Does Immortal Dieabracad, · Categories: externally authored, spirituality, survival, yoga
By Lt Col R K Langar
Immortality- what does it mean
In common parlance immorality means a living being in the world who is not subject to death. Take the case if a human being who consists of body including mind and intellect and a soul or Atma. As per the Vedantic philosophy or Hinduism, when the man dies it is only the body which perishes but not the Atma which being a fragment of God is not subject to birth or death and is immortal. Hence we can say that a man who identifies with the body alone and not the Atma would say that when the body dies the man dies on the other hand those who are soul conscious would say that I am established in my soul or spirit and hence I am immortal because the Atma is not subject to birth and death. The Atma moves from one worn out body to another new body and this process keeps on repeating itself till the soul is liberated from the cycle of birth and death.
In spiritual sense immortality does not mean that a person having a body does not die. Death is inevitable for a person who is born in this world. Immortality means that a person who has established himself in his Atma transcends both life and death. Immortality means attainment of universality. It is freedom of spirit above the empirical level of existence. Immortality is more of an experience in such state. It is a continuous remembrance of God in order to possess the Divine virtues so that the man becomes God like. They are established in Brahman, God or Atma constantly (24/7). Another name for such a state is ’life eternal’.
Immortality and Bhagavad Gita
The Gita talks about immortality in a number of its verses. The main theme of the Gita is that since the soul or Atma is immortal the man who has total identity with his essential nature which is Atma will experience that he is immortal even when the body dies. It says that when one is established in Brahman and equality, which is to see others as extension of own self, they become perfect and gain immortality( Gita 5/19). It is not only the belief but an experience that the Atma within is immortal. This experience can not be explained in words. Such experience is virtuous and comes out in words and actions of the person. A person who is established in Brahman, Átma or God and has risen above worldly desires, anger, greed and pains of opposites like heat and cold, pleasure and pain and honour and dishonour. He gains immortality while living. The Gita calls such person as Jivanmukta or liberated while living in the world with a body. This is a supreme state. Such a person sees light of Supreme in all and does not get caught up in the externalities. In his case empirical variety does not hide Metaphysical Reality. He looks at all, high as well as low with equal eye or SAMADARSINHA(Gita 5/18). Another example of immortality is when a person transcends the three modes of his nature, which is goodness(Sattva) passion(Rajas) and ignorance( Tamas) he is freed from birth death, old age and all kinds of sorrows. Such a person also attains immortality (Gita 14/20). In such case all human bondages end and the soul becomes free. The Gita also says that by knowing, Supreme Brahman who is beginningless, who is neither being (Sat) nor non-being(Asat) one attains immortality as Brahman is above both such states. Oar Upanishad also say that when all desires and clinging to one’s heart fall off with continuous practice of yoga man becomes immortal and attains Brahman. This is the quality of the sage(Sthita-prajna) which is described in chapter 2 of the Gita(2/55).
I would emphasise again on the word equality or equal vision which is already explained above. The worldly value system is based on difference in status, in one’s possession in life or the caste one belongs to. But the spiritual value system is based on equality or oneness of all despite worldly differences. As one progress on the spiritual path, he experiences more and more of oneness of all existence since the same Atma resides in all. And when you experience oneness of all existence you not only love all but you also understand the true meaning of universal love and Divine love. To progress in spiritual life or to become soul conscious, it requires both time and self effort in filling your inner life with divine virtues. The mind has first to be emptied of all blockages of waste thoughts and the self created walls of differences. And then fill up with divine virtues by practising them and not only by just knowing them. At the same time you have to ensure that your intellect is strong, stable and Divine oriented which does not allow your mind to work on impulses. You have to use your power of intellect so that it filters all your thoughts before these are converted into what you speak and what you do. Then there is complete harmony in what you think, speak and do and such harmony shall ensure that all such act, are based on discrimination between right and wrong and your judgement is always in the right direction. The more you are attached to Divine and higher values of life, the more you are detached to the world and more you experience immortality while living in the world.
Filed in: externally authored, spirituality, survival, yoga