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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Shrimad Bhagavad Gita > Gita Summary > Gita 02 Sankhya Yoga

Title: Chapter 2 Sankhya Yoga

User: Bhushan Nityananda dasa     Date: 2007-06-11 19:51:56


C H A P T E R   T W O

Summarized and Narrated into Question Answer Form

Based on the Commentary of Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti

By Purnachandra dasa prabhu ACBSP

Please support the Author by ordering these Gitamrta Audio tapes

by writing to Purnacandra dasa, Radha-Krishna Temple, 10 Soho Street, London W1, U.K.


Sanjaya:  Seeing Arjuna full of compassion, depressed and crying, Krishna began to speak:




Krishna:  Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you?  They are not at all befitting a man who knows the values of life. They do not lead to higher planets, but to infamy.  O son of Prtha, do not yield to this degrading impotence.  It does not become you.  Give up this petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy.




Arjuna:  Krsna, this is not impotency. It's discrimination based on religious principles.  When I see Bhisma and Drona, my heart feels for






Krishna:  This is weakness of heart, Arjuna.  Give it up.  You are Partha, the son of Indradeva.




Arjuna:  It's not weakness but compassion, Krishna.




Krishna:  Give it up, Arjuna.  Get ready to fight.  You are Parantapa, chastiser of enemies.  Do not become the object of ridicule.




Arjuna:  But how can I fight men like Bhisma and Drona?




Krishna:  Why shouldn't you fight with them?




Arjuna:  Because they are worshipable.  I should offer them flowers, not arrows.  I would rather beg than live after having taken the lives of my superiors.  I am ready to give up my fame and take up begging.  At least my future will not be spoiled.  Besides, great souls like Bhisma are not fallen and therefore should never be disrespected.




Krishna:  Bhisma has lost his greatness having been purchased by Kaurava grains, Arjuna.




Arjuna:  Still, killing him will cause me misery.  The spoils of victory will be contaminated having been acquired from that lowly Duryodhana.  O Krsna, I do not even know which is better --- conquering them or being conquered by them.  If I kill the sons of Dhrtarastra I shall not care to live.  Yet they are now standing before us on the battlefield.




Krishna:  Fight or beg Arjuna - the choice is yours.




Arjuna:  Which is better, Krishna?  Who will win?




Krishna:  You will win Arjuna.  You are pious and a great fighter.




Arjuna:  But I do not desire to live or win, what to speak of enjoying a kingdom.  O Krishna, I am confused about my duty. I've lost all composure because of my miserly weakness. Please tell me what is best for me.  Now I am your disciple and a soul surrendered unto you.  Please instruct me.




Krishna:  He Partha, your scriptural arguments and logic are so expert and you have already decided to beg, so what is the need of My speaking?




Arjuna:  Principles of religion are hard to understand. Please instruct me.




Krishna:  Whatever I speak, you'll simply defeat with your scholarship.




Arjuna:  No!  I surrender Krishna!  No more counter arguments now.




Krishna:  The sastra says to approach a guru, but I'm just your friend, Arjuna.




Arjuna:  So I'll become your disciple.  Now teach me.




Krishna:  I'm your friend.  I cannot be your guru.  Go to Vyasadeva.




Arjuna:  But no one else can help me, not even Brhaspati.  No one else can remove this distress.




Krishna:  Just fight!  That will remove all problems and distress.  There is no need for Me to be your guru.  The distress will go when you win the war.




Arjuna:  No, winning the war or obtaining a kingdom on earth or even in heaven will not help, Krishna.  Even if I die and go to heaven I won't be satisfied.  What I want is transcendental knowledge. Winning a kingdom or going to heaven are both temporary.  O Govinda, I shall not fight.




Sanjaya:  O King, then, Krishna, smiling in the midst of both armies, began to speak to Arjuna:




Krishna:  While speaking learned words you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief.  Those who are truely wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead.  Try to understand that there was never a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings.  Nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.  As the embodied soul continuously passes in this body from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death.  A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.  King Yayati was old and he became young.  That was the cause of happiness for everyone. Similarly, Bhisma is old and he'll become young.  So why feel distressed?




Arjuna:  What you are saying is corrct, but my mind is distressed. I'm attached to our relationship, the way it is now.  Thinking of him dying soon is causing me pain.




Krsna:  He Kaunteya, the temporary appearance of happiness and distress and their disappearance are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. One who tolerates both happiness and distress is eligible for liberation.




Sages have concluded that of the non-existent there is no endurance, and of the eternal, there is no change. Both Bhisma and you are eternal. Why are you thinking that either of you can be destroyed? This is the defect of your knowledge. No one is able to destroy the soul --- therefore fight, O descendent of Bharata.




Arjuna:  But what will people say about one who has killed his own grand-father?




Krsna:  Those who will criticise you for killing Bhisma are less


intelligent, and why should you worry about what the less intelligent say? Actually, for the soul there is never birth nor death. The soul is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain. He Partha, how can a person who knows that the soul is indestruct-ible and eternal kill anyone or cause anyone to kill?




Arjuna:  I accept all that, but why should I be the cause of their


accepting new bodies?




Krishna:  Whether you fight or not they must change their bodies anyway, just as a person gives up his old and useless garments and accepts new ones. It's not a cause for distress, but for happiness. It is for their welfare.  Otherwise they will get old and suffer. And dying in battle promotes them to heaven. Fighting does not cause pain to anyone for the soul cannot be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.




Arjuna:  But Krishna, a burning house harms the living entities within, so won't the soul be harmed by the destruction of the body?




Krishna:  No. Arjuna, no harm can come to the soul. The soul cannot be harmed by any weapon that you have in your chariot. The soul is invisible, inconceivable and immutable.  Therefore, you should not grieve for the body.




