Bhagavadgita

Chapter 2 !

Slokas with meanings in English

Sloka Text in Devanagari, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu, English

||om tat sat||

Sanjaya said:
taṁ tathā kr̥payā viṣṭaṁ aśrupūrṇākulēkṣaṇam |
viṣīdaṁta midaṁ vākyaṁ uvāca mathusūdanaḥ ||1||
"Madhusudana uttered the following words to him who has been filled with pity,
whose eyes were filled with tears showing distress and who is in grief"

śrīmadbhagavadgīta
sāṁkhya yōgaḥ
dvitīyō'dhyāyaḥ

Bhagavad-Gita Samkhya Yoga

At the end of Chapter one, we heard Arjuna say that he does not desire victory or the kingdom. He goes on to say that it is better that he, unarmed, is killed by the armed Kauravas, than his having to demolish the Kauravas to enjoy the kingdom. Having said that Arjuna tells Krishna that he wants to quit the battle. Then Sanjaya says Arjuna threw down his arms and with his mind drenched in sorrow sat down on the chariot.

Chapter 2 starts with Sanjaya describing the mental and physical state of Arjuna. Then the dialogue of Krishna and Arjuna starts. Through this chapter Krishna brings out three thoughts. First is about Self or Atma. The second is about the impermanency of body which we see passing through various stages of life before the death. And the third is about our duty. All these are brought forth one after another in a step-by-step fashion to counter Arjuna's grief.

So we start with the chapter with Sanjaya describing Arjuna's physical mental afflictions.

|| Sloka 1||

taṁ tathā kr̥payā''viṣṭaṁ aśrupūrṇākulēkṣaṇam |
viṣīdanta midaṁ vākyaṁ uvāca madhusūdanaḥ ||1||

sa|| tathā kr̥payā aviṣṭaṁ aśrupūrṇākulēkṣaṇaṁ viṣīdaṁtaṁ taṁ ( arjunaṁ) madhusūdanaḥ idaṁ vākyaṁ uvāca ||

||Sloka meanings||

tathā kr̥payā aviṣṭaṁ - then for one filled with pity
aśrupūrṇākulēkṣaṇaṁ- one with eyes filled with tears and showing distress
viṣīdaṁtaṁ taṁ- one who is sorrowing
madhusūdanaḥ idaṁ vākyaṁ uvāca- Krishna spoke these words

||Sloka summary||
Sanjaya said:
"Then Krishna spoke these words to him who is filled with pity,
whose eyes are filled with tears and showed distress, who was in sorrow". ||1||

Sanjaya talks about Arjuna using the descriptions saying,
"śōkasaṁvigna mānasaṁ"
- "mind afflicted with sorrow",
"aśrupūrṇākulēkṣaṇam
- "eyes filled with tears",
" viṣīdaṁtaṁ"
- "grieving."
Sanjaya captures the confused mental state of Arjuna perfectly.
Looking at Arjuna in that condition with a smile indicative of pity, Krishna says the following.

. ||Sloka 2||

śrī bhagavānuvāca:
kutastvā kaśmalamidaṁ viṣamē samupasthitam |
anārya juṣṭaṁ asvargyaṁ akīrtikaraṁ arjuna ||2||

sa|| hē arjuna ! anārya juṣṭaṁ asvargyaṁ akīrtikaraṁ idaṁ kaśmalaṁ viṣamē tvāṁ kutaḥ samupasthitaṁ ? ||2||

||Sloka meanings||

anārya juṣṭaṁ - not entertained by enlightened people
asvargyaṁ akīrtikaraṁ - that which does not lead to heaven, that which brings infamy
idaṁ kaśmalaṁ - these impure thoughts
viṣamē tvāṁ - in this critical time
kutaḥ samupasthitaṁ - from where did this come

||Sloka summary||

"O Arjuna, at this critical time from where did you get these impure thoughts, not entertained by enlightened people
which does not lead to heaven, which brings infamy ?

Krishna tries to highlight the fact that Arjuna's thinking is not in line with that of enlightened people. That his thinking will lead to infamy.

|| Sloka 3||

klaibyaṁ māsmagamaḥ pārtha naitat tvayyupapadyatē |
kṣudraṁ hr̥daya daurbalyaṁ tvakyōttiṣṭa parantapa ||3||

sa|| hē pārtha ! klaibyaṁ māsma gamaḥ ētat tvayi na upapadyatē | hē parantapa ! kṣudraṁ hr̥daya daurbalyaṁ tyaktvā uttiṣṭha ||

||Sloka meanings||

klaibyaṁ māsma gamaḥ - do not yield to unmanliness
ētat tvayi na upapadyatē - this is not appropriate for you
hē parantapa - o scorcher of foes
kṣudraṁ hr̥daya daurbalyaṁ - petty fainthearted ness
tyaktvā uttiṣṭha - give up and arise

||Sloka summary||

"O Partha, do not yield to unmanliness, this is not appropriate for you.
O scorcher of foes, give up petty faintheartedness and arise." ||3||

Krishna tries to rouse Arjuna from the pitiable state he was in.
By invoking "He parantapa! ", (2.3) Krishna reminds Arjuna he is one who made enemies shudder!
Krishna tells Arjuna to get rid of his Hrudaya daurbalyam - faint heartedness and get on with the battle!!

Krishna's exhortations do not help. Arjuna's mental afflictions are not easy to get over. Arjuna continues in the same vein.

||Sloka 4||

arjuna uvāca:
kathaṁ bhīṣma mahaṁ saṁkhyē drōṇaṁ ca madhusūdhana |
iṣubhiḥ pratiyōtsyāmi pūjārhāvarisūdana ||4||

sa|| hē madhusūdana ! pūjārhau bhīṣmaṁ drōṇaṁ ca saṁkhyē( yuddhē) ahaṁ iṣubhiḥ kathaṁ pratiyōtsyāmi ||

||Sloka meanings||

kathaṁ pratiyōtsyāmi - how shall I fight against (strike)
pūjārhau bhīṣmaṁ drōṇaṁ ca - Bhishma and Drona worthy of adoration
saṁkhyē ahaṁ iṣubhiḥ - In the battle with arrows
||Sloka summary||

"O Madhusudana, how shall I strike Bhishma and Drona, worthy of adoration, In the battle with arrows". ||4||

In that sorrow, the word 'Parantapa - the scorcher of foes' did not make a difference.
Arjuna addresses Krishna as Madhusudana, the one who killed the Rakshasa Madhu, as though pointing out you killed a Rakshasa, but here how can I face adorable respectable Bhishma and Drona.
He continues in the same vein.

