In relation to the material body even the factual truth cannot exist without a touch of untruth. The Mayavadis say, brahma satyam jagan mithya: “The spirit soul is truth, and the external energy is untruth.” The Vaisnava philosophers, however, do not agree with the Mayavada philosophy. Even if for the sake of argument the material world is accepted as untruth, the living entity entangled in the illusory energy cannot come out of it without the help of the body. Without the help of the body, one cannot follow a system of religion, nor can one speculate on philosophical perfection. Therefore, the flower and fruit (puspa-phalam) have to be obtained as a result of the body. Without the help of the body, that fruit cannot be gained. The Vaisnava philosophy therefore recommends yuktavairagya. It is not that all attention should be diverted for the maintenance of the body, but at the same time one’s bodily maintenance should not be neglected. As long as the body exists one can thoroughly study the Vedic instructions, and thus at the end of life one can achieve perfection. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita (8. 6): yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram. Everything is examined at the time of death. Therefore, although the body is temporary, not eternal, one can take from it the best service and make one’s life perfect.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Eighth Canto, Chapter 19 – Text 39

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