XVII - Page 161 Home | Index | Previous | Next

The Transitory Nature of all Things

The flower which has blossomed today will be dried up tomorrow and it will be decomposed a few days later. Food that has been cooked today will be spoiled tomorrow and becomes poisonous the following day. Once it has become spoiled you cannot get the fresh food back. The beautiful form of today will have turned ugly by tomorrow. Even atoms making up the matter in the moon may in time end up here on earth, and atoms making up matter here on earth may go to the moon. Every seven years all the atoms which constitute the human body undergo a total change. It would be foolish indeed for you to think that the body and the sense organs which are made up of the five elements are permanent, or that any object made up of these elements has any lasting value. Only the senses will be hankering after such external, transitory things.

The Gita has shown that this impermanent complex of five elements which we call the body, mind and senses, consists of 24 principles. It is made up of the five gross sense organs, the ears, the skin, the eyes, the tongue and the nose. These reach out to the sense objects through the subtle sense organs, comprising sound, touch, sight, taste and smell. These gross and subtle senses are inextricably related. Without the subtle the gross cannot not function. For example, you may have eyes but no sight, you may have ears but no hearing, you may have a tongue but no taste.