||Sloka 5||

gurū nahatvāpi mahānubhāvān
śrēyōbhōktuṁ baikṣamapīhalōkē |
hatvā arthakāmāṁstu gurūnihaiva
bhuñjīya bhōgān ruthira pradigthān ||5||

sa||mahānubhāvān gurūn ahatvā ihalōkē bhaikṣyaṁ api bhōktuṁ śrēyaḥ hi | gurūn hatvātu ihaiva rudhira pradagdhān arthakāmān bhōgān bhuñjīya |

||Sloka meanings||

mahānubhāvān gurūn ahatvā - not killing noble elders and teachers
ihalōkē bhaikṣyaṁ bhōktuṁ api - even eating alms in this world
śrēyaḥ hi - is surely better
gurūn hatvātu - if we kill teachers
rudhira pradagdhān - blood drenched
arthakāmān bhōgān - wealth of desirable things
ihaiva bhuñjīya- we shall enjoy here itself

||Sloka summary||

"Instead of killing noble elders and teachers
even eating alms in this world is surely better.
If we kill teachers, we shall enjoy here itself
blood drenched pleasures of wealth and desirable things." ||5||

Arjuna says 'It is better to beg for alms than killing Gurus'. Having conveyed his fears that Arjuna confesses to one more thing.

||ślōkamu 6||

na caitadvidmaḥ katarannō garīyō
yadvā jayēma yadi vānō jayēyuḥ|
yānēva hatvā na jijīviṣāmaḥ
tē'vasthitāḥ pramukhē dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ||6||

sa|| naḥ katarat garīyaḥ ētat ca na vidmaḥ | jayēma yadi vā naḥ jayēyuḥ yadi vā ( na vidmaḥ) |
yān hatvā na jijīviṣāmaḥ tē dhārta rāṣṭrā ēva pramukhē ( sammukhē) avasthitāḥ ||6||

||Sloka meanings||

naḥ katarat garīyaḥ - not know as to which is better for us
ētat ca na vidmaḥ - this also we do not know
jayēma yadi vā - we will be victorious
naḥ jayēyuḥ yadi vā - or we will be conquered
yān hatvā na jijīviṣāmaḥ - Killing whom we do not wish to live
tē dhārta rāṣṭrā ēva pramukhē ( sammukhē) avasthitāḥ - those followers of Dhritarashtra are standing in the front
.
||Sloka summary||

"Not know as to which is better for us. This also we do not know whether we will be victorious
or we will be conquered. Killing whom we do not wish to live, those followers of Dhritarashtra are standing in the front."||6||

He is not sure what he should do. He says," na ca ētat vidmaḥ " even this we are not sure".
What is that he is not sure of? He is not sure whether it is better to win the war or be defeated.

This is characteristic of a person who cannot let go of anything.

||Sloka 7||

kārpaṇyadōṣō'pahatasvabhāvaḥ
pr̥ccāmi tvāṁ dharma sammūḍhacētāḥ |
yat śrēyassyānniścitaṁ brūhitanmē
śiṣyastē'haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam||7||

sa|| kārpaṇyadōṣōpahatasvabhāvaḥ (ahaṁ) dharma sammūḍha cētāḥ tvāṁ prapacchāmi | yat niścitaṁ śrēyaḥ syāt tat brūhi | ahaṁ tē śiṣyaḥ | tvāṁ prapannaṁ( śaraṇāgataṁ) māṁ śādhi |

||Sloka meanings||

kārpaṇyadōṣōpahatasvabhāvaḥ- one whose nature has been overpowered by the defect of a miser
dharma sammūḍha cētāḥ - one whose mind is bewildered by what is right or wrong
tvāṁ prapacchāmi - I am asking you.
yat niścitaṁ śrēyaḥ syāt - which is certain and good
tat brūhi - that you tell me
ahaṁ tē śiṣyaḥ - I am your disciple
tvāṁ prapannaṁ māṁ śādhi - Taken you as my refuge. Instruct me

||Sloka summary||

"As one whose nature has been overpowered by the defect of miserliness, one whose mind is bewildered by what is right or wrong,
I am asking you. Tell me that which is certain and good. I am your disciple. Instruct me I have taken you as my refuge." ||7||

Then Arjuna confesses the truth. He is overpowered by the "taint of pity" and not sure about his duty.

Even in this sorrow Arjuna knows his problem. That is the sense of ownership which he does not wish to lose. That is the defect of miserliness. He wants know that which is good and certain, as well as that which is everlasting. He literally asks Krishna to order him on the next steps. He says, "śādhi māṁ", "order me."

||Sloka 8||

na hi prapaśyāmi mamāpanudyāt
yaccōka mucchōṣaṇa mindriyāṇām|
avāpya bhūmā vasapatna mr̥ddhaṁ
rājyaṁ surāṇāmapi cādhipatyam ||8||

sa|| bhūmau asapatnaṁ r̥ddhaṁ rājyaṁ avāpya( vā) surāṇāṁ adhipatyaṁ ca (avāpya) api indriyāṇām ucchōṣaṇam mama śōkaṁ yat apanudyāt tat na prapasyāmi (paśyāmi) hi ||

||Sloka meanings||

r̥ddhaṁ rājyaṁ avāpya- acquiring prosperous kingdom,
bhūmau asapatnaṁ - free from enemies on this earth
surāṇāṁ adhipatyaṁ ca - or the lordship of devas
tat na prapasyāmi (paśyāmi) hi - I am unable to see
yat apanudyāt - that which will remove
mama:indriyāṇām ucchōṣaṇam śōkaṁ- that sorrow which is blasting my senses

||Sloka summary||

"Even after acquiring prosperous kingdom, free from enemies on this earth, or the lordship of devas, I am unable to see that which can remove my sorrow, which is blasting my senses." ||8||

He literally begs Krishna to rid him of his Soka or sorrow.
He is not sure that he would be rid of sorrow, even if he gets the kingship of heaven or gets a kingdom which is rid of all enemies!

||Sloka 9||

saṁjaya uvāca:
ēvamuktvā hr̥ṣīkēśaṁ guḍākēśaḥ paraṁtapaḥ|
na yōtsyē iti gōvindaṁ uktvā tūṣṇīṁ babhūva ha ||9||

sa|| paraṁtapaḥ guḍākēśaḥ hr̥ṣīkēśaṁ ēvaṁ uktvā nayōtsyē iti gōvindaṁ uktvā tūṣṇīṁ babhūva ha ||

||Sloka meanings||

paraṁtapaḥ guḍākēśaḥ - Arjuna, the scorcher of the enemies
hr̥ṣīkēśaṁ ēvaṁ uktvā - having spoken thus to Krishna,
tūṣṇīṁ babhūva ha - became silent,
nayōtsyē iti gōvindaṁ uktvā - telling to Govinda, "I will not fight"

||Sloka summary||

Sanjaya said:
"Arjuna, the scorcher of the enemies having spoken thus to Krishna,
telling to Govinda, "I will not fight", became silent. ||9||

From start of "dr̥ṣṭvā tu pāṁḍavānīkam."(1.2) in Chapter 1, till this point where in Arjuna says he cannot fight and sits down on the chariot silently, what is on display is the sorrow and delusion about attachments etc.

