- In the second and third verses Lord Krishna speaks for the first time, surprised as He is at the dejection of Arjuna who is an adept warrior and should know better at this crucial juncture of battle.
- But Arjuna insists that there are virtuous men on the opposing side and he would sin if he battled with them.
- Krishna begins by clarifying that both He and Arjuna are eternal beings. He further explains reincarnation and relativity, as well as the long march of the soul from illusion to enlightenment.
- Stressing on the supremacy of selfless action and the lowliness of self-centred action, the Lord motivates Arjuna on to Karma Yoga or the 'art of work.'
- Arjuna's heart seems somewhat lighter and he asks pertinently as to how one can recognize a saintly person.
- For the remained of Chapter Two, Krishna elaborates on the nature of one who is focused on the Supreme Being,is in control of his senses and very well knows the distinction between self and body.
The moral of this chapter is:
- We have a right to work but must never have expectations of its fruit thereof, as verse 47 clarifies.
- Therefore do not wait for your actions to be fruitive and do not ever be attached to inaction.
- In fact the second chapter has many popular verses for both devotees and scholars alike :----
Vasansi jeernani ....22, nainam chhindanti pavakah .....23, jatasay hi dhruvo ......27 , sukh dukhe same kritava ..38, vayavsayatmika budhi ....41 , sthitapragasay .....54, ya nisha sarvabhutanam .......69 and so on and so forth. Therefore let us study them as true knowledge imparted by God Himself.
Tam tathaa kripayaavishtam ashrupoornaakulekshanam;
Visheedantam idam vaakyam uvaacha madhusoodanah.
1. To him who was thus overcome with pity and who was despondent, with eyes full of tears and agitated, Krishna or Madhusudana (the destroyer of Madhu), spoke these words.
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Kutastwaa kashmalam idam vishame samupasthitam;
Anaaryajushtam aswargyam akeertikaram arjuna.
The Blessed Lord said:
2. Whence is this perilous strait come upon thee, this dejection which is unworthy of thee, disgraceful, and which will close the gates of heaven upon thee, O Arjuna?
Klaibyam maa sma gamah paartha naitat twayyupapadyate;
Kshudram hridaya daurbalyam tyaktwottishtha parantapa.
3. Yield not to impotence, O Arjuna, son of Pritha! It does not befit thee. Cast off this mean weakness of the heart. Stand up, O scorcher of foes!
Katham bheeshmamaham sankhye dronam cha madhusoodana;
Ishubhih pratiyotsyaami poojaarhaavarisoodana.
4. How, O Madhusudana, shall I fight in battle with arrows against Bhishma and Drona, who are fit to be worshipped, O destroyer of enemies?
Guroon ahatwaa hi mahaanubhaavaan
Shreyo bhoktum bhaikshyam apeeha loke;
Hatwaarthakaamaamstu guroon ihaiva
Bhunjeeya bhogaan rudhirapradigdhaan.
5. Better it is, indeed, in this world to accept alms than to slay the most noble teachers. But if I kill them, even in this world all my enjoyments of wealth and desires will be stained with (their) blood.
Na chaitad vidmah kataran no gareeyo
Yadwaa jayema yadi vaa no jayeyuh;
Yaan eva hatwaa na jijeevishaamas
Te'vasthitaah pramukhe dhaartaraashtraah.
6. I can hardly tell which will be better: that we should conquer them or they should conquer us. Even the sons of Dhritarashtra, after slaying whom we do not wish to live, stand facing us.
Pricchaami twaam dharmasammoodha chetaah;
Yacchreyah syaan nishchitam broohi tanme
Shishyaste'ham shaadhi maam twaam prapannam.
7. My heart is overpowered by the taint of pity; my mind is confused as to duty. I ask Thee: tell me decisively what is good for me. I am Thy disciple. Instruct me who has taken refuge in Thee.
Na hi prapashyaami mamaapanudyaad
Yacchokam ucchoshanam indriyaanaam;
Avaapya bhoomaavasapatnam riddham
Raajyam suraanaam api chaadhipatyam.
8. I do not see that it would remove this sorrow that burns up my senses even if I should attain prosperous and unrivalled dominion on earth or lordship over the gods.
Evam uktwaa hrisheekesham gudaakeshah parantapah;
Na yotsya iti govindam uktwaa tooshneem babhoova ha.
