शरीरं यदवाप्नोति यच्चाप्युत्क्रामतीश्वर: |
गृहीत्वैतानि संयाति वायुर्गन्धानिवाशयात् || 8||
śharīraṁ yad avāpnoti yach chāpy utkrāmatīśhvaraḥ
gṛihītvaitāni sanyāti vāyur gandhān ivāśhayāt
śharīram—the body; yat—as; avāpnoti—carries; yat—as; cha api—also; utkrāmati—leaves; īśhvaraḥ—lord of the material body, the embodied soul; gṛihītvā—taking; etāni—these; sanyāti—goes away; vāyuḥ—the air; gandhān—fragrance; iva—like; āśhayāt—from seats
When the lord acquires a body, and when he leaves it, he takes these with him and goes on his way, as the wind carries away the scents from their places.
As the Jiva leaves one body and takes another, like one dropping old clothes and wearing new clothes, it is clear that he is not the body at all. Therefore this body-identification (dehatma-buddhi) should be given up once and for all. ‘I am Atma’ is the Mahamantra.
Moreover, the word Isvara (Lord) is used with reference to Jivatma. The Jiva in truth is the Lord of the senses, the mind, and the body and all that pertains to it. He is the master and not the slave and bondman as he is now thinking and behaving. What a fall is there – from the state of the supreme ruler to the humiliating state of a servant! This is what has happened to man. He, the ruler, has no freedom or will of his own. He has to behave according to the dictates of the mind and the senses. He has reduced himself to this wretched position, by gross ignorance. “So, give up the slavery. Awake, arise and affirm your real nature? Thou art Paramatma!” This is the trumpet call of Lord Krishna to all mankind.
Grihitvaitani samyati: It is said here that the jiva when he leaves one body and obtains another, takes the mind and the senses (the vasanas) with him. He cannot take anything else with him, neither his house nor his relations and friends. They are all dropped off in the world. But what does he really take with him? He takes the mind and the five senses in the form of (vasanas), tendencies and predispositions. These determine the nature of the next birth. If these are pure, naturally the jiva is born to pure parents and enjoy a pure life. If these are impure, he is born to impure and sinful wombs, be the wombs of beasts, birds or reptiles. So one’s may future life is in his own hands. He should therefore take to spiritual sadhana even now immediately and escape from the miserable fate of being born as beasts and reptiles hereafter.
These ‘vasanas’ are the only provision for the journey of the Jiva to other worlds and bodies. Nothing else can he take from here. Nothing else can be of help to him. Nothing else follows him. They cannot even if they wish to. The journey is alone and lonely. But there is no fear, for, the good that he has done and the spiritual sadhana that he has performed will be with him. The mind carries the essence of his whole life, embedded in it in subtle form. It is his body-guard in his journey. So people are themselves the makers of their future birth, good or bad or birthlessness. The last is the goal, for, it is the state of Paramatma. The wise attain it by Brahma Jnana.
Vayur gandhanivasayati: This simile is used to illustrate the idea of the Jiva carrying the mind and senses with him at the time of birth and death. The wind carries all kinds of scents sweet or foul, from all kinds of objects. From flowers, sweet fragrance, from flesh, foul odour, the wind carries by absorbing the subtle essence of those objects. The wind has no likes or dislikes towards these sweet and foul scents. As the message-bearer carries good and bad news, as the wind blows sweet or foul as the case may be the jiva carries this essence of his whole life, in the subtle form of ‘vasanas’ and enters a new body. The body taken depends on the quality of the mind which the jiva is carrying. If it is impure, he goes into impure wombs, if it is pure, he enters enlightened wombs. Therefore, there is no partiality for God or the Divinities of Karma in the transmigration of the jiva. If the mind becomes so pure as to be rid of all ‘vasanas’, there is no further birth for the jiva. He attains union with Paramatma even here. So it is the primary duty of every seeker to purify the mind and the senses by constant sadhana. Thus they shall attain purer birth, and even Brahmajnana here and now.
Question: When the jiva leaves a body or takes a new body what does he take with him?
Answer: He takes the mind and the senses and the subtle Vasanas with him. Nothing else.
Answer: Like the wind that carries sweet or foul scents from different objects.