Arjuna is confused about what is right what is wrong.
He is swayed by ignorance and is in deep sorrow.
One in sorrow requires a solution.
First, he requires a knowledge which will enable him to find the solution and then implement the solution.

||ślōkamu 10||

taṁ uvāca hr̥ṣīkēśaḥ prahasanniva bhārata |
sēnayōrubhayōrmadhyē viṣīdantaṁ idaṁ vacaḥ||10||

sa|| bhārata ! ubhayōḥ sēnayōḥ madhyē viṣīdantaṁ taṁ ( arjunam) hr̥ṣīkēśaḥ prahasanniva idaṁ vacaḥ uvāca ||

||Sloka meanings||

bhārata - O King
taṁ - to him arjunam
ubhayōḥ sēnayōḥ madhyē viṣīdantaṁ- who is grieving in the middle of the two armies
hr̥ṣīkēśaḥ - Krishna
prahasanniva idaṁ vacaḥ uvāca - mocking as it were said the following words

||Sloka summary||

Sanjaya said:
"O King, to him who is grieving in the middle of the two armies
mocking as it were, Krishna said the following words." ||10||

With Arjuna in that state of dejection and delusion,
Krishna starts his divine teaching to make Arjuna see the truth of the battle of life.
To get Arjuna out of this delusion or confusion the required tool is knowledge.

Knowledge about this complex of soul and body.
Specifically knowledge of "Self" and the impermanence of the body.
But Knowledge of Self is not acquired by reading or teachings
There has to be a way of acquiring that knowledge.
That is where the concept of action is to be brought in.
That action also has to be in a way that is not entangling one in to more of worldly ways
Krishna elaborates all of this in a step-by-step way.

Krishna's elaboration has one singular purpose.
It is about Arjuna understanding and acquiring the knowledge so that he can decide for himself.
Although Arjuna said "śādhi māṁ" (2.07), "order me" to do the right thing,
Krishna sees his role as only as a teacher giving that knowledge which will enable Arjuna to act.
At the end in the chapter eighteen, Krishna says "yathēcchasi tadā kuru". It means, "do what you think is right!".
Of course, Arjuna falls in line!!

With that goal in mind Krishna starts the discourse of Gita with Sloka 2.11.

||Sloka 11||

śrī bhagavānuvāca
aśōcyā nanvaśōcastvaṁ prajñāvādāṁśca bhāṣasē |
gatāsū nagatāsūṁśca nānu śōcanti paṇḍitāḥ ||11||

sa|| tvaṁ aśōcyān anvaśōcaḥ | prajñāvādāṁśca bhāṣasē | paṇḍitāḥ gatasūn agatasūn ca na anuśōcanti||

||Sloka meanings||

tvaṁ aśōcyān anvaśōcaḥ - You grieve for those not to be grieved for
prajñāvādāṁśca bhāṣasē - speak the words of wisdom
paṇḍitāḥ na anuśōcanti - learned do not grieve
gatasūn agatasūn - for those who have departed and those who have not departed

||Sloka summary||

"You grieve for those not to be grieved for, and speak the words of wisdom.
learned do not grieve for those who have departed and those who have not departed."||11||

Why one should not grieve for them (Bhishma etc) is a legitimate question.
Because they are eternal.

||Sloka 12||

natvēvāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ natvaṁ nēmē janādhipāḥ |
na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ sarvē vayamataḥ param || 12||

sa|| ahaṁ jātu nāsaṁ (iti) na tu ēva | tvaṁ na asīḥ iti na | imē janādhipaḥ ( na āsan iti) na | ataḥ paraṁ vayaṁ sarvē na bhaviṣyāmaḥ (iti) ca na ēva ||12||

||Sloka meanings||

ahaṁ jātu nāsaṁ (iti) na tu ēva - certainly not that I did not exist before
tvaṁ na asīḥ iti na - not that you did not.
imē janādhipaḥ ( na āsan iti) na - not that these kings .
ataḥ paraṁ - after this
ca na ēva - not that
vayaṁ sarvē na bhaviṣyāmaḥ - all of us will not exist

||Sloka summary||

"Certainly not that I did not exist before, not that you did not, nor these kings. Not that, after this
all of us will not exist"||12||

So you, me and all the kings etc, are eternal
How?

||Sloka 13||

dēhinō asmin yathā dēhē kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā |
tathā dēhāntaraprāptiḥ dhīraḥ tatra namuhyati ||13||

sa|| dēhinaḥ asmin dēhē kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā yathā ( bhavati) tathā dēhāntara prāptiḥ ( bhavati) | tatra dhīraḥ na muhyati ||13||

||Sloka meanings||

yathā kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā - as are boyhood, youth and old age
dēhinaḥ asmin dēhē - (for) the embedded being in this body
tathā dēhāntara prāptiḥ - similar is attaining another body
tatra dhīraḥ na muhyati - That being so the enlightened do not grieve.

||Sloka summary||

"As are boyhood, youth, and old age for the embedded being in this body,
similar is attaining another body. That being so the enlightened do not grieve.

"||13||

The embodied body passes through the stages of boyhood, youth, old age, and decay.
After death, it is another stage where he ("dēhī") enters another body.

The "dēhī", or Self does not change as it moves through various stages of boyhood, youth middle age-old age and decay. Self remains same. Self is not dead or born again after every stage. So, it does not change in the stage after death too.

Thus "dēhī," or "Self" is eternal. So Krishna starts the teaching of the knowledge of Self.

||Sloka 14||

mātrā sparśāstu kauntēya śītōṣṇa sukhaduḥkhadāḥ |
agamāpāyinō'nityāḥ tāṁ stitikṣasva bhārata ||14||

sa|| hē kauntēya ! mātrā sparśāstu śītōṣṇa sukha duḥkhadāḥ agamāpāyinaḥ | anityāḥ |hē bhārata ! tān titīkṣasva ||14||

||Sloka meanings||

mātrā sparśāstu - contact of senses with their objects
śītōṣṇa sukha duḥkhadāḥ - are the cause of , happiness, sorrow heat and cold .
agamāpāyinaḥ- these come and go
anityāḥ- transient.
hē bhārata ! tān titīkṣasva - O Arjuna bear with them .

||Sloka summary||

"Contact of senses with their objects are the cause of happiness, sorrow, heat and cold.
These come and go. And are transient. O Arjuna, bear with them ". ||14||

Starting thus Krishna teaches Arjuna about the knowledge of Self.
Self being eternal, death is not be grieved.

Granting that "Self" is eternal and not to be grieved on the account of death, there is still possibility of grief.
The sense organs are always interacting in the world of objects.
That interplay of sense organs generates the opposites namely pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow, heat and cold etc.
The body suffers from being exposed to heat and cold as well as pleasure and pain.
Self may be eternal; the body is not.
Thus there is scope for grief because of these and other worldly variables.

