vāyur anilam amrtam athedam bhasmāntaṁ śarīram
om krato smara krtam smara krato smara krtam smara. 17
The Breath of things is an immortal Life, but of this body ashes are the end. OM! O Will, remember; that which was done remember! O Will, remember, that which was done remember.
Even if this body idam bhasmāntaṁ śarīram − gets reduced to ashes vāyur anilam amrtam – yet the Life force remains immortal. om krato smara krtam smara krato smara krtam smara – now this is a very mystic and occult advice given by the Upanishad to each one of us. krato is the Will of Agni. Each one of us is Agni. Agni is described in the Vedas as amartya martyesu – it is the immortal in the mortal. The immortal is the integral light that moves and moves not; that also is immortal because it has been brought down from that Supreme Integral Consciousness. When there was complete darkness there was a question as to how to awaken this darkness into light and the solution was found that if Agni can be put forward then this inconscient can be awakened gradually to the light. So Agni was brought from the Supreme Integral Consciousness as innumerable sparks and each one of us is one of the innumerable sparks. We were all brought down into the inconscient and gradually we have been growing along with the birth of matter, life, and mind.
When we say ‘we’, it is the Agni that is ‘we’. Agni element which is in us is ‘we’. It is this Agni which is immortal, and therefore, it is that which connects us from our past life. When we die, then the body is left here bhasmāntaṁ śarīram− this body is reduced to ashes. What remains alive is the sukshma deha which consist of the life and mind, which also get dissolved in due course; but that which does not get dissolved is the Agni – is the soul. Agni is another word for soul. It is immortal, it does not die, it is inextinguishable – that spark is inextinguishable, it is amritam −a martyesu amritam – it is the immortal in the mortals. Therefore, you can go back to the soul. This is the mark of development of the soul that when you can glance at your life, it can remember all that has happened in the past, in a flash. Normally we forget most of our life, even the present life, but if our soul is more awake, then we can remember our life more consciously. There are very critical moments when you look back, you are able to look at your whole life in a glance and you can mark out all turning points and events of your life. Now the memory of this is very important smara. It says krato smara krtam – that which you have done in the past, you remember and it repeats, you remember. Our death, our disintegration is because of our forgetfulness. We do not remember the agreement that we had made with God at the very beginning. We do not know that we ourselves are the immortal souls. That we have been put forward from birth to birth, and we have been developing under the guidance of the soul. Even now it is our soul which is guiding us and by the help of the soul we can recover again that integral vision of Reality. All this you have forgotten, therefore, it says you remember this krato krtam, smara krato krtam, smara – it repeats again and again. And having done this, it ends with the prayer to this very soul
agne naya supathā rāye asmān viśvāni deva vayunāni vidvān. 18
This is what we had done in the very beginning. O Agni! You are the knower of all things that are born, therefore, by the right path you take us to the Supreme rāye – Supreme Delight (not any liberation or immobility) but rāya – immense delight of existence. Remove from us the attraction of the sin of our exclusive concentration of consciousness and its limitations. For that reason we are offering our obeisance to you.