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How To Escape From Body – Pain?

Only a man of knowledge is fully above body-consciousness. Till we gain spiritual knowledge ourselves, the body continues to be real to us and this impermanent world an abode of misery. People, however, do not easily realize the miserable nature of the world. Those who look upon themselves as organic entities keep dancing to the tune of their desires, and believe that everything is fine. Delusion cannot go any further.

Anything that comes into being must perish. That applies also to the body and the sense enjoyments that result from it.

Making sense pleasure a goal of life can only compound man’s misery. Lasting happiness is possible only in the Infinite, not in the finite, says the Chandogya Upanishad. Cursed to premature old age by an incensed sage, King Yayati borrowed his son’s youth and enjoyed sense pleasures for many years. At the end of it all he discovered a profound truth: ‘Never can desires be quenched by enjoying sense objects. Like fire fed with ghee it only flames up all the more.’

The body may be a vehicle for sense pleasure, but it is more a source of pain when it contracts diseases. Nothing is comparable to the misery of the sense-bound man when his sense desires are intact, but the body is not fit enough to satisfy them. Death is an unthinkable nightmare for such people in that it snatches them forcibly from their body, which they identify with and pamper all through life.

Human beings or animals—every body is characterized by six attributes: it (1) comes into being, (2) has an objective existence, (3) grows, (4) undergoes modifications, (5) decays and (6) dies.

Sometimes we wonder if holy men could have diseases. All bodies decay and die and those of holy men and incarnations are no exception. Some followers of a holy man who passed away in the middle of the last century believed that his body would not putrefy on death. When he died they neither cremated nor buried the body for a few days, with a view to preserving it. Only when the body started stinking did they inter it and make a memorial for him. Great souls too get diseases, but how they face them holds a lesson for humanity.

SourceExcerpts from Prabuddha Bharata editorial March 2003 issue.