Shrimad Bhagwat Gita : : 2.23
नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावक: |
न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुत: || 23||
nainaṁ chhindanti śhastrāṇi nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ
na chainaṁ kledayantyāpo na śhoṣhayati mārutaḥ
na—not; enam—this soul; chhindanti—shred; śhastrāṇi—weapons; na—nor; enam—this soul; dahati—burns; pāvakaḥ—fire; na—not; cha—and; enam—this soul; kledayanti—moisten; āpaḥ—water; na—nor; śhoṣhayati—dry; mārutaḥ—wind
2.23: The soul can never be destroyed by any weapon, nor can fire burn it. Water cannot make it moist, nor can the wind make it dry.
The Five Basic Elements are Fire, Earth, Water, Metal, and Wood. These elements are understood as different types of energy in a state of constant interaction and flux with one another. Though these five elements influence and impact every living being, the soul is not affected by them. The soul is all-pervading, hence weapons, fire, water and air are incapable of cleaving, burning, wetting or drying it. The soul is indestructible and is more subtle, stable, and primeval than the elements. In other words, the soul is ever present and immortal.
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