02ChapterBG

Highlighted numbered Text and Commentary by Dr. Radhakrishnan

Sanskrit Text, Transliteration and Word Translation by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

CHAPTER II

Sāṁkhya Theory and Yoga Practice

Kṛṣṇa's rebuke and exhortation to be brave

सञ्जय उवाच

तं तथा कृपयाविष्टमश्रुपूर्णाकुलेक्षणम् ।

विषीदन्तमिदं वाक्यमुवाच मधुसूदनः ॥२- १॥

sañjaya uvāca: taṁ tathā kṛpayā  'viṣṭam aśrupūrṇākulekṣaṇam
viṣīdantam idaṁ vākyam uvāca madhusūdanaḥ 2.1

sañjaya uvāca: tam1 tathā2 kṛpayā3  āviṣṭam4 aśrupūrṇa5 ākula6 ikṣaṇam7
viṣīdantam8 idam9 vākyam10 uvāca11 madhusūdanaḥ12

sañjaya uvāca = Sanjaya said: madhusūdanaḥ12 = O Madhusudana or the slayer of demon Madhu. uvāca11 = said; idam9 = these; vākyam10 = words; tam1 = to Arjuna  [seeing]; tathā2 = thus; kṛpayā3  āviṣṭam4 = overcome by pity or compassion;  ākula6 = confused;  viṣīdantam8 = with grief or distress; [and] aśrupūrṇa5  = tearful; ikṣaṇam7 = eyes.   2.1

Saṁjaya said:

(2.1) To him (who was) thus overcome by pity, whose eyes were filled with tears and troubled and (who was) much depressed in mind, Madhusūdana (Kṛṣṇa) spoke this word.

The pity of Arjuna has nothing in common with Divine compassion. It is a form of self-indulgence, a shrinking of the nerves from an act which requires him to hurt his own people. Arjuna recoils from his task in a mood of sentimental self-pity and his teacher rebukes him. That the Kauravas were his kinsmen he had known before.

श्रीभगवानुवाच

कुतस्त्वा कश्मलमिदं विषमे समुपस्थितम् ।

अनार्यजुष्टमस्वर्ग्यमकीर्तिकरमर्जुन ॥२- २॥

śrībhagavān uvāca: kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam
anāryajuṣṭam asvargyam akīrtikaram arjuna 2.2

śrībhagavān uvāca: kutaḥ1 tvā2 kaśmalam3 idam4 viṣame5 samupasthitam6
anāryajuṣṭam7 asvargyam8 akīrti9 karam10 arjuna11

śrībhagavān uvāca = Sri Bhagavan said; arjuna11 = O Arjuna;  kutaḥ1 = Wherefrom;  idam4 = this; kaśmalam3 = Impurity; samupasthitam6 = came; tvā2 = to you; viṣame5 = at this hour of crisis; [which is] anārya-juṣṭam7 = Unāryan practice; [which] asvargyam8 =  does not yield heaven; [which]  akīrti9 karam10 = confers infamy. 2.2.

The Blessed Lord said:

(2.2) Whence has come to thee this stain (this dejection) of spirit in this hour of crisis? It is unknown to men of noble mind (not cherished by the Aryans); it does not lead to heaven; (on earth) it causes disgrace, O Arjuna.

anārya-juṣṭam7: un-Aryan. The Aryans, it is contended by some, are those who accept a particular type of inward culture and social practice, which insists on courage and courtesy, nobility and straight dealing. In his attempt to release  Arjuna from his doubts, Kṛṣṇa refers to the doctrine of the indestructibility of the self, appeals to his sense of honor and martial traditions, reveals to him God's purpose and points out how action is to be undertaken in the world.

क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते ।

क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप ॥२- ३॥

klaibyaṁ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha nai 'tat tvayy upapadyate
kṣudraṁ hṛdayadaurbalyaṁ tyaktvo  'ttiṣṭha parantapa 2.3

klaibyam12 sma3 gamaḥ4 pārtha5 na6 etat7 tvayi8 upapadyate9
kṣudram10 hṛdayadaurbalyam11 tyaktvā12  uttiṣṭha13 parantapa14

pārtha5 = O Partha (Arjuna); 2 sma3 gamaḥ4 = do not yield to; klaibyam1 = unmaniliness; etat7 = this is; na6 = not; upapadyate9 =  becoming; tvayi8 = of you;   [It is] kṣudram10 = base; [and] hṛdayadaurbalyam11 = weakness of the heart; parantapa14 = O Scorcher of foes; tyaktvā12  = give up; uttiṣṭha13 = rise.

(2.3) Yield not to this  unmanliness, O  Pārtha   (Arjuna) for it does not become thee.  Cast off this  petty  faintheartedness and  arise, O  Oppressor   of the  foes (Arjuna).

अर्जुन उवाच

कथं भीष्ममहं संख्ये द्रोणं च मधुसूदन ।

इषुभिः प्रति योत्स्यामि पूजार्हावरिसूदन ॥२- ४॥

arjuna uvāca: kathaṁ bhīṣmam ahaṁ sāṁkhye droṇaṁ ca madhusūdana
iṣubhiḥ pratiyotsyāmi pūjārhāv arisūdana 2.4

arjunaḥ uvāca: katham1 bhīṣmam2 aham3 sāṁkhye4 droṇam5 ca6 madhusūdana7
iṣubhiḥ8 pratiyotsyāmi9 pūjā-arhāu10 arisūdana11

 

arjunaḥ uvāca = Arjuna said; madhusūdana7 = O Slayer of demon Madhu;  katham1 = how [could]; aham3 = I; [fight] bhīṣmam2 = with Bhisma; ca6 = and; droṇam5 = with Drona; sāṁkhye4 = in combat; iṣubhiḥ8 = with arrows; [who are] pūjā-arhāu10 = worthy of worship; [and] pratiyotsyāmi9 = deliver counterattack; arisūdana11 = O destroyer of enemies (Krishna). 2.4

Arjuna said:

(2.4) How shall  I  strike  Bhīṣma  and  Droṇa  who are worthy of worship, O Madhusūdana  (Kṛṣṇa),  with  arrows in battle" O  Slayer  of foes (Kṛṣṇa.)? 

गुरूनहत्वा हि महानुभावान् श्रेयो भोक्तुं भैक्ष्यमपीह लोके ।

हत्वार्थकामांस्तु गुरूनिहैव भुञ्जीय भोगान् रुधिरप्रदिग्धान् ॥२- ५॥

gurūn ahatvā hi mahānubhāvān śreyo bhoktuṁ bhaikṣyam apī ha loke
hatvā
rthakāmaṁs tu gurun ihai va bhuñjīya bhogān rudhirapradigdhān 2.5

gurūn1 ahatvā2 hi3 mahā-anubhāvān4 śreya5 bhoktum6 bhaikṣyam7 api8 iha9 loke10
hatvā11 artha-kāman12 tu1 gurun13 iha14 eva15 bhuñjīya16 bhogān17 rudhira18 pradigdhān19

śreya5 = it is better; bhoktum6 = to live; [by] bhaikṣyam7 = begging; api8 = even now; iha9 & loke10 = in this world. [rather than] ahatvā2 = slaying. hi3 = certainly; gurūn1 = the Gurus; [and] mahā-anubhāvān4= Great Souls; tu1 = but; [by] hatvā11 = slaying; gurun13 = gurus; [I] bhuñjīya16 = have to enjoy; artha-kāman12  = wealth and desires; [in the form of] bhogān17 = enjoyable things; iha14 = in this world;  eva15 = indeed; pradigdhān19 = tainted with; rudhira18 = blood.  2.5

(2.5) It is better  to live in this world by begging  than  to slay these  honoured  teachers.1 Though they are mindful  of their gains,  they  are  my  teachers  and  by  slaying  them,  only,   I would enjoy  in this  world  delights which  are smeared  with blood.

 

1 mahānubhāvān srutādhyayana-tapa-ācārādi nibandhanaḥ, prabhāvo yeṣām tān  hi mahānubhāvān iti ekam   padam vā padam.  himaṁ  jāḍyam apahantīti himahā ādityo' gnir tasyevānubhāvaḥ sāmarthyaṁ yeṣāṁ tān. Madhusūdana, The latter is a fanciful explanation.

 

rudhira18 pradigdhān19: smeared  with  blood.  If  we  make  real  to ourselves  the  victims  of every  bloodstained   page  of history,   If we hear  the  woes of women,  the  cries  of children,  the  tales  of calamity,  of oppression  and  of injustice  in its myriad  forms,  no one with  any human  feelings would delight  in such bloodstained conquests.

न चैतद्विद्मः कतरन्नो गरीयो यद्वा जयेम यदि वा नो जयेयुः ।

यानेव हत्वा न जिजीविषाम- स्तेऽवस्थिताः प्रमुखे धार्तराष्ट्राः ॥२- ६॥

na cai tad vidmaḥ kataran no garīyo yad vā jayema yadi vā no jayeyuḥ
yān eva hatvā na jijīviṣāmas te
vasthitāḥ pramukhe dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ 2.6

na1 ca2 etat3 vidmaḥ4 katarat5 naḥ6 garīyaḥ7 yat89 jayema10 yadi12  13 naḥ14 jayeyuḥ15
yān16 eva17 hatvā18 na19 jijīviṣāmaḥ20 te21 avasthitāḥ22 pramukhe23 dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ24

naḥ6 = We; na1 = do not; ca2 = as well; vidmaḥ4 = know; etat3 = this katarat5 = which of the two;  garīyaḥ7 = is better; yat8  9  jayema10  = whether either conquer them;  13 yadi12 = or if; naḥ14 = we; jayeyuḥ15 = be vanquished;  te21 = those; dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ24 = sons of Dhrtarastra; eva17 = assuredly;  avasthitāḥ22 = are arrayed; pramukhe23 = before us;  yān16 = whom; hatvā18 = by slaying; [we] na19 = never;  jijīviṣāmaḥ20 = want to live.  2.6

(2.6) Nor do we know which for us is better, whether we conquer them or they conquer us. The sons of Dḥṛtarāṣṭra, whom if we slew we should not care to live, are standing before us in battle array,

कार्पण्यदोषोपहतस्वभावः पृच्छामि त्वां धर्मसम्मूढचेताः ।

यच्छ्रेयः स्यान्निश्चितं ब्रूहि तन्मे शिष्यस्तेऽहं शाधि मां त्वां प्रपन्नम् ॥२- ७॥

kārpaṇyadoṣopahatasvabhāvaḥ pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharmasaṁmūḍhacetāḥ
yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaṁ brūhi tan me śiṣyaste
haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam 2.7

kārpaṇya1 doṣa2 upahata3 svabhāvaḥ4 pṛcchāmi5 tvām6 dharma7 saṁmūḍha8 cetāḥ9
yat10 śreyaḥ11 syāt12 niścitam13 brūhi14 tat15 me16 śiṣyaḥ17 te18 aham19 śādhi20 mām21 tvām22 prapannam23

svabhāvaḥ4 = My own state of being; upahata3 = is afflicted; [by] doṣa2 = faulty; [misplaced] kārpaṇya1 = compassion. [I have a] saṁmūḍha8 = completely stupefied cetāḥ9= mind; [about] dharma7 = duty.  pṛcchāmi5 = I beseech;  tvām6 = You: brūhi14 = to say;tat15 = that; yat10 = what; syāt12 = perhaps; śreyaḥ11 = is assuredly good; niścitam13 = for certain; me16 = to me. aham19 = I am; te18 = Your; śiṣyaḥ17 =  disciple. śādhi20 = give instructions; mām21 = to me; [I] prapannam23 =  surrender; tvām22 = to You. 

(2.7) My very being is stricken with the weakness of (sentimental) pity. With my mind bewildered about my duty, I ask Thee. Tell me, for certain, which is better. I am Thy pupil; teach me, who am seeking refuge in Thee.

niścitam13: for certain; Arjuna is driven not only by despair, anxiety and doubt but also by an ardent wish for certainty. To realize one's unreason is to step towards one's development to reason. The consciousness of imperfection indicates that the soul is alive. So long as it is alive, it can improve even as a living body can heat if it is hurt or cut to a point. The human being is led to a higher condition through a crisis of contrition.

It is the general experience of seekers that they are assailed by doubts and difficulties, even when they are on the threshold of light. The light as it begins to shine in any soul provokes the darkness to resist it. Arjuna faces difficulties, outward and inward, such as the resistance of relations and friends, doubts and fears, passions and desires. They must all be laid on the altar and consumed in the fire of wisdom. The struggle with darkness will continue until the light fills one's whole being.

Weighed down by  wretchedness, confused about what is right and wrong, Arjuna seeks light and guidance from his teacher, the Divine with him, within his self. Man cannot be left to his own devices. When one's world is in ruins; one can only turn within and seek illumination as the gift of God's infinite compassion.

Arjuna does not ask for a metaphysic as he is not a seeker of knowledge; as a man of action he asks for the law of action, for his dharma, for what he has to do in this difficulty. "Master, what wouldst thou have me to do?"

Like Arjuna, the aspirant must realize his weakness and ignorance and yet be anxious to do God's will and discover what it is.

न हि प्रपश्यामि ममापनुद्याद् यच्छोकमुच्छोषणमिन्द्रियाणाम् ।

अवाप्य भूमावसपत्नमृद्धं राज्यं सुराणामपि चाधिपत्यम् ॥२- ८॥

na hi prapaśyāmi mamā panudyād yac chokam ucchoṣaṇam indriyāṇām
avāpya bhūmāv asapatnam ṛddhaṁ rājyaṁ surāṇām api cā
dhipatyam 2.8

na1 hi2 prapaśyāmi3 mama4 apanudyāt5 yat6 śokam7 ucchoṣaṇam8 indriyāṇām9
avāpya10 bhūmāv11 asapatnam12 ṛddham13 rājyam14 surāṇām15 api1617 adhipatyam18

 

hi2 = indeed; na1 &  prapaśyāmi3 = I do not see; [how I could] apanudyāt5 = expel; yat6 = that; śokam7 = sorrow; [which] ucchoṣaṇam8 = desiccates; mama4 = my; indriyāṇām9= senses [though] avāpya10 = having obtained; bhūmāv11 = on the earth; asapatnam12 = unrivalled [by foes]; ṛddham13 = richness; api16 = even; 17 = also; adhipatyam18= sovereignty [over]; rājyam14 = kingdom;  surāṇām15 = of the gods. 2.8

(2.8) I do not see what will drive away this sorrow which dries up my senses even if I should attain rich and unrivalled kingdom on earth or even the sovereignty of the gods.

The conflict in Arjuna must be healed. He must attain to a new, integral, comprehensive  consciousness. 

सञ्जय उवाच

एवमुक्त्वा हृषीकेशं गुडाकेशः परन्तप ।

न योत्स्य इति गोविन्दमुक्त्वा तूष्णीं बभूव ह ॥२- ९॥

sañjaya uvāca: evam uktvā hṛṣīkeśaṁ guḍākeśaḥ paraṁtapaḥ
na yotsya iti govindam uktvā tūṣṇīṁ babhūva ha 2.9

sañjaya uvāca: evam1 uktvā2 hṛṣīkeśam3 guḍākeśaḥ4 paraṁtapaḥ5
na6 yotsya7 iti8 govindam9 uktvā10 tūṣṇīm11 babhūva12 ha13

sañjaya uvāca = Sañjaya said [to] paraṁtapaḥ5= Chastener of foes (The blind king, Dhrtarastra): uktvā2 = having spoken; evam1= in such manner; hṛṣīkeśam3 = to the Lord of the senses, Krishna; guḍākeśaḥ4 = the vanquisher of sleep [= nescience, ignorance], Arjuna; uktvā10 = so saying to;govindam9 = Govinda; na6 yotsya7 = I will not fight;  iti8 = thus;  ha13 = indeed,  babhūva12 = became; tūṣṇīm11 = silent.  2.9

Saṁjaya said:

(2.9) Having thus addressed Hṛṣīkeśa (Kṛṣṇa),the mighty Guḍākeśa (Arjuna) said to Govinda (Kṛṣṇa) "I will not fight)' and became silent.

na6 yotsya7: "I will not fight." Arjuna, without waiting for the advice of the teacher, seems to have made up his mind. While he asks the teacher to advise him, his mind is not open. The task of the teacher becomes more difficult.

govinda. The omniscience of the teacher is indicated by this word. Madhusūdana.1

tūṣṇīm11 babhūva12: became silent. The voice of truth can be heard only in silence.

1  gam vedalakṣāṇāṁ vāṇiṁ vindatīti vyutpattya  sarvavedopādānatvena sarvajñam.

तमुवाच हृषीकेशः प्रहसन्निव भारत ।

सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये विषीदन्तमिदं वचः ॥२- १०॥

tam uvāca hṛṣīkeśaḥ prahasann iva bhārata
senayor ubhayor madhye viṣīdantam idaṁ vacaḥ 2.10

tam1 uvāca2 hṛṣīkeśaḥ3 prahasann4 iva5 bhārata6
senayoḥ7 ubhayoḥ8 madhye9 viṣīdantam10 idam11 vacaḥ12

bhārata6 = O Scion of Bharata clan [Dhritrastra]; hṛṣīkeśaḥ3 = Hrisikesa; [stationing Himself] madhye9 = in the middle of; ubhayoḥ8 = both; senayoḥ7 = armies; iva5 = as it were; prahasann4 = evincing a slight smile;  tam1 = to him (Arjuna)  [who is afflicted with] viṣīdantam10 = depression;  uvāca2 = uttered;   idam11 = these vacaḥ12 = words.  2.10

 (2.10) To him thus depressed in the midst of the two armies. O Bharata (Dḥṛtarāṣṭra), Hṛṣīkeśa (Kṛṣṇa), smiling as it were, spoke this word.

In that moment of depression, the sinking heart of Arjuna heard the Divine voice of Kṛṣṇa. The smile indicates that he saw through Arjuna's attempt at rationalization or what is now known as wishful thinking. The attitude of the savior God who knows all the sins and sorrows of suffering humanity is one of tender pity and wistful understanding ..

श्रीभगवानुवाच

अशोच्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे ।

गतासूनगतासूंश्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः ॥२- ११॥

śrībhagavān uvāca: aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñāvādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nā
nuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ 2.11

śrībhagavān uvāca: aśocyān1 anvaśoca2 tvam3 prajñāvādān4 ca5 bhāṣase6
gata7 asūn8 agata9 asūn10 ca11 na12 anuśocanti13 paṇḍitāḥ14

śrībhagavān uvāca  = Sri Bhagavan said; tvam3 = you; anvaśoca2 = grieve; [for] aśocyān1 = him, not worthy of grievance; ca5 = and; bhāṣase6 = you speak; prajñāvādān4 = words of wisdom. paṇḍitāḥ14 = men of wisdom; na12 anuśocanti13 = do not grieve for; gata7 asūn8 = the dead (= gone life, the [dear] departed; the ones in whom life departed); ca11 = and; agata9 asūn10 = agata asūn = the living (= not gone life, the ones not yet dead, the living). 2.11

The Blessed Lord said:

(2.11) Thou grievest for those whom thou shouldst not grieve for and yet thou speakest words about wisdom. Wise men do not grieve for the dead or for the living.

The teacher explains in brief in verses 11-38 the wisdom of the Sāṁkhya philosophy. The Sāṁkhya does not refer to Kapila's system but to the teaching of the Upaniṣads.

The Kashmir version has "thou dost not speak as an intelligent man": "prājñāvat na abhibhāṣase."1

1Cp, Plotinus: "Murders, death in all its shapes, the capture and sacking of towns, all must be considered as so much stage-show, so many shiftings of scenes, the horror and outcry of a play; for here too, in all the changing doom of life, it is not the true man, the inner soul that grieves and laments but merely the phantasm of the man, the outer man, playing his part on the hoards of the world. It Enneads, III, 2, 15.-E. T. 

न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः ।

न चैव न भविष्यामः सर्वे वयमतः परम् ॥२- १२॥

na tv evā haṁ jātu nā saṁ na tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ
na cai
va na bhaviṣyāmaḥ sarve vayam ataḥ param 2.12

na1 tu2 eva3 aham4 jātu5 na6 āsam7 na8 tvam9 na10 ime11 janādhipāḥ12
na13 ca14 eva15 na16 bhaviṣyāmaḥ17 sarve18 vayam19 ataḥ20 param21

na1 tu2 eva3 = never was there; jātu5 = at any time; aham4 = I; na6 āsam7 = did not exist, did not live (in actuality, I did exist); na8 tvam9 = neither did you (assuredly you existed in the past); na10 ime11 = nor these; jana-adhipāḥ12 = rulers of people (they did exist before); na13 ca14 eva15 = never also assuredly; vayam19  sarve18 = all of us; na16 bhaviṣyāmaḥ17 = shall cease to exist; ataḥ20 param21  = after this, after the death of the physical body. 2.12

 (2.I2) Never was there a time when I was not, nor thou, nor these lords of men, nor will there ever be a time hereafter when we all shall cease to be.

■S. looks upon this reference to plurality as conventional. He argues that the plural number is used with reference to the bodies that are different and not with regard to the one Universal Self.1

■R. lays stress on the distinction between Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna, and the princes as ultimate and holds that each individual soul is imperishable and coeval with the whole universe. The reference here is not to the eternity of the Absolute Spirit but to the pre-existence and post-existence of the empirical egos. The plurality of egos is a fact of the empirical universe. Each individual is an ascent from initial non-existence to full existence as a real, from asat to sat. While the Sāṁkhya system postulates a plurality of souls, the Gītā reconciles this with the unity, the one Ksetrajña in whom we live, move and have our being. Brahman is the basis of all things and is not itself a thing. Brahman does not exist in time but time is in it. In this sense also, the egos have neither beginning nor end. Souls are like Brahman, for the cause and the effect are essentially one as the sayings, "I am Brahman," "That art Thou" indicate. Cp. Suso: "All creatures have existed eternally in the Divine essence as in their exemplar. So far as they conform to the Divine idea, all beings were before their creation, one with the essence of

God."

■The personal Lord, the Divine Creator, is coeval with the empirical universe. In a sense He is the totality of empirical existences. "The Lord of the beings travels in the wombs. Though unborn he is born in many ways."2

1 dehabhedānuvṛttyā bahuvacanam nā 'tmabhedābhiprāyeṇa.

2 prajāpatiś carati garbhe antar ajāyamāno bahudhā vijāyate. Vājasaneyi saṁhitā XXXI, 19; see also XXXII, 4. 

S. says "Of a truth God is the only transmigrant."1 Compare with this Pascal's statement that Christ will be in agony till the end of the world. He takes upon himself the wounds inflicted on humanity. He suffers the conditions of created existence. Liberated souls suffer in time and enter peace at the end of time, though they participate in Divine life even now. Only if the Personal Supreme is freely limited, we are helplessly limited. If He is master of the play of prakṛti, we are subject to its play. Ignorance affects the individual spirit but not the Universal Spirit. Till the cosmic process ends, the multiplicity of individuals with their distinctive qualitative contents persists. The multiplicity is not separable from the cosmos. While the liberated souls know the truth and live in it, the unliberated ones pass from birth to birth, tied by the bondage of works.

1satyaṁ neśvarād anyad saṁsārin. (S.B., I, 1, 5.)

देहिनोऽस्मिन्यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा ।

तथा देहान्तरप्राप्तिर्धीरस्तत्र न मुह्यति ॥२- १३॥

dehino  smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntaraprāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati 2.13

dehina1 asmin2 yathā3 dehe4 kaumāram5 yauvanam6 jarā7
tathā8 dehāntara9 prāptiḥ10 dhīraḥ11 tatra12 na13 muhyati14

 

yathā3 = As; kaumāram5 = (Kumara) = boyhood; yauvanam6 = youth; [and] jarā7= old age; [are related] dehina1 = to the corporeal soul , to one with physical body; asmin2 = herein; dehe4 = in the body; tathā8 = in like manner, likewise; dehāntara9 prāptiḥ10  = Deha + Antara + prāptiḥ = body + inner + acquisition = Entry into another body = acquisition of a body different from the present one; tatra12 = in that case; dhīraḥ11 =  one with intelligence; the intellectual; na13 =  does not; muhyati14 = become perplexed, stupefied, bewildered, deluded.  2.13

(2.I3) As the soul passes in this body through childhood, youth and age, even so is its taking on of another body. The sage is not perplexed by this.

Cp. Viṣṇu Smṛti: XX, 49.

The human being makes himself fit for immortality by passing through a series of births and deaths. The changes in the body do not mean changes in the soul. None of its embodiments is permanent. 

मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः ।

आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ॥२- १४॥

mātrāsparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇasukhaduḥkhadāḥ
āgamāpāyino
nityās tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata 2.14

mātrā-sparśāḥ1 tu2 kaunteya3 śīta-usṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ4
āgama5 apāyinaḥ6 anityāḥ7 tān8 titikṣasva9 bhārata10

 

kaunteya3 = O son of Kunti; mātrā-sparśāḥ1 =  mātrā + sparśāḥ = organs and their target objects, congress or contact of sense organs with their specific objects, tu2 = now then; [are]  Śīta-usna-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ4 = Inducers of cold, heat, happiness, and sorrow; [and are subject to] āgama5 apāyinaḥ6 = appearance and disappearance, having a beginning and an end; [ and are] anityāḥ7 = transient, opposite of Nitya, not eternal; bhārata10 = O Bharata , Arjuna: titikṣasva9 = put up with (= bear, tolerate; endure); tān8 = them (= cold, heat, happiness, and sorrow).  2.14

(2.14) Contacts with their objects, O Son of Kunti (Arjuna), give rise to  cold and heat, pleasure and pain. They come and go and do not last forever, these learn to endure O Bharata (Arjuna).

These opposites depend on limited and occasional causes whereas the joy of Brahman is universal, self-existent and independent of particular causes and objects. This indivisible being supports the variations of pleasure and pain of the egoistic existence which gets into contact with the multiple universe. These attitudes of pleasure and pain are determined by the force of habit. There is no obligation to be pleased with success and pained with failure. We can meet them with a perfect equanimity. It is the ego-consciousness which enjoys and suffers and it will continue to do so, so long as it is bound up with the use of life and body and is dependent on them for its knowledge and action. But when the mind becomes free and disinterested and sinks into that secret serenity, when its consciousness becomes illumined, it gladly accepts whatever happens, knowing full well that these contacts come and go and are not itself, though they happen to it.1

1 Cp. Imitation: "The desires of the senses draw us hither and thither, but, when the hour is past, what do they bring us but remorse of conscience and dissipation of spirit?" 

यं हि न व्यथयन्त्येते पुरुषं पुरुषर्षभ ।

समदुःखसुखं धीरं सोऽमृतत्वाय कल्पते ॥२- १५॥

yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete puruṣaṁ puruṣarṣabha
samaduḥkhasukhaṁ dhīraṁ so
mṛtatvāya kalpate 2.15

yam1 hi2 na3 vyathayanti4 ete5 puruṣam6 puruṣarṣabha7
sama8 duḥkha9 sukham10 dhīram11 sah12 amṛtatvāya13 kalpate14

hi2 = in truth; puruṣam6 = the Purusa or person; yam1 =in whom; ete5 = these (= Śīta-usṇa-sukha-duḥkha- = cold, heat, happiness, and sorrow); na3 = do not; vyathayanti4 = cause anguish, perturb, agitate; dhīram11 the Intelligent. [with] sama8 duḥkha9 sukham10 = equipoise8 in sorrow9 and happiness10; sah12 kalpate14 amṛtatvāya13 =  he12 is fit14 for immortality13; puruṣarṣabha7 = O the best among men.

(2.15) The man who is not troubled by these, O Chief of men (Arjuna), who remains the same in pain and pleasure, who is wise makes himself fit for eternal life.

Eternal life is different from survival of death which is given to every embodied being. It is the transcendence of life and death. To be subject to grief and sorrow, to be disturbed by the material happenings, to be deflected by them from the path of duty that has to be traversed, niyataṁ karma, shows that we are still victims of avidyā or ignorance. 

नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सतः ।

उभयोरपि दृष्टोऽन्तस्त्वनयोस्तत्त्वदर्शिभिः ॥२- १६॥

sato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ
ubhayor api dṛṣṭo
ntas tv anayos tattvadarśibhiḥ 2.16

na1 asata2 vidyate3 bhāva4 na5 abhāva6 vidyate7 sataḥ8
ubhayoḥ10 api12 dṛṣṭaḥ13 antaḥ14 tu15 anayoḥ16 tattva17 darśibhiḥ18

 

asata2 = Of the Asat, unreal or nonexistence; na1 vidyate3 = there is no; bhāva4 = existence or being (because they [cold, heat...] are subject to change); sataḥ8 = of the Sat or Real (= existence, being, real); na5 vidyate7 = there is no; abhāva6  = non-existence , cessation, nullity , absence, non-entity; tu15 = but; antaḥ14 = inner truth, Tattva, conclusion; ubhayoḥ10 = of the two (the Real and the unreal); api12 = in truth; anayoḥ16 = this; dṛṣṭaḥ13 = has been seen, observed, realized;  tattva17 darśibhiḥ18 = by the Tattva-Jnanis or the Seers of Tattvas.  2.16

(2.16) Of the non-existent there is no coming to be; of the existent there is no ceasing to be. The conclusion about these two has been perceived by the seers of truth.

sadākhyam brahma. S. defines real (sat) as that in regard to which our consciousness never fails and unreal (asat) as that in regard to which our consciousness fails.1 Our consciousness of objects varies but not that of existence. The unreal which is the passing show of the world veils the unchanging reality which is forever manifest.

According to R., the unreal is the body and the real is the soul. Madhva interprets the first quarter of the verse as asserting duality, vidyate-abhāvah. There is no destruction of the unmanifest (avyakta) prakṛti, Sat, of course is indestructible.

1 yad viṣayā buddhir na vyabhicarati tat sat, yad viṣayā vyabhicarati tad asat. 

अविनाशि तु तद्विद्धि येन सर्वमिदं ततम् ।

विनाशमव्ययस्यास्य न कश्चित्कर्तुमर्हति ॥२- १७॥

avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam
vināśam avyayasyā
sya na kaścit kartum arhati 2.17

avināśi1 tu2 tat3 viddhi4 yena5 sarvam6 idam7 tatam8
vināśam9 avyayasya10 asya11 na12 kaścit13 kartum14 arhati15

 

tu2 = but; viddhi4 = know; tat3 = that; avināśi1 =  indestructible; yena5 = by which, by whom (Brahman); sarvam6 idam7 = all6 this7 (universe); [is] tatam8 = pervaded; na12 kaścit13 = no12 one13; arhati15 kartum14 = can15 bring about14; vināśam9 = destruction; asya11 = of this; avyayasya10 =  [of] the immutable, the imperishable.  2.17

 (2.I7) Know thou that that by which all this is pervaded is indestructible. Of this immutable being, no one can bring about the destruction.

tatam: pervaded. See also VIII, 22, 46; IX, 4; XI, 38 and M.B., XII, 240, 20. S. uses Vyāptam."

Not even Isvara, the Supreme Lord, can bring about the destruction of the Self.1 Its reality is self-established, svatassiddha. It is not unknown to anybody.2 The scriptures serve to remove the adhyāropaṇa or superposition of attributes alien to the Self and not to reveal what is altogether unknown.

R. means by ātmatattva the qualitative unity and equality in the midst of numerical plurality.

1 na kaścid ātmānaṁ vināśayituṁ śaknoti'svaropi. S.

2 na hy ātmā nāma kasyacid aprasiddho bhavati, S.B.G., II, 18.

अन्तवन्त इमे देहा नित्यस्योक्ताः शरीरिणः ।

अनाशिनोऽप्रमेयस्य तस्माद्युध्यस्व भारत ॥२- १८॥

antavanta ime dehā nityasyo ktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ
anāśino
prameyasya tasmād yudhyasva bhārata 2.18

antavantaḥ1 ime2 dehāḥ3 nityasya4 uktāḥ5 śarīriṇaḥ6
anāśinaḥ7 aprameyasya8 tasmāt9 yudhyasva10 bhārata11

 

ime2 = these [bodies]; [are] antavantaḥ1 = liable to destruction; dehāḥ3 = all bodies; uktāḥ5 = it is said; [belong to] nityasya4 = eternal; anāśinaḥ7 = indestructible; aprameyasya8 = unexplainable, indeterminable; śarīriṇaḥ6= of the embodied Soul;   tasmāt9 = therefore; bhārata11= O Bharata or Arjuna; yudhyasva10 = engage in battle.  2.18

(2.18) It is said that these bodies of the eternal embodied (soul) which is indestructible and incomprehensible come to an end. Therefore fight, O Bharata (Arjuna).

śarīri here refers to the true self of the individual as in the phrase śarīraka mīmāmsā,1 which is an enquiry into the nature of the individual self. It is incomprehensible because it is not known by the ordinary means of knowledge. 

1 Cp. Bṛhadāraṇyaka Up. yat Śākṣād aparokṣad brahma ya ātmā sarvāntaraḥ. III, 4, I.

य एनं वेत्ति हन्तारं यश्चैनं मन्यते हतम् ।

उभौ तौ न विजानीतो नायं हन्ति न हन्यते ॥२- १९॥

ya enaṁ vetti hantāraṁ yaś cai naṁ manyate hatam
ubhau tau na vijānīto nā
yaṁ hanti na hanyate 2.19

yaḥ1 enam2 vetti3 hantāram4 yaḥ5 ca6 enam7 manyate8 hatam9
ubhau10 tau11 na12 vijānītaḥ13 na14 ayam15 hanti16 na17 hanyate18

 

yaḥ1 vetti3 enam2 = he who1 thinks3 this one2; [as] hantāram4 = the slayer; ca6 ya5  manyate8 enam7 = and6 he who5 thinks8 this one7 (the victim7); hatam9= the killed; ubhau10 tau11 = both10 of them11; na12 = do not have; vijānītaḥ13 = knowledge [of the Self]; ayam15 = this one, this self; na14 hanti16 = does not14 slay16; na17 = nor; hanyate18 = is it slain.  2.19

(2.I9) He who thinks that this slays and he who thinks that this is slain; both of them fail to perceive the truth; this one neither slays nor is slain.

The author is discriminating between the self and the not-self, Puruṣa and prakṛti of the Sāṁkhya.1

1Cp, Emerson's Brahma.

''If the red slayer thinks he slays,

Or if the slain think he is slain,

They know not well the subtle ways

I keep and pass and turn again.''

न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि- न्नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः ।

अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥२- २०॥

na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin nā yaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato
yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre 2.20

na1 jāyate2 mriyate34 kadācit5 na6 ayam7 bhūtvā8 bhavitā910 na11 bhūyaḥ12
ajaḥ13 nityaḥ14 śāśvatḥ15 ayam16 purāṇaḥ17 na18 hanyate19 hanyamāne20 śarīre21

na1 = never; kadācit5 = at any time;  ayam7 = this Self, Atma, Soul;  jāyate2 = was born; 4 = or; na6 = never; mriyate3 = does it die; 10 = and; bhūtvā8 = having existed previously;na11  bhavitā9 = does not come into existence;  bhūyaḥ12 = again; ayam16 = this (Atma or soul);  partless, whole; ajaḥ13 = is unborn;  nityaḥ14 = eternal; śāśvatḥ15 = eternally existent;  purāṇaḥ17 = ancient, na18 hanyate19 = is never killed; [when] śarīre21 = the body; hanyamāne20 = is killed.  2.20

(2.20) He is never born, nor does he die at any time, nor having (once) come to be will he again cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, permanent and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain,

See Kaṭha Up., II, 18. Cp. na vadhenāsya hanyate. Chāndogya Up., VIII, I, 5. The soul is here spoken of as "having come to be." It is everlasting as a Divine form and derives its existence from God.

S. splits up the phrase into bhūtvā-abhavitā.

वेदाविनाशिनं नित्यं य एनमजमव्ययम् ।

कथं स पुरुषः पार्थ कं घातयति हन्ति कम् ॥२- २१॥

vedā vināśinaṁ nityaṁ ya enam ajam avyayam
kathaṁ sa puruṣaḥ pārtha kaṁ ghātayati hanti kam 2.21

vedā1 avināśinam2 nityam3 ya4 enam5 ajam6 avyayam7
katham8 saḥ9 puruṣaḥ10 pārtha11 kam12 ghātayati13 hanti14 kam15

 

ya4 = He who; vedā1 = knows; enam5 = this [the soul]; [as] avināśinam2 =  indestructible;  nityam3 = eternal; ajam6 = devoid of birth, birthless, unborn; avyayam7 = decayless. katham8 = how, in what manner, whence; [and] kam12 = whom; saḥ9 = he, that man; puruṣaḥ10 = man, person [that highest spiritual person]; hanti14 = kills; [or] ghātayati13 = instigates others to kill; kam15 = whom;  pārtha11 = O Arjuna.  2.21

(2.2I) He who knows that it is indestructible and eternal, uncreate and unchanging, how can such a person slay any one, O Pārtha (Arjuna), or cause anyone to slay?

When we know the self to be invulnerable, how can anyone slay it? 

वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि ।

तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ॥२- २२॥

vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya navāni gṛhṇāti naro parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāni anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī 2.22

vāsāṁsi1 jīrṇāni2 yathā3 vihāya4 navāni5 gṛhṇāti6 naraḥ7 aparāṇi8
tathā9 śarīrāṇi10 vihāya11 jīrṇāni12 anyāni13 saṁyāti14 navāni15 dehī16

yathā3 =  as such; naraḥ7 = man; vihāya4 = discarding, setting aside;  jīrṇāni2 = tattered, worn out; vāsāṁsi1 = clothes; gṛhṇāti6 = puts on;  aparāṇi8 = other; navāni5 = new ones [clothes]; tathā9 = in that manner; vihāya11 = leaving behind, discarding; jīrṇāni12 = tattered, worn out; śarīrāṇi10 = physical bodies; dehī16 = the corporeal one, embodied one; saṁyāti14 = takes on; anyāni13 = other, different, dissimilar;  navāni15 = new ones. 2.22

(2.22) Just as a person casts off worn-out garments and puts on others that are new, even so does the embodied soul cast off worn-out bodies and take on others that are new.

The eternal does not move from place to place but the embodied soul moves from one abode to another. It takes birth each time and gathers to itself a mind, life, and body formed out of the materials of nature according to its past evolution and its need for the future. The psychic being is the vijñāna which supports the triple manifestation of body (anna), life (prāṇa) and mind (manas). When the gross physical body falls away, the vital and mental sheaths still remain as the vehicle of the soul. Rebirth is a law of nature. There is an objective connection between the various forms of life. Cp, Kaṭha Up., I, 6. "Like corn a mortal ripens and like corn is he born again.''

Embodiments seem to be essential for the soul. Is it then right to kill the body? The world of concrete existence has a meaning.  

नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः ।

न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः ॥२- २३॥

nai naṁ chindanti śastrāṇi nai naṁ dahati pāvakaḥ
na cai
naṁ kledayanty āpo na śoṣayati mārutaḥ 2.23

na1 enam2 chindanti3 śastrāṇi4 na5 enam6 dahati7 pāvakaḥ8
na9 ca10 enam11 kledayanti12 āpaḥ13 na14 śoṣayati15 mārutaḥ16

śastrāṇi4 = weapons; na5 = do not; chindanti3 = cleave,cut, sever; enam2 =  it, that [embodied soul].         pāvakaḥ8 = Fire;  na9 = does not; dahati7 = burn; enam6 = that [the soul]; ca10 = and; āpaḥ13 = water; na14 = does not; kledayanti12 = wet, moisten; enam11 = it (the soul);  mārutaḥ16 = wind. na1 =  does not;  śoṣayati15 = dry, desiccate.  2.23

(2.23) Weapons do not cleave this self, fire does not burn him; waters do not make him wet; nor does the wind make him dry.

See also Mokṣadharma, 174. I7. 

अच्छेद्योऽयमदाह्योऽयमक्लेद्योऽशोष्य एव च ।

नित्यः सर्वगतः स्थाणुरचलोऽयं सनातनः ॥२- २४॥

acchedyo yam adāhyo yam akledyo śoṣya eva ca
nityaḥ sarvagataḥ sthāṇur acalo
yaṁ sanātanaḥ 2.24

acchedyaḥ1 ayam2 adāhyaḥ3 ayam4 akledyaḥ5 aśoṣyaḥ6 eva7 ca8
nityaḥ9 sarva-gataḥ10 sthāṇuḥ11 acalaḥ12 ayam13 sanātanaḥ14 2.24

ayam2 =  this one [the soul]; acchedyaḥ1 = is uncuttable, cannot be cut; adāhyaḥ3 =  cannot be burnt; ayam4 = this one [the soul]; akledyaḥ5 = cannot be wetted, moistened; aśoṣyaḥ6 = cannot be dried; eva7 = truly;  canityaḥ9 = and8 [is] eternal9; sarva-gataḥ10 = all-pervasive, omnipresent; sthāṇuḥ11 = standing firm and fixed; acalaḥ12 = not moving, immovable; ayam13 = this one [the soul]; [is] sanātanaḥ14 = eternal, perpetual, permanent, everlasting, primeval.  2.24

 

(2.24) He is uncleavable, He cannot be burnt. He can be neither wetted nor dried. He is eternal, all-pervading, unchanging and immovable. He is the same forever. 

अव्यक्तोऽयमचिन्त्योऽयमविकार्योऽयमुच्यते ।

तस्मादेवं विदित्वैनं नानुशोचितुमर्हसि ॥२- २५॥

avyakto yam acintyo yam avikaryo yam ucyate
tasmād evaṁ viditvai
naṁ nā nuśocitum arhasi 2.25

avyaktaḥ1 ayam2 acintyaḥ3 ayam4 avikaryaḥ5 ayam6 ucyate7
tasmāt8 evam9 viditva10 enaṁ11 na12 anuśocitum13 arhasi14

 

ucyate7 = it is said; ayam2 =  this (this soul); [is] avyaktaḥ1 = unmanifest;  ayam4 = this (this soul);[is] acintyaḥ3 = inconceivable; [and] avikaryaḥ5 = unchanging; tasmāt8 = on that account, therefore; viditva10 = having known; ayam6 = this Self; evam9 = in such manner, as such;  [you] na12 arhasi14 = do not12 deserve14; anuśocitum13 = to grieve [for] enaṁ11 = this one [this soul].  2.25

 

(2.25) He is said to be unmanifest, unthinkable and unchanging. Therefore, knowing him as such, thou shouldst not grieve.

Right through it is the Puruṣa of the Sāṁkhya that is described here, not the Brahman of the Upaniṣads. The Puruṣa is beyond the range of form or thought and the changes that affect mind, life and body do not touch him. Even when it is applied to the Supreme Self, which is one in all, it is the unthinkable (acintya) and immutable (avikārya) Self that is meant. Arjuna's grief is misplaced as the self cannot be hurt or slain. Forms may change; things may come and go but that which remains behind them al1is forever. 1

IWhen Crito asks, "In what way shall we bury you, Socrates?" Socrates answers, "In any way you like. but first, you must catch me, the real me. Be of good cheer, my dear Crito, and say that you are burying my body only, and do with that whatever is usual and what you think best.''

अथ चैनं नित्यजातं नित्यं वा मन्यसे मृतम् ।

तथापि त्वं महाबाहो नैवं शोचितुमर्हसि ॥२- २६॥

atha cai naṁ nityajātaṁ nityaṁ vā manyase mṛtam
tathā
pi tvaṁ mahābāho nai vaṁ śocitum arhasi 2.26

atha1 ca2 enam3 nitya-jātam4 nityam56 manyase7 mṛtam8
tathāpi9 tvam10 mahābāho11 na12 evam13 śocitum14 arhasi15

atha1 ca2 = moreover; that being so; manyase7 = thinking; enam3 = this one [this soul]; [is] nitya-jātam4 = continually born; 6 = or; nityam5 = constantly; mṛtam8 = dying;  tatha api9  = yet;  tvam10 = you; mahābāho11 = mighty-armed one [Arjuna]; na12  arhasi15= do not12 deserve15; śocitum14 = to grieve; evam13 = in this way. 2.26

(2.26) Even if thou thinkest that the self is perpetually born and perpetually dies, even then, O Mighty-armed (Arjuna), thou shouldst not grieve.

जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च ।

तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि ॥२- २७॥

jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca
tasmād aparihārye
rthe na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi 2.27

jātasya1 hi2 dhruvaḥ3 mṛtyuḥ4 dhruvam5 janma6 mṛtasya7 ca8
tasmāt9 aparihārye10 arthe11 na12 tvam13 śocitum14 arhasi15

 

mṛtyuḥ4 = death; hi2 = for; jātasya1 = one who is born; dhruvaḥ3 = is certain; ca8 = and; janma6 = birth; mṛtasya7 = of the dead; [is]  dhruvam5 = certainty; tasmāt9 = therefore; tvam13 = you; na12 = do not; arhasi15 = deserve;  śocitum14 = to grieve; aparihārye10 = what is inevitable or unavoidable; arthe11 = relating to this matter.  2.27

(2.27) For to the one that is born death is certain and certain is birth for the one that has died. Therefore for what is unavoidable, thou shouldst not grieve.

Cp. "In this rotating world of becoming, what dead person does not come to life again."1 The realization of this fact will induce in us poise and proportion.2

Our existence is brief and death is certain. Our human dignity requires us to accept pain and suffering for the sake of the right.

The inevitability of death, however, cannot justify murders" suicides or wars. We cannot desire deliberately the death of others, simply because all men are bound to die. It is so that all life ends in death, that all progress is perishable, that nothing is permanent in the temporal sense of the term. But in every perfect realization of life, the eternal becomes actualized and the development in time is only the means to this essential aim. What is subject entirely to the rule of change or time is not of intrinsic importance; the eternal plan is the central truth whether cosmic accidents permit its full realization on earth or not.

I parivartini saṁsāre mṛtaḥ ko vā na jāyate.  Hitopadeśa,  

2Gautama the Buddha consoled the mother who lost her only son while yet a child by asking her to go into the town and bring him "a little mustard seed from any house where no man hath yet died.'' She went and found that there was no family where death had not entered. She discovered that it is the law of all things that they will pass away.

The Buddhist nun Patācārā. is represented as consoling many bereaved mothers in the following words:

 

Weep not, for such is here the life of man

Unasked he came, unbidden went he hence

Lo! ask thyself again whence came thy son

To bide on earth this little breathing space

By one way come and by another gone....

So hither and so hence-why should ye weep? Psalms of the Sisters.

E.T. by Mrs. Rhys Davids (I909), p. 78.

अव्यक्तादीनि भूतानि व्यक्तमध्यानि भारत ।

अव्यक्तनिधनान्येव तत्र का परिदेवना ॥२- २८॥

avyaktādīni bhūtāni vyaktamadhyāni bhārata
avyaktanidhanāny eva tatra kā paridevanā 2.28

avyaktādīni1 bhūtāni2 vyakta3 madhyāni4 bhārata5
avyakta6 nidhanāni6 eva7 tatra89 paridevanā10

bhārata5 = O Scion of Bharata clan; bhūtāni2 = all living things; avyaktādīni1 = unmanifest before birth; [and] vyakta3  madhyāni4 = manifest in the middle; avyakta6  nidhanāni6 = unmanifest after death;  eva7 = indeed; tatra8 = in that case, therefore; 9 = what; [is the need for] paridevanā10= lamentation, bewailing, complaint.  2.28

(2.28) Beings are unmanifest in their beginnings, manifest in the middles and unmanifest again in their ends, O Bharata (Arjuna), What is there in this for lamentation?

आश्चर्यवत्पश्यति कश्चिदेन- माश्चर्यवद्वदति तथैव चान्यः ।

आश्चर्यवच्चैनमन्यः शृणोति श्रुत्वाप्येनं वेद न चैव कश्चित् ॥२- २९॥

āścaryavat paśyati kaścid enam āścaryavad vadati tathai va cā nyaḥ
āścaryavac cai
nam anyaḥ śṛṇoti śrutvā py enaṁ veda na cai va kaścit 2.29

āścaryavat1 paśyati2 kaścit3 enam4 āścaryavat5 vadati6 tatha7 eva8 ca9 anyaḥ10
āścaryavat11 ca12 enam13 anyaḥ14 śṛṇoti15 śrutvā16 api17 enam18 veda19 na20 ca21  eva22 kaścit23

 

kaścit3 = some person; paśyati2 = sees, perceives; enam4 = this one [this soul]; āścaryavat1 = as a wonder; tatha7 eva8 = likewise indeed; ca9 = and; anyaḥ10 = others [different Mahapurusas]; vadati6 = speak, talk, elaborate in words;  =  āścaryavat11 = as if it is wondrous; anyaḥ14 = others; śṛṇoti15 = hear;  enam13 = this one [the soul];[as if it is a wonder]; ca12 = and;  śrutvā16 + api17 = having heard of; enam18 = this one [the soul]; kaścit23 = some person; veda19 na20 ca21 = na+eva+veda = would never ever know.  2.29

(2.29) One looks upon Him as a marvel, another likewise speaks of Him as a marvel; another hears of Him as a marvel; and even after hearing, no one whatsoever has known Him.

Though the truth of the Self is free of access to all mankind, it is attained only by very few who are willing to pay the price in self-discipline, steadfastness and non-attachment. Though the truth is open to all, many do not feel any urge to seek. Of those who have the urge, many suffer from doubt and vacillation. Even if they do not have doubts, many are scared away by difficulties. Only a few rare souls succeed in braving the perils and reaching the goal. Cp, Kaṭha Up., II, 7. "Even when one has beheld, heard and proclaimed it, no one has understood it." S.

देही नित्यमवध्योऽयं देहे सर्वस्य भारत ।

तस्मात्सर्वाणि भूतानि न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि ॥२- ३०॥

dehī nityam avadhyo yaṁ dehe sarvasya bhārata
tasmāt sarvāṇi bhūtāni na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi 2.30

dehī1 nityam2 avadhya3 ayam4 dehe5 sarvasya6 bhārata7
tasmāt8 sarvāṇi9 bhūtāni10 na11 tvam12 śocitum13 arhasi14

 

ayam4 = this; nityam2 = eternal; dehī1 = embodied soul; [exists] sarvasya6 dehe5 = in all bodies; [and] avadhya3 = cannot be slain; tasmāt8 = on that account, therefore;  bhārata7= O Scion of Bharata clan; tvam12 = you; na11 = do not ; arhasi14 =  deserve.  śocitum13 = to grieve; [for] sarvāṇi9 + bhūtāni10 = all beings.   2.30

(2.30) The dweller in the body of everyone, O Bharata (Arjuna), is eternal and can never be slain, Therefore thou shouldst not grieve for any creature.

Man is a compound of Self which is immortal and body which is mortal. Even if we accept this position that body is naturally mortal, still as it is the means of furthering the interests of the Self it has to be preserved. This is not by itself a satisfactory reason. So Kṛṣṇa refers to Arjuna's duty as a warrior.

Appeal to a Sense of Duty

स्वधर्ममपि चावेक्ष्य न विकम्पितुमर्हसि ।

धर्म्याद्धि युद्धाच्छ्रेयोऽन्यत्क्षत्रियस्य न विद्यते ॥२- ३१॥

svadharmam api cā vekṣya na vikampitum arhasi
dharmyād dhi yuddhāc chreyo
nyat kṣatriyasya na vidyate 2.31

svadharmam1 api2 ca3 avekṣya4 na5 vikampitum6 arhasi7
dharmyāt8 hi9 yuddhāt10 śreyaḥ11 anyat12 kṣatriyasya13 na14 vidyate15

api2 = even; avekṣya4 = considering; svadharmam1 = your own duty; ca3 = indeed [you] na5 arhasi7 = ought not  vikampitum6 = falter;  hi9 = indeed; na14 + vidyate15 = there is nothing; anyat12 = else; śreyaḥ11 = better;  kṣatriyasya13 = for a Ksatriya; yuddhāt10 = a battle; dharmyāt8 = according to Dharma.  2.31

(2.31) Further, having regard for thine own duty, thou shouldst not falter, there exists no greater good for a Ksatriya than a battle enjoined by duty.

His svadharma or law of action, requires him to engage in battle. Protection of right by the acceptance of battle, if necessary, is the social duty of the Kṣatriya, and not renunciation. His duty is to maintain order by force and not to become an ascetic by "shaving off the hair."1 Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna that for warriors there is no more ennobling duty than a fair fight. It is a privilege that leads to heaven.

1Cp, M.B., daṇḍa eva hi rājendra kṣatradharmo na muṇḍanam. Sāntiparva, 23, 46. He who saves from destruction is a Kṣatriya." kṣatād yo vai trāyati 'ti sa tasmāt kṣatriyaḥ, smṛtaḥ.B., XII, 29, 138.

यदृच्छया चोपपन्नं स्वर्गद्वारमपावृतम् ।

सुखिनः क्षत्रियाः पार्थ लभन्ते युद्धमीदृशम् ॥२- ३२॥

yadṛcchayā co papannaṁ svargadvāram apāvṛtam
sukhinaḥ kṣatriyāḥ pārtha labhante yuddham īdṛśam 2.32

yadṛcchayā1 ca2 upapannam3 svarga-dvāram4 apāvṛtam5
sukhinaḥ6 kṣatriyāḥ7 pārtha8 labhante9 yuddham10 īdṛśam11

pārtha8 = Son of Pritha; sukhinaḥ6 =  joyous; [are] kṣatriyāḥ7 = Ksatriyas; [who] labhante9 = are facing; yuddham10 =  battle; īdṛśam11= of this sort [which]; ca2 = also; upapannam3 = offers itself; yadṛcchayā1 = on its own accord unsought for; [which is ] apāvṛtam5= open;  svarga4A-dvāram4B= gateway4B to Heaven4A. 2.32

(2.32) Happy are the Kṣatriyas, O Partha (Arjuna), for whom such a war comes of its own accord as an open door to heaven. A Kṣatriya's happiness consists not in domestic pleasures and comfort but in fighting for the right.1

1 Cpa "O thou best of men, there are only two types who can pierce the constellation of the Sun (and reach the sphere of Brahman); the one is the saṁnyāsin who is steeped in Yoga and the other is the warrior who falls in the battlefield while fighting."

dvāv imau puruṣavyāghra sūryamaṇḍala bhedinau

parivāṅg yogayuktaś ca raṇi cā 'bhimukho hataḥ. M.B., Udyogaparva, 32, 65.

अथ चेत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं संग्रामं न करिष्यसि ।

ततः स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि ॥२- ३३॥

atha cet tvam imaṁ dharmyaṁ saṅgrāmaṁ na kariṣyasi
tataḥ svadharmaṁ kīrtiṁ ca hitvā pāpam avāpsyasi 2.33

atha1 cet2 tvam3 imam4 dharmyam5 saṅgrāmam6 na7 kariṣyasi8
tataḥ9 svadharmam10 kīrtim12 ca13 hitvā14 pāpam15 avāpsyasi16

atha1 = moreover; cet2 = if; tvam3 = you; na7 = do not; kariṣyasi8= engage in;  imam4 = this; dharmyam5 = righteous; saṅgrāmam6 = fight, battle; tataḥ9 = then; hitvā14 = having abandoned; svadharmam10 = your own duty; ca13 = and; kīrtim12 = renown, fame;  avāpsyasi16 = you will be subject to, you will incur; pāpam15 = sin.   2.33

(2.33) But if thou doest not this lawful battle, then thou wilt fail thy duty and glory and will incur sin.

When the struggle between right and wrong is on, he who abstains from it out of false sentimentality, weakness or cowardice would be committing a sin.

अकीर्तिं चापि भूतानि कथयिष्यन्ति तेऽव्ययाम् ।

सम्भावितस्य चाकीर्तिर्मरणादतिरिच्यते ॥२- ३४॥

akīrtiṁ cāpi bhūtāni kathayiṣyanti te 'vyayām
saṁbhāvitasya cākīrtir maraṇāt atiricyate 2.34

akīrtim1 ca2 api3 bhūtāni4 kathayiṣyanti5 te6 avyayām7
saṁbhāvitasya8 ca9 akīrtiḥ10 maraṇāt11 atiricyate12

bhūtāni4 = people; ca2 + api3 = also; kathayiṣyanti5 = narrate, will talk, recount; te6 = your; avyayām7 = everlasting; akīrtim1 = infamy; ca9 = and; saṁbhāvitasya8 = to a respected man (man enjoying tributes);  akīrtiḥ10 = infamy, dishonor; atiricyate12 = is worse than; maraṇāt11 = death.  2.34

(2.34) Besides, men will ever recount thy ill-fame and for one who has been honoured, ill-fame is worse than death.

