Although the sense of being (of existing) if of the self rather than the body, yet a striver commits a mistake that first he perceives the body and then perceives the self in the body; first he perceives the appearance and then perceives the real (existent element). How long will this applied polish last? A striver should think over whether the soul (self) or the body first existed. If we think over it, it is proved that the soul exists first and the body is formed later. The existent element is first and then is the form. Therefore our sight should first be turned towards the existent self (Aatma, swaroop), not to the body.

As a dining room is the place where meals are eaten, so is this body the place where pleasure and pain are experienced. He, who experiences pleasure and pain, is not the body, but the self which identifies itself with the body. The place of experience is different from the experiencer. The body is like the garment which is different from us. Whatever clothes one wears, the clothes are separate from us. Just as even on  changing numerous clothes, we ‘self’, remain one and the same, we don’t become numerous, similarly by acquiring numerous bodies in numerous wombs, we (the self) remain the same. As by discarding old clothes we don’t die and by wearing new clothes we are not born, similarly by casting off old bodies, we don’t die and by acquiring new bodies we are not born*.

It means that the body is born and it dies but we are not born nor do we die. If we (the self) die, who will bear the fruit of sinful and virtuous actions? Who will go to different wombs and to heaven and hell? Who will be bound? Who will be liberated? Our life does not depend on this body. Our age is very long-beginningless and endless. We are not born at the time of new creation nor do we die at the time of final dissolution, but we remain the same ‘sarge ’pi nopajāyante pralaye na vyathanti ca’ (Gita  14/2).

to be continued……..

From book ‘For Salvation of Mankind’ by Shradhey Swamiji Shri Ramsukhdasji Maharaj