Brahman, every one of us, we are Brahman. There is no doubt about it. But unfortunately, by mistake, by illusion, I am thinking, "I am this body." So spiritual education means first of all one has to understand that aham brahmasmi

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Expressions researched:
"Brahman, every one of us, we are Brahman. There is no doubt about it. But unfortunately, by mistake, by illusion, I am thinking"

Lectures

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

In the Vedas there is no such thing as ahaṁ paraṁ brahmāsmi. No. They are misusing. The... Instead of understanding... Brahman, every one of us, we are Brahman. There is no doubt about it. But unfortunately, by mistake, by illusion, I am thinking, "I am this body." So spiritual education means first of all one has to understand that ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am Brahman. I am not this body." That is the beginning of spiritual education.
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.108-109 -- New York, July 15, 1976:

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that let us live amongst devotees. Why we are struggling to get so many centers open? Because devotees will live there, follow the regulative principles according to the instruction of the śāstra and spiritual master, guided by, and people will get chance. As soon as one comes in this society of devotee, he'll get some opportunity. And svalpam apy asya... That is meant. Even by sentiment one comes... Tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ hareḥ (SB 1.5.17). The Nārada Muni said, "Even by sentiments, one gives up his occupational duty, so-called occupational duty, and surrenders to Kṛṣṇa, even not understanding fully..." So śāstra says, "What is the loss there?" And if one is performing one's material duties very perfectly, then what is gain there? He's simply wasting time. And a devotee, even by sentiment or whimsically comes in this center and gives some service, that is a permanent record. And these karmīs, although they are acting very sincerely, but there is no guarantee what is the next life. He may become a dog. There are 8,400,000 species of life, and tyaktvā deham... Or what is that? Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). These will be dehāntara, change of this body. The body will be finished, everyone knows, but body being finished, you are not finished; nobody is finished. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). Then he has to accept another body. So if we do not work according to the rules and regulation of nature, then we have to accept another body, and we do not know what kind of body you are going to accept. But it will be a gift by nature. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni (BG 3.27). Eh? Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya sad-asad janma-yoniṣu (BG 13.22). So they do not know these things, the rascal civilization. Just like dancing like dog, that's all. This is rascal civilization. They have no responsibility of life, and dancing like dog. No. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very scientific movement. Everyone should try to understand. If he wants to understand through science, through philosophy, through logic—in any way—through religion, through culture—anyway he wants to understand, we have got volumes of books. Try to understand. It is not a bluff. It is all scientific. So either you accept as Kṛṣṇa, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, that jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇera dāsa... (Cc. Madhya 20.108-109). If you immediately accept the words of, accept the words of Kṛṣṇa-sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ (BG 18.66)—that is very good. But if you are very learned philosopher, scientist, then read books. Both ways we have prepared to convince you.

So,

jīvera svarūpa haya kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa
kṛṣṇera taṭasthā-śakti bhedābheda-prakāśa
(CC Madhya 20.108)

Bhedābheda-prakāśa. Bheda means difference, and abheda means one. Two philosophies are going on. The Māyāvādīs, they say, "We are the same." So 'ham: "I am the same." Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am the Supreme Brahman." But the Vedic literature says, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, but Kṛṣṇa, or God, is Param Brahman. In the Vedas there is no such thing as ahaṁ paraṁ brahmāsmi. No. They are misusing. The... Instead of understanding... Brahman, every one of us, we are Brahman. There is no doubt about it. But unfortunately, by mistake, by illusion, I am thinking, "I am this body." So spiritual education means first of all one has to understand that ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am Brahman. I am not this body." That is the beginning of spiritual education.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
(BG 18.54)

One has to become first of all... Not become. Just to understand one has to come to the platform of Brahman. Then spiritual education begins.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
naśocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām

So bhakti is not very ordinary thing. It begins after one is liberated. The Māyāvādī says that "By bhakti one can become one with God." No. That is not bhakti. That is Māyāvāda. That is mistake. Bhakti means to understand that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa." This conviction is possible when one is brahma-bhūtaḥ. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati. Brahma-bhūta means "I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa," as it is said, sūryāṁśa-kiraṇa, yaiche agni-jvālā-caya, svābhāvika kṛṣṇera... Oh... When one understands this, that "I am... My position is eternal servant," that is brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20). Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54). Then undoubtedly he becomes immediately jubilant, that "Now I have got my real master to serve. I am serving so many, I mean, items, in the family, in the society, in the community, in the nation. But I could not be satisfied. Neither I am..., persons to whom I have given my service, they are also not satisfied." This is wrong service. Nobody is satisfied. The so-called master is not satisfied, and the so-called servant is not satisfied. The so-called servant means that "Unless you pay me, I am not going to serve you." Strike. "I am your master. You pay me. Then I shall serve you." So nobody is servant actually. Everyone wants to become master, either collectively or individually. That is māyā. This is material world. And when one understands that he is not a master—he is servant—and the real master is Kṛṣṇa, that is liberation.