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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 2nd chapter, text number 16,
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on the
16th of February 1975, in Mexico.

PRABHUPĀDA: nāsato vidyate
bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ
ubhayor api dṛṣṭo ’ntas tv anayos

So we are discussing about the
soul and the body for the last
four days. Now it is being
concluded…, not concluded,
further informed that tattva-
darśibhiḥ. Tattva means the
Absolute Truth. Who has seen
the Absolute Truth, they are
called tattva-darśī. The tattva
means the Absolute Truth, the
spirit whole. The spirit whole is
realized in three features. That is
described in the Śrīmad-
Bhāgavatam, vadanti tat tattva-
vidas tattvam: [Bhāg. 1.2.11]
“Those who are actually realized
of the Absolute Truth, they say
that the Absolute Truth is
realized in three features.” The
brahmeti, bhagavān iti…,
brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān
iti śabdyate: “Absolute Truth is
realized in three features:
Brahman, Paramātmā and
Bhagavān.” Brahman is the
impersonal feature, Paramātmā is
the localized feature, and
Bhagavān is the personal feature.

So in the first stage… Just like
the example we have given many
times that the sunshine, sun
globe and the sun-god. We are,
every one of us, experienced
what is sunshine. That means the
sun, the sunshine and sun
globe…, sun globe, the sunshine
and sun-god, although it is one,
the sunshine portion we can
easily understand. But nobody of
us has gone to the sun globe.
Therefore there cannot be any
direct perception of the sun
globe. Rather, if we attempt to
go to the sun globe, on the way
we shall be finished. But the sun
globe is not different from the
sunshine. And still, the sunshine
is not the sun globe. Being in the
sunshine, you cannot say that
you have seen the sun globe.
You can simply understand that it
is of the same quality, namely, as
the sunshine has light and heat,
the sun globe has also light and
heat. So although the quality is
the same, the quantity is
different. The temperature in the
sun globe is very, very high.
Similarly, tattva, the Absolute
Truth, the first realization is
impersonal Brahman. That can
be realized by ordinary man. Not
ordinary man, a little advanced
can understand what is the
sunshine. But to have experience
of the sunshine, we can put
some theories, but directly it
cannot be experienced. So again,
within the sun globe there is the
predominating deity, sun-god.
Actually the heat and light is
coming from the body of the sun-
god. So those who are expert in
studying the sun, the sun-god,
the sun globe and the sunshine—
this is an example—similarly,
there is possibility of
understanding God, His
Paramātmā feature, all-pervading
feature, as well as His Brahman

So here it is said that na asataḥ
vidyate bhāvaḥ. Asataḥ means
that which does not exist forever.
Just like our this body. It will not
exist forever. Everyone knows it.
Everyone knows that this body
will be finished. And to finish the
body… Suppose if somebody
comes immediately with some
weapon and if he says, “I shall
finish your body,” so immediately
we shall be facing some danger.
But it is known to us that this
body will be finished. That means
the danger is ahead. I may meet
the danger… Today or tomorrow
or hundred years after, the
danger is awaiting. So what we
are going to stop the danger?
That is intelligence. A cat and
dog, an animal, cannot protect
them from the danger of death.
But a human being, they also try
to… Animals they also try to save
themself from danger, but they
cannot do very nicely, but a
human being tries and can stop.
So every intelligent person should
know that “The danger is there. I
do not want that danger. Then
how to stop it?” That is
intelligence. So if we do not try
to stop the danger, then we are
not better than the animal.

So if you want to stop the danger
of death, then you have to
understand what is that Absolute
Truth. Just like I have given
already the example of sunshine.
If you come to the sunshine,
there is no darkness. But if you
keep yourself within closed door,
do not like to see the sunshine,
that is your own choice. So
everyone should try to come to
the light. That is Vedic injunction,
tamaso mā jyotir gamaya, means
“Do not remain in darkness,
come to the light.” Light means
knowledge, and darkness means
ignorance. So every one of us
now in the ignorance that we do
not know “What I am.” Everyone
is in darkness in the concept of
body. Ask anyone what you are.
He will say, “I am this body. I am
Mr. Such and such.” “I am
Indian.” “I am American.” This is
all bodily description. And we
have already discussed. This
body is temporary, but I, the
spirit soul, I am permanent. I
have already experienced that I
had my childhood body, I had my
babyhood body, I had my
boyhood body, youthhood body,
I know it, but the bodies are no
more existing, but I am existing.
So therefore I am permanent,
and the body is nonpermanent.
Therefore it is said, nāsato
vidyate bhāvaḥ: “Permanency is
not there in the body.” Nābhāvo
vidyate sataḥ: “And there is no
annihilation of the permanent or
the eternal.”

