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So we should understand that we have got a separate business, real business. That is called self-realization, that "I am not this body." This is self-realization. That is being instructed by Krsna in the beginning, that "You are not this body"

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"So we should understand that we have got a separate business, real business"

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

So we should understand that we have got a separate business, real business. That is called self-realization, that "I am not this body." This is self-realization. That is being instructed by Kṛṣṇa in the beginning, that "You are not this body." The first understanding, first knowledge, is to understand that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul. I have got a different business."
Lecture on BG 2.14 -- Germany, June 21, 1974:

Here in the Western country, big, big professor, they are also under the same impression, that when the body is finished, everything is finished. No. That is not. Therefore that is the beginning of instruction. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā (BG 2.13). You are changing different bodies. By finishing the body, you are not finished. You are not finished. We can understand with little thinking that in this body I am..., even in this life. At night I get another body. I dream. I dream there is tiger. I go to the forest, and there is a tiger, and it is coming to kill me. Then I am crying, and actually I am crying. Or, in other way, I have gone to some beloved, man and woman. We are embracing, but the bodily action is going on. Otherwise why I am crying? And why there is discharge of semina? So people do not know that I am leaving this gross body, but I am entering into subtle body. Subtle body is there, not question of inside. We are packed up. Just like this body is packed up with shirt and coat, so the coat is the gross body, and the shirt is the subtle body. So when this gross body is resting, the subtle body is working. The subtle body is there. The foolish men, they cannot understand that "I am compact in some body, either subtle body or gross body." One who is too sinful, very much sinful, he does not get the gross body. He remains in the subtle body, and that is called ghost. You have heard. Some of you might have seen. There is ghost. Ghost means he doesn't get. He is so sinful that he is condemned to remain in the subtle body. He does not get the gross body. Therefore, according to Vedic system, there is śrāddha ceremony. If the father or relative has not gotten the gross body, by that ceremony he is allowed to accept a gross body. That is the Vedic system.

So anyway, we can understand that "I am sometimes in this gross body, and I am sometimes in the subtle body. So I am there, either in the gross body or in the subtle body. So I am eternal. But when I work with the subtle body, I forget this gross body. And when I work with this gross body, I forget this subtle body. So either I accept the gross body or subtle body, I am eternal. I am eternal. Now the problem is how to avoid this gross body and subtle body. That is problem. That means when you remain in your original body, means spiritual body, and do not come to this gross or subtle body, that is your eternal life. That is... We have to achieve. This human life is a gift by the nature or by God. Now you realize that you are changing your different condition, distress and happiness, being forced to accept some kind of gross and subtle body. That is the cause of your pains and pleasure. And if you get out of this gross and subtle body, remain in your original, spiritual body, then you are free from these pains and pleasure. That is called mukti. Mukti. There is a Sanskrit word. Mukti means liberation, no more gross body, no more subtle body. But you remain in your own original spiritual body. This is called mukti. Mukti means... It is described in the Bhāgavatam, muktir hitvā anyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. That is called mukti. Anyathā rūpam. Anyathā rūpam means in otherwise, staying or living in otherwise. Otherwise means that I am spirit soul. I have got spiritual body. But some way or other, circumstantially, on account of my desire, I get sometimes human body and sometimes dog's body, sometimes cat's body, sometimes tree's body, sometimes demigod's body. There are different, 8,400,000 different forms of body. So I am changing according to my desire. And according to my infection, kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgaḥ asya, and according to my... These are the subtle things. That is the real knowledge of human being, not to invent something for temporary happiness. That is foolishness. That is foolishness, wasting time. If we invent something for the comforts of this present body and I shall live very comfortably, but "You will not be allowed, sir, to live comfortably." First of all you know it. Suppose a man is constructing very nice house, very strong house. It will never fall down in any circumstances. But that's all right, but what you have done for yourself that you will never die so that you will enjoy this? "No. Let it be. Let me have a very strong-built house." So house remains. You go there. Strong-built nation. Just like Napoleon constructed strong-built arches, but where he has gone, nobody knows. So therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, sings, jaḍa-bidyā jato māyāra vaibhava tomāra bhajane bādhā. The more we advance in so-called material happiness or material advancement, the more we forget our real identity. This is the result.