For that Krishna says, "titīkṣasva", bear that pain due to pleasure and pain or other dualities.
So if we bear the pain, what do we gain?
Krishna answers that too.

||Sloka 15||

yaṁ hi na vyadhayantyētē puruṣaṁ puruṣarṣabha|
sama duḥkha sukhaṁ dhīraṁ sō'mr̥tatvāya kalpatē ||15||

sa|| hē puruṣarṣabha ! ētē sama duḥkhaṁ sukhaṁ dhīraṁ yaṁ puruṣaṁ na vyadhayaṁti saḥ ( puruṣaḥ ) amr̥tatvāya ( mōkṣāya) kalpatē ||15||

||Sloka meanings||

sama duḥkhaṁ sukhaṁ - The one who is same in happiness and sorrow
sama dhīraṁ - the wiseman
yaṁ puruṣaṁ na vyadhayaṁti - the person whom these do not agitate
saḥ amr̥tatvāya kalpatē - he (that person) is fit for immortality

||Sloka summary||

"O best of men, the person, whom these do not agitate, who is same in happiness and sorrow,
who is wise, becomes fit indeed for immortality"? ||15||

Thus, though one may not grieve since Self is eternal, but faced with heat and cold as well as the pleasure and pain one may be in a condition to grieve. Here Krishna's direction is to bear with the pleasure and pain etc.
In that process you develop the ability to be immune to the dualities of life. That will make you to be fit for Moksha.

So, again Krishna concludes that there is no scope for grief.

That is not all. Krishna proposes another reason for bearing the heat and cold and abandon the grief.
That reason is the unreality of the dualities, pleasure, and pain as well as heat and cold.
The unreality is related to the temporary nature of these dualities.

||ślōkamu 16||

nāsatō vidyatē bhāvō nābhāvō vidyatē sataḥ |
ubhayōrapi dr̥ṣṭō'ntastvanayōḥ tatva darśibhiḥ ||16||

sa|| asataḥ bhāvaḥ na vidyatē | sataḥ abhāvaḥ na vidyatē |anayōḥ ubhayōḥ api aṁtaḥ tu tatva darśibhiḥ dr̥ṣṭhaḥ ||

||Sloka meanings||

asataḥ bhāvaḥ na vidyatē - the unreal does not exist
sataḥ abhāvaḥ na vidyatē - the real has no nonexistence
anayōḥ ubhayōḥ api aṁtaḥ tu - the nature of both these
tatva darśibhiḥ dr̥ṣṭhaḥ - known by those who see the truth.

||Sloka meanings||

"The unreal does not exist. The real has no nonexistence. The nature of both these
known by those who see the truth." ||16||

Krishna says, the unreal has no existence.
Non-existence is not possible for the real one.

Heat etc are effects. They exist through the organs of perception (touch for example) for some time and disappear.
They are temporary.
They are not eternal.
They are not real.
For such unreal things which cause grief, bear them there is no need to grieve.

||Sloka 17||

avināśitu tadviddhi yēna sarva midaṁ tataṁ |
vināśa mavyaya syāsya nakaścit kartumarhati ||17||

sa|| idaṁ sarvaṁ yēna tatam ( vyāpitaṁ) tat tu avināśi (iti) viddhi |asya avyayasya vināśam kaścit kartuṁ na arhati ||17||

||Sloka meanings||

idaṁ sarvaṁ yēna tatam- by which the whole world has been pervaded
tat tu avināśi (iti) viddhi - know that as imperishable
asya avyayasya - of that imperishable
kaścit na vināśam kartuṁ arhati - no one can bring about destruction

||Sloka meanings||

"By which the whole world has been pervaded, know that as imperishable.
No one can bring about destruction of that imperishable."||17||

The reality is imperishable.
The reality by which all this universe is pervaded is imperishable and it cannot be destroyed

||Sloka 18||

antavanta imē dēhāḥ nityassyōktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ|
anāśinō'pramēyasya tasmādyudhyasva bhārata ||18||

sa|| nityasya anāśinaḥ apramēyasya śarīriṇaḥ ( ātmasya) imē dēhāḥ anta vantaḥ (iti) uktāḥ | tasmāt yudhyasva ||

||Sloka meanings||

imē dēhāḥ - these bodies (of)
nityasya anāśinaḥ - everlasting indestructible
apramēyasya- incomprehensible
śarīriṇaḥ- self in this embodied body
anta vantaḥ (iti) uktāḥ - are spoken of as having an end.
tasmāt yudhyasva - Hence O Arjuna fight.

||Sloka meanings||

"These bodies (of) everlasting indestructible incomprehensible Self, in this embodied body, are spoken of as having an end.
Hence, O Arjuna, fight." ||18||

The bodies of the embodied Self which is eternal do have an end.
And only the Self is eternal.
Knowing this, there is no need to grieve.
So Krishna says get ready and do the battle

Krishna now elaborates further on "Self" and body.

The body is not there before birth and is not there after death.
But the eternal "Self" cannot be killed by anyone.
He is not born, nor does he die.
.
||Sloka 19||

ya ēnaṁ vētti hantāram yaścainaṁ manyatē hataṁ |
ubhau tau na vijānītō nāyaṁ hanti na hanyatē ||19||

sa||yaḥ ēnaṁ (atman) hantāraṁ vētti yaḥ ēnaṁ( atman) hataṁ manyatē tau ubhau na vijānītaḥ |ayaṁ ( atma) na haṁti na hanyatē ca ||19||

||Sloka meanings||

yaḥ ēnaṁ (atman) hantāraṁ vētti - Whoever thinks of this (Self) as the one killing
yaḥ ēnaṁ( atman) hataṁ manyatē - whoever thinks this (Self) as the one being killed
ubhau na vijānītaḥ - both of them do not know
ayaṁ ( atma) na haṁti na hanyatē ca - This does not kill nor does it get killed

||Sloka summary||

"Whoever thinks of this Self as the one killing,
whoever thinks the Self as the one being killed, both of them do not know.
This Self does not kill nor does it get killed." ||19||

||Sloka 20||

na jāyatē mriyatē vā kadācit
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ |
ajō nitya śśāśvatō'yaṁ purāṇō
na hanyatē hanyamānē śarīrē ||20||

sa|| ayam ( ātmā) kadācit na jāyatē | na mriyatē vā | na bhūtvā bhūyaḥ na bhavitāna | ayaṁ ajaḥ nityaḥ | śāśvataḥ | purāṇaḥ |śarīrē hanyamānē (sati) na hanyatē ||20||

||Sloka meanings||

ayam ( ātmā) kadācit na jāyatē - this one is never born
na mriyatē vā - nor does it die.
na bhūtvā bhūyaḥ na bhavitāna - having been born never ceases to be again.
ayaṁ ajaḥ nityaḥ - this one is birthless and eternal.
śāśvataḥ purāṇaḥ - everlasting and ancient..
śarīrē hanyamānē (sati) na hanyatē - not killed though the body is killed.
.
||Sloka summary||