9. Having spoken thus to Hrishikesa (Lord of the senses), Arjuna (the conqueror of sleep), the destroyer of foes, said to Krishna: "I will not fight," and became silent.
Tam uvaacha hrisheekeshah prahasanniva bhaarata;
Senayor ubhayor madhye visheedantam idam vachah.
10. To him who was despondent in the midst of the two armies, Sri Krishna, as if smiling, O Bharata, spoke these words!
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Ashochyaan anvashochastwam prajnaavaadaamshcha bhaashase;
Gataasoon agataasoomshcha naanushochanti panditaah.
The Blessed Lord said:
11. Thou hast grieved for those that should not be grieved for, yet thou speakest words of wisdom. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead.
Na twevaaham jaatu naasam na twam neme janaadhipaah;
Na chaiva na bhavishyaamah sarve vayam atah param.
12. Nor at any time indeed was I not, nor these rulers of men, nor verily shall we ever cease to be hereafter.
Dehino'smin yathaa dehe kaumaaram yauvanam jaraa;
Tathaa dehaantara praaptir dheeras tatra na muhyati.
13. Just as in this body the embodied (soul) passes into childhood, youth and old age, so also does he pass into another body; the firm man does not grieve thereat.
Maatraasparshaastu kaunteya sheetoshnasukhaduhkhadaah;
Aagamaapaayino'nityaas taamstitikshaswa bhaarata.
14. The contacts of the senses with the objects, O son of Kunti, which cause heat and cold and pleasure and pain, have a beginning and an end; they are impermanent; endure them bravely, O Arjuna!
Yam hi na vyathayantyete purusham purusharshabha;
Samaduhkha sukham dheeram so'mritatwaaya kalpate.
15. That firm man whom surely these afflict not, O chief among men, to whom pleasure and pain are the same, is fit for attaining immortality!
Naasato vidyate bhaavo naabhaavo vidyate satah;
Ubhayorapi drishto'ntastwanayos tattwadarshibhih.
16. The unreal hath no being; there is no non-being of the Real; the truth about both has been seen by the knowers of the Truth (or the seers of the Essence).
COMMENTARY: What is changing must always be unreal. What is constant or permanent must always be real. The Atman or the eternal, all-pervading Self ever exists. It is the only Reality. This phenomenal world of names and forms is ever changing. Names and forms are subject to decay and death. Hence they are unreal or impermanent.
Avinaashi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam;
Vinaasham avyayasyaasya na kashchit kartum arhati.
17. Know that to be indestructible, by whom all this is pervaded. None can cause the destruction of that, the Imperishable.
COMMENTARY: The Self pervades all objects like ether. Even if the pot is broken, the ether that is within and without it cannot be destroyed. Similarly, if the bodies and all other objects perish, the eternal Self that pervades them cannot be destroyed; It is the living Truth.
Antavanta ime dehaa nityasyoktaah shareerinah;
Anaashino'prameyasya tasmaad yudhyaswa bhaarata.
18. These bodies of the embodied Self, which is eternal, indestructible and immeasurable, are said to have an end. Therefore, fight, O Arjuna!
Ya enam vetti hantaaram yashchainam manyate hatam;
Ubhau tau na vijaaneeto naayam hanti na hanyate.
19. He who takes the Self to be the slayer and he who thinks He is slain, neither of them knows; He slays not nor is He slain.
Na jaayate mriyate vaa kadaachin
Naayam bhootwaa bhavitaa vaa na bhooyah;
Ajo nityah shaashwato'yam puraano
Na hanyate hanyamaane shareere.
20. He is not born nor does He ever die; after having been, He again ceases not to be. Unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, He is not killed when the body is killed,
Vedaavinaashinam nityam ya enam ajam avyayam;
Katham sa purushah paartha kam ghaatayati hanti kam.
21. Whosoever knows Him to be indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible, how can that man slay, O Arjuna, or cause to be slain?
Vaasaamsi jeernaani yathaa vihaaya
Navaani grihnaati naro'paraani;
Tathaa shareeraani vihaaya jeernaa
Nyanyaani samyaati navaani dehee.
22. Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so also the embodied Self casts off worn-out bodies and enters others that are new.
Nainam cchindanti shastraani nainam dahati paavakah;
Na chainam kledayantyaapo na shoshayati maarutah.
23. Weapons cut It not, fire burns It not, water wets It not, wind dries It not.
COMMENTARY: The Self is partless. It is infinite and extremely subtle. So the sword cannot cut It, fire cannot burn It, wind cannot dry It.
Acchedyo'yam adaahyo'yam akledyo'shoshya eva cha;
Nityah sarvagatah sthaanur achalo'yam sanaatanah.
24. This Self cannot be cut, burnt, wetted nor dried up. It is eternal, all-pervading, stable, ancient and immovable.
Avyakto'yam achintyo'yam avikaaryo'yam uchyate;
Tasmaad evam viditwainam naanushochitum arhasi.
25. This (Self) is said to be unmanifested, unthinkable and unchangeable. Therefore, knowing This to be such, thou shouldst not grieve.
Atha chainam nityajaatam nityam vaa manyase mritam;
Tathaapi twam mahaabaaho naivam shochitum arhasi.
26. But, even if thou thinkest of It as being constantly born and dying, even then, O mighty-armed, thou shouldst not grieve!
COMMENTARY: Birth is inevitable to what is dead and death is inevitable to what is born. This is the law of Nature. Therefore, one should not grieve.
Jaatasya hi dhruvo mrityur dhruvam janma mritasya cha;
Tasmaad aparihaarye'rthe na twam shochitum arhasi.
27. For, certain is death for the born and certain is birth for the dead; therefore, over the inevitable thou shouldst not grieve.
Avyaktaadeeni bhootaani vyaktamadhyaani bhaarata;
Avyakta nidhanaanyeva tatra kaa paridevanaa.
28. Beings are unmanifested in their beginning, manifested in their middle state, O Arjuna, and unmanifested again in their end! What is there to grieve about?
COMMENTARY: The physical body is a combination of the five elements. It is perceived by the physical eye only after the five elements have entered into such combination. After death the body disintegrates and all the five elements return to their source. The body cannot be perceived now. It can be perceived only in the middle state. He who understands the nature of the body and human relationships based upon it will not grieve.
Aashcharyavat pashyati kashchid enam
Aashcharyavad vadati tathaiva chaanyah;
Aashcharyavacchainam anyah shrinoti
Shrutwaapyenam veda na chaiva kashchit.
29. One sees this (the Self) as a wonder; another speaks of It as a wonder; another hears of It as a wonder; yet, having heard, none understands It at all.
COMMENTARY: The verse may also be interpreted in this manner: he that sees, hears and speaks of the Self is a wonderful man. Such a man is very rare. He is one among many thousands. Therefore, the Self is very hard to understand.
Dehee nityam avadhyo'yam dehe sarvasya bhaarata;
Tasmaat sarvaani bhootaani na twam shochitum arhasi.
30. This, the Indweller in the body of everyone, is always indestructible, O Arjuna! Therefore, thou shouldst not grieve for any creature.
Swadharmam api chaavekshya na vikampitum arhasi;
Dharmyaaddhi yuddhaacchreyo'nyat kshatriyasya na vidyate.
31. Further, having regard to thy own duty, thou shouldst not waver, for there is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a righteous war.
COMMENTARY: To a Kshatriya (one born in the warrior or ruling class) nothing is more welcome than a righteous war.
Yadricchayaa chopapannam swargadwaaram apaavritam;
Sukhinah kshatriyaah paartha labhante yuddham eedrisham.
32. Happy are the Kshatriyas, O Arjuna, who are called upon to fight in such a battle that comes of itself as an open door to heaven!
COMMENTARY: The scriptures declare that if a warrior dies for a righteous cause on the battlefield he at once ascends to heaven.
Atha chettwam imam dharmyam samgraamam na karishyasi;
Tatah swadharmam keertim cha hitwaa paapam avaapsyasi.
33. But, if thou wilt not fight in this righteous war, then, having abandoned thine duty and fame, thou shalt incur sin.
Akeertim chaapi bhootaani kathayishyanti te'vyayaam;
Sambhaavitasya chaakeertir maranaad atirichyate.
34. People, too, will recount thy everlasting dishonour; and to one who has been honoured, dishonour is worse than death.
