Let me tell you a little story of Creation. At the time, there was nothing. Just one vibrant light and lot of smaller lights (energies) revolving around it in its attraction. They had no desire at this stage, no thought, the state of absolute bliss. Then, suddenly, among the cluster of lights, one small light got a thought — ‘I want’ and it set out on a search. As it went, few more lights joined it. These lights then reached a place abounding in natural beauty, but they were unable to experience it. The main light then gave each of those lights a special suit. Wearing these suits, the lights could experience – so many sights, sense of touch, taste…So enamored were they, that they didn’t even realise that their glow was now covered by the suit, to which they were bound. Slowly, they forgot all about the main light and the state of bliss they were in. Now they were a body, no more a point of light.
As time passed, more and more lights came to join them, the space and resources became less and less and so, clashes began. Then one group of lights broke the suits of another group; as without suits they would not have been able to experience, and would be forced to leave. Looking at them, others also started doing the same. Clashes became severe such that the place for which they were fighting started getting destroyed. The lights however kept returning, adorning newer suits.
The lights are the swaroop of atma (soul). To experience the senses and all that Divine has created, the swaroop of soul is insufficient. It needs a special suit — the body. As it attaches itself to the body, it gets limited and forgets that it was once unlimited. It even forgets its actual swaroop and keeps changing and destroying suits, paving way for its destruction.
Sant Ashtavakr had pointed out that while ‘shastra’ (weapon) brings a civilisation to its end, ‘shaastra’ (scriptures) make a civilisation. The distance between death and immortality is just the difference of ‘a’. To quote Bhagwad Gita,
Nainam chiddanti shastraani nainam dahati paavakah | na chainam kledayantyaapo na shoshayati maarutah || Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 23 ||
That is, weapons cannot destroy it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot moisten it nor can wind wither it away. Such is the swaroop of atma. When this gyan dawns upon a being, shastra (arms) become ineffective, and he moves from death to immortality.
Our ancestors were no ordinary beings. They gave us this gyan 5000 years ago. 5000 years back they documented the Shanti Path in the Rigveda, a concept which is alien to even the most learned men of today. We need to realise what we have come to become…we cannot even accept the basic ability of truth over violence, which the vedic rishis had experienced.
Asato ma sadgamayo, tamso ma jyotirgamayo, mrityur ma amritam gamayo. From unreal to real, from darkness to light, then from death to immortality.