Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 12

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 12


It is not indeed at nay time was I not, nor these rulers of men. Nor shall we ever cease to be hereafter.


Sri Krishna is reiterating the fact that every living being on earth had a form before and death of that form paved way for birth in a new form. This new birth depends upon the thoughts entertained in past births. As we have learnt before, we carry a number of unfulfilled desires and hatreds in our mind called vasanas.

At the time of death, majority of us still retain a number of those vasanas. Depending on the texture of the vasnas, we are given a new form in a new environment. It could be any form of life on earth.

Again, instead of fulfilling or wiping off of those vasanas, we add new vasanas to the existing pile of vasanas. This again leads to a new birth in a new form.

This cycle repeats itself over a period of a number of births and deaths. The final release is when the mind is free of all vasana imprints. Only rare souls achieve this state of Liberty from future births.

Hence, the Lord states – it is not at nay time you were not, nor you will ever cease to be.”

The same principle applies to the Lord. The difference is that He takes incarnations eon after eon to uproot the evil and protect the righteous. Each time He takes a new form and is given a new name. He is not born because of the unfulfilled vasanas but incarnates to protect His children.

This knowledge of the true identity with the Atman and negating the physical body is expressed as a Mahavakya by the ancient seers – “Tat Tvam Asi.”

It means “Thou Art That.” You are the Atman, the masters tell us and advise us not to grieve for modifications and sufferings of the physical body.

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