ISKCON Press


Bhagavad-gītā 2.13

Type:
Bhagavad-gītā
Date:
October 12
Year:
1972
Place:
Manila

Prabhupāda:

dehino ‘smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]

So this dead body, when a man dies, dhīras tatra na muhyati. Those who are dhīradhīra means sober—they are not bewildered. There are two classes of men: dhīra and adhīra. Dhīra means those who are not agitated; they know things as they are. So adhīra means those who are uncontrolled. The poet Kalidāsa has described dhīra and adhīra with reference to Lord Śiva in his book Kumāra-sambhava. So dhīra means a person who is not agitated in spite of the cause of agitation being present.

There are so many causes of agitation, but a person, in spite of being persuaded by the cause of agitation… Just like a young man and young woman, when they are present, naturally they become agitated. In the śāstras it is said just like fire and butter. If you put butter before the fire, automatically it melts. Similarly, a woman is considered as fire and the man is considered as butter. So this is natural. But a person who is not agitated, he is called dhīra.

So when a man dies, the man’s relatives lament, “Oh, my father has gone,” “My sister has gone,” “My wife…” But if you become dhīra, then you are not bewildered. Just like your friend or your father moves from this apartment to another apartment, who is agitated? No, that’s all right. He was in this apartment, now he has gone to another apartment, so there is no question of agitation or being perturbed. Similarly, one who knows the causes of transmigration of the soul from one body to another, he is not agitated at the death of his friend or relative. He knows everything, and he knows where his friend has gone with reference to the śāstra.

Just like your friend has gone to India. How do you know? You know that he purchased a ticket for India and he has gone to India, so there is no need of agitation, “Oh, where he has gone? Where he has gone? Where he has gone?” Similarly, when a man dies, one who is dhīra… Here especially the word is used, dhīras tatra na muhyati. Muhyati means bewildered. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. Just like the parents. The child is changing body.

The mother knows, “My child was six inches long within my womb. When he came out, he was twelve inches long, then thirteen inches, fourteen inches, in this way, now three feet, four feet.” The mother is not agitated the child is changing body. Similarly, a dhīra, one who knows the laws of transmigration of the soul, he does not lament at the death of his father or friend. He knows that “My father has now gone to such-and-such place.” That also he can know. How? With reference to the śāstra. Therefore Vedānta-sūtra says that you should see everything through the śāstra, śāstra-cakṣuṣā.

Now there is one rascal, he is preaching there is no need of śāstra. Without śāstra, how you can make progress? Just like you are seeing the sun daily just like a disk. But if you, through the śāstra, you see geography, then you will understand the sun is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this earth. So how do you know? You have not gone to the sun planet, but how do you know that it is ninety million miles away from your sight and it is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this earth? How do you know? Through the śāstra, through the books.

So therefore you should see through the śāstra, authoritative śāstra, books. What we are speaking about the moon planet, sun planet, or God, His abode is Vaikuṇṭhaloka, spiritual world, so many things we are talking—how we are talking? We are talking through the Vedic literature. Because Vedic literature is authoritative. According to Vedic civilization, we don’t accept any book written by rascal. We take, we accept the authority of the Vedas. What is stated there in the Vedas we accept, without any argument.

For example… There are many examples. One of the example is that the Veda says that if you touch the stool of an animal, even your own stool… That is the system. In India still they are…, not in the city, but in the villages you will see even ordinary man, he goes to pass stool in the field, and just after passing stool he will take bath just to purify himself, change his cloth. That is the śāstric injunction. But in one place it is said that the stool of the cow is pure.

Now if you argue that “One place you say that the stool of an animal is impure, even your own stool if you touch you have to take bath, how is that, another animal’s stool is pure?” This is superficially contradiction. But those who are following strictly the Vedic principles, they will accept that the stool of cow, or cow dung, is pure. Now, if you argue, “Why it is pure?” then you come to a modern chemical analysis, and you will find the cow dung is full of antiseptic properties. It has been examined in Calcutta by one doctor, Raj Mohan Bose. Therefore, the Vedic injunction is so perfect.

