Saturday, 7 February 2015

the cycle of birth and death


Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part 41
The Gita revisited 
The cycle of birth and death 

               Birth and death  are two sides of the same coin . There can be no death without birth , no  birth without death. . They  bring about change  . So  the  question  arises  as  to what happens  when a person dies  ?. When  a person dies  , his gross  body , which  is made up of matter , perishes  and  merges  with  earth. . According  to the  law  of conservation  of energy  , matter  is  indestructible  . The  subtle  body too  is made up of  matter     and  the same law applies  here also  . The  subtle body's energy  at the time  of the death of the  physical body  cannot  vanish  into  nothing  , so  it is  carried  forward  into the  next  life  of the  jiva. 

              When  we  view  life  as a whole  , we find  that  life  is  but a  series  of  experiences   and  the  desires  a  person  comes  to  have  drive  him  from  one  experience  to  another.  and  one  experience  is  dead  and  another  is  born at every  moment.  Thus  desires  drive a person  through  a  continuous  procession  of  birth and  and  death   and  this  procession  will  continue  until  all  desires  are  eradicated  from the  mind. . Thus  we  find  that  desires  are  the  causes  and  the  experiences  in life  are  its  effects  

         At  the  time  of death  of a  person  , his  desires  have  not been  exhausted  and  these  desires , that  were  entertained  while  the person was  alive  ,cannot  disappear  into  nothing  . These  desires  are  carried  forward  in to the  future  lives  of  that  person. . If  desires  are  the  cause  for  the  continuity  of  life  , how  can  a person take  birth  in an  environment  or   go  through  circumstances  not  to  his  liking  ?  Though  one's  desires  no doubt  decide  the  course  of  one's  future  lives  , yet  it  is  not  one  particular  desire  but  a  compound  of  all  our  desires  that  decide  the  course  of  future  lives  . The  total effect  of your desires  decide  the  future  births  of  the  individual. . Until  all  desires  are  completely  exhausted  , the  cycle  of birth and  death  will  continue  for  that  individual.

           The  second section, valli six, verses 14 of  the  Kathopanishad  say  that  when all desires  that dwell  in the  heart are destroyed  , then the  mortal  becomes  immortal and  he  attains  Brahman  , the  infinite  substratum  , even here. . The  state of desirelessness  is the  state  of kaivalya  ,liberation.


to  be  continued....

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