श्लोक 16 (Part#1): What is सत्, असत्?

Comparing with others is the most common cause of stress and unhappiness in our lives.

While there is nothing wrong with wanting to do better in life, we forget that everyone is born with unique Prarabdha karma. Due to that, each of us has unique challenges and unique circumstances, leading to different results even for similar efforts.

So, it’s unfair to feel sad about not doing as well as others. Also, it is improper to feel superior to others who are not doing as good us.

Therefore, the most suitable course of action is to do everything with the best of our abilities and accept the result as they come. One of the ways to help achieve this is to do everything as worship.

Be it housework, community work, office work, or anything else that we do, if we could do that as worship to god, then it becomes easy to accept the result as they come. Additionally, It will also make us do our work sincerely as it is a worship. Try it out, it works!

Moving ahead, the next question will be, once we build onto our knowledge and तितिक्षा, and make progress on the spiritual path, what would we understand differently?

First and foremost, we will have a clear understanding of what is सत् and what is असत्, unreal or appearance.

Towards this Shri Krishna says:

नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सत: |
उभयोरपि दृष्टोऽन्तस्त्वनयोस्तत्त्वदर्शिभि: ||2.16||
असत् is never in existence, and the सत् always exists. This essence of सत्-असत् is clearly experienced by the knowers of this knowledge.

But, what does this mean? Let’s try to understand this using an example.

Assume that we have gold bangles, and we work with a goldsmith to convert them into necklace.

When we get necklace back, where did the bangles go? How did the existence of bangles just disappear?

We can ask this question differently –> If we take out gold from bangles or necklace, will anything exist?

Nothing, right?

Bangles or necklace are 100% gold, if we take gold out nothing will remain.

What it means is, bangles, necklace, rings, earrings, etc, are just names given to “different forms” of gold. They do not have their separate existence apart from gold.

Therefore, for this example, gold is सत् because it always exists, while all the various forms of gold are असत्, as they never exist on their own. All these forms have their existence depending on the primary element, i.e. gold.

Now let’s apply this to our universe.

Everything we see around us, including we all, are just the name given to various forms of Brahman/consciousness. Like Bangles or necklaces, we don’t have a separate existence apart from Brahman/consciousness.

If we take out Brahman from us, nothing would remain.

Therefore, Brahman/consciousness is सत् while everything else is असत्.

Once we build on our knowledge and तितिक्षा, we will see this very clearly. Like a goldsmith sees gold in every ornament, we will see Brahman in every particle of this universe.

All the Best!