भयाद्रणादुपरतं मंस्यन्ते त्वां महारथाः ।

येषां च त्वं बहुमतो भूत्वा यास्यसि लाघवम् ॥२- ३५॥

bhayād raṇād uparataṁ maṁsyante tvāṁ mahārathāḥ
yeṣāṁ ca tvaṁ bahumato bhūtvā yāsyasi lāghavam 2.35

bhayāt1 raṇāt2 uparatam3 maṁsyante4 tvām5 mahārathāḥ6
yeṣām7 ca8 tvam9 bahu-mataḥ10 bhūtvā11 yāsyasi12 lāghavam13

mahārathāḥ6 = the great chariot riders--warriors; maṁsyante4 = will regard, think; tvām5 = of you; uparatam3 = as having withdrawn, having stopped, desisted; raṇāt2 = from battle; bhayāt1 = out of trepidation or fear; ca8 = and; [you] yāsyasi12 = will attain; lāghavam13 = low esteem; [in the eyes of  Duryodhana and other warriors] yeṣām7 = to whom; tvam9 = you; bhūtvā11 = have remained; bahu-mataḥ10 = in high regard.  2.35

(2.35) The great warriors will think that thou hast abstained from battle through fear and they by whom thou wast highly esteemed will make light of thee. 

अवाच्यवादांश्च बहून्वदिष्यन्ति तवाहिताः ।

निन्दन्तस्तव सामर्थ्यं ततो दुःखतरं नु किम् ॥२- ३६॥

avācyavādāṁś ca bahūn vadiṣyanti tavā hitāḥ
nindantas tava sāmarthyaṁ tato duḥkhataraṁ nu kim 2.36

avācya1 vādān2 ca3 bahūn4 vadiṣyanti5 tava6 ahitāḥ7
nindantaḥ8  tava9 sāmarthyam10 tataḥ11 duḥkhataram12 nu13 kim14

 

ca3 = and; tava6 = Your; ahitāḥ7= foes; vadiṣyanti5 = will utter; bahūn4 = many;  avācya1 = improper; vādān2 =  words [prevarication]; nindantaḥ8  = while reviling;  tava9 = your; sāmarthyam10 = Skill, ability; kim14 = what; nu13 = then; [brings] duḥkhataram12 = more sorrow, grief, pain; tataḥ11 = besides that.  2.36

(3.36) Many unseemly words will be uttered by thy enemies, slandering thy strength. Could anything be sadder than that? Contrast this with the central teaching of the Gita that one should be indifferent to praise and blame. 

हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम् ।

तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चयः ॥२- ३७॥

hato vā prāpsyasi svargaṁ jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm
tasmād uttiṣṭha kaunteya yuddhāya kṛtaniścayaḥ 2.37

hataḥ12 prāpsyasi3 svargam4 jitvā56 bhokṣyase7 mahīm8
tasmāt9 uttiṣṭha10 kaunteya11 yuddhāya12 kṛta13 niścayaḥ14

 

2 = either; prāpsyasi3 = you will achieve; svargam4 = heaven; hataḥ1 = if killed; 6 = or; bhokṣyase7 = you experience joy; mahīm8 = on the earth, place; jitvā5 = by attaining victory; kaunteya11 = O Son of Kunti; tasmāt9 = therefore; uttiṣṭha10 = rise up; yuddhāya12 = for fighting; kṛta13 niścayaḥ14 = with certainty or firm resolution.   2.37

(2.37) Either slain thou shalt go to heaven; or victorious thou shalt enjoy the earth; Therefore arise, O Son of Kuntī (Arjuna), resolved on battle.

Whether we look at the metaphysical truth or the social duty, our path is clear. It is possible to rise higher through the performance of one's duty in the right spirit, and in the next verse Kṛṣṇa proceeds to indicate the spirit.

सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ ।

ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि ॥२- ३८॥

sukhaduḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau
tato yuddhāya yujyasva nai
vaṁ pāpam avāpsyasi 2.38

sukha1 duḥkhe2 same3 kṛtvā4 lābhālābhau5 jayājayau6
tataḥ7 yuddhāya8 yujyasva9 na10 evam11 pāpam12 avāpsyasi13

kṛtvā4 = by acting; same3 = with aplomb, with poise; sukha1 duḥkhe2 = in  happiness1 and sorrow2; lābhālābhau5 = in gain and loss; jayājayau6= in victory and defeat;  tataḥ7 = then, thereafter; yujyasva9 = get ready; yuddhāya8 = for the battle; evam11 = in such manner; na10 avāpsyasi13= you will  not10 be subject to; pāpam12 = sin.  2.38

(2.38) Treating alike pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, then get ready for battle. Thus thou shall not Incur sin.

Yet in the previous verses, Kṛṣṇa lays stress on sensibility to shame, the gain of heaven and earthly sovereignty. After urging worldly considerations, he declares that the fight has to be undertaken in a spirit of equal-mindedness. Without yielding to the restless desire for change, without being at the mercy of emotional ups and downs, let us do the work assigned to us in the situation in which we are placed. When we acquire faith in the Eternal and experience Its reality, the sorrows of the world do not disturb us.1 He who discovers his true end of life and yields to it utterly is great of soul. Though everything else is taken away from him, though he has to walk the streets, cold, hungry and alone, though he may know no human being into whose eyes he can look and find understanding, he shall yet be able to go his way with a smile on his lips for he has gained inward freedom.

 1 Cp. Luther: "And though they take our life, goods, honor, children, wife, yet is their profit small; these things shall vanish all, the city of God remaineth.''

एषा तेऽभिहिता सांख्ये बुद्धिर्योगे त्विमां शृणु ।

बुद्ध्या युक्तो यया पार्थ कर्मबन्धं प्रहास्यसि ॥२- ३९॥

eṣā te bhihitā sāṅkhye buddhir yoge tv imāṁ śṛṇu
buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha karmabandhaṁ prahāsyasi 2.39

eṣā1 te2 abhihitā3 sāṅkhye4 buddhiḥ5 yoge6 tu7 imām8 śṛṇu9
buddhyā10 yuktaḥ11 yayā12 pārtha13 karma-bandham14 prahāsyasi15

pārtha13 = O Partha (Arjuna); eṣā1 = this; buddhiḥ5 = Knowledge, wisdom; abhihitā3 = has been revealed;  te2 = to you; sāṅkhye4 = by Jnana-Yoga; tu7 = but; śṛṇu9= hear, lend your ears to;  imām8 = this; yoge6 = in connection with Karma Yoga; yuktaḥ11 = furnished, endowed; yayā12 = with which; prahāsyasi15 = you will free yourself from, completely remove, get rid of; karma-bandham14 = bondage of action; buddhyā10 = by wisdom.  2.39

(2.39) This is the wisdom of the Sāṁkhya given to thee, O Pārtha (Arjuna). Listen now to the wisdom of the Yoga. If your intelligence accepts it, thou shalt cast away the bondage of works.

Sāṁkhya in the Gītā does not mean the system of philosophy known by that name; nor does Yoga mean Pātañjalayoga. The scholastic version of the Sāṁkhya is a frank dualism of Puruṣa (self) and prakṛti (not-self) which is transcended in the Gītā, which affirms the reality of a Supreme Self who is the Lord of all. Sāṁkhya gives an intellectual account of the intuition of the unchanging One.1 It is the yoga of knowledge. The yoga of action is karma yoga. See III, 3. The knowledge hitherto described is not to be talked about and discussed academically. It must become an inward experience. In the Gītā, Sāṁkhya lays stress on knowledge and renunciation of desire and Yoga on action. How is one who knows that the self and body are distinct, that the self is indestructible and unmoved by the events of the world, to act? The teacher develops buddhiyoga or concentration of buddhi or understanding. Buddhi is not merely the capacity to frame concepts. It has also the function of recognition and dis­ crimination. The understanding or buddhi must be trained to attain insight" constancy, equal-mindedness (samatā), The mind (manas), instead of being united to the senses, should be guided by buddhi which is higher than mind. III, 42. It must become united to buddhi (buddhiyukta).

The influence of the scholastic Sāṁkhya which was in the making at the time of the Gītā is here evident. According to it, the Puruṣa is inactive, and bondage and liberation do not belong to it in reality. They are essentially the work of buddhi, one of the twenty-four cosmic principles. Out of prakṛti evolve successively five elemental conditions of matter, ether, air, fire, water and earth, five subtle properties of matter, sound, touch, form, taste and smell, buddhi or mahat which is the discriminating principle of intelligence and will, ahaṁkāra or self-sense, and mind with its ten sense functions, five of knowledge and five of action. Liberation is achieved when buddhi discriminates between Puruṣa and prakṛti; This view is adapted to the Gītā theism. Buddhi is the driver of the chariot of the body drawn by the horses of the senses which are controlled by the reins of mind (manas). The self is superior to buddhi but is a passive witness. In the Kaṭha Up., buddhi is the charioteer which controls the senses through the mind and enables it to know the self.2 If the buddhi is lit up by the consciousness of the self and makes it the master-light of its life, its guidance will be in harmony with the cosmic purpose. If the light of the atman is reflected in buddhi in a proper way, that is, if the buddhi is cleared of all obscuring tendencies, the light will not be distorted, and buddhi will be in union with the Spirit. The sense of egoism and separateness will be displaced by a vision of the harmony in which each is all and all is each.

Sāṁkhya and Yoga are not in the Gītā discordant systems. They have the same aim but differ in their methods.

1 Madhva quotes Vyāsa to this effect.. suddhātmatattvavijñānam sāṁkhyam ity abhidhīyate.

Cp. Svetāśvatara Up. Sāṁkhyayogādhigamyam. VI, 13.

2 Kaṭha up. III, 3.

नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते ।

स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ॥२- ४०॥

ne bhikramanāśo sti pratyavāyo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt 2.40

na1 ihā2 abhikrama3 nāśaḥ4 asti5 pratyavāyaḥ6 na7 vidyate8
svalpam9 api10 asya11 dharmasya12 trāyate13 mahataḥ14 bhayāt15

ihā2 = here (in the path to emancipation); asti5 = there is; na1 = neither; abhikrama3 + nāśaḥ4 = ruined4 undertaking3 or attempt; na7 + vidyate8= nor7 there is8; pratyavāyaḥ6 = adverse effect, unintended consequence; svalpam9 + api10 = meager, even10 a little9; asya11 = of this; dharmasya12 = Dharma (known as Karma Yoga); trāyate13 = saves; [aspirant] mahataḥ14 + bhayāt15 = from great fear.  2.40

(2.40) In this path, no effort is ever lost and no obstacle prevails; even a little of this righteousness (dharma) saves from great fear.

No step is lost, every moment is a gain. Every effort in the struggle will be counted as a merit.

व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनन्दन ।

बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् ॥२- ४१॥

vyavasāyātmikā buddhir eke ha kurunandana
bahuśākhā hy anantāś ca buddhayo
vyavasāyinām 2.41

vyavasāyātmikā1 buddhiḥ2 ekā3 iha4 kurunandana5
bahu-śākhā6 hi7 anantāḥ8 ca9 buddhayaḥ10 avyavasāyinām11

kurunandana5 = O Beloved Joy of the Kurus; [there is]  ekā3 = only one; vyavasāyātmikā1 = firm, resolute, focused; buddhiḥ2 = intellect; iha4 = in this [Karma Yoga]; [but] buddhayaḥ10 = thoughts; avyavasāyinām11 = of the unfocused or irresolute men;  [are] hi7 = indeed; bahu-śākhā6 = many-branched, [have many perspectives]; ca9 = and;  anantāḥ8  = endless.  2.41

(2.41) In this, O joy of the Kurus (Arjuna), the resolute (decided) understanding is single; but the thoughts of the irresolute (undecided) are many-branched and endless.

The discursiveness of the irresolute buddhi is contrasted with the concentration, the single-mindedness of the resolute. Human life finds its fulfilment through self-devotion to a commanding end and not in the unfettered pursuit of endless possibilities. One­ pointedness has to be acquired by cultivation. Distraction is our natural condition from which we have to be freed but not by the mysticisms of nature or sex, race or nation but by a genuine experience of Reality. Single-mindedness backed by such an experience is a supreme virtue and cannot be twisted to fanaticism.

No Wisdom for the Worldly-Minded

यामिमां पुष्पितां वाचं प्रवदन्त्यविपश्चितः ।

वेदवादरताः पार्थ नान्यदस्तीति वादिनः ॥२- ४२॥

yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ pravadanty avipaścitaḥ
vedavādaratāḥ pārtha nā
nyad astī ti vādinaḥ 2.42

yām1 imām2 puṣpitām3 vācam4 pravadanti5 avipaścitaḥ6
veda-vāda-ratāḥ7 pārtha8 na9 anyat10 astī11 iti12 vādinaḥ13

pārtha8 = O Arjuna; avipaścitaḥ6= ignoramuses; pravadanti5 = utter, speak; yām1 imām2 puṣpitām3 vācam4 = all1 these2 flowery3 words4; veda-vāda-ratāḥ7 = enamored with discussion of Vedas;  vādinaḥ13 = hold discussion, declare; astī11 = there is; na9 + anyat10 = nothing else;  [other than] iti12 = this, that.  2.42

(2.42-43) The undiscerning who rejoice in the letter of the Veda, who contend that there is nothing else, whose nature is desire and who are intent on heaven, proclaim these flowery words that result in rebirth as the fruit of actions and (lay down) various specialized rites for the attainment of enjoyment and power. 

