When Arjuna was worried about the deaths that were to
occur in the war, Lord Sri Krishna gives him a jolt by saying 'no one ever dies!' The self
na tu eva aham jAtu na Asam na tvam na ime janAdhipAh
na cha eva na bhawishyAmah sarwe vayam atah param ||2.12||
"It is not that at any time (in the past) indeed, was I
not, nor were you, nor these rulers of men. Nor, verily, shall we ever cease to be
Correct philosophical thinking guides man's intellect to the apprehension
of a continuity from the past, through the present, to the endless future. The Spirit
remaining the same, it gets itself seemingly conditioned by different body equipments and
comes to live through its self-ordained environments.
avinAshi tu tat viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam
vinAsham avyayasya na kashchit kartum arhati ||2.17||
"Know That to be indestructible by which all this is pervaded. None can cause the
destruction of That-- the Imperishable."
The world of finite changes is entirely permeated through and enveloped by the Real the
Changeless. Bhagavan adds that there is no possibility even for a moment, of this Real,
getting destroyed, even by a fraction.
na jAyete mriyate vA kadAchit
na ayam bhootvA abhavitA vA na bhooyah
ajah nityah shAshvatah ayam purAnah
na hanyate hanyamAne shareere ||2.20||
"He is not born, nor
does He ever die; after having been, He again ceases not to be; unborn, eternal,
changeless and ancient, he is not killed when the body is killed."
Unlike the physical body, the Self is not born, It being the eternal factor that exists
at all times. Waves are born and they die away, but the ocean is nor born with the waves,
nor does it die away when the wave disappears. Since there is no birth, there is no death;
things that have a beginning alone can end; the rising waves alone can moan their dying
conditions. Again, it is explained that like the birth of a child who was not existing
before, and who has come to exist after the birth, the Atman is not something that
has come to be born due to or because of the body. Thus, the Self is unborn and eternal
birthless and deathless, (ajah, nitya) ||8.1||
The Self is Brahman. The water that makes the wave is the water that makes the
ocean. So also, the truth of an individual - Atman or Self is the truth of the
universe - Brahman or the Absolute, Infinite Reality
sarvatah pAnipAdam tat sarvatah akshishiromukham
sarvatah shrutimat loke sarvam Avrtya
"I will declare that which has to be "known", knowing
which one attains to Immortality--the beginningless
Supreme BRAHMAN, called neither being nor non-being."
WITHOUT BEGINNING, THE HIGHEST Brahman (Anaadimatparam)- A beginning can
be conceived and calculated only with reference to what is the substratum of all, which
substratum must be existent even before Time. Thus, the Supreme is always considered as
"beginningless". From the Supreme even Time is born.
With reference to It, everything else is an "object". It is the one Subject,
and since it cannot be perceived, felt or thought of, It is not said to be existent (Sat).
Nor can Truth be defined as non-existent, such as the sky-flower or man's tail, for, It
manifests as the world. Therefore, Truth can be defined only as "neither Sat
bahih antah cha bhootAnAm acharam charam eva cha
sookshmatvAt tat avijneyam doorastham
cha antike cha tat ||13.15||
"Shining by the functions of all the senses, yet without
unattached, yet supporting all; devoid of qualities, yet their experiencer.... "
One of the ways of defining the indefinable Supreme, the Subject in the seeker himself,
is to indicate It in a language of contradiction which, without confusing the intellect,
tickles it to a special kind of activity thereby facilitating the realisation of the
Eternal. The language of contradiction is the characteristic feature of all scriptural
textbooks. Hasty readers of the Scriptures quote these lines to justify their skepticism,
or atheistic tendencies. This stanza is met with in the Upanishads also.
SEEMING TO POSSESS THE FUNCTIONS OF ALL SENSES YET DEVOID OF ALL SENSES-- The Self in
us, while functioning through the equipment, the sense organs, and conditioned by them,
looks, as though It has all the sense organs. But when we analyse, we have to admit that
the sense organs are material and that they decay and perish, while the Consciousness--
functioning in and through them and providing each of them with its own individual
faculty, is Itself Eternal, and Changeless. The Truth, while functioning through the sense
organs, looks AS THOUGH It possesses them. But in fact, It has Itself none of these
Electricity is not the light in the bulb, nor the heat in the heater; yet while
functioning through the bulb, or the heater, and conditioned by them the same Electricity
looks AS THOUGH it is light or fire.
Also see 13.12, 16, 17, 18, 30, 32, 33