Dallas Morning News,
Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.
The slayings today at a Connecticut school obviously present a horribly grim situation. So, drawing upon your faith traditions, how would you try to comfort a family caught up in such an awful scenario?
NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas
We share your grief. My wife spent the entire night, off and on, crying. The Bhagavad Gita explains that we can mourn our separation from that person but we should understand that the self is not subject to death.
Bg 2.13 — As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.
Bg 2.17 — That which pervades the entire body, you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.
Bg 2.20 — For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.
Bg 2.22 — As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.
Bg 2.23 — The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by ﬁre, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.
Bg 2.24 — This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.
Bg 2.25 — It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.