Bhayaad ranaad uparatam mamsyante twaam mahaarathaah;
Yeshaam cha twam bahumato bhootwaa yaasyasi laaghavam.
35. The great car-warriors will think that thou hast withdrawn from the battle through fear; and thou wilt be lightly held by them who have thought much of thee.
Avaachyavaadaamshcha bahoon vadishyanti tavaahitaah;
Nindantastava saamarthyam tato duhkhataram nu kim.
36. Thy enemies also, cavilling at thy power, will speak many abusive words. What is more painful than this!
Hato vaa praapsyasi swargam jitwaa vaa bhokshyase maheem;
Tasmaad uttishtha kaunteya yuddhaaya kritanishchayah.
37. Slain, thou wilt obtain heaven; victorious, thou wilt enjoy the earth; therefore, stand up, O son of Kunti, resolved to fight!
Sukhaduhkhe same kritwaa laabhaalaabhau jayaajayau;
Tato yuddhaaya yujyaswa naivam paapamavaapsyasi.
38. Having made pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat the same, engage thou in battle for the sake of battle; thus thou shalt not incur sin.
COMMENTARY: This is the Yoga of equanimity or the doctrine of poise in action. If a person performs actions with the above mental attitude, he will not reap the fruits of such actions.
Eshaa te'bhihitaa saankhye buddhir yoge twimaam shrinu;
Buddhyaa yukto yayaa paartha karma bandham prahaasyasi.
39. This which has been taught to thee, is wisdom concerning Sankhya. Now listen to wisdom concerning Yoga, endowed with which, O Arjuna, thou shalt cast off the bonds of action!
Nehaabhikramanaasho'sti pratyavaayo na vidyate;
Swalpam apyasya dharmasya traayate mahato bhayaat.
40. In this there is no loss of effort, nor is there any harm (the production of contrary results or transgression). Even a little of this knowledge (even a little practice of this Yoga) protects one from great fear.
COMMENTARY: In Karma Yoga (selfless action) even a little effort brings immediate purification of the heart. Purification of the heart leads to fearlessness.
Vyavasaayaatmikaa buddhir ekeha kurunandana;
Bahushaakhaa hyanantaashcha buddhayo'vyavasaayinaam.
41. Here, O joy of the Kurus, there is a single one-pointed determination! Many-branched and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute.
Yaam imaam pushpitaam vaacham pravadantyavipashchitah;
Vedavaadarataah paartha naanyad asteeti vaadinah.
42. Flowery speech is uttered by the unwise, who take pleasure in the eulogising words of the Vedas, O Arjuna, saying: "There is nothing else!"
COMMENTARY: Unwise people who lack discrimination place great stress upon the Karma Kanda or ritualistic portion of the Vedas which lays down specific rules for specific actions for the attainment of specific fruit. They extol these actions and rewards unduly.
Kaamaatmaanah swargaparaa janmakarmaphalapradaam;
Kriyaavisheshabahulaam bhogaishwaryagatim prati.
43. Full of desires, having heaven as their goal, they utter speech which promises birth as the reward of one's actions, and prescribe various specific actions for the attainment of pleasure and power.
Bhogaishwarya prasaktaanaam tayaapahritachetasaam;
Vyavasaayaatmikaa buddhih samaadhau na vidheeyate.
44. For those who are much attached to pleasure and to power, whose minds are drawn away by such teaching, that determinate faculty is not manifest that is steadily bent on meditation and Samadhi (the state of Superconsciousness).
Traigunyavishayaa vedaa nistraigunyo bhavaarjuna;
Nirdwandwo nityasatwastho niryogakshema aatmavaan.
45. The Vedas deal with the three attributes (of Nature); be thou above these three attributes, O Arjuna! Free yourself from the pairs of opposites and ever remain in the quality of Sattwa (goodness), freed from the thought of acquisition and preservation, and be established in the Self.
COMMENTARY: Guna means attribute or quality. It is substance as well as quality. Nature is made up of three Gunas—Sattwa (purity, light, harmony), Rajas (passion, restlessness, motion), and Tamas (inertia, darkness). The pairs of opposites are pleasure and pain, heat and cold, gain and loss, victory and defeat, honour and dishonour, praise and censure.
Yaavaanartha udapaane sarvatah samplutodake;
Taavaan sarveshu vedeshu braahmanasya vijaanatah.
46. To the Brahmana who has known the Self, all the Vedas are of as much use as is a reservoir of water in a place where there is a flood.
COMMENTARY: Only for a sage who has realised the Self are the Vedas of no use, because he is in possession of knowledge of the Self. This does not, however, mean that the Vedas are useless. They are useful for neophytes or aspirants who have just started on the spiritual path.
Karmanyevaadhikaaraste maa phaleshu kadaachana;
Maa karmaphalahetur bhoor maa te sango'stwakarmani.
47. Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of actions be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction.
COMMENTARY: Actions done with expectation of its rewards bring bondage. If you do not thirst for them, you get purification of heart and ultimately knowledge of the Self.
Yogasthah kuru karmaani sangam tyaktwaa dhananjaya;
Siddhyasiddhyoh samo bhootwaa samatwam yoga uchyate.
48. Perform action, O Arjuna, being steadfast in Yoga, abandoning attachment and balanced in success and failure! Evenness of mind is called Yoga.
Doorena hyavaram karma buddhiyogaad dhananjaya;
Buddhau sharanamanwiccha kripanaah phalahetavah.
49. Far lower than the Yoga of wisdom is action, O Arjuna! Seek thou refuge in wisdom; wretched are they whose motive is the fruit.
COMMENTARY: Actions done with evenness of mind is the Yoga of wisdom. Actions performed by one who expects their fruits are far inferior to the Yoga of wisdom wherein the seeker does not seek the fruits. The former leads to bondage, and is the cause of birth and death.
Buddhiyukto jahaateeha ubhe sukrita dushkrite;
Tasmaad yogaaya yujyaswa yogah karmasu kaushalam.
50. Endowed with wisdom (evenness of mind), one casts off in this life both good and evil deeds; therefore, devote thyself to Yoga; Yoga is skill in action.
COMMENTARY: Actions which are of a binding nature lose that nature when performed with equanimity of mind.
Karmajam buddhiyuktaa hi phalam tyaktwaa maneeshinah;
Janmabandha vinirmuktaah padam gacchantyanaamayam.
51. The wise, possessed of knowledge, having abandoned the fruits of their actions, and being freed from the fetters of birth, go to the place which is beyond all evil.
COMMENTARY: Clinging to the fruits of actions is the cause of rebirth. Man has to take a body to enjoy them. If actions are done for the sake of God, without desire for the fruits, one is released from the bonds of birth and death and attains to immortal bliss.
Yadaa te mohakalilam buddhir vyatitarishyati;
Tadaa gantaasi nirvedam shrotavyasya shrutasya cha.
52. When thy intellect crosses beyond the mire of delusion, then thou shalt attain to indifference as to what has been heard and what has yet to be heard.
COMMENTARY: The mire of delusion is identification of the Self with the body and mind.
Shrutivipratipannaa te yadaa sthaasyati nishchalaa;
Samaadhaavachalaa buddhistadaa yogam avaapsyasi.
53. When thy intellect, perplexed by what thou hast heard, shall stand immovable and steady in the Self, then thou shalt attain Self-realisation.
Sthitaprajnasya kaa bhaashaa samaadhisthasya keshava;
Sthitadheeh kim prabhaasheta kimaaseeta vrajeta kim.
54. What, O Krishna, is the description of him who has steady wisdom and is merged in the Superconscious State? How does one of steady wisdom speak? How does he sit? How does he walk?
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha:
Prajahaati yadaa kaamaan sarvaan paartha manogataan;
Aatmanyevaatmanaa tushtah sthitaprajnastadochyate.
The Blessed Lord said:
55. When a man completely casts off, O Arjuna, all the desires of the mind and is satisfied in the Self by the Self, then is he said to be one of steady wisdom!
COMMENTARY: All the pleasures of the world are worthless to an illumined sage who is ever content in the immortal Self.
Duhkheshwanudwignamanaah sukheshu vigatasprihah;
Veetaraagabhayakrodhah sthitadheer munir uchyate.
56. He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after pleasures, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.
Yah sarvatraanabhisnehas tattat praapya shubhaashubham;
Naabhinandati na dweshti tasya prajnaa pratishthitaa.
57. He who is everywhere without attachment, on meeting with anything good or bad, who neither rejoices nor hates, his wisdom is fixed.
Yadaa samharate chaayam kurmo'ngaaneeva sarvashah;
Indriyaaneendriyaarthebhyas tasya prajnaa pratishthitaa.
58. When, like the tortoise which withdraws its limbs on all sides, he withdraws his senses from the sense-objects, then his wisdom becomes steady.
Vishayaa vinivartante niraahaarasya dehinah
Rasavarjam raso'pyasya param drishtwaa nivartate.
59. The objects of the senses turn away from the abstinent man, leaving the longing (behind); but his longing also turns away on seeing the Supreme.
Yatato hyapi kaunteya purushasya vipashchitah;
Indriyaani pramaatheeni haranti prasabham manah.
60. The turbulent senses, O Arjuna, do violently carry away the mind of a wise man though he be striving (to control them)!
Taani sarvaani samyamya yukta aaseeta matparah;
Vashe hi yasyendriyaani tasya prajnaa pratishthitaa.
61. Having restrained them all he should sit steadfast, intent on Me; his wisdom is steady whose senses are under control.
Dhyaayato vishayaan pumsah sangas teshupajaayate;
Sangaat sanjaayate kaamah kaamaat krodho'bhijaayate.
62. When a man thinks of the objects, attachment to them arises; from attachment desire is born; from desire anger arises.
Krodhaad bhavati sammohah sammohaat smriti vibhramah;
Smritibhramshaad buddhinaasho buddhinaashaat pranashyati.
63. From anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from the destruction of discrimination he perishes.
Raagadwesha viyuktaistu vishayaanindriyaishcharan;
Aatmavashyair vidheyaatmaa prasaadamadhigacchati.
64. But the self-controlled man, moving amongst objects with the senses under restraint, and free from attraction and repulsion, attains to peace.
Prasaade sarvaduhkhaanaam haanir asyopajaayate;
Prasannachetaso hyaashu buddhih paryavatishthate.
65. In that peace all pains are destroyed, for the intellect of the tranquil-minded soon becomes steady.
COMMENTARY: When peace is attained all miseries end.
Naasti buddhir ayuktasya na chaayuktasya bhaavanaa;
Na chaabhaavayatah shaantir ashaantasya kutah sukham.
66. There is no knowledge of the Self to the unsteady, and to the unsteady no meditation is possible; and to the un-meditative there can be no peace; and to the man who has no peace, how can there be happiness?
Indriyaanaam hi charataam yanmano'nuvidheeyate;
Tadasya harati prajnaam vaayur naavam ivaambhasi.
67. For the mind which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination as the wind (carries away) a boat on the waters.
Tasmaad yasya mahaabaaho nigriheetaani sarvashah;
Indriyaaneendriyaarthebhyas tasya prajnaa pratishthitaa.
68. Therefore, O mighty-armed Arjuna, his knowledge is steady whose senses are completely restrained from sense-objects!
Yaanishaa sarvabhootaanaam tasyaam jaagarti samyamee;
Yasyaam jaagrati bhootaani saa nishaa pashyato muneh.
69. That which is night to all beings, then the self-controlled man is awake; when all beings are awake, that is night for the sage who sees.
COMMENTARY: The sage lives in the Self; this is day to him. He is unconscious of worldly phenomena; this is like night to him. The ordinary man is unconscious of his real nature. So life in the Self is like night to him. He experiences sense-objects; this is day to him.
Samudram aapah pravishanti yadwat;
Tadwat kaamaa yam pravishanti sarve
Sa shaantim aapnoti na kaamakaami.
70. He attains peace into whom all desires enter as waters enter the ocean, which, filled from all sides, remains unmoved; but not the man who is full of desires.
Vihaaya kaamaan yah sarvaan pumaamshcharati nihsprihah;
Nirmamo nirahankaarah sa shaantim adhigacchati.
71. The man attains peace, who, abandoning all desires, moves about without longing, without the sense of mine and without egoism.
Eshaa braahmee sthitih paartha nainaam praapya vimuhyati;
72. This is the Brahmic seat (eternal state), O son of Pritha! Attaining to this, none is deluded. Being established therein, even at the end of life one attains to oneness with Brahman.