"This one is never born, nor does it die. Having been born, never ceases to be again.
This one is birthless, eternal, everlasting and ancient.
Not killed, though the body is killed". ||20||

||Sloka 21||

vēda vināśinaṁ nityaṁ ya ēna maja mavyayam|
kathaṁ sa puruṣaḥ pārtha kaṁ ghātayati hanti kaṁ ||21||

sa|| hē pārtha ! yaḥ yēnaṁ ( ātman) ajam avyayaṁ (vēda) avināśinaṁ (vēda) nityaṁ vēda puruṣaḥ kathaṁ (ghātayati) kaṁ ghātayati kaṁ hanti ||21||

||Sloka meanings||

kathaṁ- how
yaḥ puruṣaḥ yēnaṁ ( ātman) ajam - the one person who knows of this (Self) as birthless
avyayaṁ avināśinaṁ - imperishable, indestructible
nityaṁ vēda - knows as eternal
saḥ kaṁ ghātayati kaṁ hanti - how does he slay and whom does he slay

||Sloka summary||

"One, who knows of this (Self) as birthless, imperishable, indestructible, knows it as eternal,
how does he slay and whom does he slay."? ||21||

One who realizes this eternal truth about Self, how will he kill or whom will he kill?
The Self has no birth or death, for the Self moves from one body to another body.
This is elaborated further.

||Sloka 22||

vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gr̥hṇāti narō'parāṇi|
tathā śarīrāni vihāya jīrṇān
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dēhē||22||

sa|| yathā naraḥ jīrṇāni vāsāṁsi vihāya aparāṇi navāni vāsāṁsi gr̥hṇāti tathā dēhī ( ātman) śarīrāṇi vihāya anyāni navāni śarīrāṇi saṁyāti ||22||

||Sloka meanings||

yathā naraḥ - just like a man
jīrṇāni vāsāṁsi vihāya - discards worn out clothes
aparāṇi navāni vāsāṁsi gr̥hṇāti - wears other new clothes
tathā dēhī ( ātman) śarīrāṇi vihāya- similarly the embedded being ( Self) leaving the body
anyāni navāni śarīrāṇi saṁyāti - proceeds to take up another body.

||Sloka summary||

"Just like a man discard worn out clothes, wears other new clothes,
the embedded being Self leaving the body proceeds to take up another body." ||22||

||Sloka 23||

nainaṁ cindanti śastrāṇi nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ |
na cainaṁ klēdayantyāpō na śōṣayati mārutaḥ ||23||

sa|| ēnaṁ( ātman) śastrāṇi na cindanti | pāvakaḥ ēnaṁ( atman) na dahati | āpaḥ ca ēnaṁ( ātman) na klēdayaṁti | ēnaṁ ātman mārutaḥ na śōṣayati ||23||

||Sloka meanings||

ēnaṁ( ātman) śastrāṇi na cindanti - weapons do not cut it
pāvakaḥ ēnaṁ( atman) na dahati - fire cannot burn it
āpaḥ ca ēnaṁ( ātman) na klēdayaṁti - water does not wet it
ēnaṁ ātman mārutaḥ na śōṣayati - the wind cannot dry it

||Sloka summary||

"Weapons do not cut it. Fire cannot burn it.
Water does not wet it. The wind cannot dry it." ||23||

||Sloka 24||

acchēdyō'yaṁ adāhyō'yaṁ aklēdyō'śōṣya ēvaca |
nitya sarva gataḥ sthāṇuḥ acalō'yaṁ sanātanaḥ ||24||

sa|| ayaṁ( atmā) acchēdyaḥ | ayam ( atmā) adāhyaḥ | (ayaṁ atmā) aklēdyaḥ| ( ayaṁ atmā) aśōṣyaḥ ēva ca |ayaṁ nityaḥ | ayaṁ sarvagataḥ | ayaṁ sthāṇuḥ | ayaṁ acalaḥ | ayaṁ sanātanaḥ ||24||

||Sloka meanings||

ayaṁ( atmā) acchēdyaḥ - this( Self) cannot be cut
ayam ( atmā) adāhyaḥ - This cannot be burnt.
(ayaṁ atmā) aklēdyaḥ- This cannot be made wet
aśōṣyaḥ ēva ca - This cannot be dried
ayaṁ nityaḥ sarvagataḥ sthāṇuḥ - This is eternal, all pervasive, stable
ayaṁ acalaḥ sanātanaḥ - This is immovable and ancient

||Sloka summary||

"This (Self) cannot be cut. This cannot be burnt.
This cannot be made wet. This cannot be dried
This is eternal, all pervasive, stable. This is immovable and ancient." ||24||
.
Thus, continuing his teaching of "Self", Krishna tells us all about the Self.

This Self cannot cut by weapons.
This Self cannot be burnt by fire.
Water cannot wet this Self.
The air does not dry it Self.
This Self is invisible
This Self is unthinkable, since it cannot be perceived by the organs of perception
This Self has no changes or modifications
Self has no death. It moves from body to body.
Just as a man casts off the old clothes and wears new ones, the Self too leaves the decaying body and enters a new one

Krishna says "knowing this Self which is not visible to organs of perception, unthinkable, and unchangeable, one does not grieve".

||Sloka 25||

avyaktō'yaṁ aciṁtyō'ym avikāryō'yamucyatē|
tasmāt ēvaṁ viditvainaṁ nānu śōcitu marhasi ||25||

sa|| ayaṁ atmā avyaktaḥ ayaṁ acintyaḥ ayaṁ avikāryaḥ iti ucyatē | tasmāt ēnaṁ (atman) ēvaṁ viditvā anuśōcituṁ na arhasi||25||

||Sloka meanings||

ayaṁ atmā avyaktaḥ - this Self is unmanifest.
ayaṁ acintyaḥ - This is imponderable.. .
avikāryaḥ iti ucyatē - this is said to be immutable.
tasmāt ēnaṁ (atman) ēvaṁ viditvā - Hence knowing this( self) thus
anuśōcituṁ na arhasi- you shall not grieve..

||Sloka summary||

"This Self is unmanifest. This is imponderable.
This is said to be immutable. Hence knowing this self thus
you shall not grieve." ||25||

Krishna having established the argument that with a Self that is eternal which cannot be destroyed, there is no need to grieve about death, brings up one more line of reasoning where by grief is again not needed.

