Smart Quote of the Day, July 18, 2019

Complexity: 
Easy

"No one knows whether he will receive a human body again; there is no guarantee, for according to one’s work one may get any body, from that of a demigod to that of a dog."

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This is a quote from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.2.58

[In this chapter, the demonic king Hiranyakashipu is comforting his family with philosophical advice, since his brother had recently been killed in a fight with the Supreme Person. Simultaneously, he's also plotting how to terrorize the universe.]

TRANSLATION

Hiranyakasipu said: While Yamaraja, in the form of a small boy, was instructing all the relatives surrounding the dead body of Suyajña, everyone was struck with wonder by his philosophical words. They could understand that everything material is temporary, not continuing to exist.

PURPORT:

This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (2.18). Antavanta ime deha nityasyoktah saririnah: the body is perishable, but the soul within the body is imperishable. Therefore the duty of those advanced in knowledge in human society is to study the constitutional position of the imperishable soul and not waste the valuable time of human life in merely maintaining the body and not considering life’s real responsibility.

Every human being should try to understand how the spirit soul can be happy and where he can attain an eternal, blissful life of knowledge. Human beings are meant to study these subject matters, not to be absorbed in caring for the temporary body, which is sure to change.

No one knows whether he will receive a human body again; there is no guarantee, for according to one’s work one may get any body, from that of a demigod to that of a dog. In this regard, Srila Madhvacarya comments:

aham mamabhimanadi-
 tva-yathottham anityakam
mahadadi yathottham ca
 nitya capi yathotthita
asvatantraiva prakrtih
 sva-tantro nitya eva ca
yathartha-bhutas ca para
 eka eva janardanah

Only Janardana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is ever-existing, but His creation, the material world, is temporary. Therefore everyone who is captivated by the material energy and absorbed in thinking, “I am this body, and everything belonging to this body is mine” is in illusion. One should think only of being eternally a part of Janardana, and one’s endeavor in this material world, especially in this human form of life, should be to attain the association of Janardana by going back home, back to Godhead.

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