The different type of body is due to our different karma and different mentality. That we do not know. But Parīkṣit Mahārāja, although he is king... Nowadays the king and president, they are sure that "I am Prime Minister" and "I am President. My position is secure," because he is prime minister. This is the difficulty. The big, big men, they think that "My position is secure," "I am prime minister," "I am Rahis," "I am Birla," "I am big man, so my position is secure." But Parīkṣit Mahārāja did not think like that. Although he was the emperor, most powerful king, Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he did not think that "I am secure. Because I am emperor of the world, I am secure." No. He immediately become alert: "Oh, I will have to die within seven days. So I must prepare." This is the problem. We do not know whether we are going to die within seven seconds, because there is no guarantee, whereas Parīkṣit Mahārāja had at least seven days' guarantee that he will die after seven days. But so far we are concerned, we can go on the street. There may be any accident. I can die immediately. There are, so many deaths are taking place. The death is sure, and when it will take place, that nobody knows.
Therefore we should take lesson from Mahārāja Parīkṣit that what we are going to prepare for our next life. That is human life. Otherwise it is animal life. The cats and dog, they do not know "What is my next life." They think that... They do not know anything. So if a human being does not know, "What I am preparing for the next life?" he is no better than cats and dogs. That is the statement of the śāstra. It is not my statement.
- yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
- sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
- yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
- janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
- (SB 10.84.13)
Go-kharaḥ. Go means cows and khara means ass. So anyone who has got this concept that "I am this body," "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am kṣatriya," "I am black," "I am white," "I am fat," "I am thin," "I am this," "I am that," this is ātma-buddhi, dehātma-buddhi. Yasyātma-buddhi... One should know that "I am not this body." That is real knowledge. That is real knowledge. But nobody knows that. Everyone thinking. The fighting is going on all over the world. Just like Israel and the, what other the party?
Prabhupāda: (laughs) They are thinking that they are this body, and they are fighting. And everywhere it is going on: "I am this body." Cats and dogs are fighting. So actually, we are not this body. That is knowledge. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā begins when Arjuna was thinking in terms of his body that he was declining to fight in terms of body. "Kṛṣṇa, they are my family members, my brothers, my grandfather, my nephews. How can I kill them?" So therefore Kṛṣṇa, when Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as his spiritual master... Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam: (BG 2.7) "Kṛṣṇa, now we are talking like friends, but that will not make a solution, because friendly talking useless waste of time. Let us talk seriously. So I accept You as my spiritual master." Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam. "Now you teach me."
So this is the process of taking lessons.