Take a drop of water, as clear as possible. But if you see with microscope, you will see, "Oh, it is full of germs." So imperfect vision of existence, of the existence of the soul, does not mean that there is no soul. The soul is there

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"So imperfect vision of existence, of the existence of the soul, does not mean that there is no soul. The soul is there"


Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Take a drop of water, as clear as possible. But if you see with microscope, you will see, "Oh, it is full of germs." So imperfect vision of existence, of the existence of the soul, does not mean that there is no soul. The soul is there. Soul is there, and we can feel the presence of the soul by the symptom of consciousness. Consciousness. And that's a clear fact.
Lecture on BG Lecture Excerpts 2.44-45, 2.58 -- New York, March 25, 1966:

...decided that I am not this body. We have already discussed. I am not this body, and I am pure consciousness. Some way or other, I am encaged with this bodily dress, but I am not this body. I am pure consciousness. Now, if we actually want happiness or independence, then we have to remain in our pure consciousness position. Suppose if I do not belong to certain association or certain company, then I have to keep aloof from that company. So Lord Kṛṣṇa says that bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānām (BG 2.44). Those who are too much attached with bodily pleasure, bodily enjoyment, and tayāpahṛta-cetasām. Apahṛta-cetasām means those who are illusioned. Because bodily pleasure is not my pleasure. My pleasure is different because I am not this body. Just like a man in a feverish condition or in feverish delirium, speaking something. That is not his normal speaking. That is due to the delirious condition. So to bring him to the normal condition, the physician treats him to get out of that delirious condition. So similarly, our position is: because we have got..., some way or other, we have been entangled with this material body; therefore our conception of happiness is just like a man in the delirious condition.

So we have to cure. Some philosopher says that this delirious condition should be cured, and there should be no activity. They are afraid of any activity. Because our, these material activities have become source of distress for us, therefore there are certain philosophers, they say that we should stop all sorts of activities. Their highest culmination of perfection according to their idea is that stopping all sorts of activities. Just like Buddha philosophy, nirvāṇa. Nirvāṇa means stopping, stopping all activities. Buddha philosophy is... According to Lord Buddha, his theory is that due to the combination of material elements, this body has come into existence. Now, some way or other, if these material elements are separated or dismantled, then the cause of distress is removed. That is his... Just like you have got a big house and the tenants or the government or tax collector, they give us too much trouble. So if you think that better to dismantle this house so that to get rid of these all troubles...

So this theory, that separating the material elements by which this material body is formed, if they are broken or they are sent back to their original position, then we are free from all distresses, material... But we, at least those who are following this Bhagavad-gītā, this philosophy does not say that the material body is all in all. Beyond this material body, there is spirit, and the symptom of that spirit is understood by consciousness. Consciousness. That is the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā. Now, you cannot deny consciousness. You cannot deny consciousness. And consciousness minus... 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. Just like wherever there is some fire, there is heat or there is smoke. When you see something... Suppose you are sitting here. If you find somewhere smoking, then you are afraid, "Oh, there must be some fire. Otherwise why smoke is coming?" Or wherever you feel some heat, although you do not see the fire directly, still, you can understand that there is fire. Because there is smoke... Because there is heat, therefore there is fire. Similarly, this consciousness, nobody can deny this consciousness. Now, this consciousness, because this consciousness is, therefore I am, my, I mean to say, identification or my energy is being produced in the shape of consciousness. So this consciousness proves that I am the soul, present here. That is Gītā's philosophy, and that is the whole Vedic philosophy. Anyone, either the devotees...

Just like we belong to the devotee group of philosophers. Then there are others who are impersonalists. But they, or both of them, they do not deny the presence of the soul, presence of the soul. The Buddha philosophy, they do not recognize the soul. They, according to them, that the combination of matter at a certain stage produces consciousness. But that philosophy, that argument, can be refuted that with matter, you cannot produce consciousness. Because... Take the example of a dead man. The dead man is there. All the elements, material elements, are all there present. But you cannot revise, you cannot revoke that man to consciousness. The elements are there, the ingredients are there. Now, if you think this ingredient has been decomposed or deteriorated, then replace that ingredient. Just like in a machine. In a machine some part is wear and tear. It is not working, stopped. You can replace that part into new part, and the machine will work. But this is not like that. If you think that something has deteriorated in this body, therefore it has become dead. Say, for example, that they say generally, due to heart failure. Now, heart... Medical practitioners they know it that heart is always pumping like this, pumping like this. Now, can you produce heart action by artificial pumping? No. It is not possible. They give respiratory oxygen gas and so many things, but it cannot be revived.

