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SB 11.28.42

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


na hi tat kuśalādṛtyaṁ
tad-āyāso hy apārthakaḥ
antavattvāc charīrasya
phalasyeva vanaspateḥ


na—not; hi—indeed; tat—that; kuśala—by those expert in transcendental knowledge; ādṛtyam—to be respected; tat—of that; āyāsaḥ—the endeavor; hi—certainly; apārthakaḥ—useless; anta-vattvāt—because of being subject to destruction; śarīrasya—on the part of the material body; phalasya—of the fruit; iva—just as; vanaspateḥ—of a tree.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


This mystic bodily perfection is not valued very highly by those expert in transcendental knowledge. Indeed, they consider endeavor for such perfection useless, since the soul, like a tree, is permanent, but the body, like a tree's fruit, is subject to destruction.


The example given here is of a tree that seasonally bears fruit. The fruit exists for a very short time, whereas the tree may exist for thousands of years. Similarly, the spirit soul is eternal, whereas the material body, even when preserved as long as possible, is destroyed relatively quickly. The body should never be equated with the eternally existing spirit soul. Those who are actually intelligent, who actually have spiritual knowledge, are not interested in material mystic perfections.

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