So this is… Kṛṣṇa, although He is
the authority, still, He says that
ubhayor api dṛṣṭaḥ antaḥ tu
anayos tattva-darśibhiḥ. He says,
“All the tattva-darśī, the knower
of the Absolute Truth, they know
it very well, and they have
decided like that.” The purpose is
that we have to accept the
experience of the tattva-darśī, of
the seer of the Absolute Truth.
That is knowledge. Our
knowledge is imperfect because
our senses are imperfect.
Therefore we do not come to the
right knowledge by exercising our
senses. The idea is that we
should accept the statement of
Kṛṣṇa and the śāstra that we or I
or you, we are spirit soul; we are
permanent. And the body is not
permanent. But we should be
intelligent enough—how we can
get the condition of permanence.
That is possible when you or I,
we come to the platform of
eternity. That is explained in
another place of Śrīmad
Bhagavad-gītā, bahavo jñāna-
tapasā pūtā mad-bhāvam
āgatāḥ, like that. Means that
“Many persons, by cultivating
knowledge and tapasya, jñāna-
tapasā, pūtāḥ, became purified.
They have got the same status
like Me.” The same status means
God is eternal, God is full of
knowledge and God is full of

So we are all part and parcel of
God. We are part and parcel of
God; therefore we have got the
same quality just like a particle of
gold has got the same quality as
the big gold, and the small drop
of sea water has got the same
chemical composition as the large
mass water. That God is sac-cid-
ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1],
eternal, full of bliss and
knowledge. We can also attain
that stage by purifying ourself.
That purificatory process is stated
as jñāna-tapasā, means
knowledge and austerity. We can
come to the real knowledge of
our existence by purifying
ourself. The purificatory process
we are introducing by this Kṛṣṇa
consciousness movement. And
the method is very simple:
chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. The
more you chant this mahā-
mantra, or the transcendental
vibration Hare Kṛṣṇa, you
become purified. Then you can
understand what you are. Then
every one of us, we can
understand that “I am not this
body. I am not American. I am
not Indian. I am not Mexican. I
am spirit soul.” This stage is
called brahma-bhūtaḥ, means
self-realization. That is stated in
the Bhagavad-gītā, brahma-
bhūtaḥ prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54],
means as soon as you are self-
realized, you become jubilant. In
the bodily concept of life we are
always full of anxiety and
morose. Yes, that is the material
condition. But as soon as you
realize yourself that you are not
this body, you are different from
this body, you become jubilant.
Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
[Bg. 18.54]. This means as soon
as one is self-realized,
immediately he becomes happy,
jubilant. And what is the
symptom of becoming jubilant?
That is also stated, na śocati na
kāṅkṣati: “He does not hanker
after anything; neither he
laments for any loss.” In the
material condition we are in the
platform of lamentation and
hankering. Everyone is trying to
possess something which he
does not possess, and everyone
is lamenting after losing his
possession. These are the
condition of the materialistic

So Brahman realization or self-
realization means no longer
lamentation, no longer
hankering. Then next stage is
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu, means
then he becomes equal to
everyone. He does not treat
differently to different living
entities. Because he can see the
spirit soul in everyone, he sees
everyone on the same equal
position. This stage is called the
bona fide stage for devotional
service. That is stated in the

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na
śocati na kāṅkṣati samaḥ sarveṣu
bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiṁ labhate
parām [Bg. 18.54]

That is our perfectional stage.
Mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
means to be engaged in the
loving service of God. So for
cultivating knowledge, we are
opening so many centers. You
can take advantage and cultivate
knowledge. Jñāna-tapasā. And
practice little austerity. Get the
knowledge. Just like we are
discussing in this meeting. It is
meant for acquiring knowledge.
So we hold meeting at least
twice, thrice in every center. So
you can also participate and take
the knowledge. And if you
practice little austerity, then—two
things, jñāna-tapasā—you
become purified. And as soon as
you are purified, you understand
what you are, and what is God,
and what is your relationship with
God. And as soon as you know
these three things your life is

Thank you very much. Now you
can ask questions.

