Wednesday, April 8, 2009

II: 28

Chapter 2, Verse 28

"Before birth, beings are unmanifest;
Between birth and death, manifest;
At death, unmanifest again.
What cause is there for grief in all this?"

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:

"According to the findings of modern physics, all matter has only phenomenal existence and is at a deeper level formless energy. Both in its previous state and in its present form, matter is nothing but pure energy, and on dissolution of the present form, it will remain essentially the same energy. Thus, the present phenomenal phase of existence is seen to have no permanent significance, and it is this that Krishna seeks to impress on Arjuna."

[In this set of verses on the Self (11-30), Krishna tells Arjuna again and again that there is no reason to mourn or be sorrowful. He's speaking from the absolute level when he says this. For those of us who do not operate from this level all of the time, mourning and sorrow are part of the natural course of things and are not to be denied lest they fester and eat away at our insides. Those who are truly free have gone beyond mourning and sorrow because they rest in constant union with the universal. The sorrow they show in human interaction when informed of a death, for example, is probably more out of compassion for the suffering of those left behind than from a personal sense of loss.]

Ram Dass:

“In our culture that emphasizes forward movement, in which time is deemed ‘of the essence,’ there is little acceptance of slowness, inwardness, and the grieving process, which are healthy and necessary aspects of life. The older we get, the more we lose; this is the law of impermanence. We lose loved ones, cherished dreams, physical strength, work, and relationships. Only by learning how to grieve can we hope to leave the past behind and come into the present moment. We are to learn how to surrender to the experience of our pain. To counteract our natural tendency to turn away from pain, we open to it as fully as possible and allow our hearts to break. Rather than close ourselves to grief, it helps to realize that we only grieve for what we love.”

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