The body consists of nine gates - two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, the anus and the genitals

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Expressions researched:
"The body has nine gates" |"body consists of nine gates" |"city of nine gates" |"nine gates in that city" |"nine gates in the body" |"nine gates"

Notes from the compiler: Query: "nine gates"

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 1 - 6

BG 5.13, Translation and Purport:

When the embodied living being controls his nature and mentally renounces all actions, he resides happily in the city of nine gates (the material body), neither working nor causing work to be done.

The embodied soul lives in the city of nine gates. The activities of the body, or the figurative city of the body, are conducted automatically by its particular modes of nature. The soul, although subjecting himself to the conditions of the body, can be beyond those conditions, if he so desires. Owing only to forgetfulness of his superior nature, he identifies with the material body, and therefore suffers. By Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he can revive his real position and thus come out of his embodiment. Therefore, when one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one at once becomes completely aloof from bodily activities. In such a controlled life, in which his deliberations are changed, he lives happily within the city of nine gates. The nine gates are mentioned as follows:

nava-dvāre pure dehī
haṁso lelāyate bahiḥ
vaśī sarvasya lokasya
sthāvarasya carasya ca

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is living within the body of a living entity, is the controller of all living entities all over the universe. The body consists of nine gates (two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, the anus and the genitals). The living entity in his conditioned stage identifies himself with the body, but when he identifies himself with the Lord within himself, he becomes just as free as the Lord, even while in the body." (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.18)

Therefore, a Kṛṣṇa conscious person is free from both the outer and inner activities of the material body.

BG Chapters 13 - 18

BG 14.11, Translation and Purport:

The manifestation of the mode of goodness can be experienced when all the gates of the body are illuminated by knowledge.

There are nine gates in the body: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, the mouth, the genitals and the anus. When every gate is illuminated by the symptoms of goodness, it should be understood that one has developed the mode of goodness. In the mode of goodness, one can see things in the right position, one can hear things in the right position, and one can taste things in the right position. One becomes cleansed inside and outside. In every gate there is development of the symptoms of happiness, and that is the position of goodness.

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 4

SB 4.25.13, Translation:

Once, while wandering in this way, he saw on the southern side of the Himalayas, in a place named Bhārata-varṣa (India), a city that had nine gates all about and was characterized by all auspicious facilities.

SB 4.25.37, Translation and Purport:

My dear lord, I have just arranged this city of nine gates for you so that you can have all kinds of sense gratification. You may live here for one hundred years, and everything for your sense gratification will be supplied.

Dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣānāṁ dārāḥ samprāpti-hetavaḥ. The wife is the cause of all kinds of success in religion, economic development, sense gratification and ultimately salvation. When one accepts a wife, it is to be understood that he is being helped in his progressive march toward liberation. In the beginning of life a person is trained as a brahmacārī and is then allowed to marry a suitable girl and become a householder. If one is thoroughly trained in household life, he finds all facilities for human life-eating, sleeping, mating and defending. Everything is there if it is executed according to regulative principles.

SB 4.25.45, Translation and Purport:

Of the nine gates in that city, seven were on the surface, and two were subterranean. A total of nine doors were constructed, and these led to different places. All the gates were used by the city's governor.

The seven gates of the body that are situated upward are the two eyes, two nostrils, two ears and one mouth. The two subterranean gates are the rectum and the genitals. The king, or the ruler of the body, who is the living entity, uses all these doors to enjoy different types of material pleasures. The system of opening different gates to different places is still evident in old Indian cities. Formerly a capital was surrounded by walls, and one passed through various gates to go to various cities or toward specific directions. In Old Delhi there are still remnants of surrounding walls and various gates known as the Kashmiri Gate, the Lahori Gate, etc. Similarly, in Ahmadabad there is a Delhi Gate. The point of this simile is that the living entity wants to enjoy different types of material opulences, and to this end nature has given him various holes in his body that he can utilize for sense enjoyment.

