नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावक: |
न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुत: || 23||
nainaṁ chhindanti śhastrāṇi nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ
na chainaṁ kledayantyāpo na śhoṣhayati mārutaḥ
na—not; enam—this soul; chhindanti—shred; śhastrāṇi—weapons; na—nor; enam—this soul; dahati—burns; pāvakaḥ—fire; na—not; cha—and; enam—this soul; kledayanti—moisten; āpaḥ—water; na—nor; śhoṣhayati—dry; mārutaḥ—wind
Weapons cannot cut, fire cannot burn, water cannot wet, wind cannot dry up this Atma.
The Jiva is the combination of three factors, body, mind, and Atma. One is subtler than the other. The five material elements can affect the body only because the body is composed of the five elements. They cannot affect the mind, the subtle body, because the subtle body is finer than the gross body. We see that gross matter can break up. or destroy only a gross object. The sword can cut through a plant or human body, but it cannot cut the air or the ether. Finer and finer objects are not touched or affected by gross things, Atma, being the subtlest element nothing can touch or affect it in any way.
From the spiritual point of view, both the gross and subtle bodies are just false creations caused by ignorance (avidya), like the snake in the rope. So the superimposed mind and body do not in any way interfere with or change Atma, which remains always the underlying substratum, like the rope on which the illusion of the snake is superimposed. The creations of the body and mind are like the water in a mirage. They appear to exist, but they have no existence in reality. What exists is Atma and Atma alone. Thus if the seeker contemplates the eternal and immortal Self, he acquires boundless courage and firmness.