SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
dehino ’smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
As are childhood, youth and senility in this body, so is translation to other bodies. No wise man1 errs (or gets deluded) in that.
As, dwelling in a single body itself, the dweller (ātmā) does not grieve at the transition taking place from infancy to youth etc., believing that in that transition the ātmā is in any way lost (i.e., affected), so no man who is wise will, similarly, regret at having to pass from one body to another, knowing that (as is the case in the single body) ātmā ever endures.
What practically one has to do (in these circumstances) is this: Ātmās are eternal. Bound down by deeds (karma2) done in the eternal past, they incarnate in bodies such as are determined3 by karma; with these very bodies, they have to work out liberation from bondage by engaging in Sastra-sanctioned works (karma) such as undertaking a war etc., appropriate to the (several) castes (in which they may find themselves born), but performing them with no desire for the ultimate fruit thereof.
To men who are so environed, the experiences of pleasure and pain are unavoidable, inasmuch as they are the product of ‘colds and heats’4 which the senses sensate by coming in contact with external objects. Hence one needs to tolerate such experiences happening to one during the prosecution, and until termination, of any work undertaken.
This is explained in the following verse.
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- Dhīra is translated as wise man from the root ‘dhiyā ramante‘. ↩
- Karma is either past deeds or present work. Done with motive, it binds; motiveless, leaves one free. ↩
- This is reaping what is sown. ↩
- The sense-contacts with external phenomena is sensations which are the sense-with-mind-contacts, ‘cold-heat’, etc., and then follow the reactions, pleasures and pains. ↩