Hare Krishna hare krsna

Who am I?

Your constitutional position is that you are pure living soul. This material body cannot be identified with your real self; nor is your mind your real identity, nor your intelligence, nor false ego. Your identity is that of eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. Your position is that you’re transcendental. The superior energy of Kṛṣṇa is spiritual in constitution, and the inferior external energy is material. Since you are between the material energy and the spiritual energy, your position is marginal. Belonging to the marginal potency of Kṛṣṇa, you are simultaneously one with and different from Kṛṣṇa. Because you are spirit, you are not different from Kṛṣṇa, and because you are only a minute particle of Kṛṣṇa, you are different from Him.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 64

Source of Everything

What is transmigration of soul?

The process of transmigration is very subtle. The spirit soul is invisible to our material eyes. It is atomic in size. After the destruction of the gross body, which is made up of the senses, blood, bone, fat, and so forth, the subtle body of mind, intelligence, and ego goes on working. So at the time of death this subtle body carries the small spirit soul to another gross body. The process is just like air carrying a fragrance. Nobody can see where this rose fragrance is coming from, but we know that it is being carried by the air. You cannot see how, but it is being done. Similarly, the process of transmigration of the soul is very subtle. Living entity takes birth after a gradual process of evolution through 8,400,000 species of life, including 900,000 aquatic species, 2,000,000 non-moving species such as vegetables, 1,100,000 reptile and insect species, 1,000,000 bird species, 3,000,000 beast species, and 400,000 human species.

According to the condition of the mind at the time of death, the minute spirit soul enters into the womb of a particular mother through the semen of a father, and then the soul develops a particular type of body given by the mother. It may be a human being, it may be a cat, a dog, or anything. As explained earlier there are 8,400,000 different forms of life, you can enter any of them, according to your mental condition at death. What we think of at the time of death depends on how we act during our life. As long as we are in material consciousness, our actions are under the control of the material nature, which is being conducted in three modes: goodness, passion, and ignorance. These modes are like the three basic colors – yellow, red, and blue. Just as one can mix red, yellow, and blue to produce millions of colors, the modes of nature are being mixed to produce many varieties of life. To stop the repetition of birth and death in different forms of life, we must transcend the covering of material nature and come to the platform of pure consciousness. But if we do not learn the transcendental science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then at death we must transfer to another body, either better or worse than our present one. If we cultivate the mode of goodness, then we are promoted to the higher planetary system, where there is a better standard of life. If we cultivate the mode of passion, then we will remain at the present stage. But if out of ignorance we commit sinful activities and violate nature’s laws, then we will be degraded to animal or plant life. Then again we must evolve to the human form, a process that may take millions of years. Therefore a human being must be responsible. He must take advantage of the rare opportunity of human life by understanding his relationship with God and acting accordingly. Then he can get out of the cycle of birth and death in different forms of life and go back home, back to Godhead.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Message of Godhead”, Page 32
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 32 & 183

iandkrsna krsna

How long we will have to accept a material body?

This human life is meant for advancing on the path of liberation. That is called apavarga, freedom from entanglement. We are all entangled. Our acceptance of this material body means that we are already entangled. But we should not progress in the process of entanglement. That process is called karma. As long as the mind is absorbed in karma, we will have to accept a material body. At the time of death, our mind may be thinking, “Oh, I could not complete this work. Oh, I am dying! I have to do this. I have to do that.” This means that Kṛṣṇa will give us another chance to do it, and so we will have to accept another body. He will give us the chance: “All right. You could not do it. Now do it. Take this body.”

As long as we have even the slightest tinge of an idea of becoming happy materially in some way or other, we shall have to accept a material body. Nature is so kind that according to the way we want to enjoy this material world, she will give us a suitable body, under the direction of the Lord. Because the Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, He knows everything. Therefore, knowing that we still want something material, He will give us another material body: “Yes, take it.” Kṛṣṇa wants us to have full experience through which to understand that by material gain we shall never be happy. This is Kṛṣṇa’s desire.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Teachings of Queen Kunti”, Page 68
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 160 

Cosmos-Consciousness

Types of liberation.

There are five kinds of liberation: 1) attaining the planet where the Lord resides, 2) associating with the Lord, 3) attaining a transcendental body like the Lord’s, 4) attaining opulence like the Lord, and 5) merging into the existence of the Lord. A devotee has no particular interest in any of these types of liberation. He is satisfied simply by being engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. A devotee is especially adverse to merging into the existence of the Lord and losing his individual identity. Indeed, a devotee considers oneness with the Lord to be hellish. He will, however, accept one of the four other kinds of liberation in consideration for being engaged in the service of the Lord. Out of the two possibilities of merging in transcendence – namely becoming one with the impersonal Brahman effulgence and becoming one with the Personality of Godhead – the latter is more abominable to the devotee. The devotee has no aspiration another than engaging in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. One who does not understand the transcendental nature of the body of Kṛṣṇa becomes Kṛṣṇa’s enemy and defies or fights with Him. The enemies eventually merge into the Lord’s Brahman effulgence. Such mukti or liberation into the Brahman effulgence is never desired by the Lord’s devotees.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2012 edition), “Teachings of Lord Caitanya, The Golden Avatara”, Page 323