C L Kaloo
The Holy Bhagwat Gita reveals, how the discipline of the Lord Krishna and a great warrior, Arjuna, being a saintly devotee, was always conscious of moral principles and being soft-hearted, cast aside his bow and arrows, and was so affiliated with lamentation that he sat down on the chariot and with his mind depressed, not to fight to kill his own kith & kin and teacher. Watching his desperate state of mind, the Lord encouraged him to stand up and fight for the right cause, and said:
“Kutas tua kasmalam idam visame samupasthitam
Anarya-justam asvargyam akriti-karan arjuna”
Means: O Arjuna-how have these impurities come up on you? They are not at all befitting the man who knows the value of life. They lead not to higher planets but to ‘akriri’ (to infamy)
While explaining to Arjuna that there is no cause for lamentation for anyone, the Lord said in this context as under:
“Natvevalam jatanasam natuam neme jauadhipha
Na caiva na bhavisyamah sarve vayam atah param”
Means: Never was there a time when I did not exist nor you, nor all these Kings, nor in the future, shall any of us ceased to be.
It is stated that in the ‘Vedas’ (katha upnishad) as in the ‘Svetasvatars Upnishad’, that the supreme is the maintainer of innumerable living entities in terms of their different situations, according to individual work and reaction of work. That Supreme God by his Planary Portions is alive in the heart of every living entity. Only saintly persons, who can see within and without, the same Supreme God, can actually attain to perfect and eternal peace. In other words, it is simplified that Supreme God head is the supreme individual person, and Arjuna, the Lord’s eternal associate, and all the kings assembled in the battlefield or individual eternal persons their individuality existed in the past and it will continue in the future without interruption. Therefore, there is no cause for lamentation for anyone.
Thus, the Lord clarified herein that in the future also, the individuality of the Lord and others, as it is confirmed in the ‘Upnishads’ will continue eternally.
The pluraty of the individual soul and of the Lord is an eternal feet and it is confirmed in the ‘Vedas’.
In Adhaya 2nd-Shaloka 17th (2:17 BG), the Lord said as under:
“Avinasi tutad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam
Vinasam auyayavsyasya nakaseit kartum arhati”
Means: That which pervades the entire body, you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul. Thus, this shloka explains clearly that the real nature of the soul which is spread all over the body-it is consciousness. Everyone is conscious of the pains and pleasures in the body. This soul is described as one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair point in size according to ‘shastras’ (The Svetasvatara Upnishad (5.9))
The said upnishad confirms this as under:
“Balagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasyaca
Bhago jivahsa vijneyah sa canantyaya kal-pate”
Means: When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the spiritual soul. Similarly the same version is stated that, ‘There are innumerable particles of spiritual atoms which are measured as one ten-thousandth of the upper portion of hair’ as has been described above.
The Lord further in this verse explains to Arjuna as how can a person who knows that the soul is indestructible, eternal, unborn and immutable kill anyone or cause anyone to kill. So fighting for the right cause and with full such knowledge, there is no possibility of sinful reaction. Even ‘Manu Samhita’-The Law Book for mankind, it is supported that a murderer should be condemned to death so that in his next life he will not have to suffer for the great sin he has committed. The Lord makes him wise through this shloka (2:22 BG) ‘As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies; giving up the old and useless ones.’
Transference of the atomic individual soul to another body is made possible by the grace of the supersoul. The supersoul fulfils the desires of the atomic soul as one sincere friend fulfils the desires of another. Arjuna is advised that he should rather be happy to kill the bodies (of his old grandfather and his teacher) in the righteous fight so that they may be cleansed at once of all reactions from various bodily activities as the soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burnt by fire, not moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. So these mortals, even after being liberated from illusion, the living entity remains a separate identity as is evident from the teachings of the Lord to Arjuna. While explaining the magnitude of the soul, the Lord said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable and immutable and as such, Arjuna should not grieve for the body. In other words, we can say that there is no source of understanding of the soul except by studying the ‘Vedas’. The Soul is CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIOUS-That also is the statement of Vedas and we have to accept the truth in Vedas.
In Adhaya 2nd-Shloka 27 (2:27 BG), The Lord revealed that one who has taken birth according to one’s activity (karma) of life, and after finishing one term of activity, one has to die to take birth for the next. In this way one is going through one cycle of birth and death, after another without liberation: Thus all created and un-manifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state and un-manifest again when annihilated-‘So what need is there for lamentation?’
In conclusion, it is stated that Arjuna thought after hearing the Lord’s advice to fight as a matter of duty without attachment to the result, was the only auspicious path of his salvation (liberation).
In this context, it is further elucidated that since time immemorial, each living entity has stored up various activities (karmas)-good and bad and as such, the miseries of life-namely birth and death, old age and diseases, are present in the lives of living entities everywhere within the material world. But one who understands his constitutional position as the eternal servitor of the Lord, and knows the position of the personality of God head, engages himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. He thus become spiritually elevated and consequently is able to enter with the ‘VAIKUNTA’ planets, where there is neither material miserable life, nor the influence of life and death. This higher spiritual stage is well defined in ‘Shiva Sutras’ as is quoted here under:
“Yada khoba pralyyate, tada siyat param-padam”
(SS-yoga of supreme identity)
Means: When the mental turmoil disappears it is only then the highest state is attained.