The Power of Spirit Soul
By Narasimha das
“Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.”
When having a nightmare, it is generally easy to awaken from the dream. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to end the nightmare of material existence, although, in theory, this can be done as easily as awakening from a bad dream. Our dreams of false material existence is no more substantial than a fleeting nightmare or hallucination. But this enduring illusion is difficult to overcome due to our longstanding habit of working hard for sense enjoyment in this material world.
“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of three modes of material nature, is very difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 7.14)
Yogis and sages struggle to control their minds and senses to free themselves from illusion. As Srila Prabhupada, however, it is not possible even for great sages and demigods to transcend illusion unless they first surrender to Lord Krishna and engage in His devotional service under the direction of a liberated devotee. The core problem of the conditioned soul is his unwillingness to surrender to Krishna. This may be due to aversion, fear, distrust, delusion, or doubts. Doubts stem from our false idea of self, and our ignorance of the soul, Supersoul, and Kingdom of God. In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna teaches us that an individual spirit soul exists in every living being. We may theoretically believe in God and spirit, but simple believing may not be enough. We need full understanding or realization. (Srila Prabhupada said that “realization” means our understanding is complete.)
Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, “As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 2.13)
Lord Krishna further explains: “For the soul, there is never birth nor death. Nor having once been does he ever cease to be. He is unborn eternal, ever-existing, undying, and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 2.20)
Death is the final change for the body, but the soul is changeless and immortal and thus continues to superficially accept and change bodies perpetually, until he is finally liberated from samsara–the cycle of birth and death—through self-realization.
Persons liberated from mundane conceptions of “self” realize the eternality of the soul. According to the great scriptures like Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, such persons may then enter the all-pervading effulgence of God, the “Great White Light” (brahmajyoti), which is pure consciousness. In the “white light”, one’s eternal self-identity “merges” into the Absolute Totality, and the soul (jivatma) attains equilibrium in boundless tranquility, yet without awareness of his eternal loving relationship with Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna. Self-realized Vedic teachers (acharyas) and scripture warn that one may fall from this position of partial liberation. Great saints never accept this kind of impersonal liberation because in this state one may not revive his innate pure love of God (prema-bhakti). Liberated souls confirm that a far better option for a purified person is to fully engage is devotional service to Krishna and in this way revive his eternal identity as a servant of Krishna. Such a fully liberated soul enters the Kingdom of God (Goloka) for eternal blissful life in full freedom and full knowledge. All this is described by pure devotees and avatars of God. All details of this path are recorded in the Vedas, particularly Srimad-Bhagavatam. (Translations and purports by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)
Unfortunately, most people are too dull to take advantage of this science. This is a sad thing about material existence: it makes people dull–and ignorant of God and the meaning of human life. As Srila Prabhupada noted, “People have forgotten what a powerful soul they have.”
“Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.” (Bg. 2.29)
According to all Vedic scriptures, an individual soul (jivatma) resides within the heart of every living being. In his natural state, the soul is full in mystic powers and limitless opulence in terms of eternality, knowledge, freedom, and bliss. The liberated soul lives without fear or anxiety and is free to travel anywhere in the material or spiritual worlds. He needs no assistance of any machine, yogi, or demigod.
