Dehī means the possessor of this body. I am not this body. If you ask me, "What..." Just like sometimes we ask the child, "What is this?" He will say, "It is my head." Similarly, if you ask me also, anyone, "What is this?" Anyone will say, "It is my head." Nobody will say, "I head." So if you scrutinizingly analyze all parts of the body, you'll say, "It is my head, my hand, my finger, my leg," but where is "I"? "My" is spoken when there is "I." But we have no information of the "I." We have simply information of "my." That is called ignorance. So the whole world is under this impression of taking the body as the self. Another example we can give you. Just like some of your relatives. Suppose my father has died. Now I am crying, "Oh, my father is gone. My father is gone." But if somebody says, "Why do you say your father is gone? He is lying here. Why you are crying?" "No, no, no, that is his body. That is his body. My father is gone." Therefore in our present calculation I am seeing your body, you are seeing my body, nobody is seeing the actual person. After death, he comes to sense: "Oh, it is not my father; it is my father's body." You see? So we become intelligent after death. And while we are living, we are in ignorance. This is the modern civilization.
The relative is lamenting, crying, "My father is gone." That means he never saw his father; he saw the body only. But at the time of death of his father he understands that this father is not this body; that is soul
- 1 Lectures
- 2 Conversations and Morning Walks
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
So Bhagavad-gītā begins with this point, that one should know that he is not this material body. That knowledge is lacking at the present moment throughout the whole world. Yes. Everyone is identifying with this body like the animals. Therefore Kṛṣṇa chastised Arjuna that "You have got animalistic concept of life and still speaking like a very learned scholar. No learned scholar laments on account of this body." It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). Dhīra... Dhīra means one who is sober by education. He is not disturbed. Just like when a man dies, his relatives lament, cry, "My father is gone. My father is gone. My father is no more," or "My son is no more." Anyway, they lament like that. But if he is little sober, he can understand, he can study, that "I am lamenting, 'My father is gone,' 'my son is gone,' but he's not gone. He's lying on the bed or on the floor. Then why I am speaking 'gone'?" If some friend asks him, "Why you are lamenting, 'my father is gone,' 'my son is gone'? He's lying here," but still he will say, "No, he's not. He may be lying there, but he's gone." That is puzzle. He's lying there and gone? What is this contradiction? That is the point to understand about the soul. The relative is lamenting, crying, "My father is gone." That means he never saw his father; he saw the body only. But at the time of death of his father he understands that this father is not this body; that is soul.
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.
...but the spirit is there. Just like if anyone, relative, dies, father dies—take for instance—he is crying, "My father is gone. My father is gone." "But where your father has gone? Your father is here, sleeping." "No no, he is gone." "But did you see how he has gone? Have you got the eyes? How he has gone? But you did not see. You always saw this material body, flesh." So as the spirit soul is not flesh, but you can understand that spirit soul has gone.
And the last defect is that my senses are imperfect. I cannot see properly, I cannot smell properly, I cannot touch properly. So many defects. Just for example I am seeing the sun everyday but I am seeing just like a disk. But it is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than the earth. So śāstra-cakṣusā. You must see through the śāstra, not with these eyes. Just like they say sometimes, "Can you show me God? Have you seen God?" Well, can you see God? You cannot see even the sun properly. How can you see God? Why you are proud of your eyes so much? If you cannot see even material object and you cannot see even the spirit soul...
You are seeing daily your father, and when your father dies you cry, "Oh, my father is gone." Well, your father is lying here. How do you say your father is gone? "No, father is gone." Then how it is gone? "Now he is dead." How he is dead? That means you are seeing your father so many years, but you did not see who is your father. Now he cries, "Now my father is gone." Where he is gone? He is there, lying on the floor. So just see our fault, how much defective our eyes. I am seeing the body of the father and I am thinking, "He is my father." Sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13), ass and cow, the seeing of the ass and cow. So in this way we are defective.
So these are the signs of becoming perfect man, that he does not commit mistake, neither he is illusioned. Illusion means to accept something as something. That is illusion. Just like we are accepting this body as myself. If you ask me, "What you are?" "I am Indian. I am brāhmaṇa. I am this. I am that." So what are these? These are all bodily concept of life. This is illusion. Illusion means I am not this body. You have got experience when a man dies, his relatives and children cry, "My father is gone." But actually the father, the sons who knew the body of the father as the father, that was illusion. Now, after death he is coming to understand that "My father is gone." Why? Your father is lyi... It is lying there—the same hand, legs, heads, coat, pant—everything is lying there. Why do you say that your father has gone away? That means the real father he has never seen. He has seen the illusion of his father. This is called illusion. Is there any doubt? I am seeing you. What I am seeing, you? I am seeing your body, your shirt, coat, pant. That's all. But as Kṛṣṇa said, that dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13), within this body the real person is there, just like within the shirt and coat the real person is there, so but the real person we never see. We see the shirt, coat, pant, and we take the shirt, coat, pant as this man. This is called illusion, to accept something for something else. The son did not know who is father. He is going on, calling the shirt, coat, pant of the father as "father." This is called illusion. To commit mistake and to become illusioned, and even if we try to become perfect, our senses are imperfect.
The other day I was speaking that a man's father has died and he is crying, "My father has gone away. So my father..." Your father is lying on the bed. The father which you have seen so long, life long, the body, that is on the bed. Why you are crying your father is gone? That means he has never seen his father, neither the father has seen the son. Everyone sees this body, but not the owner of the body. That is the defect of modern education, that everyone by contemplation can understand that "This finger is my finger, not 'I' finger." Still, he cannot understand that he is different from this body. That is to be understood. That is real knowledge.
Kṣetra-kṣetra-jñayor jñānam. One should have very clear knowledge that "I am not this body. This is my body." You are not this body; it is your body. You are spirit; I am spirit. We are different from this body. This is the first instruction given in the Bhagavad-gītā in the beginning.
This is illusion. Go-kharaḥ. Go-kharaḥ means animals: cows and asses. What is the fault of the animals? The animals, they cannot take nice instruction. They do not know that the soul is, they are spirit soul. They are not this body. They do not know. So this is called illusion. I am accepting this body as self. I am accepting my father or my son... "Here is my son." What is that? "This body." Now, when the son is dead, he is crying, "My son is gone. My son is gone. Oh, my son, were you have gone?" Well, why you are crying? Here is your son. Here is your son, lying on the floor. Why you are crying that "My son is gone, gone, gone"? "No, no, no. My son is gone." This is illusion. He was all along illusioned to accept this body as his son. But at the time of death, he can understand that "The body was not my son. The son was a different thing which was within the body." So this is conditional life. Everyone is thinking, "I am this body." Everyone is committing mistake. Illusion and mistake.
Therefore sun is described, yac-cakṣur eṣa savitā. Savitā means sun. Yac-cakṣuḥ. Savitā is that actually, the eyes. Yac-cakṣur eṣa savitā sakala-grahāṇām. Without sunshine, you cannot see, in any part of the universe, in any planet. So factually, the sun is supposed to be the eye of... One eye is the sun, another eye is the moon, of the Absolute, virāḍ-rūpa. So when He sees, then you can see. Without His seeing, you cannot see. We are very much proud, "Can you show me God?" "And what can you see, rascal? Unless God sees, you cannot see. Why you are so much proud of seeing, 'We have not seen, we have not seen'? And what you can see?" They are so rascal that these teeny eyes, they are proud of, they can see God. They can see this thing, they can see... But first of all understand what you can see, without seeing by the God. God sees by the sun. Then you can see. So your seeing power is so dependent, and you are so much proud that you can see. Just see how much the whole world is full of rascals! Do they not say, "We have not seen God"? And what you can see? You cannot see even yourself, and what you will see God? You are seeing your father and mother, and when they die, you are crying, "Oh, my father has gone." Where he has gone? He is lying here. Why do you say, "My father has gone?" "No, he has gone." What do you mean by gone? You have always seen the body of the father. That is lying here. Why do you say? That means you have never seen your father. You have never seen your brother.
