Chapter XV: 8
|When the Lord (the individual soul) obtains a body and when he leaves it, he takes these and goes with them as the wind takes the scents from their seats (flowers, etc.).|
The individual soul is, in biblical language, the image of God. Now we should change the metaphor. It is the light of God reflected in buddhi, which is an extremely subtle form of matter.
The mirror is inert material; yet when it is held in such a way that it faces the sun and is able to reflect sunlight on to your face, it dazzles your eyes. It is this reflection that moves from body to body, from mirror to mirror - not the self, which is God. Yet, does not the reflection in the mirror have the same brilliance as the sun itself? Hence, Krishna refers here to the jiva itself as the Lord (Ishvara). We do not deny the validity of genetic theories. We know that the fetus is the result of a fusion between the ovum and the sperm. But it is the jiva that brought them together and then, forming a nucleus with them, attracted more and more of other particles of matter, shaped the body of the baby, and finally entered into it as the soul. Hence there are several theories regarding the time that the soul enters the fetus. After birth, the process of cell-replacement carries on continuously, till the need arises for a wholesale abandonment of the worn-out body in exchange for a new one. When the old cloth has too many patches, the person finds a new one; when the surgeon, time, has performed too many operations on the body, nature steps in to help by providing a new one. The body and its organs were only the gross instruments with which the jiva performed its work and had its experiences.
Though the tools are worn out, the workman is not; he leaves with all his talents intact. Taking them with him as air wafts fragrance, he enters a new body and begins to work with new tools.
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