We often think of “life” as a relatively short span of time in between our birth and our death—we celebrate birth as “coming into life” and mourn for the “dead”—when in fact life is an unending continuum, and what we call “birth and death” are merely bodily changes.
This is Krishna’s beginning instruction in the Bhagavad-gita; for the self there is neither birth nor death. We’re all eternal spiritual beings, meant to live eternally in relationship with the Supreme Person. The joy we experience once we understand the difference between our self and our material covering cannot be overestimated.
Beyond Birth and Death was prepared from transcripts of lectures Srila Prabhupada gave in 1966 on the second and eighth chapters of the Bhagavad-gita.