Below verse from Niti Sastra or wisdom from regular life experiences, distill out a dynamic concept of harmonizing growth , ambition with death.
अजरामरवत्प्राज्ञः विद्यामर्थं च चिन्तयेत् ।
गृहीत इव केशेषु मृत्युना धर्ममाचरेत् ॥
Follow “Dharma” as if Yama is holding your hair but work towards “Vidya and Artha” as if you will never become old or never die.
– Translation by Kishore, Sanskrit student
Generally, human beings who are greedy and ambitious, fear philosophy and death with the same allergic attitude. Similarly, a philosopher sees death and destruction in every aspect of everyone’s life. When these two types of people, meet they are at loggerheads never trying to understand each other’s point of view. Since time immemorial, members of both these groups die but their legacy lives so that the conflict of their perspectives continues. However here in this verse, our Rishis have given us the brilliant idea of harmony.
“Dharma” is like facing a fresh ball from a bowler where the chances of getting out are always there but the player is willing to hold on scoring to acquire runs. This is the harmony of dharma and Artha.
Another seeker, Radhika Vallabh shared his idea on this:
When it came to learning about the Vibhutis of Krishna, Arjuna is asking Krishna to explain in detail as if he had all the time in the world, when he was in the midst of the battlefield with crores of soldiers waiting for the fight to begin.
In BG 10.16, Arjuna enquires from the Lord:
“Please tell me in detail of Your divine opulence by which You pervade all these worlds.”
When Vibhishana came to perform the Saranagati dharma to Rama, he told the monkey soldiers, “Please inform Rama immediately that I have come to surrender. I don’t know whether my mind will be steady in this thought. Before my mind changes, let me perform.”
The conclusion is that, without ambition legacy doesn’t move forward and sustain & without reflection on the temporariness, the stakeholders of legacy will not be empowered and the present stakeholders will be obsessed.
Life and death are not in contrast to each other, instead they are complimentary to each other. So, plan your life as if you are the one forever and execute the plan as if you have one and last chance. The spirit should be of “know & present” but the mind & intellect should be of “thinking of us & tomorrow”.
Therefore, vedanta and vedas are harmonized for growth and legacy running alongside. Such wise people, act as if they are eternal while willing to die anytime.
– Article by Govinda Das