Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Shrimad Bhagavad Gita > Gita By Acharyas > Gita 02 Sankhya Yoga

Ch 2-Sankhya Yoga

Yoga Through the Principle of Analysis

When the jiva accepts the shelter of a sad-guru, he realises his ignorance. He then tries to become free from the illusory traps of maya by giving up his independent thoughts and respecting the instructions of Shri Gurudeva. Since the sad-guru is a tattva-darsi ekantikaprema-bhakta, he is free from the four defects of being illusioned, making mistakes, having imperfect senses, and cheating. When the sadhaka hears the instructions from the lotus mouth of his merciful Shri Gurudeva, he understand the differencebetween the atma and the material body. He also realises the ill-effects of sense enjoyment, and becomes attracted to hearing the thoughts, characteristics and glories of the stitha -prajna munis. Then, by the influence of sadhu sanga , an aware ness sprouts within his heart of the need to attain tattva-jnana.

The Glories of Chapter Two (Mahatmya)

Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, you have heard from Me the glories of the First Chapter of Bhagavad-gita Now please listen carefully, as I tell you the glories of the Second Chapter.

Once in the South in the town of Pandharpur, a very learned brahmana by the name of Devashyama lived. He was able to perform all kinds of fire sacrifices. He also knew the importance of receiving guest. And by his activities he managed to satisfy all the demigods. But he was not happy and peaceful in his heart and mind. He had the desire to attain knowledge of the soul’s relationship with the Supersoul, Paramatma, and towards this end he would invite many yogis and tapasvis, and render all kinds of service to them and inquire from them about the Absolute Truth. In this way he passed many years of his life.

One day, while he was walking, he saw one yogi in front of him, sitting cross-legged with his eyes fixed on the tip of his nose, totally absorbed in meditation. Devashyama could perceive that this yogi was completely peaceful, and without any material desires. Devashyama, with the greatest respect and reverence, fell at the feet of that yogi, and inquired from him, how he could attain complete peace of mind. At that time, that yogi, who had complete knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, advised Devashyama to go to the village of Sowpur and meet one Mitravan; who was a goat-herder by profession, and take instructions in the science of God-realization from him. After hearing this, Devashyama again and again offered his respectful obeisances at the feet of that yogi and immediately left for Sowpur. When he arrived there he found on the northern side, one beautiful forest where he was informed that Mitravan lived. When he entered that forest, he saw on the bank of a small river, Mitravan seated on top of some rocks.
Mitravan looked very beautiful and totally peaceful. In that forest the wind was blowing very gently and a beautiful aroma was emanating from every direction. The goats were peacefully moving here and there, totally unafraid. Some were seen to be sitting next to tigers and other ferocious animals very peacefully.

When Devashyama saw this scene, his mind became very peaceful, and he respectfully approached Mitravan and sat close to him. Mitravan appeared to be fully absorbed in his meditation. After some time Devashyama inquired from him, how he would be able to attain devotion to Lord Krishna. When Mitravan heard this question, for a moment he was lost in deep thought. Then he replied, “My dear learned Devashyama, once long ago, I was in the forest looking after the goats, when a very ferocious tiger attacked. At that time all the goats ran here and there to save themselves. I also ran off, due to fear of that tiger. From some distance I looked back and saw that that tiger on the bank of this river encountered one of my goats. At that time a strange and wonderful thing happened. That tiger lost all his anger and desire to eat my goat. Thereupon, my goat inquired from that tiger, “You have attained your food, so why are you not eating the meat of my body? You should immediately kill me, and with great relish eat up my flesh. Why are you hesitating?”

That tiger said, “My dear goat, since I have come to this place, all anger has left me, and I have no hunger or thirst”. The goat said, “I also do not know why I am feeling so fearless and peaceful. What can be the reason for this? If you know, then kindly inform me”.

The tiger replied, “I also do not know. Let us inquire from that person” When I saw this change take place in the activities of that tiger and goat, I become very much astonished. At that time they both approached me, and inquired as to the reason. I noticed that a monkey was sitting on the branch of a nearby tree. I went along with the two of them and inquired from that monkey-king. That monkey replied to our question with great respect.

“Listen, I will tell you, it is a very old story. In that forest, just in front of you, there is a very large temple in which Lord Brahma installed a Shivalinga. Long ago, a learned sage of the name Sukama, who had performed many austerities, lived there. Daily he would bring flowers from the forest and water from the river, and worship Lord Shiva.

In this way he was living here for many years, when one day one sage arrived. At that time, Sukama brought fruits and water and fed that sage. After the sage had eaten and rested, Sukama spoke to him. “Oh learned one, only for the reason of obtaining knowledge of Lord Krishna, am I living here, performing austerities and worship. But the results of my austerities have been attained today by coming in contact with you.”

When the sage heard the words of Sukama, which were full of submission, he became greatly pleased. And he wrote on one piece of stone the Second Chapter Shrimad Bhagavad-gita. He then instructed Sukama to daily read those verses. “By so doing, you will quickly attain your goal.” After having spoken thus, that sage disappeared from that place while Sukama was looking on. After that, following the instructions of that sage, Sukama recited those verses daily for the rest of his life. Very quickly he attained complete knowledge of Lord Krishna. And from the day he started reciting those verses, he felt no more thirst or hunger.

And due to this austerities and devotion, at this place, any one who visits here does not, feel the pangs of hunger and thirst, and immediately attains complete peace.”

Mitravan said, “My dear Devashyama, after the monkey had finished telling us that wonderful story, I along with the tiger and goat went to that temple. We found there written on a piece of stone the Second Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita. And I started to recite those verses daily. In this way, we were able to attain very quickly devotion to Lord Krishna. My dear brahmana, if you also start reciting the verses of the Second Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, you will very quickly attain the mercy of Lord Krishna.”

Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, in this way Devashyama attained knowledge from Mitravan and after worshipping that great soul, he returned to Pandharpur and daily recited that Second Chapter. And whoever visited Pandharpur, Devashyama would first recite before him the Second Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita. In this way Devashsyama attained the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.

My dear Lakshmi these are the glories of the Second Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita.

Ch 2 Verse 1

sanjaya uvaca
tam tatha kripayavishtam / ashru-purnakulekshanam
vishidantam idam vakyam / uvaca madhusudanah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.1 <>

sanjaya uvaca---Sanjaya said; madhusudanah---Shri Madhusudana; tatha---thus; uvaca---spoke; idam---these; vakyam---words; tam---unto him (Arjuna); vishidantam---the lamenting; avishtam--- overwhelmed; kripaya---with compassion; (and whose) akula--- restless; ikshanam---eyes; (were) ashru-purna---full of tears.

Sanjaya said: Shri Madhusudana thus spoke these words to the lamenting Arjuna, who was overwhelmed with compassion and whose restless eyes were full of tears.

Ch 2 Verse 2

shri bhagavan uvaca
kutas tva kashmalam idam / vishame samupasthitam
anarya-jushtam asvargyam / akirtti-karam arjuna

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.2 <>

shri-bhagavan uvaca---Shri Bhagavan said; arjuna---O Arjuna; kutah---whence?; (has) idam---this; kashmalam---delusion; samupasthitam---come; tva---to you; vishame---in these adverse circumstances; (it is) jushtam---practised; anarya---by the non- Aryans; (it is) karam---the cause of; akirtti---infamy; (it) asvargyam---does not lead to Svarga.

Shri Bhagavan said: O Arjuna, what is the cause of your delusion at this crucial hour? This is not at all proper for an Aryan. It will neither enhance your reputation nor lead you to Svarga-loka.


In this Second Chapter, Bhagavan Shri Krishnacandra delineates the symptoms of liberated persons. He removes the darkness caused by lamentation and delusion by first giving the wisdom to discriminate between matter and spirit (the self).

Kashmalam means delusion, vishame means at this crucial moment or at the crisis of battle, kutah means what is the cause? And upasthitam means it has taken shelter in you. The word anarya-jushtam implies that this action would not be appreciated by noble or respectable persons, and asvargyam akirti-karam means that this action is unfavourable for the attainment of both mundane and transcendental happiness.


Dhritarashtra was pleased to know that even before the battle began, a religious feeling (dharma-pravritti) had suddenly awakened within Arjuna's heart. Arjuna was expressing aversion to facing the battle by adhering to the principle of nonviolence, considering it to be the supreme dharma (ahimsa paramo dharmah). Dhritarashtra deliberated as follows: .It would be fortuitous for us if this battle did not take place, because my sons could then be permanent sovereigns of the kingdom, without any obstacle.. However, he still inquired as to what happened next.

Sanjaya, who was endowed with fine intelligence, could understand Dhritarashtra.s inner motive; thus he very expertly detected the inference, and crushed the hopes of the blind king. He said, 'Even after seeing Arjuna in such a condition, Bhagavan Shri Krishna has not neglected him. Rather, He will instil that same natural propensity into the heart of Arjuna with which He annihilated Madhu and other asuras. Through Arjuna, He will arrange the death of all your sons. Therefore, do not harbour any hope of attaining the kingdom without a battle.'

Sanjaya continued describing to Dhritarashtra the statements of Shri Krishna. 'To fight is the sva-dharma (prescribed duty) of kshatriyas. Why, at this time of battle, are you becoming averse to your sva-dharma? To lose interest in this dharmayuddha (righteous battle) is unfavourable for any higher attainment (anarya-jushta) that will give you moksha, Svarga and fame. Such loss of interest destroys reputation and happiness in this material world (akirti-kara).'

Ch 2 Verse 3

klaibyam ma sma gamah partha
naitat tvayy upapadyate
kshudram hridaya-daurbalyam
tyaktvottishtha parantapa

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.3 <>

partha---O Partha; ma sma gamah---do not take to; klaibyam---cowardice; etat.this; (is) na---not; upapadyate---befitting; tvayi---unto you; tyaktva---giving up; kshudram---petty; daurbalyam---weakness; hridaya---of heart; parantapa---O chastiser of the enemy; uttishtha---arise.

O Partha, do not yield to such cowardice; it does not befit you. Abandon this petty weakness of heart, O Parantapa, and arise to do battle.


Here the word klaibyam means unworthiness or impotence in the form of cowardice. Krishna is saying, 'O Partha, in spite of being the son of Pritha, you are behaving like a coward.' For this purpose, Shri Bhagavan uses the words: ma sma gamah. 'Do not be a coward.' He is saying, 'Such apparent cowardice befits a low-class kshatriya. But you are My friend. Therefore in no way does it befit you.' Arjuna may say, 'O Krishna, do not doubt my lack of courage. I am enthusiastic to fight. Rather, please understand that from a dharmika point of view my decision not to fight is a sign of discrimination, to show respect to my gurus such as Bhishma and Drona; and it is a symptom of my compassion for the sons of Dhritarashtra, who are weak and about to die from wounds caused by my weapons. 'Krishna replies, 'My answer to this is kshudram; this is not discrimination and compassion, but lamentation and delusion. Both reveal the weakness of your mind. Therefore, O Parantapa, abandon this weakness of heart and stand up and fight.' Para refers to enemies and tapa to the act of chastising them.


Shri Bhagavan said, 'For kshatriyas who are brave and situated in their sva-dharma, to be cowardly in battle is not befitting or glorious. Having been born of Pritha from the portion of Devaraja Indra, you are as brilliant and powerful as he. Besides this, since I am maha-maheshvara, the Supreme Controller, and you are My friend, you are therefore very influential; so it is not befitting for you to be cowardly. If you claim that such behaviour is not cowardice but wisdom and compassion, then My reply is that this is not true. This is not wisdom and compassion; it is lamentation and delusion born from weakness of mind. Wisdom and compassion do not give rise to confusion and delusion. From your previous statement, na ca shaknomy avasthatum bhramativa ca me manah (Gita 1.30), it is clear that your mind is reeling.' It is appropriate to mention here that, once being pleased by the service of Kunti, the sage Durvasa gave her a boon in the form of a mantra by which she could summon any devata to appear before her and fulfil her desires. On the order of Maharaja Pandu, Kunti chanted that mantra to call Dharma (Yamaraja), Vayu and Indra. As a result, Yudhishthira, Bhima and Arjuna, respectively, were born. Through the twin Ashvini Kumaras, Pandu's second wife, Madri, gave birth to Nakula and Sahadeva.

Ch 2 Verse 4

arjuna uvaca
katham bhishmam aham sankhye / dronan ca madhusudana
ishubhih pratiyotsyami / pujarhav arisudana

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.4 <>

arjunah uvaca---Arjuna said; madhusudana---O Madhusudana; arisudana---O slayer of the enemies; katham---how?; aham pratiyotsyami---shall I counter-attack; ishubhih---with arrows; sankhye---in battle; bhishmam---Grandsire Bhishma; ca---and; dronam---Dronacarya; puja-arhau---who are worthy of my worship.

Arjuna said: O Madhusudana! O Arisudana, slayer of enemies! How can I fight with arrows in battle Grandsire Bhishma and Dronacarya, who are my worshipable superiors?


In answering the question as to why he is not fighting, Arjuna claims that, according to dharma-shastra, violating the honour of a worshipable personality brings inauspiciousness. "Therefore I shall not fight." To support his action he speaks this shloka, beginning with katham. If Krishna says, "Bhishma and Drona are fighting against you, so how can you not fight back?" then Arjuna may answer, "Because I consider them to be puja-arhau, worshipable, it is therefore right that I not fight them. Is it proper for me to angrily pierce with sharp arrows those persons at whose feet I should offer flowers with devotion? No, it is not proper." By addressing Shri Krishna as Madhusudana, Arjuna is presenting this logic: "O dear friend, You have also killed enemies in battle, but You have not killed Your guru, Sandipani Muni, nor Your relatives, the Yadus. O You who are known as Madhusudana (killer of Madhu), are Madhus (enemies) Yadus (Your relatives)? No, this is not so. Madhu was Your enemy (ari ), therefore have addressed You as Arisudana, the killer of enemies."


Sandipani Muni was a famous sage belonging to the Kashyapa dynasty, who lived in the city of Avanti, the present-day Ujjain. While enacting Their human-like pastimes in order to set an example for others, jagad-guru Shri Krishna and Baladeva accepted him as Their shiksha-guru. While living in his ashrama, They performed the pastime of learning the sixty-four arts in sixty-four days. In his Dig-darshini commentary on Shrimad- Bhagavatam, Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has indicated that Sandipani Muni was a Shaivite, a follower of Lord Shiva. Why, then, did Krishna and Baladeva accept him as Their guru? In answer to this, Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura writes that if They had accepted a Vaishnava guru , he would have immediately recognised Shri Krishna as Svayam Bhagavan, and the pastime of learning would not have taken place. Therefore, these two brothers intentionally went to the Shaivite Sandipani Muni, son of the renowned Yogamaya- Paurnamasi of Vraja. The famous friends of Krishna, Madhumangala and Nandimukhi, are the son and daughter of Sandipani Muni.

Ch 2 Verse 5

gurun ahatva hi mahanubhavan
shreyo bhoktum bhaikshyam apiha loke
hatvartha-kamams tu gurun ihaiva
bhunjiya bhogan rudhira-pradigdhan

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.5 <>

hi---certainly; (it is) shreyah---better; bhoktum---to maintain my life; iha loke---in this world; bhaikshyam---by begging; ahatva--- by not killing; maha-anubhavan---great personalities; (who are my) gurun---gurus; api---even though; artha-kaman---motivated by wealth; (they are) eva---certainly; gurun---superiors; tu--- but; hatva---by killing; iha---in this world; bhunjiya---one has to enjoy; bhogan---sense enjoyments; pradigdhan---tainted; rudhira---with blood.

It would be better to maintain my life in this world by begging than to kill these great personalities who are my gurus. Even though motivated by material gain, they remain my superiors. After killing them, any worldly enjoyment I might attain would certainly be tainted by their blood.


Arjuna is saying to Krishna, "If You ask how I will maintain my life if I do not desire to accept the kingdom, my answer is that it is better for me to eat food acquired by begging, an act condemned for kshatriyas, than to kill my gurus. Even though I may be defamed in this world for such an act, inauspiciousness will not fall upon me. It is not proper to abandon my gurus simply because they are following the proud and adharmika Duryodhana, who is unable to discriminate between what is just and what is not. If You say that it is recommended in dharma-shastra (Mahabharata Udyoga Parva) to reject the guru if he is proud, unable to discriminate between good and bad actions and engaged in abominable activities, then my reply is, mahanubhavan, "Where is the possibility of these defects in such personalities as Bhishma and Drona, who have conquered lust, time and so forth?" It may then be argued: although a man is a servant of wealth, wealth is not the servant of anyone. This is confirmed in Bhishma's statement to Yudhishthira Maharaja: "O Maharaja, it is true that I am bound by the wealth of the Kauravas." Thus, if You say that his reputation as a mahanubhavan (great personality) has already been ruined by the word artha-kami (one desirous of wealth), then I must reply,"Yes, this is true." Still, if I kill them, I will only feel distress. For that reason I am using the word artha-kaman (desirous of wealth). How can I enjoy the objects of the senses if I kill all of the Kauravas, who are very greedy for wealth, when such sense objects will be tainted with their blood? In other words, despite their greed for wealth, they will always be my gurus. I will become a traitor by killing them, and any pleasure derived will be adulterated with sinful deeds..


As though inattentive to Krishna.s words, due to being overpowered by grief and delusion, Arjuna once more asserted, "I consider it extremely inauspicious and sinful to kill my gurus, Dronacarya, Kripacarya and my most worshipable Grandsire Bhishma, who are standing before me in this battle array, what to speak of my own family members and relatives, just for the sake of this petty material kingdom. The chance of a place in the higher planets is completely lost for one who kills such gurus. Therefore, I consider it better to maintain my life in this world by begging."

It is stated in the Kurma Purana:

upadhyayah pita jyeshtha-bhrata caiva mahi-patih
matulah shvasuras trata matamaha-pitamahau
bandhur jyeshthah pitrivyash ca pumshyete guravah smritah

He who instructs the Vedas, the father, elder brother, king, maternal uncle, father-in-law, protector, maternal grandparents, paternal grandparents, relatives and those who are elderly all are considered one.s gurus.

Shri Dronacarya and Kripacarya were born in high-class brahmana families. Besides knowledge of dhanur-veda (the science of archery), they were also scholars of the Vedas and dharma-shastras and were dharmika by nature. Even on the battlefield, Arjuna saw them as his gurus. Dronacarya, who had foreseen the possibility of war, made Arjuna take a vow that, if for any reason they came face to face in battle, Arjuna must fight with him.

Grandsire Bhishma, the son of King Shantanu and Ganga devi, remained a lifelong celibate. According to Shrimad- Bhagavatam (9.22.19), he was a bhakta of Shri Krishna, extremely chivalrous, in control of his senses, generous, a knower of the Absolute Truth and, by vow, bound to speak the truth. Even death was under his control. He is prominent among the twelve mahajanas:

svayambhur naradah shambhuh / kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhishmo / balir vaiyasakir vayam

Shrimad-Bhagavatam 6.3.20

Thus Bhishma, the knower of the Absolute Truth and the spiritual master of the whole world, was Arjuna's teacher in the same category as Dronacarya. Even though he supported the Kauravas in their fight against the Pandavas, who were devotees of Shri Krishna, he is Krishna's very dear bhakta and he acts only for His pleasure. Bhishma is counted among the jnani- bhaktas. He said to Yudhishthira Maharaja, "What can I do? I am completely bound by the wealth (salary) of the Kauravas. Although it is not my desire, I have to fight on their side. But I give you this boon: you will be victorious in the battle."

Here, Grandsire Bhishma externally appears to be greedy for wealth and dependent on others, but in fact he is the master of his senses and supremely independent. Therefore, to glorify him in the present shloka, Shuddha-Sarasvati has combined the two words hi and mahanubhavan into himahanubhavan. Hima indicates ice or snow. That which destroys hima is called himaha, sun or fire, and anubhavan means one who has the capability. Therefore, a person who is extremely powerful like the sun or fire is himahanubhavan. The powerful sun and fire can burn all impure objects without becoming contaminated themselves. They always remain pure. Similarly, Bhishma is himahanubhavan, a greatly powerful person. It is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.29) that fire can burn all pure and impure objects and is thus known as sarva-bhuk, that which can consume everything without becoming impure itself. Similarly, even if a pure and powerful person appears to transgress the principles or etiquette of dharma, he remains completely free from all defects.

Someone may say that the powerful Bhishma committed no injustice by taking the side of the Kauravas and fighting the Pandavas. One may question, however, how Krishna's paramabhakta could pierce the body of his worshipable Lord with sharp arrows? Is this a symptom of his bhakti? In answer it is said:

1) To allure the asuras, Shri Krishna made His great devotee Mahadeva, Shankara. preach mayavada which is nothing but covered Buddhism and is against the principles of the Vedas. From an external perspective this does not seem to be bhakti, but from the transcendental perspective it is bhakti, because Mahadeva simply carried out the order of Bhagavan to bewilder the asuras.

