Body minus consciousness is dead body. Everyone knows it. A child can understand it, that I am speaking, you are hearing because your consciousness is present, my consciousness is present. As soon as my consciousness is deducted from this body, then this same mouth will not speak, the same hand will not move, the same your ear will not hear. The whole thing will be stopped. So it is very common sense affair, that consciousness, that is the main thing in this body. So any intelligent man with common sense can understand this. Now, what is this consciousness? This consciousness is the symptom of the soul.
Consciousness is the symptom of the soul
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Lectures
- 3 Conversations and Morning Walks
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
The soul is full of knowledge, or full always with consciousness. Therefore, consciousness is the symptom of the soul. Even if one does not find the soul within the heart, where he is situated, one can still understand the presence of the soul simply by the presence of consciousness. Sometimes we do not find the sun in the sky owing to clouds, or for some other reason, but the light of the sun is always there, and we are convinced that it is therefore daytime. As soon as there is a little light in the sky early in the morning, we can understand that the sun is in the sky. Similarly, since there is some consciousness in all bodies—whether man or animal—we can understand the presence of the soul. This consciousness of the soul is, however, different from the consciousness of the Supreme because the supreme consciousness is all-knowledge—past, present and future. The consciousness of the individual soul is prone to be forgetful. When he is forgetful of his real nature, he obtains education and enlightenment from the superior lessons of Kṛṣṇa. But Kṛṣṇa is not like the forgetful soul. If so, Kṛṣṇa's teachings of Bhagavad-gītā would be useless.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
There are many philosophies in the world. Particularly the philosophy which is called atheism, they think that consciousness is produced by material combination, and when consciousness is gone, that means the material composition could not tolerate or could not produce anything. They have got a different theory like that. But so far we are concerned, Vedic literature or Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā does not, I mean to say, accept this theory. Consciousness is eternal. Consciousness is eternal, and consciousness is the symptom of the soul.
How we shall know that one is situated in the pure consciousness? Simple imagination that "I am situated in pure consciousness"? No. Everything must be proved by symptoms. Everything must be proved by symptoms. Just like a patient is cured means there is subsidence of the fever, for example; similarly, the, we are just trying to separate ourself from the material conception of life to our exact position. I am spirit soul, and consciousness is the symptom. And I have to be situated in pure consciousness, dovetailing myself with the supreme consciousness. That is the whole program. Now, how that program are to be executed, that will be discussed in the Third Chapter.
The only example—several times I have cited—that existence of God can be perceived with very simple... What is that? Just like you can perceive your existence in this body by the consciousness... You have got consciousness. That point we have discussed several times. That consciousness is the symptom of your existence in this body. So long that consciousness is there, this bodily function is going on very nicely.
Similarly, as your consciousness is a symptom of your presence, you are spirit soul, similarly, the supreme consciousness is the symptom of the supreme soul, or God, the supreme God. This is the position. Now, as consciousness, we are part and parcel of the supreme consciousness. Therefore, the whole business of our life is to dovetail our activities with the supreme plan. That is called karma-yoga. That is called karma-yoga. Eko bahu syāt.
I have already told you that avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. That portion which is spread all over your body, that you are. That is avināśi, that is immortal. Now what is that? My consciousness. And what is that consciousness? That is the symptom of my presence. I am a soul present in this body, and the consciousness is the symptom. Means as soon as this consciousness is removed, the body has no value. That we are experiencing every day. As soon as from the body the consciousness is out, oh, it is dead body. We are crying, "Oh, my son is gone," "My husband is gone," "My brother..." Why your son is gone? It is lying there in the floor. Why you are crying? "No, no." That gone means that consciousness gone. Gone means that... Therefore the consciousness is the real thing.
And everyone can understand by the presence of consciousness. Any child can understand. The consciousness is the symptom of the spirit soul. So the whole process now we are trying from the Bhagavad-gītā is to bring one to get him on the platform of consciousness. And if we act from the platform of consciousness, then we may not be pushed again into the platform of this bodily conception. And if we can continue that platform, if we continue to act on that platform of consciousness, then, at the end of this body, not even at the end of this body, even in the presence of this body, we shall be free. We shall be free from material contamination. Our spiritual life will be revived and the result will be that in our next life, next life, after leaving this body, we shall have our full spiritual life eternally.
Consciousness is a constant companion of the soul. The consciousness means there is soul. Just like this body. I am speaking, I am talking or I am feeling, this consciousness. I am conscious. Why? Because I, the soul, is present. So consciousness is the symptom of the presence of the soul. Therefore when the soul transmigrates the consciousness is also there in another body. But this consciousness, if I take God consciousness, then I go to God. And if I take dog consciousness, I go to dog. That's all. The consciousness is there. Therefore we have to purify our consciousness. Instead of dog consciousness we have to make it God consciousness.
This consciousness is the symptom of the soul. That is... Just like in a light, in a fire, there is distribution of heat and light. Similarly, the spirit soul being present in your body, the consciousness is spread all over your body. This is the fact. Now this consciousness is being carried. Just like from your childhood this consciousness is being carried. From childhood body to boyhood body to youthhood body, the consciousness is continuing. Similarly, this consciousness will also carry you in another body, and that transformation or transmigration from one body to another, it is called death. Death means when this body cannot be carried any more, the consciousness has to be transferred to another new body. Just like when your garment is too old, it has to be changed; similarly, when this material body is too old to carry on, then this consciousness is transferred to another body and you begin another life. This is the process of nature.
And what is this consciousness? This consciousness is the reflection of real myself. Myself means soul. So as soon as the soul is within this body, there is perception of pains and pleasure, heat and cold, and so many things. That is consciousness. And as soon as the soul is out of this body, there is no more pain, pleasure, or heat and cold. A dead body, if you cut it into pieces, it will not protest. Therefore the soul, or consciousness, the symptom of soul, consciousness, is my self. My consciousness is the symptom of my real self. Similarly, there is another consciousness.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: So when one's... I say that I am conscious, you say you are conscious. We are conscious. That's a fact. And that consciousness is the symptom of the presence of the soul. Because from the dead body... Dead body means when the soul departs from the body, there is no more consciousness.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Consciousness is the symptom of ātmā. Because the ātmā is within your body, therefore your consciousness is there. Now, because the ātmā is within the body, if I pinch or if you pinch my body, I feel pains and pleasures. As soon as the ātmā is not there, it will be cut with a chopper, there is no protest. So, that ātmā is present within this body, that is understood by the presence of consciousness. Just like we are here in this room, but this light is the reflection of the sunshine. We understand there is sun in the sky. The light and heat we are feeling, that means the sun is in the sky. Similarly, our consciousness and knowledge, etc., are there, that means that the ātmā is there. The same ātmā, when it will go out of this body, there will be no more consciousness, no more knowledge, no more feelings of pains and pleasures.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: The soul is full of knowledge, or full always with consciousness. Therefore, consciousness is the symptom of the soul. Even if one does not find the soul within the heart, where he is situated, one can still understand the presence of the soul simply by the presence of consciousness. Sometimes we do not find the sun in the sky owing to clouds, or for some other reason, but the light of the sun is always there, and we are convinced that it is therefore daytime. As soon as there is a little light in the sky early in the morning, we can understand that the sun is in the sky. Similarly, since there is some consciousness in all bodies—whether man or animal—we can understand the presence of the soul.