I, Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath sa-shaktikaayai bow down at the lotus feet of my first Guru, my revered father Pandit Shri Murli Dhar ji Mishr, Vidya Guru Kaul Shiromani Shri Shivanand Nath ji, Yoga Guru Paramhamsa Shri Balendu Giri ji Maharaj, Tantra Guru Shri Shri Anta Devji Maharaj, Vama Guru Shri Kaleshwaranand Ji Maharaj and all the compassionate Masters, divine souls of Gurumandala.. I pray for their love, support and guidance always..
अन्तवन्त इमे देहा नित्यस्योक्ता: शरीरिण: |
अनाशिनोऽप्रमेयस्य तस्माद्युध्यस्व भारत ॥2-18॥
antavanta ime dehaa nityasyoktaaḥ shareerinah |
anaashino Aprameyasya tasmaad yudhyasva bhaarata ||
anta-vantah— the one having an end; ime— these; dehaa— physical bodies; nityasya—eternally; uktaah— are told to be; shareerinah— of the embodied (shareeri) soul; anaashinah— the one that is indestructible; aprameyasya— immeasurable or beyond perception of sense organs; tasmaad— therefore; yudhyasva— fight; bhaarata—O descendant of Bharat, Arjuna
These physical bodies are destructible, the one who lives in the body is everlasting, indeterminable and can not be destroyed. Therefore, O descendant of Bharata, engage in the battle.
Having described the nature of Self, Krishna further says.. The bodies that you are seeing are definitely going to perish but the one in whom this this body manifests is beyond the cycle of creation and destruction. In the previous shloka he was describing the Self as Sarvamidam all that is but now when Krishna is zeroing down to the battle field and people standing in front of them. He emphasises that this Self that is everywhere is definitely there in these bodies but he uses the word Aprameya now – means that it can not be proven using the inputs/knowledge/perception of the senses. It can not be known through gross and subtle senses.
Krishna is using this word aprameya so aptly here for anyone who has not experienced the ‘Self’ or ‘Atman‘ upon being given this understanding (Sarvam Idam – all that is) would probably take it because when it is referred to as Idam (That) we are generally taken away from I (Aham). Word ‘That’ is takes our attention in some place, direction or event. It is used while pointing the finger to something, someone or anything that is separate from you. And when you don’t recognize the fact that even Aham (I, me) the part of Idam you would want from your Guru that you be shown this Self – wrongly considering it as ‘something out there’. Krishna therefore wisely uses this word Aprameya to describe the Atman.
Apremeya does not necessarily mean that it can not be known because if Self becomes unknowable then all the Gita, Upanishads and Spirituality would become null and void. Aprameya simply means you can not perceive it outside – using your senses, mind, logic or intellect. No amount of calculation, reasoning or explanation can make you really know that however you can always experience it. That ever pervading, indestructible principle Self (Brahmn) is known as Atma – This very I; When we use the word ‘known’ it means experiencing it. For example sweetness of jaggery can only be experienced but can never be explained. Now think of something that you can not experience even using senses (Smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing) – what should it be called? It is in this sense it is Aprameya.
Another meaning is the one which does not require any proof for its existence.. Proof in sanskrit language is spelled as pramaan – the reason or cause due to which you acknowledge something. There is someone behind knowing the existence of absence as well.. this entity is pramaataa – The knower. For the knower to know something else a proof is needed but to knower just knows that he exists. Therefore generally The Self is known as ‘I’ first in Sadhana (mode of investigation) and then it’s ever-pervading-ness is recognized through abhyaas or practice.
This Self – just ‘is’ & by virtue of its essential nature, being the cause of everything, it is imperishable – beyond birth and death. The ‘Self’ first experiences itself in absence of the senses and then later it sees senses and the world as its own extension – as its own body. In a way then there is no difference between The Known, The Knowing and The Knower.
Further I observe that Arjuna’s state of mind is being observed by Sri Krishna and He thus being fully aware of Arjuna’s state chooses this adjective ‘Aprameya’ to point towards the ‘Truth’ or Reality. And I am sure that as Arjuna’s mind becomes calmers, the Krishna’s description and discourse shall find more accurate, close to experience words instead.
One more word that I want to focus on is ‘Bhaarat’. As I have observed every time Krishna calls Arjuna by a particular name – there seems to be a purpose. Here while he is describing the very nature of perishability of the body he is referring to Arjuna’s ancestors. One of them being the great King Bharat. Upon whose name this piece of land is called ‘Bhaaratvarsh’. Now when you are made to think of your ancestors one this is certain to come to your mind – that the persons you are remembering- they are not in their body now. So, may be.. I am deliberately using the term ‘May be’. May be this mental recall can serve as a reminder of the fact – The body is not permanent!
So when Krishna is on the point of perishability of body this addressing his with the name of ‘Bhaarat’ – O descendent of the great king Bharat! only re-emphasizes the point the Guru in Krishna wishes to communicate.
One again the practical takeaway is that: The responsibility of communication is totally yours. If you are not able to put across what you intend, if you are being misunderstood – try finding better words that suit the state of mind of the person you are communicating with.
-Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath