I acknowledge this graphic of the pole star from the Net.
Never born never dying
Neither being nor ceasing to be
Unborn, forever, constant and primal
It is not killed when the body is
This verse is about ‘That’ the Self, the Atman, a microcosm of the macrocosmic Brahman.
In simple terms this Self is changeless. It is forever.
The mind body goes through six modes of modifications, similar to Shakespeare’s seven stages in As you like It.
These are: birth, existence, growth, change, decay, perish, each denoting a stage of life called bhava vikara. One can understand
five of these six if one accepts an entity that is forever, not being born, and therefore not dying, not growing, not changing, and not decaying.
What is it that does not exist? What does Krishna mean?
Here, existence is related to a time space boundary. Something that exists here and now for a certain period in a certain space.
The Atman or the Brahman that never was and never will be, and yet is forever, does not fit this definition of existence.
These modifications or transformations are part of the Annamaya Kosha sheath, the gross physical body that is created,
nurtured, grows, decays, and perishes. Not so with the Self.
What Krishna once again points out to Arjuna is that when the mind body perishes, dies or killed, nothing much happens.
There is something that continues. That something is the energy of Atman merging with the Brahman.
This is now proven by science through the beautiful equation E=MC2. All that happens at death is that
physical matter is converted to indestructible energy.
I have used the terms Atman and Brahman interchangeably, and purists will be horrified. Yet, if asked to explain they
will find it difficult to explain. Yes, Atman is the energy that resides within the mind body, whereas Brahman is the
absolute energy field of the universe. Yes, there is a quantitative difference. Is there a qualitative difference? is there a
qualitative difference between a holographic whole and a holographic piece? If there wouldn’t the whole purpose of a
hologram be lost?
Energy is absolute, in whatever form it exists. In a sense it has no existence, since it is the fibre of all existence.
This entire verse is about energy, that we are all energy, we are immortal and we are of infinite potential.
What a difference it would make if each of us internalises this truth Krishna articulates.
Instead, scholars quibble about whether Krishna encourages evil doers and terrorists by declaring that nothing dies when it
Krishna rises above social mores and rules when he talks about the law of conservation of energy 5000 thousand odd years ago.
Nothing that is matter can live beyond a certain time and space. Beyond that it becomes energy, which is forever.
We are forever.