SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre
‘At no time is it (ātmā) born, nor doth it die. Having been (in the past), it cannot be that it is not going to be (in the future). It is birthless (aja), eternal (nitya), constant (śāśvata), and ancient (purāṇa), and is never destroyed though the body be destroyed.’[1. Cf. ‘Na jāyate mriyate vā vipaschin-nāyam kutaschin na babhūva kaschit, ajo nityaś śāśvatoyam purāṇo nahanyate hanyamāne śarīre.’ (Kat. Up. II-18).]
For reasons set forth, the characteristics which are natural to insentient (inert) bodies such as birth, death etc., do not pertain to ātmā, for it has no changes on account of its eternality. The bodily experiences known as birth and death do not affect ātmā, and hence the expressions “it is not born, nor doth it die.” It cannot be said that having been before a kalpa[2. Brahmā’s age.], ātmā is not going to be after a kalpa. Such births and deaths, at beginnings and ends of kalpās, the Āgamās (Scriptures) say, as happening to Prajāpati[3. The Lord of creatures, lit: meaning the four-faced Brahmā who is charged with the minor creations falling within the limits of a single globular system in the infinite kosmos, called brahmānḍa (or Brahmā’s egg).] and others, are with reference to their bodies, but do not affect ātmā.
Ātmā which pervades all bodies is therefore unborn (aja); and therefore it is eternal and constant. These two terms denote that like matter (prakṛiti), even its incessant subtle (or insensible) changes (in the stage before manifestation as the visible kosmos) do not affect ātmā.
Purāṇa (ancient): is etymologically purāpi navah, meaning ‘old, yet new’; meaning that ātmā is such that though ancient or old, it is experiencable (or enjoyable) ever as new.
Hence, though bodies may perish, never can perish ātmā.
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