कामात्मानः स्वर्गपरा जन्मकर्मफलप्रदाम् ।

क्रियाविशेषबहुलां भोगैश्वर्यगतिं प्रति ॥२- ४३॥

kāmātmānaḥ svargaparā janmakarmaphalapradām
kriyāviśeṣabahulāṁ bhogaiśvaryagatiṁ prati 2.43

kāmātmānaḥ1 svargaparāḥ2 janma-karma-phala-pradām3
kriyā-viśeṣa4 bahulām5 bhoga6 aiśvarya7 gatim8 prati9

 

svargaparāḥ2 = heaven as the goal or destination; kāmātmānaḥ1 = mind full of desires, mind immersed in desires; [recommend] kriyā-viśeṣa4 bahulām5 = various special Vedic rites, [rites-special4 various5]; bhoga6 aiśvarya7 gatim8 prati9 = towards attainment of enjoyments and affluence; (enjoyments6-affluence7-obtainment8-towards9); [which]  janma-karma-phala-pradām3 = bestow birth as a result of karma (birth-rites-fruit or result-bestow).  2.43

(2.42-43) The undiscerning who rejoice in the letter of the Veda, who contend that there is nothing else, whose nature is desire and who are intent on heaven, proclaim these flowery words that result in rebirth as the fruit of actions and (lay down) various specialized rites for the attainment of enjoyment and power. 

The teacher distinguishes true karma from ritualistic piety. Vedic sacrifices are directed to the acquisition of material rewards but the Gītā asks us to renounce all selfish desire and work, making all life a sacrifice, offered with true devotion.

Cp. Muṇḍaka Up., I, 2, 10. "These fools, who believe that only the performance of sacrificial ritual (iṣṭāpūrtam) is meritorious and nothing else is meritorious, come back to this mortal world, after having enjoyed happiness in heaven." See also Īśa Up., 9, 1:2; Kaṭha, II, 5. The Vedic Aryans were like glorious children in their eager acceptance of life. They represent the youth of humanity whose life was still fresh and sweet, undisturbed by disconcerting dreams. They had also the balanced wisdom of maturity. The author however limits his attention to the karmakāṇḍa of the Veda which is not its whole teaching. While the Veda teaches us to work with a desire for recompense whether in a temporary heaven or in a new embodied life, buddhiyoga leads us to release. 

भोगैश्वर्यप्रसक्तानां तयापहृतचेतसाम् ।

व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः समाधौ न विधीयते ॥२- ४४॥

bhogaiśvaryaprasaktānāṁ tayā pahṛtacetasām
vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samādhau na vidhīyate 2.44

bhoga1 aiśvarya2 prasaktānām3 tayā4 apahṛta5 cetasām6
vyavasāyātmikā7 buddhiḥ8 samādhau9 na10 vidhīyate11

prasaktānām3 = they who cling to; bhoga1 = enjoyment; [and] aiśvarya2 = sovereignty; [and they whose ] cetasām6 = mind; apahṛta5 = is taken away; tayā4 = by that [speech]; [for them] vyavasāyātmikā7 = focused; buddhiḥ8 = Buddhi; na10 vidhīyate11 = is not10 well established11; samādhau9 = in the Self.  2.44

(2.44) The intelligence which discriminates between right and wrong, of those who are devoted to enjoyment and power and whose minds are carried away by these words (of the Veda) is not well-established in the Self (or concentration).

They will not have the one-pointedness of mind in God.1 The intelligence which is intended to be well trained is seduced from its normal functioning. 

I Cp, Śrīdhara: samādhis cittaikāgryam, parameśvarābhimukhatvam

iti yāvat; tasmin niścayātmikā buddhis tu na vidhīyate.

त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा निस्त्रैगुण्यो भवार्जुन ।

निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्यसत्त्वस्थो निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान् ॥२- ४५॥

traiguṇyaviṣayā vedā nistraiguṇyo bhavā rjuna
nirdvandvo nityasatvastho niryogakṣema ātmavān 2.45

traiguṇya1 viṣayāḥ2 vedāḥ3 nistraiguṇyaḥ4 bhavā5 arjuna6

nirdvandvaḥ7 nitya-satva-sthaḥ8 niryoga-kṣemaḥ9 ātmavān9

arjuna6 = O Arjuna; vedāḥ3 = Vedas; [expound] traiguṇya1 viṣayāḥ2  = enjoyments2 proceeding from three qualities1, experiencing this world; [you] bhavā5 = become; nistraiguṇyaḥ4 = free of three qualities, free from desires, detached from enjoyments of the sense objects; nirdvandvaḥ7 = free from dualities (like and dislike etc); nitya-satva-sthaḥ8 = eternally established in Sattva (Goodness, Purity, Paramatma); niryoga-kṣemaḥ9= without regard for acquisition and safe-keeping; [be] ātmavān9 = One of pure Self.  2.45

(2.45) The action of the three-fold modes is the subject matter of the Veda; but do thou become free, O Arjuna, from this threefold nature; be free from the dualities (the pairs of opposites), be firmly fixed in purity, not caring for acquisition and preservation, and be possessed of the Self.

 

nityasattva. Arjuna is asked to stand above the modes and be firmly rooted in the sattva. This is not the mode of sattva which Arjuna is asked to go beyond, but is eternal truth. Ś, and R., however, take it to mean the sattvaguṇa. Ritualistic practices necessary for the maintenance of worldly life are the results of the modes. To gain the higher reward of perfection, we must direct our attention to the Supreme Reality. The conduct of the liberated, however, will be outwardly the same as that of one

who is in the sattva condition. His action will be calm and disinterested. He acts with no interest in the fruits of action; not so the followers of the karmakāṇḍa of the Veda.

 

Yogakṣema is acquisition of the new and preservation of the old. 1

 

ātmavān9: be possessed of the self, ever vigilant.2 Ᾱpastamba declares that there is nothing higher than the possession of the self.3 To know the Spirit which has neither commencement nor decay, the Spirit which is immortal, to know Him whom we do not know is the true end of man. If we suppress this side we are slayers of the self,4 to use the phrase of the Upaniṣad.

 

1anupāttasya upādānaṁ yogaḥ, upāttasya rakṣaṇaṁ kṣemaḥ.

2 apramattaś ca bhava. Ś.

3 ātmalābhān na paraṁ vidyate. Dharma śūtra, I, 7, 2.

4 ātmahano janāḥ

यावानर्थ उदपाने सर्वतः संप्लुतोदके ।

तावान्सर्वेषु वेदेषु ब्राह्मणस्य विजानतः ॥२- ४६॥

yāvān artha udapāne sarvataḥ saṁplutodake
tāvān sarveṣu vedeṣu brāhmaṇasya vijānataḥ 2.46

yāvān1 arthaḥ2 udapāne3 sarvataḥ4 sampluta-udake5
tāvān6 sarveṣu7 vedeṣu8 brāhmaṇasya9 vijānataḥ10

yāvān1 = whatever; arthaḥ2 = usefulness [for drinking, bathing]; [there is ] udapāne3 = for water in a well or pond; [is no match to a vast lake] sampluta-udake5 = brimming with water sarvataḥ4 = in all directions; [Likewise] brāhmaṇasya9 = for one brimming with Brahman knowledge; vijānataḥ10 = One who is clever, shrewd or knowledgeable (of Brahmajnana); sarveṣu7 = all; vedeṣu8 = Vedas; [are useful or limited] tāvān6 = to that degree, extent, measure.  2.46

(2.46) As is the use of a pond in a place flooded with water everywhere, so is that of all the Vedas for the Brahmin who understands.

Cpo ''Just as one who gets water from the river does not attach importance to a well, so the wise do not attach any importance to ritual action."1 For those of illumined consciousness, ritual observances are of little value.

1na te (jñāninaḥ) karma praśaṁsanti kūpaṁ nadyām pibann iva. M.B., Sāntiparva, 240, 10.

Work without Concern for the Results (RKN)

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।

मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥२- ४७॥

karmaṇy evā dhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadācana
mā karmaphalahetur bhūr mā te saṅgo 'stv akarmaṇi 2.47

karmaṇi1 eva2 adhikāraḥ3 te45 phaleṣu6 kadācana7
8 karma9 phala10 hetuḥ11 bhūḥ1213 te14 saṅgaḥ15 astu16 akarmaṇi17

te4 = your; adhikāraḥ3 = right, obligation; karmaṇi1 eva2 = is for action; 5 = never;  kadācana7= under any circumstances; phaleṣu6 = for the results, in the fruits; 8 = never; bhūḥ12 = become;  karma9 phala10 hetuḥ11 = the reason or agent for claiming the fruit of action [action9-fruit10-cause or agent11]; 13   te14  astu16 = (you) may not have; saṅgaḥ15 = attachment, inclination;  [to]  akarmaṇi17= inaction.  2.47

(2.47) To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction.

This famous verse contains the essential principle of disinterestedness. When we do our work, plough or paint, sing or think, we will be deflected from disinterestedness, if we think of fame or income or any such extraneous consideration. Nothing matters except the good will, the willing fulfilment of the purpose of God. Success or failure does not depend on the individual but on other factors as well. Giordano Bruno says: ''I have fought, that is much, victory is in the hands of fate."

योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनंजय ।

सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ॥२- ४८॥

yogasthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvā dhanañjaya
siddhyasiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṁ yoga ucyate 2.48

yogasthaḥ1 kuru2 karmāṇi3 saṅgam4 tyaktvā5 dhanañjaya6
siddhi-asiddhyoḥ7 samaḥ8 bhūtvā9 samatvam10 yogaḥ11 ucyate12

yogasthaḥ1 = firmly established in Yoga; dhanañjaya6 = O victor over wealth, O Arjuna; kuru2 = do; karmāṇi3 = actions; tyaktvā5 = relinquishing; saṅgam4 = attachment; bhūtvā9 = remaining or becoming; samaḥ8 = equable, same; siddhi-asiddhyoḥ7 = in success and failure; [and possessing] samatvam10 = equanimity of mind; [This] ucyate12 = is called;  yogaḥ11 = Yoga.  2.48

(2.48) Fixed in yoga, do thy work, O Winner of wealth (Arjuna), abandoning attachment, with an even mind in success and failure, for evenness of mind is called yoga.

yogasthaḥ1: steadfast in inner composure.

samatvam10: inner poise. It is self-mastery. It is conquest of anger, sensitiveness, pride and ambition. We must work with a perfect serenity indifferent to the results. He who acts by virtue of an inner law is on a higher level than one whose action is dictated by his whims.

Those who do works for the sake of their fruits go to the region of the fathers or pitṛs, those who pursue wisdom go to the region of the gods or devas.1

1 Cp. Ś. dviprakāraṁ ca vittaṁ ṁānusaṁ daivaṁ ca, tatra ṁānusaṁ

vittaṁ karmarūpam Pitṛlokaprāptisādhanam, vidyāṁ ca daivaṁ vittam

devalokaprptisādhanam. II, I I.

दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म बुद्धियोगाद्धनंजय ।

बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ कृपणाः फलहेतवः ॥२- ४९॥

dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma buddhiyogād dhanañjaya
buddhau śaraṇam anviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phalahetavaḥ 2.49

dūreṇa1 hi2 avaram3 karma4 buddhi-yogāt5 dhanañjaya6
buddhau7 śaraṇam8 anviccha9 kṛpaṇāḥ10 phala-hetavaḥ11

dūreṇa1 = by a long shot; karma4 = action; hi2 = indeed; [is] avaram3 = inferior to; buddhi-yogāt5  = Buddhi Yoga [Yoga of wisdom]. dhanañjaya6= O Arjuna; anviccha9 = take; śaraṇam8 = refuge; buddhau7 = in wisdom. kṛpaṇāḥ10 = the pitiable ones;  phala-hetavaḥ11 = hanker after fruits. 2.49

(2.49) Far inferior indeed is mere action to the discipline of intelligence (buddhiyoga), O Winner of wealth (Arjuna) seek refuge in intelligence. Pitiful are those who seek for the fruits (of their action).

buddhiyoga. See also XVIII, 57.

बुद्धियुक्तो जहातीह उभे सुकृतदुष्कृते ।

तस्माद्योगाय युज्यस्व योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् ॥२- ५०॥

buddhiyukto jahātī ha ubhe sukṛtaduṣkṛte
tasmād yogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam 2.50

buddhi-yuktaḥ1 jahāti2 iha3 ubhe4 sukṛta-duṣkṛte5
tasmāt6 yogāya7 yujyasva8 yogaḥ9 karmasu10 kauśalam11

buddhi-yuktaḥ1 = The one of equable wisdom; jahāti2 = gives up; iha3 = here, in this world; ubhe4 = both;    sukṛta-duṣkṛte5 = merits and demerits, virtue and vice; tasmāt6 = therefore; yujyasva8 = remain engaged;  yogāya7 = in Yoga of [equable wisdom]; [for] yogaḥ9 = Yoga; [is]  kauśalam11 = skill [in relinquishing oneself from bonds of Karma]; karmasu10 = in the performance of action.  2.50

(2.50) One who has yoked his intelligence (with the Divine) (or is established in his intelligence) casts away even here both good and evil. Therefore, strive for yoga, yoga is skill in action.

He rises to a status higher than the ethical with its distinction of good and evil. He is rid of selfishness and therefore is incapable of evil. According to S., Yoga is evenness of mind in success or failure, possessed by one who is engaged in the performance of his proper duties, while his mind rests in God.1

1 svadharmākhyeṣu karmasu vartamānasya yā siddhyasiddhyoḥ

samatvabuddhir īśvarārpitacetas tayā.

Cp. Śrīdhara. karmajaṁ phalaṁ tyaktvā kevalaṁ Īśvarārādhānārtham

eva karma kurvāṇā maṇīṣṇo jñānino bhūtvā janmarūpeṇa bandhena vinirmuktāḥ.

कर्मजं बुद्धियुक्ता हि फलं त्यक्त्वा मनीषिणः ।

जन्मबन्धविनिर्मुक्ताः पदं गच्छन्त्यनामयम् ॥२- ५१॥

karmajaṁ buddhiyuktā hi phalaṁ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ
janmabandhavinirmuktāḥ padaṁ gacchhanty anāmayam 2.51

karma-jam1 buddhi-yuktā2 hi3 phalam4 tyaktvā5 manīṣiṇaḥ6
janma-bandha7 vinirmuktāḥ8 gacchhanti10 anāmayam11

buddhi-yuktā2 = they who have equable wisdom; [and] manīṣiṇaḥ6 = who are enlightened men; tyaktvā5 = by doing Tyagam [= relinquishment], give up; phalam4 = fruit, benefit; karma-jam1 = caused or generated by actions; hi3 = indeed; gacchhanti10 = reach;  padam9 = state, Parama Padam, Supreme State or Abode, Vaikuntam [abode of Vishnu];  anāmayam11 =  free from disease or evil, [not pernicious, healthy, salubrious]; [which is] janma-bandha7 vinirmuktāḥ8 = Jivanmukti, soul liberated from the bondage of birth [birth-bondage7-liberation of soul8] . 2.51

(2.51) The wise who have united their intelligence (with the Divine) renouncing the fruits which their action yields and freed from the bonds of birth reach the sorrowless state.

