This living spirit remains within the body just like a tiny dose of a potent medicine: the soul spreads its presence all over the body. And thus, we can understand, the sensitivity we experience to even the slightest touch on any part of the body is due to the spreading of this living spirit throughout the body. But when this minute quantity of living spark is gone from the body, the body lies dead, prostrate, and it cannot feel the slightest pain—even if hacked by an ax.
That this minute living spark, the spirit, is not a material thing is proved by the fact that no material scientist has ever been able to create the living spark by any combination or quantity of material substances. Experienced material scientists have been obliged to accept the fact that the living spark cannot be duplicated by material science. Whatever can be created by the manipulation of matter is destructible and temporary. In contrast, the living spark is indestructible, precisely because it can never be constructed by any combination or quantity of matter. We can produce material atomic bombs but not the spiritual spark of life.
There is much advancement of material science all over the world, but regrettably, these advanced scientists have made no attempt to understand the living spark, the spirit, which is always the most important subject. This is our gross ignorance. This is our helplessness.
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.