Changing Anatomy Doesnt Change The Self

Srimad Bhagavatam 09.01.19-33 - Changing Anatomy Doesnt Change The Self (download mp3)
by Sankirtana Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 9.1.19
nisamya tad vacas tasya
bhagavan prapitamahah
hotur vyatikramam jñatva
babhase ravi-nandanam

The most powerful great-grandfather Vasistha, after hearing these words of Manu, understood the discrepancy on the part of the priest. Thus he spoke as follows to the son of the sun-god.

SB 9.1.20
etat sankalpa-vaisamyam
hotus te vyabhicaratah
tathapi sadhayisye te
suprajastvam sva-tejasa

This discrepancy in the objective is due to your priest's deviation from the original purpose. However, by my own prowess I shall give you a good son.

SB 9.1.21
evam vyavasito rajan
bhagavan sa maha-yasah
astausid adi-purusam
ilayah pumstva-kamyaya

Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King Pariksit, after the most famous and powerful Vasistha made this decision, he offered prayers to the Supreme Person, Visnu, to transform Ila into a male.

SB 9.1.22
tasmai kama-varam tusto
bhagavan harir isvarah
dadav ilabhavat tena
sudyumnah purusarsabhah

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller, being pleased with Vasistha, gave him the benediction he desired. Thus Ila was transformed into a very fine male named Sudyumna.

SB 9.1.23-24
sa ekada maharaja
vicaran mrgayam vane
vrtah katipayamatyair
asvam aruhya saindhavam
pragrhya ruciram capam
sarams ca paramadbhutan
damsito 'numrgam viro
jagama disam uttaram

O King Pariksit, that hero Sudyumna, accompanied by a few ministers and associates and riding on a horse brought from Sindhupradesa, once went into the forest to hunt. He wore armor and was decorated with bows and arrows, and he was very beautiful. While following the animals and killing them, he reached the northern part of the forest.

SB 9.1.25
sukumara-vanam meror
adhastat pravivesa ha
yatraste bhagavañ charvo
ramamanah sahomaya

There in the north, at the bottom of Mount Meru, is a forest known as Sukumara where Lord Siva always enjoys with Uma. Sudyumna entered that forest.

SB 9.1.26
tasmin pravista evasau
sudyumnah para-vira-ha
apasyat striyam atmanam
asvam ca vadavam nrpa

O King Pariksit, as soon as Sudyumna, who was expert in subduing enemies, entered the forest, he saw himself transformed into a female and his horse transformed into a mare.

SB 9.1.27
tatha tad-anugah sarve
drstva vimanaso 'bhuvan
viksamanah parasparam

When his followers also saw their identities transformed and their sex reversed, they were all very morose and just looked at one another.

SB 9.1.28
katham evam guno desah
kena va bhagavan krtah
prasnam enam samacaksva
param kautuhalam hi nah

Maharaja Pariksit said: O most powerful brahmana, why was this place so empowered, and who made it so powerful? Kindly answer this question, for I am very eager to hear about this.

SB 9.1.29
sri-suka uvaca
ekada girisam drastum
rsayas tatra suvratah
diso vitimirabhasah
kurvantah samupagaman

Sukadeva Gosvami answered: Great saintly persons who strictly observed the spiritual rules and regulations and whose own effulgence dissipated all the darkness of all directions once came to see Lord Siva in that forest.

SB 9.1.30
tan vilokyambika devi
vivasa vridita bhrsam
bhartur ankat samutthaya
nivim asv atha paryadhat

When the goddess Ambika saw the great saintly persons, she was very much ashamed because at that time she was naked. She immediately got up from the lap of her husband and tried to cover her breast.

SB 9.1.31
rsayo 'pi tayor viksya
prasangam ramamanayoh
nivrttah prayayus tasman

Seeing Lord Siva and Parvati engaged in sexual affairs, all the great saintly persons immediately desisted from going further and departed for the asrama of Nara-Narayana.

SB 9.1.32
tad idam bhagavan aha
priyayah priya-kamyaya
sthanam yah pravised etat
sa vai yosid bhaved iti

Thereupon, just to please his wife, Lord Siva said, "Any male entering this place shall immediately become a female!"

SB 9.1.33
tata urdhvam vanam tad vai
purusa varjayanti hi
sa canucara-samyukta
vicacara vanad vanam

Since that time, no male had entered that forest. But now King Sudyumna, having been transformed into a female, began to walk with his associates from one forest to another.

In Bhagavad-gita (2.22) it is said:

vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya
navani grhnati naro 'parani
tatha sarirani vihaya jirnany
anyani samyati navani dehi

"As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones."

The body is just like a dress, and here this is proved. Sudyumna and his associates were all male, which means that their souls were covered by male dress, but now they became female, which means that their dress was changed. The soul, however, remains the same. It is said that by modern medical treatment a male can be transformed into a female, and a female into a male. The body, however, has no connection with the soul. The body can be changed, either in this life or the next. Therefore, one who has knowledge of the soul and how the soul transmigrates from one body to another does not pay attention to the body, which is nothing but a covering dress. Panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. Such a person sees the soul, which is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Therefore he is a sama-darsi, a learned person.