SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
avināśi tu tad viddhi
yena sarvam idaṁ tatam
na kaścit kartum arhati
Know that that verily is indestructible by which all this is pervaded. No one can cause destruction to this ‘exhaustless.’1
Know that the ātmā-category is indestructible, i.e. that sentient category (or principle) by which all this insentient category (or inert matter) is permeated. The latter is quite distinct from the former. By reason of the pervasive nature of ātmā, it is exceedingly subtle2, and is incapable of perishment. Nothing which is of a different kind or of dissimilar nature from it (ātmā) is capable of destroying it (ātmā), for it (the other thing) is the pervaded, by (the pervading) ātmā, and is grosser than ātmā (which is subtle). Such things as weapons, water, fire, air etc., can as agents of destruction, enter into such things as are of the destructible kind, and cause disintegration thereof.
The rationale of a club or a mallet etc., striking a thing and destroying it is thus given: (The mere contact of the club with the thing does not destroy, the mere force caused by wielding the club, without coming in contact with the thing cannot destroy. Therefore), the club when used with force and the thing is struck, what happens is that rapid vibration is produced in the air-particles, which, entering into the thing, produces molecular disruption3. Hence the ātmā-principle is indestructible.
The next verse tells us that perishability is the very nature of bodies:
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- Means that which cannot be expended, and therefore infinite. ↩
- The idea is the subtle always penetrates, the gross is penetrated. Light penetrates glass. Glass may get broken, but it never can destroy light. As glass is to light, so body is to ātmā. ↩
- We know of loud noises, like the thunder-clap, shattering glass panes. A loud noise is a sound, a sound is but a rapid commotion and agitation set up among the air-particles, which strike each other and produce the sound. ↩