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Changing Bodies

Posted: 25 Jul 2012 06:10 AM PDT

We Are Not These Bodies, We Are Soul

…within this body there is soul, and the body is changing every moment, but the soul is there. Just as a soul comes from the womb of his mother with a small body, and that small body changes—it becomes the body of a boy, it becomes the body of a youth, then it becomes the body of an old man, then it vanquishes… That we have to admit. We may say that the body is growing, but actually, the fact is, body is changing. It is medically admitted that we are changing our body every second. We are changing our blood corpuscles, and therefore a change of the body is taking place, and that is being manifested in a different shape only. Actually, we are changing every moment our body. So the ultimate change, when this body cannot be worked any more, just like a dress, when it is torn, when it is too old, you have to change it. Similarly, when this body becomes useless, no more, it cannot be pulled on any more, you take another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir. As we are, in our practical life, we are changing our body every moment, similarly, the last stage of changing this body is called death. Just as I give up this body, I have to enter into the womb of some kind of mother. These things are explained in the Vedic literatures. (Srila Prabhupada from lecture; San Francisco, April 2, 1968)

The soul is eternal, it is changing body, different bodies, and there are 8,400,000 different forms of body. According to his desire, he is entering another body.

…in the hundreds and thousands of universities all over the world there is no department of knowledge where the science of the soul is taught. Actually, we are all spirit soul. From Bhagavad-gītā we understand that we are transmigrating from one body to another, even in our present lives. All of us had at one time the body of a small baby. Where is that body? That body is gone. Presently I am an old man, but I remember that I was once a small baby. I still remember when I was about six months old; I was lying down on the lap of my elder sister, who was knitting, and I was playing. I can remember that, so it is possible for everyone to remember that he had a small body. After the baby's body I had a boy's body; then I had a youthful body, and now I am in this body. Where are those bodies? They are gone now. This is a different body. It is explained in Bhagavad-gītā that when I give up this body, I will have to accept another body. It is very simple to understand. I have changed so many bodies, not only from childhood to boyhood to youth, but according to medical science we are changing bodies every second, imperceptibly. This Process indicates that the soul is permanent. Although I have changed many bodies, I remember my baby body and my childhood body—I am the same person, soul. Similarly, when ultimately I change this body, I shall have to accept another. This simple formula is stated in Bhagavad-gītā. Everyone can reflect on it…(Srila Prabhupada from; Krsna Consciousness The Topmost Yoga System)

A person or an animal is not the material body; rather, the material body is the covering of the living being. Bhagavad-gītā compares the body to a dress and elaborately explains how one changes dresses one after another. The same Vedic knowledge is confirmed here. The living being, the soul, is constantly changing bodies one after another. Even in the present life, the body changes from childhood to boyhood, from boyhood to youth, and from youth to old age; similarly, when the body is too old to continue, the living being gives up this body and, by the laws of nature, automatically gets another body according to his fruitive activities, desires and ambitions. The laws of nature control this sequence, and therefore as long as the living entity is under the control of the external, material energy, the process of bodily change takes place automatically, according to one's fruitive activities.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 2, Text 13

dehino ‘smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati

dehinaḥ—of the embodied; asmin—in this; yathā—as; dehe—in the body; kaumāram—boyhood; yauvanam—youth; jarā—old age; tathā—similarly; dehāntara—transference of the body; prāptiḥ—achievement; dhīraḥ—the sober; tatra—thereupon; na—never; muhyati—deluded.

TRANSLATION
As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.

PURPORT
Since every living entity is an individual soul, each is changing his body every moment, manifesting sometimes as a child, sometimes as a youth, and sometimes as an old man. Yet the same spirit soul is there and does not undergo any change. This individual soul finally changes the body at death and transmigrates to another body; and since it is sure to have another body in the next birth-either material or spiritual-there was no cause for lamentation by Arjuna on account of death, neither for Bhīṣma nor for Droṇa, for whom he was so much concerned. Rather, he should rejoice for their changing bodies from old to new ones, thereby rejuvenating their energy. Such changes of body account for varieties of enjoyment or suffering, according to one’s work in life. So Bhīṣma and Droṇa, being noble souls, were surely going to have either spiritual bodies in the next life, or at least life in heavenly bodies for superior enjoyment of material existence. So, in either case, there was no cause of lamentation.
Any man who has perfect knowledge of the constitution of the individual soul, the Supersoul, and nature-both material and spiritual-is called a dhīra or a most sober man. Such a man is never deluded by the change of bodies. The Māyāvādī theory of oneness of the spirit soul cannot be entertained on the ground that spirit soul cannot be cut into pieces as a fragmental portion. Such cutting into different individual souls would make the Supreme cleavable or changeable, against the principle of the Supreme Soul being unchangeable.

As confirmed in the Gītā, the fragmental portions of the Supreme exist eternally (sanātana) and are called kṣara; that is, they have a tendency to fall down into material nature. These fragmental portions are eternally so, and even after liberation, the individual soul remains the same-fragmental. But once liberated, he lives an eternal life in bliss and knowledge with the Personality of Godhead. The theory of reflection can be applied to the Supersoul who is present in each and every individual body and is known as the Paramātmā, who is different from the individual living entity. When the sky is reflected in water, the reflections represent both the sun and the moon and the stars also. The stars can be compared to the living entities and the sun or the moon to the Supreme Lord. The individual fragmental spirit soul is represented by Arjuna, and the Supreme Soul is the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa. They are not on the same level, as it will be apparent in the beginning of the Fourth Chapter. If Arjuna is on the same level with Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is not superior to Arjuna, then their relationship of instructor and instructed becomes meaningless. If both of them are deluded by the illusory energy (māyā), then there is no need of one being the instructor and the other the instructed. Such instruction would be useless because, in the clutches of māyā, no one can be an authoritative instructor. Under the circumstances, it is admitted that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, superior in position to the living entity, Arjuna, who is a forgotten soul deluded by māyā.

Text pasted from Prabhupada Books


Amit Teli

Amit Teli is the man behind the Chant Hare Krishna Blog.

He likes ISKCON, Pure Vegan Food and Devotes to Almighty Lord Sri Krishna who is his spiritual Master.

In his free time he mostly blogs, prays to the lord and sleeps.

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