This is very significant. Yantrārūḍhāni māyayā. We are riding on a machine. This body is a machine, but we are accepting machine as myself. This is called sammohita, bewildered. If you are running on a car, if you think, "I am the car," as it is foolishness, similarly, I have got this yantra, machine, body, and it is running on on account of my presence, or I am driving, or Kṛṣṇa is giving me intelligence how to drive, but if I identify myself with this body, exactly like a foolish man—he is driving the car, and if he identifies himself with the car, he is a foolish man—so this is called sammohita. Yayā sammohito jīva. Therefore the example, as I was citing last night, that we do not see the driver, and when the driver goes away, then we see that the car is not moving, and then I can understand, "Oh, the driver, my father, or my son, has gone away." We sometimes cry, "My father has gone away," or "My son has gone away," but because we are sammohita, we actually never saw the father or the son. We accepted this coat-pant body as father and son. This is called sammoha, bewildered.
So here it is said alakṣyam. Kṛṣṇa is not visible, God is not visible, but He is so kind that He has come before you, visible to your material eyes. Kṛṣṇa is not visible within this material world, material eyes. Just like Kṛṣṇa's part and parcel. We are Kṛṣṇa's part and parcel, all living entities, but we do not see each other. You cannot see me, I do not see you. "No, I see you." What you see? You see my body. Then, when the soul is gone from the body, why you are crying "My father is gone"? Why father is gone? Father is lying here. Then what you have seen? You have seen the dead body of your father, not your father. So if you cannot see the particle of Kṛṣṇa, the soul, how you can see Kṛṣṇa? Therefore śāstra says, ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). This blunt material eyes, he cannot see Kṛṣṇa, or cannot hear Kṛṣṇa's name, nāmādi. Nāma means name. Nāma means name, form, quality, pastime. These things cannot be understood by your material blunt eyes or senses. But if they are purified, sevonukhe hi jihvādau, if they are purified by the process of devotional service, you can see Kṛṣṇa at all times and everywhere. But for ordinary person, alakṣyam: not visible. Kṛṣṇa is everywhere, God is everywhere, aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham. So alakṣyam sarva-bhūtānām. Although Kṛṣṇa is outside and inside, both, still we cannot see Kṛṣṇa unless we have got the eyes to see Kṛṣṇa.
These rascals are accepting this body, "I am this body." And they are working for the bodily necessities of life. So that is being done by the lower animals, working day and night hard for the necessities of the body. That verse is here. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam. These rascals do not inquire also that "I am working so hard for this body, but this body cannot be protected. And when the body is dead, nobody can help." They are technologists. When the motor stops, they can again run on by supplying something which is wanting. Why not this technology?
That means they do not know what is the need of the body. When the body dies they cry simply like child, "My father has gone." Why your father has gone? It is lying there. Where he has gone? It is lying on the floor or on the bed. "No, my father has gone." He has not seen his father; he has seen the body. And now he says, "My father has gone." Body, you saw the father's body. The body is there. Why you are crying, "My father has gone"? He's lying there. This is called defeat. What you are seeing, his father or his son, that is lying there, but he does not know who is his father, who is his son. This is called defeat. Abodha-jātaḥ. He remains the same fool and rascal as he was born. A born rascal.
Suppose your wife or husband, you love, because the husband and wife is in the body, dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). So I love the body because the spirit soul is there. This is right conclusion. Otherwise who is going to love a dead body? Nobody. Now if wife's husband has died, son has died, he's crying. You can say that "Why you are crying?" "Oh, my son is gone, my husband is gone." "Nobody gone. It is lying here." "No, no, no. He's not." So after death we understand that this dead body is neither my husband nor my son. Late experience. But in the beginning there is no such experience. That is called illusion. He's understanding that this dead body is not neither my father, nor my husband, nor my son. He's different from. That is practical example. Otherwise why not take the dead body of your husband or son and keep it? No. That is not possible.