We ordinary human being, we have got four defects. First of all we commit mistake. Even big, big men, they commit mistake, because to err is human. Committing mistake is not a disqualification. As a human being, he is prone to commit mistake, everyone accepts: E&OE, errors and omission excepted. Similarly, a man is in illusion. Illusion means…, just like the example of illusion is the mirage. In the desert or in very scorching heat, summer season, you can find before your car there is water, reflection. So this is called illusion. There is no water, but it appears there is vast mass of water. The animals are bewildered. They are thirsty; they go to the desert to take water. Where is water in the desert? This is called illusion.

So mistake, to commit mistake, to become illusioned, and through the propensity of cheating. Every man is imperfect, but he is talking just like perfect. That is called cheating. The so-called scientists, philosophers, they are theorizing, “It may be,” “Perhaps.” So what is this knowledge, “Perhaps,” “It may be”? That is not knowledge. Say definitely. But nobody can say. They are blind. The doctor is giving medicine, but he is not definitely sure whether his patient will die or live. If you ask him whether the person is going to live, “Oh, that depends on God.” Ultimately depends on God—although he is posing himself that authorized, he is giving scientific medicine… If you are giving scientific medicine, why you are not sure? This is called cheating. While he is not sure, still he says, “I am scientific man.” This is one defect.

And of all these defects, there is sublime defect that our senses are imperfect. All our senses. The same thing, just like with our eyes we see daily the sun, but we see just like a disk. Due to our imperfect senses, we see a planet which is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this planet, we are seeing just like a disk. That means we cannot see very distant place—or nearest. Even we cannot see our eyelids, which is just a smear over the eyes. Packed, the packing material of the eyes, we cannot see.

So we have to accept these things that we are prone to commit mistake, we are illusioned, we cheat, and our senses are imperfect. Then how I can give you perfect knowledge? That is not possible. But if you accept the Vedic knowledge… Just like I gave you the example: Vedic knowledge says sometimes contradictory. Just like cow dung, stool of an animal, is pure. And if you analyze, you will find it is pure. So our process of acquiring knowledge is from the Vedas. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. And what is the purpose of the Vedas? Why Vedic knowledge is perfect? Because it is spoken by God. God is perfect, and whatever He speaks, that is perfect. Therefore God is called “God is good.” All-good. Whatever He does, whatever He speaks, everything is good, perfect.

So we are receiving knowledge of this transmigration of the soul from God, Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, it is perfect. He says, dhīras tatra na muhyati. After the death of a person, one should not be bewildered. He should be dhīra, he should be sober to know how things are happening. That is called knowledge. Now, after the passing of the soul from this body, how the soul accepts another body? That also you learn from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. We can see with our material eyes this gross body, the gross covering made of earth, water, fire, air, ether. But there is another covering. What is that? Mind, intelligence and ego.

So you cannot see mind, you cannot see intelligence, neither you can see ego, and what to see about the soul? The soul is still finer. The dimension of the soul is mentioned in the Vedas: keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca [Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 5.9]. Just the tip of your hair you divide into one hundred part, and again take that one-hundredth part and divide again into another hundred part, that means one ten-thousandth part of the tip of hair is the length and breadth of the soul. So how you can see? You can simply perceive that there is soul, and it is confirmed by the authorities of Vedas. And how the soul passing from one body to another, that also you can hear how it is passing.

The example is given, just like this some good smell, flavor, is passing by the air, and you smell, you feel, “Oh, very nice smell.” But you cannot see the smell, neither the carrier of the smell. The carrier of the smell is the air, and the smell, it is still finer. But when it comes before your nose, the instrument, you understand that there is very nice flavor passing. You can experience, although you cannot see, you cannot touch, you cannot taste. So it is not that, that sometimes things which are beyond the test of our material senses, they are not existing. That is foolishness. We must accept that our senses are imperfect. So how we can understand everything by the test of experimental knowledge? No.

