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Samsara – That Which Is Ever Changing

It is impossible to find the eternal in that which is changing. Just as it is impossible to roll the sky like a skin or a cloth, so also it is impossible to become joyful and ever satisfied, not knowing or realizing the atman, which is eternal and indestructible in nature.

Interestingly, the very term for ‘world’ in Sanskrit is ‘that which is ever changing’ (‘samsara’—sam sarati iti samsara). Life is part of this samsara or phenomenal world.

We have got into this world of impermanence, i.e., we are born and naturally experience all the travails, trials and changes life carries with it. But then this life should not be spent off in these vain pursuits; we should seek the Permanent, the Eternal and that is what makes for truly fulfilling life.

Only when there is some purity of mind, some selflessness dawning in the mind that man begins to ask these questions and seek the truly permanent. The path to seeking the eternal, however, starts from where we are — feeling, feeling the need for the Eternal.

Why do we make this mistake — that of mistaking the impermanent as the permanent? Due to avidya or ignorance of our real nature. Not only we mistake the impermanent as permanent but also make further mistakes — such as mistaking the impure as pure, the painful as joyful and the non-self as the Self.

SourceVedanta Kesari Editorial Nov 2009 issue.