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Article CXVII: Death and Grief

One of the most challenging attachments to overcome is the attachment that may exist toward loved ones. Attachment to loved ones can become most apparent after the death of a loved one. Later in the Gita, Krishna will comment, in depth, regarding selflessness and ideal love. In Chapter II, Krishna explains to Arjuna that death implies only the death of the body while the Self within lives on eternally. At death, the physical body perishes, yet the Divine Self does not. In an ideal sense, one need not grieve for the end of the transient physical form since the eternal Divine essence continues. In reality, the loss of a loved one causes one to grieve and experience sorrow. By following the principles of the Gita and striving for greater non-attachment, one can lessen this experience of sorrow and gradually approach the ultimate state of enlightenment -- completely devoid of grief. For the unenlightened, amelioration of grief can be accomplished, in part, by considering these teachings of the Gita.

Gita Full Text:

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter II -- Translated by Swami Chinmayananda

19. He who takes the Self to be the slayer and he who thinks He is slain, neither of these knows. He slays not, nor in He slain.
20. He is not born, nor does He ever die; after having been, He again ceases not to be; Unborn, Eternal, Changeless and Ancient, He is not killed when the body is killed.
21. Whosoever knows Him to be Indestructible, Eternal, Unborn, and Inexhaustible, how can that man slay, O Partha, or cause others to be slain?
22. Just as a man casts off his worn out clothes and puts on new ones, so also the embodied-Self casts off its worn out bodies and enters others which are new.

East-West Counseling & Meditation -- Modern Psychiatry Integration -- Himalayan Philosophy -- Penn & Stanford Medicine
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