HṚDAYĀNANDA: (translating)
How can anyone in any part of
the world understand that he is
part of God?

PRABHUPĀDA: Have you got any
understanding of God? Do you
know what is God?


PRABHUPĀDA: What is that?

HṚDAYĀNANDA: (translating) It
is the essence. He calls it some
big thing, the essence.

PRABHUPĀDA: “Some.” That
means he has to clear idea. You
do not know what is God clearly.
You say, “Some, this, that.” That
is not clear idea. So how you can
understand the part and parcel of
God if you do not know what is
God? How you can understand
what is part and parcel of God?

HṚDAYĀNANDA: He’s saying that
God is love, and therefore we
should love each other.

PRABHUPĀDA: So that we are
preaching, that we are… Samaḥ
sarveṣu bhūteṣu, see everyone
on the equal level and love.

MEXICAN: Thank you.

PRABHUPĀDA: That’s all.

(translating) …happens after
death, where do we pick up?

PRABHUPĀDA: That we have
explained that you have to
accept another body. And there
are 8,400,000 different forms of
body. And you will be awarded
one of the bodies out of the
8,400,000. The body is awarded
according to your karma or
action. We are acting in three
modes of material nature. Some
of them are acting in goodness,
some of them are acting in
passion, and some of them are
acting in ignorance. So there are
three different modes of
activities. Now, when you mix up
three, three into three, it
becomes nine. And again if you
multiply nine by nine, it becomes
eighty-one. So it increases in so
subtle division of the mixture of
the three qualities. Just like the
painter. He knows how to mix
the three original color, namely
blue, yellow and red. The red
color represents passion, and the
yellow color represents
ignorance, and the blue color
represents goodness. So as the
color painter, er, painter knows
how to mix and make varieties of
colors, similarly, the three modes
of material nature being mixed
up, they are represented in so
many different forms of body. So
at the present moment, in your
human form of body, you are
also mixing the same qualities in
your different desires. That
means you are creating your next
body. So at the time of death the
thoughts and the activities which
will be prominent within your
mind, you will get a similar body
in next life. Therefore the
intelligent man should be very
cautious to get the next body.
We can get the body like God;
we can get the body like the dog.
Therefore the best intelligent
person should try to endeavor to
get the next body like God. That
is Kṛṣṇa consciousness
movement, that you endeavor in
this life so long you are alive to
get a body like God. That will
solve your all problems, namely
birth, death, old age and disease.
(someone speaks in Spanish) No,
what he is speaking, first of all

HṚDAYĀNANDA: (translating)
What is the difference between
God and ourselves and what is
the relationship?

PRABHUPĀDA: God is great; we
are small. Otherwise, we the
same. God is also living entity;
you are also living entity. God is
eternal; you are also eternal. God
is full of bliss; you are also full of
bliss. So quality, there is no
difference. Only difference in
quantity. Just like a drop of sea
water. It is salty. So this means
in the drop there is salt. But the
quantity of the salt in the drop is
not equal to the quantity of the
salt in the vast water. And there
is another example. Just like the
big fire and the sparks of the fire.
The spark of the fire, when it falls
on your cloth, a pointlike space it
can burn. But the big fire can
burn the whole building. So the
quality of God is in every one of
us. We may take as a small god,
that’s all. But the power is
different. God can create a planet
like the sun, which is floating in
the air, and you can create a
small airplane floating in the air.
God can create a mosquito which
has got the same construction
like the aeroplane, but you
cannot do it. That is the
difference between God and you.
You can create; He can create.
But His creation and your
creation is not equal. Who put
this question, “What is the
difference between God and us?”
You put? What did you…?

GIRL: Well, I think that since
there is…, that what is the
relation between you…

PRABHUPĀDA: That you can
understand. What is the relation
between big and small? The big
is the master, and the small is
the servant. If somebody is big,
big merchant, big factory owner,
you go to serve him. So that
relation is very clear, that the
master…, the big is the master,
and the small is the servant.
Therefore our business is to
serve God. We are serving, but
we are now serving dog. We are
taking care of dog, not of God.
This is our position. Because we
are meant for service, so instead
of giving service to God, we are
giving service to dog. Therefore
we are unhappy.

