“Lord Brahma said: O son of Kashyapa Muni, please get up, please get up. All good fortune unto you. You are now perfect in the performance of your austerities, and therefore I may give you a benediction. You may now ask from me whatever you desire, and I shall try to fulfill your wish.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.3.17)
उत्तिष्ठोत्तिष्ठ भद्रं ते
तपः-सिद्धो ’सि काश्यप
वरदो ’हम् अनुप्राप्तो
व्रियताम् ईप्सितो वरः
uttiṣṭhottiṣṭha bhadraṁ te
tapaḥ-siddho ’si kāśyapa
varado ’ham anuprāpto
vriyatām īpsito varaḥ
Friend1: I know the answer to this question, but I thought it would make for a worthwhile discussion.
Friend2: What is the question?
Friend1: It relates to immortality.
Friend2: You are already immortal.
Friend1: Yes; in the spiritual sense. The individual is spirit soul, and soul never dies. Atma never takes birth, it can never be created or destroyed by anyone. This is the meaning to sanatana.
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचिन्
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतो ऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे
na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre
“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.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.20)
Friend2: Notice that this is the starting point of Vedanta study. It is the anchor upon which the entire system of dharma is based.
Friend1: Which is interesting considering that other popularly practiced faiths never reach this conclusion. If they lack this vital understanding, no wonder they are left searching for a purpose in life.
Friend2: To which they will speculate, finding different activities in svartha to which they then ascribe a noble purpose.
“God wants me to do this. It is my calling. I am serving the Lord through this work.”
Friend1: I was always left scratching my head, since so many people do the same kind of work but without any attachment to God. Where does that leave them? Are they not in the same category?
Friend2: Those are good questions. That is why consciousness is the key. Do you see properly? Do you understand your true nature? Do you know God’s standing in juxtaposition?
जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यम्
एवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर् जन्म
नैति माम् एति सो ऽर्जुन
janma karma ca me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna
“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.9)
Friend1: My original question relates to immortality in the sense of maintaining body and spirit together.
Friend2: Indefinitely? Not possible. Even if you survived for three hundred years like a tortoise, eventually the time expires.
Friend1: I am well aware of that, but do you think it is possible to create immortality through individual pieces?
Friend2: What do you mean?
Friend1: Finding a loophole in the system. Going around the laws of nature.
Friend2: How would you do that?
Friend1: Sort of like if the local dealer decides not to sell you a car. They learn of your political affiliation, that you speak openly about the last election being stolen, since it was. They place you on a blacklist, and so there is no option for purchasing a vehicle.
Friend2: That seems to be the direction the world is headed.
Friend1: Not giving up, you decide to buy the individual pieces. You find someone who can put the car together for you.
Friend2: That is not an easy task.
Friend1: Difficult, but not impossible. After all, the car manufacturer essentially does the same thing.
Friend1: Couldn’t you do the same with immortality? Every disease there is – find a cure. You stay away from danger. You try to eat healthy.
Friend2: Hiranyakashipu already tried this. He asked for boons of protection against every kind of situation causing lethal harm. He was pretty clever, I might add.
Friend1: Lord Brahma agreed to the requests, right?
Friend2: Absolutely. It was essentially ninety-nine percent immortality. The flaw is that even one percent is enough to bring about the end. It takes a smarter person on the other side to expose the vulnerability.
Friend2: The half-man/half-lion avatara of Vishnu. The better option is to seek eternal life in the form of devotion. To wherever I go, in whichever form I end up, I will get to continue in the engagement that matches my essential characteristic, dharma. I will get to glorify the Almighty and spend the time in complete bliss, immune to debilitating time: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Like task on the challenge show,
With different parts to go.
And asked immortality to assemble,
Longevity even if closely to resemble.
Truth that no possible way,
Body not forever to stay.
Hiranya already with Brahma tried,
But nails of Narasimha denied.