svarnam yatha gravasu hema-karah
ksetresu yogais tad-abhijna apnuyat
ksetresu dehesu tathatma-yogair
adhyatma-vid brahma-gatim labheta
svarnam—gold; yatha—just as; gravasu—in the stones of gold ore; hema-karah—the expert who knows about gold; ksetresu—in the gold mines; yogaih—by various processes; tat-abhijnah—an expert who can understand where gold is; apnuyat—very easily obtains; ksetresu—within the material fields; dehesu—the human bodies and all the rest of the 8,400,000 different bodily forms; tatha—similarly; atma-yogaih—by spiritual processes; adhyatma-vit—one who is expert in understanding the distinction between spirit and matter; brahma-gatim—perfection in spiritual life; labheta—may obtain.
An expert geologist can understand where there is gold and by various processes can extract it from the gold ore. Similarly, a spiritually advanced person can understand how the spiritual particle exists within the body, and thus by cultivating spiritual knowledge he can attain perfection in spiritual life. However, as one who is not expert cannot understand where there is gold, a foolish person who has not cultivated spiritual knowledge cannot understand how the spirit exists within the body.
Here is a very good example concerning spiritual understanding. Foolish rascals, including so-called jnanis, philosophers and scientists, cannot understand the existence of the soul within the body because they are lacking in spiritual knowledge. The Vedas enjoin, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: [MU
tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham
“To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth.”
[Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12]
1.2.12] to understand spiritual knowledge, one must approach a bona fide spiritual master. Unless one has been trained in geology, one cannot detect gold in stone. Similarly, unless one has been trained by a spiritual master, he cannot understand what is spirit and what is matter. Here it is said, yogais tad-abhijnah. This indicates that one who has connected himself with spiritual knowledge can understand that there is a spiritual soul within the body. However, one who is in an animalistic conception of life and has no spiritual culture cannot understand. As an expert mineralogist or geologist can understand where there is gold and can then invest his money to dig there and chemically separate the gold from the ore, an expert spiritualist can understand where the soul is within matter. One who has not been trained cannot distinguish between gold and stone. Similarly, fools and rascals who have not learned from an expert spiritual master what is soul and what is matter cannot understand the existence of the soul within the body. To understand such knowledge, one must be trained in the mystic yoga system, or, finally, in the bhakti-yoga system. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (18.55), bhaktya mam abhijanati. Unless one takes shelter of the bhakti-yoga process, one cannot understand the existence of the soul within the body. Therefore Bhagavad-gita begins by teaching:
“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Bg. 2.13) Thus the first instruction is that one should understand that the soul is within the body and is transmigrating from one body to another. This is the beginning of spiritual knowledge. Any person who is not expert in understanding this science or is unwilling to understand it remains in the bodily conception of life, or the animalistic conception of life, as confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke. .. sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13]). Every member of human society should clearly understand the instructions of Bhagavad-gita, for only in this way can one be spiritually elevated and automatically give up the false, illusory knowledge by which one thinks, “I am this body, and everything belonging to this body is mine [aham mameti SB 5.5.8].” This doggish conception should be rejected immediately. One should be prepared to understand the spirit soul and the supreme spirit, God, who are eternally related. Thus one may return home, back to Godhead, having solved all the problems of life.

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