2) Mahadeva, being a great devotee of Krishna, assisted Him in relieving the earth of asurika forces by instigating and supporting Banasura.s fight against the Lord. Alone, Banasura would never have dared to fight with Krishna, and thereby would not have been eliminated. Just as Mahadeva, taking the side of his own devotee, Banasura, personally fought with Shri Krishna, similarly Grandsire Bhishma is siding with the Kauravas and fighting against his Lord. Where, then, is the question of his bhakti being lost?

3) To relieve Mother Earth from the burden of asurika forces, Shri Krishna wanted to annihilate them in the Mahabharata conflict and thus re-establish dharma. If Grandsire Bhishma and gurus like Dronacarya and others had not assisted the opposing asurika side, then the battle at Kurukshetra would never have been possible. Therefore, by omniscient Shri Krishna.s own will, yogamaya inspired Bhishma to fight on the side of the opposing party. Thus, Bhishma performed this act for the pleasure of Krishna.

4) In his commentary on a shloka from Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains that in the Mahabharata war, by the will of Shri Krishna, an asurika mood entered Grandsire Bhishma.s heart. Imbued with that mood, he aimed sharp arrows at Krishna, otherwise, it would have been impossible for a shuddha-bhakta like Bhishma to act in such a way.

5) The parama-bhakta Grandsire Bhishma teaches ordinary sadhakas that even if a person of his exalted status accepts the food or association of materialistic persons, his mind will become contaminated and his discrimination lost.

6) Shri Bhagavan understood that Jaya and Vijaya wanted to satisfy Him by fulfilling His desire to fight. He therefore inspired the four Kumaras to visit Him and, in order to infuse inimical thoughts into the hearts of Jaya and Vijaya, He intentionally had the four Kumaras curse them. This curse was just a pretence, because there is no possibility of any anger existing in Vaikuntha, what to speak of a curse. In fact, for the satisfaction and pleasure of Shri Bhagavan, Jaya and Vijaya personally begged to have an inimical mood and by doing so there was no diminution in their bhakti.

Had Grandsire Bhishma shown any symptom of desiring to kill Krishna instead of pleasing Him, he would have fallen from his position as a bhakta forever. Grandsire Bhishma offered the following prayer glorifying Shri Krishna on the battlefield at Kurukshetra:

yudhi turaga-rajo-vidhumra-vishvak
kaca- lulita-shramavary-alankritasye
mama nishita-sharair vibhidyamana
tvaci vilasat-kavace 'stu krishna atma
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.34

While commenting on this shloka, Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives a very rasika description of Grandsire Bhishma's bhakti-bhava by saying that Bhishma perceives that, just as the dust raised from the hooves of the cows in Vraja decorates the charming face of Shri Krishna and increases His beauty and sweetness, in the same way the dust raised from the hooves of the horses on the battlefield also increases Shri Krishna's beauty and sweetness. There is nothing ugly in a beautiful object. Although dust in itself is not beautiful, when it falls on the soft, lotus-like face of Shri Krishna it enhances His beauty and charm. When Krishna ran towards Bhishma carrying the wheel of a chariot, His hair was dishevelled. Bhishma was then reminded of how Krishna.s hair looks when, upon returning from cow-grazing, He runs behind the lowing cows as they quickly move toward their sheds. Shramav ari means that, due to the forceful exertion of Krishna running towards Bhishma on the battlefield, drops of perspiration fell from His lotus-like face and beautiful limbs. To Bhishma they appeared to be like the perspiration drops caused by Krishna.s exertion in kandarpa-yuddha, amorous war of cupid. Krishna.s running at Bhishma is also a manifestation of His mood of bhakta-vatsalya. Krishna broke His own vow not to fight in order to keep Bhishma.s vow that he would make Shri Krishna take up weapons against him. Grandsire Bhishma observes,"The reddish marks appearing on the limbs of Shri Krishna, which are bruised and cut by my sharp arrows, look like the love-bites made by the teeth of a passionate lover absorbed in kandarpa-rasa with her beloved." Although a young beloved may behave haughtily with her lover, whom she loves millions of times more than her own life, by marking him with her nails and teeth, she cannot be said to be devoid of love. Similarly, Bhishma's madness in vira-rasa (the chivalrous mellow) is not an indication that he is devoid of krishna-prema.

Bhagavan Shri Krishna is raso vai sah (Taittiriya Upanishad 2.7.2), meaning that He embodies the nectar of all mellows (akhilaras amrita-murti). In order to fulfil the desire of Shri Krishna to taste vira-rasa, Bhishma, one of His prominent bhaktas, took the side of the Kauravas and wounded the limbs of Shri Bhagavan. Bhishma thus pleased Him by fulfilling His desire.

In Shri Mahabharata, it is seen that Bhagavan Shri Krishna took a vow not to use any weapon in the battle. On the other hand, Bhishma, His bhakta, took a vow that if he could not make Krishna use weapons, he would not be considered the son of Maharaja Shantanu. Bhagavan, who is affectionate to His bhaktas (bhakta-vatsala), broke His own vow and protected the vow of Bhishma.

sva-nigamam apahaya mat-pratijnam
ritam adhikartum avapluto rathasthah
dhrita-ratha-carano .bhyayac caladgur
harir iva hantum ibham gatottariyah
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.37

Grandsire Bhishma says, "I offer my pranamas again and again unto bhakta-vatsala Shri Bhagavan who, in order to protect my vow, broke His own promise. He jumped from the chariot, took a wheel in His hand and ran towards me with great speed."

In spite of taking the side of the opposing party, Grandsire Bhishma is a parama-bhakta. Of this there is no doubt. From the character of Bhishmadeva, we learn that whatever he does is favourable; it is for the pleasure of Krishna and it assists Krishna's lila-vilasa. His profound character is beyond any mundane reasoning. However, if a conditioned soul (maya- baddha-jiva) imitates Bhishma and engages in illicit activities or commits aparadha while making a show of being a guru, he can never be considered a sad-guru. Bhagavan Rishabhadeva has said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.18):

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syan na patish ca sa syan
na mocayed yah samupeta-mrityum

A guru who cannot deliver a disciple from the imminent cycle of birth and death (mrityu-samsara) by giving him instructions on bhakti is not qualified to be a guru.

Only a maha-purusha who is shastra-jna (thoroughly expert in the imports of the shastra), who is endowed with realisation of parabrahma and who is detached from this material world is qualified to be a guru. For this reason, Bali Maharaja rejected Shukracarya, who was opposed to the principles of bhakti. Thus, it is the injunction of the shastra to reject such a guru. There is no sin or fault in not surrendering to or not following an unqualified guru, nor indeed in rejecting him.

Life-long celibate Bhishma, after winning the svayamvara of the three daughters of the king of Kashi . Amba, Ambika and Ambalika . had Ambika and Ambalika married to his brother Vicitravirya. The first girl, Amba, insisted on marrying Bhishma, but he had taken a vow of life-long celibacy, and thus rejected her request. Not finding any other solution, Amba approached Parashurama, Bhishma.s astra-shastra-guru. Parashurama called Bhishma and ordered him to marry Amba, but Bhishma remained resolute. At this, Parashurama told him either to marry her or fight with him. Bhishma accepted the fight while speaking the following words:

guror apy avaliptasya karyakaryam ajanatah
utpatha-pratipannasya parityago vidhiyate
Mahabharata Udyoga Parva 179.25

A guru who is engrossed in sense gratification, who is a fool with no ability to discriminate between proper and improper behaviour, and who is following a different path, devoid of shuddha-bhakti, is a false guru. One should immediately reject him. Such a parama-bhakta as Bhishma cannot perform any activity which is against the principles of bhakti. Parashurama is an avatara of Bhagavan. Considering that the vow of Bhishma to be righteous, Parashurama accepted defeat in this fight, which would have continued indefinitely because they were evenly matched.

Ch 2 Verse 6

na caitad vidmah kataran no gariyo
yad va jayema yadi va no jayeyuh
yan eva hatva na jijivishamas
te 'vasthitah pramukhe dhartarashtrah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.6 <>

ca---and; na vidmah---I do not know; etat---this; katarat---which; gariyah---is better; nah---for us; yad va---whether; jayema---we may conquer; va---or; yadi---whether; jayeyuh---they may conquer; nah---us; eva---certainly; yan---those persons whom; hatva---by killing; na jijivishamah---we can not desire to live; te---they; dhartarashtrah---those who are on the side of Dhritarashtra; avasthitah---are arrayed; pramukhe---in the battlefront.

I am unable to decide what is better for us, to conquer them or be conquered by them. Even after killing them we will not desire to live. Yet they have taken the side of Dhritarashtra, and now stand before us on the battlefield.


Arjuna is speaking the shloka beginning with na caitad while considering, "By fighting against our gurus, I do not know whether we will be victorious or defeated. Moreover, I do not even know whether it is better for us to win or lose." Here Arjuna, considering two perspectives, is speaking about the possibility of both his victory and his defeat. Arjuna is saying, "For us, the result of victory is equal to defeat." Thus he is using the words yan eva , etc.

Ch 2 Verse 7

pricchami tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah
yac chreyah syan nishcitam bruhi tan me
shishyas te 'ham shadhi mam tvam prapannam

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.7 <>

upahata---being overpowered; dosha---by the fault; karpanya---of cowardliness; (I am) sammudha---bewildered; cetah---in heart; dharma---about virtue; (I have given up) sva-bhavah---my chivalrous nature; (I) pricchami---am asking; tvam---You; yat---what; syat---may be; (the) nishcitam---certain; shreyah---auspicious path; bruhi---tell; tat---that; me---to me; aham---I (am); te---Your; shishyah---disciple; (and) prapannam---surrendered; tvam---unto You; shadhi---please instruct; mam---me.

Having become overpowered by weakness of heart and bewildered about how to ascertain dharma, I have given up my natural quality of chivalry. I implore You to tell me what is actually auspicious for me. I am Your disciple and surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.


Shri Krishna may ridicule Arjuna by saying, "Although you are a kshatriya, you have decided to wander here and there and beg on the basis of your own deductive understanding of the imports of shastra. What then, is the use of My speaking? "In anticipation of this, Arjuna begins this shloka with karpanya. "To give up the natural characteristic of chivalry is karpanya, cowardly behaviour. The principles of dharma are very subtle and therefore bewildering to me, so please tell me with certainty what is auspicious for me." Arjuna tells Krishna "If You are proud of Your scholarship and You refute my statements, therefore how can I instruct you? Then I assure you that I am Your disciple and from now on I will not refute Your statements unnecessarily."

Ch 2 Verse 8

na hi prapashyami mamapanudyad
yac chokam ucchoshanam indriyanam
avapya bhumav asapatnam riddham
rajyam suranam api cadhipatyam

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.8 <>

api---even; avapya---after attaining; (an) asapatnam---unrivalled; riddham---prosperous; rajyam---kingdom; bhumau---on the earth; ca---also; adhipatyam---sovereignty; suranam---over the devas; hi---certainly; na prapashyami---I do not see; (how) apanudyat---it can drive away; mama---my; shokam---lamentation; yat---which; ucchoshanam---is drying up; indriyanam---my senses.

Even if we attain an unrivalled and prosperous kingdom on earth with sovereignty over the devas, I do not see any way to dispel this lamentation which is drying up my senses.


Shri Krishna may say, "You do not have a reverential attitude towards Me, rather you have a friendly mood. How will I accept you as My disciple? You should take shelter of personalities such as Dvaipayana Vyasa, for whom you have a reverential attitude." In anticipation of this, Arjuna is speaking the present shloka beginning with the words na hi. "In the three worlds, I do not find anyone other than You who can dispel my lamentation. I do not consider even Brihaspati to be more intelligent than You. Therefore, being overwhelmed with grief, whose shelter other than Yours can I take? Just as the intense heat of the summer season dries up small ponds, similarly this grief is drying up my senses." Krishna may also say, "Despite being overwhelmed with grief, you should still fight. When you win the battle, you will become absorbed in enjoying the pleasure of your kingdom and be freed from this grief." Arjuna therefore replies with the expression beginning with avapya. "Even if I attain the unrivalled kingdom of the earth or sovereignty over the devatas in Svarga, my senses will remain as dry as they are now."

Ch2 Verse 9

sanjaya uvaca evam uktva hrishikesham / gudakeshah parantapah
na yotsya iti govindam / uktva tushnim babhuva ha

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.9 <>

sanjayah uvaca---Sanjaya said; evam---thus; uktva---having spoken; hrishikesham---to Krishna; gudakeshah---Arjuna; parantapah---slayer of the enemies; uktva---saying; govindam---unto Govinda; na yotsye---I shall not fight; iti---thus; babhuva ha---he became; tushnim---silent.

Sanjaya said: After speaking these words, Gudakesha, the chastiser of enemies, said to Shri Krishna, .O Govinda, I shall not fight,. and fell silent.

Ch 2 Verse 10

tam uvaca hrishikeshah / prahasann iva bharata
senayor ubhayor madhye / vishidantam idam vacah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.10 <>

bharata---O descendant of Bharata; hrishikeshah---Shri Krishna; iva--- as if; prahasan---smiling; madhye---in the midst; ubhayoh---of both; senayoh---of the armies; uvaca---spoke; idam---these; vacah---words; tam vishidantam---unto the grieving one.

O descendant of Bharata (Dhritarashtra), at that time, Hrishikesha, Shri Krishna, smiling in the midst of both armies, spoke the following words to the grieving Arjuna.


To ridicule His friend Arjuna, who is in sakhya-bhava, Krishna shows him that it is improper to be aggrieved in this way, thus drowning him in an ocean of embarrassment. Shri Krishna remarks, "O, you are devoid of discrimination." Arjuna has accepted the position of Krishna's disciple (shishya) however, it is improper to immerse a disciple in an ocean of shame in this way. Therefore, Krishna is pursing His lips and trying to hide His smile. Here, the import of the word 'Hrishikesha' is that, although Krishna was previously controlled by the loving statements of Arjuna, now, for Arjuna's own welfare, Krishna is controlling his mind, out of love.

Senayor ubhayor madhye indicates that Arjuna's grief and the instructions and assurances given by Shri Bhagavan were equally visible to both armies. In other words, this message of Bhagavad-gita was manifest before all present. It was not kept secret from anyone.

Ch 2 Verse 11

shri bhagavan uvaca
ashocyan anvashocas tvam / prajna-vadamsh ca bhashase
gatasun agatasumsh ca / nanushocanti panditah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.11 <>

shri-bhagavan uvaca---Shri Bhagavan said; bhashase---you are speaking; prajna-vadan---learned words; ca---but; tvam---you; anvashocah---are lamenting; ashocyan---for what is not worthy of grief; ca---yet; panditah---the wise; na anushocanti---do not lament; gata---lost; asun---life; (or) agata---not lost; asun---life.

Shri Bhagavan said: While speaking learned words you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise do not lament, either for the living or the dead.


Shri Krishna says, "O Arjuna, your grief which is born from the pain of killing your relatives is illusory. Your question, 'How shall I fight with Bhishma?' shows that your reasoning is based on ignorance." To explain why the above statement is true, Shri Bhagavan says: ashocyan anvashocah, "You are grieving for that which is not worthy of grief." Shri Krishna further says, "Even after being reassured by Me, you are speaking statements such as: katham bhishmam aham sankhye (Gita 2.4), thereby presenting yourself as a pandita. In other words, although you have knowledge, you are arguing. This proves that actually you do not have knowledge, because the wise do not lament for gross bodies from which the life air (prana) has gone (gata-asun), as such gross bodies are temporary."

Agatasun means from whom the prana has not gone. The learned or wise do not lament, even for the subtle bodies of such persons, because the subtle body is indestructible before the stage of mukti. In both conditions, gatasun (without life) and agatasun (with life), both the svabhava (nature) of the gross and subtle bodies is unchangeable. Foolish people lament, however, for the gross body of their father or relatives when the prana leaves it. They do not lament for the subtle body, because generally they do not have knowledge of it. "Bhishma and others are also atma, with coverings of gross and subtle bodies. Since the atma is eternal, to lament for it is improper. Thus, earlier you were saying that dharma-shastra is superior to artha-shastra, but My response is that jnana- shastra (from where this understanding comes) is superior even to dharma-shastra."


That portion of sac-cid-ananda para-tattva (the Supreme Absolute Reality, composed of eternality, consciousness and bliss), which is endowed only with the tatastha-shakti, is called the jivatma or the jiva. The jivas are atomic particles of consciousness by constitutional nature. Their eternal and natural characteristic is bhagavat-seva. Jivas are of two types, mukta and baddha. The mukta-jivas are eternally engaged in the service of Shri Bhagavan in His abode. They never fall down. The baddha-jivas have forgotten the service of Shri Bhagavan since time immemorial, and thus being covered by the two types of material bodies, gross and subtle, are suffering three types of miseries as punishment in this material world.

The gross body of the baddha-jiva is made of the five material elements . earth, water, fire, air and sky . and is temporary and perishable. After death, the jiva changes his gross body. Where there is birth, death will always follow. Today, tomorrow, or after some years, death is certain.

mrityur janmavatam vira / dehena saha jayate
adya vabda-shatante va / mrityur vai praninam dhruvah
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.1.38

In Gita (2.27), it is said: jatasya hi dhruvo mrityuh. "For one who has taken birth, death is a certainty." The jiva's immediate designation, which is made up of mind, intelligence and false ego, and which covers his pure nature, is called sukshma-sharira (the subtle body). One is granted a new gross body in each birth, and at the time of death it is destroyed, but such is not the case with the subtle body. Due to the jiva.s forgetfulness of Shri Krishna.s svarupa, the subtle body has been covering his svarupa since time immemorial. This subtle body cannot be dissolved even after remembering Bhagavan through such processes as jnana, yoga, tapasya, dhyana or study of the Vedas. It can only be dissolved by remembering Him through the medium of bhagavad-bhakti. At that time the jiva becomes situated in his pure nature (shuddha-svarupa).

pritir na yavan mayi vasudeve (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.6)
sa lingena vimucyate (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.29.83)
bhayam dvitiyabhiniveshatah syad (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.37)
yada ratir brahmani naishthiki puman (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.22.26)
mam upetya tu kaunteya (Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita 8.16)

When we study these shlokas, it is quite clear that although the subtle body has no beginning, it is acquired by forgetfulness of Bhagavan (bhagavat-vismriti) and destroyed by remembrance of Him (bhagavat-smriti).

Therefore, those who are atma-tattva-vit, who know the nature of the atma to be immutable, imperishable and eternal, do not lament or become disturbed at the loss of the gross body. They grieve neither for a gross body without an atma (gatasun), nor for a gross body with an atma (agatasun) which will be destroyed in the future. On the other hand, those who consider their gross body to be their self are ignorant. Such persons are not even aware of the subtle body, what to speak of the atma. They consider the gross body (containing the atma) to be their mother, father, brother, or relative. When the atma leaves that body, they consider their mother, father, brother or relative to be dead, and they lament for that body.

Ch 2 Verse 12

na tv evaham jatu nasam / na tvam neme janadhipah
na caiva na bhavishyamah / sarve vayam atah param

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.12 <>

tu eva---most certainly; na---never; jatu---at any time; aham na asam---did I not exist; na---nor; tvam---you; na---nor; ime--- these; jana-adhipah---kings; ca---also; na---nor; atah param--- hereafter; sarve vayam---all of us; eva---certainly; na bhavishyamah---shall not exist.

There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us ever cease to be.


Krishna asks the question, "O My friend, Arjuna, when one grieves over the death of a dear person, what is the object of his love, the body or the atma?. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.50) it is said:

sarvesham api bhutanam / nripa svatmaiva vallabhah

"O king, for all jivas, the atma is certainly dearmost." According to this statement of Shri Shukadeva Gosvami, it is the atma that is the only object of love. Although there is a difference between Ishvara and the jiva, both types of atma are eternal and free from death. Thus, it is not the atma that is the object of grief. For this reason only, Shri Krishna is speaking this shloka beginning with na tv evaham. "It is not true that I, Paramatma, did not exist in the past. Certainly I was existing. In the same way, you, the jiva, also existed in the past, as did the jivas who are all these kings. The possibility of the soul not existing prior to his existence in his present body is refuted by this statement. Similarly, it is also not true that you, these kings and I, will not continue to exist in the future. We will all continue to exist." Thus, it has been proven that the soul is indestructible. In this regard, the Katha Upanishad (2.2.13) states: nityo nityanam cetanash cetananam / eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman. "He who is the supreme eternal amongst all eternal entities, the supreme conscious being among all conscious beings, is fulfilling the desires of all living beings."


The jiva's contact with the gross body is called birth, and separation from it is called death. When the jivatma is situated in the gross body, people have loving dealings with each other. But, such ignorant persons, who consider the gross body to be the atma, do not realise that the real self is not material, and thus, when a jiva disappears from a body, they become absorbed in grief.

