janmadayas tu dehasya
vikriya natmanah kvacit
kalanam iva naivendor
mrtir hy asya kuhur iva
Birth and other transformations are undergone by the body but never by the self, just as change occurs for the moon’s phases but never for the moon, though the new-moon day may be called the moon’s “death.”
Lord Balarama here explains how the conditioned souls identify with the body and how this identification should be given up. Certainly every ordinary person considers himself or herself young, middle-aged or old, healthy or sick. But such identification is an illusion, just as the waxing and waning of the moon is an illusion. When we identify ourselves with the material body, we lose our power to understand the soul.