The thought of death causes restlessness and fear in many.
This may be due to the thought of losing one’s near and dear or the fact that one has to leave this world eventually and this life which seems to be stable is only apparent and short-lived.
This latent thought assumes a significant proportion in Arjuna when he has to involve in a battle that is likely to cause mass deaths. At this juncture, Krishna analyses the essence of human existence and its purpose to reveal the most subtle and pertinent truths that are ever relevant to us but sadly not recognised in their fullness, Swami Parthasarathi said in a discourse.
Describing the rare blend of the physical and the subtle inhering in every individual being, Krishna drives home the truth of the Self inhabiting this body, mind and intellect complex for a brief spell of one’s life time. At birth, the physical body is fully formed while the subtle mind and intellect are in the embryo stage. As the child grows, the mind begins to function and forms attachments, leading to strong likes and dislikes. Unlike plants and animals that do not have an intellect but are protected by Mother Nature from dangers, man is endowed with the rare gift of the freedom of choice aided by the intellectual faculty to provide cover against danger. Unfortunately, the intellect that discriminates is not developed simultaneously and hence is not available to guide the mind’s working, steeped in worldly matters and unaware of the immortal Self within. Physical and mental growth without this knowledge of the Self makes him vulnerable to the dangers of the material world. He is like a person who has a disease but is not aware of it. Real peace and happiness can be experienced only when one dissociates oneself from external objects and looks inward. Everything in the world is subject to change and is never stable but the Self remains immortal and unchanging. The Self is independent of the body as well as the workings of the mind. Joy or sorrow can affect only those who consider themselves as the physical entity and not those who identify themselves with the Self. Attachment to the body is the root cause of problems.