In Shrimad-Bhagavatam Parikshit Maharaja asked Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami, "O brahmana, Shri Krishna was not born to the same parents as the other cowherd boys. How was it possible for those parents to have such unparalleled prema for Him, that they did not even have for their own children?" In response to this Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami says, "O King, for all living entities, one's own self (atma) is the most dear. Although entities who are separate from one's self, such as a son, wealth, house and other objects, are dear to the self, they are not as dear as the self itself. It is secondary to the affection one has towards one.s own self. O King, the affection an embodied soul has for that for which he feels possessiveness, such as a son, wealth and house, is not the same as the affection he feels for his own self.. In other words, there is a difference between 'I' and 'mine'. The amount of priti (affection) one has for objects which are possessed by him is not the same as the priti that one has for one's own self. Those who consider the body to be the self do not feel that which is related to the body, such as a house, a wife, or a son, is as dear to them as their own body. And even though a person's body is the object of his affection, it is not as dear to him as the self, because when the body becomes old, the desire for survival still remains strong. This is due to the excessive attachment one has for the self. Because Shri Krishna is the very Self of the self, He is the most dear object (priyatama) for every atma. The world, which is related to Krishna, is also dear but not dearmost. Krishna is the object of the word .I., because He is the atma of all atmas. And that which is related to Krishna, such as the universe, is the object of the word 'mine'. That is why Krishna is so dear to the cowherd boys.

The above statements are also verified by the dialogue between Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi in Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (2.4.5) where it is said:

sa hovaca na va are patyuh kamaya priyo
bhavaty atmans tu kamaya patih priyo bhavati na
va are sarvasya kamaya sarvam priyam
bhavaty atmanas tu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati

The great sage Yajnavalkya said to Maitreyi, "No living entity loves another for the other's satisfaction. Only for one's own satisfaction does the husband love his wife, the wife love her husband, the father love his son and the son love his father. A person is dear, not for someone else's satisfaction, but for the happiness and satisfaction of one's own self (atma)."

Ch 2 Verse 13

dehino 'smin yatha dehe / kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir / dhiras tatra na muhyati

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.13 <>

atha---just as; asmin---in this; dehe---body; dehinah---belonging to the embodied soul; (passing from) kaumaram---boyhood; yauvanam---to youth; jara---to old age; tatha---in the same way; (when there is) praptih---achievement; deha-antara---of a change of body; tatra---then; dhirah---a thoughtful person; na muhyati--- is not confused.

Just as the embodied atma passes from boyhood to youth to old age, similarly, after death, he passes into another body. An intelligent person is not bewildered by the birth and death of the body.


The following point may be raised: Since the atma is associated with the body, the body will also be an object of our love. Furthermore, those who are related to the body, such as sons, brothers, relatives, grandsons and so on, will also be the objects of our love, so when they die, we will certainly feel grief. Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with dehinah, in answer to this."The jiva in the body attains boyhood; at the end of boyhood he attains youth, and at the end of youth he attains old age. Similarly, at the loss of the body he attains another body. Just as one does not grieve at the end of boyhood and youth, which are objects of love due to their relationship with the atma, similarly, one should not grieve for the loss of the body itself, which is also an object of love due to its relationship with the atma, when it is lost. If a person grieves when he attains old age at the loss of youth, then he also feels happy when he attains youth at the loss of boyhood. Therefore, you should feel happy because when Bhishma and Drona lose their old bodies they will attain new ones. Or you should consider that, just as in one body various stages of growth are reached, the same jiva attains various types of bodies."


The word dehi means the atma or jiva, which is unchangeable, whereas the body is subject to transformation. Even when the body undergoes changes from boyhood to youth to old age and to death, the embodied atma does not undergo any change. It always remains the same. Therefore, it is not proper to lament for the loss of the body. Just as when one leaves boyhood and attains youth, one feels happiness instead of grief, similarly, after death one attains a new, able and beautiful body. Therefore, why should one feel distress? Rather, one should only feel happiness.

King Yayati became old in his youth because he was cursed by his father-in-law, Shukracarya. In great distress, he humbly begged forgiveness at the feet of Shukracarya. To please his daughter who was married to the king, Shukracarya gave him the boon that he could exchange his old age for the youth of any of his young sons. His eldest son, Yadu, refused because he wanted to perform bhagavad-bhajana, but his youngest son, Puru, gave his youth and accepted the old age of his father. In this way, Yayati again became young and enjoyed with his queens (Devayani and others). In the company of his sons and grandsons, he considered himself very happy. Finally, however, he understood that all these pleasures were temporary and the cause of unlimited misery. Thus, he returned his son.s youth to him and went to the forest to perform bhajana of Bhagavan (Shrimad- Bhagavatam 9.18.1-51). Therefore, it is appropriate to feel happy, knowing that, at the loss of an old, weak and withered body, one will achieve a healthy, strong and beautiful new body.

Ch 2 Verse 14

matra-sparshas tu kaunteya / shitoshna-sukha-duhkha-dah agamapayino .nityas / tams titikshasva bharata

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.14 <>

kaunteya---O son of Kunti; sparshah---sense perceptions; matra--- (are) momentary; tu---only; dah---they give; (the sensations of) shita---cold; (and) ushna---heat; sukha---happiness; (and) duhkha---distress; (they are) anityah---flickering; (and) agamaap ayinah---come and go; bharata---O Bharata; titikshasva---you must tolerate; tan---them.

O Kaunteya, when the senses come in contact with the sense objects, one experiences cold, heat, happiness and distress. Such experiences are flickering and temporary, and therefore, O Bharata, you must learn to tolerate them.


Arjuna may tell Krishna, "What You have said is true. Yet, the troublesome mind of an indiscriminate person like myself, which is covered by grief and lamentation, is a source of misery. It is not only the mind which causes trouble. Through the impressions of the mind, the senses experience their respective sense objects. Thus the senses, such as the sense of touch, also become the cause of trouble." For this reason, Krishna says matra, indicating the sense objects that are accepted by the senses. The experience of such sense objects is called sparshah. Shri Bhagavan explains shitoshnah agamapayinah. "Although cool water gives pleasure in the summer, that same water is the cause of distress in winter. Therefore, knowing them to be temporary and flickering, one should tolerate the experience of these sense objects." To tolerate them is an obligation prescribed in the shastra. Taking bath is troublesome in the month of Magha (the winter month of January). In spite of this, one is not supposed to give up the obligatory routine of bathing as enjoined in the shastra. Similarly, those same persons (one's brother, son, etc.) who give happiness both when they are born and when they earn wealth, give pain at the time of their death. Knowing this happiness and distress to be temporary and flickering, you should tolerate it. You cannot give up your sva-dharma of fighting in the battle on the plea of affection for such relatives. It is definitely a cause of great disturbance to give up one's sva-dharma that has been recommended in shastra.

Ch 2 Verse 15

yam hi na vyathayanty ete / purusham purusharshabha
sama-duhkha-sukham dhiram / so .mritatvaya kalpate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.15 <>

purusha-rishabha---O best among men; dhiram---the sober; purusham---person; yam---whom; ete---these (contacts of the senses with the sense objects); na vyathayanti---do not disturb; (and for whom) duhkha---distress; sukham---and happiness; sama---are the same; sah---he; hi---indeed; kalpate---is qualified; amritatvaya---for liberation.

O best among men, that sober person for whom happiness, distress and the experience of various sense objects are the same, and who is not disturbed by them, is certainly qualified to attain liberation.


If one properly deliberates on the influence of the sense objects and practises tolerance of them, they will not be the cause of misery when one experiences them. When the sense objects are no longer a cause of misery, one will naturally become closer to attaining mukti. Therefore, the shloka beginning with yam hi na is being spoken. Here the word amritatvaya means moksha.

Ch 2 Verse 16

nasato vidyate bhavo / nabhavo vidyate satah
ubhayor api drishto .ntas / tv anayos tattva-darshibhih

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.16 <>

satah---of the temporary; vidyate---there is; tu---indeed; na--- no; bhavah---existence; satah---of the eternal; vidyate---there is; na---no; abhavah---destruction; darshibhih---by the knowers; tattva---of the truth; (this) api---very; antah---conclusion; (was) drishtah--- observed; anayoh---of these; ubhayoh---two.

Of the temporary, such as winter or summer, there is no permanent existence, and of the eternal, such as the jivatma , there is no destruction. Those who are knowers of the truth have reached this conclusion by deliberating on these subject matters.


These words are spoken for persons who have not yet attained discrimination. According to the shruti statement, asango hi ayam purushah, the jivatma does not factually have a relationship with either the subtle or gross body, nor with the characteristics of the body such as lamentation and delusion, which are imagined only due to ignorance (avidya). For this reason, the present shloka beginning with the word nasatah is spoken. The word asatah means that due to their non-spiritual nature, lamentation and delusion which appear to be in both the jiva (who is spiritual by nature) and his shelter, the gross body, have no real existence. Similarly, the word satah means that, the jivatma, whose nature is sat (eternal), is never destroyed. In this way the fundamental principle of sat and asat is understood. "Thus you and Bhishma are eternal. Knowing that bodily identification, lamentation and delusion do not exist in relationship to the imperishable atma, how can Bhishma and the others be annihilated, and why should you grieve for them?"

Ch 2 Verse 17

avinashi tu tad viddhi / yena sarvam idam tatam
vinasham avyayasyasya / na kashcit karttum arhati

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.17 <>

tat---that; yena---by which; idam---this; sarvam---entire body; (is) tatam---pervaded; viddhi---know; (is) tu avinashi---indeed indestructible; na kashcit---no one; arhati---is able; karttum---to effect; vinasham---the destruction; asya avyayasya---of the imperishable (soul).

That by which the entire body is pervaded, you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable atma.


Na bhavo vidyate satah. That which is sat (eternal truth), cannot be destroyed. Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with avinashi to clarify this statement. The fundamental nature (svarupa) of the jiva is such that it pervades the whole body. One may question, that if the consciousness of the jiva only pervades the individual body and is therefore limited in size, will it not be temporary? In response, Shri Krishna says, 'No, it is not so.' There is evidence of this in the shruti and in smriti also: sukshmanam apy aham jivah (Shrimad- Bhagavatam 11.16.11). 'Among that which is subtle I am the jiva.' Also in the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.9) it is stated: esho 'nur atma cetasa veditavyo yasmin pranam pancadha samvivesha. 'The atma is very minute. It can only be realised in a pure heart which is free from the three modes. The life air, divided into prana, apana, vyana, samana and udana , remains situated in the body.' In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (5.9) it is said:

balagra-shata-bhagasya / shatadha kalpitasya ca
bhago jivah sa vijneyah / sa canantyaya kalpate

One should know that the jivatma is the size of one ten-thousandth the tip of a hair. Also in the Aitareya Upanishad (5.8): aragra-matro hy avaro api drshtah. 'The jiva has an extremely subtle form.'

The above statements of shruti prove that the jivatma is atomic in size; it is very subtle. Just as the entire body can be nourished by the application to the head or chest, of a potent herb or a precious gem set in lac, similarly the jivatma is able to pervade the entire body although it is situated in one place. There is no difficulty in reconciling this. Being bound by material designations, the jiva enters various species and wanders in different heavens and hells. Dattatreya has also verified this in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.9.20): yena samsarate puman. 'The jivatma wanders in the material world.'

In the present shloka, it has been described that the jivatma pervades the whole body. The jivatma is called avyayasya, or eternal. This is also verified in the shrutis:

nityo nityanam cetanash cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman

Katha Upanishad 2.2.13

He who is the supreme eternal (nitya) amongst all eternal entities (nitya-jivas), the supreme conscious being among all conscious beings, fulfils the desires of all living entities.

If we view this shloka from a different angle, we can say that all three: the body, the jivatma and Paramatma, are seen in all human beings, birds, animals and so forth. The natures of the body and the jivatma have been explained in the previous shloka: nasato vidyate bhavo (Gita 2.16), so what is the nature of the third entity, Paramatma? To answer this, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word avinashi. The word tu is used to indicate a different context. This material world has come into existence only because maya and the jivatma are by nature fundamentally different from Paramatma.


There are two indestructible truths. One is the atomic conscious jiva, anu-chaitanya-jivatma, and the other is the manifesting source and controller of all jivatmas, Paramatma. The same Paramatma is present as a witness in that which is both inert and conscious. The jivas are unlimited. An individual atma exists in each gross body. The jiva in each body individually experiences happiness and misery. The Supreme Absolute Truth, Paramatma, is situated only as a witness and is untouched by the jiva.s happiness and distress. In this shloka, the nature of the indestructible jiva has been described. How is it that the atomic jivatma, being situated in one part of the body, is experienced throughout the entire body? Shri Krishna answers this question in the present shloka. His statement above is verified by Vedanta-sutra (2.3.22):

avirodhash candanavat

Just as a single drop of hari-candana applied to one place makes the whole body cool, similarly, the jivatma, situated in one part of the body, is experienced throughout the entire body.

This is also verified in the smriti-shastra: anumatro 'py ayam jivah svadehe vyapya tishthati yatha vyapya sharirani hari-candana-viprushah

Just as a drop of hari-candana applied to one part of the body gives pleasure to the whole body, similarly, the jivatma, being situated in one part of the body, pervades the whole body.

If the question is asked, "In which part of the body does the jivatma reside?" the answer is, "Within the heart." Hridi hy esha atmeti (Shat-Prashni-shruti). This is also stated in the Vedanta-sutra: gunad valokavat (Brahma-sutra 2.3.24). Like light, the jivatma, by its quality, pervades the whole body. Although the jivatma is atomic, by its quality of consciousness it pervades the entire body. Just as the sun, situated in one part of the sky, illuminates the whole universe, similarly, the jivatma also pervades the whole body. This has been stated by Shri Bhagavan Himself in Gita (13.33).

Ch 2 Verse 18

antavanta ime deha / nityasyoktah sharirinah
anashino .prameyasya / tasmad yudhyasva bharata

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.18 <>

ime---these; dehah---material bodies; nityasya---of the eternal; anashinah---indestructible; aprameyasya---immeasurable; sharirinah---embodied soul; uktah---are said; (to be) anta-vantah--- perishable; tasmat---therefore; bharata---O Arjuna; yudhyasva--- fight.

The material bodies of the jivatma, who is eternal, indestructible and immeasurable, are known to be perishable. Therefore, O Arjuna, fight.


To clarify the meaning of nasato vidyate bhavah, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with antavantah. The word sharirinah has been used to describe the embodied jiva. Aprameyasya means that the jivatma is very difficult to understand because he is extremely subtle. Tasmad yudhyasva means "therefore fight." Based on these arguments, Krishna concludes that it is completely improper to give up one's sva-dharma which is prescribed in shastra.

Verse 19

ya enam vetti hantaram / yash cainam manyate hatam
ubhau tau na vijanito / nayam hanti na hanyate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.19 <>

yah---he who; vetti---knows; enam---this (soul); (to be) hantaram--- the killer; ca---and; yah---who; manyate---considers; enam---this soul; hatam---to be killed; na vijanitah---is not in knowledge; tau ubhau---of the two; ayam---this atma; na hanti---does not kill; na---nor; hanyate---is killed.

He who considers the jivatma to be either the killer or the killed is ignorant, for the self neither slays nor is he slain by anyone.


Krishna says,"O friend, Arjuna, you are an atma and therefore you are neither the subject nor the object of the act of killing." To explain this, Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with ya enam."One who thinks that the jivatma kills (e.g. Arjuna kills Bhishma), or the jivatma is killed (Arjuna is killed by Bhishma), is ignorant. Therefore, O sakha, why do you fear achieving infamy just because ignorant people will call you the killer of your superiors?" Shri Krishna is instructing Arjuna, "You are an atma, and therefore you are neither the subject nor the object of the verb "to kill". Here, He is explaining that Arjuna is not the subject, the killer of heroes such as Bhishma on the opposite side, nor is he the object of the killing done by them. On the other hand, ignorant people who identify the self with the body consider only the gross body to be the subject and object of killing. Krishna concludes, "Therefore, becoming fully aware of this truth, give up your identification with the gross body and become situated in the nature of the self. Surrendering unto Me, fearlessly engage in your sva-dharma for My pleasure. You should not be in ignorance about this." The same concept is also stated in shruti:

hanta cen manyate hatam / hatash cen manyate hatam
ubhau tau na vijanito / nayam hanti na hanyate
Katha Upanishad 1.2.19

If one who identifies the self with the body thinks that he will kill someone, and one whose body is being killed thinks that he is killed, both are ignorant because the atma neither kills anyone nor is killed.

Verse 20

na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah shashvato .yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sharire

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.20 <>

ayam---this (soul); na jayate---does not take birth; vaor; mriyate---die; kadacitat ---any time; na bhutva---he has not come into being; va---nor; bhavita---will he come into being; na---nor; bhuyah---repeatedly (accept material bodies); ayam---he; (is) ajah---unborn; nityah---eternal; shashvatah---ever-existing; (and) puranah---primeval; sharire---when the body; hanyamane---is destroyed; na hanyate---he is not killed.

The jivatma neither takes birth nor dies, nor does he experience repeated creation or growth. He is unborn, eternal and ever-existing. Though primeval, he remains ever-youthful. When the body is destroyed, the jivatma is not destroyed.


To establish the eternality of the jivatma, Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with the words na jayate mriyate, in which it is proven that there is never any time when the jivatma is born or dies. That there was no birth or death for the jivatma in the past and nor will there be in the future is proven by the words nayam bhutva bhavita. Shri Bhagavan is further explaining, by the use of the word ajah, that the jivatma does not take birth in either the past, present or future. Thus He establishes that the jiva also existed in the past. The word shashvatah means that which is ever-existing, which is not destroyed in the past, present, or future. Therefore the jivatma is eternal. If one still raises a doubt that because the soul exists for a long time, he may be over 91 powered by old age, Shri Bhagavan says in response, "No, that is not true because he is puranah. Although he is primeval, he is ever-fresh and free from the six types of transformations, including birth and death." If someone then raises the question, "Will the soul not die, even figuratively, at the death of the body?.

" Shri Krishna answers, "No, the soul has no relationship at all with the body."


The eternal nature of the jivatma has been established in this shloka. He is beyond birth and death, and is eternal and ever-existing. He is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. Consequently, the jivatma is devoid of the six types of transformations: birth, duration of existence, growth, procreation, diminution and death. In the Katha Upanishad (1.2.18) a similar conclusion is given:

na jayate mriyate va vipashcin / nayam kutashcin na vibhuva kashcit
ajo nityah shashvato .yam purano / na hanyate hanyamane sharire

The meaning of this shloka is the same as Gita 2.20, but in this shloka there is one special word, vipashcit, which means one who knows the self. Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.25) also verifies this conclusion: sa va esha mahan aja atma 'jaro 'maro 'mrito '

bhayah. "The atma is indisputably great, unborn, deathless, free from old age, immortal and fearless."

Verse 21

vedavinashinam nityam / ya enam ajam avyayam
katham sa purushah partha / kam ghatayati hanti kam

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.21 <>

partha---O Partha; katham---how; yah---one who; veda---knows; enam---this (soul); (to be) avinashinam---indestructible; nityam---eternally; ajam---unborn; avyayam---immutable; kam--- whom?; hanti---can he kill; kam---whom?; (can) sah---that; purushah---person; ghatayati---cause to kill.

O Partha, how can a person who knows the atma to be eternally birthless, immutable and indestructible kill anyone or cause anyone to be killed?


Shri Krishna is answering Arjuna, "O Partha, after acquiring this knowledge, you will not be guilty of committing sin even after engaging in battle, and I will also not be guilty of inspiring you to fight." For this purpose, the present shloka beginning with vedavinashinam is being spoken. Here the word nityam is an adverb. The use of the words avinashi (indestructible), aja (unborn) and avyayam (immutable) denies that the atma can be diminished at all by acts of destruction. Shri Bhagavan says, .With this knowledge, how can a person like Me kill anyone or be killed by any means? In the same way, how can a person like you kill someone or cause someone to be killed?.

Ch 2 Verse 22

vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya / navani grihnati naro 'parani
tatha sharirani vihaya jirnany / anyani samyati navani dehi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.22 <>

yatha---just as; narah---a person; vihaya---giving up; jirnani---old and worn out; vasamsi---clothes; grihnati---accepts; aparani--- other; navani---new ones; tatha---in the same way; dehi---the embodied soul, jivatma; vihaya---giving up; jirnani---old; sharirani---bodies; samyati---accepts; anyani---other; navani--- new ones.

Just as a person discards his old garments and acquires new ones, the jivatma similarly gives up old, useless bodies and accepts new ones.


In this shloka beginning with vasamsi, Shri Krishna tells Arjuna, "Is there any harm in giving up old clothes to accept new ones? If you say, 'By fighting against Bhishma, You and I will be the cause of the jivatma named Bhishma giving up his body,' I reply that Bhishma will simply give up his old and useless body and take a new body. How can you or I be blamed for this?"

Ch 2 Verse 23

nainam chindanti shastrani / nainam dahati pavakah
na cainam kledayanty apo / na shoshayati marutah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.23 <>

shastrani---various weapons; chindanti---do not pierce; enam---him (the jivatma); pavakah---fire; na dahati---does not burn; enam--- him; apah---waters; na kledayanti---do not moisten; enam---him; ca---and; marutah---the wind; na shoshayati---does not dry (him).

