य एनं वेत्ति हन्तारं यश्चैनं मन्यते हतम् ।
उभौ तौ न विजानीतो नायं हन्ति न हन्यते ॥२-१९॥
ya enam vetti hantaram yashchainam manyate hatam
ubhau tav na vijanito na ayam hanti na hanyate ॥ 2-19 ॥
In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 19 Lord Krishna eulogizes virtues of a soul atman, the spirit within! As per Lord Krishna, those who identified their soul atman with physical form were ignorant in matters spiritual. As per Krishna … those who think it was possible for an embodied soul atman to slay someone and those who think the embodied soul atman could also be slain by others… both were ignorant.
As per Krishna… our soul atman, the spirit within could neither be killed or could slay someone. It was totally independent of happenings in manifest physical world. The act of killing pertains to the manifest world. It had nothing to do with world of souls atmans, the spirit within! From times immemorial, since the beginning of cosmos… all souls’ atmans were inert in themselves! To purify themselves… they manifest series of bodies, forms.
When killing on mother earth occurs… it was physical self that gets slain, not the true inner self… our soul atman, the spirit within! The one who commits this act was also not soul atman, the spirit within… but physical self manifested by the soul atman! As per Krishna… our soul atman, the spirit within always acted as a Dhrishta (onlooker); never indulging in things mortal!
As per Krishna essence of life lay in understanding cosmic structure of our soul atman, the spirit within! From beginning of time… our soul atman was immortal, could neither birth nor die. We were primarily a soul atman, the spirit within manifesting human form! For the sake of dharma (righteousness)… if we kill someone, then in eyes of God Almighty one would not be a sinner! Why? The act of killing resulted from karma performed by our enemy. For those siding evil… punishment was the only way out! As the act was committed by manifest human body our soul atman, the spirit within could never be termed a killer.
Similarly, those who succumb to death in fighting… it could not be said that soul atman, the spirit within of such a one had died. It was only the physical manifest self that left forever… not our true inner self… our soul atman, the spirit within! Based on residual balance of karma at the time of death… our soul atman, the spirit within would again manifest a new body to start new cycle of life on mother earth. In life of a soul atman, the spirit within… law of karma was governing! It was only through complex process of karma, life moved ahead in cosmic life cycle! For a soul atman to evolve further… death of previous form was immanent!
As per Krishna, Arjuna could never blame self for death of his enemies! Those who get killed… those souls atmans would again manifest a body based on residual balance of karma at the time of death of body! When a child promotes from class one to class two… we never say the child in class one has died. We only say… one has evolved further! Evolution was part of cosmic life. In absence of evolution and karma… nothing in cosmos could proceed further! Krishna impresses upon Arjuna not to behave ignorant as in impending war of dharma (righteousness)… no atman soul, the spirit within would ever get killed! Only the present relationships of physical manifest world would come to naught.
As his beloved maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and guru Dronacharya, after death of physical body would again manifest a new body… where was the reason for hue and cry! Attachments of physical manifest never carried forward to next life. It was in interest of Arjuna to pick arms and fight the enemy. Moreover, when Lord Krishna himself was his guide… there was nothing to lose! Until now… Arjuna had not yet recognized the cosmic potential of Lord Krishna. Until he dwelt within, unless he recognized presence of a soul atman, the spirit within his body… he would never realize abstract truths of life that Krishna conveyed to him. Krishna, Dharmaraja himself siding Arjuna (Pandavas) was an important factor in the battle of Mahabharata.
If Arjuna could realize the hidden allegory in words of Lord Krishna, it would not be difficult for him to travel spiritual path to reach god. Before undertaking spiritual journey we have to realize this absolute fact of life that we were primarily a spiritual being… a spirit, a soul atman that needs manifesting form after another to cleanse self of dross impurities within forever. Slaying of the body was immanent, perpetual that could not be stopped by one… not even God Almighty! For a soul atman to manifest a new body… death of previous form was mandated by God Almighty! Life and death result from karma performed by us. Our lifespan on mother earth was directly governed by karma indulged by us. Why fear death of body… when we were primarily a soul atman, the spirit within!
In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 19 Lord Krishna indirectly indicates to Arjuna that present journey of life was undertaken by our soul atman, the spirit within and not the manifest physical human form. We as a soul atman had a duty to perform. We had to evolve self. This became possible by manifesting life forms on a life supporting planet like mother earth. Ever since occurrence of big bang… souls atmans remained inert until life supporting planets like mother earth evolved in cosmic system. No sooner planets like mother earth came into being… souls atmans immediately started manifesting life. We as a soul atman were deeply obliged to life supporting planets like mother earth. In absence of planets like mother earth… souls’ atmans would remain inert forever.
As a soul atman… to gain absolute purity, to liberate from cycle of birth and death forever… our establishing absolute control over five senses and mind was necessitated. Control over five senses could only be established by controlling feelings of Moha (extreme emotional attachment) towards our loved ones. Arjuna feeling attracted towards his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and guru Dronacharya was natural. Every human being on mother earth feels attached to ones parents, brothers and sisters, beloved close friends and relatives. To undertake spiritual journey… one could not cut family ties immediately! Cutting shackles of Moha (extreme emotional attachment) was a slow difficult process… more so in case of ladies! Krishna knew that Arjuna could do it and hence the sermon of Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna in war of Mahabharata.
If our goal of life was reaching god in present life, we all had to follow path undertaken by Arjuna! At some stage of life we would be required to cut bondages of Moha (attachment) towards our beloved family members, relatives and friends! This was a difficult decision, prime reason why most human beings world over failed to undertake spiritual journey. Even in times of Mahabharata, Arjuna was the only candidate fit to undertake spiritual journey! At one time, in centuries… only one or two persons finally succeed in reaching god in their lifetime! Spiritual path was extremely difficult to travel… prime reason, why dictates of Krishna in Bhagavad Gita were difficult to understand literally. As per God Almighty, for a traveler of spiritual path who finally succeeds in abandoning family ties… the whole world becomes one large family!
Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993– Sep 8, 2014
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