. Even if you do not accept Vedic philosophy, O mighty-armed one, and you accept the opinions of atheists who think that there is no existence of life before or after the body, still there is no reason to lament. One who has taken his birth is sure to die and after death one is sure to take birth again. When the soul contacts the body it is called birth. And when that contact is lost it is called death.  Both happen according to karma. There should be no lamentation for the body. This is all karma. You must understand this principle --- that no one can change this. Therefore you shouldn't lament.  They have to die anyway, but you'll act irreligiously if you do not do your duty and fight.




Now.... considering your specific duty as a ksatriya, you should know that there is no better engagement for you than fighting for religious principles. So do not hesitate.  Religious wars bring heaven and happiness for ksatriyas.  Since you want to benefit your relatives, send them to heaven by fighting and killing them.  This war has come without effort, accept it as the grace of providence.  You are fortunate to fight with such people as Drona and Bhisma.  Glory will come by fighting. Death brings heaven or victory brings glory.  If however, you do not perform your religious duty of fighting then you will certainly incur sin for neglecting your duty. You'll also lose your reputation as a fighter.  Thus people will always speak of your infamy.




Arjuna:  I can tolerate infamy, Krishna.




Krishna:  But this pain will be worse than death, Arjuna.  If you leave the battlefield before the battle even begins people will call you a coward and if you think that people may call you ill names, but that you will save your life by fleeing the battlefield, then my advice is that you would do better to die in battle.  So you should not flee for fear of your life. Better to die in battle.  That will save you from the ill-fame of misusing my friendship and from losing your prestige in society.  These people will belittle your glories, thinking you have run away out of fear.  Fear could be the only reason for a ksatriya not to fight --- certainly not affection for the family.




Arjuna:  But I have considered that the battle will destroy the family. People will think that I am compassionate.  I'll keep my fame.




Krishna:  Do not think that the maharathis like Duryodhana and Karna will think that you have left the battlefield out of compassion for your brothers and grandfathers.  They will think that you have left out of fear for your own life, and their high estimation of your personality will go to hell.  Your enemies will describe you in many unkind words and call you a eunuch.  What could be more painful for you?  He Kaunteya, either you will be killed on the battlefield and attain the heavens or you will conquer and enjoy an earthly kingdom.  Therefore, get up with determination and fight. Use your intelligence.  Become detached.  Fight.  Do not consider happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat.  By so doing you shall never incur sin.  




Thus far I have given you knowledge through analytical study.  Now listen as I explain it in terms of working without fruitive results.  When you act in this knowledge you will free yourself from the bondage of karma. Arjuna, in this endeavour there is no loss or diminution.  A little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.  Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose and their aim is one, but the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.  Irresolute persons are less intelligent and are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas which recommend fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, power and wealth.  Desirous of sensual life and opulence they perform pompous ceremonies and think that there is nothing more than this.  Bewildered by sense enjoyment, they do not resolve to sacrifice for the Supreme Lord. You see, the Vedas deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material nature and you must become transcendental to these modes.  Free yourself from all anxieties for gain and safety and be established in the self.




All purposes served by a small well can at once be served by a great reservoir of water.  Similarly, all purposes of the Vedas can be served to one who knows the purpose behind them.  And I know that purpose, Arjuna.  I am therefore telling you as your gurudeva that you are fit only to perform your duty of fighting, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action.  This will create a feeling of duty in your heart.  Your heart is almost pure so I am instructing you in this way. Never neglect your duty and never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities. I am blessing you now so that you will not think like that.  He Arjuna, I am driving your chariot without question.  Now you do what I say without question. Throw away all selfishness and fully surrender.  Those who enjoy the fruits of their work are misers, but a man engaged in sacrificial work rids himself of both good and bad actions even in this life.  Therefore strive for yoga which is the art of all work.  By engaging in this yoga, great sages freed themselves from bondage in the material world and attained that state beyond all miseries.




When your intelligence has passed out of the dense forest of delusion and you are no longer concerned with conventional dharma, you shall become indifferent to all secondary considerations.  When your mind is no longer disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas and when it is fixed in  trance of self realisation, then you will have attained divine con-sciousness.




Arjuna:  O Kesava, what are the symptoms of one in divine consciousness? How does he speak?  How does he sit?  And how does he walk?




Krishna:  When a man gives up all varieties of desire for sense grat-ification which arise from mental concoction and when his mind finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in transcendental consciousness.  One who is not disturbed in misery nor elated in happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.  Such a person is unaffected by favourable or unfavourable situations, neither praising them nor despising them.  He is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects as a tortoise withdraws its limbs within the shell.




Someone may be restricted from sense enjoyment though the taste for sense objects remains, but ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, one is fixed in consciousness.  The senses are so strong and impetuous, Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the mind even of an intelligent person who is endeavouring to control them.  However, one who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a person of steady intelligence.




While contemplating the objects of the senses a person develops attachment for them and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.  From anger complete delusion arises and from delusion, bewilder-ment of memory.  When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into material consciousness.  But a person who is free from all attachment and aversion and is able to


control his senses through regulative principles of freedom  can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.  For such a person, the threefold miseries exist no longer.   However, one who is not connected with the Supreme can have neither transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace.  And how can there be any happiness without peace?  Since you have controlled your enemies in the past with your mighty arms, now control your senses, Arjuna.  If you do so then you will become transcendental and see that what is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.  A sage is not disturbed by the flow of desires that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still.  He alone can achieve peace and not the person who strives to satisfy such desires.  That is the way of spiritual life after attaining which a person is not bewildered.  If one is thus situated, even at the hour of death, one can enter into the kingdom of God.