Krishna says, "Let us suppose that the Self is not eternal, even then the argument continues. There is no need for grief.
When it is said Self is not eternal, it is meant that Self is also born again and dies again. Krishna elaborates this thought in the next Sloka

||Sloka 26||

atha cainaṁ nitya jātaṁ nityaṁ vā manyasē mr̥taṁ|
tathāpi tvam mahābāhō naivaṁ śōcitu marhasi ||26||

sa|| hē mahābāhō ! atha ca ēnaṁ (atman) nitya jātaṁ vā nityaṁ mr̥taṁ vā manyasē tathā api ēvam śōcitum tvaṁ na arhasi ||26||

||Sloka meanings||

atha ca ēnaṁ (atman) - If this (Self) is
nitya jātaṁ vā nityaṁ mr̥taṁ manyasē- you think always born and always dying
tathā api tvaṁ - then also you
ēvam śōcitum na arhasi - ought not grieve like this

||Sloka summary||

"If you think this Self is always born and always dies, then also, O hero, you ought not to grieve ". ||26||

When the Self is eternal, the death has no meaning and hence is not to grieved.
But if it is not eternal, then there is birth and death. Krishna elaborates, why one should not grieve?.

||Sloka 27||

jātasya hi dhruvōmr̥tyuḥ dhruvaṁ janma mr̥tasya ca |
tasmādaparihāryē'rthē na tvaṁ śōcitu marhasi ||27||

sa|| jātasya mr̥tyuḥ dhr̥vaḥ hi | mr̥tasya janma ca dhr̥vaṁ | tasmāt tvaṁ śōcitum na arhasi ||27||

||Sloka meanings||

jātasya mr̥tyuḥ dhr̥vaḥ hi- for one who is born death is certain.
mr̥tasya janma ca dhr̥vaṁ - birth is certain for one who dies
tasmāt tvaṁ śōcitum na arhasi - Hence you should not grieve

||Sloka summary||

"For one who is born death is certain.
Birth is certain for one who dies. Hence you should not grieve." ||27||

Once a person is born, the death is certain. Once a person is dead, he is to be born again. The point being made is that, for such known, certain event such as death, there is no need to grieve.
||Sloka 28||

avyaktādīni bhūtāni vyakta madhyāni bhārata |
avyakta nidhanānyēna tatra kā paridēvanā ||28||

sa|| hē bhārata ! bhūtāni avyaktādīni vyakta madhyāni avyakta nidhanānyēva ( bhavaṁti) | tatra paridēvanā kā ||28||

||Sloka meanings||

bhūtāni avyaktādīni - beings are unmanifest in the beginning
vyakta madhyāni - manifest in the middle
avyakta nidhanānyēva - they are unmanifest after death
tatra paridēvanā kā - so why grieve?

||Sloka summary||

"Oh Arjuna, beings are unmanifest in the beginning. Manifest in the middle. They are unmanifest after death.
So why grieve?" ||28||

This line of argument may be summarized as follows.
Having clinched the argument for no grief since Self is eternal, Krishna discusses the possibility that may be Self is not eternal.
Krishna says even then there is no need to grieve because birth and death are certain for one who is born or dead.
So, the birth and death are unavoidable events of life.
Since they are unavoidable, there is no need to grieve.
In addition, the beings are not known before birth.
We only see them in the middle. Beings are again not seen after death.
Thus, the beings come from an unseen state and move back to the unseen state.
For such a being why grieve?

Thus, from the point of view of absolute truth, life and death, there is no need to grieve.

Thus, the argument is completed to say that there is no need to grieve.

||Sloka 29||

aścaryavat paśyati kaścidēnaṁ
āścaryavat vadati tathaiva cānyaḥ|
āścaryavaccaina manya śruṇōti
śrutvāpyēnaṁ vēda na caiva kaścit ||29||

sa||kaścit ēnaṁ (ātman) aścaryavat paśyati | tathaiva kaścit ēnaṁ (ātman) aścaryavat vadati | anyaḥ ca ēnaṁ (ātman) āścaryavat śr̥ṇōti | śrutvā api ēnaṁ kaścit ca na vēda ēva ||29||

||Sloka meanings||

kaścit ēnaṁ (ātman) aścaryavat paśyati - Some see this as a wonder
tathaiva kaścit ēnaṁ (ātman) aścaryavat vadati - Some speak of this as wonder
anyaḥ ca ēnaṁ (ātman) āścaryavat śr̥ṇōti -Some hear of this as wonder.
śrutvā api ēnaṁ kaścit ca na vēda ēva - even after hearing no one knows for sure.
.

||Sloka summary||

"Some see this as a wonder
Some speak of this as wonder. Some hear of this as wonder.
Even after hearing, no one knows for sure"||30||

Having concluded the arguments about grief and death in the earlier Slokas, Krishna reverts to the complex topic of Self.

For many people the Self is a complex subject. It is not seen and so it is wonder. Even after one hears and reads one may not comprehend until one experiences the same. That is the point being made here.

||Sloka 30||

dēhē nityamavadhyō'yaṁ dēhē sarvasya bhārata |
tasmāt sarvāṇi bhūtāni na tvaṁ śōcitumarhasi || 30||

sa|| hē bhārata ! sarvasya dēhē ayaṁ dēhī ( atmā) nityaṁ avadhyaḥ | tasmāt sarvāṇi bhūtāni tvaṁ śōcituṁ na arhasi ||30||

||Sloka meanings||

sarvasya dēhē ayaṁ dēhī - this Self-residing in all bodies
nityaṁ avadhyaḥ - eternally indestructible
tasmāt sarvāṇi bhūtāni - hence about all beings
tvaṁ śōcituṁ na arhasi - you ought not to grieve

||Sloka summary||

"O Bharata, this Self-residing in all bodies is eternally indestructible.
Hence you ought not to grieve about all beings." ||30||

This Self is not easily understood. It cannot be seen and so it remains a wonder. This Self cannot also be killed. Even if the body is killed, the Self is not killed. Hence there is no need to grieve for the death of Bhishma, Drona, and others whom you respect.
The arguments, based on the eternality of Self and hence not grieve, are thus complete.
This should be enough for Arjuna to accept Krishna's direction.

Krishna now continues further arguments.

||Sloka 31||

svadharmapi cāvēkṣya na vikampitu marhasi |
dharmyāddhi yuddhāt śrēyō'nyat kṣatriyasya na vidyatē ||31||

sa|| svadharmaṁ avēkṣya vikampituṁ na arhasi ca | kṣatriyasya dharmyāt yuddhāt anyat śrēyaḥ na vidyatē ||31||

||Sloka meanings||

svadharmaṁ avēkṣya - Looking at your own duty
vikampituṁ na arhasi ca - shall not waver
kṣatriyasya dharmyāt - Among the duties of warriors
yuddhāt anyat śrēyaḥ na vidyatē hi - there is no other better than battle

||Sloka summary||

"Looking at your own duty
shall not waver. Among all the duties of warriors there is no other better than battle". ||31||

Here, Krishna moves away from the arguments based on absolute truth, and asks Arjuna to look at this from the point of view of one's duty (svadharma). Krishna says we are born to perform our duties. So if we look at our own duty also there is no need to be waver from the battle or grieve for the elders!

How? The reasoning is simple.

"Fighting for a just cause is the duty of the warriors.
There can be no greater good that can accrue to a warrior than fighting a righteous battle.
The chance to attain heavens in a battle is rare.
If one forsakes his duty and shies away from the battle, he will court infamy of shirking his duty.
If one attains death in battle, he courts heavens. On the other hand, if he wins, he gains the kingdom".

