Skandham-5. Chapter-1. Slokam-16.







Even if one is liberated, he nevertheless accepts the body he has received
according to his past karma. Without misconceptions, however, he regards his
enjoyment and suffering due to that karma the way an awakened person regards
a dream he had while sleeping. He thus remains steadfast and never works to
achieve another material body under the influence of the three modes of
material nature.



The difference between a liberated and conditioned soul is that the
conditioned soul is under the concept of bodily life, whereas a liberated person
knows that he is not the body but a spirit, different from the body. Priyavrata
might have thought that although a conditioned soul is forced to act according
to the laws of nature, why should he, who was far advanced in spiritual
understanding, accept the same kind of bondage and impediments to spiritual
advancement? To answer this doubt, Lord Brahmä informed him that even
those who are liberated do not resent accepting, in the present body, the
results of their past activities. While sleeping, one dreams many unreal things,
but when he awakens he disregards them and makes progress in factual life.
Similarly, a liberated person—one who has completely understood that he is
not the body but a spirit soul—disregards past activities performed in
ignorance and performs his present activities in such a way that they produce
no reactions. This is described in Bhagavad-geeta (3.9). Yajnarthat karmano
'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah: if one performs activities for the
satisfaction of the Supreme Personality, the yajna-puruña, his work does not
produce reactions, whereas karmés, who act for themselves, are bound by the
reactions of their work. A liberated person, therefore, does not think about
whatever he has ignorantly done in the past; instead, he acts in such a way
that he will not produce another body by fruitive activities. As clearly
mentioned in Bhagavad-geeta :




mäm ca yo 'vyabhicärena
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitän
brahma-bhüyäya kalpate



"One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any
circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes
to the level of Brahman." (Bg. 14.26) Regardless of what we have done in our
past lives, if we engage ourselves in unalloyed devotional service to the Lord in
this life, we will always be situated in the brahma-bhüta [SB 4.30.20] (liberated)
state, free from reactions, and will not be obliged to accept another material
body. Tyaktvä dehaà punar janma naiti mäm eti so 'rjuna (Bg. 4.9). After giving
up the body, one who has acted in that way does not accept another material
body, but instead goes back home, back to Godhead.

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