you try to protect a woman and in doing so, get beaten and the police arrest you and put you in jail. These happenings spend up some of your past sanskaras, but as you had no self-interest, no fresh sanskaras are formed. This process is so long and complicated that one can attain Man-O-Nash through action only after many Yugas.*
The real goal of life is not the death of the ego but the death of the mind. So when Mohammed or Zoroaster or Jesus talked of being born once, or dying once, they meant the death of the mind. Mind is born from the very beginning—even before the stone age. This birth takes place only once and the death of mind also takes place only once. When the mind dies, the false ego is transformed into Reality. Real ego is never born and it never dies. Ego is always real, but due to the mind, the ego feels and acts as the limited and false "I."
Now mind goes on taking bodies according to its good or bad impressions. This taking and shedding bodies is not the death of either the mind or the ego. After the physical death, the mind remains, with all its accumulated impressions. It is the impressions which make the mind take bodies so that the impressions might be experienced in the process of being wiped out, while the ego remains a witness. Even when you are fast asleep, the ego and the mind are still there. The impressions wake you up so that they might be experienced and in the process get wiped out. This phenomena is also in a way the daily birth of the body. When one body is dropped, another comes up; although there is a certain time lag between the giving up of one body and the taking on of another. In between, there are the mind-states of heaven, hell, etc. The mind has to die in this body; thus the Masters have chalked out different ways to attain this Man-O-Nash or annihilation of the mind during life.
As long as the mind is there the body is also there and there is continuous action. Only when the mind is at rest, completely stilled or unconscious, does action stop ninety-nine per cent. Even then one percent of actions continue, such as breathing, snoring, turning in bed, etc. Thus actions continue and there is no escape from them. Actions create impressions which again feed the mind, and so there is no remedy or way for the ego to rid itself of impressions and experience its Real State. So the Masters suggested action to kill action, that is, action done in such a way that the effect of the action is impotent, i.e., it creates no result which leads to any kind of binding. For example: a scorpion by nature wags its
* Cycles of time.