As If For the First Time
A good number of people cast over themselves a cloud of sadness at Christmas time.
If we are wise, then there is no need for lamentation. Krishna tells Arjuna in the Gita, "You are talking like a learned man, but you do not know that one who is learned - one who knows what is body and what is soul - does not lament for any stage of the body, neither in the living nor in the dead condition."
Quoting further form the Gita 2.11's purport, this is elaborated upon. "It will be clear that knowledge means to know matter and spirit and the controller of both. Arjuna argued that religious principles should be given more importance than politics and sociology, but he did not know that knowledge of matter, soul and the Supreme is even more important than religious formularies. And because he was lacking in that knowledge, he should not have posed himself as a very learned man. As he did not happen to be a very learned man, he was consequently lamenting for something which was unworthy of lamentation. The body is born and is destined to be vanquished today or tomorrow; therefore the body is not as important as the soul. One who knows this is actually learned and for him there is no cause for lamentation regardless of the conditions of the material body."
I was floored when I read this message this morning. It's something which reached my eyes dozens of times before but somehow or other it was so impactful as if reading it for the first time. The words 'does not lament for any stage of the body, neither in the living nor in the dead conditions' stayed with me as I walked one of the city's larger cemeteries. It was dusk and all was fine.