Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami “Not For the Public”

The following is an excerpt from a room conversation with His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami and some of his disciples.

Date: Aug. 8, 1972
Location: London
Orginal Source and Audio

Prabhupāda: Now after few hours millions of germs are coming out. They were not visible when the body was not dead. Now where they were?

Revatīnandana: They were within the body.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Similarly, in everything there is living entity.

Śyāmasundara: Yeah. But…

Prabhupāda: They will be visible in due course of time.

Śyāmasundara: What, what he was telling me was that this table itself has a jīva soul, as if the table…

Prabhupāda: No, no.

Śyāmasundara: …is a person. Oh.

Revatīnandana: So that’s what I was asking when I said, “Does the table have a jīva soul?” I was trying to ask that question.

Śyāmasundara: That’s what completely threw me off. I thought, oh…

Revatīnandana: That, that threw us all.

Śyāmasundara: That means the table is a person, this is a person…

Prabhupāda: A particular jīva soul was in that body. That it, it is also proof that every jīva soul is individual, although they are living combinedly. Everything is individual.

Revatīnandana: Well that’s…, that’s all right then. Now if the…

Prabhupāda: But that one jīva soul was prominent. We…, he was visible. Others were in dormant condition. This proves that every individual soul is separate from the other; still they can remain together. Just like the sunshine, that small shining particles combine together.

Revatīnandana: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Molecules. So everything is the combined spirit particles.

Haṁsadūta: Everything that we see around us. Everything.

Prabhupāda: Everything. Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. Everything is Brahman. But when that covered, that is called material.

Śyāmasundara: Each, each jīva is…

Prabhupāda: That the sunshine is now covered is called cloudy. But this light, whatever light you are seeing, that is also sunshine. That is not different from the sunshine. And above the cloud, that is bright. So matter means when it is covered by something it is matter. That covering is unconsciousness.

Śyāmasundara: Hmm.

Revatīnandana: Is that covering…

Prabhupāda: That covering also created of the sunshine, by the same energy.

Revatīnandana: Yes.

Prabhupāda: But that by the same energy it is disappeared, uncovered.

Śyāmasundara: How, how is…

Prabhupāda: So, the conclusion is, living being, when it is covered by ignorance, that is material.

Revatīnandana: But this, the, the body itself…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Revatīnandana: …is sort of a, then is a manifestation of ignorance.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Revatīnandana: And the…

Prabhupāda: When this…

Revatīnandana: …then when we see this…

Prabhupāda: …when the ignorance is gone, then you have got spiritual body.

Revatīnandana: Yeah. And then, and then I know that I am not this body.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Revatīnandana: Then I know that I am not this body. The question is…

Prabhupāda: Then I am not ignorance.

Revatīnandana: Then there is some distinction between the nature of the soul…

Prabhupāda: Then…

Revatīnandana: …and the nature of the body.

Prabhupāda: …that, that distinction is inconceivable. You cannot make clear distinction. Therefore it is called acintya.

Revatīnandana: The distinction between the soul and the body?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everything which distinguish matter and spirit.

Revatīnandana: Yes.

Prabhupāda: That distinction is inconceivable by you. You cannot make a clear distinction. Therefore it is called acintya-bhedābheda-tattva: inconceivable one and different, simultaneously.

Śyāmasundara: When you…, when you said that, once before, that the cells, all the cells in our body, each one is a small living entity, or is a living entity with a small body, that each one of those living entities covers itself with ignorance?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: Takes a small body made out of matter.

Prabhupāda: That, that body means ignorant.

Śyāmasundara: Oh.

Prabhupāda: Śarīra avidyā-jāl. This body is nothing but a network of ignorance.

Śyāmasundara: So then myself, I organize all of these smaller cells, I organize them into my big body?

Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be, when you are covered, that is material. So try to understand. Covered by something.

Śyāmasundara: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: The same example, that the sunshine is there; it is covered now. That covering also creation of the sunshine. So therefore the covering has no separate existence. Originally the sunshine is everything.

Śyāmasundara: Oh.

Prabhupāda: Is it clear?

Śyāmasundara: So how do…, how do, how do I create the matter…

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Śyāmasundara: …that is my body? How do I create the…

Prabhupāda: You are, you are, you are creating. You are creating actually.

Śyāmasundara: By eating and…?

Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be. By your energy you are creating. This body is my creation. Just like I am the soul, I am here within this body. So I cut my hair, it is again growing. I do not know how I am creating, but I am creating. My nail is growing. I am growing. I am creating. They do not know. That is ignorance.

Revatīnandana: Sometimes people ask us… Then they ask us…

Prabhupāda: These questions are not to be discussed in public.

Revatīnandana: Yeah, I know, but then just like somebody…

Prabhupāda: These are very higher understanding.

Śyāmasundara: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: For public should be, “This is matter; this is spirit.” That’s all.