So we should understand that we have got a separate business, real business. That is called self-realization, that "I am not this body." This is self-realization. That is being instructed by Kṛṣṇa in the beginning, that "You are not this body." The first understanding, first knowledge, is to understand that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul. I have got a different business." It is not that this temporary actions or activities like as a dog, or as a human being, or as a tiger or as a tree or as a fish, there are activities. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca. The same principle of bodily necessities. Eating, sleeping, sex life and defense. But in the human form of life, I have got a separate business, self-realization, to get out of this bodily entanglement. And that is called knowledge. Without this knowledge, anything we are advancing in knowledge, that is foolishness, that's all. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). Śrama eva hi kevalam. Śrama eva hi kevalam means simply working uselessly and wasting time. You cannot check the nature's law. Suppose in this life you are very big leader, prime minister, and everything. That's all right, but according to your mentality, you are creating next life. So in this life you remain a prime minister, and in next life you become a dog. Then where is the benefit? There is not... Therefore these atheist fools, they want to deny next life. That is very horrible for them. That is very horrible to them. If they accept next life... They know their life is very sinful. Then what life they are going to get by the laws of nature? When they think of it, they shudder. "Better deny it. Better deny it." Just like a rabbit. Enemy is in his front, and he is going to die, but the thinks, "Let me close my eyes. I am out of danger." This is atheistic view, that they are trying to forget that there is... Therefore they deny, "There is no life." Why not? Kṛṣṇa says that "You had a childhood body. You had a baby... Now you have... Where is that body? You have left that. You are in different body. Similarly, this body you'll change. You will get another body." And who says? Kṛṣṇa says. The most superior authority, he says. I may not understand, but when He says... This is the process of our knowledge. We accept knowledge from the perfect person. I may be fool, but the knowledge received from the perfect person is perfect. This is our process. We don't try to speculate. That may or may not be successful, but if you accept knowledge from the perfect authority, that knowledge is perfect. Just like we are speculating, "Who is my father?" You can speculate who is your father, but that speculation will not help you. You will never understand who is your father. But you go to your mother, the supreme authority. She'll immediately, "Here is your father." That's all. And you cannot know father in any other way. There is no other way. This is practical. You cannot know your father without the authoritative statement of your mother. Similarly, things which are beyond your perception, avan mānasa-gocara, you cannot think of, you cannot speak of. Sometimes they say, "God cannot be spoken. God cannot be thought of." That is all right. But if God Himself comes before you and says, "Here I am," then where is the difficulty? Where is the difficulty? I am imperfect. I cannot know. That's all right. But if God Himself comes before me...

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to know everything perfectly from the supreme authority, Kṛṣṇa. This is the process. Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). In order to understand subject matter which is beyond our perception, you have to approach such authority who can inform you. Exactly in the same way: to understand who is my father is beyond my perception, beyond my speculation, but if I accept the authoritative statement of my mother, this is perfect knowledge. So there are three kinds of processes to understand or to advance in knowledge. One is direct perception, pratyakṣa. And the other is authority, and the other is śruti. Śruti means by hearing from the Supreme. So our process is śruti. Śruti means we hear from the highest authority. That is our process, and that is very easy. Highest authority, if He is not in default... Ordinary persons, they are in default. They have got imperfection. The first imperfection is: the ordinary man, they commit mistake. Any great man of the world, you have seen, they commit mistake. And they are illusioned. They accept something as reality which is not reality. Just like we accept this body as reality. This is called illusion. But it is not reality. "I am soul." That is reality. So this is called illusion. And then, with this illusory knowledge, imperfect knowledge, we become teacher. That is another cheating. If you have not... They say, all these scientists and philosophers, "Perhaps," "It may be." So where is your knowledge? "It may be" and "perhaps." Why you are taking the post of a teacher? "In future we shall understand." And what is this future? Would you accept a post-dated check? "In future I shall discover, and therefore I am scientist." What is this scientist? And, above all, our imperfectness of senses. Just like we are seeing one another because there is light. If there is no light, then what is the power of my seeing? But these rascals they do not understand that they are always defective, and still, they are writing books of knowledge. What is your knowledge? We must take knowledge from the perfect person.