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From: Bharadwaj, Jaganath (jbb0_at_nreca.org)
Date: Wed May 27 1998 - 11:44:06 PDT
Start of Geeta Upadesam:- Sri Bhagavaan: "Arjuna! Never was there a time when Myself, the controller of everything did not exist. Never was there a time when you did not exist. Never was there a time when any of these kings did not exist. Just as you are convinced about the eternal existence of Myself, who is the Supreme among all sentient beings, be convinced that similarly, all of you are going to exist forever. Therefore what is the point in grieving over something that cannot be destroyed?" Arjuna: "Kanna! How am I to believe that the soul will exist forever when all the time we talk about "that one died and this one is born"? Sri Bhagavaan: "Dhananjaya! Just as it is possible for a body to go through stages of childhood, youth and old age during the soul's residence in that body, similarly it is totally conceivable that the soul can change bodies at the end of a specified period. A learned person (Jnani) does not grieve over this. (Here is a definition of the word Jnani by Sri Thirukullam Narasimha Raghavachariar in answer to Sri Sudarshan's question of a week or two ago.) In other words, just as body undergoes changes during the residence of the soul within that body, the soul comes into contact with many different bodies during its stay in the material world. When we talk of the death of a person we only mean end of the residence of the soul in that particular body. It does not mean the death of the soul. We define the soul's contact with a new body as birth. The soul is subject to neither creation, nor destruction. That is why we consider living entities (souls) to be eternal." Arjuna: "Madhusoodhana! Even if the soul is eternal and the destruction of the body is imminent, can one stop grieving about the destruction of the bodies? I grieve over the impending destruction of the bodies of Bhishma and Drona." Sri Bhagavaan: "Oh Son of Kunti! Since the nature of the soul is eternal, it is meaningless to grieve for it. As the material body is temporary, it is certain that its existence in its current state will come to an end. Whether one grieves for the body or not will not change this fact. Never will there be a time when the soul will cease to exist." Arjuna: "Oh Son of Devaki! What is the reason for the immortality of the soul? Why is the body of temporary nature?" Sri Bhagavaan: "Oh Paandava! Since the soul is subtler (smaller in dimension) than any material object, it is capable of pervading any material object. In other words, since it is smaller than any proton, electron, quark or sub divisions of these particles yet to be discovered, it is capable of entering into these objects. The reverse is not possible. A weapon necessarily has to be smaller than the object it seeks to destroy. Therefore knives, hammers etc cannot destroy the soul. For all these reasons, it is not possible for us to perceive the soul. Saastras have made it very clear that the state of existence of the body is temporary. Therefore do not grieve for either the body or the soul. Perform your duty of fighting the battle with the aim of attaining liberation without being attached to the results of the war." Arjuna: "Vaasudeva! If the soul is indestructible, then how do we reconcile the regular usage of statements like - "He kills a man. He kills a goat. He kills a bull." with the above? If it were to refer to just the destruction of these bodies, then we should saying, "He killed his mother and father" when an individual cremates their bodies. Therefore, we have to necessarily mean that the soul is being destroyed when we talk about killing. In that case, how will the logic of the immortality of the soul hold?" Sri Bhagavaan: "One who thinks that there exists a weapon capable of destroying the indestructible soul and one who thinks that the soul can be destroyed by an object are both mistaken. They have not understood the truth. Since the soul is eternal, it is not capable of being destroyed by any object. There does not exist an object that can destroy the soul. Therefore expressions like "killing" and its derivatives should not be understood to mean the destruction of the nature of the soul. It only refers to the separation of the present body from the soul. This is what the Saastras say. The soul is neither born at the time of creation, nor dies at the time of dissolution of the universe. The talk of creation and destruction at the beginning and end of time (kalpa) refers only to the material body, not to the eternal soul." Arjuna: Kanna! (I accept the fact that) the eternal soul cannot be destroyed. Transmigration of the soul between various bodies alone takes place. But still how can you tell me not to grieve? If I fight this war and separate the souls from the bodies of kings and they get future bodies as animals and birds as a result of their karma, then is that not cause for grieving? I cannot be asked to rejoice just because they are going to get a new, rejuvenated body. Since there is no guarantee that by killing these kings, I am assuring them of bodies of demigods (superior birth) in the future, how can I not grieve for the separation of the body from the soul of these kings? Sri Bhagavaan: "Paartha! Just as a man discards worn out clothing and replaces them with new and more attractive clothing, soldiers discarding their bodies in a just war are assured of newer and more attractive bodies. Therefore, even though you need not rejoice, there is no need to grieve either." If you enjoyed the above post please support Sri Ranganatha Temple which made this possible. 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