Shrimad Bhagwat Gita : : 2.12
na tvevāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ na tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ
na chaiva na bhaviṣhyāmaḥ sarve vayamataḥ param
na—never; tu—however; eva—certainly; aham—I; jātu—at any time; na—nor; āsam—exist; na—nor; tvam—you; na—nor; ime—these; jana-adhipāḥ—kings; na—never; cha—also; eva—indeed; na bhaviṣhyāmaḥ—shall not exist; sarve vayam—all of us; ataḥ—from now; param—after
2.12: Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.
Touching upon the knowledge of self, Krishna says that the soul is eternal. The soul always was, always is and always will be. What we mortals see as death and grieve over is merely the dissipation of the body. The soul lives forever and can never be destroyed. Our real self is our soul, and the soul is eternal.
The soul has no past, present or future. For the soul there is no birth or death at any time. The body is born, lives and dies, forever growing, ageing and changing till it finally ceases to exist. But as the soul is never born, so it never dies. It merely takes on a body which ordinary mortals mistakenly believe to be the self. And hence they grieve when the body becomes inactive and finally dies.
The Gita’s philosophy and teachings have helped me understand much of what otherwise lay in the realm of the unexplained. More importantly, it has helped me come to terms with the finite nature of life on this earth, and simultaneously draw solace from accepting the infinite existence of the soul. It is reassuring to understand the significance of following one’s dharma (duty), performing good karma (deeds), while being engaged in the quest for gyan (knowledge) as one walks on in the hope of attaining moksha (salvation).
Shared here is a brief documentation of what this shloka of the Gita says to me.
Vandana R Singh
New Delhi, June 2020