(Click to enlarge painting of Srila Prabhupada as a child with his father)
"In the material world one has to take birth. But actually spirit soul, or the Supreme Spirit, Kṛṣṇa, they are aja (unborn). Ajo nityaḥ śāśvato 'yam. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said clearly that living entity is aja, nitya, śāśvata, ayam (BG 2.20).
[For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.]
'Then how he is dying?' one may question. That is also replied: na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. Don't think… that dying means he's changing body, not dying. Therefore... because Kṛṣṇa says the living entity is aja, everyone can question that, 'If he's aja, he does not take birth, then why he's taking birth? Why he's dying?' The answer is immediately there: na hanyate, 'Don't think that he's dying.' Na hanyate. 'No, I see his body's being burned.' No, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). That body is being burned. That...
Suppose if your cloth is burned… In my childhood, when I was three, four years old, I was saved. My all cloth burned, and there is a scar. You have seen. I would have died that day, but fortunately I was saved. The cloth was burning. That, what is that called, matches color? So I was trying to burn, and it caught my cloth. So the cloth burned, but I did not burn. Similarly, this body also burns, but the soul… nainaṁ śastrāṇi chindanti na dahati pāvakaḥ, the soul is never cut into pieces by any weapon, neither it is burned by the fire, soul. That is eternity."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mayapur, October 10, 1974)