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..
देही नित्यमवध्योऽयं देहे सर्वस्य भारत |
तस्मात्सर्वाणि भूतानि न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि || 30||
dehI nityam avadhyo ayam dehe sarvasya bhArata
tasmAt sarvaNi bhutAni na tvam shochitum arhasi || 29 ||
dehI—the entity (soul) that dwells within the body; nityam—always, continuous; avadhyaḥ— can’t be killed, immortal; ayam—this (soul); dehe—in the body; sarvasya—of everyone; bhArata—descendant of Bharat, Arjun; tasmAt—therefore; sarvANi—for all; bhUtAni—living entities; na—not; tvam—you; Shochitum—mourn, think; arhasi—should
Translation – O descendant of Bharat, Arjun, the soul that dwells within the body is immortal; therefore, you should not mourn for anyone.
Here, the style of Krishna is little preliminary wherein he is teaching his student by reiterating the same principle in different ways. He is re-emphasizing the key points by repeating them over so that Arjuna does not miss it, in case he was not able to pay attention earlier. It is clearly Masters compassion wherein he is considering the mental and emotional state of the student. Once again he is seemingly repeating the principle of continuity of atmam by calling it dehee – the one who lives in deha (body). He says “This entity (you) and those (others) whom you are going to fight with are not the bodies that you see instead there is this all pervading atman expressing through each of them. And he says this atman is a continuous presence in time-space and beyond, it is ever-existing, can not be killed and is common to everybody (sarvaani bhUtaani). Although as per saamkhya philosophy it should be translated as ‘in each body’. Which would mean one soul per body albeit no changes are to be assumed in the intrinsic quality of soul’s immortality. Whether there be one soul in every body (Vedanta) or one soul per body (Samkhya) it doesn’t allow us to grieve for death of physical body because soul is never annihilated.
You don’t have to believe in Krishna’s words instead analyze your own experiences. None of us is ever had the feeling of being absent (non-existence), even in deep sleep (though upon coming to waking state) recognize our continuity (presence). Otherwise how can we declare ‘I got a very good sleep’. Further none of us has ever had the experience of birth (being born). To our experience it is as if we are present here since eternity (not ‘as if’ we indeed are present here since eternity – we are a beginning-less existence). And none of us has ever had the experience of ‘death’ (non-existence) then what stops us from concluding that we ARE a continuum beyond the body (matter). I should be kidding if I said that this recognition was as easy as stated. It requires a lot of efforts (prayatn saadhakah) on our part to become liberated.
Kaivalya is the name given to the ultimate liberation that a soul can achieve. Kaivalya is reached with Purusha (soul) is able to liberate itself (through proper knowledge) from the clutches of prakriti (primordial force of creation/nature or matter). But an immediate question comes how does purusha gets imprisoned by prakriti. In shaivism it is explained that it all begins with – kama , desire or ichchaa. It is our ichchha (desire) which begins this cycle of creation and then its expansion becomes overwhelming and binding (though this act of getting imprisoned and forgetfulness too has been taken as Shiva’s freedom) upon shiva (the equivalent to Purusha). The jeeva (Nara as per Trika) becomes entangled in this bhava saagar due to this seed of desire (kama or ichchhaa). It is also said that a sadhaka must therefore contemplate over the very nature of knowledge that creates the bondage and suffering of this bhava saagar. Although we have to transcend this faculty of ‘intelligence’ as well yet to begin with we have to begin living intelligently. ‘Intelligent living’ – though a baby-step yet by all means the very first and unavoidable step, towards the ultimate freedom from the sufferings of bhava saagar.
As a child I had come across a book on Bhagwatgita (from Babuji’s personal library of course!) which had some beautiful pictures in the beginning of the text. An image that shook me to the core and gotten permanently etched was of a frightening deep ocean, full of storms, giant-whirlpools and huge violent creatures swallowing every entity that was afloat on its surface. There were men women, children drowning and crying for help. It also depicted a golden boat on which Shri Hari (Narayan Vishnu) was seen rescuing some of these people from drowning. For very long time, till my spiritual journey started whenever this word ‘bhava sagar’ was uttered ‘this’ image used to flash in my mind-space and despite all the horror depicted in that image I particularly focused on the assuring sight of ‘Satchidaanand Shri Hari’ extending his hands to those who were calling out for help. For many years this understanding was real for me and I did think that those who call out to Shri Hari are definitely helped by Him but soon after I was introduced to the concepts of Atma, Brahm, Maya, Manas, Shakti, Karma, Shiva, Ahamkaara etc. I started questioning the content of this image especially the presence and motive of this external rescuer Shri Hari. My limited childish objection to the rescuer’s conduct was – if He is the father of everyone why is he discriminating? Why is he expecting His own children to worship Him and sing His glory to be able to become worthy of such help? He should help everyone of them – alike without any discrimination for He loves them all.
Well.. as I said it was ‘childish’ objection because now I clearly understand what ‘bhava’ really means. In Sanskrit language this word bhava means to ‘become’. And if you contemplate deeply on your own motivations of life you would see – all the suffering arises out of our desire to ‘become’ someone else than we already are. This terrifying ocean is symbolic of kaala or death that is seen as gulping away all that is, over a period of time. ‘Becoming’ is always in future – ‘Being’ is here. Becoming is offshoot of kala (Time) and it is bound to eat up the ‘Being’ (Timeless). We, as all-pervading unlimited consciousness that was beyond birth and death were plagued with the idea/desire (ichchhaa) of becoming (bhava) a man or a woman or someone (limited). We became that and ever since then we are never satisfied (due to our association with this mortal and limited identity of body) in ‘being’ rather continuously trying to ‘become’. Our becoming may have different hues – good or bad, noble or corrupt, rich or poor, happy or unhappy, powerful or poor but we are continuously struggling only to be eaten up by the oceanic time. But the reality is we are always (Sat) cognizant/aware (chit) of the bliss (Ananda) that we truly are. Only we need to seek (become aware of/ have a calling for) the refuge in our own true self. This ocean of time affects (consumes) those who become prey to it by being led by the desires (kabir) of engagement in this world’s pleasures i.e. becoming (bhava).
Krishna says – Arjuna, you are not the body but the embodied and so are all others (enacting or becoming these bodies), this embodied is nityam (continuum) therefore you should not grieve for felling of these bodies or anybody.
That’s all for today..
-Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath