Prabhupāda: Yes, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). The spirit soul, which is eternal, which is never lost, even by the annihilation of the body, we have to understand about that thing, that is spiritual knowledge. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā lesson. First to understand what you are: you are not this body. This is spiritual knowledge. When one understands thoroughly that, "I am not this body, I am spirit soul," then he is no more Hindu, Muhammadan or Christian or nothing. He's spirit soul, brahma-bhutaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54). That is called brahma-bhutaḥ. At that time, there is no such conception that "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am this," "I am that." Because he's not body. He's not body. That is pure understanding. And then spiritual knowledge begins. So long I shall think myself as Hindu, Muslim, Christian, there is no spiritual knowledge. That is material knowledge.
Ali: But this was just only a presentation of the . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes, presentation. We are everywhere in that platform. But we have to transcend this platform. Then we come to the spiritual platform. Then spiritual knowledge begins. And if we stick to this platform, then there is no spiritual knowledge. That is material knowledge, but try to understand spiritual knowledge. That is the position: to try to understand spiritual knowledge from material platform. But when you actually come to the spiritual platform, then spiritual knowledge is perfect. Just like another example, just like water. Theoretically you learn swimming. That is not swimming. You get into the water and practically learn swimming, then it is swimming. Theoretical knowledge, that you put yourself in the water, you move your hands like this, move your legs like this, that is good. But it will be . . . just like in the airplane before starting, they give so much instruction. It is going on really. But when actually the airplane is danger, that will be practical. Is it not? They are giving so much instruction; who cares for it? (laughter) They're talking and people are hearing. But when it will be practically demonstrated, that is real life. So spiritual knowledge, understanding theoretically, it is little good, but when it is done practically, then it is reality.
Ali: The way I look at it, it's better to talk about God than to talk about . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is good. One must be serious that, "We are talking about God, so what is my God realization?" That is nice. Otherwise, if I go on life after life talking about God and there is no God realization . . . that is going on.