SB 4.28.4, Translation and Purport:

When Kālakanyā, daughter of Time, attacked the body, the dangerous soldiers of the King of the Yavanas entered the city through different gates. They then began to give severe trouble to all the citizens.

The body has nine gates—the two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, mouth, rectum and genitals. When one is harassed by the invalidity of old age, various diseases manifest at the gates of the body. For example, the eyes become so dim that one requires spectacles, and the ears become too weak to hear directly, and therefore one requires hearing aids. The nostrils are blocked by mucus, and one has to always sniff a medicinal bottle containing ammonia. Similarly, the mouth, too weak to chew, requires false teeth. The rectum also gives one trouble, and the evacuation process becomes difficult. Sometimes one has to take enemas and sometimes use a surgical nozzle to accelerate the passing of urine. In this way the city of Purañjana was attacked at various gates by the soldiers. Thus in old age all the gates of the body are blocked by so many diseases, and one has to take help from so many medicines and surgical appliances.

SB 4.28.56, Translation:

In that city (the material body) there are five gardens, nine gates, one protector, three apartments, six families, five stores, five material elements, and one woman who is lord of the house.

SB 4.28.57, Translation and Purport:

My dear friend, the five gardens are the five objects of sense enjoyment, and the protector is the life air, which passes through the nine gates. The three apartments are the chief ingredients—fire, water and earth. The six families are the aggregate total of the mind and five senses.

The five senses that acquire knowledge are sight, taste, smell, sound and touch, and these act through the nine gates—the two eyes, two ears, one mouth, two nostrils, one genital and one rectum. These holes are compared to gates in the walls of the city. The principal ingredients are earth, water and fire, and the principal actor is the mind, which is controlled by the intelligence (buddhi).

SB 4.28.60, Translation:

Actually, you are not the daughter of Vidarbha, nor is this man, Malayadhvaja, your well-wishing husband. Nor were you the actual husband of Purañjanī. You were simply captivated in this body of nine gates.

SB 4.29.4, Translation:

When the living entity wants to enjoy the modes of material nature in their totality, he prefers, out of many bodily forms, to accept that body which has nine gates, two hands and two legs. Thus he prefers to become a human being or a demigod.

SB 4.29.7, Translation and Purport:

The eleventh attendant, who is the commander of the others, is known as the mind. He is the leader of the senses both in the acquisition of knowledge and in the performance of work. The Pañcāla kingdom is that atmosphere in which the five sense objects are enjoyed. Within that Pañcāla kingdom is the city of the body, which has nine gates.

The mind is the center of all activities and is described here as bṛhad-bala, very powerful. To get out of the clutches of māyā, material existence, one has to control his mind. According to training, the mind is the friend and the enemy of the living entity. If one gets a good manager, his estate is very nicely managed, but if the manager is a thief, his estate is spoiled. Similarly, in his material, conditional existence, the living entity gives power of attorney to his mind. As such, he is liable to be misdirected by his mind into enjoying sense objects. Śrīla Ambarīṣa Mahārāja therefore first engaged his mind upon the lotus feet of the Lord. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18). When the mind is engaged in meditation on the lotus feet of the Lord, the senses are controlled. This system of control is called yama, and this means "subduing the senses." One who can subdue the senses is called a gosvāmī, but one who cannot control the mind is called go-dāsa. The mind directs the activities of the senses, which are expressed through different outlets, as described in the next verse.

SB 4.29.8, Translation and Purport:

The eyes, nostrils and ears are pairs of gates situated in one place. The mouth, genital and rectum are also different gates. Being placed into a body having these nine gates, the living entity acts externally in the material world and enjoys sense objects like form and taste.