Hari Om Tat Sat
Iti Srimad Bhagavadgeetaasoopanishatsu Brahmavidyaayaam
Yogashaastre Sri Krishnaarjunasamvaade
Saankhyayogo Naama Dvitiyo'dhyaayah
Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the second discourse entitled:
"The Sankhya Yoga"
COMMENTARY ON CHAPTER 2:
While the second chapter of the ‘Gita’ has 76 verses and it mentions original verses from Srimad Bhagwad Gita, Swami Shivanandaji briefly sums up the Second Discourse as under :--
Sanjaya explains the condition of Arjuna, who was agitated due to attachment and fear.
Lord Krishna rebukes him for his dejection, which was due to Moha or attachment, and exhorts him to fight. After failing to convince Sri Krishna through his seemingly wise thoughts, Arjuna realises his helplessness and surrenders himself completely to the Lord, seeking His guidance to get over the conflict of his mind.
The Lord takes pity on him and proceeds to enlighten him by various means. He explains to Arjuna the imperishable nature of the Atman, for which there is no past, present and future. The Atman never dies, therefore Arjuna should not grieve. As It transcends the five elements, namely, earth, water, fire, air and ether, It cannot be cut, burnt or dried. It is unchanging and eternal.
Everyone experiences conditions like pleasure and pain, heat and cold, due to contact of objects with the senses. The senses carry the sensations through the nerves to the mind. One should be able to withdraw the senses from objects, like the tortoise which withdraws all its limbs within. Krishna asserts that only one who has the capacity to be balanced in pleasure and pain alike is fit for immortality.
Krishna goes on to tell Arjuna that if he refuses to fight and flees from the battle, people will be justified in condemning such action as unworthy of a warrior.
Having taught Arjuna the immortal nature of the Atman, Lord Krishna turns to the performance of action without expectation of fruit. A man should not concern himself about the fruit of the action, like gain and loss, victory and defeat. These are in the hands of the Lord. He should perform all action with a balanced mind, calmly enduring the pairs of opposites like heat and cold, pleasure and pain, that inevitably manifest during action. Krishna advises Arjuna to fight, free from desire for acquisition of kingdom or preservation of it.
Arjuna is eager to know the characteristics of a man who has a stable mind. Such a person, Krishna tells him, will have no desires at all. Since he is content within, having realised the Self, he is entirely free from desires. The consciousness of the Atman and abandonment of desires are simultaneous experiences. The various qualities of a Sthitaprajna (a stable-minded person) are described by the Lord. He will not be affected by adversity and will have no fear or anger. He will take things as they come, and will not have any likes and dislikes. He will neither hug the world nor hate it.
The man of stable mind will have perfect control of the senses. The senses are powerful and draw the mind outwards. One should therefore turn one's gaze within and realise God who resides in the heart. The Yogi, having achieved a stable mind, remains steadfast even though all sense-objects come to him. He is unmoved and lives a life of eternal peace.
Krishna concludes that the eternal Brahmic state frees one from delusion forever. Even at the end of life, when one departs from this body, one does not lose consciousness of one's identity with Brahman.
As a matter of fact many inspiring commentaries exist on this chapter.
- The Gita-Press of Gorakhpur has ‘Gita-tika’ by Seth Jaidayal Goenkaji,Saint Hanuman Prasad Poddarji alias Bhaiji ;Swami Ramsukhdasji and other Saints .
- Those believing in Gyan-yog, repeatedly read the one by Sethji and those who have faith in Bhakti-yog read more of Bhaiji. Swami Ramsukhdasji has tried to balance the two and His Gita-Darpan commentary is simply marvellous.
- Other interprations are penned by ancient Acharyas namely the ‘Gita-tika’ by Ramanujacharya, Vallabhachrya, Gyaneshwarji, Shankarcharyaji and so on.
- 20th century Saints like Swami Shivanandaji, Chidanandaji of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, and ISCKON's Prabhupadji have documented their observations on the 'Bhagwadgita'.
- Modern day thinkers like Lokmanya Tilak and Dr Radhakrishnan have made some commendable comments on the Holy Scripture.
- A rather simplistic summary in the 17 to 18th chapters sums up the'Gita'.This is after a time span of 30 years satsang with Saint Ushaji , Susheelaji and Manoharji of Swami Ramkrishan Paramhansa fame.