Unless we are advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we'll think, "What is this, a statue of stone? He is God?" Yes, He is God. Otherwise, why we are spending so much money, wasting time? No, here is God. But how you can see God? Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena (Bs. 5.38). You have to make the eyes to see God. Otherwise, God is everywhere. So they may ask that "If God is everywhere, why you are worshiping an idol?" He's not idol, He is God, but he is seeing idol. Unless he has developed love for God, he cannot see. But it is, God is there. But because our eyes cannot see the spirit, at the present moment, our dull material eyes... Just like you are spirit soul, I am spirit soul, your father is spirit soul, your mother is spirit soul—but are you seeing the spirit soul? When the spirit soul goes away, you're crying, "My father is gone, my father is gone." Why father is gone? He's lying on the bed. You have seen the coat, pants, hands, legs, that is there. Why you say gone? "No, he's gone." So we cannot see the spirit soul even of our father and mother; how can you see God, the Supreme Spirit? Therefore God comes before you just like stone, which you can see. It is to favor you. God is everything. So, in this way, we have to understand God, Kṛṣṇa. And if anyone understands, then he becomes immediately fit for going back to home, back to Godhead. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya. Janma karma ca me divyaṁ yo tattvataḥ (BG 4.9).
God is everywhere. Eko 'py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭim yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham (Bs. 5.35). God is everywhere. Even within the atoms. But we have no eyes. The part of God, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7). The little portion of God is there in you and me. The living force. But we cannot see that. So we haven't got eyes to see God. We cannot eyes to see my father, mother. We are seeing the body. When the father dies, we cry, "My father has gone." Where your father has gone? Here he's lying. But he has not seen ever who is his father. Therefore our present eyes are not fit to see spiritual thing. We are fit to see stone, wood, like that. Therefore Kṛṣṇa, out of His great kindness, He has appeared before you. You are thinking it is stone. It is not stone. Kṛṣṇa. But because you cannot see except stone, He appears like stone. This is called Deity worship. Kṛṣṇa is so kind that because you cannot see anything except stone and wood or something material...
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
The whole trouble in the world is misunderstanding. That's all. Under the spell of this material nature, we are simply misunderstanding. But when we come to the pure state... Just like mirror, when cleansed of all the dust we can see our face nicely, similarly, when the mind is cleared of all material dust then we can see what we are. In ignorance we identify with this body and bodily relationships. And in passion we are very much active for this bodily comfort. And in goodness we can see what we are. So in goodness we can see that "I am not this body." Of course, it is very common thing to understand that "I am not this body," the distinction between a dead man and living man. When a man is dead, the relatives cry, lament, "Oh, my son is gone," "My father is gone," "My wife is gone." But if we think, "Your wife is there lying. Your son is lying there. Why do you say he is gone?" Actually he is gone, but so long he does not go, we think this body as my son, as my daughter. This is ignorance. At the end we can understand, "Oh, this body is not my son," "This body is not my daughter," "This body is not my father," when the end is done. But still, even after that experience, we think that "This body is myself." This is called ignorance. Ahany ahani lokāni gacchanti yama-mandiram. In every moment, every second, we are seeing that body is this matter; the soul, when gone from the body, it has no value. Still, I am thinking that "I shall live in this world eternally, and I shall... Let me enjoy this bodily sense gratification." This is ignorance.
