Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 13: The Haḿsa-avatāra Answers the Questions of the Sons of Brahmā

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.13.36

dehaḿ ca naśvaram avasthitam utthitaḿ

siddho na paśyati yato 'dhyagamat svarūpam

daivād apetam atha daiva-vaśād upetaḿ

vāso yathā parikṛtaḿ madirā-madāndhaḥ


deham — the material body; ca — also; naśvaramto be destroyed; avasthitam — seated; utthitam — risen; — or; siddhaḥ — one who is perfect; na paśyati — does not see; yataḥ — because; adhyagamathe has achieved; sva-rūpam — his actual spiritual identity; daivāt — by destiny; apetam — departed; atha — or thus; daiva — of destiny; vaśāt — by the control; upetam — achieved; vāsaḥ — clothes; yathā — just as; parikṛtam — placed on the body; madirā — of liquor; mada — by the intoxication; andhaḥ — blinded.


Just as a drunken man does not notice if he is wearing his coat or shirt, similarly, one who is perfect in self-realization and who has thus achieved his eternal identity does not notice whether the temporary body is sitting or standing. Indeed, if by God's will the body is finished or if by God's will he obtains a new body, a self-realized soul does not notice, just as a drunken man does not notice the situation of his outward dress.


A Kṛṣṇa conscious person who has achieved his spiritual identity does not accept sense gratification in the material world as the goal of his life. He is constantly engaged in the service of the Lord and knows that the temporary body and flickering mind are material. By superior intelligence in Kṛṣṇa consciousness he remains engaged in the Lord's service. The example of a drunken man in this verse is very nice. It is common knowledge that at mundane social gatherings men become drunk and lose all awareness of their external situation. Similarly, a liberated soul has already achieved his spiritual body and therefore knows that his continued existence does not depend on the material body. A liberated soul does not, however, inflict punishment on the body but rather remains neutral, naturally accepting his destiny as the will of the Supreme.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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