We will continue with yesterday’s lecture. From the 12th sloka Sri Krishna starts sermonizing. So we can regard all the slokas of first Chapter and the first 11 slokas of 2nd Chapter as one part. Arjuna exhibited his misunderstanding of soul and body and thought that he is destroying Bheeshma and Drona. In Sanskrit language one word can give several meanings and several words can mean same thing; but they have to be judiciously used. Sareeram and Deham refer to body but have different connotations. We see a person after, say, 10 years and that person has become thinner and weak. So we enquire why his body has become weak and thin. Here, as per the dhathu or root, to indicate diminishing nature we have to use the word sareeram. On the other hand, suppose we see a person looking fatter or bigger than what we saw him some years back, we express that the body has grown. Here, it is apt to use the word Deham which indicates growth. But in both cases the soul or atman remains in tact. So change is the nature of body and anything that changes is not permanent. Thus the body is destroyable whereas the soul never changes and so is indestructible. Six types of changes are attributed to the body. This is called shad bhava vikaram in Sanskrit. The six characteristics are, exist, birth or originate, change, grow, decay and destroy. Why should we regard soul as different? Our actual life itself is an example to demonstrate body and soul are different. A person dies and the body of the person never moves or speaks. Just a few minutes back ‘something’ was there which made the body to move or speak, but now that ‘something’ has disappeared from the body and it remains static. That ‘something’ is soul or atman. Our organs, mind and brain are all not souls. The soul resides in the lotus bud like heart. It is always awake and is fully intellect. When we sleep, all our organs are inactive. Mind and brain also are dormant. We are not aware what was happening when we slept. So everything in our body is inactive. But the soul is active even during our sleep. After a sleep, the person is able to recall whatever happened before he went to sleep. A person says he had a good and comfortable sleep. How does he know it when his entire mind, brain and all organs were all inactive? That is why it is said that the soul is always awake and is intellect. A person is there. He was born as a child. Then he becomes a brother. After sometime, he gets married and so he becomes a husband. Later, he becomes a father. Sometimes later, he also becomes a grandfather. He says ‘ I was a child’, ‘I was a brother’, ‘I was a grandfather’, etc. If we tabulate these sayings as below:
We can see that while the title on the right changes, the left ‘I’ remains constant. The changing titles denote the body and the constant ‘I’ is soul. Arjuna is confused on this and mistakes body as soul. Just like a chain is made of a metal or a cloth is made of cotton, our body is made by the combination of the five bhoothas or ‘elements’. These are space, air, fire, water and earth. This combination gives the body its nature of changing and never being permanent. We can store water in a pot for some weeks. Similarly we can store rava or sooji and salt for some months without these items getting spoiled. But when we mix these in certain proportions to cook an item we eat called upma, it gets spoiled in a few hours. So also is our body. On the contrary, the soul is not made of any combinations and it remains pure and has the qualities of intelligent and blissful. That is gyana and ananda.