We don't manufacture knowledge, because how we can manufacture? Perfect knowledge means I must be perfect. But I am not perfect. Every one of us, when I was speaking, because... We are not perfect because in our conditional life we have got four defects. The first defect is that we commit mistake. Any one of us who are sitting here, nobody can vouchsafe that he has not committed any mistake in life. No, that is natural. "To err is human." In our country, even a personality like Mahātmā Gandhi, he committed so many mistakes. So to commit mistake is not unusual. It is usual for any man. Then again, one is illusioned. Illusioned means accepting something for something. Just like every one of us, we accept this body as ourself, but actually we are not, everyone. On this bodily concept of life the whole trouble is there in the whole trouble is there in the world. I am thinking "Indian"; you are thinking "American"; he is thinking "dog"; he is thinking "cat"; because on this bodily concept of life. So this is illusion because I am not this body, you are not this body. Because at the time of death we can understand the body is there, but my relative is crying, "Oh, my son is gone." "My father is gone." Where he is gone? The body is there. Where is your father gone? No. Then we can... After death we can understand that "My father or my son was not this body. He was something else." So this is called illusion.
Arrival Addresses and Talks
Generally, people do not understand what is spiritual platform. So as we can understand that we are combination of two things... Every one of us, living being, we are at the present moment combination of spirit and matter. Matter we can understand, but on account of our long association with the matter, we cannot understand what is that spirit. But we can imagine that there is something which distinguishes a dead body and living body. That we can understand. When a man is dead... Suppose my father is dead or somebody, a relative, is dead, we lament that "My father is no more. He has gone away." But where he has gone? The father is lying on the bed. Why do you say, "My father has gone away?" If somebody says that "Your father is lying sleeping on the bed. Why you are crying that your father has gone away? He has not gone. He is sleeping there...,"but that sleep is not this sleep, ordinary sleep as we have daily. That sleep means eternal sleep. So actually, we have no eyes to see who is my father. During the lifetime of my father I did not know who is my father; therefore when the actual father goes away, we cry that "My father is gone." So that is spirit. Who has gone away from that body, that is spirit soul; otherwise why he is speaking that "My father is gone"? The body is there.
Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: Does the self-realized soul experience the actions...?
Prabhupāda: Anyone can experience. The body is active so long the soul is there. It doesn't require much intelligence. Simply one can understand what is the difference between the dead body and the living body. Living body means there is the soul, and dead body means there is no more soul. Father dies; the son is crying, "Oh, my father has gone." "Oh, where your father has gone? He is lying on the bed. Don't you see?" "No, no, he is gone. He is now..." So that means I never saw my father, I saw his body only. Now I realize, "My father has gone." That is my ignorance. I do not know who is my father; I do not know who is my son. But on this false understanding we are going on. When the father dies or the son dies, we cry, "Oh, my son is gone," "My father is gone." "And where is your father gone? He is lying on the bed." "No, no, he is gone." And then we realize. It is very difficult to understand? Simple thing.
So if we understand this fact... It is not "I believe," "I think," "Perhaps." No "perhaps," no "thinking," no "believing." It is a fact that I am not this body. Everyone can understand. A man has died, his sons family members crying, "Oh, my father has gone, my father has gone!" Where has your father gone? Here is your father lying down. Why you are crying your father has gone? "No, my father is gone." So that means he never saw his father. He saw the coat-pant of the father, and now it is not moving. The coat-pant is there, but still he says, "My father is gone." This is our misunderstanding. Your father is not this body. The spirit soul which moved the father so long, and you accepted the coat-pant or the body as father, that is your misunderstanding. Father is not this coat-pant or the body. Father is within.
- dehino 'smin yathā dehe
- kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir
- dhīras tatra na muhyati
- (BG 2.13)
This is the first education of Bhagavad-gītā, that within this body the living entity is there. The living entity is there, but the body is changing. The child is becoming boy, the boy is becoming young man, the young man is becoming middle-aged man, middle-aged man becoming old man. The body is changing.
