Gita Daily Readings

21st January
Chapter
II: 12-13
Indeed, never at any time was I not, nor these rulers of men; nor, verily, shall we ever cease to be hereafter.

Just as in this body the embodied one passes into childhood, youth and old age, so also does he pass into another body. The hero does not grieve thereat.

Commentary

The grief is only for one who confuses the self and the changing body. The self - which is the "I am" within us all - is immortal and eternal. The individual soul is like the immortal cell in the eternal body of the infinite Lord. 1t is undying. Only the body dies.

The changes we call childhood, youth and old age do not affect the "I." Even so the change called "death" does not affect it. "I" does not really die; "I" creates another body.

The realization of this immortal nature of the soul will liberate us from grief and delusion in regard to birth and death. We must always realize our nature. It is inevitable therefore that we should seek to realize God, our substratum. If you hold me down in a lake I struggle to come up because I am life and I struggle to release myself from death. Even the eventual natural death is only release from a dying body. Even so, throughout our life, we are endeavoring to overcome this prison-house of finitude and to realize that "I am that infinite self." Hence our ceaseless striving for freedom from slavery and from physical and mental illness, for peace and happiness unending; though we fail to realize that it is absurd to look for these in ever-changing phenomena. Such striving therefore only makes us worse!

 When the hairs turn gray, be happy you have hair. When they fall out, be happy you have the head. When death threatens you, be happy your soul is immortal. There is no death for the soul. Childhood, youth and old age are commas, whereas the phenomenon of "death" is a semicolon in the soul's perennial song.

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