Where have I come from? If I trace my time in this world back through the years, it might seem that I came from a cramped womb, via the process of birth. I was squeezed out into blinding light and cold, into an abrupt change in environment. But was this really the beginning of my existence in this world?
Vedic literature tells me that I am an eternal living being and that I have repeatedly undergone the experience of birth.
As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.Bhagavad-Gita 2:13
This may be the only body I recall having but previously I was in another body. When that body died, I left it and passed into this new body which grew in my mother’s womb.
I can remember the different stages of my body as it grew, my small child’s body, my boyhood body, my teenager body, and so on. And now I am in an old man’s body! I, the soul, have passed through these different bodies. My body has changed, but I still feel that I am the same person I have always been.
This is because I am the eternal person within the body, not the ever changing and temporary body itself. I have been here all along, watching the changing of the body. Death is just another change of body.
For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying, and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.Bhagavad-Gita 2:20
I am an eternal spiritual being, and I do not need a material body. In fact, I do not belong in the material world at all. I came from an eternal spiritual world, the real home of the eternal living beings, where there is no birth and death.
Please watch this 10+ min video discourse from Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa about the evidence of the unchanging self to know more.
I have been here in the material universe so long that it is impossible to trace out the exact history of my entry. But I don’t have to stay here. I may have amnesia and no longer know my eternal home. I may have forgotten who I really am. But these memories are not lost, they are just buried, covered by the illusion that I am this material body.
I am an eternal spiritual being, and I will never be happy within the temporary material world of birth and death. My amnesia can be cured by the process of Bhakti Yoga. This is the easiest and most powerful of all yoga practices. By Bhakti Yoga alone, I can return to my original position in the spiritual world.
That is the way of the spiritual and godly life, after attaining which a man is not bewildered. Being so situated, even at the hour of death, one can enter into the kingdom of God.Bhagavad-Gita 2:72
Thank you for reading!
Sahadeva das is an initiated disciple of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa who comes in a long line of bona fide yoga spiritual masters. Sahadeva das considers it his great fortune in life to have heard and learned from a self-realized soul and is humbly attempting to pass on what he has received.