(translating) After taking birth
again, how does one continue his
spiritual progress? They have two
questions. And also when one is
feeling very weak, fallen, how
can he get going spiritually?

PRABHUPĀDA: First of all, the
next body may not be for
cultivating knowledge in spiritual
life because we are already
fallen, and if we do not elevate,
we may accept another body, still
fallen. Therefore the intelligent
person in this human form of life
should take to spiritual cultivation
of knowledge immediately.
Immediately means before
another death takes place.
Because death will take place—
that is certain—so our duty is
immediately take to cultivation of
spiritual knowledge so that we
may get next life either liberation
or another opportunity for
cultivating spiritual knowledge.
So anyone who begins cultivation
of spiritual knowledge, he is on
the path of perfection, but even
if he falls down immaturely, he is
guaranteed to get next life a
human body so that he can again
begin his cultivation of spiritual
knowledge and make his life
perfect. Therefore the conclusion
is that without delay, we should
immediately take to spiritual life
and try to make our life perfect.
Because there is no certainty
when our death is coming. That
is real intelligence.

(translating) How many births do
we have?

PRABHUPĀDA: Births? There is
no counting. Because unless you
come to spiritual knowledge, the
birth and death will continue.

HṚDAYĀNANDA: (translating) Do
we have to liberate ourselves
from karma in order to achieve

PRABHUPĀDA: Yes. The karma is
the binding. So long our mind is
karma conscious, then we have
to take another body. Therefore
bhakti is defined, anyābhilāṣitā-
śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
[Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11].
Karma. People are very much
enthusiastic to be engaged in
karma, fruitive activities, and
some of them are very eager to
speculative knowledge. That is
called jñāna. Therefore bhakti is
[Madhya 19.167] It must be
uncovered by the speculative
knowledge and fruitive activities.
By karma, you are bound up to
accept birth and death; by jñāna,
you can be liberated for the time
being, but you again fall down;
but by bhakti, you are firmly
fixed up in your spiritual
platform. [break]

HṚDAYĀNANDA: (translating) Are
there many universes, or only

PRABHUPĀDA: Innumerable, you
cannot count. This is one of the
universes, with so many planets,
suns, moon. That is stated in the
Vedic literature. Yasya prabhā
prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi [Bs.
5.40]. Jagad-aṇḍa means this
universe. It is ball-like, aṇḍa,
egglike. Jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi. Koṭi
means millions. So all combined
together, that is material world.
This is only one-fourth part of the
creation of God. And the three-
fourth part is the spiritual world.

HṚDAYĀNANDA: (translating)
What do we think of Jesus Christ,
Mohammed, Buddha and other
bogus persons and all these
different messengers of God?

PRABHUPĀDA: They have got
little advancement. Just like
Mohammedans, they accept the
kingdom of God, and the
Buddhists, they say that this
material world has to be finished.
Buddhists do not give any
information of the spiritual world,
but they do not like this material
world; they want to finish it. So
every religious principle is
preached according to the
candidate, place and time. So if
one surpasses these stages, then
he can come to the higher stages
of spiritual understanding.

(translating) …take that maybe
religion is simply imagination or a
big business.

PRABHUPĀDA: Yes, if there is no
right information, it is something
like that. [break] We should try
to understand what is religion.
Religion means the law of God.
Just like law means the rulings
given by the state, that is law,
similarly, religion means the
rulings given by God. But if one
does not know what is God, then
how he can accept what is His
ruling? Therefore anyone who
has got very scanty knowledge of
God, that kind of religion is also
scanty. That is the definition in
the Vedic literature. Dharmaṁ tu
sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam: [SB
6.3.19] “Dharma, or religion,
means the codes or the law given
by God.” And the Bhagavad-gītā,
the same ruling is given, law,
sarva-dharmān parityajya mām
ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: [Bg. 18.66]
“You give up all types of man-
made religion; you simply
surrender unto Me.” Therefore
the conclusion is religion means
to surrender to God. So one who
is fully surrendered to God, he is