Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 20

न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि
न्यायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूय: |
अजो नित्य: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे || 20||

na jāyate mriyate vā kadāchin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre

na jāyateis not born; mriyatedies; or; kadāchitat any time; nanot; ayamthis; bhūtvāhaving once existed; bhavitāwill be; or; nanot; bhūyaḥfurther; ajaḥunborn; nityaḥeternal; śhāśhvataḥimmortal; ayamthis; purāṇaḥthe ancient; na hanyateis not destroyed; hanyamāneis destroyed; śharīrewhen the body

Translation

BG 2.20: The soul is neither born, nor does it ever die; nor having once existed, does it ever cease to be. The soul is without birth, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.

Commentary

The eternal nature of the soul has been established in this verse, which is ever-existing and beyond birth and death. Consequently, it is devoid of the six types of transformations: asti, jāyate, vardhate, vipariṇamate, apakṣhīyate, and vinaśhyati “Existence in the womb, birth, growth, procreation, diminution, and death.” These are transformations of the body, not of the self. What we call as death is merely the destruction of the body, but the immortal self remains unaffected by all bodily changes. This concept has been repeatedly emphasized in the Vedas. The Kaṭhopaniṣhad contains a mantra almost identical to the above verse of the Bhagavad Gita:

na jāyate mriyate vā vipaśhchin nāyaṁ kutaśhchin na babhūva kaśhchit

ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre (1.2.18) [v25]

“The soul is not born, nor does it die; it did not spring from something, and nothing sprang from it. It is unborn, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.” The Bṛihadāraṇyaka Upaniṣhad states:

sa vā eṣha mahān aja ātmājaro ’maro ’mṛito ’bhayaḥ (4.4.25) [v26]

“The soul is glorious, unborn, deathless, free from old age, immortal, and fearless.”