Lord Krishna in the Geetha refers to our life as “dukhalayam ashashwatham”. What does it mean? The present world that we see and experience is transitory, like also a place of misery.
The expression is both a source of concern and relief. The first certainly applies to people who are rich, famous, surrounded by a beautiful family, etc. Such people never wish to end their life. But they must go, because the body is subject to diseases and old age gradually, and eventually perishes.
For those with grief and those who find their life meaningless, the same phrase sounds welcoming, as death will one day bring a natural end to their grief, which they must resiliently tolerate until then. What a horror in such situations if the mortality was not assured!
The body is therefore a temporary home for the inner consciousness, and it should be treated thus, neither coveted nor neglected, but revered as an instrument – a vehicle for special use.
What is this goal? The Hindu scriptures reiterate that the body and the spirit are to be used for the sole purpose of cleaning the soul which is trapped within. The soul is bound and conditioned by the karma accumulated over several past births. It acquires different physical forms as a result, and human life is considered invaluable, as it is obtained after multiple births in lower layers or species. He is precious because he has the ability to speak, to think and to tell the difference between right and wrong.
Through such knowledge gained from the scriptures and their practice, the human form has the power to give the soul a chance to purify and release itself sublimely. The present world we see is illusory, like any television program. Each of us has a role to play and leaves shortly thereafter.
The only independence given to each of us is the will to do good in the name of God, to meditate on the Supreme Being, and to strive to return to the eternal world of the Supreme Deity.
If one abuses this freedom and opts for the satisfaction of his senses, there is no escape from the cycle of repeated births and deaths in this material world of apparent happiness.