11. Krsna’s sermon begins with this verse. Great orators begin dramatically to grab the attention of the listeners. They usually give a compelling truth, stunning contradiction or startling declaration. Here Krsna says the wise do not mourn either for the living or for the dead.
You speak words of wisdom. Yet you grieve. This is because you have not integrated the knowledge into your system. You are not living it. You have ego and egocentric desires which give you a myopic vision.
When you understand the totality there is no grief. Grief comes from a narrow, self-centred view that ‘I’ have lost. In this case Arjuna is grieving for the Kauravas who have been totally unrighteous and unethical and are now finally getting what they deserve.
Change is an inherent aspect of life. Everything in the world changes. Nothing remains. This movement cannot be stopped. Why do you get involved with the passage of time? The earth is constantly rotating around an axis and revolving around the sun. The Milky Way galaxy is hurtling through space. Yet you believe things remain static. You are experiencing a false world. Wake up to Reality. Then you will be free from sorrow.
12. In verse 11 Krsna says everything passes. In this verse He speaks of Atman which remains the same in all periods of time. This is the test of reality. That which exists now, but does not exist in the past or future cannot be real. Only Atman passes this test. Atman persists through all periods of time. It pervades the waking, dream and deep sleep states and exists beyond. It remains even after death. This Atman is your real Self. Not the body, mind or intellect.
The ‘I’ is permanent. ‘I’ is the unchanging factor that pervades all your experiences. You say ‘I’ am a child, youth, adult and aged person. Everything else about you changes. Your body, mind and intellect are in a constant flux of change. You identify with the matter layers and get crushed by the changes. Shift your attention to Atman and you will be calm and serene in the midst of change.
King Janaka once dreamt that he was a beggar starving in the streets. He woke up with the question – Am I the king who dreamt that I was a beggar or am I the beggar now hallucinating that I am King? The enlightened sage Astavakra answered Janaka’s question – you are neither the king nor beggar. You are your Self.
As long as you are in any state it appears real. You dismiss the other two states. You relate to situations in that state and suffer. The dreamer’s penury does not impact on the waker’s affluence. The waker’s resources cannot be used to alleviate the dreamer’s poverty.
The fact is that all three states are conditioned states. They are illusory. You are the pure, unconditioned Atman. Even the suspicion that you may not be what you think you are gives relief. As you identify with Atman and dissociate from body, mind and intellect, you become free from the fluctuations in the world.