When we accept knowledge from Krsna, the supreme authority, 
we avoid erroneous conclusions about the nature of the soul.

A lecture in London on August 31, 1973 

dehi nityam avadhyo 'yam
dehe sarvasya bharata
tasmat sarvani bhutani
na tvam socitum arhasi

The Force of Life

"O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any living being." (Bhagavad-gita 2.30)

In this section of the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna is explaining in so many ways that the living entity within the body is eternal, indestructible, immutable. It does not take birth, it does not die, it is always the same.

Here Krsna says, dehi nityam avadhyo 'yam dehe sarvasya bharata: "Nobody can kill the soul. who dwells in all bodies." This is very important. It is not that the soul is simply in the human body and not in other bodies. That theory is rascaldom. Krsna says, dehe sarvasya, "in every body." Even within the ant, even within the elephant, even within the gigantic banyan tree and the microbe, the soul is there.

Some rascals say animals have no soul. This is wrong. How can they say animals have no soul? Here is the authoritative statement by Krsna: dehe sarvasya. "The soul is in every body." And in another place [Bhagavad-gita 14.4] Krsna says, sarva-yonisu kaunteya murtayah sambhavanti yah: "Of all the embodied beings who appear in all the species of life." tasam brahma mahad yonir: "the source of their bodies is this material nature." And aham bija-pradah pita: "I am the seed-giving father." Without both a father and a mother, there is no offspring. So the universal father is Krsna, and the mother is either the material nature or the spiritual nature.

There are two natures: the material nature and the spiritual nature, or the inferior nature and the superior nature. (This is explained in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita.) So, although both the spiritual nature and the material nature come from the same source, the Absolute Truth, still one is superior and one is inferior. What is the difference between the inferior and the superior natures? In the inferior nature, the material nature. God consciousness is almost nil. Persons in the mode of goodness have a little God consciousness, those in the mode of passion have less, and those in the mode of ignorance have no God consciousness. It is completely absent.

Therefore, although this material body comes from the same source as the soul, still it is inferior. And although by nature the soul is superior to the material nature, still, because he is encaged within a body made of the material nature, he forgets Krsna. This is the problem.

So those who are not rascals, those who are intelligent and in complete knowledge, do not make any spiritual distinction between a human being and an animal. As Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita [5.18],

brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah

"A learned person knows that the spirit soul is present in every body within the first-class learned brahmana, the cow, the elephant, the dog, and the lowest kind of human being." The soul is present everywhere. It is not that simply in the human beings and the demigods there is a soul but the poor animals have no soul. No, everyone has a soul dehe sarvasya bharata.

So, what shall we accept the statement of Krsna, or the statement of some rascal philosopher or so-called religionist? We have to accept the statement of Krsna, the supreme authority, the supreme being. And in many places in the Bhagavad-gita Krsna says the soul is present in every body. Therefore those who are learned do not say that the animals have no soul.

Now, another point Krsna is stressing here is that the soul is eternal, that it cannot be killed. "Therefore," Krsna tells Arjuna. "it is your duty to fight. The bodies of your friends and relatives may be destroyed, but even after the destruction of the body, the soul exists. He will get another body, that's all (tatha dehantara-praptih)."

It is not that anyone can engage in killing others whimsically, however. As will be explained in the next verse, a ksatriya [warrior] can kill his enemies only when he is in a religious fight. His cause must be right; then the fighting is good. When a ksatriya kills his enemies in a religious fight, he's not sinful. Thus Krsna tells Arjuna, "Do your duty. Don't worry that you are killing your kinsmen and grandfather. Take it from Me that you cannot kill the soul: he's eternal."

Now, another important point you should note is that in every living entity, the body grows on the platform of the spirit soul. The body may be very gigantic or very small: it doesn't matter. But it grows on the platform of spirit. It is not that a spirit soul, or living force, comes into existence due to the combination of material elements. No. Matter is dependent on spirit (yayedam dharyate jagat), and therefore matter is inferior to spirit.

