, not as
the soul. Just try to understand
this very good example. Because
that poor fellow is drawing
rickshaw, he has been taken as
rickshaw. And because I am
sitting in a Rolls Royce car, I am
thinking, “I am Rolls Royce.”

So this bodily conception of life,
when we get out of it, that is real
knowledge, paṇḍita. Paṇḍitāḥ

brāhmaṇe gavi hastini śuni caiva
śva-pāke ca paṇḍitāḥ sama-
darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18]

Paṇḍita means those who are
learned. Learned means
brāhmaṇa, not śūdra. Śūdras,
they are not learned. Mlecchas,
yavanas, śūdras, kirāta-
ābhīra, so many. Learned means
brāhmaṇa. Learned means that
one who knows that Brahman.
Brahman, the spirit soul, is part
and parcel of the Supreme
Brahman. So one who has come
to that knowledge, that “I am not
this body; I am spirit soul; ahaṁ
brahmāsmi,” that is knowledge.
Knowledge begins from there. If
one does not reach to that point,
ahaṁ brahmāsmi, then he is
animal. The animal thinking like
that, “I am rickshaw,” “I am
motorcar,” “I am cat,” “I am
dog,” “I am this,” “I am that.”
That is animal thinking. But a
person… Learned thinking is that
“I am not this body; I am part
and parcel of the Supreme
Brahman, ahaṁ brahmāsmi.”
And when you are farther
advanced from Brahman
knowledge… The knowledge
begins from there. When you
make further advancement, then
you can understand that “I am
eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.” This is
perfect knowledge. First of all
knowledge begins that “I am not
this body.”

sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-
paratvena nirmalam hṛṣīkeṇa
hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]

So long we have got this bodily
concept of life—”I am Rolls Royce
car,” “I am rickshaw,” “I am
American,” “I am Englishman,” “I
am this,” “I am that”—so long we
are in ignorance. The same
example: The man is not
rickshaw, I am not motorcar, but
I am thinking like that. I am
asking that poor fellow, rickshaw
wala, scornfully, because I am
sitting in a very nice car. This is
going on. But when you become
learned, then paṇḍitāḥ sama-
darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18]. Sama-
darśinaḥ means one who is
learned, he knows that “Although
he is pulling rickshaw, poor man,
he is also a human being, and I
am, although sitting in a very
nice, costly Rolls Royce, I am also
human being. As human being,
we are the same.”

So dehino ’smin yathā dehe [Bg.
2.13] All of us, the living entity,
soul, is within this body. Not this
body I am. So one who has
realized this thing, that “I am not
this body, I am spirit soul, and
living by nature’s arrangement, I
have been allowed to live in such
and such body,” then he is
learned. That is the beginning.
So Kṛṣṇa, from the previous
verse, that is actual spiritual
education. In the world, these
rascals are going on, spiritualists.
They do not know the very first
thing of spiritual knowledge, that
“I am not this body.” They are
doing so many sinful acts on
account of this body; still, they
are going as religious, or
spiritualist. Nobody is spiritualist
unless one understands his
spiritual identification, neither
one is religious. Therefore in the
Bhagavad-gītā the last word is
sarva-dharmān parityajya mām
ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66],
because you rascal, fools, you
have created so many religious
system simply on the differences
of body. That is not religion. Real
religion is that “I am the
Supreme Soul, Parambrahma,
Kṛṣṇa. And you are My part and
parcel. So we have intimate
relation, like father and son. So it
is the son’s duty to obey the
father. That is perfection of life.”
That’s all. Sarva-dharmān
parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ
vraja [Bg. 18.66]. You have
created so many religious system
on the bodily concept of life,
bodily concept of life so strong
that even big, big learned so-
called religionists, they say that
the animal has no soul. The
bodily concept of… Because a
human body is very much
advanced, has got the power to
kill animals, therefore they are
speaking this nonsense that the
animal has no soul. Why the
animal has no soul? What is the
symptom of possessing soul? I
am spirit soul; I am within this
body. Everyone can understand.
Understand or no understand, if I
am a human being, if I have got
my soul, why this poor animal
has no soul? What, where is the
difference, that you say that the
animal has no soul? Where is the
difference? Let us analyze. Soul…
The, I mean to say, existence of
the soul within the body, how we
can understand? That is very
easy. Because yena sarvam
idam… Everything is described in
the Bhagavad-gītā. Yena sarvam
idaṁ tatam: The soul is existing,
spreading its influence all over
the body, just like the sun is
existing, spreading the sunshine
all over the universe. Similarly,
God is existing, spreading His
consciousness all over the
universe, all over the creation.
Therefore He knows everything.
Similarly, I am also part and
parcel of God. I am also soul, like
the sun. My shining, my
consciousness, is spread all over
the body. Yena sarvam idaṁ
tatam. Avināśi tu tad viddhi yena
sarvam idam. These things,
ślokas, will come. “That thing
which is spreading all over the
body, that is avināśi; that is
eternal.” Antavanta ime dehāḥ:
“But this body is antavat; it is
perishable. But within the body,
the soul, which is spreading its
consciousness all over the body,
that is eternal.” We shall come to
that verse later on. Avināśi tu tad
viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam.