The jivatma can never be pierced by any weapon, burned by fire, moistened by water nor dried by the wind.


"O Arjuna, the weapons used by you in battle cannot cause any pain or misery to the atma." To explain this, Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with nainam. Here the word shastrani means swords (or any earthly weapons), pavakah means the fire weapon, apah the water weapon and marutah the air weapon. "O Arjuna, even if you use all these weapons, they will not cause any pain to the atma."

Ch 2 Verses 24-25

acchedyo 'yam adahyo 'yam / akledyo 'shoshya eva ca
nityah sarva-gatah sthanur / acalo 'yam sanatanah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.24 <>

avyakto 'yam acintyo 'yam / avikaryo 'yam ucyate
tasmad evam viditvainam / nanushocitum arhasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.25 <>

ucyate---it is said (that); ayam---this (soul); (is) acchedyah---indivisible; akledyah---insoluble; ca---and; adahyah---cannot be burned; ayam---this (soul); eva---certainly; ashoshyah---cannot be dried; (he is) nityah---eternal; sarva-gatah---all-pervasive; sthanuh---fixed; acalah---non-moving; ayam---this (soul); (is) sanatanah---ever-existing; ayam---this (soul); (is) avyaktah--- imperceptible; ayam---this (soul); (is) acintyah---inconceivable; ayam---this (soul); (is) vikaryah---immutable; tasmat---therefore; viditva---knowing; evam---like this; na arhasi---it is not befitting; anushocitum---to lament; enam---for this (soul).

The jivatma is indivisible, insoluble and cannot be burned or dried. He is eternal, all-pervasive, permanent, non-moving and ever-existing. He is imperceptible, inconceivable and, being free from the six types of transformations such as birth and death, is immutable. After understanding the atma in this way, it is not proper for you to lament.


The atma has been described as indivisible, etc. Repetition of this indicates the eternality of the jivatma and removes the doubts of those who are uncertain of its nature. If one says three or four times that there is dharma in Kali-yuga, the repetitive use of the words will stress the fact that, without a doubt, there is dharma in Kali-yuga. Similarly, the jivatma.s qualities have been repeated to confirm the eternality of his nature. Here, the word sarva-gatah (all-pervasive) indicates that due to his own actions the jiva transmigrates through all species of life such as devas, human beings, animals and birds. The words sthanuh (fixed) and acalah (immovable) have been repeated in order to give a clear conception of the stable nature of the jivatma. The jivatma is called avyaktah (imperceptible) because he is very subtle. He is called acintya (inconceivable, beyond reasoning) because he pervades the whole body as consciousness. He is called avikaryah (immutable) because he is free from the six types of transformations, such as birth and duration of existence.

Ch 2 Verse 26

atha cainam nitya-jatam / nityam va manyase mritam
tathapi tvam maha-baho / nainam shocitum arhasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.26 <>

ca---also; atha---if however; manyase---you think; enam---this soul; nitya-jatam---always takes birth; va---or; nityam---always; mritam--- dies; tathapi---still; tvam na arhasi---you should not; shocitum--- grieve; enam---for this (soul); maha-baho---O mighty-armed one.

If, however, you think that the atma is always born and always dies, there is still no reason for you to grieve, O Maha-baho.


Shri Bhagavan is saying, "O Arjuna, what I have explained to you so far has been based on shastra, but now I will help you to understand from the point of view of ordinary experience. Please listen very attentively. If you consider that the self is always born, and if you think that when the body perishes, the soul dies, even then, O Maha-baho, as a valiant kshatriya it is your duty to fight." Regarding one's svadharma, it is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.54.40):

kshatriyanam ayam dharmah / prajapati-vinirmitah
bhratapi bhrataram hanyad / yena ghorataras tatah

According to the sva-dharma of kshatriyas who were created by Prajapati, one brother can even kill another brother. Therefore, kshatriya-dharma is said to be very fearsome.


Bhagavan Shri Krishna stops trying to make Arjuna understand from the perspective of shastra and is here making him understand from a common sense point of view by telling him that if he understands the atma to be eternal, as explained in the shruti and other shastras, then there is no reason for grief. But even from a practical point of view, there is also no reason to grieve. Atheists like Carvaka consider the atma to be temporary like the gross body and say that it does not exist after death. Also, according to the philosophy of vaibhashika Buddhists, if one considers the atma to be always taking birth and dying there is still no reason to grieve for it.

Ch 2 Verse 27

jatasya hi dhruvo mrityur / dhruvam janma mritasya ca
tasmad apariharye 'rthe / na tvam shocitum arhasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.27 <>

jatasya---for one who is born; hi---certainly; mrityuh---death; (is) dhruvah---certain; ca---and; mritasya---for one who dies; janma--- birth; dhruvam---is certain; tasmat---therefore; tvam---you; arhasi---should; na shocitum---not grieve; apariharye arthe---in this inevitable situation.

For one who is born death is certain and for one who has died birth is certain. Therefore you should not grieve for that which is unavoidable.


When someone's prarabdha-karma is exhausted, his death is certain. After death, he will inevitably take birth again so that he can enjoy the fruits of the actions performed in his previous body. It is not possible for anyone to escape the inevitability of birth and death.

Ch 2 Verse 28

avyaktadini bhutani / vyakta-madhyani bharata
avyakta-nidhanany eva / tatra ka paridevana bharata.

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.28 <>

O Bharata; eva---certainly; (all) bhutani---beings; (are) avyakta-adini---unmanifest in the beginning; vyakta---manifest; madhyani---in the interim; nidhanani.and after death; (they become) avyakta.unmanifest; tatra---therefore; ka---why?; paridevana---lament.

O Bharata, all beings are unmanifest before their birth, they become manifest in the interim, and after death they once again become unmanifest. So what cause can there be for lamentation?


In this way, having dispelled lamentation in respect to the atma by the shloka: na jayate mriyate va kadacin (Gita 2.20), and in respect to the body by the shloka: jatasya hi dhruvo mrityur (Gita 2.27), Shri Bhagavan now dispels the cause of lamentation for both the jivatma and the body by speaking this shloka, beginning with the word avyaktah. Before birth, devas, human beings, animals, birds and so on remain unmanifest. Even at that time, the subtle and gross bodies also exist in their causal state in the form of matter, such as earth, but they are in an unmanifest stage. They become manifest in the middle period and after death they again become unmanifest. In the period of dissolution and devastation (maha-pralaya), the jivatma also remains in his subtle form because of the existence of his karma and matra (tendency to accept sense objects). Therefore, all jivas remain unmanifest in the beginning and again become unmanifest at the end. They only become manifest in the middle period. The shruti also states: sthira-cara-jatayah syur ajayotthanimitta- yujah. "All the moving and non-moving jivas become manifest due to karma. Therefore, why should one cry out of grief?" (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.87.29).

In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.13.44) Shri Narada Muni says: yan manyase dhruvam lokam / adhruvam va na cobhayam sarvatha na hi shocyas te / snehad anyatra mohajat Whether you consider the human to be an eternal jivatma or a temporary body, or even if you accept an indescribable opinion that he is both eternal and temporary, you do not have to lament in any way.

There is no cause for lamentation other than the affection which has arisen out of delusion.


All living entities are born from the unmanifest stage, remain manifest for some time and again become situated in an unmanifest state. Just to explain this point, the present shloka has been spoken. In his explanation of Shrimad- Bhagavatam (10.87.29) cited in the above commentary, Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura writes that, because all jivatmas are manifest from Parameshvara, they are under His control. Parameshvara is beyond material nature, remaining detached from it. When He performs His pastime of glancing over the material nature, the moving and non-moving jivas become manifest with their past impressions of karma. Wherever the word utpanna (created) is used it means to become manifest. If one asks how the jivas, being merged in Parameshvara, can take birth, the answer is given that it is by His glance and the inspiration of His will (iccha-shakti). Past karma then becomes active, after which the jivatma appears along with his subtle body. Then, becoming united with the gross body, the jivatma takes birth. In other words, when the designations born from the effect of material nature are dissolved, the jivas are considered to have died; and when the jivatma appears with his past karma, impressions, and gross and subtle bodies in various species of life in this material world, he is said to have taken his birth. This is stated in Brihad-aranyaka-shruti: yathagneh kshudra visphulinga vyuccaranty evam evasmad atmanah sarve pranah sarve lokah sarve devah sarvani bhutani vyuccaranti Just as sparks appear from a fire, so the senses (such as the power to speak), the results of karma (such as happiness and distress), all the devas and all the living entities from Brahma down to the ant appear from Me, Paramatma.

Mahabhagavata Shri Yamaraja also says: yatragatas tatra gatam manushyam. "The living entity goes back to the same unknown place from whence he came."

Ch 2 Verse 29

ashcaryavat pashyati kashcid enam-ashcaryavad vadati tathaiva canyah
ashcaryavac cainam anyah shrinoti
shrutvapy enam veda na caiva kashcit

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.29 <>

kashcit---some person; pashyati---sees; enam---this (soul); ashcaryavat ---as amazing; ca---also; anyah---another; vadati---speaks of (him); ashcarya-vat---as amazing; tatha---in the same way; eva--- indeed; anyah---another; shrinoti---hears (of him); ca---and; eva--- certainly; kashcit---some person; api---even; shrutva---having heard; enam---of this (soul); na veda---does not understand.

Some look upon the atma as amazing, some speak of him as amazing and some hear of him and accept him as amazing. Others, however, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.


Shri Krishna is saying, "O Arjuna, if you ask what this amazing subject is that I am speaking about, then listen. It is indeed a matter of wonder that even after receiving this knowledge, your wisdom has not been awakened. In this regard it is true; this subject is a matter of wonder." Only for this reason is this shloka, beginning with the word ashcarya-vat, being spoken. This whole material world, in the form of the combination of the body and the atma, is indeed a wonder.


Since the truth about the science of the atma is very difficult to understand, the atma, the person who instructs about the atma, the instruction itself and the audience are all amazing. In other words, only some very rare, great persons look upon the atma as amazing, and some very rare persons hear about the atma and accept him as amazing. That most of the audience, even after hearing these instructions from one who is tattva-vit (a knower of the Absolute Reality), cannot realise the atma is most amazing. This is also explained in Katha Upanishad (1.2.7):

shravanayapi bahubhir yo na labhyah
shrinvanto 'pi bahavo yam na vidyuh
ashcaryo'sya vakta kushalo 'sya labdha
ashcaryo 'sya jnata kushalanushishtah

The opportunity to hear instructions about the science of the self (atma-tattva) is very rare. Even after hearing them, most cannot realise the instructions because a master who is self-realised (atma-tattva-vit) is very rare. If, by great fortune, such a teacher is available, the students themselves who are willing to hear this topic are also extremely rare. For this reason, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has instructed the jivatmas in Kali-yuga to perform shri hari-nama-sankirtana. If even faithless persons chant the name of Shri Hari while talking, walking, sitting, standing, eating, drinking, crying, laughing, or in any other way, they will still benefit from it. Gradually, they attain the association of shuddha-bhaktas. By such association they can even attain bhagavad-prema, and they easily attain knowledge of atma-tattva as a secondary result.

madhura-madhuram etan mangalam mangalanam
sakala-nigama-valli-sat-phalam cit-svarupam
sakrid api parigitam shraddhaya helaya va
bhriguvara nara-matram tarayet krishna-nama
Hari-bhakti-vilasa 11.234

Krishna-nama is the sweetest of the sweet and the most auspicious of all that is auspicious. It is the flourishing creeper, the eternal, fully-ripened fruit of the Bhagavata and the embodiment of knowledge, cit-shakti. O Bhrigu Muni! Even if someone chants the holy name only once, either with faith or indifference, he is immediately delivered from this ocean of birth and death!

sanketyam parihasyam va / stobham helanam eva va
vaikuntha-nama-grahanam / asheshagha-haram viduh
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.14

One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly (to indicate something else), jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all learned scholars of the shastra.

Ch 2 Verse 30

dehi nityam avadhyo 'yam / dehe sarvasya bharata
tasmat sarvani bhutani / na tvam shocitum arhasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.30 <>

bharata---O Bharata (Arjuna); ayam---this; dehi---the embodied soul; nityam---is eternal; (he resides) dehe---within the body; sarvasya---of all beings; (he) avadhyah---cannot be killed; tasmat---therefore; tvam---you; arhasi---should; na shocitum---not grieve; sarvani---for all; bhutani---living beings.

O Bharata, the eternal jivatma who resides within the body of all living beings, can never be slain. Therefore, you need not grieve for anyone.


If Arjuna asks, "What should I do now? Please instruct me definitively," Krishna.s answer is, "Give up your lamentation and fight." For this purpose, the two lines of this shloka beginning with dehi and dehe are being spoken.

Ch 2 Verse 31

svadharmam api cavekshya
na vikampitum arhasi
dharmyad dhi yuddhac chreyo 'nyat
kshatriyasya na vidyate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.31 <>

ca---and; api---also; avekshya---considering; sva-dharmam--- your own dharmic duty; arhasi---you should; na---not; vikampitum---hesitate; hi---indeed; kshatriyasya---for the kshatriya; na vidyate---there does not exist; anyat---another; (more) shreyah---auspicious engagement; yuddhat---than fighting; dharmyat---for dharma.

Considering your duty as a kshatriya you should not hesitate, as there is no better engagement for you than to fight for dharma.


"Since the atma is indestructible, it is not proper for you to be disturbed by thinking that he can be killed. And if you consider your own sva-dharma, it is also not proper for you to be perturbed."

Chapter 2 Verse 32

atha cet tvam ima dharmya / sagr ma na kari yasi
tata svadharma krtti ca / hitv p pam avpsyasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.32 <>

atha---on the other hand; cet---if; tvam---you; na---do not; kari yasi---perform; imam---this; dharmyam---dharmika duty; sagr mam---of war; tata---then; hitv ---losing; sva-dharmam--- personal duty; ca---and; krttim---fame; av psyasi---you will gain; ppam---sinful reaction.

However, if you do not perform your sva-dharma of fighting this dharmika battle, you will not only lose your status as a k atriya, but your only gain will be sinful reaction.


In the present loka beginning with atha and the follow- ing three lokas, r Bhagav n is explaining the defects in taking the stance of not fighting.

Ch 2 Verse 33

atha cet tvam ima dharmya / sagr ma na kari yasi
tata svadharma krtti ca / hitv p pam avpsyasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.33 <>

atha---on the other hand; cet---if; tvam---you; na---do not; kari yasi---perform; imam---this; dharmyam---dharmika duty; sagr mam---of war; tata---then; hitv ---losing; sva-dharmam--- personal duty; ca---and; krttim---fame; av psyasi---you will gain; ppam---sinful reaction.

However, if you do not perform your sva-dharma of fighting this dharmika battle, you will not only lose your status as a k atriya, but your only gain will be sinful reaction.


In the present loka beginning with atha and the follow ing three lokas, r Bhagav n is explaining the defects in taking the stance of not fighting.

Ch 2 Verse 34

akrtti cpi bh tni / kathayi yanti te 'vyaym
sambh vitasya ck rttir / mara d atiricyate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.34 <>

ca---and; bht ni---people; kathayiyanti---will speak; te---of your; avyay m---unending; akrtti ---infamy; ca---and; api---also; sambhvitasya---for an honourable person; ak rtti---dishonour; atiricyate---becomes more (powerful); mara t---than death.

People will speak of your infamy for all time, and for an honourable person, dishonour is more painful than death.


Here the word avyaym means indestructible, and sambh vitasya indicates one who is very well-established, or a very honourable person.

Ch 2 Verse 35

bhayd ra d uparata / masyante tv mah -rath ye ca tva bahu-mato / bhtv ysyasi l ghavam

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.35 <>

mah-rath ---the great warriors; ma syante---they will think; tvm---you; (have) uparatam---retired; ra t---from the battle; bhay t---out of fear; ca---and; ye m---for those for whom; tvam---you; bhtv ---were; bahu-mata---greatly honoured; y syas---you will become; lghavam---insignificant.

Great warriors such as Duryodhana and others will think that you have left the battlefield out of fear. Those who have always honoured you so highly will consider you to be insignificant.


"Your opponents are of the opinion,'Our enemy, Arjuna, is extremely valiant.' If you run away from the battle, after being the object of such honour, you will be deemed a cow- ard in their eyes. Mahrath s such as Duryodhana and others will think that you have fled the battlefield out of fear.'It must be due to fear, not affection for his relatives, that a katriya becomes averse to fighting while on the battlefield.' They will only consider your position in this way."

Ch 2 Verse 36

avcya-v d ca bah n / vadiyanti tav hit
nindantas tava smarthya / tato dukhatara nu kim

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.36 <>
tava---your; ahit ---enemies; vadiyanti---will say; bah n---
many; avcya---harsh; v dn---words; ca---also; nindanta ---
criticizing; tava---your; smarthyam---ability; kim---what?;
nu---indeed; (is) du kha-taram---more painful; tata---than

Your enemies will scorn you with many harsh
words, while criticising your ability. What could be
more painful for you than this?


Avcya-v dn implies the use of harsh words, such as 'eu-nuch'.

Ch 2 Verse 37

hato v pr psyasi svarga / jitv v bhok yase mahm
tasm d utti ha kaunteya / yuddhya k ta-nicaya

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.37 <>

v---either; hata ---being killed; prpsyasi---you will attain; svargam---the celestial kingdom; v ---or; jitv---by achieving victory; bhok yase---you shall enjoy; mahm---the earthly king- dom; tasm ---therefore; utti ha---arise; kaunteya---O son of Kunt; k ta-nicaya ---with determination; yuddhya---for battle

. O Kaunteya, if you are killed in the battle you will attain Svarga, and if you are victorious you will en- joy this earthly kingdom. Therefore, stand up and fight with determination.


If a question arises in the mind of Arjuna as to why he should engage in battle when it is not certain that he will win, r Bhagavn responds by speaking this loka beginning with hata.

Ch 2 Verse 38

sukha-dukhe same k tv / l bhl bhau jayjayau
tato yuddh ya yujyasva / naiva p pam avpsyasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.38 <>

k tv---having made; sukha---happiness; du khe---and distress; lbha-al bhau---both gain and loss; jaya-ajayau---both victory and defeat; same---to be equal; tata---then; yujyasva---fight; yuddh ya---for the sake of fighting; evam---in this way; na avpsyasi---you will not gain; p pam---sinful reaction.

Considering happiness and distress, gain and loss, and victory and defeat to be equal, you should fight. In this way you will not incur any sin.


r K a says, "O Arjuna, fighting is your only sva-dharma. If you doubt this and think that by fighting you will incur sin, you should still accept My instructions and fight. Through victory or defeat you will either gain or lose a kingdom, and as a consequence you will experience either happiness or dis- tress. Therefore, O Arjuna, deliberate with proper wisdom, and fight, knowing both of them to be equal. You will not incur sin as long as you are endowed with this equanimity." This subject is also described later in Gt (5.10): lipyate na sa ppena / padma-patram iv mbhas. "Just as a lotus leaf remains in water but never becomes wet, similarly, though engaged in battle, you will not incur sin"


In Gt (1.36) Arjuna is thinking,"I will incur sin by kill- ing them." In speaking this loka, r K a is refuting Arjuna's argument as baseless. The question of incurring sin by killing one's relatives in battle arises only because of at- tachment to happiness and distress."I am explaining to you the means by which you can become free from sin. Sin will not touch you if you perform your sva-dharma of fighting as per My instructions, considering happiness, distress, gain, loss, victory and defeat as equal." One becomes sinful or bound by action (karma) if he is attached to the fruits of his actions. Therefore, it is certainly necessary to renounce attachment to karma. This conclusion has been established in Gt (5.10):

brahmay dhya karm i / sa ga tyaktv karoti ya
lipyate na sa p pena / padma-patram ivmbhas

Those who give up all attachments to karma (work), and sur- render all the results of their karma unto Me, Paramevara, do not become affected by sin, just as a lotus leaf remains untouched by water.

Ch 2 Verse 39

e te 'bhihit s khye / buddhir yoge tv im u
buddhy yukto yay prtha / karma-bandha prahsyasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.39 <>

p rtha---O son of Pth ; (I have) abhihit---explained; te---to you; e ---this; buddhi ---knowledge; s khye---regarding s khya yoga; tu---but; u---now hear; im m---this (knowledge); yukta----connected; yoge---in bhakti-yoga; yay buddhy---with which knowledge; prah syasi---you shall be freed from; karma- bandham---bondage of the material world.

O Prtha, thus far I have explained this knowledge of s khya-yoga, but now I will impart to you the science of bhakti-yoga, by which you will become freed from the bondage of this material world.


At this point Bhagavn r K a says,"Until now I have instructed you in j na-yoga. I am concluding My instructions on j na-yoga with this loka beginning with the word e . That which properly illuminates the tattva of an object is called s khya (complete knowledge). That intelligence with which you must act has been explained here by the word e . Now hear about the intelligence required to act for bhakti-yoga." r K a's statement in which yay is used explains that when a person is endowed with intelligence related to bhakti, he will become freed from bondage to this material world.


