nasato vidyate bhavo nabhavo vidyate satah ubhayor api drsto ‘ntas tv anayos tattva-darsibhih
na–never; asatah–of the nonexistent; vidyate–there is; bhavah–endurance; na–never; abhavah–changing quality; vidyate–there is;satah–of the eternal; ubhayoh–of the two; api–verily; drstah–observed; antah–conclusion; tu–but; anayoh–of them; tattva–truth;darsibhih–by the seers.
Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent there is no endurance, and of the existent there is no cessation. This seers have concluded by studying the nature of both.
Commentary by Dr.Raju.
This verse is purely about self-inquiry. Krishna says that which did not exist before birth, that which will not exist after death and that which exist only between birth and death is not real. Somebody asked Ramana Maharshi whether the waking state is real or a dream stuff. He emphatically replied that except in duration there is no difference between dream state and waking state, both are made of dream stuff. Then the questioner asked why in waking state everything looks tangible unlike in dream/ Ramana Maharshi said even in dream while you are in dream it looks real and tangible to you. For example dream hunger is relieved by dream food. You may dream that you went to Europe in plane and all those things appear real in dream. Only after waking you will know that dream happened to you but it is unreal. That which is unreal lays in between existence and non-existence, it appears to be real but it is not. When we wake up in Self we realize that al our perceptions even in the waking state are unreal. Reality exists in all modes of mind. It survives physical death. In life search towards the real begins with inquiry into the unreal. That is why our attention must be there where why this unreal is springing up. To know the unreal as unreal is the basis for the search of real. We have no other alternative. What we call unreal is based on real. Hence unreal appears to be real just like appearance of snake in rope in twilight but appearance of snake is unreal but deep down its essence is real. That is why if we go very deeply into the false we touch the real. The eternal soul exists behind the mortal body, formless ocean exists behind the waves which have form. If you are reflected in a stream, the reflection is not real but the source of reflection is real. So all forms are momentary expressions of the real. If we are attached to the forms our perceptions are unreal. Our world as we perceive it is the world of reflections of forms. At present our vision is habituated to look towards the image rather than its source. So our journey starts from images, forms. We are in a state of metaphysical dreaming, so we have to start from our dream in the inquiry. This is a down to earth approach unlike other methods in which ego is kept intact and starts dreaming about god basing on ideas, beliefs, dogma. The moment we recognize dream is just a dream it disappears. We don’t recognize dream as a dream unless we do self-inquiry. Krishna says to Arjuna you will become wise only when recognize the difference between the real and the unreal. That which does not disappear even while you are awake which remains in spite of all is real, eternal and so timeless. The unreal exists in a time frame. Yesterday it may not have existed, today it is here, tomorrow it may not be there. But that which existed in the past, existing today, will exist tomorrow it cannot be divided into three dimensions of time. It simply exists, which past, present, future it can have? So that which is real is always beyond time, there is no concept of involved in it. The reflection needs a medium to exist. You do not need a medium in order to exist. You do need a medium for your image to be reflected. Time is the medium that allows the reflection to manifest. The reflection is formed on the mirror of time, it exists in the dimension of time and it is unreal. Nothing is static in the dimension of time. This quivering reflection that is formed in the mirror of time may have existed yesterday, may exist now but it may not exist tomorrow. It may not have existed a moment ago and it may not exist a moment from now. That which keeps changing moment to moment which can change one moment to another is always unreal. That which does not change every moment is eternal. Lord Krishna says those who can recognize the difference between the real and unreal attain wisdom. This is possible through self-inquiry.