There are two kinds of spirit: atma and Paramatma, isvara and Paramesvara. The gigantic universe is resting on spirit either the Supreme Spirit. Krsna. or the small spirit, the living entity. As Krsna explains [Bhagavad-gita 7.5],

apareyam itas tv anyam
prakrtim viddhi me param
jiva-bhutam maha-baho
yayedam dharyate jagat

"Besides the inferior, material energy, there are the living entities, who are sustaining the material universe."

Why are the gigantic planets floating weightless in the sky? Krsna says. gam avisya … dharayamy aham ojasa: "I sustain the planets by My energy." Just try to understand: A 747 airplane with five or six hundred passengers flies in the sky without any difficulty. Why? Because the pilot is there. Don't think that it is because of the gigantic machine. No. It is because the pilot is there. The machine is also there, but the flying is dependent not on any mechanical arrangement but on the pilot If the pilot were not there, the whole machine would immediately fall down. Similarly, Krsna enters into all the gigantic planets and sustains them in outer space.

Without Krsna's entering into matter, nothing can work. Within the shell of the universe He is present as Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and therefore the universe exists. And within the body of everyone He is present as Paramatma, the Supersoul. He is not only within the body of all living entities, but also within the atom: andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham. The scientists are now studying the atom dividing, dividing, dividing. But they are having difficulty in coming to any conclusion because they cannot find God, or Krsna, in the atom in His form as the Supersoul.

So, without Krsna's presence, nothing can exist. Therefore one who is advanced in Krsna consciousness sees only Krsna everywhere, not the outward covering. In the Caitanya-caritamrta [Madhya 8.274] it is said, sthavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti/ sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti. There are two kinds of entities, the moving and the nonmoving. (Sthavara means "nonmoving," and jangama means "moving.") A pure devotee of Krsna sees both these kinds of entities, but he does not exactly see their forms. Rather, he sees Krsna, because he knows that within the moving entities is the living force, which is Krsna's energy, and that inert matter is also Krsna's energy. So, in everything he sees only Krsna. The Brahma-samhita [5.38] states, premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti: "The devotee whose eyes are anointed with the salve of love of Krsna always sees Him within his heart."

Sometimes people inquire, "Have you seen God?" The answer is that one who is actually an advanced devotee is simply seeing Krsna and nothing else, within and without. The more advanced you are in Krsna consciousness, the more you'll see simply Krsna. And if you become practiced to see Krsna always, then at the time of death you'll think of Him and go back to Godhead. That is Krsna's instruction: man-mana."Always think of Me."

Now, who can think of Krsna always? Only a devotee can think of Krsna always. Is it a very difficult task? You are seeing Krsna in the temple, chanting Krsna's name, engaging in Krsna's service. Nothing but Krsna, Krsna, Krsna, Krsna. And this twenty-four-hour engagement in Krsna consciousness means you are becoming practiced to see Krsna always. This is the purpose of the Krsna consciousness movement to train people so that they cannot forget Krsna even for a moment. And that is Krsna's instruction in Bhagavad-gita [9.34]: man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. "Think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me, offer obeisances unto Me."

When you see the Deity in the temple, you get the impression within your mind, and when you are out of the temple you can see the Deity within your heart if you have developed love for Krsna. Otherwise, if you only officially come to the temple, as soon as you leave you think, "Oh, it is a botheration: let me forget it." That is another thing.

The process of Krsna consciousness is meant for developing love for Krsna. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje: "The first-class religious system enables one to develop love for Krsna." So Krsna consciousness is the first-class, topmost religious system because it is educating people to always think of Krsna, the Supreme Lord, and to love Him. We cannot think of anyone always unless we love him. Suppose a boy and a girl are in love. Then each of them will always think of the other: "Oh, when shall we meet again, when shall we meet again?" Similarly, you can always think of Krsna if you have developed your love for Him. And by devotional service you can develop your love for Krsna. That is required.

