An excerpt from lecture by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada, given in London on Aug 27, 1973.
“The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.” Bhagavad-gita 2.23
So here is another puzzle for the rascal scientists — because they are contemplating that except within this earth, in other planets, there is no life. Because the atmosphere is different, they cannot live there. Now, take for example the sun planet, fiery planet. So naturally, we shall imagine that no living entity can live there: it is fiery planet. But Krishna says that nainam dahati pavakah. The fire does not burn it. This is quite reasonable because the living entities are there, we can experience. Roughly we see that we are on the land and the aquatics, fishes, they are in the water. I cannot live within the water, neither the fish cannot live on the land, but from my experience, if we think that there is no living entities in water, is it not rascaldom? Similarly, these rascals are thinking from his own point of view. Because he cannot live within the fire or within the water, he’s thinking there is no life within the fire. This is rascaldom. To refute these rascals, Krishna says, nainam dahati pavakah. Even within the fire there are living entities. Therefore Krishna says imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. “I spoke first of all this Bhagavad-gita system to the sun-god.”
Now rascals will think that “How there is a god or there is a person in the sun planet?” They’ll think like that. Everything from his own angle of vision. This is modern science. “I cannot think of such thing. Therefore, there cannot be any such thing.” Just like everything should be within my experience. This is going on. They never admit that “What is your experience?” You are imperfect, your senses are imperfect, how you can be perfectly experienced? It is not possible. Acintya. There are so many inconceivable powers acting on behalf of Krishna. What are you? You may cheat some people that you have become God. That is another thing. But the inconceivable potency of Krishna, they are working differently. Srila Jiva Gosvami says that unless we accept this principle that Krishna or God has got inconceivable power, acintya-sakti, we cannot understand. If we put Krishna within the jurisdiction of my limited understanding, that is not understanding of Krishna. Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. That inconceivable power is also within us. We do not know. So many things are happening. The example, as I gave many times, that the one nail was taken off. Still, it grew exactly to the size of the nail. In my personal body, in the nails. So the doctors cannot make exactly fitting nail, but it is growing exactly to the size. Even it is inconceivable to me how it is growing. Even my hair grows inconceivable, I do not know. I cut every week, and it still grows. There are so many little inconceivable power within me. I am part and parcel of God. Just imagine how much inconceivable power is there in Krishna. It is common sense.
We understand from the sastras [scriptures] that Krishna, as Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, He created water within this universe and lie down, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu. Now we cannot conceive that how a person can produce water from the body like the sea and ocean. But if you think over little soberly, that sometimes we perspire, we get perspiration. That is water. In India, we have got special experience during summer season. Sometimes a small pot can be filled up with the water produced from my body like this, put. Of course, one must be healthy man. Then he’ll perspire and water will come out from the body. So I am limited. I am only a small particle of Krishna’s body, part and parcel. If I have got this power of producing water, maybe one grain or two grain or one ounce; Krishna has got unlimited power, why not a sea? Where is the difficulty to understand? He can produce unlimited quantity of water which may be known as ocean and sea. Yato va imani bhutani jayante. Therefore, Vedas say that “From whom all these five elements have come into being?” And Krishna says,bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakrtir astadha [Bhagavad-gita 7.4]
“That is my energy.” So everything is Krishna’s energy. He can produce. Try to verify from the example. Because you are little sample of Krishna. You can study what you are doing, what you are feeling, what you are acting. The same thing in unlimited quantity, Krishna has got the power. That’s all.
So here it is said, Arjuna might be thinking that “Krishna says this body is different from the soul. The soul is within. So now suppose when I place my sword on the body of my grandfather or my kinsmen, the body will cut, and, in the meantime, the soul is within the body. It may be cut because the soul is there. By accidentally, he may be cut.” Therefore Krishna says very distinctly;nainam chindanti sastrani, that “Soul cannot be cut. Any weapon. It cannot be pierced by your arrows, it cannot be cut into pieces by your sword, or if you use firearms it will not burn.” Nainam dahati pavakah. This is the position of soul. Immutable, indestructible. Another… This is the negative description of the soul. Nainam chindanti sastrani. Is there anything in this material world which cannot be cut into pieces? Have you got any experience? Take wood, stone, iron, or anything. It can be cut into pieces. Therefore, the…, when Krishna says nainam chindanti sastrani, that means it is nothing like anything material elements. It is different. It is different. Any material elements. There are earth, water, fire, air, and ether. You can prepare weapons from earth. Water, you cannot do now. But there can be a weapon from the water also. That was used in the Battle of Kuruksetra. Here, the atomic bomb is thrown, brahmastra. From the other side the watery astra is thrown so that the energy of the atomic bomb is immediately finished. So what the scientists know now? Although they have manufactured atomic bomb, but they are unable to manufacture another weapon counteraction of atomic bomb. That is not possible. But there is. Atomic bomb is fiery, and if you manufacture another bomb which is watery, then you can counteract. Because fight means I charge you with some kind of weapon. You have to protect yourself by the counteraction. That was going on. So nainam chindanti sastrani nainam dahati pavakah.
So it is quite natural to understand that if there is living entity within the earth, within the water, even in the air… That we experience. In the air there are so many living entities. In the water, unvisible, not seen by the naked eyes. By microscope, we can see so many germs are there in the water, in the air. So why not in the fire? Fire is also one of the material elements. Therefore, the sun planet, although it is fiery planet, there is inhabitation of different type of human being who may be called as demigods. But there are similar buildings, similar persons, cities, motorcars, everything. Everything is there. Otherwise, how Krishna could go there and says that imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1], unless it is exactly a planet like this where living entities, houses, roads, cars and everything is there? As Krishna advented Himself within this planet, He came here, Krishna can go anywhere. Krishna, when He was present, He was going anywhere. Sometimes within the waters, sometimes within the walls of the universe, sometimes in the spiritual world. He went to the spiritual world, taking Arjuna with Him. Arjuna also went with Him. And He saw the Karanodakasayi Vishnu in the spiritual world. These things are there, described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. He could go anywhere. They were going to the heavenly planets. That is Krishna. Not Guruji. (laughs) That one slap, and he’s blind. Not like that. Krishna could go, Krishna can do… All, this is called omnipotent, all-powerful. So unless we think of Krishna possessing unconceivable powers, we cannot understand Krishna.