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..
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूय: |
अजो नित्य: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥20॥
na jaayate mriyate vaa kadaachin
naayam bhootvaa bhavitaa vaa na bhooyaḥ |
ajo nityah shaashvato ’ayam puraano
na hanyate hanyamaane shareere ||20||
na jaayate— it is not born; mriyate— dies/ceases to exist; vaa— or; kadaachit— at any point in time; na— not; ayam— this; bhootvaa— having once existed; bhavitaa— will be; vaa— or; na—not; bhooyah— further; ajah—unborn; nityah— eternal/ever existing; shaashvatah— immortal, never changing; ayam—this; puraanah— the ancient; na hanyate— is not destroyed; hanyamaane— when is destroyed/killed; shareere— the body
Meaning – (The Truth/the Self/Atma you are) Never is this Self born, and never does It die; nor is it that having come to exist neither This will again cease to be. This Truth is birth-less, eternal, un-decaying, and ever ancient; It is not killed as the body is killed.
There’s this popular saying – “The only constant in this world is – Change!”. This is so true as nothing seems to be permanent in our ‘experience’. As a rule whatever is born or created will die or be destroyed. This is the domain of ‘Kaala’ or time. Anyone who looks at this world becomes fearful looking at the continuous change. Not even for a split second things get static. There is this giant wheel of change that is experienced in the domain of time or Kaala. Even in day to day when someone dies we say that the person became the victim of Kaala. Everyone is fearful of this dreaded Kaala so much so that they feel by worshiping Mahaakaala they would be freed from death.
But Krishna is there is no death! The self is never born and it never dies. Who ever feels like that? People run towards Ujjain to worship at Mahakaaleshwar Mahadeva Temple. And this is a popular statement among the devotees of Mahakaaleshwar and they say –
अकाल मृत्यु वो मरे जो काम करे चाण्डाल का |
काल उसका क्या करे जो भक्त हो महाकाल का ||
It is amusing to see such declarations coming from so called devotees. To be true the fear of death has never been overcome by shouting slogans against death. No amount of resistance, sloganeering, worship can free you from death. Why? Because Krishna says there exists none! He says, You are never born.. you preexisted the world – You are Puraatana or Puraana (पुराण). Although calling the Truth puraana (सं० पुराण का हिं० अपभृंश – पुराना) is only indicative, just to point to you that you were there even before and thus you are puraana as compared to this world (सृष्टि, संसार का अनुभव) which is a later phenomenon, it came after you and therefore it is new but since the Self (Truth) is beyond the domain of Time or Kaala it is not fully correct to call it Puraana. Even Krishna seems to be groping for the words here to describe this Truth to Arjuna so he uses his knowledge of Vedas – which He had told to Brahma (The creator) and Soorya (The Sun) in the beginning. This shloka from Kathopanishad comes to him when he is trying to put across the point of indestructible nature of Self.
न जायते म्रियते वा विपश्चिन्नायं कुतश्चिन्न बभूव कश्चित्।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥
Kathopanishad Chapter 1/ Sec 2/ Verse 18 (Derived from Krishna Yajurveda)
Krishna seems to be using the second part of this Vedic shloka verbatim. But why? Krishna could say the same truth in his own language but still he chose to echo what has already been told. On the lighter side we can say that even Gurus need support Vedas.
Whatever be the situation, a Guru doesn’t lose his wisdom. He doesn’t care how bitter the Truth is to us. He doesn’t change his stance considering the outcome. Jesus accepts crucifixion but continues to preach his truth. Kabir is chained and drowned in the Ganges by then Muslim emperor but he doesn’t stop. Krishna has created this opportunity for Arjuna now, who is in his late 80s and making the most of this opportunity, so what if this is a battle field where both the Guru and his valiant disciple, are surrounded by millions of blood thirsty warriors. He is still calm and revealing the Truth.
The village Mayor wrote a poem and read it to Mulla Nasiruddin.
“How did you like the poem?” Mayor asked.
“No, not really,” Nasiruddin replied, “it wasn’t good rather I would say it was a blot in the name of poetry. It doesn’t even qualify to be called a poem.”
The Mayor got furious, and he sentenced Mulla to three days in jail. The very next week, the Mayor once again summoned Mulla Nasiruddin in his office. Mulla obliged and arrived only to realize Mayor was to read him another poem he had written. When the Mayor finished reading, he turned to Nasiruddin and asked, “Well, what do you think of this one?”
Mulla did not say anything, and immediately began walking away. The mayor shouted, “Hey! Just where do you think you’re going Nasiruddin?’
“To jail!” Mulla replied.
When you look at this statement once again from Krishna who is seemingly repeat the same point that Self is indestructible. All that you see is that One. That One i.e. You are here since eternity. The essence that is You is never born. And it remains unaffected even when the body falls dead. It is not repetition – I only see Krishna re-emphasizing for this is the most essential thing to begin your journey of the Truth.
The practical takeaway is that: You are not the body – these words must be evaluated with your own experience. Apply yourself, commit your being in understanding it. Chanting “I am not the body” won’t help but developing correct understanding will.
Just as you can’t fight the darkness with sword, you need to have a lamp.. a source of light with you. In the same way only those will be able to remove this darkness of ignorance who keep the flame of awareness alive. Masters’ words are the light unto themselves!
-Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath