So if I think that I, I am this coat, that is my ignorance. And that is going on. The so-called service to the humanity means washing the coat. Just like if you are hungry and I wash your coat very nicely with soap, will you be satisfied? No. That is not possible. So every one of us is spiritually hungry. What these people will do by washing the coat and shirt? There cannot be any peace.
Lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Hyderabad, November 25th, 1972
Bhagavad-Gītā, Chapter 2 verse 20.
Original audio and transcript HERE
na jayate mriyate va kadacin
For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.
...Dehī, the living entity, simply changing the dress. It is the dress. This body is dress. Now the question is... Just like there was some discussion that the spirit has no form. How it can be? If this is..., this body is my dress, how I have no form? How the dress has got form? My coat or shirt has got a form because my body has got a form. I have got two hands, therefore my dress, my coat, has also two hands. My shirt has also two hands.
… So if I think that I, I am this coat, that is my ignorance. And that is going on. The so-called service to the humanity means washing the coat. Just like if you are hungry and I wash your coat very nicely with soap, will you be satisfied? No. That is not possible. So every one of us is spiritually hungry. What these people will do by washing the coat and shirt? There cannot be any peace.
The so-called humanitarian service means they are washing this vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni. That's all. And death means... It is explained very nicely that when the dress, your dress, my dress, becomes too old, we change it. Similarly, birth and death means changing the dress. It is very clearly explained. Vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya (BG 2.22).
Jīrṇāni, old dress, old garment, we throw it away and take another new dress, new garment. Similarly, vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya navāni gṛhṇāti. A new, fresh dress. Similarly, I am old man. So if I am not liberated, if, if I have got so many plans to execute in this material world, then I'll have to accept another body.
But if you have no more plan, no more plan, niṣkiñcana... That is called niṣkiñcana. Niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, niṣkiñcana. One has to be completely freedom, completely freedom about this material world. One should be disgusted. Then there is possibility of being transferred to the spiritual world. So long one has got a pinch of desire that "If I would have become like Brahmā, or like king, like Jawaharlal Nehru," then I'll have to accept a body. This is desire.
....We haven't got to ask anything. Kṛṣṇa, God, has made ample arrangement for our maintenance. Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate (Īśo Invocation). But it is restricted by nature when we are sinful. We become atheist. We become demons. Then the supply is restricted. Then we cry for: "Oh, there is no rain. There is no this, no..." That is nature's restriction. But from God's arrangement there is sufficient food for everyone. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. He’s supplying everyone.
So, so long we'll have a pinch of material desire to execute our plan, then we have to accept a material body, and that is called janma. Otherwise, the living entity has no birth and death. Now, this janma, and mṛtyu... The living entities, they are compared with the sparks, and the Supreme Lord as the big fire. So the big fire, that is the comparison. And the small spark, both of them are fire. But sometimes the sparks fall down from the big fire. That is our falldown. Falldown means we come into the material world. Why? Just to enjoy, to imitate Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the supreme enjoyer.
So we are servants. Sometimes—it is natural—the servant desires that "If I could enjoy like the master..." So when this sentiment or proposition comes, that is called māyā. Because we cannot be enjoyer. This is false. If I think that I can become enjoyer, even in this material world, so-called... They're, everyone is trying to become enjoyer.
… So for this pleasure only we are making so many plans. According to our own brain, teeny brain, we are making plans. Just the..., in the state also, they're making plans. Personally, individually and commercially, everyone is making plan. The plan-making means becoming entangled. And he has to..., they have to take birth again to fulfill the plan. Vāsanā. This is called vāsanā. So we have to purify the vāsanā, desire. That is required. If we don't purify, then we have to take birth, birth and death, repetition of birth and death.
So that desire, how it can be purified? That desire can be purified. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). We have to give up this designation, "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am śūdra," "I am kṣatriya," "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am this and..." So many designation. Because I am spirit soul, but this is, this covering is my designation. So if I identify with this designation, then I'll have to repeat the birth and death. That you can purify.
How it can be purified? That can be purified by devotional service. When you understand that you are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, when I understand that "I am eternally related with Kṛṣṇa. He's Supreme; I am servant," and when I engage myself in His service, that is the purification of desires. Without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, everyone is acting on different material consciousness: "I am American. Therefore I must work in this way. I must fight with the Russians." Russian thinking that "I am Russian. I must fight the Americans." Or the China... So many designation. This is called māyā, illusion.
So we have to purify. That purification means one must know that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul." So what I am doing as spirit soul? Whatever I am working, at the present moment, on this bodily concept of life... But what about, what I am doing as spirit soul? This knowledge required.
Read the full lecture HERE