Human beings are like actors on a stage

Night for the sage and darkness for the unenlightened

The Vedas explain that the human beings in this material world are like actors on a stage, performing under the direction of a superior. Onstage, one actor may play the role of a master, and another may play the role of his
servant, but they are both actually the servants of the director. In the same way, all living entities are the servants of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna. Their roles as masters and servants in the material world are temporary and imaginary. Jada Bharata compared the mind to a flame in a lamp. "When the flame burns the wick improperly, the lamp is blackened with soot. But when the lamp is filled with clarified butter and the flame burns properly, the lamp produces brilliant illumination. The mind absorbed in material life brings endless suffering in the cycle of reincarnation, but when the mind is used to cultivate spiritual knowledge, it brings about the original brightness of spiritual life." All of these bodies are like the bodies we experience in dreams. When a man goes to sleep, he forgets his real identity and may dream that he has become a king. He cannot remember what he was doing before he went to sleep, nor can he imagine what he will do upon waking. In the same way, when a soul identifies with a temporary, material body, he forgets his real, spiritual identity, as well as any previous lives in the material world, although most souls in a human body have already transmigrated through all 8,400,000 species of life. "The living entity thus transmigrates from one material body to another in human life, animal life, and life as a demigod," the Yamadutas said. "When the living entity gets the body of a demigod, he is very happy. When he gets a human body, he is sometimes happy and sometimes sad. And when he gets the body of an animal, he is always fearful. In all conditions, however, he suffers terribly, experiencing birth, death, disease, and old age. His miserable condition is called samsara, or transmigration of the soul through different species of material life. After death one forgets everything about the present bodily relationships; we have a little experience of this at night when we go to sleep. While sleeping, we forget everything about this body and bodily relations, although this forgetfulness is a temporary situation for only a few hours. Death is nothing but sleeping for a few months in order to develop another term of bodily encagement, which we are awarded by the law of nature according to our aspiration. Therefore, one has only to change the aspiration during the course of this present body, and for this there is need of training in the current duration of human life. This training can be begun at any stage of life, or even a few seconds before death, but the usual procedure is for one to get the training from very early life.


By Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadas
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Text 69

What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.

There are two classes of intelligent men. One is intelligent in material activities for sense gratification, and the other is introspective and awake to the cultivation of self-realization. Activities of the introspective sage, or thoughtful man, are night for persons materially absorbed. Materialistic persons remain asleep in such a night due to their ignorance of self-realization. The introspective sage remains alert in the "night" of the materialistic men

The sage feels transcendental pleasure in the gradual advancement of spiritual culture, whereas the man in materialistic activities, being asleep to self-realization, dreams of varieties of sense pleasure, feeling sometimes happy and sometimes distressed in his sleeping condition. The introspective man is always indifferent to materialistic happiness and distress. He goes on with his self-realization activities undisturbed by material reactions. Top  Homepage