Everyday Bhagavad-Gita: Shopping Around.
Verse 2.22: As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.
Who doesn’t like to do a little shopping? I know I do, especially when it comes to looking for new clothes.
There’s just something about purchasing a new garment: the way it feels, the way it hangs, the color, style, or it’s design which makes it special. Marketers use these feelings to convince us that buying new clothes represent the “new” you. Oddly enough, this doesn’t seem to be that far from the truth.
Over the past several weeks, we have been discussing the nature of the soul and its eternality. So, if the soul never dies, what happens when the body is no longer suitable and capable of carrying on in this life?
Quite simply, the soul leaves the body and puts on a new one, just like a new set of clothes.
We could even say that as we’re going through this life, we are unconsciously (for the majority of us) shopping around for our next body. How so? By cultivating desires. All the desires we accumulate and nourish impact and color the thoughts circulating through our minds. Ever notice this? At least for me, as soon as I want something, (really, really want something), I can’t think of anything about else. I become obsessed with thinking about how I will satisfy my desire.
So, the thoughts and desires that we cultivate throughout our life sets the stage to “purchase” the next body once this one has run it’s course.In shopping for material clothes, we go through the same process. Although the time frame for choosing an item may be mere seconds, there are certain motivations or inclinations that push us to purchase the item.
This means that we need to become more aware. If we can actually have an impact on the type of body we will receive in our next life, then we need to become increasingly conscious of our desires.
As aspiring bhakti yogis, however, the goal is different. The goal is to quit shopping period!
The bhakti yogi would prefer to make this life, in this body, their last. Why? Because the soul is eternal and continuing the cycle of adopting different temporary bodies will never give the soul satisfaction, regardless of how strong, beautiful, or intelligent that body maybe. Just as the time may come when you look at your closet and think, “This is ridiculous. I have way too many clothes.” Similarly, the bhakti yogi thinks “Doesn’t matter. If I get another body, I’m still going to be subject birth, disease, old age and death. I want out!”
Ending this cycle of constantly wanting and buying new clothes/bodies is what the Bhagavad-gita is all about. It’s for all of us are curious about and have decided—enough is enough, no more shopping!
Vrindavan Rao was born into the bhakti tradition and grew up enveloped in it. However, her personal discovery of the bhakti path began in 2004 when she had the opportunity to go to a Vedic College in Belgium and since that time she has embraced it completely. Her love for travel has given her the opportunity to study Vedic texts, such as the Bhagavad-gita, in places such as India, Canada, Belgium, Ukraine and the United States under the guidance of several advanced practitioners.
She especially loves the Gita and refers to it as her “Guidebook for Life” since it contains practical answers for complicated questions and is currently writing a daily blog on every verse of the Gita. In addition, you can keep track of all the happenings of Everyday Bhagavad-Gita on Facebook and via Twitter.
Her background is in science and she not only has a Bacherlor’s degree in Biochemistry, but also a Masters in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. In her free time she loves to write, read, give presentations, sing and work out.
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Editor: Thaddeus Haas