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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 16

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 2 श्लोक 16

नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सतः।
उभयोरपि दृष्टोऽन्तस्त्वनयोस्तत्त्वदर्शिभिः।।2.16।।

हिंदी अनुवाद - स्वामी तेजोमयानंद

।।2.16।। असत् वस्तु का तो अस्तित्व नहीं है और सत् का कभी अभाव नहीं है। इस प्रकार इन दोनों का ही तत्त्व? तत्त्वदर्शी ज्ञानी पुरुषों के द्वारा देखा गया है।।

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The soul is eternal as verified in the Vedas. Why is the soul eternal? Is there anything else eternal as well? Hence it is stated in the verse beginning nasato vidyate. There is no annihilation of a-sat meaning prakriti which is the material substratum or sat referring to the Ultimate Truth because it is declared in the Visnu Purana that prakriti, purusa and kala or time are eternal. Because the word vidyate has been seperately used in relation to sat and a-sat and because it has been said in Srimad Bhagavatam also known as Bhagavat Purana that a-sat is the physical manifestation and sat is of the subtle form the Ultimate Truth of reality, a-sat is known as manifestation of sat, the unmanifest. This understanding for both a-sat and sat and is confirmed by the word anta meaning summation. Now begins the summation. The actual sorrow expressed by Arjuna is not being felt because the consequences of war lead to misery in the next life. The rule in the material existence is that every action has its corresponding and equal reaction, thus it is seen that by unrighteous actions there is no happiness and by righteous actions there can be no unhappiness. The words referring to sat bhavah are all connected to happiness and the words connected to a- sat abhava are those which are connected to sorrow. Thus it is stated in Shabda Nirnaya that sat bhava is sadhu bhava, having meritorious disposition and we will see this word used again further in the Gita. Therefore for whatever is in righteousness the word sat is used. Whoever has thought they have become a-sat, asat brahmeti, for this person their personal conceptions have become a-sat and consequently they become sorrowful. It should not be misconstrued that the purpose of this verse is to deny the existence of what is appearing now in the present, was non-existing before creation and would be non-existent after destruction. This would be a contradiction in itself. The statement nasato vidyate bhavo is specifically used to emphasise a spiritual truth. Although in normal everyday life people relate to the material manifestation as if it did not exist before and will also cease to exist hereafter. For example a flower to be offered to the Lord which blossomed today, did not exist last week and by next week it will have ceased to exist but still it is utilised while it is here. So there is no reason to reflect that any of this is due to delusion. Thus it is stated in the Brahma Tarka : All acts prior to creation and all acts after the dissolution of creation cease to exist is the Vedic statement. If in each action the specific form was not manifest before it was born but came to be formed only later, then wisdom and normal circumstances would not justify such a statement. If according to wisdom and normal circumstances an archetype existed before the form came to exist then before anything is born it did not, in fact exist. Even due to the experiences of modification there is action and its result. Because of these modifications the experiences of the physical body become apparent. Normal affairs in this world take place on the basis of these modifications and the experience connected with these modifications solely. It is not correct to accept that this world is made up of special attributes such as sat the Ultimate Truth due to its perception of modification and a-sat as the physical manifestation by its being self evident. Both the experiences are subjected to delusion. The physical manifestation is spoken as such because it is evident not because it is understood. If it is non-existent then its knowledge is without purpose even if it is non-manifesting. A falsehood can never be validated by another falsehood. In delusion the false appearing as truth can never be accepted as real. In normal life the unreal cannot cease to be in any case. That which exists as its form may also appear as real and the same is the case with delusion. Even though it is indescribable, when what is real appears as truth verily such appearance of truth cannot be accepted as false on the assumption that it is delusion. Thus the truth which appears as unreal should also be accepted then there is no contradiction. In the Vedic scriptures it is stated the cosmic manifestation is truth. What is created is the truth. The sages and rishi’s who contemplating deeply describe the Ultimate Truth as Self evolved and Self evident and by such words declare the eternal existence of all things created.