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Bhagavad-gita as it is is pure knowledge, beginning with the first knowledge one has to understand, that he is not this body. Because this is the basic principle all ignorance: "I am this body." "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am brahmana,"

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"Bhagavad-gita as it is is pure knowledge, beginning with the first knowledge one has to understand, that he is not this body. Because this is the basic principle all ignorance"

Lectures

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Bhagavad-gītā as it is is pure knowledge, beginning with the first knowledge one has to understand, that he is not this body. Because this is the basic principle all ignorance: "I am this body." "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am this," "I am that"—this is the basic principle. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu also says the same thing in a different way. He says, "I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya, I am not a śūdra, I am not a brahmacārī, I am not a gṛhastha, I am not a vānaprastha, I am not a sannyāsī." These are negation. Then what is the positive? He says, gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ: (CC Madhya 13.80) "I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the gopī-bhartuḥ, Kṛṣṇa, who maintains the gopīs."
Lecture on CC Adi-lila 1.3 -- Mayapur, March 27, 1975:

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu, both of Them have come to deliver these fallen souls of this material world who are in the darkness of conception. So They are fighting all over the world this darkness. Just now somebody told me that the king of the Arabia is killed. He is killed now by his nephew or somebody else. This is going on. Even in family affairs it is going on. Why? This darkness. Ahaṁ mameti (SB 5.5.8). Janasya moho 'yam ahaṁ mameti (SB 5.5.8). So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu along with His associates, Nityānanda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, Gadādhara Prabhu and Śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda, they are trying to dissipate the darkness of this false identification. Kṛṣṇa simply instructed Arjuna about his darkness of identity, and He punished him, aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase: (BG 2.11) "You are talking very big, big words, but you are lamenting on a subject matter on which no learned person laments." Gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ. That means "You are fool number one." Paṇḍitāḥ. "No paṇḍita makes like that. Now try to understand what is the position."

Then He said,

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ
dhīras tatra na muhyati
(BG 2.13)

"First of all try to understand what you are." That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. It is no politics. It is knowledge, pure knowledge. Bhagavad-gītā is pure knowledge. The politicians take advantage of it. The sociologists, the so-called swamis, yogis, they take advantage of it and try to prove their all nonsensical theories. But it is not at all Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā as it is is pure knowledge, beginning with the first knowledge one has to understand, that he is not this body. Because this is the basic principle all ignorance: "I am this body." "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am this," "I am that"—this is the basic principle. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu also says the same thing in a different way. He says, "I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya, I am not a śūdra, I am not a brahmacārī, I am not a gṛhastha, I am not a vānaprastha, I am not a sannyāsī." These are negation. Then what is the positive? He says, gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ: (CC Madhya 13.80) "I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the gopī-bhartuḥ, Kṛṣṇa, who maintains the gopīs."

So this is our identification. But we have forgotten our identification.
kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vāñchā kare
pāśate māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare

We have forgotten our real relationship with Kṛṣṇa, and we are trying to be happy by material adjustment. This is modern civilization. One is thinking, "If I get such nice house, nice motorcar, nice business, nice bank balance, nice wife, nice children..." This is material civilization. But they do not know. Despite all these nice things, he will never be happy. Now you Europeans and Americans, you have got a good qualification. I described many times that you are no more very much interested with all these "nice" things, so-called nice things. Real nice thing is spiritual understanding. That nice thing begins: ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am not this body." That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa is instructing Arjuna that "You are not this body. You are spirit soul. Try to understand."