Therefore, things which are beyond your perception, you have to accept it by hearing from the authoritative source. Just like another example: If you want to see who is your actual father, that is not possible to make an experiment who is your father. There may be some experimental. But if you ask your mother, authority, “Mother, who is my father?” the mother says, “This is the man who is your father,” you have to accept, that’s all. You cannot make any experiment, neither it is possible to understand who is your father by experimental knowledge. Then how you can make experiment the Supreme Father, God? That is not possible. Simply you have to hear from the authoritative sources. But you can make some experiment. But that is not very important thing. The important thing is to hear from the authorized person. That is important.

Therefore Vedas are called śruti. Śruti means aural reception. You have to hear. Just like when you are sleeping, all your other senses are not active. But ear, if somebody is coming, your enemy, to hurt you, and your friend says, “Mr. Such-and-such, wake up! Wake up!” so you can hear and you wake up and see that somebody is coming. So the ear is very important. Śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham [MU 1.2.12]. Anyone who has heard perfectly from the disciplic succession of spiritual master, he is perfect. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. Ācārya means… Ācāryavān, vān means possession. One who has possessed an authorized spiritual master, he knows. He knows. Veda. Veda means knowledge, knows.

So the ultimate purpose of knowing… We are knowing things; so many things we are knowing. There are hundreds and thousands. Nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ.

śrotavyādīni rājendra
nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ
gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām
[SB 2.1.2]

Those who are blind, apaśyatām ātma-tattvam, blind about understanding the soul, they have got many thousands and thousands of matter, subject matter for hearing—useless. The human life is meant for understanding what I am and what is God, what is my relationship with God. That is the real purpose of human life. Otherwise, “Where is food?” “Where is shelter?” “Where is service?” “Where is sex?” these are the inquiries of the animals only. The hog also inquiring, “Where is stool? Where is stool? Where is stool?” The stool-eater, he is also working hard, “Where is stool? Where is stool? Where is stool?” Do you think that is very creditable task, to work hard day and night for finding out where is stool? This is hog’s business.

So at the present moment, the civilization is going on, “Where is food?” “Where is apartment?” “Where is sex?” and “Where is defense?” So these are the inquiries of the animals. They are also searching, “Where is food?” “Where is shelter?” “Where is sex?” and “Where is defense?” Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca sāmānyam etat paśubhir narāṇām [Hitopadeśa 25]. The human life is meant for inquiring, “Where is God?” That is human life. Not “Where is stool?” That is hog’s business. So we should not encourage this hog civilization. Hog civilization is to work hard day and night to find out where is food, where is shelter, where is sex and where is defense. Wrong type of civilization. The human civilization means “Where is Brahman, the Absolute Truth?” Athāto brahma jijñāsā. That is the Vedānta-sūtra. “Where is God?” “What I am?” These are the inquiries.

So personally the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is teaching that the soul transmigrates. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ. Dehāntara-prāptiḥ means transmigrating from one body to another. Dhīras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. Those who are dhīra, sober, full of knowledge, they are not bewildered, they are not perturbed. Because he knows that “My father or brother, everything, is said to be dead, it is…, he is not dead.” This gross body, this coat, coating of the body, has stopped. It is old enough, or by some reason it is torn, it is no longer usable. Therefore the soul has left this gross body and, being carried by the subtle body—mind, intelligence, ego—he has gone to accept another gross body. This is transmigration of the soul. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13].

Just like the mother knows, “My baby was on my lap. Now as a boy he is running.” So she is not lamenting. She knows, “That is my child, same child. Simply he has transformed the body.” Similarly, we should not lament when a man dies. We should not lament. Because Arjuna was thinking in terms of the body, in the battlefield he was bewildered whether…, because the other side were all relatives. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is giving the knowledge that “Don’t think that your father or your grandfather or your brother, they will be finished. No. They will be simply…, if you kill, they will simply be transferred to another body. Better you consider that your grandfather is possessing now an old body; if you kill your grandfather in the battlefield…”

Because formerly the war was declared not whimsically. The war was also religious war. So in the religious war, a kṣatriya… The kṣatriyas were fighting, not the śūdras, not the brāhmaṇas, not the vaiśyas. There was a caste for fighters. Not like this, where a śūdra is elected as president, he is not fighting, he is in a safe place, and he is simply directing, “You go and fight. Let me see how you are fighting.” No. The king, the kṣatriya, he will come forth in the front of fighting. That was fight.

