Napoleon constructed strong-built arches, but where he has gone, nobody knows

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"Napoleon constructed strong-built arches, but where he has gone, nobody knows"

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Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Suppose a man is constructing very nice house, very strong house. It will never fall down in any circumstances. But that's all right, but what you have done for yourself that you will never die so that you will enjoy this? "No. Let it be. Let me have a very strong-built house." So house remains. You go there. Strong-built nation. Just like Napoleon constructed strong-built arches, but where he has gone, nobody knows.
Napoleon Constructed Strong-built Arches, but Where He Has Gone, Nobody Knows
- Prabhupāda 0494


Lecture on BG 2.14 -- Germany, June 21, 1974:

Anyathā rūpam means in otherwise, staying or living in otherwise. Otherwise means that I am spirit soul. I have got spiritual body. But some way or other, circumstantially, on account of my desire, I get sometimes human body and sometimes dog's body, sometimes cat's body, sometimes tree's body, sometimes demigod's body. There are different, 8,400,000 different forms of body. So I am changing according to my desire. And according to my infection, kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgaḥ asya, and according to my... These are the subtle things. That is the real knowledge of human being, not to invent something for temporary happiness. That is foolishness. That is foolishness, wasting time. If we invent something for the comforts of this present body and I shall live very comfortably, but "You will not be allowed, sir, to live comfortably." First of all you know it. Suppose a man is constructing very nice house, very strong house. It will never fall down in any circumstances. But that's all right, but what you have done for yourself that you will never die so that you will enjoy this? "No. Let it be. Let me have a very strong-built house." So house remains. You go there. Strong-built nation. Just like Napoleon constructed strong-built arches, but where he has gone, nobody knows. So therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, sings, jaḍa-bidyā jato māyāra vaibhava tomāra bhajane bādhā. The more we advance in so-called material happiness or material advancement, the more we forget our real identity. This is the result.

So we should understand that we have got a separate business, real business. That is called self-realization, that "I am not this body." This is self-realization. That is being instructed by Kṛṣṇa in the beginning, that "You are not this body." The first understanding, first knowledge, is to understand that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul. I have got a different business." It is not that this temporary actions or activities like as a dog, or as a human being, or as a tiger or as a tree or as a fish, there are activities. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca. The same principle of bodily necessities. Eating, sleeping, sex life and defense. But in the human form of life, I have got a separate business, self-realization, to get out of this bodily entanglement. And that is called knowledge. Without this knowledge, anything we are advancing in knowledge, that is foolishness, that's all. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8).