Shrimad Bhagwat Gita : : 2.22
वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय, नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि |
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा, न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही || 22||
vāsānsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛihṇāti naro ’parāṇi
tathā śharīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇānya
nyāni sanyāti navāni dehī
vāsānsi—garments; jīrṇāni—worn-out; yathā—as; vihāya—sheds; navāni—new; gṛihṇāti—accepts; naraḥ—a person; aparāṇi—others; tathā—likewise; śharīrāṇi—bodies; vihāya—casting off; jirṇāni—worn-out; anyāni—other; sanyāti—enters; navāni—new; dehī—the embodied soul
2.22: Just as a person gives up old, worn-out garments and puts on new ones, similarly, at the time of death, the soul sheds off its worn-out body and enters a new one.
Krishna here establishes the concept of rebirth. He uses the analogy of a person getting out of old, worn-out and tattered clothes and putting on fresh new clothes. When we change our garments we ourselves remain the same – unchanged and unaltered – it is only the old garments that are rejected and new ones are accepted. Similarly, when the body ages and finally dies, the soul leaves it, intact and immortal, and enters a new body somewhere else.
Accepting the theory of rebirth, a plausible explanation can be found for a lot of misfortune, pain, misery in the world. What seems like a punishment in this life, for no apparent wrongdoings, is actually an outcome of misdeeds committed in a past life.
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