So, we hear a logical sequence of thoughts, proceeding from the point of view of performing one's own duty.
And in the case of Arjuna, it is his duty to take part in a righteous battle.

Interestingly, Mahabharata has a story about a message sent by Kunti through Krishna to Bhima and Arjuna before the war. Kunti tells Krishna to remind Arjuna and Bhima, that the reason why every warrior mother wishes for the birth of a son has arrived in the form of battle. Krishna seems to have that on his mind in bringing up this logic of a warrior's duty.

||Sloka 32||

yadr̥ccayā cōpapannaṁ svargadvāramapāvr̥tam|
sukhinaḥ kṣatriyāḥ pārtha labhaṁtē yuddha mīdr̥śam ||32||

sa|| hē pārtha! yadr̥cchayā upapannam apāvr̥taṁ svargadvāraṁ īdr̥śam yuddhaṁ (yē) kṣatriyāḥ labhantē tē sukhinaḥ ||32||

||Sloka meanings||

yadr̥cchayā upapannam - that which presents itself unsought for
apāvr̥taṁ svargadvāraṁ - open gate to heaven
īdr̥śam yuddhaṁ - this kind of battle
(yē) kṣatriyāḥ labhantē- the warriors who get this
tē sukhinaḥ - they are happy

||Sloka summary||

"The warriors who get this kind of battle, which presents itself unsought for
which is an open gate to heaven, are happy "? ||32||

||Sloka 33||

atha cēttvamimaṁ dharmyaṁ saṁgrāmaṁ na kariṣyasi |
tataḥ svadharmaṁ kīrtiṁca hitvā pāpa mavāpsasi ||33||

sa|| atha tvaṁ imam dharmyaṁ saṁgrāmam na kariṣyati cēt tataḥ svadharmaṁ kīrtiṁca hitvā pāpaṁ avāpsyasi ||33||

||Sloka meanings||

atha tvaṁ imam - in the event you
dharmyaṁ saṁgrāmam na kariṣyati - do not undertake this righteous battle,
tataḥ svadharmaṁ kīrtiṁca hitvā - then forsaking your duty and fame
pāpaṁ avāpsyasi - incur sin

||Sloka summary||

"In the event you do not undertake this righteous battle, then forsaking your duty and fame, you incur sin." ||33||

Krishna tells Arjuna it is his duty to fight. But on the other hand if he does not fight this battle that conforms with the rules of righteousness, for that very reason of abandoning the law of the life of a warrior, he will incur sin. Arjuna will also lose the fame of having fought glorious battles like the one with Siva. That is the implication here.

||Sloka 34||

akīrtiṁ cāpi bhūtāni kathayiṣyaṁti tē'vyayām |
saṁbhāvitasya cā kīrtiḥ maraṇādatirityatē ||34||

sa|| bhūtāni tē avyayāṁ akīrtiṁ kathayiṣyaṁti api ca | saṁbhāvitasya akīrtiḥ maraṇāt ca atiricyatē (adhikaṁ bhavati) ||34||

||Sloka meanings||

tē avyayāṁ akīrtiṁ- your long lasting infamy
bhūtāni kathayiṣyaṁti api ca -people will also speak of
saṁbhāvitasya akīrtiḥ - For a an honored person the infamy
maraṇāt ca atiricyatē - is worse than death

||Sloka summary||

"People will also speak of your long-lasting infamy. For an honored person the infamy
is worse than death." ||34||

Krishna is highlighting popular belief that for an honorable man death is preferable to infamy.

||Sloka 35||

bhayādraṇā duparataṁmanyaṁtē tvāṁ maharathāḥ|
yēṣāṁ ca tvaṁ bahumatō bhūtvā yāsyasi lāghavam||35||

sa|| yēṣām tvaṁ bahumataḥ bhūtvā lāghavaṁ yāsyasi (tē) mahārathāḥ tvām raṇāt bhayāt uparataṁ manyaṁtē ca ||35||

||Sloka meanings||

yēṣām tvaṁ bahumataḥ bhūtvā- among those who have honored you
lāghavaṁ yāsyasi - (you) fall in their esteem
mahārathāḥ tvām - The great warriors think of you
bhayāt raṇāt uparataṁ manyaṁtē ca - as having withdrawn from the battle out of fear

||Sloka summary||

"Among those who have honored you, you fall in their esteem. The great warriors think of you
as having withdrawn from the battle out of fear". ||35||

Krishna reminds Arjuna that he is honored by many because of prowess in many battles, like the one with Siva in his quest for Pasupatastra. Talking about running away from the battle, Krishna says that people will attribute fear of Karna as the cause of his withdrawing from the battle.

||Sloka 36||

avācya vādāṁśca bahūn vadiṣyaṁti tavāhitāḥ |
nindantastava sāmarthyaṁ tatō duḥkhataraṁ nu kim||36||

sa|| tava avahitāḥ ( śatruḥ) tava sāmarthyaṁ niṁdataḥ bahūn avācya vādāṁśca vadiṣyaṁti | tataḥ duḥkhataraṁ kim?||36||

||Sloka meanings||

tava avahitāḥ - your enemies
tava sāmarthyaṁ niṁdataḥ - question your competence
bahūn avācya vādāṁśca vadiṣyaṁti -
speak many unmentionable words
tataḥ duḥkhataraṁ kim?- what can be more sorrowful than that?

||Sloka summary||

"Your enemies will question your competence. They will speak many unmentionable words
What can be more sorrowful than that?" ||36||

Now Krishna raises the battle cry.

||Sloka 37||

hatō vā prāpsyasē svargaṁ jitvā vā bhōkṣyasē mahīm|
tasmāduttiṣṭa kauntēya yuddhāya kr̥ta niścayaḥ ||37||

sa|| hē kauntēya ! hatō vā svargaṁ prāpyasē | jitvā vā mahīm bhōkṣyasē | tasmāt yuddhāya kr̥ta niścayaḥ uttiṣṭha ||37||

||Sloka meanings||

hatō vā svargaṁ prāpyasē being killed you attain heaven
jitvā vā mahīm bhōkṣyasē - being victorious you will enjoy the earth
tasmāt yuddhāya kr̥ta niścayaḥ - Hence being determined to fight
uttiṣṭha- arise.

||Sloka summary||

"Being killed you attain heaven. Being victorious you will enjoy the earth.
Hence Arjuna, being determined to fight arise."||37||

This is the battle cry.
If one attains death in battle, he courts heavens.
On the other hand, if he wins, he gains the kingdom.

