You can destroy the body, not the soul. Chapter 2, text 18:
“Only the material body of the indestructible, immeasurable and eternal living entity is subject to destruction.”
The material body is so perishable. It is always going to perish, now, or in a hundred years – it is just a matter of time, when it happens, it happens. But the soul is indestructible, immeasurable, you cannot measure the soul. We can accept from authority the size of the soul. We have just learnt it is one ten thousandth the size of the tip of the hair. But we cannot measure it, cannot even see it.
Material senses cannot see the soul. That is why the scientists will never know. They are always mystified about life, “What is it?” They cut open the body, they can see all the different organs, etc., but they cannot see the soul. What happens at death? They are always confused, “He is going to die, he is going to die!” Red light, all the instruments… “Save him, save him, save him!” And then… he left. But what is left? What happened? All the stuff is still here. His stuff is here: his heart is here, his stomach is here, his kidneys, liver, his blood is all over, brain is still here, nothing left. But something left. The guy left. They cannot figure it out so they speculate on one thing and another thing. They do not know. If they would study Vedic knowledge, they would know: the person is the soul, the soul left the body. The body has no life. And, again, Krishna is saying it is eternal. So do not worry about killing the soul. You can’t.
“He who thinks that the living entity is the slayer or that he is slain, does not understand.”
The living entity cannot kill anybody and cannot be killed. Murderers do not kill anybody, they kill the bodies. And, of course, that is against God’s laws. If you just go kill somebody for no reason, it is not acceptable. It is against God’s laws, it is against man’s laws. This is not acceptable. But no one kills the person. All that destroys is the body.
Socrates said, “Catch me if you can.” Yes, catch me if you can, good luck! Because he knew you cannot kill him. Yes, of course, you can kill my body, it is not hard to do, but me – no, you cannot touch me. This is invaluable news. So nobody kills and nobody is being killed. But that does not sanction unnecessary killings.
We spoke in our lecture in Sochi about karma. There is the law of karma that controls this. So knowing this philosophy does not make it is like, “Ok,” and you just go and start killing people, “Oh, we will just kill them because we cannot kill them, so we will kill them anyway.” Crazy, but no, that is not acceptable. But the truth is…
“For the soul there is never birth nor death.”
You are not born, you do not die. Birthdays are not true birthdays, they are the birth of the body. So you start understanding this. Oh, I was born on a certain date. No, you start differentiating between the body and yourself. I am eternal but this body came out of the womb on a certain day. So the soul has never birth or death.
When someone that we know and love dies, of course, it is very painful, and we think, “Oh, he died.” And we lament. But if you have knowledge, you know he did not die, he just left his body, it was time to go. It was not meant for him to be here any longer. He has gone somewhere else now. He is going to continue on in his material journey.
This is also very useful information. We are not going to die. I was in a hospital one time where a person was having an operation. At one point of the operation the stitches broke open and blood was flying. And he saw this, “I am going to die!” You are not going to die. “I am bleeding, I’m going to die!” Do not worry, you are in a hospital, do not worry about it. There are doctors. It is not like you are out in the bush somewhere else. You are in the hospital.
And then the nurses came and tried to stop it. They could not stop it. Then the nurse starts, “Oh, my God! He is going to die!” So she calls somebody else and another nurse comes, “I can’t stop it!” Now this person’s getting really worried because he was watching the nurses. And then this doctor comes, “Get out of the way!” He just takes over everything, sticks everything, no more blood.
But, anyway, this is the idea: we are not going to die.
“Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be.”
“Having once been” – we have always existed, we never cease to be.
“He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”
This is the soul. And, as I said, this is very, very valuable information for many reasons. One is: at the time of death we are going to have to leave the body, a very stress filled time. It is the time that we have been hoping would never come. Our whole life we have been putting this off. I know I am going to die, but not soon, I have some years left. And the years go by but you cannot really feel too comfortable. If you are like 85 years old, you cannot be under some illusion ‘I have got a lot of time left, I am young, I have got a lot of time.’ You cannot play that game anymore. So you know, “Well, it is not going to be long now, but not so soon. I am not going to die this year. Maybe next year.” And then a few of those next years go by, “Not today. Tomorrow. Not today.” And then, “Oh, not till after breakfast. I have got one more breakfast to go.” And finally we cannot play the game anymore, here it is, “Oh, my God, I did not think it would ever come.”
What are we going to do at that point? If I think I am the body, I am going to freak out. But if I know who I really am, “Ok, it is time to leave this apartment, time to move out, I have got somewhere else to go here.” And you might start thinking about, “What did I do with this life? Did I use it correctly or did I waste it? Did I do the right thing? Cause now it’s finished.”
So the more information we have about life, the more we can live life correctly. And this is important. Knowledge is important. If I do not know who I am, I have no idea what to do with my life. If I think I am the material body, which 99.9 % of people do, then we think, “I should try to make a material success in this life, my life should be based on that.” And we may have different ideas of what material success is. For some it is a lot of money, for some it is to have good children who grow up successfully, for some it is to be famous, for some it is just to live a good life. Whatever the idea is, it is still the same – it is all about my material achievements. And so I spend all my time and energy on this.
But if I learn I am spirit soul, then I must understand that no matter what I have achieved materially, it has nothing to do with me, the spirit soul. At the time of death I leave it all behind: all my big degrees on the wall, my money in the bank, my happy family, my successful kids, my fame. Whatever I have achieved, I leave it all behind. “Oh, I painted beautiful pictures, I left behind great books I wrote.” Yes, you left it behind, somebody else will enjoy them. All these artists and authors usually are famous after they die. A friend of mine right now has some partnership with a guy who found a painting from some famous artist. And the person who originally had it, did not know who the artist was. This artist has been dead for a long time. This painting could be worth like two or three million dollars. But to that artist it is worthless. What is he going to get out of that? He died long ago. All these material achievements are worth nothing.
So in Bhakti yoga we learn what the function of the soul is, what the goal of life is. And it is a spiritual goal, it is not material. The body is temporary, we are eternal. What am I going to do with my eternal life? According to the law of karma, what I do in this life takes me to my next life. So I am creating my future life right now. Will it be material, in the material world? Will it be a high or a low material birth? Will it be a life of a lot of material pleasure? Will it be a life of a lot of material pain? That is all being determined by my activities now and previously.
Or will it be a life that I live now that makes it so I leave the material world and go back to the home for all souls where we can be eternally comfortable, happy and have everything that we always wanted?
This is the instructions of Bhagavad-gita, this is what Bhagavad-gita teaches. Krishna is teaching us who we are, what our position is, what our function is and what the goal of life is. This is Bhagavad-gita.
So those who learn this knowledge are actually qualified to be successful in life. That is all the time we have now. We can continue another time. Thank you very much. HARIBOL.