Here, r K a is concluding His explanation of s khya- yoga and beginning His instructions on buddhi-yoga, or bhakti-yoga. rla Cakravart h kura defines s khya-yoga as follows: samyak khyyate prak yate vastu tattvam aneneti s khya samyak j nam. "That which properly illuminates the tattva of an object is called s khya-yoga. S khya-yoga gives complete knowledge about the tattva of the tm and antm (an inert object)." From the loka, na tv ev ham (Gt 2.12) to deh nityam (G t 2.30), various facets of tma-tattva have been explained, and from sva-dharmam api cvek ya (Gt 2.31) to sukha-dukhe (G t 2.38), knowledge other than tma-tattva (antma-tattva), that is, knowledge of sva- dharma, has been explained. When one performs ni kma- karma (selfless activities) with buddhi-yoga related to bhakti, he becomes free from the bondage of karma, that is, his bond- age to the material world is destroyed. This conclusion is verified in r opani ad (1.1):

v syam idam sarva / yat ki ca jagaty jagat
tena tyaktena bhuj th / m gdha kasya svid dhanam

Everything moving and non-moving in the entire universe is pervaded or enjoyed by Paramevara, the Supreme Controller. All moving and non-moving objects in this world are to be enjoyed only by Parame vara, the sole enjoyer of this world. Jvas are servants of Bhagav n. They should engage in ser- vice to Him using this universe as an instrument, and should maintain their lives accepting His remnants. The supreme duty of the jvas is to render loving service to r Bhagav n (bhagavat-sev) with His property, without desiring to accept that property as the object of their own enjoyment. In this way, the j vas do not become bound by their karma (actions).

kurvann eveha karm i / jijvi ec chata sam
eva tvayi nnyatheto 'sti / na karma lipyate narer sopaniad 1.2

One may aspire to live for hundreds of years if he continuously goes on working in that way, for that sort of work will not bind him to the law of karma. There is no alternative to this for man- kind.

Ch 2 Verse 40

nehbhikrama-n o 'sti / pratyav yo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya / tryate mahato bhay t

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.40 <>

abhikrama---endeavours; iha---in this bhakti-yoga; asti---there is; na---no; n a---destruction; vidyate---there is; na---no; pratyav ya---diminution; api---even; su-alpam---a very little; asya dharmasya---of this yoga; tr yate---frees (one); mahata--- from great; bhay t---fear.

Endeavours on the path of bhakti-yoga are neither fruitless nor subject to loss. Even a little progress frees one from great fear in the form of this material world.


Yoga (buddhi-yoga) is of two types: (1) bhakti-yoga in the form of hearing and chanting; and (2) bhagavad-arpita- ni kma-karma-yoga which entails surrendering the fruits of one's selfless actions to r Bhagav n. In Gt (2.47), r K a says,"O Arjuna, you have the qualification only to perform action (karma)."

Now, before karma-yoga, bhakti- yoga is being delineated. G t (2.45) states, "O Arjuna, situ- ate yourself beyond the three modes of material nature." This statement certainly refers to bhakti as being beyond the three modes because only by bhakti can a person transcend the modes of nature. This is well known from the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bh gavatam. J na and karma are described as sttvika and r jasika respectively, which proves that they are not beyond the three modes of nature.

Bhagavad-arpita-nik ma-karma-yoga is bhakti which is characterised by offering the fruits of one's karma to r Bhagavn. It does not allow the karma to go in vain, as is the case with the performance of karma that is not offered to Bhagav n. However, due to the lack of bhakti's predominance in such activities, they are not accepted as actual bhakti. If karma, in which the fruits are offered to r Bhagavn, were also described as bhakti, then what would constitute karma?

If one says that karma is only action, that is not offered to r Bhagav n, it is not correct. r mad-Bhgavatam (1.5.12) states that one of the characteristics of brahma (the effulgence of r Bhagav n) is that it is nikarma (inactive) and, being iden- tical with the mood of inactivity, is called nai karmya. When even brahma-j na, knowledge of brahma which is nik ma (without any material motive) and nirdoa (faultless), is not praiseworthy, being devoid of bhakti, then how can sak ma and nik ma-karma, if not offered to Bhagavn, be praisewor- thy, since they are troublesome in the stages of both s dhana (practice) and sdhya (the goal)?

According to the above-mentioned statement spoken by r N rada (r mad-Bhgavatam 1.5.12), karma which is not of- fered to r Bhagav n is useless. Therefore, only that bhakti characterised by hearing and chanting has been accepted as the sdhana to attain the sweetness of the lotus feet of r Bhagav n. Nevertheless, nik ma-karma-yoga which is of- fered to r Bhagavn is also worthy of consideration. Both types of yoga (bhakti-yoga and ni kma-karma-yoga) are to be understood by the word buddhi-yoga. This is evident from the statements of Bhagavad-g t such as, "I bestow upon them that buddhi-yoga by which they can attain Me," (G t 10.10) and, "O Dhana jaya, compared to buddhi-yoga, sakma- karma (action with fruitive desire) is very insignificant" (G t 2.49).

Now, in this loka beginning with neha, the glory of nirgua- bhakti (bhakti free from the modes), which is characterised by ravaam and k rtanam, is being explained. r Bhagavn says, ?The benefit that comes from even the initial steps of bhakti- yoga can never be destroyed, and thus it does not have the adverse effect of becoming lost. Conversely, if one starts to perform karma-yoga but does not complete it, the result of whatever karma has been performed is lost, and the fault of irregularity is incurred."

The question may be raised, "Can the result of bhakti be attained by those who have the desire to follow the process, but are unable to perform it properly?" r K a responds to this by saying svalpam, which means that even if the practice of bhakti has only just begun, the result is never lost and it will deliver one from the danger of this material world. The life histories of Ajmila and others are evidence of this. rmad- Bh gavatam (6.16.44) also states that just by once hearing r Bhagavn?s name, even a ca la is freed from the great fear caused by material existence. Moreover in r mad-Bhgavatam (11.29.20) it is stated:

na hy a gopakrame dhvaso / mad-dharmasyoddhav v api
may vyavasita samya / nirguatv d an ia

O Uddhava, because I have deliberately determined the tran- scendental nature of this process, even if nik ma-dharma or pure bhakti in the form of hearing and chanting is improperly per- formed, there is no possibility of the slightest loss. The purport of these statements of Bhagavad-gt and Bhgavatam seems to be the same, but the above statement of Bh gavatam has a special characteristic: since a transcen- dental object or activity is nirgua, it is never lost. This is the only point which is worthy of deliberation in this context. One> may argue that ni kma-karma-yoga, if offered to r Bhagav n, can also become nirgua by His grace. But it is not a fact. rmad-Bh gavatam (11.15.23) gives evidence of this: 'Nitya and naimittika (obligatory and occasional) ac- tivities which are performed without any fruitive desire and offered to Me are considered sttvika.' In other words, they are not transcendental to the three modes.


Here, buddhi-yoga is described as being of two types. The first is bhakti-yoga, in the form of hearing and chanting, and the second is nik ma-karma-yoga wherein the results of karma are offered to r Bhagavn. Of these two, the first is mukhya (primary) and the second is gau a (secondary and related to the guas) bhakti-yoga. In fact, bhakti-yoga is com- pletely nirgu a, transcendental to the modes. No irregulari- ties, faults or unwanted reactions can occur at the beginning or in the course of one's practice of bhakti-yoga, even if for some reason, one is unable to complete it. Rather, a little per- formance of bhakti-yoga delivers the performer from the ter- rible dangers of the material world and makes his life success- ful by giving him the service of r Bhagavn.

The following example can be cited. Because Bharata Mah rja became attached to a deer, he was not able to com- plete the full process of bhakti in that life. In his next birth, although he took the body of a deer, the influence of his pre- vious life's performance of bhakti enabled him to associate with uddha-bhaktas of Bhagavn. Taking birth again, he became an uttama-bh gavata and performed service to r Bhagavn. Therefore, Bhagav n says in Gt (6.40): prtha naiveha n mutra vin as tasya vidyate. "A person who has fallen from the path of bhakti is never lost in this world or in the next, nor does he obtain a miserable condition."

On the other hand, in bhagavat-arpita nik ma-karma- yoga, even if nik ma-karma-yoga is offered to Bhagavn, it is still referred to as karma-yoga, not bhakti-yoga. By first performing karma-yoga, the heart becomes purified and even- tually one attains bhakti-yoga. Therefore, this karma-yoga only aims indirectly at bhakti from far away. Unlike pure bhakti, however, karma-yoga is not nirgu a (free from the guas). Rather, it is called karma in sattva-gu a. Moreover, if this karma is not performed perfectly or, if it is left incom- plete, it may become lost and some unwanted reactions will be incurred. However, as stated in r mad-Bhgavatam (11.25.23): mad-arpa a ni phala v / sttvika nija-karma tat. If a sdhaka even begins to perform this bhakti-yoga slightly, but due to his own incapability leaves the path, or his practices cease due to his sudden, untimely death, either in the beginning or intermediate stage, his endeavours in bhakti will never go in vain. In other words, neither do his endeavours become faulty nor does he incur any sin even if he is unable to complete the process. In his next life, the s dhaka will continue from that same point where his performance of bhakti-yoga was obstructed. The presiding Deity of bhakti- yoga, r K a, or Bhakti-dev herself, make all these ar- rangements. In this context, there is one important point to note. Although a sdhaka has faith, if there are some irregu- larities in his performance due to ignorance of the process, the results of bhakti-yoga will never be lost nor does he incur sin. However, if someone offends guru, Vai avas or tad ya- vastu (that which belongs or is related to r Bhagavn such as Tulas , Yamun or the dh ma), his bhakti-yoga can be completely ruined.

Ch 2 Verse 41

vyavasy tmik buddhir / ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu- kh hy anant ca / buddhayo 'vyavasyin m

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.41 <>

kuru-nandana---O beloved child of the Kurus; buddhi---intelli- gence; iha---on this path of bhakti; (is) vyavas ya-tmik --- reso- lute; (and) ek---one-pointed; hi---certainly; buddhaya ---the intelligence; avyavasyin m---of the irresolute; (is) bahu- kh -- many-branched; ca---and; an-ant ---without a conclusion.

O Kuru-nandana, the intelligence of those who are on this path of bhakti is resolute and one-pointed, but the intelligence of those who are averse to bhakti is many-branched and inconclusive.


When compared to all other types of intelligence, that in- telligence whose aim and object is bhakti-yoga is supreme. Bhagav n explains this by speaking the above loka begin- ning with the word vyavas ya: "Resolute intelligence in bhakti- yoga is one-pointed." He describes the characteristic mood of one who possesses such intelligence as follows:"The in- structions that my Gurudeva has given me about rava am, krtanam, smara am, pda-sevanam, etc. of r Bhagav n are my very sdhana, my very s dhya and my very life. I am un- able to relinquish them in either the sdhana stage or in s dhya. My single desire and only engagement is to follow them. Besides this, I have no other desire or engagement, even in my dreams. There is no loss for me, whether by following these instructions I attain happiness or misery, or whether my material life is destroyed or not" This type of resolute intelligence is possible only in pure bhakti which is free from hypocrisy and cheating. It is said in r mad-Bhgavatam (11.20.28):

tato bhajeta m bhakty / raddh lur d ha-nicaya

Knowing that all perfection is achieved through My bhakti alone, a man of resolute faith will perform My bhajana with devotion. Only by bhakti can intelligence become one-pointed. r Bhagavn further explains this by also referring to bahu- kh , that which has many branches. Because there are unlimited types of desires in karma-yoga, intelligence applied to it is also of unlimited types. Similarly, because there are unlimited varieties of s dhana in karma-yoga, it has unlim- ited branches. In the initial stage of j na-yoga one fixes one's intelligence in nik ma-karma to purify the heart. When the heart is purified, the sdhaka fixes his intelligence in karma- sanny sa, the renunciation of fruitive karma. Having attained this stage, one fixes one's intelligence in j na. When one realises that even j na is unsuccessful and unable to grant service to the lotus feet of r Bhagavn, one fixes one's in- telligence in bhakti. In rmad-Bh gavatam (11.19.1) it is said:

j na ca mayi sannyaset

.'J na must also be renounced to attain Me'

According to the above statement of r Bhagav n, after attaining the stage of j na, one has to fix one's intelligence in j na-sannysa (the renunciation of j na). Thus, intel- ligence is of unlimited varieties. Since karma, j na and bhakti all ought to be performed, their branches are also unlimited.


Of the three types of buddhi-yoga: karma, j na and bhakti, only that buddhi (intelligence) which is related to pure bhakti-yoga is supreme. The exclusive aim and object of mukhya-bhakti-yoga is Vrajendra-nandana r K a, and that intelligence which is related only to Him is called aik ntik or anany (one-pointed or exclusive). The sdhakas of such aik ntika-bhakti are free from the desires for mun- dane enjoyment, moka and from duplicity, therefore their intelligence is resolute. rla Vi vantha Cakravart h kura comments on r mad-Bhgavatam (11.20.28)."They resolutely think, 'Even if there are millions of obstacles in the perfor- mance of my bhajana, even if I lose my life, or if I have to go to hell because of offenses or if lust overpowers me, I can never give up bhakti, whatever the circumstance may be. I will not perform j na and karma, even if Brahm himself orders me to. Under no circumstances can I give up bhakti.' Only this type of determination can be called nicay tmik buddhi.

Due to lack of such exclusive ni h in Bhagavn, a person's intelligence remains engaged in karma-yoga and j ana-yoga. His intelligence is called many-branched because of a vari- ety of aims and objectives, such as the pleasures in this world or the next related to profit (lbha), adoration (p j) and distinction (prati h ). His intelligence is filled with unlim- ited desires.

According to the Vai ava c ryas, Bhagavn Himself is the non-dual, conscious Supreme Absolute Reality. He is called nirgu a, being simultaneously beyond the material qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas, and endowed with all transcen- dental qualities such as aivarya (opulence), m dhurya (sweet- ness), day (compassion) and bhakta-v tsalya (affection for His bhaktas). However, modern people who are uneducated, bereft of tattva-j na, whose intelligence is covered by illu- sion and who consider brahma to be without transformations (nirvikra), without variety (nirvi ea) and untainted (nira jana), accept Him as nirgua in only a mundane sense. They consider the l l-avat ras of Bhagavn to be brahma but covered by m y, and that His svar pa and qualities, such as compassion, are therefore material like their own. They say that by worshipping sagua-brahma (brahma full of material qualities) their hearts will gradually become puri- fied and they will become one with nirgu a-brahma (brahma devoid of material qualities). The establishment of such con- clusions is as useless as trying to hit the sky because stras such as the Bhagavad-gt , which describe the transcenden- tal form and characteristics of r Bhagavn, refute this des- picable concept in all cases. Therefore, pure devotion for nirgu a-brahma (K a), who is endowed with all transcen- dental qualities, is called nirgu a-bhakti. In r la r dhara Svm 's commentary on r mad-Bhgavatam (3.29.11), he explains nirgu a-bhakti to be of one kind only, aikntika (one- pointed). rla ukadeva Gosvm has stated in r mad- Bhgavatam (3.29.7-10) that because sak ma-bhakti is per- formed with various material desires, it has unlimited branches such as tmasika sak ma-bhakti.

Ch 2 Verse 42

ym im pu pit vca / pravadanty avipacita
veda-vda-rat p rtha / nnyad ast ti vdina

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.42 <>

prtha---O P rtha; avipacita ---the unwise; (who are) veda- vda-rat ---attached to the statements of the Vedas; pravadanti---proclaim; y m imm---all these; pu pitm---flowery; v cam---statements; vdina ---they say; iti---thus; asti---there is; na anyat---nothing else.

O Prtha, those who are foolish reject the real mean- ings of the Vedas out of attachment to those orna- mental statements which glorify the pursuit of celes- tial pleasures, but which yield only poisonous effects. They say there is no higher truth ( vara-tattva) than these.


The irresolute sakma-karm s (persons with material desires) are extremely dull-witted. To explain this, r Bhagavn speaks this loka beginning with ym im m. The phrase pupit v ca implies that these statements of the Vedas are only tem- porarily pleasing, just like flowery creepers that are ultimately poisonous. Pravadanti refers to those who in all respects ac- cept such Vedic statements as the summum bonum. Those whose hearts have been captivated by such statements have no resolute intelligence. This loka is in natural sequence with Gt 2.44: bhogaivarya-prasakt nm. It is impossible for such people to have resolute intelligence, so it is not for them that this instruction is given. What to speak of not having resolute intelligence, r Bhagav n even says that they are fools, avipacita . This is because they accept as the ultimate objec- tive of the Vedas the declaration of flowery statements such as, "By performing the cturm sya-vrata one will attain im- perishable results," or, "After drinking soma-rasa one becomes immortal." They also speculate that beyond this there is no truth, such as vara-tattva.


The prime objective established in the Vedas is Svaya Bhagavn r K a and His prema-bhakti. If one does not understand this prime objective of the Vedas, one's transcen- dental faith and intelligence will be inappropriately placed in their apparent, exterior meanings which initially appear very attractive and sweet to the ear but which deliver a fear- some result. r K a has further clarified in G t 2.45: traigu ya-viay ved. Also in rmad-Bh gavatam (4.29.47) one is warned to be careful of the assertions of the Vedas:

tasmt karmasu barhi mann / aj nd artha-k i u
mrtha-d i k th rotra- / spar iv asp a-vastuu

O Pr cnabarhi at, to ignorant vision, the ritualistic activities mentioned in the Vedas appear as the ultimate objective.
Though their accounts are alluring to the ear, in fact they are devoid of any connection with the Absolute Truth. Therefore, disregard them.

Ch 2 Verse 43

kamatmanah svarga-para / janma-karma-phala-pradam
kriya-vishesha-bahulam / bhogaishvarya-gatim prati

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.43 <>

kama-atmanah---having lusty natures; (they perform) bahulam--- many; kriya-vishesha---pompous Vedic rituals; svarga-parah---dedicated to entering heaven; prati---towards; gatim---the goal; bhoga--- of sense enjoyment; aishvarya---and opulence; (which) pradam--- result; janma-karma-phala---in good birth and fruitive results---

Those whose hearts are contaminated by lust perform many pompous ceremonies to attain Svarga-loka, thinking these to be the highest objective of the Vedas. Though leading to enjoyment and opulence, such rituals bind their followers in the cycle of birth and death.


What type of statements do these people follow? In response, it is said that by analysing the profit and loss of such Vedic rituals, they establish how to increase those activities which will give them bhoga (enjoyment) and aishvarya, even though such activities result in birth and death.

Ch 2 Verse 44

bhogaishvarya-prasaktanam / tayapahrita-cetasam
vyavasayatmika buddhih / samadhau na vidhiyate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.44 <>

prasaktanam---for those who are attached; bhoga---to enjoyment; aishvarya---and opulence; apahrita-cetasam---whose minds are captivated; taya---by those (words of the Vedas); na vidhiyate---there does not take place; vyavasaya-atmika---the resolute; buddhih--- intelligence; samadhau---in trance on the Supreme.

Those who are attached to enjoyment and opulence, whose minds have been captivated by celestial happiness, do not attain the resolute intelligence for exclusive absorbtion in Bhagavan


Those whose minds have been captivated by such flowery statements become attached to enjoyment and opulence. Such persons are not able to attain samadhi or concentration of the mind; they lack that resolute intelligence which reposes only in Parameshvara.

Ch 2 Verse 45

traigunya-vishaya veda / nistraigunyo bhavarjuna
nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho / niryoga-kshema atmavan

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.45 <>

arjuna---O Arjuna; vedah---the Vedic; vishayah---subject matter; (is) trai-gunya---pertaining to the modes of material nature; bhava---be; nistraigunyah---beyond the three modes; nirdvandvah---be free from duality; (and) nitya-sattva-sthah--- situated in pure goodness or spiritual existence; (be) niryoga-kshemah---detached from the tendency to preserve and acquire; atma-van---and be endowed with intelligence given by Me.

O Arjuna, rise above the modes described in the Vedas and become established in nirguna-tattva. Be free from all dualities such as honour and dishonour, and do not worry about profit and loss. Become situated in shuddha-sattva by using the intelligence awarded by Me.


"Becoming detached from the means to attain catur-varga (dharma, artha, kama and moksha), only take shelter of bhaktiyoga. " Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with the word traigunya, because the predominant subject matters of the Vedas illuminate karma, jnana, etc., which are under the gunas. The meaning of the word traigunya is formed with the suffix 'syan'. Since, in the Vedas, there are excessive descriptions of karma and jnana, according to the logic of bhumna vyapadesha bhavanti (wherein the title is based on the predominating composition), the Vedas are called traigunya (pertaining to the three modes of nature). Only bhakti, however, can take one to Shri Bhagavan. This is the verdict of the Matharah- shruti. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad states:

yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau.

"The meaning of the Vedas can only be revealed to one who has the same transcendental bhakti to both Shri Bhagavan and his gurudeva."

Nirguna-bhakti is the only subject matter of the smritis, such as the Pancaratra and the Upanishads, including the Gitopanishad and Gopala-tapani Upanishad. If it is accepted that bhakti is not described in the Vedas, bhakti will become unauthoritative. Therefore, Krishna directs Arjuna to become free from the Vedic injunctions of jnana and karma, which are under the influence of the gunas. He tells him not to perform them, but to always follow the process for achieving bhakti as stated in the Vedas. It is mentioned in Brahmay amala Purana, "The pretentious display of exclusive haribhakti, neglecting the process of pancaratra recommended in shruti, smriti and the Puranas, etc", results only in eventual disturbance."This mistake or fault is inexcusable. Those subject matters of the Vedas, that pertain to the gunas (saguna) and those that are beyond the gunas (gunatita) are called respectively traigunya (with the three gunas) and nistraigunya (free from the three gunas). Shri Krishna says, "Of the two, pursue only nistraigunya. Become free from the three gunas by the influence of My nirguna-bhakti. Only then will you become free from dualities such as honour and dishonour. Therefore, remain exclusively in the association of My bhaktas who are always situated in nitya-sattva."

Here, the explanation of how to become situated in vishuddha (nitya) sattva-guna will contradict the explanation on becoming free from the gunas. To achieve that which is lacking is called yoga, and to protect that which one possesses is called kshema. By the word niryoga-kshema, Shri Bhagavan is telling Arjuna to become free from the concern for both yoga and kshema. "Upon becoming overpowered by the taste for My bhakti-rasa, yoga and kshema will not be a cause for concern." When Shri Bhagavan states in Gita (9.22), "I personally carry yoga and kshema," He is displaying His affection for His bhaktas by stating, "Because I carry their burden of maintenance there is no need for them to separately endeavour for it." Atmavan means "become a person endowed with intelligence granted by Me."

Now the words nistraigunya and traigunya are being discussed. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.25.23-29) it is said:

mad-arpanam nishphalam va / sattvikam nija-karma tat
rajasam phala-sankalpam / himsa-prayadi-tamasam
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.23

Know that nishkama-karma offered to Shri Bhagavan is in sattvagu na. That action which is performed with a desire for the fruit is in rajo-guna, while action performed with violence or envy is in tamo-guna.

In the above shloka (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.23) nishphalam va implies naimittika-karma (work which is occasional), performed without fruitive desires.

kaivalyam sattvikam jnanam / rajo vaikalpikam ca yat
prakritam tamasam jnanam / man-nishtham nirgunam smritam
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.24

Jnana related to the self (kaivalyam) which is beyond the conception of the body, is sattvika. Jnana related to the body (the false conception of 'I' and 'mine', considering oneself to be the doer and the enjoyer) is rajasika. Jnana of inert matter, the mundane world or the body is tamasika, while jnana related to Me is nirguna.

vanam tu sattviko vaso / gramo rajasa ucyate
tamasam dyuta-sadanam / man-niketam tu nirgunam
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.25

To live in the forest is in sattva-guna, to live in the village is in rajo-guna, to live in a gambling house (city) is in tamo-guna and to live where I live (the temple) is nirguna.

sattvikah karako 'sangi / ragandho rajasah smritah
tamasah smriti-vibhrashto / nirguno mad-apashrayah
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.26

The doer who is not attached to the result is in sattva-guna, the doer who is blinded by attachment is in rajo-guna, the doer who has lost his memory is in tamo-guna and the doer who has taken complete shelter of Me is nirguna.

sattviky adhyatmiki shraddha / karma-shraddha tu rajasi
tamasy adharme ya shraddha / mat-sevayam tu nirguna
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.27

Faith related to the self is in sattva-guna, faith related to karma (action) is in rajo-guna, faith related to irreligious activities is in tamo-guna and faith related to My service is nirguna.

pathyam putam anayas tam / aharyam sattvikam smritam
rajasam cendriya-preshtham / tamasam carttidashuci
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.28

Food which is wholesome, pure and easily available is in sattva gu na. Food which is pungent, sour and gives pleasure to the senses is in rajo-guna. Food which is impure and the cause of misery is in tamo-guna and that food which is offered to Me is nirguna.

According to Shrila Shridhara Svami, the word ca in the above mentioned shloka (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.28) means that that which is offered to Shri Bhagavan is nirguna. sattvikam sukham atmottham / vishayottham tu rajasam
tamasam moha-dainyottham / nirgunam mad-apashrayam
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.29

Happiness which comes from the self is in sattva-guna, that which comes from sense objects is in rajo-guna, that which comes from delusion and depravity is in tamo-guna and that happiness which comes in relation to Me is nirguna.

After explaining objects which exemplify the three gunas in the above-mentioned Shrimad-Bhagavatam shlokas (11.25.23- 29), Shri Bhagavan further explains how to attain perfection in realizing the nature (nistraigunya-bhava) of an object which is beyond the three gunas (nirguna-vastu). He says that only by performing nirguna-bhakti can one conquer the influence of the gunas that exist within oneself. This is stated in the following shlokas:

dravyam deshah phalam kalo / jnanam karma ca karakah
shraddhavasthakritir nishtha / traigunyah sarva eva hi
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.30

Everything material such as the substance, place, results, time, knowledge, action, the agent, faith, situation, form and determination are all traigunya.

sarve guna-maya bhavah / purushavyakta-dhishthitah
drishtam shrutam anudhyatam / buddhya va purusharshabha
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.31

O best of human beings, whatever states of being that are heard, seen or conceived, which exist between the purusha (the enjoying self) and prakriti (material nature), are comprised of the three modes of nature.

etah samsritayah pumso / guna-karma-nibandhanah
yeneme nirjitah saumya / guna jivena citta-jah
bhakti-yogena man-nishtho / mad-bhavaya prapadyate
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.32

O gentle one, all material conditions of the living entity (purusha) are born from action performed in the three gunas. Only those jivas who, by practising bhakti-yoga, have conquered these modes manifested in the citta become endowed with nishtha and are able to attain Me.

Therefore, only by nirguna-bhakti can one conquer the three gunas and not by any other means. In response to the question asked in Gita (14.21): katham caitams trin gunan ativartate, "How can one conquer the gunas of material nature? "Then it is said later in Gita (14.26):

mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena / bhakti-yogena sevate sa gunan samatityaitan / brahma-bhuyaya kalpate Only those who render service to Me with aikantika bhakti-yoga can transcend the three gunas and become qualified to realise brahma.

In his commentary on this shloka (Gita 14.26) Shrila Shridhara Svami says, .Ca is an emphatic. That is, those who exclusively perform aikantika-bhakti (unflinching devotional service) to Me, Parameshvara, can conquer all the gunas."


Dharma, artha, kama and moksha are called catur-varga (the four goals of human life). Bhakti is the fifth goal (pancamapuru shartha). Although in shastras such as the Vedas the paths of karma, jnana and bhakti have been instructed as the sadhana for the jivas, one can only attain Shri Bhagavan by giving up all other paths and engaging exclusively in vishuddha- bhakti. This is also made clear by studying these two shlokas from Shrimad-Bhagavatam:

bhaktyaham ekaya grahyah / shraddhayatma priyah satam
bhaktih punati man-nishtha / shva-pakan api sambhavat
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.21

I can only be attained through bhakti performed with full faith. I am naturally dear to My bhaktas who take Me as the exclusive goal of their bhajana. Even the dog-eaters can purify themselves of their lower birth by performing bhajana to Me.

na sadhayati mam yogo / na sankhyam dharma uddhava
na svadhyayas tapas tyago / yatha bhaktir mamorjita
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.20

O Uddhava! Yoga, sankhya, study of the Vedas, tapasya and dana (charity) cannot overpower Me as does intense bhakti performed solely to attain Me.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "In shastra there are two types of subjects: uddishta and nirddishta. The subject which is the highest objective of any shastra is called uddishta-vishaya. That instruction which indicates uddishta-vishaya is called nirddishtavi shaya. For example, because it is so dim, it is very difficult to see the Arundhati star in the sky without assistance. If someone.s objective is to see it, he must first take an indication from the biggest star closest to it. So, if Arundhati is the uddishta-vishaya, the biggest star closest to it is the nirddishtavi shaya. All the Vedas indicate nirguna-tattva to be the uddishtavi shaya. Because nirguna-tattva cannot be understood immediately, the Vedas first describe saguna-tattva (reality with the gunas) which is the nirddishta-vishaya. Thus, maya, consisting of the three modes, sattva, rajas and tamas, initially appears to be the subject matter of the Vedas. 'O Arjuna, do not remain entangled in this nirddishta-vishaya. Rather, attain nirguna-tattva, or that which is indicated to be the uddishtatattva, and become free from the gunas. Some parts of the Vedic literatures describe karma in rajo-guna and tamo-guna. Other parts describe jnana in sattva-guna, and in specific places there is a description of nirguna-bhakti. You should attain nitya-sattva (pure spiritual existence) by becoming free from dualities such as honour and dishonour. In other words, by associating with My bhaktas, renounce the endeavour for yoga (acquisition) and kshema (preservation) sought after by the processes of jnana and karma and, by the process of buddhiyoga, become free from the modes of nature.'"

Ch 2 Verse 46

yavan artha udapane / sarvatah samplutodake
tavan sarveshu vedeshu / brahmanasya vijanatah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.46 <>

avan---whatever; arthah---purpose; (is served) uda-pane---by wells; (are) sarvatah---in all respects; sampluta-udake---served by a large lake; tavan---similarly; arthah---the purpose; sarveshu---within all; vedeshu---the Vedas; vijanatah brahmanasya---is known by the learned brahmana.

All the purposes served by a variety of wells can easily be fulfilled by a large lake. Similarly, whatever results are attained by the worship of various devas as described in the Vedas can easily be attained through the worship of Bhagavan by a brahmana endowed with bhakti.


Shri Krishna continues, "O, what more can I say about the glories of that bhakti-yoga which is nirguna and nishkama. Even initial endeavours in bhakti are neither lost nor adverse in their effect."

Also in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.29.20) Shri Krishna has told Uddhava: na hy angopakrame dhvamso / mad-dharmasyoddhavanv api maya vyavasitah samyan / nirgunatvad anashishah

O Uddhava, I have established the transcendental nature of this dharma. If one engages in this selfless dharma for My sake, there is not the least possibility that it may lead to loss by fault or degradation. However, in this context vyavasayatmika buddhi (resolute intelligence) also indicates sakama-bhakti-yoga. Shri Bhagavan uses an example to prove this when He speaks the shloka beginning with the word yavan. Since udapane is a singular noun, it has been used here in a similar case. Here, the word udapane indicates a group of wells. Many purposes are fulfilled by different wells. One well is used for the purpose of cleaning after evacuation, one for brushing teeth, one for washing cloth, one for cleaning hair, one for bathing and one for drinking water. These different purposes which are fulfilled by various wells can all be fulfilled at one and the same time by a large reservoir of water. It is laborious to go to different wells for various purposes, but there is no labour in going to one reservoir. Moreover, a small well often has salty water, but water from a large lake is sweet. One should deliberate on this difference between a well and a lake. Similarly, the different fruits one attains through worshipping various devas, by the procedures described in the Vedas can all be attained simply by the worship of Shri Bhagavan. The word brahmanasya means those who know brahma (Veda). Only a brahmana knows the Vedas but, beyond such knowledge, the real brahmanas are those who specifically know bhakti as the ultimate meaning of the Vedas. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.2) it is also said: brahma-varcasa-kamas tu / yajeta brahmanah patim indram indriya-kamas tu / praja-kamah prajapatin

A person desiring the brahma effulgence should worship Brahma, the master of the Vedas. One desiring satisfaction of the senses should worship Indra. A person desiring progeny should worship the Prajapatis, while a person desiring wealth should worship Durga. After this it is said: akamah sarva-kamo va / moksha-kama udara-dhih tivrena bhakti-yogena / yajeta purusham param Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.10 Whether one is free from desires, full of desires or desirous of moksha, one should, having attained a higher intelligence, worship parama-purusha (Bhagavan) with intense bhakti-yoga. Just as the rays of the sun are very intense when the sky is free from clouds, similarly bhakti-yoga, which is devoid of jnana and karma, is also very intense. One's intelligence becomes many-branched by worshipping a number of devas to fulfil various desires. Shri Bhagavan, however, can fulfil all of one's desires. When even a particle of such intelligence is engaged in worship, it is considered to be one-pointed because of the superlative nature of the object of worship.


The various activities that can be performed by the use of separate wells can all be performed by using a large reservoir of water, such as a lake. Similarly, the various desires which can be fulfilled by worshipping different devas as directed in the Vedas can all be fulfilled simply by worshipping Bhagavan. If the heart is filled with many material desires, various devas are worshipped to fulfil those desires. The resulting intelligence, which is many-branched, is called avyavasayatmika buddhi. In contrast to this, the aikantika (one-pointed) worship of Shri Bhagavan is only achieved by focused, resolute intelligence. For this reason, knowers of the Vedas explain bhakti to be the sole essence of the Vedas. Therefore, bhaktiyoga alone is vyavasayatmika buddhi.

Ch 2 Verse 47

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.47 <>



Ch 2 Verse 48

yoga-sthah kuru karmani / sangam tyaktva dhananjaya
siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhutva / samatvam yoga ucyate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.48 <>

dhananjaya---O Dhananjaya; yoga-sthah---being situated in bhakti-yoga; tyaktva---abandoning; sangam---attachment; kuru---perform; karmani---prescribed duties; bhutva---becoming; samah---equipoised; siddhi-asiddhyoh---in success and failure; samatvam---(such) equanimity; ucyate---is called; yogah---yoga.

O Dhananjaya, in a devotional mood, give up attachment to the fruits of karma, perform your prescribed duties and become equipoised in success and failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.


In this shloka beginning with yoga-sthah, Shri Bhagavan gives instructions on nishkama-karma. He says, "Become equipoised in victory and defeat, and just perform your prescribed duty of engaging in this battle." The result of this nishkama-karmayoga is that it culminates in jnana-yoga, and thus jnana-yoga is the purport of the previous shloka and the following shloka.


Intelligence which is equipoised in the face of the success or failure of one.s actions is called yoga.

Ch 2 Verse 49

durena hy avaram karma / buddhi-yogad dhananjaya
buddhau sharanam anviccha / kripanah phala-hetavah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.49 <>

dhananjaya---O Dhananjaya; durena---(throw) far away; avaram--- inferior; karma---fruitive activity; hi---certainly; buddhi-yogat--- by the yoga of intelligence; anviccha---accept; sharanam---shelter; buddhau---of intelligence (nishkama-karma); phala-hetavah---those desiring the fruits of their activities; (are) kripanah---misers.

O Dhananjaya, because kamya-karma is very much inferior, take shelter of nishkama-karma-yoga that is offered to the Lord. Those who desire the fruits of their karma are misers.


In speaking this shloka beginning with the word durena, Shri Bhagavan is criticising sakama-karma or kamya-karma (fruitive activities). Kamya-karma is avaram (very inferior) to nishkama-karma-yoga, which is offered to Parameshvara and which is also called buddhi-yoga. Here, the word buddhau implies nishkama-karma, while buddhi-yoga implies nishkamakarma- yoga.


Kripanah refers to those who are unable to understand the meaning of nishkama-karma-yoga. Such people are attached to the fruits of their activities, and consequently, they are sometimes happy and sometimes distressed. This topic has been explained at length in Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad. Once, there was a great assembly of realised sages, maharshis and brahmarshis in the royal court of Janaka Maharaja. Janaka Maharaja, assisted by his royal servants, brought hundreds of milk-giving cows along with their beautiful calves to that assembly. The horns of the cows were encased in gold and their hooves in silver. Beautiful cloth decorated with golden ornaments graced their backs. Folding his hands, Janaka Maharaja addressed the sages with great humility. "Whoever among you is brahma-vetta (a knower of brahma), I beg you to come and accept these cows."

All assembled there began to whisper amongst themselves. No one dared come forward to establish himself as brahmavett a and take the cows. Again, Janaka Maharaja looked towards them, with all seriousness. This time the maharshi Yajnavalkya got up and told his students, "O brahmacaris, take these cows to my ashrama."

Hearing this, the other maharshis objected, saying, "Are you brahma-vetta?"

Maharshi Yajnavalkya said, "I offer my obeisances at the feet of those who are brahma-vetta. If you want to examine me or ask any question, please do so."

The various sages asked different questions and Yajnavalkya Maharshi gave them befitting answers. At last, the greatly learned Gargi humbly inquired, "Who is a kripana and who is a brahmana?"

Yajnavalkya Maharshi's response to this was: yo va etad aksharam gargy aviditvasmal lokat praiti sa kripanah (Brihad- aranyaka Upanishad 3.8.10). "O Gargi, that person is a kripana (miser) who leaves this world without knowing Shri Bhagavan, who is Acyuta, the Infallible Absolute Reality."

In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.9.49) it is said: kripanah . . . gunavastu- drik. "Kripanas are those who consider that the ultimate reality consists only of sense objects produced from the material modes." Furthermore, it is stated in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.19.44): kripano yo 'jitendriyah. "A kripana is a person who has no control over his senses."

Ch 2 Verse 50

buddhi-yukto jahatiha / ubhe sukrita-dushkrite
tasmad yogaya yujyasva / yogah karmasu kaushalam

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.50 <>

buddhi-yuktah---a person endowed with intelligence; jahati--- gives up; ubhe---both; sukrita-dushkrite---pious and impious actions; iha---in this birth; tasmat---therefore; yujyasva---strive; yogaya---for nishkama-karma-yoga; (this) yogah---yoga; (is) kaushalam---the art; karmasu---in (all) activities.

One who practises buddhi-yoga gives up both pious and impious actions in this very life. Therefore, strive for nishkama-karma-yoga. Working under the shelter of buddhi-yoga with equanimity is the art of work.


Here, the word yogaya refers to that yoga which possesses the characteristics defined in Gita 2.48. Yujyasva means "make an endeavour". It is nishkama-karma-yoga (performing karma without personal motivation), which is the essence of yoga, not sakama-yoga.

Ch 2 Verse 51

karma-jam buddhi-yukta hi / phalam tyaktva manishinah
janma-bandha-vinirmuktah / padam gacchanty anamayam

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.51 <>

hi---indeed; manishinah---sages; buddhi-yuktah---endowed with buddhi; tyaktva---giving up; phalam---results; karma-jam---born of fruitive activities; (are) vinirmuktah---liberated; janmabandha ---from the bondage of birth and death; gacchanti---they attain; padam---the place; anamayam---without misery.

Sages endowed with buddhi-yoga give up the results born of karma. Thus becoming freed from the cycle of birth and death, they eventually attain Vaikuntha, the state beyond all mundane miseries.

Ch 2 Verse 52

yada te moha-kalilam / buddhir vyatitarishyati
tada gantasi nirvedam / shrotavyasya shrutasya ca

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.52 <>

yada---when; te---your; buddhih---intelligence; vyatitarishyati--- has crossed beyond; kalilam---the dense forest; moha---of illusion; tada---at that time; gantasi---you shall become; nirvedam--- indifferent; shrotavyasya---to that which is to be heard; ca---and; shrutasya---to all that is already heard.

When your intelligence has crossed beyond the dense forest of illusion, you will become indifferent to all that has been heard and all that is to be heard.


Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with yada to explain that one becomes situated in yoga by practising nishkama-karma offered to Parameshvara."When your heart completely transcends the deep forest of delusion, you will become indifferent to all the topics which have already been heard and the various topics yet to be heard." If one raises the question, "I have already become free from doubt, and I no longer have the fault of an adverse attitude, so what need is there for me to hear the instructions of shastra?" then Bhagavan responds, "Even so, at present it is appropriate for you to practise at every moment this process which has been explained by Me".


Nirveda means that the jivas are attached to this world because of their identification with the body. This is the root cause of material existence. As long as this material attachment remains, the jivatma cannot attain tattva-jnana, nor can he become detached from the material world. Nirveda means to become detached from the material world. It is not an easy achievement. Through the practice of nishkamakarma offered to Bhagavan, one gradually becomes free from the false conception that the body is the atma (self). One then achieves nirveda (renunciation) of all types of activities about which one has heard or will hear, and which originate from material desires described in the shastra. Eventually, he engages in aikantika-bhajana. This instruction is also in the Vedas:

parikshya lokan karma-cittan brahmano nirvedam ayan nasty akritah kritena
Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12

A tattva-vetta brahmana (a knower of the Absolute truth) attains nirveda after understanding that the happiness and pleasure one attains by karma in this world or the next are temporary and distressful. Prahlada Maharaja has given a similar instruction:

ady-antavanta urugaya vidanti hi tvam evam vimrishya sudhiyo viramanti shabdat
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.49

O Urukrama, those who realise with discrimination that all objects have a beginning and an end give up the study of the Vedas and exclusively engage in bhajana to You.

