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Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 13 Dec 2019

     

Who are the destroyers of the soul mentioned in the Esavasya Upanishad?

Shri Balaji asked: Respected Swamiji, Could You kindly clarify the third verse of the Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad? The verse, “Asūryā nāma te lokā…ātma hano janāḥ”, is a warning, describing the the fate of the slayers of their own souls (ātman). Who are these destroyers of the soul (ātma hanaḥ)? Is it just people who fail in the path of worldly justice pravṛtti as said in the first verse, “Tena tyaktena buñjīthā ma gṛdaḥ kasyasvit dhanam” or does it also extend to people who do not strive for niṣkāma karma yoga as said in the second verse “Kurvaneha karmāṇi...na karma lipyate nare”? Sincerely, Balaji

Swami replied: The people mentioned in the first verse are the same people implied in the second verse. The second verse is the extension of the first. If a person commits suicide (destroyer of the soul), such a person will fall into a dark hell forever. Human life is the most precious life granted by God. It is a chance given to the soul to develop spiritually. The person who ends his own life is rejecting and destroying the gift of human life given by God and is insulting God. The reasons for committing suicide are mainly worldly and are the most stupid reasons. Millions of human generations have passed and millions are yet to come. The stupid soul gives unnecessary and meaningless importance to the petty issues of this illusory world and puts off the life-lamp, which is mainly meant for earning the grace of God. Suppose a person is travelling in a train to a city where he has to face a job-interview for a very high position. In the train, the person gets into a quarrel with a fellow-passenger over a seat. The person gets very emotionally upset and jumps out of the train and kills himself! Does he have even a trace of wisdom? Such a person is the king of bloody fools, who gives the topmost importance to silly issues, forgetting the topmost issue, which is the main aim of human life! Apart from cases of suicide, a person (soul) who spends his entire lifetime on worldly issues, without ever thinking about God, is also committing suicide, in a sense. Such people too can be said to be killing their souls (ātma hanaḥ). These are the kind of people that are mainly referred to in this verse. By merely thinking about worldly issues, they are ruining the main aim of life, which is spiritual development. Thus, the verse is related to both ruining one’s spiritual life as well as committing suicide.

| Shri Dattaswami | eshavaasya upanishad Atma hano janah Tena tyaktena bunjita ma grudah kasyasvit dhanam kurvaneha Karmani.. Na Karma lipyate nare

 
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