atha cainam nitya-jatam
nityam va manyase mrtam
tathapi tvam maha-baho
nainam socitum arhasi
O mighty-armed, even if you suppose this soul as constantly undergoing birth and death, even then, you should not grieve over it.
By addressing Arjuna as ‘Mahabaho’ Krishna hints that you are physically very strong but also have to be mentally strong to overcome sorrow and confusion.
There is always a class of philosophers, who do not believe in the separate existence of the soul beyond the body. According to them, the body is a combination of physical elements, and at a certain stage the life symptoms develop by interaction of the physical and chemical elements. The science of anthropology is based on this philosophy. Even if Arjuna did not believe in the existence of the soul there would still have been no cause for lamentation because one who is born is bound to die, and one who dies, is bound to be reborn. None can escape this eternal rule.
jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyur
dhruvam janma mrtasya ca
tasmad apariharye ‘rthe
na tvam socitum arhasi
Death is sure of him who is born, and rebirth is assured of him who is dead. You should not, therefore, grieve over the inevitable.
One has to take birth according to one’s activities of life. And, after finishing one term of activities, one has to die to take birth for the next. In this way the cycle of birth and death is revolving, one after the other without liberation. This cycle of birth and death does not, however, support unnecessary murder, slaughter and war. But at the same time, violence and war are inevitable factors in human society for keeping law and order. The Battle of Kurukshetra, being the will of the Supreme, was an inevitable event, and to fight for the right cause is the duty of a Kshatriya. Why should he be afraid of or aggrieved at the death of his relatives since he was discharging his proper duty? He did not deserve to break the law, thereby becoming subjected to the reactions of sinful acts, of which he was so afraid. By avoiding the discharge of his proper duty, he would not be able to stop the death of his relatives, and he would be degraded due to his selection of the wrong path of action.
Ignorance is the cause of all worries. And change is the only constant in this world and without change there would be no evolution and progress! A man is grieved if a dear one dies or there is loss of money. Similarly we are grieved when we think about the future- what will happen? Changes in the world and in circumstances are inevitable. If circumstances don’t change, how will a person grow from boyhood to youth? How will an uneducated person become a scholar? How will a patient become healthy? How will a seed turn into a tree?
tatra ka paridevana
O Bharata (Arjuna), all beings were imperceptible before they were born and will become so again when they are dead; they are perceptible only in the intermediate stage. Why then the lamentation?
What we perceive as life existed even before we took this particular form of human body. When a baby is born, for instance, we do not know what it was before its birth and how many births it has gone through and similarly when a man dies we do not know where he goes and how many more births he had to undergo. So what is visible to us of the whole universe and all beings in the universe is only a small portion compared to the whole existence as such. So Krishna says why should there be any grief over the loss of lives or entities in this world. No one knows when the creation started and when it is going to end. It is like a flowing stream in the dark out of which we see only a small portion that comes to light which again goes back to darkness. We do not know the beginning or the end
Our bodies were non-existent before birth and will remain non-existent after death, just like in a dream. During life they seem to exist but actually they are going into non-existence every moment. It is the principle that the thing which does not exist either before or after has no real existence in its mid-state also. Therefore, these bodies which were unmanifest in their origin and will be unmanifest in their end are unmanifest even now, though they seem visible. But the soul existed in the past, exists now and will also exist in future. So there is no point in lamenting for both these situation.
ascarya-vat pasyati kascid enam
ascarya-vad vadati tathaiva canyah
ascarya-vac cainam anyah srnoti
srutvapy enam veda na caiva kascit
Some look at the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.
Krishna explains that the self is incomprehensible. Some see it as something of a wonder; some speak of it as a wonder, others hear about it as something wonderful, but even after hearing about it no one understands. The rare ones who have experienced Atman or Brahman view it as a great wonder in the sense that it is something beyond perception, being beyond the comprehension of the sense organs.
The knowledge of the ‘self’ is not achieved through the senses and can only be known by the self itself. Therefore, the knowledge of self is said to be a marvel. When one sees with one’s eyes, there are three things necessary – the onlooker, the object to be seen and sight i.e., the power to see. But while knowing the self these three are not necessary. When we want to search for a thing in a dark room, we need eye-sight as well as light. But if there is light-lamp, there is no need for another lamp to see the lamp which is lit. Similarly, there is no need for other means to perceive the self. The self has its own light by which it can be lit and known.
dehi nityam avadhyo ‘yam
dehe sarvasya bharata
tasmat sarvani bhutani
na tvam socitum arhasi
O Bharata, this soul residing in the bodies of all, can never be slain. Therefore, you should not grieve, for any being.
In describing the immortal soul in various ways, Lord Krishna establishes that the soul is immortal and the body is temporary. Therefore Arjuna as a Kshatriya should not abandon his duty out of fear that his grandfather and teacher–Bhishma and Drona–will die in the battle. Therefore, you should not grieve for all beings because the soul is indestructible, while the perishable body cannot remain the same even for a moment. This is everyone’s own experience also, that a body changes from boyhood to youth and then to old age. But, there is an unchangeable one that knows this change. That one is the soul.
Most managers are uncomfortable in terminating employees who are underperformers. While doing so, the manager is helping both the organization as well as the employee. The organization can replace the open position by a more suitable person; the terminated employee can look for another job where he has the opportunity to perform better. Generally no person is useless; it is just that he has been in a job that is not ideally suited for him to excel due to knowledge or skill deficit. However he may excel in a new job that meets his temperaments and skill sets and propels him to career growth which otherwise would have stunted if he continues in his previous job. Similarly the soul will find a better body that takes him to the path of salvation and ultimate realization only after leaving the current one. Hence we should not lament death.