Śrī Jagadish Chandra Bose, Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin—the brilliant brain substance of each of them stopped working utterly, as soon as this little spark of living substance separated from their respective bodies. If it were possible to create this living substance by chemical or physical combination or permutation of matter, then surely some disciple or other of these great scientists would have brought them back to life and would thus have prolonged their scientific contribution to the world. But no material scientist can create the living spark by any material arrangement, and those who say they can do so in the future are the greatest of fools and hypocrites. The living spirit is eternal—he has no end and no beginning and thus can never be created by any method whatsoever. After all, it is within our experience that every created thing is subject to annihilation. The eternality of the spirit soul is proved through its noncreatability by material means.
And thus one who thinks that he can destroy the living spark also does not know anything about it. The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, therefore emphatically declares that the living entity, being spirit, is never born. The living entity exists eternally and has no past, present, or future tenses. The spirit is never annihilated, nor can anyone annihilate him, even after the annihilation of the material body. He therefore has no birth and no death. Nor does he grow or diminish by repeated material births and deaths. The spiritual entity is ever fresh and new, although he is the oldest of all. He is always different from the material body and mind, which are always subject to death and annihilation.
The learned scholar, who is aware of this transcendental knowledge, does not try to annihilate anyone or order anyone annihilated, like a fool. One may then ask this question: What was the purpose for which Arjuna fought on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra? The answer is plain and simple. The fight that is fought in pursuance of military duty touches the body only. The effects of war or pitched upheavals touch the body only and not the soul, much as the effects of a sumptuous feast touch the hunger of the stomach only and not that of the mind. None of these material effects ever touches the eternal living entity, the spirit soul, because the living spirit is invincible, nonflammable, nonmoistenable, and nondryable. Everything that is material can be cut into pieces, can be burnt up, can be moistened, and can be dried up in the air. Thus, to illustrate that the living entity, or spirit soul, is entirely metaphysical, the above explanation is given as indirect proof by negation of material attributes.
It is said that the living spirit is eternal, all-pervading, unchangeable, indestructible, and so forth. What is known in India as sanātana-dharma, or "the eternal religion," is meant for this living spirit. That is to say, real spiritualism is transcendental to the various religions that focus on the gross material body or the subtle material mind. This sanātana-dharma, the eternal religion, is never established just for one particular people, place, or time. It is for this reason that sanātana-dharma is also termed all-pervasive. All other religions except the one that is known as sanātana-dharma are meant for the culturing of physical or psychological effects.
The psychological effects of various peoples, places, and times have led us to designate ourselves as Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Congressites, Luddites, Socialists, Bolsheviks, and so forth. Specifically in the field of religion, we have tried to establish many varieties of ephemeral physical and mental arrangements, varieties of denominations, according to various peoples, places, and times. And precisely for this reason, we can envision ourselves "changing religions." One who is a "Hindu" today may become a "Muhammadan" the next day, or one who is a "Muhammadan" today may become a "Christian" the next day, and so on. But when we attain transcendental knowledge and are established in the actual, eternal religion of the actual living entity—the spirit soul—then and then only can we attain real, undeniable peace, prosperity, and happiness in the world. Until that time, there can be no peace and prosperity for us, because we are not situated on the plane of sanātana-dharma, or the eternal religion of the soul.
Being minute and thus invisible to our material eyes, the spirit soul is called inexplicable, inconceivable, and so on. The spirit soul is nonetheless understood to be eternal, because he is never subject to the ordeals of birth, death, disease, and old age or to any other physical transformations. Therefore, eternal peace and prosperity will be established only when there is vigorous propagation of this inexplicable, eternal religion of the living spirit soul. For then only shall we be relieved of physical transformations such as birth, death, disease, and old age. We should always remember, however, that this eternal religion of the soul is never bound by any physical limitation of people, place, or time.