Chapter II, Verse 13
Sri Nerode’s Translation:
As the soul, or Atman, experiences in its physical self the changes of childhood, youth, and old age, so does it pass from one cycle of incarnation to another. Knowing this (cosmic fact) the wise grieve not thereat.
The ego attached to the body is aware of the physical changes from birth through death. The wise are attached to the soul. Similarly, the wise who are identified with the original seed identity perceive a single body as little more than a passing experience.
“You only live once” is a popular motivational saying. However, it is incorrect.
Religions that use fear to oppress individuals and violence to impose a restrictive set of behaviors will soon fail. In this ascending Bronze Age (Dwapara Yuga), individuals will reject any spiritual organization that does not encourage personal progress. The new “religion” hybrid will be tolerant groups of people who are applying specific meditation techniques like Kriya Yoga and physical practices like vegetarianism in their own lives to attain higher states of consciousness. Traditional religions with fear based rules and centralized bureaucratic structures are for the lowest class of individuals (Sudra caste). The lowest caste loses its influence and decreases in numbers during this age.
There several obvious indications of the transition from the dominance of dark Iron Age (Kali Yuga) religions to the growing approach allowing greater freedom for personal experience. Some recent surveys in the United States, for example, indicate that five percent of the adult population claims to be atheists. The idea that “God does not exist” rises when the “keepers of god” (religions) don’t offer viable methods of sharing the god-experience with others. An increasing awareness that traditional religions have been as violent and as oppressive as any government signals that a day of reckoning is arriving for traditional religions. The outcry among some for paternalistic centralized governments is another indication that people seek systems that are more responsive to their personal needs. Though the hope of “fix me” by using the police powers of the state is both short-sighted and ignorant.
Within a couple of generations, the transition into this age of great progress will have shifted from an oppressive state of fear and restlessness to a more productive state of celebration and peace. Today, those who believe “this body is the only one you get” will be happy to find out they are wrong. This is an age of individuality and creative expression. Forcing one’s own beliefs on others. Be content in your own choices and allow others to make their own mistakes.
By contemplation, meditation and positive action, anyone may learn how to express greater love and joy towards others.
The wise are aware that duality is the nature of the experiences of the blind mind and egotistical intellect. Trust the Gita when it states that death is ultimately an illusion. Ultimately, each individualized conscious energy being (soul) reincarnates in the body best suited for their progress.
Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:
“Yatha” (in which way) and “praptis” (attaining, arriving at) are Sanskrit indications of how to manipulate the material qualities of youth, adulthood and old age with specially crafted mantras.
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