Therefore the proof of the soul
existing is that the consciousness
is spread all over my body. As
soon as I pinch any part of my
body, I feel pain. Therefore I
understand a soul is there. Just
like a man who is going to die.
So doctor is examining. He sees
the pulse. He sees the heart—
”Yes, it is beating.” That is the
sign that still the man is living.
Similarly, the soul is there. The
proof is that I can feel pains and
pleasure on my body. That is
explained in this verse. Mātrā-
sparśās tu kaunteya. Actually the
body in touch with the
consciousness feeling pains and
pleasure. Otherwise body, what
is this body? It is a lump of
matter. It is a lump of matter,
earth, water, fire, air, material
combination of matter. Just like
you make one doll, combination
of matter, earth, water, fire… Or
no fire. Yes, still there is fire.
Because you dry it in the
sunshine, therefore there is fire.
Earth, water, fire, and there is
air, there is sky—but there is no
soul. That is the difference. You
can prepare a doll with earth,
water, air, fire, all these things,
material elements. But you
cannot give the soul. That is not
possible. That is possible only by
Kṛṣṇa. Ahaṁ garbhaṁ dadāmy
aham.(?) Just like man and
woman. Actually the woman is
giving the ingredients of
developing body of the child. But
when it is possible? When the
man gives the seed. Otherwise a
woman could produce a child
without the aid of a man. No,
that is not possible. When the
seed, with the seed the soul
comes. And when the soul is
situated in the womb of the
woman, the woman can assist by
supplying the ingredients to
develop the body. Karmaṇā
daiva-netreṇa jantur deha
upapattaye [SB 3.31.1]. So by
nature’s process, when one gives
up this material body, the subtle
body is there, mind, intelligence
and ego. The subtle body carries
the soul and it is just…

Now, this soul, where it will go?
Then the whole calculation is
taken, what is his asset and
liabilities of the life, daiva-
netreṇa, by superior judgment.
Just like a man in an office, in a
business concern, when
increment is given or promotion
is given, the whole assets and
liabilities are taken, anywhere.
Anywhere, a man is promoted or
degraded when all the liabilities
and assets are taken and judged,
“Yes, this man has done nice, so
give him promotion.” And if he
has not done nice, “Degrade
him.” Or “Don’t give him
promotion.” Similarly, we are
getting different types of body
according to our karma.
Karmaṇā… Otherwise why all
living entities are not of the same
merit, same feature of the body,
same position, same edu…? Why
there are difference? This is
common sense. Varieties of body,
varieties of position, is due… Just
like the same example: The poor
man has got only rickshaw, and
the rich man has got a Rolls
Royce car because he has paid
more. Similarly, if your work is
nice, then you are promoted,
promoted to higher standard of
life, just like in the heaven—
ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ—or in
the Brahma-loka. But your, if
your work is sinful and
abominable, then you are
degraded to cats and dogs.
Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ.
Those who are advanced in the…
Because here everything is
quality, everything. You go to
purchase anything in the market;
you will see the quality—first
quality, second quality, third
quality. Similarly, all living
entities, all souls, they have got
qualitative body. Qualitative
body. So the first quality body
you can get in the higher
planetary system. The second
quality of body means you have
to remain in the middle planetary
system. And the third quality
body, you go down. Or… “Go
down” means you become
animals, trees, insects, birds,
beasts, like that. This is going on.

So mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ. So
that, according to the body, you
get pains and pleasure of this
material world. A very rich man,
living very comfortably, a little
painful thing is intolerable by
him, because he has got a such
body, so delicate body. Just like a
child. Because he has got
delicate the body, little pinching
makes him crying,
uncomfortable. So it is all due to
body. But the soul is different
from the body. So Kṛṣṇa is trying
to convince Arjuna that “Why you
are hesitating to fight? Do your
duty. Your so-called grandfather
or so-called guru, as you say,
your teacher, they are not this
body. So in this fight, if your
grandfather or teacher is killed,
why you are lamenting? They are
eternal.” That is also explained,
that “They were existing in the
past, they are existing at present,
and they will continue to exist.
Simply the body will change. So
why you are lamenting? Rather,
it is a great facility that your
grandfather has got now old
body, he is not very comfortable,
but he will get next life a very
new body. So it is good for him if
you kill him.” Of course, that is
not the point. (laughter) You
cannot kill without any reason.
That is not point. But here, “It is
fight. It is duty. They have come
to kill you.” And the kṣatriyas,
their determination is, when they
go to fight, either to own victory
or die, not returning back, sir, no.
If a kṣatriya is hurt on the back
side, he is degraded. He must be
hurt on the chest, front side.
That is kṣatriya. That means he
has fought nicely. There is injury
on the chest, not in the back
side. Back side injury means he
was fleeing. So kṣatriya’s
determination is, either you own
the battle or die in the battle.
That will be explained. “If you
own the battle, then enjoy. You
have got the kingdom. But if you
die in the battle, you go to the
heaven. Because you have
fought for the right cause, you
will go to the heaven.” So killing,
killing is very bad, but killing for
the sake of right cause of
fighting, or killing in the sacrifice,
they are not sinful. Sometimes in
the Vedas killing is
recommended, just like in the
fight or in the sacrifice, but that
is not sinful. Sometimes a
brāhmaṇa is sacrificing, offering,
performing great sacrifice, and
the animal is put into the fire just
to give him renovated, new life,
not for killing, just to test how
Vedic mantras are being properly
pronounced. That will be test.
When sacrifice is done, the fire is
there, and old animal is put into
the sacrifice, and he comes out
with a new body. That means the
Vedic mantras are being
pronounced very properly, and it
is being carried out. This is the
experiment, not for killing.
Although in the Vedas there are
recommendation that paśu-vadha
system… Just like in the modern
age also, when some experiment
is made, it is made on the life of
the animal. But they are killed.
But when there is
recommendation of putting an
animal in the fire, that is not for
killing; that is to see that this
animal has got a new body.

So on the whole one has to
understand that this, we are not
this body, “I am not this body.”
And if we feel bodily pains and
pleasure, that is bodily pains and
pleasure; that is not the pleasure
and pains of the soul. The soul
pains and pleasure is being put
into different body. And out of
ignorance, because he is
identifying, out of ignorance, that
“I am this body,” therefore soul is
in pains and pleasure. Otherwise
the soul has no pains and
pleasure. Asaṅgo ’yaṁ puruṣaḥ.
In the Vedas it is said that “The
soul has nothing to do with this
body.” Asaṅga. Asaṅga means
“without any touch.” But out of
ignorance he is thinking… The
same example: out of ignorance,
the rascal is thinking that he has
become Rolls Royce, and if the
Rolls Royce is broken by some
accident, he becomes
overwhelmed: “Oh, I am lost.”
Where you are lost? Your car is
lost. This is going on. The car is
lost. Therefore, when one
becomes brahma-bhūta, actually
realized—self-realization, that is
called—na śocati na kāṅkṣati:
there is no more lamenting, no
more hankering. “Because I am
not this body, why I shall hanker
after this bodily comfort?
Whatever Kṛṣṇa has given, that’s
all right.” But they are absorbed
in the bodily concept. Therefore
they are simply seeking bodily
and sensuous enjoyment. That’s

This is material world, all fools
and rascals. All materialists are
fools and rascals, mūḍha. They
are called mūḍha. Na māṁ
duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante
narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. Because
they are fools and rascals, they
are committing sinful life,
becoming entangled in the
transmigration of the soul in
different types of bodies, and
perpetually suffering. Because as
soon as you get this body, you’ll
suffer, either white body or black
body or yellow body. It doesn’t
matter. Either man’s body or
animal’s body, as soon as you get
this body, you must suffer. This
is the punishment of nature. You
must suffer. A king cannot say
that “Because I have this queen’s
body, king’s body, there is no
suffering.” This is nonsense. You
have to suffer. Janma-mṛtyu-
jarā-vyādhi. At least these
sufferings must be there: the
sufferings of birth, sufferings of
death, sufferings of disease and
sufferings of old age. There must
be. Either you become king or
you become a dog or you
become a cat, it doesn’t matter,
even if you become Brahmā.
Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar
āvartino ’rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. This is
the philosophy.

