|Canto 9: Liberation||Chapter 1: King Sudyumna Becomes a Woman|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 9.1.33
tata ūrdhvaḿ vanaḿ tad vai
puruṣā varjayanti hi
vicacāra vanād vanam
tataḥ ūrdhvam — from that time onward; vanam — forest; tat — that; vai — in particular; puruṣāḥ — males; varjayanti — do not enter; hi — indeed; sā — Sudyumna in the form of a woman; ca — also; anucara-saḿyuktā — accompanied by his companions; vicacāra — walked; vanāt vanam — within the forest from one place to another.
Since that time, no male had entered that forest. But now King Sudyumna, having been transformed into a female, began to walk with his associates from one forest to another.
In Bhagavad-gītā (2.22) it is said:
vāsāḿsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro 'parāṇi
tathā sarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saḿyāti navāni dehī
"As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones."
The body is just like a dress, and here this is proved. Sudyumna and his associates were all male, which means that their souls were covered by male dress, but now they became female, which means that their dress was changed. The soul, however, remains the same. It is said that by modern medical treatment a male can be transformed into a female, and a female into a male. The body, however, has no connection with the soul. The body can be changed, either in this life or the next. Therefore, one who has knowledge of the soul and how the soul transmigrates from one body to another does not pay attention to the body, which is nothing but a covering dress. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18]. Such a person sees the soul, which is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Therefore he is a sama-darśi, a learned person.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness