An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Bhagwad Gita Chapter 2: Jnana Yoga – Yoga of Knowledge

  1. Said Sanjaya,” Seeing Arjuna thus filled with compassion, his tearful eyes and melancholic mood, Madhusudhana spoke these words.”
  2. The Supreme Lord said, ” From where did these impure thoughts came to you at this critical juncture, thoughts of a disrespectful man, that cause infamy and disqualify one from heavenly life?
  3. “O Chastiser of Enemies, do not succumb to cowardliness. It does not suit you. Give up the lowly weakness of your heart and stand up.”
  4. Arjuna said, ” O Madhusudhana, how can I fight against persons like Bhishma and Drona, countering them with arrows, when they are fit for worship?
  5. “It is better to lead the life of a beggar in this world than to kill these great souls who are my teachers and superiors. If we kill them we have to live and enjoy the rest of our lives with blood stained hands.
  6. “Nor do we know what is good for us, whether to conquer them or be conquered by them. Certainly by killing the sons of Dhritarashtra, we would not wish to live. Yet they are all now standing there in front of us in the battle field.
  7. “Afflicted with the impurity of meekness and confused in my heart as to my duty (dharma), I am beseeching you to tell me clearly what is in my interest. I am now your disciple. Please do instruct me and help me as I have now surrendered to you.
  8. “Even if I have sovereignty over an unrivalled and prosperous kingdom of the divinities in heaven, I do not think I will be able to drive away my grief that is now drying up my senses, .”
  9. Sanjaya said, “Thus expressing (his grief) to Krishna, Arjuna said to Him,’ I will not fight,’ and became silent.
  10. “O Dhritarashtra, at that time, amidst the battle filed, with a gentle smile, Krishna spoke the following words to the grief stricken Arjuna.”
  11. The supreme Lord said, “You are grieving for that which is not to be grieved for. Yet you are speaking like a great scholar. A true scholar would not worry about life that has ended or not ended.
  12. “There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings. Nor will we ever cease to exist in future.
  13. “Just as the embodied soul passes from childhood to youth to old age, it also passes from one body to another. The undaunted person therefore is not deluded.
  14. “Heat and cold, pleasure and pain arise merely because of the contact of the senses with the sense objects. They are fleeting. Therefore O Arjuna, try to tolerate them.
  15. “O chief among men, that person is eligible for immortality who is not troubled by the sense and who is equal in both happiness and sorrow.
  16. “Asat (unreality) knows nothing about existence while Sat (reality) of non-existence. The seers who had the vision of both concluded thus about the two.
  17. “Know that which is pervading all this as indestructible. No one is capable of destroying it.
  18. “This physical body is perishable. But the embodied soul is described as indestructible, eternal and immeasurable. Therefore do fight O Bharata.
  19. “Neither the one who thinks it kills nor the one who thinks it is killed do not know the truth. This neither kills nor gets killed.
  20. “The soul is never born nor does it die at any time. It has neither past nor future. It is unborn, ever existing, permanent and ancient. When the body is slain neither it is killed not it kills.
  21. “O Partha, he who knows that the soul is indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible, how can he injure or kill any one?
  22. “Just as a man discards worn out clothes and puts on new clothes, the soul discards worn out bodies and wears new ones.
  23. “The soul cannot be pierced by weapons, burnt by fire, moistened by water or dried by wind.
  24. “The soul is impenetrable, incombustible, unchangeable, , certainly ever existing, all-pervading, fixed, immovable, and ever continuing.
  25. “It is said that the soul is unmanifest, incognizible,and immutable. Knowing this about the soul you should not grieve.
  26. “Even if you think that the soul is subject to birth and death, then also there is no cause for worry, O mighty armed.
  27. “It is a fact that that which is born is certain to die and that the one which has died is bound to take birth. There do not worry about doing an unavoidable.
  28. “All created beings were unmanifest in the beginning, manifest themselves in the middle and become unmanifest again when they die in the end. If this is so then where is the need for lamentation?
  29. “Some behold the soul with amazement, some speak of it with amazement. Some hear of it with amazement, yet some even after hearing about it know it not.
  30. “The soul that exists in the body of everyone cannot be slaughtered. Therefore you need not have to lament over the death any living being.
  31. “Besides considering your duty as a warrior also, you should not dither since for the sake of your duty as a warrior there is no better engagement for you than fighting.
  32. “Happy indeed are those warriors, who reach unexpectedly the wide open portal of heaven unsought by getting an opportunity like this to fight. Therefore O Partha, take advantage of this situation and fight.
  33. “Besides, if you do not fight this righteous war and perform your prescribed duty as a warrior, you will lose your reputation as a famous warrior and incur sin.
  34. “People will narrate forever stories of your infamy. For a respectable man infamy is worse than death.
  35. “The great charioteers, who hold you in great esteem, would say that you ran away from the battle field out of fear. Thus your reputation will go down.
  36. “Your enemies will blame your abilities using many unkind words. What could be more painful than this?
