excerpt from a lecture by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says that anyone who is above the bodily conception of life, he is liberated person. Saṁsāra bandhana Deha-smṛti nāhi yāra, saṁsāra-bandhana kāhāṅ tāra. Deha-smṛti:
"I am this body," "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am kṣatriya." These are bodily conception of life. One who forgets this bodily conception of life, he is liberated. So how
we can forget bodily conception of life? It can be forgotten. Just like one big person Sometimes we have seen practically. We have, of course, heard, we have not seen, that Mr. Stalin, the great
Communist leader, he was to undergo a surgical operation of the intestine. So the physician, the doctor, surgeon, he wanted to give him anaesthetic, chloroform. He refused: "There is no need of.
Let the operation go on. I shall see what is there within the belly." Strong-minded, here, even in material conception, he was, he undergo, underwent the surgical operation without any
chloroform. So that is possible. If one is fully absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then he has no more bodily conception of life. That is not to be imitated. It is on the highest stage it is
possible to forget completely, and he is liberated. Deha-smṛti nāhi yāra saṁsāra bandhana kāhāṅ tāra. He is no more conditioned by the material nature.
So how it can be possible? It can be possible. I have given already one crude example. Similarly, why Mr. Stalin could tolerate without any trouble? Because he was a leader. He was always absorbed in the thought of how he could advance the Communist cause. This is the real reason. Similarly, if we take our cause very seriously, our... What is our cause? That is explained by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Our, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is explained by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī:
īhā yasya harer dāsye
karmaṇā manasā vacā
nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu
jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate
If you become fully absorbed in the thought of serving Kṛṣṇa, īhā... Īhā means complete absorption in the thought, "How I shall serve Kṛṣṇa?" What is serving Kṛṣṇa? That is explained by Kṛṣṇa, that He... We can see from his practical behavior, ācāraṇa. Not only His ācāraṇa, behavior, but later on, His incarnation, Caitanya Mahāprabhu's ācāraṇa, or behavior. What is that? To spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa also came for the same purpose, to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati [Bg 18.68]. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu also came for the same purpose, to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So if we follow their footsteps and be fully engaged in spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then immediately we become liberated.
Vṛndāvana, November 21, 1976