1. Venerable Bede (672-735) wrote in his Ecclesiastical History:

“ Such O king, seems to me the present life on earth, as if ………. On a winter’s night a sparrow should fly swiftly into the hall and, coming in one door, instantly fly out through another …. Somewhat like this appears the life of man. But of what follows or what went before we are utterly ignorant.”
I get reminded of the following shloka of the GITA:
अव्यक्तादीनि भूतानि व्यक्तमध्यानि भारत।
अव्यक्तनिधनान्येव तत्र का परिदेवना।।2.28।।

2. The greatest achievement is to be born a man who alone is free to bring about his salvation or damnation. This is the Right to Liberty that all humans enjoy. Shri Ram had asked the people of Ayodhya to inhibit/prohibit even the King if his actions do not accord well with their sense of justice. In course of his instruction to his people he said something which we are accustomed to quote often:

बड़े भाग मानुष तन पावा | सुर दुर्लभ सद् ग्रन्थन्हि गावा ||
साधन् धाम मोक्ष कर द्वारा | पाई न जेहिं परलोक सँवारा ||
3. In my view the grammar of human existence is well expressed in the last shloka of the Chapter 11 of the Gita that describes the cosmic form of creation where the duty of MAN is to work in accordance with the norms thus pointed out in the Gita.

मत्कर्मकृन्मत्परमो मद्भक्तः सङ्गवर्जितः।
निर्वैरः सर्वभूतेषु यः स मामेति पाण्डव।।11.55।।
4. It is interesting to note that in providing us this most important instruction, the Bhagavad-Gita and the Quran strike the same note, say the same thing.
atmai ’vahyatmanobandhuratmai’varipuratmanah.
The Bhagavad-Gita (VI. 5)
[Let a man lift himself by himself; let him not degrade himself; for the Self alone is the friend of the self and the Self alone is the enemy of the self. ]

I underscore this idea by quoting the holy and inspiring words from the Holy Quran: .
‘इ_नलाहोलायूगययरोमा _बकौ _मनह_तायुगययरोवा _बन _तसेहुम

5. I brought my memoir to an end quoting lines from Shiv Mangal Singh Suman which I consider the best portrait of our life on any of the cycles of existence at any of the points in the cosmos, or anywhere we call anant (space in which the universes are born and get lost.) [Please see at pages 538-39 in the chapter 31 of On the Loom of Time, uploaded on my website at

6. I would like to re-iterate what I wrote in my above mentioned memoir at its page 535:

“Now I, in my seventies [now in eighties], wholly share what Lord Hailsham of St. Marylebone, who had been the Lord Chancellor of England, said in his autobiography: A Sparrow’s Flight. If I were my own judge, I would hang myself by the next lamppost. Lord Hailsham of Marylebone, who had been England’s Lord Chancellor, called his autobiography A Sparrow’s Flight. One’s life in the world is like a sparrow’s stay for a short while. He concludes his autobiography with a prayer for mercy, not with a prayer to be weighed and judged:”

7. My last prayer, when that occasion comes, would begin with Arjuna’s prayer to the Vishwaroop of Krishna comprehended in the 11th Chapter of the Gita:
त्वमादिदेवः पुरुषः पुराण
स्त्वमस्य विश्वस्य परं निधानम्।
वेत्तासि वेद्यं च परं च धाम
त्वया ततं विश्वमनन्तरूप।।11.38।।
I implore my tongue that I have served over eight decades, for its last act of kindness: (to quote Sri Billvamangalachraya):
त्वमेव याचे मम देहि जिह्वे समागते दंडधरे कृतान्ते
वक्तव्यमेंवं मधुरं सुभक्त्या गोविन्द दामोदर माधवेति
8. A lot of thinking has been done in the West on the interrelationship between the forces of Good and Evil. But I believe in what Tulsidas said in his Ramacharitmanasa:
9. भलेउ पोच सब बिधि उपजाए, गनि गुन दोष बेद बिलगाए
10. कहहि बेद इतिहास पुराना, बिधि प्रपंच गुन अवगुन साना
[Good and Evil are God’s husbandry, the Shastras have discriminated them as good or evil. All the Vedas and the Puranas are one in saying: It is God’s craft (maya) to knead all the traits together.]
9. For various good reasons I have enjoyed listening to the following songs which I wish all my friends should listen to understand our life and death, and the Gita..
(i) शिवोहम् शिवोहम् शिवोहम् शिवोहम्… [ You can hear this kirtan in the voice of Swami Satyananda Saraswati at youtube at ; and also in the voice of my wife, Smt. Veenapani Jha by visiting ] and
(ii) khabar-e tahaiyyur-e ishq sun Na JunooN Raha Na Pari Rahi on youtube at

Hari O’M
Shivakant Jha
Oct 12, 2017


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