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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 2nd chapter, text number 23
and 24, given by His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on August
27, 1973 in London, England.


”The soul can never be cut into
pieces by any weapon, nor can
he be burned by fire, nor
moistened by water, nor withered
by the wind.”


So here is another puzzle for the
rascal scientists—because they
are contemplating that except
within this earth, in other planets,
there is no life. Because the
atmosphere is different, they
cannot live there. Now, take for
example the sun planet, fiery
planet. So naturally, we shall
imagine that no living entity can
live there: it is fiery planet. But
Kṛṣṇa says that nainaṁ dahati
pāvakaḥ. The fire does not burn
it. This is quite reasonable
because the living entities are
there, we can experience.
Roughly we see that we are on
the land and the aquatics, fishes,
they are in the water. I cannot
live within the water, neither the
fish cannot live on the land, but
from my experience, if we think
that there is no living entities in
water, is it not rascaldom?
Similarly, these rascals are
thinking from his own point of
view. Because he cannot live
within the fire or within the water,
he’s thinking there is no life
within the fire. This is rascaldom.
To refute these rascals, Kṛṣṇa
says, nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ.
Even within the fire there are
living entities. Therefore Kṛṣṇa
says imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam [Bg.
4.1]. “I spoke first of all this
Bhagavad-gītā system to the

Now rascals will think that “How
there is a god or there is a
person in the sun planet?” They’ll
think like that. Everything from
his own angle of vision. This is
modern science. “I cannot think
of such thing. Therefore, there
cannot be any such thing.” Just
like everything should be within
my experience. This is going on.
They never admit that “What is
your experience?” You are
imperfect, your senses are
imperfect, how you can be
perfectly experienced? It is not
possible. Acintya. There are so
many inconceivable powers
acting on behalf of Kṛṣṇa. What
are you? You may cheat some
people that you have become
God. That is another thing. But
the inconceivable potency of
Kṛṣṇa, they are working
differently. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī
says that unless we accept this
principle that Kṛṣṇa or God has
got inconceivable power, acintya-
śakti, we cannot understand. If
we put Kṛṣṇa within the
jurisdiction of my limited
understanding, that is not
understanding of Kṛṣṇa.
Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid
yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. That
inconceivable power is also
within us. We do not know. So
many things are happening. The
example, as I gave many times,
that the one nail was taken off.
Still, it grew exactly to the size of
the nail. In my personal body, in
the nails. So the doctors cannot
make exactly fitting nail, but it is
growing exactly to the size. Even
it is inconceivable to me how it is
growing. Even my hair grows
inconceivable, I do not know. I
cut every week, and it still grows.
There are so many little
inconceivable power within me. I
am part and parcel of God. Just
imagine how much inconceivable
power is there in Kṛṣṇa. It is
common sense.

We understand from the śāstras
that Kṛṣṇa, as Garbhodakaśāyī
Viṣṇu, He created water within
this universe and lie down,
Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Now we
cannot conceive that how a
person can produce water from
the body like the sea and ocean.
But if you think over little soberly,
that sometimes we perspire, we
get perspiration. That is water. In
India, we have got special
experience during summer
season. Sometimes a small pot
can be filled up with the water
produced from my body like this,
put. Of course, one must be
healthy man. Then he’ll perspire
and water will come out from the
body. So I am limited. I am only a
small particle of Kṛṣṇa’s body,
part and parcel. If I have got this
power of producing water,
maybe one grain or two grain or
one ounce; Kṛṣṇa has got
unlimited power, why not a sea?
Where is the difficulty to
understand? He can produce
unlimited quantity of water which
may be known as ocean and sea.
Yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante.
Therefore, Vedas say that “From
whom all these five elements
have come into being?” And
Kṛṣṇa says,

bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ
mano buddhir eva ca ahaṅkāra
itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir

”That is my energy.” So
everything is Kṛṣṇa’s energy. He
can produce. Try to verify from
the example. Because you are
little sample of Kṛṣṇa. You can
study what you are doing, what
you are feeling, what you are
acting. The same thing in
unlimited quantity, Kṛṣṇa has got
the power. That’s all.

