[Advaita-l] GITA - 2.22

Amuthan aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Fri Jan 27 12:05:12 CST 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

kR^iShNa again teaches the immutability of the self by
means of an analogy,

vAsAMsi jIrNAni yathA vihAya
navAni gR^ihNAti naro.aparANi.
tathA sharIrANi vihAya jIrNAni
anyAni saMyAti navAni dehI.. 2.22

just as a man wears new clothes after discarding old
ones, so also, this self, after casting off an old
body, attains new ones.

the meaning is self evident. the primary intention of
this verse is to remove any delusion that arjuna might
have that killing elders like bhIShma who are known
for their righteous conduct is wrong. by killing
bhIShma and the like in a righteous war, arjuna would
only help them attain a better body (in svarga).

this is the first verse in the gItA to talk about
reincarnation. even if one does not attain liberation
in this life, by performing his/her dharma properly,
one can atleast ensure a better birth in the next life
that will be condusive to mokSha. the purpose however,
is only to show the unchanging self behind all the
transitory bodies. on a minor note, this shloka also
refutes the 'life is short. so enjoy it' worldviews. 

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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