Bhagvan Sri Krishna spoke to Arjuna who was overcome by the idea of killing his kith and kin on the battle field.
“You think things that should not be thought and speak conscious words (pragnyaa vaadaan), the panDitas (learned) do not differentiate between those who have gone (passed away) and those who have not. Neither I, nor you, nor these kings have a beginning or an end. There was not a moment when we came into existence and there is not a moment when we shall cease to be. Just as the ones who have a body experience childhood, youth and old age thus shall an another body be attained. Therefore the intelligent are not taken up (muhyati) by this. Sensations and perceptions, like cold and heat, that give comfort and sadness are transient, just tolerate them!
O bull among men, that intelligent one (puruSa) who is untroubled by these and treats comfort and sadness alike he becomes capable of the concept/idea (tatva) of immortality!
There is no existence (bhAva) for the unreal and no un-existence for the real (sat), those who see the tattva, see the truth (lit. end – antha) of both of these. That (tat) which pervades everything is indestructible and nothing can destroy this undecaying, unchanging tat.
All the bodies belonging to the primordial indestructible eternal embodied ones (dEhinah) have an end, therefore fight O, Bharata! Those who think that “this” can kill (‘doership’) or be killed (‘mortality’) are ignorant. There is no doership (killing) nor death (being killed) for this (embodied one)!
It is not born and does not die, having once existed, it cannot again cease to be. It is without birth, it is ever-present (nitya) and ever-lasting (s’As’vata) and does not die with a body that is dying.”
In these ten s’lOkAs we unlearn the ideas of doership and death that we have learnt by our observation of the world around us and our interactions with it. Many people are glad that there is no death for those they love including themselves and many people are reluctant to give up the idea of their own achievements, contributions and competencies as well as the ideas of injury by others. A child sitting in it’s mom’s lap and turning the steering wheel likes to feel that it is driving and strongly rejects suggestions that is in fact not doing so, and might kick a stone for tripping it up!
Whatever stand you may personally take on this matter there are people who take the strong and forceful other view. I have a cousin, Anjulu, who told me once that people are most happy to take credit for what they regard as successes and blame their perceived failures on others (individuals/system/God). A typical person who argues for doership is a person who feels they are winning! They call the other camp losers. A typical person who argues against doership calls the other camp egotists!
Please note the word dEhinah in bahuvacana (plural) meaning those with bodies. To my mind this would be support for the idea of many jIvAtmans.
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