Ch 2 Verse 53

shruti-vipratipanna te / yada sthasyati nishcala
samadhau acala buddhis / tada yogam avapsyasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.53 <>

yada---when; te---your; buddhih---intelligence; sthasyati---becomes situated; shruti-vipratipanna---detached from the various interpretations of the Vedas; nishcala---non-moving; acala--- steadfast; samadhau---in trance; tada---at that time; avapsyasi--- you shall achieve; yogam---(the fruit) of yoga.

When your intelligence becomes detached from hearing various interpretations of the Vedas, and when it becomes free from all other attachments while remaining steadfast in Parameshvara, then you will attain the fruit of yoga.


Shri Krishna is saying, "You will become detached from hearing about mundane subject matters, and also Vedic instructions, and as you do so, you will become steadfast; your mind will not be deceived by the apparent attraction of such topics" . In the Sixth Chapter also, samadhi is described as acala (fixed or undisturbed). Shri Bhagavan assures Arjuna, "Then, by having direct experience of transcendence through yoga, you will attain freedom from material bondage."

Ch 2 Verse 54

arjuna uvaca
sthita-prajnasya ka bhasha / samadhi-sthasya keshava
sthita-dhih kim prabhasheta / kim asita vrajeta kim

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.54 <>

arjunah uvaca---Arjuna said; keshava---O Keshava; sthitapraj nasya---for one whose intelligence is fixed; samadhisthasya ---and situated in trance; ka---what?; bhasha---(are his) symptoms; kim---in what way?; sthita-dhih---one with fixed intelligence; prabhasheta---does speak; kim---how?; asita---does he sit; kim---how?; vrajeta---does he walk.

Arjuna said: O Keshava! What are the symptoms of a person whose intelligence is fixed in samadhi? How does he speak? How does he sit? And how does he walk?


In the previous shloka, Arjuna heard about intelligence fixed in trance (samadhau acala). Arjuna now inquires about the symptoms of a true yogi. "How do those who are sthita-prajna (of undisturbed, fixed intelligence) speak? What is the symptom of their bhasha (language)? How do those in samadhi remain situated in trance? The designations sthita-prajna and samadhi-stha (situated in trance) apply to liberated persons. How do they speak when they face a situation of pleasure or misery, honour or dishonour, glorification or criticism, affection or envy and so on? Do they speak clearly or do they just contemplate within themselves? How do they sit? How do they engage their senses in external objects? How do they walk? In other words, how do their senses behave in relationship to external sense objects?"


Beginning from this shloka, Arjuna asks Shri Krishna sixteen questions. In response, Shri Krishna illuminates the deep secrets of karma, karma-yoga, jnana, jnana-yoga, dhyana, tapasya, karma-mishra-bhakti, jnana-mishra-bhakti and shuddha-bhakti. In this regard, Shri Krishna has given indications in the Eighteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita regarding prema-bhakti, which is the most confidential knowledge. In His conclusion to the Bhagavad-gita, He explains that one can have entrance into this prema-bhakti through the gateway of sharanagati (surrender) to Him. The sixteen questions asked by Arjuna are as follows:

1) sthita-prajnasya ka bhasha (2.54). "What are the symptoms of one who is sthita-prajna?"

2) jyayasi cet karmanas te (3.1). "Why engage me in this ghastly warfare?"

3) atha kena prayukto .yam (3.36). "By what is one impelled to perform sinful acts?"

4) aparam bhavato janma (4.4). "How am I to understand that You previously instructed this science to Vivasvan?"

5) sannyasam karmanam krishna (5.1). "Which path is better, renunciation or selfless action?"

6) yo 'yam yogas tvaya proktah (6.33). "This path of yoga appears impractical due to the unsteady nature of the mind."

7) ayatih shraddhayopeto (6.37). "What is the destination of the unsuccessful transcendentalist?"

8) kim tad brahma kim adhyatmam (8.1-2). "What are brahma, karma, adhyatma, adhibhuta, adhidaiva and adhiyajna, and how can You be known at the time of death?"

9) vaktum arhasy asheshena (10.16)."Please tell me in detail about Your vibhutis."

10) evam etad yathattha tvam (11.3). "I wish to see how You have entered this cosmic manifestation."

11) akhyahi me ko bhavan ugra-rupo (11.31)."O Ugra-Rupa (fierce one)! Please tell me who You are."

12) tesham ke yoga-vittamah (12.1). "Who is more perfect, he who performs bhajana or the impersonalist?"

13) prakritim purusham caiva (13.1). "I wish to know about prakriti, purusha, kshetra, kshetrajna, jnana and jneyam."

14) kair lingais trin gunan etan (14.21). "By what symptoms can one identify a person who has transcended the gunas?"

15) tesham nishtha tu ka krishna (17.1). "What is the situation of one who does not follow the principles of shastra?"

16) sannyasasya maha-baho (18.1). "O Maha-baho! What is the purpose of sannyasa?"

Ch 2 Verse 55

shri bhagavan uvaca prajahati yada kaman / sarvan partha mano-gatan
atmany evatmana tushtah / sthita-prajnas tadocyate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.55 <>

shri bhagavan uvaca---Shri Bhagavan said; partha---O Partha; yada--- when; prajahati---he gives up; sarvan---types of; kaman---of material desires; manah-gatan---arising from the mind; (and) eva--- indeed; atmani---within his (controlled) mind; tushtah---he is satisfied; atmana---by his (blissful) soul; tada---at that time; ucyate--- he is called; sthita-prajnah---a person of steady intelligence.

Shri Bhagavan said: O Partha, when the jivatma gives up all material desires arising from the mind and when, with his mind thus controlled, he becomes satisfied by the blissful nature of the self alone, then he is to be known as sthita-prajna, a person of steady intelligence.


Now, Shri Bhagavan, from this shloka beginning with prajahati until the end of the chapter, answers four of Arjuna.s questions in sequence. Sarvan denotes one who does not have a scent of material desire. The word mano-gatan indicates the ability to give up material desires born of a nonspiritual nature which are opposed to the dharma of the soul. If the nature of these desires were spiritual, it would not be possible to give them up, just as fire cannot give up heat. This is because a controlled mind, after realizing the atma, which is blissful by nature, becomes satisfied by the atma alone. The shrutis confirm this:

yada sarve pramucyante / kama ye 'sya hridi shthitah
atha martyo .mrito bhavaty / atra brahma samashnute
Katha Upanishad 2.3.14

When all desires are removed from the heart, the mortal (bound) jivatma attains realisation of brahma and immortality.


One should also study the shloka: atmany eva ca santushtah (Gita 3.17). The great bhakta Prahlada Maharaja has given a similar instruction in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.10.9):

vimuncati yada kaman / manavo manasi sthitan
tarhy eva pundarikaksha / bhagavattvaya kalpate

O lotus-eyed Lord, when a man gives up all the material desires situated in his heart, he becomes eligible to attain opulence equal to Your own.

Ch 2 Verse 56

duhkheshv anudvigna-manah / sukheshu vigata-sprihah
vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah / sthita-dhir munir ucyate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.56 <>

anudvigna-manah---one whose mind is unagitated; duhkheshu--- in the (presence of the threefold) miseries; vigata-sprihah---and remains free from hankering; sukheshu---in the presence of sense-pleasures; (one who is) vita---free from; raga---attachment; bhaya---fear; krodhah---and anger; ucyate---is called; munih---a sage; sthita-dhih---of fixed intelligence.

One who is not disturbed by the three types of miseries ( adhyatmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika), who remains free from desires in the presence of happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a steadyminded sage.


"How does one who is sthita-prajna speak?" To answer this question, Shri Bhagavan speaks the present shloka beginning with duhkheshu, and also the next shloka. Duhkheshu means the threefold miseries: adhyatmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika. Hunger, thirst, fever, headache and so on (coming from one.s own body and mind) are adhyatmika miseries. Adhibhautika miseries are those caused by other living entities, such as a snake or a tiger, and miseries such as excessive rain or natural disasters caused by the devas are called adhidaivika. Anudvigna-manah refers to a person who, when faced by such miseries thinks, "I have attained these miseries due to my prarabdha-karma (past actions) and I have to suffer them." Knowing this, he either deliberates upon this within himself, understanding this misery to be due to his prarabdha-karma, or he speaks openly and without duplicity when questioned by others. In any case, his face shows no agitation, even in the presence of these miseries. This absence of disturbance is evident to those who are expert in reading such symptoms. However, it is obvious when an imitator artificially manifests symptoms of tolerance. Those who are expert call him corrupted. Similarly, those who remain free from desires when a happy situation appears, knowing it to be prarabdha-bhoga (enjoyment resulting from past actions), either contemplate this within themselves or enlighten others. This response is also understood by learned men. In clarifying these symptoms, the present shloka describes such persons as:

1) vita-raga.they remain detached from happiness;

2) vita-bhaya.they remain free from the fear that entities such as tigers, may eat them;

3) vita-krodha.they do not feel anger, even towards a person who comes to attack or kill them. For example, no fear or anger arose in Jada Bharata when the dacoit king Vrishala took him to the deity of Devi Kali as a human sacrifice.


A person whose heart is not disturbed by the threefold miseries: adhyatmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika, who is devoid of the desire to attain happiness, and who does not become elated when happiness comes to him, is called sthita-prajna.

na prahrishyet priyam prapya / nodvijet prapya capriyam
sthira-buddhir asammudho / brahma-vid brahmani sthitah
Gita 5.20

A person who does not become elated when attaining that which is favourable or dear is called sthita-prajna. The example of this is the life history of Bharata Maharaja as described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam.

Bharata Maharaja was worshipping Bhagavan alone in a remote forest, after renouncing his entire kingdom. In the last part of his life, he became attached to an infant deer and, due to the state of his mind when he left his body, he then took birth as a deer. However, because he remembered his previous birth, he remained separate from the association of family and friends, and spent his time in the hermitages of the sages, hearing topics of Shri Bhagavan. As a result of his worship of Bhagavan in his previous life, he took his next birth in the house of a religiously devoted brahmana. Internally he always remembered Shri Bhagavan, but externally he kept himself completely aloof by pretending to be a dullard, even though his father tried to make him learn the Vedas. Jada Bharata tolerated ill-treatment and taunts by his stepmother, step-brothers and relatives, while remaining ecstatically absorbed in the worship of Bhagavan.

Once, Vrishalaraja, the king of thieves, desired a son, and he wanted to offer to his ishtadevi (worshipable goddess), Bhadra Kali, a human being who was free from bodily flaws. He had previously captured a suitable person for sacrifice, but somehow the man had escaped. While the dacoit king was wandering in search of another suitable person to sacrifice, he saw the maha-bhagavata Jada Bharata protecting his family.s fields. The king became happy when he saw that Jada Bharata was blessed with a body appropriate for the sacrifice.

According to the rules for sacrificing a human, he fed Jada Bharata nicely, decorated him with turmeric powder, garlands and candana, and eventually presented him in front of Kali Devi as an offering. Even after seeing, hearing and being aware of all this, parama-bhagavata Jada Bharata was neither fearful nor angry. Rather, fixed in remembrance of Bhagavan, he remained free from anxiety.

Just as the dacoits were ready to sever Jada Bharata's head, Kali Devi herself appeared in a ferocious form, making a loud noise. She snatched the sword from the hand of King Vrishala, and beheaded him and his servants. After drinking their blood, she danced and played with their heads as if they were balls. Finally, with great affection, she sent the maha- bhagavata Jada Bharata on his way. This deity of Bhadra Kali is still present in Kurukshetra.

While describing this history of Jada Bharata in Shrimad- Bhagavatam (5.9.20), Shukadeva Gosvami says to Parikshit Maharaja: "Bhagavan Shri Vishnu, who carries the sudarshanacakra, is death to death personified, and is always anxious to look after His bhaktas. O Vishnurata, He completely protects such parama-bhagavata paramahamsas, who have become free from falsely identifying the body as the self, who have performed the very difficult task of severing the knot of mundane attachment, whose hearts are anxiously absorbed in thoughts of doing welfare to all living entities, and who neither harm others nor feel enmity towards them. Such paramahamsas who accept the shelter of Shri Bhagavan's fearless lotus feet are never disturbed, even at the time of their own execution. There is nothing surprising about this."

Ch 2 Verse 57

yah sarvatranabhisnehas / tat tat prapya shubhashubham
nabhinandati na dveshti / tasya prajna pratishthita

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.57 <>

yah---he who; (is) anabhisnehah---without excessive attachment; sarvatra---in all situations; tat tat---whatever; (whether) prapya---achieving; shubha---favourable; (or) ashubha--- unfavourable; (and) na abhinandati---he does not rejoice; na--- nor; dveshti---hate; tasya---his; prajna---intelligence; pratishthita--- is well fixed.

One who is devoid of mundane affection, and who neither rejoices in gain nor despairs in loss, is known to have fixed intelligence.


Here, the word anabhisnehah means free from all affection arising from material designations. Such persons certainly feel some affection because of compassion, but their affection is free from material designations. They do not welcome pleasing situations such as being honoured or offered palatable food, nor do they glorify those from whom they receive them by saying, "You are a highly dharmika personality who has been rendering service to great paramahamsas. May you be happy." Conversely, when they are faced with an unpleasant situation such as being dishonoured or attacked, they do not feel any aversion, nor do they curse their adversary, saying, "You sinful person! May you go to hell!" The intelligence of such a person is completely fixed, or situated in samadhi. This is, indeed, called sthita-prajna.


Affection is of two types:
(1) related with the body, sopadhikasneha and
(2) related with Shri Bhagavan, nirupadhika-sneha.
Sopadhika-sneha can be seen in ordinary persons who identify themselves with their bodies. Those who are sthita-prajna are free from identification with their bodies, and are, therefore, devoid of sopadhika-sneha. They are endowed with nirupadhika-sneha, and are the well-wishers of all living entities. This sneha is ever-existing and continuously flowing within their hearts, but it rarely manifests externally. It is seen in some special circumstances, although an ordinary person cannot detect it.

Ch 2 Verse 58

yada samharate cayam / kurmo .nganiva sarvashah
indriyanindriyarthebhyas / tasya prajna pratishthita

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.58 <>

ca---and; yada---when; samharate---withdraws; indriyani---his senses; indriya-arthebhyah---from the sense objects; sarvashah--- completely; iva---as; ayam---a; kurmah---tortoise; tasya---his; angani---limbs; prajna---his intelligence; (is) pratishthita---well fixed.

When a person can completely withdraw his senses from the sense objects at will, just as a tortoise withdraws its limbs into its shell, his intelligence is firmly fixed.


Shri Bhagavan responds to Arjuna's question, kim asita, "How does he sit?", with this shloka beginning with yada. Indriyarthebhya h means that, just as a person can withdraw his senses, such as the sense of hearing, from its sense object, sound, similarly the asana (seat, situation) of he who is sthita-prajna is to be able to withdraw his subordinate senses from the external sense objects, and to fix them in his undisturbed mind. The example of a tortoise is given to illustrate this point. Just as a tortoise can withdraw his eyes, face and so forth inside his shell at will, similarly, a person who is sthita-prajna can withdraw his senses from the sense objects.

Ch 2 Verse 59

vishaya vinivarttante / niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso .py asya / param drishtva nivarttate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.59 <>

dehinah---for an embodied person; niraharasya---who practises sense-restraint; vishayah---the sense objects; vinivarttante---are forcibly restrained; asya---for such a person; (there is) rasah---a taste; api---however; drishtva---having realised; param---the paramatma (Supersoul); (there is) rasavarjam ---no taste for sense objects; (they) nivarttate---cease automatically.

He who identifies himself with his body may artificially restrict his enjoyment by withdrawing the senses from their objects, but his taste for sense-pleasure still remains. This is not genuine detachment. However, for one who is sthita-prajna, having realised Paramatma, his taste for sense objects automatically ceases.


If one raises a doubt that even foolish or less intelligent persons may become detached from the objects of their senses by fasting or through sickness, Shri Bhagavan clarifies His point in this shloka beginning with vishayah. The word rasavarjam implies that such persons do not become free from the desire for sense objects. Rather, their taste for sense objects still persists. One who is sthita-prajna, however, ceases to desire sense objects because he has direct realisation of Paramatma. There is no flaw in this definition. Those who are able to realise the self are still sadhakas. They are not siddhas (perfected souls).


Sometimes an ordinary person restricts his senses because of disease, or by practising hatha-yoga or fasting. Still the desire to enjoy the sense objects remains in his heart. It is impossible to eliminate this desire without bhakti to Shri Bhagavan. In this regard, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes as follows:

"The practice of ceasing to indulge in the objects of the senses through the process of nirahara (forcibly keeping aloof from sense objects) is only for extremely unintelligent people. This practice is followed by jivas who identify the self with the body. Ashtanga-yoga also provides an opportunity for those who are less intelligent to become renounced from sense objects, by engaging in yama, niyama, asana, pranayama and pratyahara. This process is not acceptable for one who is sthita-prajna. After directly seeing the beauty of parama-tattva Bhagavan, one who is sthita-prajna becomes attracted to Him and gives up all attachments to ordinary sense objects. Even though there is provision for extremely unintelligent persons to withdraw their senses from sense objects by the process of nirahara, still jivas cannot attain eternal auspiciousness without the process of raga-marga. When a person reaches the stage of raga (attachment to Krishna), he realises a superior sense object and, thus, naturally gives up inferior pleasures."

Ch 2 Verse 60

yatato hy api kaunteya / purushasya vipashcitah
indriyani pramathini / haranti prasabham manah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.60 <>

kaunteya---O son of Kunti; pramathini---restless; indriyani--- senses; hi---indeed; prasabham---forcibly; haranti---steal away; manah---the mind; api---even; purushasya---of a man; vipashcitah--- who possesses knowledge and discrimination; yatatah---who is endeavouring for liberation.

O Kaunteya, the restless senses can forcibly steal away the mind of even a man of discrimination who is endeavouring to achieve liberation.


It is beyond the capacity of the sadhaka to have complete control over his senses in the stage of sadhana, but the endeavour alone is commendable. Shri Bhagavan speaks the present shloka, beginning with the word yatatah, to explain this. Here the word pramathini means those things which cause agitation.


The duty of a sadhaka is to endeavour very carefully to achieve control over his senses. One cannot become sthita-prajna without sense control. It is as difficult to have complete control over the flickering senses, which are always agitated, as it is to control the wind. However, according to the instruc tions of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, even this difficult task becomes very easy when one engages all his senses in the service of Shri Bhagavan.

One can learn how to engage his controlled senses in the service of Shri Bhagavan from the daily activities of King Ambarisha, which are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam:

sa vai manah krishna-padaravindayor
vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane
karau harer mandira-marjanadishu
shrutim cakaracyuta-sat-kathodaye

mukunda-lingalaya-darshane drishau
tad-bhritya-gatra-sparshe .nga-sangamam
ghranam ca tat-pada-saroja-saurabhe
shrimat-tulasya rasanam tad-arpite

padau hareh kshetra-padanusarpane
shiro hrishikesha-padabhivandane
kamam ca dasye na tu kama-kamyaya
yathottamashloka-janashraya ratih
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 9.4.18-20

"Ambarisha Maharaja always engaged in the worship of Shri Krishna by fixing his mind in remembering His lotus feet, by engaging his tongue in describing the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Shri Bhagavan, his ears in hearing the topics of Bhagavan, his eyes in seeing His beautiful Deity form, his sense of touch in experiencing the happiness of serving the feet of the bhaktas of Bhagavan, his nostrils in smelling the fragrant objects such as tulasi and candana which had been offered at the lotus feet of Bhagavan, his feet in circumambulating His abode, and his head in paying obeisances to Bhagavan and His bhaktas. In this way, he controlled all his senses, and engaged them in the service of Bhagavan." It is very beneficial and auspicious for sadhakas to follow this path.

Ch 2 Verse 61

tani sarvani samyamya / yukta asita mat-parah
vashe hi yasyendriyani / tasya prajna pratishthita

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.61 <>

asita---he should be situated; samyamya---keeping under control; tani sarvani---all the senses; yuktah---connected in devotion; mat-parah---devoted unto Me; hi---because; yasya---one whose; indriyani---senses; vashe---are in control; tasya---his; prajna---intelligence; pratishthita---is completely fixed.

Therefore, one should subdue the senses by surrendering to Me in bhakti-yoga and living under My shelter. Only one whose senses are controlled is fixed in intelligence. He alone is sthita-prajna.


.Here, the word mat-parah means .My bhakta., because there is no other way of conquering the senses than by performing bhakti unto Me.. This fact is apparent everywhere in the later sections of Bhagavad-gita. As Uddhava says in Shrimad- Bhagavatam (11.29.2-3):

prayashah pundarikaksha / yunjanto yogino manah
vishidanty asamadhanan / mano-nigraha-karshitah

athata ananda-dugham padambujam
hamsah shrayerann aravinda-locana
sukham nu vishveshvara yoga-karmabhis
tvan-mayayami vihata na maninah

O lotus-eyed Krishna, yogis are generally unsuccessful in controlling their minds and so, after endeavouring for a short time, they become tired and frustrated. Therefore, those who are expert in discerning between what is substantial and what is insubstantial take exclusive shelter of Your lotus feet, which give unlimited pleasure to everyone, as the foundation of their happiness.

To show the difference between a sadhaka and one who is sthita-prajna, Shri Krishna says vashe hi, which indicates that the senses of one who is sthita-prajna are under control.


One can escape the disturbance of a gang of dacoits by taking shelter of a valiant king. When the dacoits become aware of the shelter this person has taken, they become subordinate to him. Similarly, the senses of a jivatma are compared to a gang of dacoits, and they automatically become controlled when he accepts the shelter of Antaryami Bhagavan, Shri Hrishikesha. Therefore, one should control one.s senses in a simple, natural way by bhakti alone. It is said in shastra:

hrishikeshe hrishikani / yasya sthairya-gatani hi
sa eva dhairyam apnoti / samsare jiva-cancale
Chaitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 24.184

It is very difficult to control the agitated senses in this world, but for those who engage all their senses in the service of Bhagavan Shri Hrishikesha, the master of the senses, their senses naturally become stable and controlled.

Ch 2 Verse 62

dhyayato vishayan pumsah / sangas teshupajayate
sangat sanjayate kamah / kamat krodho .bhijayate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.62 <>

pumsah---for a person; dhyayatah---one who contemplates; vishayan---sense objects such as sound; sangah---attachment; upajayate---becomes manifest; teshu---towards them; sangat--- from attachment; kamah---desire; sanjayate---develops; kamat--- from desire; krodhah---anger; abhijayate---develops.

By meditating on the sense objects, one develops attachment. Attachment gives rise to desire, which in turn leads to anger.


Bhagavan Shri Krishna says, "Control of the mind is the fundamental means by which those who are sthita-prajna control their external senses. Hear from Me, O Arjuna, what happens when one is unable to fully control his mind." The present shloka beginning with dhyayatah is spoken to explain this topic. By meditation on sense objects, one develops sanga, attachment, from which comes kama, excessive desire for those objects. Anger (krodha), then arises if the fulfilment of this desire is obstructed for some reason.

Ch 2 Verse 63

krodhad bhavati sammohah / sammohat smriti-vibhramah
smriti-bhramshad buddhi-nasho / buddhi-nashat pranashyati

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.63 <>

krodhat.from anger; bhavati.comes; sammohah.utter confusion; sammohat.from such confusion; (there is) vibhramah. disorder; smriti.of memory; smriti-bhramshat.from disorder of memory; buddhi-nashah.intelligence is destroyed; buddhin ashat.from loss of intelligence; is completely ruined.

Anger gives rise to delusion, and from delusion comes loss of memory, forgetting the instructions of shastra. Loss of memory destroys intelligence, and when the intelligence is destroyed, everything is lost and one again becomes fallen in the ocean of material existence.


From anger comes delusion (sammoha), in which there is a loss of discrimination between what is to be done and what is not to be done. When the jiva is in a deluded condition, he forgets the instructions of shastra (smriti-vibramah), which are the cause of auspiciousness for him. When his memory is lost, proper conduct of the intelligence is lost (buddhi-nashah). After that, the sadhaka again falls into the well of material life.


The mind indeed is the king, the ruler and the impelling cause of the senses. Therefore, by controlling the mind the external senses are automatically controlled. Thus, in the Vedas it is said:

yada pancavatishthante jnanani manasa saha
buddhish ca na viceshtati tam ahuh paramam gatim
Katha Upanishad 2.3.10

If one can control his panca-jnanendriya (five knowledge-acquiring senses), his mind and his intelligence, he attains the supreme destination. Otherwise, if the mind and other senses are not subdued, one has to wander in the cycle of birth and death. This is also stated in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.21.19-21):

vishayeshu gunadhyasat / pumsah sangas tato bhavet
sangat tatra bhavet kamah / kamad eva kalir nrinam

When one contemplates the qualities of sense objects, attachment arises. From attachment, desires ensue, and unfulfilled desires lead to quarrel.

kaler durvishahah krodhas / tamas tam anuvartate
tamasa grasyate pumsash / cetana vyapini drutam

From quarrel, unrestrained anger arises, anger causes delusion, and when one is in delusion, the wisdom to discriminate between right and wrong vanishes.

taya virahitah sadho / jantuh shunyaya kalpate
tato .sya svartha-vibhramsho / murcchitasya mritasya ca

O gentle one, due to his loss of discrimination, a man becomes like inert matter, and from that condition, he slides down to states of unconsciousness (inertness) and becomes almost dead. Thus the supreme purpose of life is defeated.

If someone forcibly tries to subdue his external senses without controlling his mind. the results are extremely unpleasant. In order to control the mind, it is imperative to direct it to worshipping Bhagavan by following specific practices. Consequently, Shri Bhagavan's statement in Gita (2.61): tani sarvani samyamya, is completely logical.

Ch 2 Verse 64

raga-dvesha-vimuktais tu / vishayan indriyaish caran
atma-vashyair vidheyatma / prasadam adhigacchati

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.64 <>

vidheya-atma---a man of controlled senses; tu---however; vimuktaih---(who is) free; (from) raga---attachment; dvesha---and aversion; adhigacchati---attains; prasadam---joyfulness; caran--- even while enjoying; vishayan---sense objects; indriyaih---by the senses; atma-vashyaih---which are under his control.

A man of controlled senses, however, who is free from attachment and aversion, attains happiness of mind even while enjoying various objects through his senses.


Previously Arjuna asked, .How does one who is sthita-prajna behave?. In response to this question, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with raga. Since the mind cannot directly accept sense objects, there is no fault in accepting sense objects with controlled senses. Vidheyatma means one whose atma (mind) is fixed in the instructions of Bhagavan. Prasadam adhigacchati implies that there is no fault if such qualified persons accept sense objects. Rather, it is specifically to their credit, because they see that everything is related to Bhagavan. One who is sthita-prajna may or may not give up sense objects, and may or may not be motivated to attain them. In any case, everything is auspicious for him.


Even when the external senses are controlled by keeping them aloof from the sense objects, the mind does not stop thinking of them. Such renunciation is called phalgu (useless) or markata-vairagya (monkey renunciation). This is stated in Gita 3.6: karmendriyani samyamya. When a sadhaka practises appropriate renunciation (yukta-vairagya) and worships Shri Bhagavan, he can control his mind and absorb it in thinking of his worshipable deity. When he has reached such a stage, there is no fault in accepting those sense objects which are favourable to his practice, and rejecting those which are unfavourable.

Ch 2 Verse 65

prasade sarva-duhkhanam / hanir asyopajayate
prasanna-cetaso hy ashu / buddhih paryavatishthate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.65 <>

prasade---on attainment of mercy; hanih---diminution; sarva duhkhanam---of all miseries; upajayate---takes place; buddhih--- (the) intelligence; asya---of such a man; prasanna-cetasah--- whose mind is content; hi---certainly; ashu---very soon; paryavatishthate---becomes fixed in all respects.

When one who is self-controlled achieves happiness all his miseries are dispelled . As a result, the intelligence of such a contented person soon becomes fixed in attaining his desired goal.


Buddhih paryavatishthate means that, in all respects his intelligence becomes stable and fixed on the desired goal. Thus, he remains happy whether he accepts sense objects or not. Prasanna-cetasah indicates that it should be understood that internal happiness will come only from bhakti, because without bhakti the heart cannot become pleased. This has been explained vividly in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which describes how Vyasadeva.s mind was not happy, even after he had compiled Vedantas utra. However, after he followed the instructions of Shri Narada, his heart became blissful through the exclusive practice of bhakti.


The heart can be pleased only by bhakti, rendering loving devotional service to Shri Bhagavan. Bhakti removes all miseries, and in a very short period a person who practises bhakti easily becomes fully fixed at the lotus feet of his ishtadeva. This is also described in the dialogue between Vyasa and Narada in Shrimad-Bhagavatam from dhrita-vratena hi maya (1.4.28) to yamadibhir yoga-pathaih kama-lobha-hato muhuh (1.6.35). "When the sadhaka practises yama and niyama on the path of ashtanga-yoga (the eight stages of yoga), the mind, which is always under the control of lust and greed, attains a certain level of happiness and peace. However, there is no comparison between this and the immediate and immense pleasure attained by service to Bhagavan Shri Krishna" (Shrimad- Bhagavatam 1.6.35)

In this regard, it is worth deliberating on the examples of Saubhari Rishi, Yayati Maharaja, Vishvamitra Muni and others. Saubhari Rishi was still unable to control his mind even after performing austerities within the water of the Yamuna for ten thousand years. His mind became agitated by seeing fish engaging in sex life. He emerged from the water to marry the fifty daughters of Mandhata Maharaja, but his lust still remained unsatiated even after enjoying with them by expanding himself into fifty forms. Eventually, he attained his desired goal by controlling his senses through the worship of Shri Bhagavan. Yayati Maharaja was not able to control his mind, despite various endeavours. He exchanged his old age for the youth of his son Puru, and enjoyed for many years, but his lusty desires increased, just as ghee nourishes fire. He could only attain peace when he had finally fixed his mind in the worship of Bhagavan.

Although Vishvamitra Muni engaged in severe austerities by practising shama (mind control) and dama (sense control) and subduing his senses, he still abandoned his austerities just upon hearing Menaka.s ankle bells and became absorbed in lustful activity. His agitated mind eventually found peace only in the worship of Bhagavan.

This conclusion is specifically verified in the dialogue between Vyasa and Narada in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Veda-Vyasa had already divided the Vedas into four parts and had compiled Mahabharata, the Puranas and Vedanta- sutra and although he had described knowledge of dharma and other such topics for the information of people in general, his mind remained unsatisfied. Unable to understand why, he inquired from his spiritual master, Devarshi Narada. Shri Narada answered:

shri narada uvaca
bhavatanudita-prayam / yasho bhagavato 'malam
yenaivasau na tushyeta / manye tad darshanam khilam

yatha dharmadayash cartha / muni-varyanukirtitah
na tatha vasudevasya / mahima hy anuvarnitah
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.8-9

O great sage, you have described the processes of dharma and jnana, which I consider to be incomplete and insignificant, but you have not clearly described the topics of Shri Bhagavan's most purifying pastimes and their glories. Shri Bhagavan cannot be pleased unless one glorifies such pastimes, which manifest themselves in the purified mind by the performance of bhakti.

Following the instructions of Narada Muni, by performing bhakti-yoga, Vyasa was able to see in his pure heart all of Shri Krishna"s beautiful pastimes, full of aishvarya (opulence) and madhurya (sweetness). Shrimad-Bhagavatam consists of the activities of Shri Krishna which Vyasa realised in samadhi.

yasyam vai shruyamanayam / krishne parama-purushe
bhaktir utpadyate pumsah / shoka-moha-bhayapaha
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.7

By the culture of hearing and following this Shrimad-Bhagavatam, bhakti to Vrajendra-nandana Shri Krishna immediately manifests in the heart, dispelling lamentation, delusion and fear. Only then is Shri Krishna captured in the heart of such a bhakta.

Ch 2 Verse 66

nasti buddhir ayuktasya / na cayuktasya bhavana
na cabhavayatah shantir / ashantasya kutah sukham

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.66 <>

ayuktasya---for one whose mind is uncontrolled; na asti---there is no; buddhih---spiritual intelligence; ca---and; ayuktasya---for one disconnected; na bhavana---there cannot be meditation on Parameshvara; ca---and; abhavayatah---for the non-meditative; (there is) na--- no; shantih---peace; (and for) ashantasya---the nonpeaceful; kutah---where?; happiness.

One whose mind is uncontrolled, and who is bereft of intelligence related to the atma, is unable to meditate on Parameshvara. A person devoid of meditation does not attain peace, and without peace, where is the possibility of happiness?


Shri Krishna is speaking this shloka beginning with nasti to indirectly strengthen the previous shloka.s conclusion. The intelligence of a person whose mind is uncontrolled will not become fixed in the self. Such a person is ayukta (devoid of intelligence) and is unable to meditate on Parameshvara. Abhavayatah means that one who does not meditate cannot have peace. In other words, he cannot become detached from the objects of the senses. A disturbed person can find neither happiness nor pleasure in the self.

Ch 2 Verse 67

indriyanam hi caratam / yan mano 'nuvidhiyate
tad asya harati prajnam / vayur navam ivambhasi

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.67 <>

hi---certainly; vayuh---the wind; harati---carries away; navam--- a boat; ambhasi---on the water; iva---similarly; tat manah---the mind; asya---of a person; yat---which; anuvidhiyate---follows; caratam---while wandering (to the objects); indriyanam---of the senses; harati---carries away; prajnam---his intelligence.

Just as the wind sweeps away a boat on the water, the mind of an unrestrained person runs after any one of the senses that wanders in its sense object.


A person with an uncontrolled mind does not have intelligence. Shri Bhagavan establishes this point by speaking this shloka beginning with the word indriyanam. "When the mind follows one of the senses as it wanders amongst its respective sense objects, a person is forced to follow all of the senses by mind. In such a state, the mind is likened to an unfavourable wind sweeping away a boat on water, because it carries away a person.s intelligence."

Ch 2 Verse 68

tasmad yasya maha-baho / nigrihitani sarvashah
indriyanindriyarthebhyas / tasya prajna pratishhita

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.68 <>

tasmat---therefore; maha-baho---O mighty-armed one; (he) yasya---whose; indriyani---senses; nigrihitani---are restrained; sarvashah---in every respect; indriya-arthebhyah---from the sense objects; tasya---his; prajna---intelligence; (is) pratishhita---fixed.

Therefore, O Maha-baho, one whose senses are completely restrained from their respective sense objects is sthita-prajna, fixed in intelligence.


Yasya means that those whose minds are already under control are sthita-prajna. Krishna is telling Arjuna, "O Maha-baho, just as you conquer your enemies, you should also conquer your mind."

Ch 2 Verse 69

ya nisha sarva-bhutanam / tasyam jagartti samyami
yasyam jagrati bhutani / sa nisha pashyato muneh

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.69 <>

tasyam---in that (state); ya---which; (is) nisha---night; sarvabh utanam---for all beings; samyami---a man of fixed intelligence; jagartti---is awake; yasyam---in which (state); bhutani---ordinary beings; jagrati---are awake; sa---that; (is) nisha---night; pashyatah--- for the enlightened; muneh---thinker.

That intelligence which is related to consciousness is like night for the materialistic common people. However, a sthita-prajna remains awake in that intelligence. The intelligence which is engaged in sense objects in which the common living entity remains awake is like night for the great thinker who knows the absolute reality. In other words such a person accepts sense objects in an appropriate way without being attached to them.


It is natural for one who is sthita-prajna to control the senses. For this reason, Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with ya. Intelligence is of two types: atma-pravana, intelligence inclined towards the self or conscious reality, and vishaya-pravana, intelligence inclined towards material sense objects. Intelligence which is atma-pravana is like night for all conditioned jivatmas. Just as a sleeping person does not know what happens at night, similarly the bewildered jivas do not know what one attains by atma-pravana buddhi. But one who is sthita-prajna remains awake in such a night, so he directly experiences the bliss related to intelligence fixed in the conscious reality.

The conditioned jivas remain awake in vishaya-pravana buddhi and they experience lamentation, bewilderment and so on, according to their respective absorption. They are not asleep to it. Sthita-prajna munis, however, do not experience anything in such a night. They remain indifferent to the sense objects that give happiness and distress to materialistic persons and, remaining detached, only accept those sense objects which are needed for their maintenance.


Those who are sthita-prajna naturally achieve perfection in controlling all the senses. They are jnani purushas (knowledgeable persons) in the real sense. On the other hand, the intelligence of ignorant people who identify the body with the atma remains absorbed in sense objects. Such persons who are attached to sense objects are called materialistic, or ignorant.

Ajnanam tu nisha prokta diva jnanam udiryate.
"Knowledge is like day and ignorance is like night" (Skanda Purana).

Everything in the kingdom of that most wonderful Shri Bhagavan is wonderful. What is night for one person is day for another. For an owl, night is like day, while for a crow it is night. An owl sees only at night, not during the day. Similarly, a man blinded by ignorance cannot have vision of the illumination of tattva-jnana. Knowers of the Absolute, however, always see Shri Bhagavan, the radiant personification of tattva-jnana. They never contemplate objects of the senses. Just as a lotus leaf never becomes wet even though it remains in water, similarly, one who is sthita-prajna never becomes attached to sense objects, even while he is living in contact with them.

Ch 2 Verse 70

apuryamanam acala-pratishtham
samudram apah pravishanti yadvat
tadvat kama yam pravishanti sarve
sa shantim apnoti na kama-kami

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.70 <>

yadvat---just as; apah---waters; pravishanti---enter; (the) samudram--- ocean; apuryamanam---which although being filled; (is) acala-pratishtham---fixed and unmoved; tadvat---similarly; yam--- (he) within whom; sarve---all; kamah---the agitations of the senses; pravishanti---forcibly enter; (remains) acala-pratishtham---fixed and unmoved; sah---he; apnoti---attains; shantim---peace; na--- not; kama-kami---he who is intent on fulfilling his desires.

Just as countless rivers flow into the ocean, which never floods, various desires flow into the mind of one who is sthita-prajna, yet his equilibrium is never disturbed. Such persons alone can attain peace, not those who strive always to fulfil their desires.


Nirlepta, or remaining unattached to sense objects, indicates that one does not become disturbed even after coming in contact with a sense object. Shri Bhagavan explains this idea by speaking this shloka beginning with apuryamanam. Although different rivers pour so much water into the ocean during the rainy season, they cannot cause it to overflow. Acalaprati shtham means whose boundary is not crossed. Similarly, various sense objects also present themselves to one who is sthita-prajna. But, just as water pouring into or flowing out of the ocean makes no difference to the ocean, similarly, those who remain unaffected both while they are utilising sense objects, and when they are bereft of them, are called sthitapraj na. Only they attain shanti, that is, jnana.

Ch 2 Verse 71

vihaya kaman yah sarvan / pumamsh carati nihsprihah
nirmamo nirahankarah / sa shantim adhigacchati

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.71 <>

yah---who; puman---the person; vihaya---giving up; sarvan---all; kaman---material desires; carati---wanders; nih-sprihah---free from hankering; nir-mamah---without a sense of possessiveness; niraha nkarah---without false ego; sah---that person; adhigacchati--- attains; shantim---peace.

It is only those who give up all desires and wander free from hankering, false ego and possessiveness who attain peace.


Some people lose faith in their material desires and no longer enjoy them. Shri Bhagavan is explaining this by speaking this shloka beginning with the word vihaya. Nirahankara nirmamah means that only they attain peace who remain freed from the false ego and possessiveness towards the body and objects related to the body.

Ch 2 Verse 72

esha brahmi sthitih partha / nainam prapya vimuhyati
sthitvasyam anta-kale .pi / brahma-nirvanam ricchati

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 2.72 <>

partha---O Partha; esha---this; (is) sthitih---the situation; brahmi---of one who has attained brahma; na prapya---not attaining; enam---this state; vimuhyati---one is confused (by duality); api---and; sthitva---being situated; asyam---in this (state); antak ale---at the time of death; ricchati---one attains; brahmanirv anam---spiritual emancipation.

O Partha, attaining brahma in this way is called brahmi sthitih. After attaining this state, one is no longer deluded. If, at the time of death, one is situated in this consciousness even for a moment, he attains brahma-nirvana.


Shri Bhagavan is now concluding the chapter with this shloka beginning with the word esha. Attaining the state of brahma is called brahmi. If brahma-nirvana (spiritual emancipation) is achieved at the time of death by attaining the state of brahma for a moment, then what can be said of the result if the practice to attain this state has been performed since childhood? Jnana and karma are specifically explained in this chapter and bhakti is explained indirectly. Therefore, this chapter is called the summary of Shri Gita.

Thus ends the Bhavanuvada of the Sarartha-Varshini Tika, by Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, on the Second Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, which gives pleasure to the bhaktas and is accepted by all saintly persons.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, .That tattva which is contrary to inert matter is called brahma. One can attain aprakrta-rasa (supramundane mellows) only by establishing oneself in that tattva.The state of jada-mukti(liberation from inert consciousness)which leads to the attainment of brahma is called brahma-nirvana. Like Khatvanga Maharaja, if one is able to attain this state at the time of death , he will attain brahma nirvana.

"This chapter is the summary of Bhagavad Gita. Slokas one to ten introduce the nature of the person who is asking the questions.Slokas 12 -30 give a description of the tattva of atma(spirit) and anatma (non spirit). From slokas 31 - 38 , there is an explanation of piety and sin within svadharma-rupa-karma (prescribed duties). Slokas 39-72 describe niskama- karma-yoga, which leads to jnana and karma (prescribed duties). there is also the description o the behavioir of a person who is situated in this yoga. "

Thus ends the Sarartha-Varsini Prakasika-Vrtti by Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja on the second chapter of Shriman Bhagavada Gita.