So, even in the lower stages of animal life, Krsna is in the heart. As He says here, dehe sarvasya bharata. In another place (Bhagavad-gita 13.3) He says, ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi sarva-ksetresu bharata.The individual soul ksetrajna, the owner of the body. but there is another ksetrajna, another owner, and that is Krsna. As the individual soul is within the body, similarly the Supersoul, Krsna, is also there. So Krsna is the owner of all bodies.

Sometimes rascals accuse Krsna: "Why did He dance with others' wives?" But He is actually the proprietor of everyone. We are not the proprietor; He is the proprietor. So if the proprietor dances with His maidservants or devotees, what is wrong there? The individual soul is in every body, but the Supersoul is the real proprietor of the body. Lord Krsna says that bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram. "Iam the enjoyer and proprietor of everything" [Bhagavad-gita 5.29]. He is mahesvaram, the supreme proprietor, and also suhrdam sarva-bhutanam, the actual friend of everyone. If you have some lover, you think you are his friend, but actually you are not his friend. His actual friend is Krsna.

So if the gopis dance with their real friend, what is wrong there? But the rascals, those who do not know Krsna, say He is immoral. He is not immoral. He is doing the right thing, because Krsna is the real husband of every woman. He married 16,108 wives. Why only 16,108? If He has married sixteen billion trillion wives there would have been nothing wrong since He is every woman's real husband.

Still, those who do not know Krsna, the rascals, accuse Him of being an immoral woman-hunter. They take pleasure in painting pictures of Krsna's affairs with the gopis. But they do not paint pictures of Him killing Kamsa and other demons. These pastimes they do not like. This attitude is called sahajiya. The business of the sahajiyas, is debauchery, which they try to justify by citing Krsna's pastimes: "Krsna danced with thegopis. Krsna was immoral, so we can also be immoral. We are great devotees of Krsna because we are immoral." This is going on.

Therefore, to understand Krsna one requires a little better intelligence. Krsna says [Bhagavad-gita 7.19].

bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti
sa mahatma su-durlabhah

"After many births one may become jnanavan." Jnanavan means "one who possesses first-class intelligence." Then? Mam prapadyate: "He surrenders unto Me." Why? Vasudevah sarvam iti: "He understands that Vasudeva, Krsna, is everything." And, sa mahatma sudurlabhah: "Such an intelligent mahatma is very rare."

There are so many rascal "mahatma" who simply change their dress and declare themselves to be God, or Krsna. Kick on their faces. A real mahatma is different from all these rascals because he knows Krsna. If you understand Krsna, you are so fortunate: brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva/ guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata bija. There are many, many millions and trillions of living entities within this universe, and they are rotating in 8,400,000 different species of life. They are all unfortunate, simply repeating birth and death, birth and death, in different species. Out of all of them, the most fortunate get the mercy of Krsna and the spiritual master and are given a chance to know Krsna.

By the mercy of the guru and Krsna, one gets the seed of devotional service, which is planted at the time of initiation. And then one must water the seed. Suppose you get a nice seed of a tree. You have to sow it and pour a little water on it Then it will grow. Similarly, anyone who by great fortune has come into contact with Krsna consciousness, who has received the seed of devotional service, should water it What is that water?Sravana-kirtana: hearing and chanting about Krsna. So, don't be absent from the Srimad-Bhagavatam class. This hearing and chanting of topics about Krsna is watering the seed of devotional service. This is the most important thing hearing and chanting about Krsna.

Sravana-kirtana does not mean hearing and chanting about just anything. No. One must hear and chant about Krsna. The rascals have manufactured "Kali-kirtana." Where in the scripture is there a mention of Kali-kirtana or Siva-kirtana? No. Kirtana means glorifying the Supreme Lord, Krsna. That is kirtana. Other so-called kirtanas are all nonsense. Simply hear and chant about Krsna.

Krsna should be worshiped, Krsna should be heard, Krsna should be chanted, Krsna should be remembered. In this way, you'll advance in Krsna consciousness.

Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.