Prabhupāda: That further means when you come to the conclusion that "I am spirit soul." If you can understand this, then it is scientific. If you remain in ignorance, that "I am this body," that is not scientific. Actually, I am not this body. Everyone can understand. Just like a dead man. Suppose some of your relatives has died. You are crying, "Oh, my friend has gone. My friend has gone." Your friend is lying there. Why you say that "My friend has gone"? What is the answer? If I say... The dead body, you are crying, "Oh, my relative has gone. My father is gone." I say, "Where he has gone? He is there. Why you are crying?" Then what will be your answer?
Indian guest: No, I mean that that is the ultimate scheme for...
Prabhupāda: But that you understand, that that... What is that? What is that? You have never seen your father or friend. You have seen this body. Now you are crying, "Now he has gone." Where he has gone? You have seen the body all along. That is lying here. Why you say he has gone? What is your answer? This is ignorance. All along I am seeing the false thing: "He is my father; I am the body." But he's not my father. Actually, when father, my, goes away from this body, I cry, "Oh, my father has gone." Where he has gone? His, the body is there. This is ignorance. It is not scientific. Because I'm thinking, "I am this body," this is not scientific. This is ignorance.
You have got your body; I have got my body. So within this body, there is the proprietor of the body. Asmin dehe. Dehinaḥ asmin. Dehe means the proprietor of the body. I do not see you; I see your body, you see my body. But within the body the proprietor is lying, or he is situated. That we do not see. But we can understand. Suppose my beloved father is dead or somebody is dead. I cry, "My father is gone." So where is your father gone? He is lying there, unconscious. He may come to consciousness. But we say, "No, he is gone." Dead means gone. So factually I never saw my father who has gone. I saw the body of my father, and that is lying on the bed. Why I am crying, "My father is gone"? Therefore this is called ignorance. We do not see the real father within the body, or we do not see the real son within the body. We see the outward dress only. This is ignorance.
So we are preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement on the platform of the spirit soul, which we do not see with these material eyes. This is great ignorance. After death we cry that "My father is gone," "My son is gone." But where he has gone? He is lying on the bed. Now, even still, we do not come to the understanding what is the difference between the living body and the dead body.
Devotee: In the Bible they say that the animals don't have soul; therefore it's not the same as killing.
Prabhupāda: I do not know whether it is said. (break) ...expert in calling Bible, but where it is said, he does not know. He is so expert in Bible (laughter) How do you know? Now, apart from Bible or any scripture, how do you find that the animal has no soul? How do you consider it? What is the symptom of having soul? That is very easy, but you do not know. When the soul is gone from the body, it does not move. And when the soul is there, it moves. This is the understanding of soul. So do you think the animal does not move? The animal has no blood? The animal has no bone? How do you say that animal has no soul? This is foolishness. The soul is there. Even one small ant, there is soul. Otherwise how it is moving? So long the soul is there, the dull material body is moving. And as soon as the soul is gone, you will cry, "My father has gone away." Why your father gone? It is lying there. Why do you say, "My father has gone away"? This is ignorance. We do not know what is soul. We see the body. So long I have seen the body of my father. Now the soul has gone. I am crying, "My father has gone away." But did you see your father? "Yes, that body." The body is there. Why you are crying? So it is very common sense affair to understand where there is soul. A big stone, a big mountain, it cannot move although it is so big. And a small ant is moving. Why? There is soul. So how can you say the animals have no soul? This is ignorance.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1968 Conversations and Morning Walks
So in the third stage, if you follow the regulative principle and chant with some prescribed number, numerical strength, then your all misgivings will be over automatically. What are these misgivings? The first misgiving is that I am this body. Everyone is under the concept of this body. This is... I am not this body. That is a fact. But body is changing. There are many examples. One of the example is a very common example. Suppose a man is dead. Now everybody is crying, and if we ask "Why you are crying?" "Oh, my son is dead." I can say, "Your son is lying here. Why you are saying that he is dead?" "No, no. He is dead. He is gone. His body is lying." Therefore he is different from the body. Immediately you can understand. You say, "No, he is gone. His body is lying." Don't you say at that time? So you understand at the time of death that the man was different from the body. But during this lifetime, I was taking care of his body only. Why did I take care of he? Because I did not know him. You see? This is a misgiving.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Woman: I have just one more question, and that is also from an outsider's point of view. It appears to me that one of the most difficult aspects of Kṛṣṇa consciousness for someone to accept who's been brought up outside of that point of view is the Deities and the idea that they represent Kṛṣṇa. Could you talk a little bit about that?
