[Advaita-l] GITA - 2.26, 27

Amuthan aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Mon Feb 6 03:54:58 CST 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

(a trivial note: from this mail onwards, i'll use R
for R^i and RR for R^I to make the make the
transliterated text look a bit neater)

having taught the true nature of the self and the
non-self, kRShNa, in the following two verses, gives
reasons why grief has to be abandoned even if one
assumes the self to be non-eternal, 

atha chainaM nityajAtaM 
nityaM vA manyase mRtam.
tathApi tvaM mahAbAho 
naivaM shochitumarhasi.. 2.26

O arjuna, even if you think that this (self) undergoes
repeated births and deaths, it does not befit you to
grieve over it thus.

since the nature of the self is difficult to
understand even after repeatedly hearing about it,
kRShNa deliberately takes up a non vedAntic and false
viewpoint that is more easily understandable just to
show the inappropriateness of arjuna's grief. the
purpose is to make arjuna do his svadharma. 

the following are some of the schools that maintain
the self to be non-eternal: the kShaNikatva vAdin-s
say that the self undergoes repeated births and deaths
every moment. the laukIka-s say that the body is the
self and hence, the self undergoes birth and death
with the birth and death of the body. some others say
that the self, though different from the body, is born
when the body is born and dies when the body dies.
even according to these (false) viewpoints, grief
ought to be avoided since,

jAtasya hi dhruvo mRtyuH
dhruvaM janma mRtasya cha.
na tvaM shochitumarhasi.. 2.27

death is certain for that which is born and birth is
certain for that which dies. therefore, you ought not
to grieve over this inevitable fact. 

anything that is non eternal on account of having
creation or destruction ought not to be an object of
sorrow for the very reason that grief cannot change
the non-eternal nature of the thing grieved over.
thus, even granting that the self is non eternal, it
is not worth grieving for it's birth or death.

the above verse is applicable for anything that is not
the self. as mentioned earlier anything that is anAtmA
undergoes a sixfold transformation - birth etc. since
this is an unalterable law of nature, one should not
worry about the various changes that asat undergoes.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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