श्लोक 11, 12: Nature Recycles Everything!

Do you know the freshwater we drink every day is at least as much old as our solar system? More than half of the water we have on earth is estimated to be much older than the solar system itself.

For billions of years, nature has been recycling water through various chemical processes, but, essentially they are the same molecules that we drink today as they existed billions of years ago.

Not only water, but everything that we touch and use, exist in the elemental form, at least since the formation of the solar system.

The bodies that we call ours, we think we are of a certain age. But, every single atom of our body has existed since the formation of the solar system and some of it much before that.

Nature just recycles, repackages, and re-purposes everything.

If that is the case, isn’t it logical to consider that I/Ego that we call us and the thinking mind are ALSO recycled?

It would be foolish to consider otherwise, right?

Exactly, I/Ego, thinking mind, and consciousness are also recycled, repackaged, and repurposed.

Once this body becomes old and incapable of sustaining life, nature takes it back and repurposes it while I/Ego goes to get a newer one.

Once we know this basic fact about nature, our outlook on birth and death changes drastically. We start to understand that, for the person who has died, nothing is lost. He/she is off on a new journey.

It also means our anguish about their death is a mere selfish thought of not seeing this person again in that form, that’s it. We might still be interacting with them in whichever new form they take up.

In summary, there is nothing good in anguishing over anyone’s death.

Now, applying this understanding to the story, if we look at Arjun’s anguish over the potential death of Bhishma/Drona, it was not for their sake. It was about himself, his selfish desire not to lose them. And to hide that selfish desire, he was giving wise arguments about them being worthy of worship and all.

That’s why Shri Krishna starts ब्रह्मज्ञान part of Bhagavad Gita by saying this:
श्रीभगवानुवाच |
अशोच्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे |
गतासूनगतासूंश्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिता: ||2.11||
Bhagwan Shri Krishna said: While you give wise arguments, you are mourning for something that is not worthy of mourning. The wise people don’t cry for the living or the dead.

Taking this nature’s recycling argument further, we can understand even though we seem to be of different physical ages, in reality, we all are eternal beings.

That’s why Shri Krishna says further:
न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपा |
न चैव न भविष्याम: सर्वे वयमत: परम् || 12||
There was no time in the past, where you, me, and these kings didn’t exist. Also, there won’t be any time in the future, when we all will not exist.

This way Shri Krishna has negated the main argument Arjun had. But, this gives rise to many questions too:
1. What dies with the death of the body?
2. What continues beyond?
3. And how it all works?

Shri Krishna is going to answer that in the next Shloka. Let’s cover that in the next post.