Sanatana Dharma explains various concepts which are important and practicable for all times without exception, for a happy and comfortable living, providing eternal peace to every individual and to the society. People at different times understood these concepts differently and led others in the way that they felt right, sometimes contradicting what is mentioned in Sanatana Dharma.
Life is understood to have been given to each being to do a specific job to help himself and to help the society. Most often the purpose is not known to the individual. By observing nature, one can understand how every other being is used by nature at different times in different ways to fulfill the need of the day in the ever changing world.
What is good and what is bad are not permanent as both are understood by our ever changing perception. That which is defined as good at a given time turns otherwise when the circumstances change. We always examine the events at certain epochs and attribute good /bad to those events because of our lack of knowledge of the infinite time. The feeling of good and bad is because it appears to cause temporary happiness or sorrow. Man always is aware of the temporary happiness but does not forego in lieu of permanent happiness. Over a time period of experience one gets bored of the temporary happiness which is immediately followed by the consequent unhappiness. Only then the need for seeking eternal happiness starts. His endeavor to achieve this goal succeeds with the intensity with which he foregoes this temporary pleasure and gets prepared to tread a path of physical discomforts to achieve his goal of living in eternal happiness. Many sadhakas proved that leaving away the struggle for the transient pleasures helped them achieve self-realization, the ultimate good for imperishable Ananda /bliss.
Attraction of the temporal and bodily pleasures often defies the very purpose of sadhana. From the epics an example is set by the sage Vishwamitra that his desire for the bodily pleasure of enjoying the divine beauty, Menaka, he lost his sadhana. These incidents are demonstrated by several sadhakas before they become maharishis.
The struggle for happiness is unending until one enters into the stage of ‘self-realization’. God’s creation directs everyone to achieve this ultimate goal, fighting against each hurdle created by lust, anger, ego revengefulness, etc., which are common to most of the beings in nature and more predominant in man.
Man works continuously for achieving his goal. His struggle is obviously endless. In this endless endeavor he spends various lives. While one is living his physical body undergoes many changes – change of size, called a new born, a baby, then a boy or a girl, an adult, a grown up and an old man or woman. If we look at the person in each stage of his existence, we see a different body. Since the change process is so continuous that we can’t identify the difference between the bodies that existed in a few seconds of time gap, we feel that the body has not changed. The minute changes can be noticed over a lapse of considerable time only. What brings in such a change is not known. But changes are welcome! No one would like the new born to continue at that stage for longer than a few days. Nature teaches us that there shall be changes and change is essential for nature’s purpose of creation, maintenance and annihilation. While the body goes through such changes, we notice some common string connecting all these changing bodies. That common string continues even when the process of change apparently stops, called as death of the body – wrongly said as death of the person.
Though the body apparently ‘dies’ the resident force in the body continues as it continued over the ever changing bodies while he was called to be alive. Thus one can perceive the continuity of life even after the body ceases to breathe.
It is logical that life continues after the physical body dies. This observation is upheld by Lord Sri Krishna in Srimad Bhagavad Gita while consoling Arjuna who got dejected to fight with his own kith and kin and kill them in the battle field just to regain his lost kingdom. His saying:
“Dehinoasmin yatha dehe kaumaaram yavanam jaraa
tathaa dehaantara praaptihi dheera stratra na mupahali”
As the body changes occur to a person living in that body, so does he get another body after death. - Bhagavad Gita Canto 2 Sloka 13.
Further he emphasizes that everyone born shall die for certain. (Period of life, however differs for different beings and for humans too). He ensures that rebirth is as certain as death after birth.
“jaatasyahi dhruvo mrthuhu dhruvam janma mrtasya ca
tasmaa daparihaaryearthe na tvam socitu marhasi”
Hence, don’t be worried about these inevitable events in life. It is now proven beyond doubt that ‘Life’ is a continuum.
Since we throw away some facts of nature with the argument that we shall not accept unless we see it with our own eyes and experience it ourselves, we may believe if someone narrates his/her genuine experiences which are not respected to be concocted. We tend to accept a word from one who never tells a lie, to the best of our knowledge and belief.
There are many reported instances where people recollected their experience when they were declared dead and came back to the same body after a few hours. Though no scientific explanation is so far available, we are forced to believe what we see and notice by ourselves.
A case of a child of about five to seven years of age, while accompanying her parents in their car in New Delhi; she forced her father to stop the car before big bungalow by the roadside. The father was perplexed and stopped the car. The child opened the car door and ran into the house. She patted a pet Alsatian dog of the house which caressed the child and greeted an old woman, calling her by her name and ‘earlier’ relationship of the last life and explained to her that she was her daughter-in-law in her last life almost 8 years ago and that she was molested by her husband’s younger brother and was killed. She showed them where the body was buried in the large backyard which was almost abandoned. This gave them and the police clues for investigation of a case pending for a few years since it was reported.
This was published in the then existing Illustrated Weekly of India magazine as I was told by an elderly person of 96 years of age when he told me.
Many such instances can be seen in the literature. Many people who practice self-hypnosis reveal their past lives experiences and their effects on their present state of mind, their attachments with others and their relationships in previous lives.
These narrations teach us that this life is not the end of the string. Many such ‘lives’ are in the queue ahead. This is like transfers in an organization where new people get associated and some get disassociated or older colleagues may join the new place, etc. It is a locational change and change of corresponding environment. The employee may not be aware of why he was transferred and why he was assigned a new task where he was not even told about or trained for. He gets online training and functions as needed in the new environs, as directed by the big boss, who is unseen and is unknown except through his ‘orders’ which are communicated internally and sometimes through a known medium too. Some lucky to recall and some are otherwise to recall the past experiences. If one committed mistakes in the past posting he gets punished either by the new place of posting or by the tough circumstances he has to face in the new posting.
Is this not continuity of life and the explanation given to ‘papam’ and ‘punyam’ as rewards given to one who followed the laid down rules and the one who broke them and behaved independently?
Since life is a continuum, we bound to enjoy the rewards to be bestowed on us for what we think we are doing day in and day out using our so called ‘intelligence’.
The question then arises as to whether we are the doers or are we made to do. In an employment, an employee is the doer but he is not independent to do as per his whims or fancies. He is bound by the well-defined rules and regulations. He cannot trespass them. If he does, rules exist as to how to treat such persons. They are applicable uniformly and universally throughout the organization. Checks and balances are inbuilt into a well-designed ‘system’ which will manage everyone without deploying a policing agency for each individual.
Data collection, storage and online processing is done on a continuous basis observing and recording every act and ‘thought’ of the employee. One who behaves well gets rewarded and one who behaves otherwise gets suitably punished accordingly.
What the employee must be aware is that each transaction is well defined and pre-defined though he may not be aware of the future events. Knowing this he must understand that he is only incidental in discharging his duties as he is only a puppet in the hands of the employer and that he has no independence in the organization, even if he occupies the highest rung in the organization. This is emphasized by Lord Sri Krishna in Srimad Bhagavad Gita, a message for the mankind through Arjuna.
Let’s follow it.