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What does Lord Krishna mean when He says in Bhagavad Gita 2.12 that never was there a time when He did not exist, neither Arjuna nor the assembled Kings? Does it mean that Krishna and we all are eternal individuals?

Obviously it doesn't mean that our bodies will live forever ,but the question is whether the individual essence of who we are is eternal or is it only that the universal nature who we are lives on.

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  • "Does it mean that Krishna and we all are eternal individuals?" - yes
    – Ikshvaku
    Apr 19 at 23:14
  • In advaita individual essence = universal essence. Note that in some slokas, Krishna says that the "Atman" (he does not use the word) changing bodies is just like changing clothes (relates to individual essence), and in other slokas the same "Atman" is considered "all-pervading" (relates to universal essence).
    – zero
    Apr 20 at 9:58
  • I know that is what is confusing and what the question is about. I guess it means atman is both deeply individual as well as universal Apr 20 at 10:21
  • Yes, imo, it means, the individual essence and universal essence are the same. This is the advaitic teaching in the Gita, right at the beginning.
    – zero
    Apr 20 at 10:31
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    Just like water's formula H2O is same whether water is coming from ocean or river or pond but only clean water is fit for drinking, similarly Atman is same in everyone whether animal, insect or human but only few Atman are fit for becoming human based upon their Karmas.
    – user22687
    Apr 20 at 11:33
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In the commentary on this verse (Bhagavad Gita with the commentary of Sankaracarya translation by Swami Gambhirananda):

...On the contrary, we shall exist. The meaning is that even in all the three times (past, present, and future) we are eternal in our nature as the Self [Brahman]. The plural number (in we) is used following the diversity of bodies, buy not in the sense of the multiplicity of the Self.

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  • I know it doesn't mean that our bodies will live,but the question is whether the individual essence of who we are is eternal or is it just that the universal nature of our self lives on. Apr 20 at 7:26

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