Even when alive, they are released from the bond of birth and go to the highest state of Viṣṇu called mokṣa or liberation, which is free from all evil.1

1 jīvanta eva janmabandhavinirmuktāḥ santaḥ padaṁ paramaṁ

viṣṇor mokṣākhyaṁ gacchanty anāmayam sarvopadravarahitam. S.

 

यदा ते मोहकलिलं बुद्धिर्व्यतितरिष्यति ।

तदा गन्तासि निर्वेदं श्रोतव्यस्य श्रुतस्य च ॥२- ५२॥

yadā te mohakalilaṁ buddhir vyatitariṣyati
tadā gantāsi nirvedaṁ śrotavyasya śrutasya ca 2.52

yadā1 te2 moha-kalilam3 buddhiḥ4 vyatitariṣyati5
tadā6 gantāsi7 nirvedam8 śrotavyasya9 śrutasya10 ca11

yadā1 = whenever; te2 = your; buddhiḥ4 = Buddhi, mind; vyatitariṣyati5 = goes beyond [passes the Rubicon of]; moha-kalilam3  = delusion-turbidity; tadā6 = at that moment; gantāsi7 = you will obtain; nirvedam8 = Vairagyam, dispassion, detachment; śrotavyasya9  = to what has to be heard, to scriptures; ca11 = and; śrutasya10 = to what has already been heard [other than Brahman Knowledge].  2.52

(2.52) When thy intelligence shall cross the turbidity of delusion, then shalt thou become indifferent to what has been heard and what is yet to be heard.

Scriptures are unnecessary for the man who has attained the insight. See II, 46; VI, 44. He who attains the wisdom of the Supreme passes beyond the range of the Vedas and the Upaniṣads. śabdabrahmātivartate.

श्रुतिविप्रतिपन्ना ते यदा स्थास्यति निश्चला ।

समाधावचला बुद्धिस्तदा योगमवाप्स्यसि ॥२- ५३॥

śruti-vipratipannā te yadā sthāsyati niścalā
samādhāv acalā buddhis tadā yogam avāpsyasi 2.53

śruti-vipratipannā1 yadā3 sthāsyati4 niścalā5
samādhāu6 acalā7 buddhiḥ8 tadā9 yogam10 avāpsyasi11

yadā3 = when; te2 = your; buddhiḥ8 = mind; śruti1A-vipratipannā1B = is perplexed1B by Vedas1A [=Vedas-state of perplexity from diverse statements]; [the mind] sthāsyati4 = becomes steady; niścalā5 = unshakable [= firm, immobile]; [and] acalā7 = steady [= immovable]; samādhāu6 = in Samadhi [mind steadfast in the Self]; [and] tadā9 = at that moment; avāpsyasi11 = you will reach; yogam10 = Yoga of enlightenment. 2.53

(2.53) When thy intelligence, which is bewildered by the Vedic texts, shall stand unshaken and stable in spirit (samādhi), then shalt thou attain to insight (yoga).

śrutivipratipannā: bewildered by the Vedic texts. As different schools of thought and practice profess to derive support from the Vedas, they bewilder.

samādhi is not loss of consciousness, but the highest kind of consciousness.1 The object with which the mind is in communion is the Divine Self. Buddhiyoga is the method by which we get beyond Vedic ritualism and do our duty without any attachment for the results of our action. We must act but with equanimity which is more important than any action. The question is not what shall we do, but how shall we do? In what spirit shall we let?

I It is what Plato means when he exhorts the soul to "collect and concentrate itself in its self." Phaedo, 83A.

The Characteristics of the Perfect Sage (RKN)

अर्जुन उवाच

स्थितप्रज्ञस्य का भाषा समाधिस्थस्य केशव ।

स्थितधीः किं प्रभाषेत किमासीत व्रजेत किम् ॥२- ५४॥

arjuna uvāca: sthitaprajñasya kā bhāṣā samādhisthasya keśava
sthitadhīḥ kiṁ prabhāṣeta kim āsīta vrajeta kim 2.54

arjuna uvāca: sthita-prajñasya12 bhāṣā3 samādhi-sthasya4 keśava5
sthita-dhīḥ6 kim7 prabhāṣeta8 kim9 āsīta10 vrajeta11 kim12

arjuna uvāca = Arjuna said: keśava5 = O Kesava, Krishna; 2 + bhāṣā3 = what2 language3 [how do you characterize a man]; samādhi-sthasya4 = of one immersed and absorbed in the Self; kim7 = how does; sthita-prajñasya1 = one who is steady in prajna or wisdom;  sthita-dhīḥ6 = man with steady wisdom; prabhāṣeta8 = speak; kim9 = how; āsīta10 = sit [does he sit]; kim12 = how;  vrajeta11 = [does he] move.  2.54

Arjuna said:

(2.54) What is the description of the man who has this firmly founded wisdom, whose being is steadfast in spirit, O Keśava (Kṛṣṇa)? How should the man of settled intelligence speak, how should he sit, how should he walk?

In the Hindu scheme of life, there is the last stage of saṁnyāsa where the ritual is abandoned and social obligations surrendered. The first stage is that of student discipleship, the second that of the householder, the third that of retreat and the fourth and the last is that of  total renunciation. Those who abandon the household life and adopt the homeless one are the renouncers. This state may be entered upon at any time, though normally it comes after the passage through the other three stages. The saṁnyāsins literally die to the world and even funeral rites are performed when they leave their homes and become parivrājakas or homeless wanderers. These developed souls by their very example, affect the society to which they no longer belong. They form the conscience of society. Their utterance is free and their vision untrammeled. Though they have their roots in the Hindu religious organization, they grow above it and by their freedom of mind and universality of outlook are a challenge to the corrupting power and cynical compromise of the authoritarians. Their supersocial life is a witness to the validity of ultimate values from which other social values derive. They are the sages, and Arjuna asks for some discernible signs, some distinguishing marks of such developed souls.

श्रीभगवानुवाच

प्रजहाति यदा कामान्सर्वान्पार्थ मनोगतान् ।

आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्टः स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते ॥२- ५५॥

śrībhagavān uvāca: prajahāti yadā kāmān sarvān pārtha manogatān
ātmany evā
tmanā tuṣṭaḥ sthitaprajñas tadocyate 2.55

śrībhagavān uvāca: prajahāti1 yadā2 kāmān3 sarvān4 pārtha5 manaḥ-gatān6
ātmani7 eva8 ātmanā9 tuṣṭaḥ10 sthita-prajñaḥ11 tadā12 ucyate13

śrībhagavān uvāca = Sri Bhagavan said: pārtha5 = O Partha, Arjuna: yadā2 = when; prajahāti1 = [one] relinquishes in full; kāmān3 sarvān4 = a whole slew4 of desires3; [that] manaḥ-gatān6 = have gone into the mind; tuṣṭaḥ10 = remains pleased;  ātmani7 = in his self; eva8 = alone; ātmanā9 = by his self;  tadā12 = at that time; [he] ucyate13 = is identified as; sthita-prajñaḥ11= one with steady wisdom. 2.55

The Blessed Lord said:

(2.55) When a man puts away all the desires of his mind, O Partha (Arjuna), and when his spirit is content in itself, then is he called stable in intelligence. Negatively, the state is one of freedom from selfish desires and positively, it is one of concentration on the Supreme.

दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः ।

वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते ॥२- ५६॥

duḥkheṣv anudvignamanāḥ sukheṣu vigataspṛhaḥ
vītarāgabhayakrodhaḥ sthitadhīr munir ucyate 2.56

duḥkheṣu1 anudvigna-manāḥ2 sukheṣu3 vigata-spṛhaḥ4
vīta5 rāga6 bhaya7 krodhaḥ8 sthita-dhīḥ9 muniḥ10 ucyate11

duḥkheṣu1 = free of sorrow; anudvigna-manāḥ2 = unagitated in mind; sukheṣu3 = in happiness; [and] vigata-spṛhaḥ4 = free from covetousness; vīta5 rāga6 bhaya7 krodhaḥ8 = free from5 desire6, fear7, anger8; muniḥ10 = [that] sage [one who observes Maunam or silence]; ucyate11 = is called; sthita-dhīḥ9  =  one of steady mind. 2.56

(2.56) He whose mind is untroubled in the midst of sorrows and is free from eager desire amid pleasures, he from whom passion, fear, and rage have passed away, he is called a sage of settled intelligence.

It is self-mastery, conquest of desire and passion that is insisted on.1

1Cpo Lucretius: "Religion does not consist in turning unceasingly toward the veiled stone, nor in approaching all the altars, nor in throwing oneself prostrate on the ground, nor in raising the hands before the habitations of gods, nor in deluging the temples with the blood of beasts, nor in heaping vows upon vows; but in beholding all with a peaceful soul." De rerum Natura.

यः सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभम् ।

नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ॥२- ५७॥

yaḥ sarvatrā nabhisnehas tattatprāpya śubhāśubham
bhinandati na dveṣṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā 2.57

yaḥ1 sarvatra2 anabhi-snehaḥ3 tat4 tat5 prāpya6 śubha-aśubham7
na8 abhinandati9 na10 dveṣṭi11 tasya12 prajñā13 pratiṣṭhitā14 2.57

yaḥ1 = He  who; [is] anabhi-snehaḥ3  = without attachment [fondness, affection, friendship]; [for] sarvatra2 = anything and everything; na8 + abhinandati9 = neither delights; na10 + dveṣṭi11 = nor detests; tat4 tat5 = that and that [= each, separately and severally]; subha-aśubham7 = good or bad [evil] things; prāpya6 = upon attaining them; tasya12 = his; prajñā13 = wisdom; pratiṣṭhitā14= remains steady. 2.57

(2.57). He who is without affection on any side, who does not rejoice or loathe as he obtains good or evil, his intelligence is firmly set (in wisdom).

■Flowers bloom and they fade. There is no need to praise the former and condemn the latter. We must receive whatever comes without excitement, pain or revolt.

यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वशः ।

इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ॥२- ५८॥

yadā saṁharate cā yaṁ kūrmo ṅgānī va sarvaśaḥ
indriyāṇī
ndriyārthebhyas tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā 2.58

yadā1 saṁharate2 ca3 ayam4 kūrmaḥ5 aṅgānī6 iva7 sarvaśaḥ8
indriyāṇī9 indriya-arthebhyaḥ10 tasya11 prajñā12 pratiṣṭhitā13

yadā1 = When;  ayam4 = this [one = Sannyasin]; ca3 = also; saṁharate2 = retracts inside;  indriyāṇī9 = sense organs; indriya-arthebhyaḥ10 = from  contact with sense objects;  iva7 = as; kūrmaḥ5 = a tortoise; [withdraws] aṅgānī6 = its limbs; sarvaśaḥ8 = completely [from all around]; tasya11 = his; prajñā12 = wisdom; pratiṣṭhitā13 = remains steady. 2.58

(2.58) He who draws away the senses from the objects of sense on every side as a tortoise draws in his limbs (into the shell), his intelligence is firmly set (in wisdom).

विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः ।

रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते ॥२- ५९॥

viṣayā vinivartante nirāhārasya dehinaḥ
rasavarjaṁ raso
py asya paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate 2.59

viṣayāḥ1 vinivartante2 nirāhārasya3 dehinaḥ4
rasa-varjam5 rasaḥ6 api7 asya8 param9 dṛṣṭvā10 nivartate11

viṣayāḥ1 = objects of sense organs; vinivartante2 = retreat; nirāhārasya3 + dehinaḥ4 = from the abstaining3 man's body4; rasa5A-varjam5B = except5B the taste5A; rasaḥ6 + api7 that enjoyment6; asya8 = of this person; nivartate11 = leaves, ceases to exist; dṛṣṭvā10 = after obtaining vision of, realization [of the Supreme]; param9 = Brahman.  2.59

(2.59) The objects of sense turn away from the embodied soul who abstains from feeding on them but the taste for them remains. Even the taste turns away when the Supreme is seen.

■The author is explaining the difference between outer abstention and inner renunciation. We may reject the objects but desire for them may remain.  Even the desire is lost when the Supreme is seen.1 The control should be both on the body and the mind. Liberation from the tyranny of the body is not enough; we must be liberated from the tyranny of desires also.

I Cp Kālidāsa: "They whose minds are not disturbed when the sources of disturbance are present, are the truly brave."

vikārahetau sati vikriyante

yesāṁ na cetāṁsi ta eva dhīrāh.  --Kumārasaṁbhava. I, 59.

यततो ह्यपि कौन्तेय पुरुषस्य विपश्चितः ।

इन्द्रियाणि प्रमाथीनि हरन्ति प्रसभं मनः ॥२- ६०॥

yatato hy api kaunteya puruṣasya vipaścitaḥ
indriyāṇi pramāthīni haranti prasabhaṁ manaḥ 2.60

yatataḥ1 hi2 api3 kaunteya4 puruṣasya5 vipaścitaḥ6
indriyāṇi7 pramāthīni8 haranti9 prasabham10 manaḥ11

kaunteya4 = O son of Kunti, Arjuna: pramāthīni8 = agitated; indriyāṇi7 = senses; haranti9 = carry away; manaḥ11 = the mind; vipaścitaḥ6 = of an intelligent; puruṣasya5 = person; prasabham10 = by force;  api3 = even; yatataḥ1 =  as he strives; hi2 = truly.  2.60

(2.60) Even though a man may ever strive (for perfection) and be ever so discerning, O Son of Kuntī (Arjuna), his impetuous senses will carry off his mind by force.

तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य युक्त आसीत मत्परः ।

वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ॥२- ६१॥

tāni sarvāṇi saṁyamya yukta āsīta matparaḥ
vaśe hi yasye indriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā 2.61

tāni1 sarvāṇi2 saṁyamya3 yuktaḥ4 āsīta5 mat-paraḥ6
vaśe7 hi8 yasya9 indriyāṇi10 tasya11 prajñā12 pratiṣṭhitā13

yuktaḥ4 = one with focused mind; mat-paraḥ6 = holding Me as the Supreme Refuge; saṁyamya3 = having subjugated or curbed; sarvāṇi2 = all; tāni1 = that [the senses]; [and] āsīta5 = sitting down;  yasya9 = whose;  indriyāṇi10 = sense organs; vaśe7 = under his own control or restraint; tasya11 = his; prajñā12 = wisdom; hi8 = indeed; pratiṣṭhitā13 = becomes steady. 2.61

(2.6I) Having brought all (the senses) under control, he should remain firm in yoga intent on Me; for he, whose senses are under control, his intelligence is firmly set.

matparaḥ: another reading is tatparaḥ. Self-discipline is not a matter of intelligence. It is a matter of will and emotions. Self-discipline is easy when there is vision of the Highest. See XII, 5. The original Yoga was theistic. Cp. also Yoga Sūtra, I" 24. kleśakarmavipākakśayair aparāmṛṣṭaḥ puruṣaviśeṣa Īśvaraḥ.

ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते ।

सङ्गात्संजायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते ॥२- ६२॥

dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ saṅgas teṣū pajāyate
saṅgāt saṁjāyate kāmaḥ kāmāt krodho
bhijāyate 2.62

dhyāyataḥ1 viṣayān2 puṁsaḥ3 saṅgaḥ4 teṣu5 upajāyate6
saṅgāt7 sañjāyate8 kāmaḥ9 kāmāt10 krodhaḥ11 abhijāyate12

puṁsaḥ3 = the man; dhyāyataḥ1 = while thinking of; viṣayān2 = objects of senses; upajāyate6 = there comes up; saṅgaḥ4 = attachment; teṣu5 = for those objects of senses; saṅgāt7 = from attachment;  sañjāyate8 = comes; kāmaḥ9 = desire;  kāmāt10 = from desire; abhijāyate12 = comes, springs; krodhaḥ11 = anger.  2.62

(2.62) When a man dwells in his mind on the objects of sense, attachment to them is produced. From attachment springs desire and from desire comes anger. 

kāma: desire. Desires may prove to be as resistless as the most powerful external forces. They may lift us into glory or hurl us into disgrace.

क्रोधाद्भवति संमोहः संमोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः ।

स्मृतिभ्रंशाद्बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति ॥२- ६३॥

krodhād bhavati saṁmohaḥ saṁmohāt smṛtivibhramaḥ
smṛtibhraṁśād buddhināśo buddhināśāt praṇaśyati 2.63

krodhāt1   bhavati2   saṁmohaḥ3   saṁmohāt4   smṛti-vibhramaḥ5
  smṛti-bhraṁśāt6   buddhināśaḥ7   buddhi-nāśāt8   praṇaśyati9

krodhāt1 = from anger;  bhavati2 = comes; saṁmohaḥ3 = delusion; saṁmohāt4 = from delusion;  smṛti-vibhramaḥ5 = loss of memory; smṛti-bhraṁśāt6 = from loss of memory; buddhināśaḥ7 = destruction of Buddhi;  buddhi-nāśāt8 = from loss of Buddhi; [he] praṇaśyati9 = perishes.  2.63

(2.63) From anger arises bewilderment, from bewilderment loss of memory; and from loss of memory, the destruction of intelligence and from the destruction of intelligence he perishes.

buddhināśā: destruction of intelligence. It is failure to discriminate between right and wrong. When the soul is overcome by passion, its memory is lost, its intelligence is obscured and the man is ruined. What is called for is not a forced isolation from the world or destruction of sense life but an inward withdrawal. To hate the senses is as wrong as to love them. The horses of senses are not to be unyoked from the chariot but controlled by the reins of the mind.

रागद्वेषवियुक्तैस्तु विषयानिन्द्रियैश्चरन् ।

आत्मवश्यैर्विधेयात्मा प्रसादमधिगच्छति ॥२- ६४॥

rāgadveṣaviyuktais tu viṣayān indriyaiś caran
ātmavaśyair vidheyātmā prasādam adhigacchati 2.64

rāga-dveṣa-vimuktaiḥ1 tu2 viṣayān4 indriyaiḥ5 caran6
ātma-vaśyaiḥ7 vidheyātmā8 prasādam9 adhigacchati10

tu2 = but; rāga1A-dveṣa1B-viyuktaiḥ1C = he who is free from1C likes1A and dislikes1B; caran6 = moving among; viṣayān4 = objects of sense; indriyaiḥ5 = with [the help of] organs such as eyes etc; ātma-vaśyaiḥ7 = under his control, under control of the mind; vidheyātmā8  = one who has self-control; adhigacchati10 = gains, attains; prasādam9 = calmness, grace of God.  2.64

(2.64) But a man of disciplined mind, who moves among the objects of sense, with the senses under control and free from attachment and aversion, he attains purity of spirit.

See V, 8. The stḥitaprajña has no selfish aims or personal hopes. He is not disturbed by the touches of outward things. He accepts what happens without attachment or repulsion, He covets nothing, is jealous of none. He has no desires and makes no demands.1

I Cp. with this the following description of disciplined seers or ṛṣis.

ūrdhavaretās tapasyugro niyatāśī ca saṁyamī

śāpānugrahayoś saktah. satyasandho bhaved ṛṣiḥ

taponirdhūtapāpmānaḥ tathyā tathyābhidhāyinaḥ

vedavedāngatattvajnā ṛṣayah parikīrtitāḥ.

प्रसादे सर्वदुःखानां हानिरस्योपजायते ।

प्रसन्नचेतसो ह्याशु बुद्धिः पर्यवतिष्ठते ॥२- ६५॥

prasāde sarvaduḥkhānāṁ hānir asyo pajāyate
prasannacetaso hy āśu buddhiḥ paryavatiṣṭhate 2.65

prasāde1 sarva2 duḥkhānām3 hāniḥ4 asya5 upajāyate6
prasanna-cetasaḥ7 hi8 āśu9 buddhiḥ10 pari11 avatiṣṭhate12

prasāde1 = When there is a placid state of mind; hāniḥ4 = eradication, destruction, removal; asya5  sarva2 duḥkhānām3 = of all2 his5 sorrows3upajāyate6= occurs, takes place; hi8 = Indeed; prasanna-cetasaḥ7 = of one whose mind is placid;  buddhiḥ10 = intuitive intelligence, wisdom; āśu9 = soon;  pari11 avatiṣṭhate12 = becomes established.  2.65

(2.65) And in that purity of spirit, there is produced for him an end of all sorrow; the intelligence of such a man of pure spirit is soon established (in the peace of the self).

नास्ति बुद्धिरयुक्तस्य न चायुक्तस्य भावना ।

न चाभावयतः शान्तिरशान्तस्य कुतः सुखम् ॥२- ६६॥

sti buddhir ayuktasya na cā yuktasya bhāvanā
na cā
bhāvayataḥ śāntir aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham 2.66.

na asti1 buddhiḥ2 ayuktasya3 na4 ca5 ayuktasya6 bhāvanā7
na8 ca9 abhāvayataḥ10 śāntiḥ11 aśāntasya12 kutaḥ13 sukham14

ayuktasya3 = for one who is unsteady; na asti1 = there is neither; buddhiḥ2 = intelligence, wisdom; ca5 = and; na4  = nor; bhāvanā7= meditation; ayuktasya6 = for the unsteady person; ca9 = and    abhāvayataḥ10 = for one who is not meditative; na8 = there is no; śāntiḥ11 = peace; kutaḥ13 = Where is; sukham14 = happiness; aśāntasya12 = for one without peace?

(2.66) For the uncontrolled, there is no intelligence; nor for the uncontrolled is there the power of concentration and for him without concentration, there is no peace and for the unpeaceful, how can there be happiness?

इन्द्रियाणां हि चरतां यन्मनोऽनु विधीयते ।

तदस्य हरति प्रज्ञां वायुर्नावमिवाम्भसि ॥२- ६७॥

indriyāṇāṁ hi caratāṁ yan mano nuvidhīyate
tad asya harati prajñāṁ vāyur nāvam ivā
mbhasi 2.67

indriyāṇām1 hi2 caratām3 yat4 manaḥ5 anuvidhīyate6
tat7 asya8 harati9 prajñām10 vāyuḥ11 nāvam12 iva13 ambhasi14

hi2 = for; yat4 manaḥ5 = the mind5 which4; anuvidhīyate6 = becomes involved in; caratām3 indriyāṇām1 =  wandering3 senses seeking their objects1; tat7 = that [mind];  harati9 = carries away; prajñām10 = discriminative wisdom; iva13 = like; vāyuḥ11 = the wind; [carries away]  asya8 =  his;  nāvam12 = boat; ambhasi14 = on the waters.  2.67

(2.67) When the mind runs after the roving senses, it carries away the understanding, even as a wind carries away a ship on the waters.

तस्माद्यस्य महाबाहो निगृहीतानि सर्वशः ।

इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ॥२- ६८॥

tasmād yasya mahābāho nigṛhītāni sarvaśaḥ
indriyāṇī
ndriyārthebhyas tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā 2.68

tasmāt1 yasya2 mahābāho3 nigṛhītāni4 sarvaśaḥ5
indriyāṇi6 indriya-arthebhyaḥ7 tasya8 prajñā9 pratiṣṭhitā10

yasya2 = his;  indriyāṇi6 = senses; nigṛhītāni4 = are withdrawn, drawn back or retracted; indriya-arthebhyaḥ7 = from the respective sense objects; sarvaśaḥ5 = in all their constituents like mind; tasmāt1 = therefore; mahābāho3 = O mighty-armed one; tasya8 prajñā9 pratiṣṭhitā10  = his8-wisdom9-becomes established10.  2.68

(2.68) Therefore, O Mighty-armed (Arjuna), he whose senses are all withdrawn from their objects his intelligence is firmly set.

या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी ।

यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुनेः ॥२- ६९॥

yā niśā sarvabhūtānāṁ tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī
yasyāṁ jāgrati bhūtāni sā niśā paśyato muneḥ 2.69

1 niśā2 sarva3 bhūtānām4 tasyām5 jāgarti6 saṁyamī7
yasyām8 jāgrati9 bhūtāni1011 niśā12 paśyataḥ13 muneḥ14

saṁyamī7 = the man with control of his sense organs;  jāgarti6 = is awake; 1 niśā2 = what is night; sarva3 bhūtānām4 = for all3 living beings4.  tasyām5 = in that [night]; yasyām8 = in which; bhūtāni10 = the beings, creatures; jāgrati9 = keep awake;  11 niśā12 paśyataḥ13 muneḥ14 = that is11 night12 for the seeing13 (Seer) Muni14 (the silent one or Sage).--2.69

(2.69) What is night for all beings is the time of waking for the disciplined soul; and what is the time of waking for all beings is night for the sage who sees (or the sage of vision).

When all beings are attracted by the glitter of sense-objects, the sage is intent on understanding reality. He is wakeful to the nature of reality to which the unwise is asleep or indifferent. The life of opposites which is the day or condition of activity for the unenlightened is night, a darkness of the soul to the wise. Cp. Goethe: "Error stands in the same relation to truth as sleeping to waking."

आपूर्यमाणमचलप्रतिष्ठं समुद्रमापः प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् ।

तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी ॥२- ७०॥

āpūryamāṇam acalapratiṣṭhaṁ samudram āpaḥ praviśanti yadvat
tadvat kāmā yaṁ praviśanti sarve sa śāntim āpnoti na kāmakāmī 2.70

āpūryamāṇam1 acala-pratiṣṭham2 samudram3 āpaḥ4 praviśanti5 yadvat6
tadvat7 kāmāḥ8 yam9 praviśanti10 sarve11 saḥ12 śāntim13 āpnoti14 na15 kāmakāmī16

yadvat6 = as;āpaḥ4 = water; praviśanti5 = flowing into; samudram3 = the ocean; āpūryamāṇam1 = brimming with water from all sides; acala-pratiṣṭham2 = remains steady without change;  tadvat7 = likewise; saḥ12 = that man; yam9 = into whom; sarve11 = all; kāmāḥ8 = desires;  praviśanti10 = flow into; āpnoti14 = attains; śāntim13 = peace; [it is] na15 + kāmakāmī16 = not so for the epicure (= kāma-kāmī, the person who seeks desires).-- 2.70

(2.70) He unto whom all desires enter as waters into the sea, which, though ever being filled is ever motionless, attains to peace and not he who hugs his desires.

विहाय कामान्यः सर्वान् पुमांश्चरति निःस्पृहः ।

निर्ममो निरहंकारः स शान्तिमधिगच्छति ॥२- ७१॥

vihāya kāmān yaḥ sarvān pumāṁś carati niḥspṛhaḥ
nirmamo nirahañkāraḥ sa śāntim adhigacchhati 2.71

vihāya1 kāmān2 yaḥ3 sarvān4 pumān5 carati6 niḥspṛhaḥ7
nirmamaḥ8 nirahañkāraḥ9 saḥ10 śāntim11 adhigacchhati12

yaḥ3 pumān5 = whoever person; adhigacchhati12 śāntim11 = 10 attains12 peace11; vihāya1 = after relinquishing, abandoning; sarvān4 = all; kāmān2 = desires; [and] carati6 = wanders; niḥspṛhaḥ7= free from desires, wants; nirmamaḥ8 = without a sense of Mine; saḥ10 = he; [is] nirahañkāraḥ9  = without ahamkara (ego). 2.71

(2.71) He who abandons all desires and acts free from longing, without any sense of mineness or egotism, he attains to peace.

Cp, the well-known saying of the Upaniṣad. "The human mind is of two kinds, pure and impure. That which is intent on securing its desires is impure; that which is free from attachment to desires is pure."1

Carati: acts. He freely and readily spends himself without measure for something intuitively apprehended as great and noble.

śāntim: peace; the suppression of all the troubles of earthly existences. 2

1 mano hi dvividhaṁ proktaṁ śuddhaṁ cāśuddham eva ca

aśuddham kāmasaṁkalpaṁ suddha kāmavivarjitam.