13. In this verse he says even the indweller or inner personality remains after death. Only the physical body is dropped. The mind, intellect and vasanas (unmanifest desires) shift from one body to another. This is called death of the former body and birth of the latter. Birth and death take place in the medium of Atman. Atman is all-pervading and cannot move. There is no place it does not exist.
Atman is the ‘I’ in you. Just as the ‘I’ continues through childhood, youth and old age, It continues into another body. It is like moving from Mumbai to New York. It feels the same. Knowing this, the wise are not affected by either the changes that occur either during a lifetime or at death.
Gain knowledge. Understand the changing nature of things and beings in the world. Do not get involved and suffer. Stand apart and observe the changes. Then they will entertain you and not crush you.
14. Now Krsna comes down to Arjuna’s level. He understands that Arjuna is at the body level and cannot relate to Atman. He advises him at that level.
Sense contact causes heat and cold, pleasure and pain. They come and go. They are impermanent. They change constantly. Bear with them.
Titiksa is the capacity to bear with difficulty cheerfully. When guests come over you may be troubled physically but are overjoyed emotionally. The physical inconvenience is eclipsed by the emotional delight. The joy is in the sacrifice.
The quality of titiksa is an integral part of the Indian psyche. Titiksa increases the pain threshold. You do not pop pills at the slightest discomfort. You do not react when someone insults you. Honour and dishonour are taken with a pinch of salt. As the saying goes – “What cannot be cured must be endured.”
Endure these impermanent aspects of life by focussing on the permanent. Observe the passing of pleasure and pain.
“The One remains, the many change and pass. Heaven’s light forever shines. Earth’s shadows fly.”
Krsna addresses Arjuna as Bharata. A ‘Bharata’, Indian, is one revel in the light of Atman, not in materialistic pursuits.