If the king is killed by the opposite party, then it is declared that they are victorious—no more fight, no more unnecessarily killing other persons. The aim was to kill the king. The king was on the front. The other party, he was also in front. The king is fighting with king, and the soldiers are fighting with soldier. So when the king is killed, then the other party becomes victorious. That was the process of war, not that releasing atomic bomb from the sky and kill so many innocent persons. No. That is not war.

So war, if it is fought on principle, on religious principle, that is called dharma-yuddhi. That is not prohibited. But this killing process, unnecessarily, innocent men, that is not dharma-yuddhi. That is irregular fighting. That kind of war is not sanctioned by the Vedas.

So dhīras tatra na muhyati, now you can say, “I cannot see how my father has passed from this body to another body.” That you have to know from the śāstra. You do not know so many things. But if you read books, authorized books, then you understand, things are there. The same example, that you do not know how big the sun planet is. But when you read books, scientific books, you understand that it is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this earth. Similarly, if you are in knowledge, then you can understand where your father has gone.

That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā
madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ
jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthā
adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ
[Bg. 14.18]

Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā, those who are situated in brahminical qualification, goodness, modes of goodness, they are promoted to the higher planetary system. You are, at the modern times, they are trying to go to the higher planetary system by the machine. It is not possible. But if you place yourself in the modes of goodness, you can go to any higher planetary system up to Brahmaloka. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā [Bg. 14.18].

There are three planetary system, triloki: the higher planetary system, the middle planetary system and the lower planetary system. So we are at the present moment Bhūrloka, Bhūrloka, middle planetary system. Above this there is Bhuvarloka. Above that there is Svarloka, there is Janaloka, there is Tapoloka, there is Maharloka, there is Satyaloka, there is Siddhaloka, there is Brahmaloka.

What do they know, the modern astronomers? They do not know anything. They do not know what is there in the moon planet, they do not know what is there in the sun planet, in the Venus—nothing. Still they are going on, they are proud. But if you read Vedas, you get all the information of the universe. Not only this universe—beyond the universe. Beyond the universe. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo ‘nyo ‘vyakto ‘vyaktāt sanātanaḥ [Bg. 8.20]. There is another nature, which is never annihilated.

In this material nature, everything is annihilated. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. Here, just like your body is produced at a certain date by the father and mother, and it will be finished at a certain date, similarly, this whole cosmic manifestation, this material world, innumerable universes, they have been produced at a certain date and they will be finished at a certain date. Everything will be finished.

But there is another nature, where the planets are everlasting. They are called Vaikuṇṭhaloka. Vaikuṇṭhaloka, vaikuṇṭha means vigata-kuṇṭha yasmāt. Kuṇṭha means anxiety. Here we are full of anxieties—“What will happen next?” Fearful always. “When my death will take place?” “What will be the political situation?” “What shall I eat?” “Where shall I sleep?”

Always full of anxieties. Anyone—bird, beast, animal, human being—full of anxieties, because the material world is like that. You have to be full of anxieties. But there is another world, where there is no anxiety. That is called Vaikuṇṭhaloka. Vaikuṇṭha. Vaikuṇṭha means vigata-kuṇṭha; kuṇṭha means anxiety.

So these information we get from the śāstras, from the Vedas. And if we become intelligent enough to understand the śāstras, then our life is successful, human life. Otherwise, if we live like animal, eating, sleeping, mating and defending, without any other knowledge which I am destined to gain in this life, arthadaḥ… Prahlāda Mahārāja said,

kaumāra ācaret prājño
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
arthadam tad apy adhruvam
[SB 7.6.1]

He advises that from the very beginning of life, kaumāra… Kaumāra means five years to ten years. This space, this span of life is called kaumāra. Kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā, that as we are reading here, kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā. So kaumāra means boy’s life. So kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha. A human being, he should learn about the Bhāgavata-dharma from the beginning of his kaumāra age, not that keep it aside, “When I shall become old man, then I shall read the scriptures.” No. Kaumāra, from the boyhood. Kaumāra ācaret prājñaḥ. If one is actually having sense… Of course, a boy has no sense. It is the duty of the father and mother to engage the child, boy, from the beginning of his life in the matter of devotional service, bhāgavatān.

