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Chapter IV

Arjuna was still doubt-ridden. "O Lord," he began, "You said that the bodily changes are like the stages of wakefulness, dream and sleep. But we do not forget our experiences when we awake from deep sleep. The experiences of previous births are destroyed in memory by the incident called death." Krishna replied that it was not possible to recall to memory all experiences, but it was possible to recall some. For the Atma persisted, though the vehicle changed.

Arjuna then shifted to another point; a point which pesters many besides Arjuna. That is why Krishna says, "Dheerasthathra na muhyathi, the Dheera is not deluded by this." He does not say Arjuna should not be deluded by this. He intends to teach all wavering minds. Krishna solves every doubt as soon as it arises. He said, "Arjuna! While passing through the three stages, Buddhi somehow manages to keep some points in its hold. But it too is destroyed when death comes to the body. At one stroke, all is forgotten. Memory is the function of the intellect, not the Atma.

"Now consider this: You cannot now tell exactly where you were on a definite day, ten years ago, can you? But you existed that day, ten years ago. About that there is no doubt. You dare not deny your existence then. The same is the case of the life before this which you lived, though you have no recollection how and where. The wise man is not deluded by such doubts, nor agitated by them."

"The Atma does not die; the body does not stay. Do you think that your grief at their possible death will make the Atma of your opponents happy? That is an insane thought. The Atma does not derive joy or grief whatever happens or does not happen. Let the senses keep to their places; there is no reason to fear. It is only when they start contacts with objects, that the twin distractions, joy and grief, get produced. When you hear some one defaming you, you feel anger and grief; but no such agitation can take place if the words do not fall on your ears. The object-ward movement of the senses is the cause of grief and its twin, joy."