Knowledge of Soul is Important

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.04.19 - Knowledge of Soul is Important (download mp3)
by Mahaprabhu Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.4.19
bhuvi bhaumani bhutani
yatha yanty apayanti ca
nayam atma tathaitesu
viparyeti yathaiva bhuh

In this world, we can see that pots, dolls and other products of the earth appear, break and then disappear, mixing with the earth. Similarly, the bodies of all conditioned living entities are annihilated, but the living entities, like the earth itself, are unchanging and never annihilated [na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]

Although Kamsa is described as a demon, he had good knowledge of the affairs of atma-tattva, the truth of the self. Five thousand years ago, there were kings like Kamsa, who is described as an asura, but he was better than modern politicians and diplomats, who have no knowledge about atma-tattva. As stated in the Vedas, asango hy ayam purusah: the spirit soul has no connection with the changes of the material body. The body undergoes six changes—birth, growth, sustenance, by-products, dwindling and then annihilation—but the soul undergoes no such changes. Even after the annihilation of a particular bodily form, the original source of the bodily elements does not change. The living entity enjoys the material body, which appears and disappears, but the five elements earth, water, fire, air and ether remain the same. The example given here is that pots and dolls are produced from the earth, and when broken or destroyed they mingle with their original ingredients. In any case, the source of supply remains the same.

As already discussed, the body is made according to the desires of the soul. The soul desires, and thus the body is formed. Krsna therefore says in Bhagavad-gita (18.61):

isvarah sarva-bhutanam
hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati
bhramayan sarva-bhutani
yantrarudhani mayaya

"The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy." Neither the Supersoul, Paramatma, nor the individual soul changes its original, spiritual identity. The atma does not undergo birth, death or changes like the body. Therefore a Vedic aphorism says, asango hy ayam purusah: although the soul is conditioned within this material world, he has no connections with the changes of the material body.