Not being aware of his spiritual position, the living entity, directed by the mind, goes out through the nine gates to enjoy material objects. Because of long association with material objects, he forgets his real spiritual activities and is thus misled. The entire world is going on being misled by so-called leaders like scientists and philosophers, who have no knowledge of the spirit soul. Thus the conditioned soul becomes more and more entangled.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

There are nine gates in this body: the two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, one genital, one rectum.
Krsna Book 2:

Practically all material work is performed in ignorance, but because there are three qualities, sometimes the quality of ignorance is covered with goodness or passion. The taste of these material fruits is accepted through five senses. The five sense organs through which knowledge is acquired are subjected to six kinds of whips: lamentation, illusion, infirmity, death, hunger and thirst. This material body, or the material manifestation, is covered by seven layers: muscle, blood, marrow, bone, fat and semen. The branches of the tree are eight: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego. There are nine gates in this body: the two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, one genital, one rectum. And there are ten kinds of internal air passing within the body: prāṇa, apāna, udāna, vyāna, samāna, etc. The two birds seated in this tree, as explained above, are the living entity and the localized Supreme Personality of Godhead, Paramātmā.

Lectures

Philosophy Discussions

The body has got nine gates. In this way a figurative description in the..., is in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. But that city is figuratively taken as this body, and the king of the city is the soul.
Philosophy Discussion on St. Augustine:

Prabhupāda: So this figurative description is there in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The body is considered as like city, and the soul is described as the king of the city, and he goes out from different gates. The body has got nine gates. In this way a figurative description in the..., is in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. But that city is figuratively taken as this body, and the king of the city is the soul. (break)

Hayagrīva: This is the continuation of Augustine. Augustine writes, "God is not the soul of all things but the maker of all souls." So this doctrine seems to admit of the transcendence of God but not of the eminence of God, at least not as the Paramātmā accompanying the individual soul.

Prabhupāda: He does not accept Paramātmā?

Hayagrīva: It doesn't seem to be. It seems that...

Prabhupāda: Then how God is all-pervading? The Paramātmā conception is there in the Brahma-saṁhitā:

eko 'py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiṁ
yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara...
(Bs. 5.35)

Correspondence

1972 Correspondence

And the body is described there as city with nine gates, the intelligence as the Queen.
Letter to Krsnadasa -- Vrindaban 7 November, 1972:

But because you have asked me, I am your spiritual master, I must try to answer to your satisfaction. Yes, sometimes in Vedas such things like the asura's decapitated head chasing after Candraloka, sometimes it is explained allegorically. Just like now we are explaining in 4th Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam the story of King Puranjana. Just like the living entity is living within this body, and the body is described there as city with nine gates, the intelligence as the Queen. So there are sometimes allegorical explanations. So there are many things which do not corroborate with the so-called modern science, because they are explained in that way. But where is the guarantee that modern science is also correct? So we are concerned with Krishna Consciousness, and even though there is some difference of opinion between modern science and allegorical explanation in the Bhagavat, we have to take the essence of Srimad-Bhagavatam and utilize it for our higher benefit, without bothering about the correctness of the modern science or the allegorical explanation sometimes made in Srimad-Bhagavatam.

1977 Correspondence

Of course, sometimes there is allegorical reference in the Vedas, just like the body is called the city of nine gates, like that, so we may sometimes misunderstand due to our imperfect reading.
Letter to VARIOUS -- Unknown Place Unknown Date:

So this or that you may find out something flaw if you want. But Krsna says surrender unto Me and I will give you all protection, perfect knowledge of everything. You should not go to modern scientists for perfect knowledge. They cannot supply that. Krsna will supply you. Of course, sometimes there is allegorical reference in the Vedas, just like the body is called the city of nine gates, like that, so we may sometimes misunderstand due to our imperfect reading. Even it is true that they have landed on the moon, so what is their accomplishment? If I come to Earth planet and land in the Sahara desert, then I say, "Oh, this planet is a barren desert, no one lives here?" The moon may be like that or like this, so what does that help to our Krsna consciousness movement. We have nothing to do with moon planet or this planet and that planet in Krsna consciousness. We simply want to serve to Krsna, that's all.

Compiled byLaksmipriya +, Sahadeva + and RupaManjari +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryDecember 16, 0008 JL +
Date of last entryJuly 1, 0011 JL +
Total quotes16 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 2 +, SB: 10 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 1 +, Lec: 1 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 2 +