In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Bhagawan Krishna’s accord on how big is the “Atman”, as compared to that of the physical body. In fact, He poses a question to Uddhava, only to give the answer to that question by Himself! He asks Uddhava thus: “Oh Uddhava! You should also understand one more thing in this regard. I’ve explained you already that the “Atman” is a tiny and an invisible portion that is present inside all living beings in this world. Now here’s a question – Do you think that this small and tiny “Atman” holds the physical body, no matter how huge it can be, or the physical body is holding the “Atman” carefully inside it? Which is true?”
This is where we understood this question keenly in the yesterday’s episode – The elephant has a huge physical body, as compared to an ant. However, both have their respective “Atman” inside them. Now, just becaue the elephant is huge in size, will the “Atman” of the elephant be of an equal mammoth size? Or, for instance, the ant is so mini and will its “Atman” be of a micro size in nature? The answer to this question is very important here. Bhagawan Krishna continues His accord thus: “Oh Uddhava! All living beings have the “Atman” embedded within them, however, the “Atman” is of the same size for everybody in this world. The “Atman” is extremely small in nature, no matter how big the physical body can be. However, just because the “Atman” is very small, can it be underestimated? No! The “Atman” is the source of all knowledge and wisdom that we have, right from our head till toe. In fact, the entire physical body functions only because the “Atman” is giving the instructions for each of our organs. The “Atman” is like that of a small lamp – Just like how the lamp spreads light all over the room, although it might very small in size, the “Atman” spreads knowledge and wisdom, although it is very small in size. This is why we feel pain even if it is a small cut in one small portion of our hand or feet. Had the “Atman” been a no-entity here, it should pain when we have a cut only at the place where the Atman is, isn’t it? But that is not the case! We experience pain or pleasure at any point in our physical body and this is because of the work done by the “Atman”, to make us feel the pain or pleasure!”
Thus from this accord, we should understand clearly that it is only because of the “Atman”, we’re able to feel any sort of comfort, discomfort, pain, etc. in our physical body. However, we should understand one thing here – The “Atman” doesn’t experience any pain or pleasure by itself. Whereas, the physical body is the one that experiences all of it, but it cannot do it all by itself. If for instance, someone is dead, can he / she experience anything? This is because, when we die, our “Atman” escapes from this physical body and gets into another physical body somewhere in this world. Thus, the “Atman” gives all these experiences to the physical body, by being inside it.
We should thus remember and recollect that the “Atman” is permanent and our physical body is impermanent and subjected to destruction some day or the other. This is the furst point. Second point that all of us should understand is that, the “Atman” doesn’t undergo any sort of pain for itself. It of course undergoes pain, but through the physical body. Thus, the “Atman” uses the physical body as a medium to witness and enjoys all the experiences that it comes across. Thus, we can see that the “Atman” is a very small entity, but uniform across all living being in this world. There is no difference in size, with respect to every living being in this world.
Thus, having understood this part clearly, we should now understand why we should strive for “Moskha” at all. We might be thinking that this creation of Bhagawan is incomparable and robust and with this, we shall enjoy all possible pleasures in this world. Without any doubt, Bhagawan’s creation is robust, and we should indeed thank Him every day for all what He has given us. However, we should understand that this is not going to be permanent. We’re going to be subjected to destruction some day or the other. Hence, given this fact, why are we going behind worldly pleasures, beautifications, etc. for this “Shareera” which is going to get destroyed at the end of the day? Shouldn’t we aim for something higher than what we have currently? For instance, if we’re making a living in a small apartment amidst a slum area, and if we get a good job, make some decent money, etc. won’t we strive to move into a better apartment in a better area in the city? Why do we strive so? It’s because we have that awareness within us, that there are other better options available. Similalry, here also, we should have that awareness that there is a better place called “Vaikunta” that is present, which is totally serene and devoid of any sort of negativity around. Once this awareness comes within us, we would automatically start striving towards attaining it, isn’t it?
This is where we’ve to be very careful – Of course, all said and done, the “Atman” is all-powerful in its mechanism, knowledge and wisdom, but this is not the end of all. We should understand that our “Atman” is currently embedded inside a physical body that is totally subject to destruction. In a way, our “Atman” is imprisoned. If it has to be liberated from the jail called our “Shareera”, we should first have the awareness that there’s something better out there, for which we should strive for! So for today, let us inculcate this awareness within all of us, and let us start striving towards the real development & upliftment of our “Atman” from the present state of affairs to reach the highest state called “Moksha” or “Vaikunta”. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the continuation of this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