So here it is said, Arjuna might be
thinking that “Kṛṣṇa says this
body is different from the soul.
The soul is within. So now
suppose when I place my sword
on the body of my grandfather or
my kinsmen, the body will cut,
and, in the meantime, the soul is
within the body. It may be cut
because the soul is there. By
accidentally, he may be cut.”
Therefore Kṛṣṇa says very
distinctly; nainaṁ chindanti
śastrāṇi, that “Soul cannot be cut.
Any weapon. It cannot be pierced
by your arrows, it cannot be cut
into pieces by your sword, or if
you use firearms it will not burn.”
Nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ. This is
the position of soul. Immutable,
indestructible. Another… This is
the negative description of the
soul. Nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi.
Is there anything in this material
world which cannot be cut into
pieces? Have you got any
experience? Take wood, stone,
iron, or anything. It can be cut
into pieces. Therefore, the…,
when Kṛṣṇa says nainaṁ
chindanti śastrāṇi, that means it
is nothing like anything material
elements. It is different. It is
different. Any material elements.
There are earth, water, fire, air,
and ether. You can prepare
weapons from earth. Water, you
cannot do now. But there can be
a weapon from the water also.
That was used in the Battle of
Kurukṣetra. Here, the atomic
bomb is thrown, brahmāstra.
From the other side the watery
astra is thrown so that the energy
of the atomic bomb is
immediately finished. So what
the scientists know now?
Although they have
manufactured atomic bomb, but
they are unable to manufacture
another weapon counteraction of
atomic bomb. That is not
possible. But there is. Atomic
bomb is fiery, and if you
manufacture another bomb
which is watery, then you can
counteract. Because fight means I
charge you with some kind of
weapon. You have to protect
yourself by the counteraction.
That was going on. So nainaṁ
chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṁ dahati

So it is quite natural to
understand that if there is living
entity within the earth, within the
water, even in the air… That we
experience. In the air there are so
many living entities. In the water,
unvisible, not seen by the naked
eyes. By microscope, we can see
so many germs are there in the
water, in the air. So why not in
the fire? Fire is also one of the
material elements. Therefore, the
sun planet, although it is fiery
planet, there is inhabitation of
different type of human being
who may be called as demigods.
But there are similar buildings,
similar persons, cities, motorcars,
everything. Everything is there.
Otherwise, how Kṛṣṇa could go
there and says that imaṁ
vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham
avyayam [Bg. 4.1], unless it is
exactly a planet like this where
living entities, houses, roads, and
cars and everything is there? As
Kṛṣṇa advented Himself within
this planet, He came here, Kṛṣṇa
can go anywhere. Kṛṣṇa, when He
was present, He was going
anywhere. Sometimes within the
waters, sometimes within the
walls of the universe, sometimes
in the spiritual world. He went to
the spiritual world, taking Arjuna
with Him. Arjuna also went with
Him. And He saw the
Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu in the
spiritual world. These things are
there, described in the Śrīmad-
Bhāgavatam. He could go
anywhere. They were going to
the heavenly planets. That is
Kṛṣṇa. Not Guruji. (laughs) That
one slap, and he’s blind. Not like
that. Kṛṣṇa could go, Kṛṣṇa can
do… All, this is called omnipotent,
all-powerful. So unless we think
of Kṛṣṇa possessing
unconceivable power, we cannot
understand Kṛṣṇa.

Nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi
nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ. Another
study from this verse is that the
Māyāvāda philosophy, they say
that spirit is one. The Supreme
Spirit, impersonal. When the
spirit is embodied, it becomes
individual. This is their
philosophy. Otherwise, they give
the example… Just like there is
water on the sea. It is also
sustained on the earth. A big
mass of water. And on that water,
you can put one boat or ship full
of water. And on that boat, you
put another, a cup of water, and
in the cup of water, you put
another pot, a small cup or small
utensil or even the skin of a
grain, that will also contain. So
their philosophy is that the water
is one, but according to the pot
or container, it becomes small
and big. This is their philosophy.
And when the container is
broken, then the whole water
becomes one. This is their
philosophy. Now this nonsense
philosophy is refuted in this
verse. How? Now because spirit,
either you take whole spirit or
part spirit, nainaṁ chindanti
śastrāṇi. You cannot divide it by
cutting into pieces. That is not
possible. So their philosophy is
that the water has been put into
different pots, therefore we see
this small water, this smaller or
bigger, this division. But they are
all individual always. It is not that
it has been divided. Mamaivāṁśo
jīva-bhūtaḥ jīva-loke sanātanaḥ
[Bg. 15.7]. Sanātana. Sanātana
means eternally they are divided.
It is not that it has been divided
by some means. Just like we keep
water in big pot or small pot.
That is not possible. They are big
or small eternally. Viṣṇu-tattva,
jīva-tattva. The jīva-tattva, they
are small fragments. They are
eternal. Viṣṇu-tattva. Viṣṇu-tattva
means the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. Viṣṇu-tattva is
unlimitedly great eternally,
sanātana. And the jīva-tattva,
they are infinitesimally smaller
eternally. Not that it has been cut
into small and big. No.

So this Māyāvādī theory cannot
stand here if we accept the
Bhagavad-gītā’s statement.
Nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi. It is
not divided by some means. No.
It is already divided. It is already
divided. Neither the small piece
of soul or the big piece of soul
you can divide.

nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṁ
dahati pāvakaḥ na cainaṁ
kledayanty āpo na śoṣayati

Air… There are earth, water, fire,
air. So none of these material
things can act on the soul. It is
not that because air dries up
everything, anything… Big, big
ocean is dried up by evaporation.
Big, big river, big, big lakes are
evaporated, but soul cannot be
evaporated. Nainaṁ śoṣayati
mārutaḥ. This is the distinction.
The air can evaporate a big
ocean. Gradually, it is being
done. As the days will go on, the
sea water will be evaporated, and
at the end there will be no water.
These are the statements.
Towards destruction, there will be
no water. Just like now it is
already begun. There is scarcity
of water, no rainfall. So we see
that the lakes and rivers and
other water reservoirs, they are
becoming dried up.
Śyāmasundara, you were telling
that river? What is that lake?


PRABHUPĀDA: Drying up. So
there must be dry up and there
must be supply. Nature’s way.
That is the way. But in the, with
the advancement of Kali-yuga,
there will be scarcity of supply,
but the water will dry up
gradually. The result will be there
will be no water. As there will be
no water, everything, all living
entities, vegetation, living being,
everything will finish, will die. For
hundreds of years there will be
no water, and then when
everything is finished, dried up,
burned into ashes due to and the
sunshine, the glare of the
sunshine will be twelve times
increased and there will be no
water. How one can live? So
everything on this planet will be
finished. And then, being warmer,
warmer, there will be fire. In the
fire, all planets of the universe
will be burned into ashes. Then
there will be rainfall. Another. For
hundred years. So the whole
universe will be filled up with
water. Then it will be evaporated,
and the whole universe, cosmic
manifestation finished. This is
called annihilation. So in
Bhagavad-gītā there is a
statement that when everything
is annihilated, the spiritual world
is not annihilated. Na vinaśyasi.
So as the spiritual world does not
annihilate, similarly the soul, the
spirit, by any such disturbances,
the soul is never annihilated.
Avyayam indestructible,
immutable. So Kṛṣṇa is explaining
in different ways the nature of
the soul. We have to take it
seriously, then we get perfect

So, next verse you can…

”This individual soul is
unbreakable and insoluble, and
can be neither burned nor dried.
He is everlasting, all-pervading,
unchangeable, immovable and
eternally the same.”