Prabhupāda: Yes. At the present moment, because you are not trained up to see Kṛṣṇa, so Kṛṣṇa kindly appears before you as you can see. You can see wood, stone. You cannot see what is spirit. Even you don't see yourself. You are thinking, "I am this body." But you are spirit soul. You are seeing your father and mother daily, and when the father or mother dies, you cry. Why you are crying? "Now my father has gone." Where is your father gone? He is lying here. Why do you say he is gone? What is that thing which is gone? Why you say, "My father is gone," although lying on the bed? You have seen daily your father. Now you say, "My father is gone." So... But he is lying on the bed. So who has gone? What is your answer?
Woman: Where is God?
Jayatīrtha: Who has gone? If you see your dead father and you say that he is passed away, what has passed away?
Prabhupāda: Who is that father?
Woman: Only this material body is gone.
Prabhupāda: Material body is there, lying on the bed.
Ravīndra-svarūpa: His body is there. And you say, "My father is gone." So what is gone?
Woman: Well, his spirit is still...
Prabhupāda: But have you seen that spirit?
Prabhupāda: Therefore you cannot see the spirit, and God is Supreme Spirit. Therefore, to show kindness upon you, He has appeared just like wood and stone so that you can see.
Woman: Oh, I see.
Bahulāśva: Śrīla Prabhupāda, how should they set out to prove it, though? We've proved it by giving scriptural evidence. But how should a scientist do it?
Prabhupāda: No, we prove it as a living and dead man, we give that proof. What is the difference between this dead man and living man? What is losing? What is missing? This is the proof. If... I so many times spoken that son is crying, "My father is gone, my father." "Where is your father gone? He is lying here. So what is gone? You have not seen it." This is the proof. Why do you cry, "Father is gone"? Father is lying here. Why do you say, "gone"? So that means what is gone, you have never seen it. Now you perceive, "Yes, something was there. Now he is gone." This is the proof.
Bahulāśva: So our statements are also backed up by observation. The Gītā's statements are also backed up by observation.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Science means observation and experiment. That is science.
All rascal, rogues. And why they have become rascal, rogues? For want of God consciousness. They do not know that it is God's property, falsely thinking, "My property." And today I am thinking, "My property," and next day I become a dog on the same property. Hm? This dog loitering, who can say he was not formerly a Mr. Smuts? Who can say? Maybe he was Smuts; now he is dog. How can you take him? This is nature's process. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). After death you'll have to accept another body. Now who can guarantee that General Smuts did not accept a dog's body? Who can guarantee? Where is the science? You think that he is dead and gone, but Kṛṣṇa does not say like that. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ. Now what kind of body he has got? Where is the scientist to ascertain that "Mr., General Smuts has got now this body. He is living here"? Where is the science? You simply see like a fool and rascal, "My father is gone." Where your father gone? Where did he live so long? Why did you not see him? Where is the science? He is simply crying like a child, "My father is gone." Where he has gone? Find him out. And what he was? Why did you not see so long? This is their knowledge.
Reporter: Yes. What are your views of the country? What do you think of it?
Prabhupāda: Every country is all right. I don't find any fault. But only difficulty is that all over the world the civilization is being misdirected.
Prabhupāda: Misdirected. They are not taking importance of the right thing. Just like we are in this body. Now, when the body is dead, we cry that "My father is gone away. My son is gone away." But if I reply that "Your father is lying on the bed. Why you're crying that your father has gone away?" what will be the reply? The father whom the son has seen since his birth, that body in the coat and pant, so that coat-pant and body is there on the bed, and why the son is crying, "My father has gone away"? What is the reply? What should be the reply?
