Ajnana. "I am Indian," "I am brahmana," "I am this," "I am that," "I am black," "I am white," "I am fat," "I am thin." These are all ajnana, ignorance. You are neither fat nor thin nor black nor white nor American, but you are spirit soul

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Expressions researched:
"You are neither fat nor thin nor black nor white nor American, but you are spirit soul"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Jnana means brahma-jñāna. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. This is jñāna. And if I am American, that is not jñāna. That is ajñāna. "I am Indian," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am this," "I am that," "I am black," "I am white," "I am fat," "I am thin." These are all ajñāna, ignorance. You are neither fat nor thin nor black nor white nor American, but you are spirit soul. You have to know that. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am spirit soul. I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa." That is knowledge.
Lecture on BG 13.8-12 -- Bombay, October 5, 1973:

So jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam, what is the highest perfection of life, he requires to approach a guru. It is not a fashion. It is not a fashion that "I have made my guru, such and such Swami." But what you have learned? You cannot learn because you are not at all jijñāsuḥ. You do not know how to inquire, neither the guru you have met, he does know how to reply. Such kind of guru and disciple will not help. The disciple must be also serious to understand about the spiritual subject matter. That is knowledge, brahma-jijñāsā. One who is inquisitive to know about the Absolute Truth, he requires to approach a guru. That is jñāna. Jnana means brahma-jñāna. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. This is jñāna. And if I am American, that is not jñāna. That is ajñāna. "I am Indian," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am this," "I am that," "I am black," "I am white," "I am fat," "I am thin." These are all ajñāna, ignorance. You are neither fat nor thin nor black nor white nor American, but you are spirit soul. You have to know that. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am spirit soul. I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa." That is knowledge. And for this knowledge you must approach, ācāryopāsanam.

Śaucam, cleanliness. That is very essential. This morning I was talking with Tamal Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī. Cleanliness is... As soon as you give up cleanliness, you become mleccha and yavana. Mleccha, yavana, these two names have come into Vedic śāstras, one who is unclean." Why there was always misunderstanding between the Hindus and the Muslims? I am talking of practical life. Because the Muslims were very unclean and the Hindus are supposed... now Hindus are less than Muslim, less than Muslim. And still, they are claiming... Śaucam. They are most unclean at the present moment, so deteriorated. Publicly it is being advertised, "Here is beef shop. Come on. Equality. Equality by eating beef, drinking wine." Now this is coming. Śaucam. Śaucam. Cleanliness. Cleanliness is next to godliness. You must take twice bath at least. It is required. And in tropical countries like India, there is no difficulty taking bath three times. Of course, if your body does not permit... But that is Śaucam, to clean. Śaucam. Śaucaṁ bāhyābhyantaram.

apavitraḥ pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato 'pi vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bāhyābhyantaraṁ śuciḥ

The brāhmaṇa is called therefore śuci. He is always clean, taking three times bath, cloth washed, mouth, hands, legs, all clean, with tilaka. That is brāhmaṇa. Śaucam. This is externally. And internally you have to become also śaucam. Bāhyābhyantaram. Bahya mean externally you have to cleanse yourself with water, soap or earth. And internally you have to be cleansed by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Ceto-darpana-marjanam (CC Antya 20.12). Because if you remain unclean within the heart, simply by washing your external body and cleansing your cloth, that is not complete cleanliness. That may be called hygienic. But real cleanliness is internally and externally. Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ sa bāhyābhyantaraṁ śuciḥ. So you have to cleansed yourself externally and internally.

By remembering, yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam, the lotus-eyed Kṛṣṇa, if you always think, that is śuci. And in Bengali there is a word, poetry, muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. If one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, even if he is born in a cobbler's family, muci... In India there are two things, muci and śuci. Śuci means perfect brāhmaṇa, and muci means cobbler, the shoemaker. So muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. If one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, even if he is born in the family of a muci, camāra, he can become a brāhmaṇa. And śuci haya muci haya yadi kṛṣṇa tyaje. And if he gives up Kṛṣṇa, even if he's born in a brāhmaṇa family, he becomes a muci.

Muci means the skin expert. If he is simply busy, "I am this skin, brāhmaṇa skin..." Your behavior? "No, that doesn't matter. So that means skin expert. Just like muci knows how to distinguish whether it is cow's skin or goat's skin or this skin.

No. One must be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then he is cleansed. Sa bāhyābhyantaraṁ śuciḥ. Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). One who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa—Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma—he is śuci. He is no more muci. Muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. Sthairyam ātma-vinigrahaḥ.

Controlling the senses, ātma-vinigrahaḥ. That is called swami, gosvāmī. If you can control your senses... Vāco-vegaṁ krodha-vegam. If you can control your force of talking nonsense... Because generally we talk nonsense. So if you can control your talking of nonsense things, then you will become controller of talking. Vāco-vegaṁ krodha-vegam. Naturally because we are generally affected with rajas-tamo-guṇa, raja-guṇa especially and tamo-guṇa, we become angry all of a sudden. So we have to control that. Vāco-vegaṁ krodha-vegaṁ manaso-vegam. Mind is very restless. So you have to control the mind. You cannot allow the mind to do anything and everything, but it must be controlled. Sthairyam ātma-vinigrahaḥ. Indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam. Indriyārtheṣu.

For the matter of sense gratification you have to practice vairāgya. Indriya. Our all the indriyas—eyes, tongue, nose—they are very much, I mean to say, affected or attracted. Eyes, always attracted by beauty. "I want to see very beautiful thing." But you can control the eyes when you practice to see the beautiful feature of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī. Therefore the Deity should be very nicely decorated so layman like us may be attracted by the beauty of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Gradually, he will forget to see any other beauty. This is the practice of indriyārtheṣu. Indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam.

Actually the whole life is meant for understanding vairāgya, renouncement. Human life is not meant for becoming more and more attached to the material enjoyment. Human life is meant for tapasya, vairāgya. Here it is said, vairāgyam, anahaṅkāra, and false prestige, false identification. "Oh, am this. I must do this." That is... In the beginning it is taught, amānitvam, anahaṅkāram. And then janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam. We are very much busy to make solution of the problems of life. Political problems, economical problems, social problems. They are also problems. But real problem is janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi, that you have to take birth, you have to die, and when you are in life, you have to suffer from diseases, jarā-vyadhi, and you have to become old.