  37. Said Sanjaya,” Seeing Arjuna thus filled with compassion, his tearful eyes and melancholic mood, Madhusudhana spoke these words.”
  38. The Supreme Lord said, ” From where did these impure thoughts came to you at this critical juncture, thoughts of a disrespectful man, that cause infamy and disqualify one from heavenly life?
  39. “O Chastiser of Enemies, do not succumb to cowardliness. It does not suit you. Give up the lowly weakness of your heart and stand up.”
  40. Arjuna said, ” O Madhusudhana, how can I fight against persons like Bhishma and Drona, countering them with arrows, when they are fit for worship?
  41. “It is better to lead the life of a beggar in this world than to kill these great souls who are my teachers and superiors. If we kill them we have to live and enjoy the rest of our lives with blood stained hands.
  42. “Nor do we know what is good for us, whether to conquer them or be conquered by them. Certainly by killing the sons of Dhritarashtra, we would not wish to live. Yet they are all now standing there in front of us in the battle field.
  43. “Afflicted with the impurity of meekness and confused in my heart as to my duty (dharma), I am beseeching you to tell me clearly what is in my interest. I am now your disciple. Please do instruct me and help me as I have now surrendered to you.
  44. “Even if I have sovereignty over an unrivalled and prosperous kingdom of the divinities in heaven, I do not think I will be able to drive away my grief that is now drying up my senses, .”
  45. Sanjaya said, “Thus expressing (his grief) to Krishna, Arjuna said to Him,’ I will not fight,’ and became silent.
  46. “O Dhritarashtra, at that time, amidst the battle filed, with a gentle smile, Krishna spoke the following words to the grief stricken Arjuna.”
  47. The supreme Lord said, “You are grieving for that which is not to be grieved for. Yet you are speaking like a great scholar. A true scholar would not worry about life that has ended or not ended.
  48. “There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings. Nor will we ever cease to exist in future.
  49. “Just as the embodied soul passes from childhood to youth to old age, it also passes from one body to another. The undaunted person therefore is not deluded.
  50. “Heat and cold, pleasure and pain arise merely because of the contact of the senses with the sense objects. They are fleeting. Therefore O Arjuna, try to tolerate them.
  51. “O chief among men, that person is eligible for immortality who is not troubled by the sense and who is equal in both happiness and sorrow.
  52. “Asat (unreality) knows nothing about existence while Sat (reality) of non-existence. The seers who had the vision of both concluded thus about the two.
  53. “Know that which is pervading all this as indestructible. No one is capable of destroying it.
  54. “This physical body is perishable. But the embodied soul is described as indestructible, eternal and immeasurable. Therefore do fight O Bharata.
  55. “Neither the one who thinks it kills nor the one who thinks it is killed do not know the truth. This neither kills nor gets killed.
  56. “The soul is never born nor does it die at any time. It has neither past nor future. It is unborn, ever existing, permanent and ancient. When the body is slain neither it is killed not it kills.
  57. “O Partha, he who knows that the soul is indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible, how can he injure or kill any one?
  58. “Just as a man discards worn out clothes and puts on new clothes, the soul discards worn out bodies and wears new ones.
  59. “The soul cannot be pierced by weapons, burnt by fire, moistened by water or dried by wind.
  60. “The soul is impenetrable, incombustible, unchangeable, , certainly ever existing, all-pervading, fixed, immovable, and ever continuing.
  61. “It is said that the soul is unmanifest, incognizible,and immutable. Knowing this about the soul you should not grieve.
  62. “Even if you think that the soul is subject to birth and death, then also there is no cause for worry, O mighty armed.
  63. “It is a fact that that which is born is certain to die and that the one which has died is bound to take birth. There do not worry about doing an unavoidable.
  64. “All created beings were unmanifest in the beginning, manifest themselves in the middle and become unmanifest again when they die in the end. If this is so then where is the need for lamentation?
  65. “Some behold the soul with amazement, some speak of it with amazement. Some hear of it with amazement, yet some even after hearing about it know it not.
  66. “The soul that exists in the body of everyone cannot be slaughtered. Therefore you need not have to lament over the death any living being.
  67. “Besides considering your duty as a warrior also, you should not dither since for the sake of your duty as a warrior there is no better engagement for you than fighting.
  68. “Happy indeed are those warriors, who reach unexpectedly the wide open portal of heaven unsought by getting an opportunity like this to fight. Therefore O Partha, take advantage of this situation and fight.
  69. “Besides, if you do not fight this righteous war and perform your prescribed duty as a warrior, you will lose your reputation as a famous warrior and incur sin.
  70. “People will narrate forever stories of your infamy. For a respectable man infamy is worse than death.
  71. “The great charioteers, who hold you in great esteem, would say that you ran away from the battle field out of fear. Thus your reputation will go down.
  72. “Your enemies will blame your abilities using many unkind words. What could be more painful than this?

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Also read:  Bhagwad Gita is not a Message. Not a book. It is a Process.

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