So this is another way, negative
way. In the previous verse Kṛṣṇa
says: nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi.
And now, negatively or passively,
it is said that acchedyo ’yam. In
every way, Kṛṣṇa is suggesting
the immortality of the soul. There
are five elements: earth, water,
fire, air. So none of these
elements can act on the soul. You
can prepare sword, cutting sword
from earth, from metal, but it
does not mean that you can cut
anything material with your
sword. But you cannot cut the
spirit soul with your sword or
with your other material
weapons. Neither… Acchedyo
’yam adāhyaḥ. Neither you can
burn with fire, neither you can
moisten it with water, neither you
can dry. In every respect Kṛṣṇa
explains how soul is immutable.
Another significance is nityaḥ
sarva-gataḥ. Sarva-gataḥ means
all-pervading, everywhere the
soul is there. Even within the
stone, even within the sands,
there are. So how these people
can say there is no existence of
living entity in the moon planet?
Sarva-gataḥ. We have seen
sometimes that from the stone, I
have marked it. There is one
juma mastika(?) in Agra. On the
top of the stone dome a plant
has come out, on the top. Now
who has gone to place that seed
that a banyan tree, banyan plant
has come out and it has cracked
the stone? So nobody has gone
there, but this means the soul is
everywhere. As soon as it gets
the opportunity, it accepts a
material body immediately. As
soon as there is opportunity.

Just like you get visa for going to
a foreign country. As soon as the
visa period is over, the visa
department immediately reminds
you: “Sir, your visa is finished.
Now you must go. You must go
out.” So the whole, the puṇya-
loka, the higher planetary system,
svarga-loka, you can go there by
your pious activities, by
performing big, big yajñas,
puṇya, pious activities, go there.
But kṣīṇe puṇye martya-lokaṁ
viśanti [Bg. 9.21]. When your
puṇya, it is also limited thing,
when it is finished, you have to
come back. It is said that when
they come back on this planet
they come through the water,
showers, and they fall down on
this earth. Again they begin their
life as grass and something like
that, evolution. Kṣīṇe puṇye
martya-lokaṁ viśanti [Bg. 9.21].
Therefore this elevation to the
higher planetary system, Kṛṣṇa
condemns them. Ābrahma-
bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino
’rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. “My dear Arjuna,
even if you go to the higher
planetary system, Brahmaloka, to
live for many millions of years,
still when your asset of pious
activity will be finished, you’ll
have to come back here.” But He
again said, mad-dhāma gatvā
punar janma na vidyate, that “If
you try to come back to My
place, then you’ll not come back.”

So the karmīs, karma-kāṇḍīya,
they are trying to be elevated to
the heavenly planet, higher
planetary system. That is not very
good idea. You can go to the
higher planetary system by your
pious activities. First of all the
modern age, the people are so
much impious, sinful, that is not
also possible. They may go down.
Jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthā adho
gacchanti tāmasāḥ. They are
covered with ignorance. The
ignorance is wine, women, and
meat-eating. So they are going
down. There is no possibility of
going higher planetary system,
not possible. Who will go to the
higher planetary system?
Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ.
Ūrdhvam means higher. Only
those who are pious, they can be
elevated. So even if you are
pious, still you have to come back
again. This is the process. So
sarva-gataḥ. Sarva-gataḥ means
a soul is free to go anywhere,
anywhere. Full freedom, as he
wants. That is also explained in
the Bhagavad-gītā:

yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti
pitṛ-vratāḥ bhūtāni yānti
bhūtejyā yānti mad-yājino ’pi
mām [Bg. 9.25]

As you like. It is up to you. Make
your selection where you want to
be. You have, somehow or other,
you have come here. That’s all
right. But Kṛṣṇa gives you chance
to be elevated to any planetary
system you like. Ultimately, if you
want to go back to home, back to
Godhead, that is also given,
everything. Mad-yājino ’pi yānti
mām. So if you want to go to the
moon planet, there is no need of
the sputnik. There is a process so
that after this body you become
elevated to the moon planet.
Why should you make research
for, and futile research, going to
the moon? You just prepare
yourself. There are different
processes. If you want to go to
the moon planet, you can go. If
you want to go to the heavenly
planet, you can go. Similarly, if
you want to go to the planet
where Kṛṣṇa is, you can go. So
sane man, intelligent man, should
consider that “If I have to prepare
myself for going, for being
elevated to the higher planetary
system, but we have to come
back again, kṣīṇe puṇye martya-
loka, why not endeavor for going
back to Kṛṣṇaloka?” That is

Thank you very much.