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Our ignorance is so great that we accept this body, this dead body, as my father. This body is not only dead now, it was always dead. Because the living soul was there, within this dead body, it was moving

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"our ignorance is so great that we accept this body, this dead body, as my father. This body is not only dead now; it was always dead" |"Because the living soul was there within this dead body, it was moving"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Our ignorance is so great that we accept this body, this dead body, as my father. This body is not only dead now, it was always dead. Because the living soul was there, within this dead body, it was moving. This is the fact. Just like a nice motorcar is running. But when the driver is not there, the motor is lying there, idle. If one identifies with the motorcar, the driver of the car, that is foolishness.


Lecture on BG 2.17 -- Hyderabad, November 22, 1972:

Prabhupāda:

. . . sarvam idaṁ tatam
vināśam avyayasyāsya
na kaścit kartum arhati
(BG 2.17)

So the distinction between the living soul and the dead body—anyone can perceive. What is the distinction between a living body and the dead body? When a man is dead, he, his relatives cry, lament: "Oh, my father has gone," "My son has gone." But the father, as we have seen, he's lying on the floor. Where he has gone?

He's lying on the floor. Why you are crying, "Oh, my father has gone away"? That means the person who has gone away, who has left this body, you have not . . . never seen. You have seen this body. So the body is lying there, and why you are crying, "My father has gone away"?

So any intelligent man can understand that the real father, within the body, was a different thing. But our ignorance is so great that we accept this body, this dead body, as my father. This body is not only dead now; it was always dead.

Because the living soul was there within this dead body, it was moving. This is the fact. Just like a nice motorcar is running, but when the driver is not there, the motor is lying there, idle. If one identifies with the motorcar, the driver of the car, that is foolishness.

Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13). Anyone who is identifying this dead body, or this material body, which is a composition of tri-dhātuka, kapha-pitta-vāyu, some blood, flesh and some secretion, and some bones—if anyone identifies the self with this lump of matter, then he is described as no better than cow and ass.

yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
(SB 10.84.13)

So at the present moment especially . . . this ignorance is there always in the material world, that one is identifying this material body with the real self. The self, the soul, is different. It is not this material body. But our modern education, everything, advancement of knowledge, philosophy, everything on the basis of . . . on this wrong conception of life. So to give an, a glimpse of idea what is that soul, how it acts, here Kṛṣṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa, informs us:

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

So the soul, the presence of soul, is perceived by the consciousness. That consciousness . . . just like the presence of sun: even I was blind, I could understand the sun is there because the sunlight and heat, I am experiencing.