“…The great saint Narada is so liberated that he can go to the Vaikuṇṭha planets to see Narayaṇa and then immediately come to this planet in the material world and go to Prayaga to bathe in the confluence of three rivers…. A liberated person who has no material body can go anywhere and everywhere; therefore a living entity is called sarva–ga, which indicates that he can go anywhere and everywhere…” (Cc. Madhya 24.230, Purport)
“From authoritative scripture it is learned that Prahlada Maharaja still lives in Vaikuṇṭhaloka as well as within this material world on the planet Sutala. This transcendental quality of existing simultaneously in different places is another qualification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutaḥ [Bs. 5.37]: the Lord appears in the core of everyone’s heart, yet He exists on His own planet, Goloka Vṛndavana. A devotee acquires qualities almost the same as those of the Lord because of unalloyed devotional service. Ordinary living beings cannot be so qualified, but a devotee can be qualified like the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not in full but partially.” (SB.7.4.34, Purport)
“…But although Arjuna is with Krishna in innumerable different material universes at one time, still there is only one spirit soul who is Arjuna. This spirit soul expands into many different bodies and thus you can understand that there are also incarnations of devotees as well as incarnations of Krishna. This is the power of the spirit soul, that it is unlimited. Such conception cannot be understood while one is still in the conditioned state.” (SP-Letter)
“The bestial civilization of eating, sleeping, fearing, and sense-gratifying has misled modern man into forgetting how powerful a soul he has. As we have already described, the soul is a spiritual spark many, many times more illuminating, dazzling and powerful than the sun, moon or electricity. Human life is spoiled when man does not realize his real identity with his soul. Lord Chaitanya appeared with Lord Nityananda to save man from this type of misleading civilization.”
“The Brahma-saṁhita also confirms that the spiritual body of the Supreme Lord is so powerful that any part of that body can perform the functions of any other part. We can only touch with our hands or skin, but Kṛishṇa can touch just by glancing. We can only see with our eyes; we cannot touch or smell with them. Kṛishna, however, can smell and also eat with His eyes. When foodstuffs are offered to Krishna, we don’t see Him eating, but He eats simply by glancing at the food. We cannot imagine how things work in the spiritual world where everything is spiritual. It is not that Kṛishna does not eat or that we imagine that He eats; He actually eats, but His eating is different from ours. Our eating process will be similar to His when we are completely on the spiritual platform. On that platform every part of the body can act on behalf of any other part.” (Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, Introduction)
“… Some devotee wants to serve Kṛishna as flower; they become flower there. If I want that ‘As a flower I shall lie down at the lotus feet of Krishṇa,’ he becomes flower, voluntarily. And he can change his…, from flower to human body. That is spiritual life. There is no restriction. If some devotee wants to serve Kṛishna as cow, he serves Kṛiṣhṇa as cow, as calf, as flower, as plant, as water, as ground, field, or as father, as mother, as friend, as beloved, anything. ye yatha mam prapadyante aāṁs tathaiva bhajamy aham [Bg. 4.11]. That is Kṛishṇa’s all-powerfulness, spiritual life.”
Great devotees are always joyful, yet they feel compassion for unfortunate conditioned souls, who chase illusory political, economic, and social objectives only for the hope of achieving flash-in-the-pan mundane sense gratification. The whole rat race is based on illusory ideas of bodily, familial, national, and cultural identities. Materialists work hard for material progress due to their ignorance of the soul and the nature and identity of Lord Krishna and His Pure Devotees. Such ignorance makes it hard for people to appreciate Srila Prabhupada’s books and teachings.
“A nitya-siddha is one who was never contaminated by material nature. Nitya-siddha never came in contact with material nature… All the associates of Lord Chaitanya are nitya-siddha, or eternally perfect. We should understand that as Lord Chaitanya, Krishna Himself, is transcendental, similarly His personal associates are also nitya-siddha, or eternally transcendental. Simply by accepting that the associates of Lord Chaitanya are eternally free, one is immediately promoted to the transcendental abode of Lord Krishna.” (Narottama das Thakura’s Savarana-sri-gaura-mahima, Purport)
“Gaurangera bhakta-gane jane jane shakti dhare. The purport of this song is that the devotees of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are very powerful, and each and every one of them can deliver the whole world…” (Cc. Madhya 24.255, Purport)
Srila Prabhupada is the bona fide spiritual master and teacher for this age. He has shown the world the easiest path of liberation by revealing in the glories of Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda, and Their eternally perfect associates. He is the jagat-guru for the Golden Ageof Lord Chaitanya and the empowered representative of Lord Nityananda. Bona fide preachers recruit and train new devotees on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, who imparts genuine diksha and the transcendental knowledge that defeats our illusion and bondage forever.