Therefore it is a fact that the soul, soul is different from this body. So long the soul is there, the body acts. And we, with our blunt senses, our gross senses, we cannot see the soul. Therefore we deny it. Because our imperfect senses cannot see this. We cannot see so many things. So many things. Just like we are seeing this place is vacant, the outer space, but there are instruments. If you see with those instruments, you will find they are full of germs. Full of germs. Take a drop of water, as clear as possible. But if you see with microscope, you will see, "Oh, it is full of germs." So imperfect vision of existence, of the existence of the soul, does not mean that there is no soul. The soul is there. Soul is there, and we can feel the presence of the soul by the symptom of consciousness. Consciousness. And that's a clear fact.

Now, we have discussed all these points. Now, Kṛṣṇa says that if our whole misery... The whole philosophy is that our whole misery is due to this bodily contact. Bodily contact. We feel miseries, distress or happiness at the present stage. It is due to this body. We have already discussed that... Take, for example, the water. Water, in summertime it is very pleasant, and wintertime, oh, it is very distressful. We are afraid. Even a drop of cold water, we are afraid of. Without hot water, we cannot take our bath. Now, water as it is, it is water constitutionally, chemically or whatever it may be, but it is due to the bodily touch of the water we sometimes feel pleasure and sometimes feel distress. Therefore all our feelings of distress and happiness is due to this body. Is due to the body. Body under certain condition, mind under certain condition, feels happiness and feel distress. So therefore, We are actually hankering after happiness because the soul's constitution is happiness. Soul's constitution is happiness. Anyone who is brought up in a very nice family with all comfortable conditions, as he feels distress in a different condition, similarly, the soul is the part and parcel of the Supreme Being.

Supreme Being, His constitution is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1). The Supreme Being is the embodiment of eternity, bliss and knowledge. Eternity, bliss and knowledge. That is the constitution of the supreme entity. He is eternal, He is blissful, and always full of pleasure. Always full of pleasure. Kṛṣṇa, this word, Kṛṣṇa... Now, we have chanted, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. This Kṛṣṇa is... Do not take it that we are presenting some sectarian conception of God or like that. This Kṛṣṇa, this is a Sanskrit word. You have to understand, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa means... Kṛṣ means the greatest, and ṇa means pleasure. He is the symbol of greatest pleasure, greatest pleasure. So we are also part and parcel of that greatest pleasure. Just like the ocean and a drop of water of the ocean, if you chemically analyze, you will find the same ingredients. The volume of the ocean is certainly greater than the volume of the drop of the ocean water, but so far the constitution is concerned, either this drop of ocean water or the full ocean water, the same chemical composition you will find. Similarly, because we are part and parcel of the Supreme, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1), eternity, blissful and knowledge, therefore, although we are minute particles, minute particle... But the minute particle has got so much energy. You can just see that that minute particle of the soul within this body, how wonderful things we are doing. Everything, whatever material manifestation, at least in this world... In New York City you see so many big, big buildings and so many machineries, factories and organization, but who has done it? That minute particle, embodied liv..., the soul. Just see. If that minute particle can play so much wonderful thing, just see, just imagine what wonderful things cannot be done by the supreme particle. Or not particle, He is the whole. He is the whole. Because we do not understand the capacity, the energy of the... Just calculate mathematically, mathematically. Now, this particle, the particle is so small that it has been calculated that one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair is the measurement of the soul. Now, we cannot even imagine, but supposing that point, if that point has got so much energy that it is playing wonderful things, everything is being manufactured by the brain of that small particle, now you can just make a proportion: then the full one, how much wonderful things He can do. If a small particle of... A spark of fire, if it is dropped here, it will at once burn it. Now, you can just imagine the big fire, how much capacity has got.