|Canto 1: Creation||Chapter 3: Krishna Is the Source of All Incarnations|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.32
atah param yad avyaktam
sa jivo yat punar-bhavah
atah -- this; param -- beyond; yat -- which; avyaktam -- unmanifested; avyudha -- without formal shape; guna-brimhitam -- affected by the qualities; adrishta -- unseen; asruta -- unheard; vastutvat -- being like that; sah -- that; jivah -- living being; yat -- that which; punah-bhavah -- takes birth repeatedly.
Beyond this gross conception of form is another, subtle conception of form which is without formal shape and is unseen, unheard and unmanifest. The living being has his form beyond this subtlety, otherwise he could not have repeated births.
As the gross cosmic manifestation is conceived as the gigantic body of the Lord, so also there is the conception of His subtle form, which is simply realized without being seen, heard or manifested. But in fact all these gross or subtle conceptions of the body are in relation with the living beings. The living being has his spiritual form beyond this gross material or subtle psychic existence. The gross body and psychic functions cease to act as soon as the living being leaves the visible gross body. In fact, we say that the living being has gone away because he is unseen and unheard. Even when the gross body is not acting when the living being is in sound sleep, we know that he is within the body by his breathing. So the living being's passing away from the body does not mean that there is no existence of the living soul. It is there, otherwise how can he repeat his births again and again?
The conclusion is that the Lord is eternally existent in His transcendental form, which is neither gross nor subtle like that of the living being; His body is never to be compared to the gross and subtle bodies of the living being. All such conceptions of God's body are imaginary. The living being has his eternal spiritual form, which is conditioned only by his material contamination.
Copyright (c) The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness