Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 4 - Chapter 1 - Verse 9


सन्धीयमाने शिरसि दक्षो रुद्राभिवीक्षित: ।सद्य: सुप्त इवोत्तस्थौ दद‍ृशे चाग्रतो मृडम् ॥ ९ ॥


sandhīyamāne śirasidakṣo rudrābhivīkṣitaḥsadyaḥ supta ivottasthaudadṛśe cāgrato mṛḍam


When the animal’s head was fixed on the body of King Dakṣa, Dakṣa was immediately brought to consciousness, and as he awakened from sleep, the King saw Lord Śiva standing before him.


The example given here is that Dakṣa got up as if he were awakened from deep sleep. In Sanskrit this is called supta ivottasthau. The meaning is that after a man awakens from sleep, he immediately remembers all the duties which he must execute. Dakṣa was killed, and his head was taken away and burned to ashes. His body was lying dead, but by the grace of Lord Śiva, as soon as the head of a goat was joined to the body, Dakṣa came back to consciousness again. This indicates that consciousness is also individual. Dakṣa actually took another body when he took on the head of a goat, but because consciousness is individual, his consciousness remained the same although his bodily condition changed. Thus bodily construction has nothing to do with the development of consciousness. Consciousness is carried with the transmigration of the soul. There are many instances of this in Vedic history, such as the case of Mahārāja Bharata. After quitting his body as a king, Mahārāja Bharata was transferred to the body of a deer, but he retained the same consciousness. He knew that although formerly he was King Bharata, he had been transferred to the body of a deer because of his absorption in thinking of a deer at the time of his death. In spite of his having the body of a deer, however, his consciousness was as good as it was in the body of King Bharata. The arrangement by the Lord is so nice that if a person’s consciousness is turned into Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no doubt that in his next life he will be a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa, even if he is offered a different type of body.