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PURCHASE THE DIGITAL COLLECTION (2013)
B. 1.24.43 Dallas, Texas / D. 8.9.69 Los Angeles
The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead. Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change. In advanced civilizations, the guru attracts a circle of followers seeking release from the burdens of history—they want to know how to stop, lay history down, and walk away naked.
Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul. Only the material body of the indestructible, immeasurable and eternal living entity is subject to destruction; therefore, fight, O descendant of Bharata. By contrast, the American guru Charles Manson set himself up as a history-maker—his pitch, his appeal, was to wannabes, thrill-seekers, and sad, restless souls, who wanted to know how to make history happen faster. They wanted the next chapter—now—the one they’d come out on top in.
He who thinks that the living entity is the slayer or that he is slain, does not understand. One who is in knowledge knows that the self slays not nor is slain. 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. A civilization becomes advanced by passing through many ages of darkness, ignorance, bloodshed; through generation upon generation of violent gurus plying their whips on history’s drag-ass ways, inciting race wars, palace massacres, communal ecstasies, devastations. There’s a fair share of this to endure. You don’t get to skip ahead just by dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima.
O Partha, how can a person who knows that the soul is indestructible, unborn, eternal and immutable, kill anyone or cause anyone to kill? The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. O descendant of Bharata, he who dwells in the body is eternal and can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any creature. Cielo Drive—one small step for mankind.
Quotations from The Bhagavad-Gita c. 500 B.C.
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