Fortunately, we got a very nice father; he engaged us in this devotional service from the very beginning of our life. So it is the duty of every father, every stage, every guru, every friend, every relative how to engage the boy in spiritual life. Kaumāra ācaret prājñaḥ. Śāstra says, pitā na sa syāj jananī na sā syāt: “One should not become father, one should not become mother,” na mocayed yaḥ samupeta-mṛtyum [SB 5.5.18]. The father and mother’s duty is to the children, that “This child has come to me in my womb,” mother, “this is the last. He will have no more to come back to the womb of mother. I will teach him in such a way that he will be liberated.” That is the duty of the father and mother.

If one’s father and mother is not able to coach and teach his children like that, how to get out of this entanglement of birth and death, he should not become father and mother. That is real contraceptive method, that “I should not produce cats and dogs. I should produce a child who will never come back again to another mother. He will be liberated. He will go back to home, back to Godhead.” That is the duty of the father and mother. Not that produce cats and dogs.

And therefore, the world is in trouble. They are fighting like cats and dogs, because cats and dogs have been produced, and they have not been trained up: no brahmacārī system, no gṛhastha system, no vānaprastha system. Therefore, the Vedic conception of civilization is the perfect for human society. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. You will find everything in the Bhagavad-gītā.

So first of all you have to understand that we are spirit soul, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, Brahman. “I am not matter, I am spirit,” ahaṁ brahmāsmi. These are Vedic words, so ‘ham. So ‘ham does not mean “I am God.” I am god-ly—I am part and parcel of. As God is in quality, so I am also in quality. Just like a drop of ocean water, qualitatively it is the same as the vast mass of water in the sea, but not the drop of water is equal to the vast mass of water. Similarly, in quality, so ‘ham, “I am that,” means the Supreme God, as He is in quality, I am also the same in quality. So ‘ham. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi, “I am Brahman. I am not this matter, I am spirit soul.” These are the knowledge.

So when one comes to that knowledge, brahma-bhūtaḥ… Now we are not brahma-bhūtaḥ; prākṛta-bhūtaḥ, jīva-bhūtaḥ, the exact word. Jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat [Bg. 7.5]. The world is being maintained by this jīva-bhūtaḥ, by the living entities. Just like the city of Manila is very important so long the living entities are there. If there are no living entities, nobody will be prepared to purchase the whole land even for a farthing.

What he will do with the dead matter? The dead matter has no value. It is valuable so long we utilize it in different purposes. Otherwise, it has no value. A nice motorcar with nice machine, first class, it has value so long it is driven by a living entity. Otherwise, who cares for it? Nobody cares for it. Jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho yayedam [Bg. 7.5]. Therefore matter, however valuable it may be, it is inferior to the spirit. The spirit is superior energy of God. Matter is inferior energy of God.

So the material energy is external energy, and we are trying to become happy by adjusting this external energy. That is illusion. Suppose in this life you earn lots of money, make a big balance, and have a very nice skyscraper building and good relatives and friends and position. That’s nice. But when you leave this body, you do not know what you are going to become. Suppose, theoretically, you become next life a cat in the same skyscraper building, then what is your value? And there is possibility, because your next body will be awarded by nature according to your work, according to your mind, intelligence.

So you may have a very good bank balance and skyscraper building and dozens of motorcar, but you have created your mind just like cats and dog, then you are getting the body of a cat and dog. The most concession will be allowed—because you have got attachment for the skyscraper building—you will be allowed to live there as a cat, that’s all. This is the law of nature. So if we are wasting our time in the business of cats and dogs and hogs, just try to understand how much loss you are suffering. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is giving you information: don’t be a loser; become a gainer.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]

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