Reporter: Well, I know what I would reply. I don't know what you would reply.
Prabhupāda: No, I want what is your reply.
Reporter: My reply would be that he hasn't gone, that he's gone to God.
Prabhupāda: He...? He has not seen his father. That is my reply. Now, the person whom he accepted as his father, he is lying there on the bed. And now he is crying that "My father has gone." That means he has not seen his father. So this is going on. The whole world movement is on the basic principle of that living force which makes the body so important. Either a politician or a philosopher or a scientist, so long the living force is there, the body is important. And as such, the living force is gone, then it is simply a lump of matter. So we are taking care of this lump of matter, not of the living force. This is the mistake of the whole civilization. We do not know what is that living force. There is no scientist, there is no philosopher, nothing of the sort. Simply as child we cry, "Oh, my father has gone away. My father has gone." Why did you not see who is your father or who is your son? Where is that education? Where is that enlightenment? Where is that university? Therefore I say the whole civilization is being misdirected. They do not know what is the important factor in civilization.
Harikeśa: Why do people use spiritual things for material enjoyment when material enjoyment is available by itself?
Prabhupāda: That is another foolishness. It looks like material; it is not material. Completely spiritual. Your body is moving on spiritual strength, but you have no eyes to see spiritual strength. You see the body. And when the spirit goes away, you cry, "My father has gone away." "Why my father has"...? "Your father is there. The body is there." So you have no spiritual vision: therefore you are thinking that gopīs' līlā with Kṛṣṇa is also material. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍha (BG 9.11). This is mūḍha's business. They are thinking spiritual activities of Kṛṣṇa as material. That is avajānanti. Paraṁ bhāvam ajānantaḥ. Paraṁ bhāvam, the spiritual activities, they do not know. Therefore it is forbidden for materialistic person to hear about gopīs' pastimes with Kṛṣṇa. It is forbidden, that's all, because the rascal will take it as material. (break) ... Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī and other Gosvāmīs, they left everything in the material world. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tuccha... They gave up everything. Bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna, gopī-bhāvāmṛta... Then, in Vṛndāvana, they were thinking of the gopīs' līlā. So after giving up all these things, again they were thinking of material things? Gopī-bhāvāmṛtābdhi-lahari-kallola-magnau. So they were thinking of gopīs' pastimes with Kṛṣṇa. So after giving up everything material, again material?
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Brian Singer: How do you awake that consciousness?
Prabhupāda: Then.... Therefore the books are there. The first of all, you have to understand, "Whether I am this body or I am different from body?" This is the first instruction. If you are.... If you are human being, we should analyze the body. We are now scientist, chemist, physicist. Analyze the body. What is the difference between dead body and living body? The dead body is there. The son is crying, "My father is gone." Where your father is gone? He is lying on the bed. Why you say that "Father is gone"? Hm? What is the answer. The father is lying on the bed, the same coat, pant, and bedding, and everything is there. Why you say that "My father is gone"? Where he is gone? He is lying there. Why do you say he is gone?
Brian Singer: We normally say he's dead.
Prabhupāda: No, no, death.... What is the distinction between death and life? You are now dressing with these coat, pants, and this same body, same hair. Now, something will be minus—you'll be called dead. What is that something? That you do not know. Eh?
Brian Singer: The "you."
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Devotee (2): Yes, the person.
Brian Singer: The person.
Prabhupāda: Person. But the person you have never seen. You have never seen. I am seeing you: I am seeing your body, hat, coat, pant, hair. That's all. And dead body also, I will see the same thing. But I say, "Now the person is gone." Then but you have never seen the person. Now you say the person is gone, but before that, you were never interested with the person; you were interested with this body, coat, pant, hair, and that's all. That's all. That is ignorance.