Therefore the problem is how to
get out of this bodily
entanglement. I am spirit soul.
Somehow or other, I have fallen
in this entanglement of bodily
transformation. There,
Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, anādi
karama-phale, pori’ bhavārṇava-
jale, toribāre nā dekhi upāy:
“Somehow or other I have fallen
in this ocean of birth and death. I
do not know how to get out of
it.” Just like if you are thrown
into the ocean, however expert
swimmer you may be, that is not
your comfortable life. You have
to swim all along, otherwise
immediately drown. Similarly, as
soon as you get yourself in this
material world, you have to
struggle for existence. You have
to. If you want to stop this
struggle for existence, then you
must get out of this material
existence. That is the problem of
life. Anādi karama-phale, pori’
bhavārṇava-jale, toribāre nā
dekhi upāy. Therefore Caitanya
Mahāprabhu teaches us, ayi
nanda-tanuja patitaṁ kiṅkaraṁ
māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau:
“My dear Lord, Nanda-tanuja,
son of Nanda Mahārāja, Kṛṣṇa, I
am Your eternal servant.
Somehow or other, I am now
fallen in this material ocean.” Ayi
nanda-tanuja patitaṁ kiṅkaraṁ
māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau.
Viṣame: “Very ferocious danger,
ocean of this material existence, I
am fallen. Although I am Your
servant, some way or other, I
have forgot. I have fallen down.”
Then ayi nanda-tanuja patitaṁ
kiṅkaraṁ māṁ viṣame bhava,
kṛpayā: “Now I am seeking Your
mercy.” Kṛpayā tava pāda-
vicintaya: “Now take me again.
Pick me, and make me the one
particle of dust of Your lotus
feet.” This should be our prayer,
no other prayer. No other prayer.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu does not
teach any other. Na dhanaṁ na
janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā
jagad-īśa kāmaye. People
generally pray for material
benefits: “O God, give us our
daily bread. Give me nice
position. Give me nice wife, nice
following or this or victory,” so
on, so on, so on, simply for
material enjoyment. My Guru
Mahārāja used to say that if we
pray to God for all these
nonsense things, it is just like a
man goes to a king and the king
says, “Whatever you want you
can ask from me,” and if the man
says, “Kindly give me a pinch of
ashes.” It is like that. If we ask
from God for some material
benefit, it means that I am
asking from a king a pinch of
ashes. When king says that “You
ask whatever you want,” he can
say, “So give me half the
kingdom.” That should be the
prayer. And why a pinch of ash?
Similarly, it is our foolishness.
When we ask for bread, “O God,
give us our daily bread,” that
means I am asking. The bread is
already there. Why for you? For
everyone, for all living entities,
the bread is already there given
by God. Eko yo bahūnāṁ
vidadhāti kāmān. The elephant is
not going to the church for
praying, “Give me food.” He is
supplied in the jungle food. A
tiger is supplied food. Even ant is
supplied food within the hole.
Who is going to supply food
there? How they are eating? How
they are living? How they are
begetting children? The same
thing is there. Āhāra-nidrā-
bhaya-maithuna—everything is
there in the ant, in the elephant.
Who is supplying their
necessities? So this is not the
problem, these rascals. They are
simply perplexed with this
problem, how to eat, how to
sleep, how to defend. This is
already fixed up according to
your karma. You simply try—save
your time—how to advance in
Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is your
own business. Otherwise you are
spoiled. And so far these things
are concerned, that how to eat,
how to sleep, how to have sex
life, and how to defend, this is
already arranged. You cannot
make betterment in this way.
That is already fixed up. Prakṛteḥ
kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi
sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27]. According to
your lot, according to your
karma, you have been fixed up
that “You shall eat like this, you
shall sleep like this, you’ll have
sex life like this, and you will be
able to defend like this, not more
than that.” That is not possible.
That is called destiny. So by
destiny this is already fixed up.
Don’t spoil your life for these

But people are anxious for these
things. This is called ignorance.
Therefore the śāstra says,
tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ.
You are transmigrating from so
many bodies, this body to that
body. Now you have got the
chance, human body. Now you
can read Bhagavad-gītā. Now
you can learn from Kṛṣṇa what is
the problem of life. Utilize for
that purpose. Don’t be perplexed
with this problem of this body.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, mātrā-
sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-
sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ. You should
know… Just like the summer
season comes. You should know,
“It has come; it will go away. The
winter season has come. It has
come; it will go away.” So just to
try to protect yourself as far as
possible, but you are not affected
by such summer season or winter
season. You should not be
affected. Just like in India the
temperature is sometimes 120,
during summer season. Does it
mean people will stop all their
work? Or in your country, in the
Western country, the winter is so
strong that sometimes below
zero, 30 degree. Does it mean
that all of his work, everything,
will be stopped? No, you have to
do your duty. Similarly, although
Arjuna is advised, “Although you
are killing—little pains that you
have to kill your own men—so
that is coming and going. You
have to do your duty because it
is real fight. This fight is under
My guidance. You must fight.
That is your duty. Don’t be
bothered of this mātrā-sparśāḥ.”
Mātrā means the skin, touch. But
people are after the skin disease.
Just like sex life. What is the sex
life? This is also another skin
disease, itching of the skin, and
you satisfy by rubbing it. That’s
all. So viṣaheta dhīraḥ. Dhīra, one
who is sober, one is advanced,
he will little tolerate that itching
sensation and be happy because
this is not my necessity. This is
only of the skin. This is my skin
disease. Now I am not the skin. I
am soul. My duty is how to serve

Thank you very much.