When one goes to prison he has to put aside his usual dress and take the prison dress. Similarly, anyone who comes into this material world has to take a material body. This is the law. Unless you have this material body, how can you feel pleasure in material sense enjoyment? It is just like performing on stage: if you are going to play a certain part, you have to dress accordingly. Therefore, this material body is compared to a dress. For example, every lady and gentleman; every one of us; has a different dress.
But our dress is superficial. As human beings we are one. Similarly, each one of us has a different bodily dress, but spiritually we are one. And this is true of all living entities: they are in different bodily dresses only.
The dresses are calculated to total 8,400,000 different forms. In the water there are 900,000 different dresses, and there are 2,000,000 different types of trees and plants. There are 1,100,000 species of insects, 1,000,000 types of birds, 3,000,000 types of beasts, and 400,000 forms of human beings. In this way, the living entity is passing through different dresses.
And the best dress is this human form, because in this dress you can understand what God is, what you are, and what your relationship with God is. Then you can act in that relationship and go back home, back to Godhead. In this human form of dress you have developed consciousness.
But if you miss this opportunity to understand God, then again you will be put into the cycle of the evolutionary process. We should not, therefore, misuse this human form. We should utilize it properly to understand the unlimited God and our relationship with Him, and to act on this knowledge. That is the perfection of life.
Ref: Back to Godhead Magzine 12-02-1977