Saying, "uttiṣṭha", Krishna urges Arjuna to raise to the challenge.
How should one take up such challenges in life?
Krishna dwells on this in the next Sloka, which is also addressed to all beyond the immediate listener in Arjuna.

||Sloka 38||

sukhaduḥkhē samē kr̥tvā lābhālābhau jayājayau |
tatō yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṁ pāpamavāpsyasi||38||

sa|| sukha duḥkhē lābhā lābhau jayā jayau samēkr̥tvā tataḥ yuddhāya yujyasva| ēvam ( cēt) pāpaṁ na avāpsyasi||38||

||Sloka meanings||

sukha duḥkhē lābhā lābhau - happiness and sorrow as also gain or loss
jayā jayau - victory and defeat
samēkr̥tvā- treating them as equal
tataḥ yuddhāya yujyasva- be ready for the battle.
ēvam ( cēt) pāpaṁ na avāpsyasi-then you will not incur the sin

||Sloka summary||

"Treating happiness and sorrow as also gain or loss
and, victory and defeat as equal be ready for the battle. Then you will not incur the sin". ||38||

The sum and substance being ready for action is equanimity. Treat the dualities of victory and defeat, happiness, and sorrow, gain and loss with a sense of equanimity. Then one will not impact by the result.

Considerations of worldly wisdom (in Slokas 2.31 -36) were cited here with a view to dispel grief and delusion of killing his own people, but not as an end in itself. What is more relevant in the context is the perception of ultimate reality following the precepts of Samkhya Yoga which have been elaborated from Slokas 2.11 onwards. This is a conclusion of the Samkhya Yoga part of this discussion.

||Sloka 39||

ēṣā tē'bhihitē sāṁkhyē buddhi ryōgē tvimāṁ śruṇu |
buddhyāyuktō yayā pārtha karmabandhaṁ prahāsyasi ||39||

sa|| hē pārtha ! sāṁkhyē ēṣā buddhiḥ tē abhihitā | yayā buddhyā yuktaḥ karmabaṁdhaṁ prahāsyasi tāṁ yōgētu imāṁ śr̥ṇu||39||

||Sloka meanings||

sāṁkhyē ēṣā buddhiḥ - this knowledge imparted in Samkhya
tē abhihitā - has been taught to you
yayā buddhyā yuktaḥ - that knowledge equipped with which
karmabaṁdhaṁ prahāsyasi - be free of bondage created by action
tāṁ yōgētu imāṁ śr̥ṇu- that yoga hear now

||Sloka summary||

"This knowledge taught in Samkhya been imparted to you. Now you hear that knowledge of Yoga, equipped with which
you will be free of bondage created by action ". ||39||

Thus Samkhya yoga, elaborating on ultimate reality is now concluded here by Krishna.

But Krishna does not stop with the teaching of the knowledge of Self and Samkhya Yoga.
Now comes a further thought
One must acquire that knowledge of Self.
The knowledge of Self is not one acquired by hearing or by reading or listening.
Among thousands of practitioners one may achieve the status of discovering Self.
So how does one acquire this knowledge of Self.
Acquiring the knowledge of Self, requires one to be free of attachments or bondages

So here Krishna tells Arjuna, that what he taught so far is the Yoga of Knowledge.
Now he will tell Arjuna Yoga of action.

Thus, Krishna proceeds to tell Arjuna about the Yoga of action,
Yoga of action would free one from the bondages of action.

Thus, Krishna starts his teaching on Karma yoga.

The very first line is of great import or importance.

||Sloka 40||

nēhābhi kramanāśō'sti pratyavāyō navidyatē |
svalpamapyasya dharmasya trāyatō mahatē bhayāt ||40||

sa|| iha ( karmayōgē) abhikrama nāśaḥ na asti | pratyavāyaḥ na vidyatē | asya dharmasya svalpamapi mahataḥ bhayāt trāyatē ||40||

||Sloka meanings||

iha ( karmayōgē) abhikrama nāśaḥ na asti - here there is no destruction of result of action
pratyavāyaḥ na vidyatē - no loss of merit
asya dharmasya svalpamapi - even a little of this righteousness
mahataḥ bhayāt trāyatē- saves one from great fear.

||Sloka summary||

"Here there is no destruction of result of action. No loss of merit.
Even a little of this righteousness saves one from great fear
". ||40||

This is a classic introduction to the Karma yoga with Krishna being a master teacher.
He first talks about the benefits of Karma Yoga

Krishna says: about Karma Yoga or Yoga of action.
abhikrama nāśaḥ - the 'wasted effort', is not there.
Equally important, 'pratyavāyō - harm', is not there

Meaning there by that in this Karma Yoga there is no question of failure once you start!
That is a very good assurance to start with!

There will be no harm or faults accruing in that process of Karma!
This is also a positive thing, since one need not be worried about doing that action which may result in possible faults.

"svalpaṁ api" means that if you do "even a little" -
it saves you from fear "bhayāt" which is greatest concern.

Here, Krishna first laid out the advantages or usefulness or 'why' of this Karma Yoga,
before elaborating on new thought of Karma Yoga.

This is indeed important, and one needs to know this 'why' of Karma yoga.

First in Karma Yoga, one is not talking of action for action's sake.
It is about Nishkama karma
It is about actions without desiring the fruits of that action.
It is more simply about Selfless action.

When one performs action without the objective enjoying the fruits of that action, the first result is that fear vanishes.

When one acts with a desire to be fulfilled, then he becomes concerned whether what was wished for is happening or not.
The mind goes around thinking whether the anticipated action will happen or will not happen?
There would be a train of thoughts about consequences.
All of them are in anticipation!
Added to that if the action involves prohibited actions or surreptitious actions, one is wrapped around in fear of being caught!

But when one is involved in actions without the desire to enjoy the fruits of that action, there is no selfish element involved and no fear too.

Then even if that action is very small,
- svalpamapi - even if that action is very small -
there will be no question of "fear" enveloping the performer.
There is no fear because there is no selfish motive involved.

When one starts on niṣkāmakarma or selfless action, there is no question of failure.
Everybody knows the purpose of that action.
It is not seen as an action to further one's own agenda.
Everybody watching knows that it is not meant for any selfish ends.

When one acts selflessly even small actions get magnified and returns are many.

When it is a selfless action then even if it hits an obstacle and stops there is no fault attributed to the doer!!

All these three are important thoughts.

So what is the pre-requisite to follow this 'Yoga of action'?
||Sloka 41||

vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ ēkēha kurunandana |
bahuśākhāḥ anantāśca buddhayō vyavasāyinām||41|

sa|| hē kurunaṁdana !iha vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ ēkā (ēva) | avyavasāyinām buddhayaḥ bahuśākhāḥ anantāśca hi||

||Sloka meanings||

iha vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ ēkā (ēva) - here only a resolute mind ( is required)
avyavasāyinām buddhayaḥ - minds of the irresolute are
bahuśākhāḥ anantāśca hi- many branched and endless

||Sloka summary ||

"Here (for following Karma yoga) only a resolute mind is required.
minds of the irresolute are many branched and endless "||41||

To follow the path of action one needs only a resolute mind. A resolute mind with a determination for action without focusing on the results. The unsettled mind travels in infinite ways.
Effectively there is only one path to follow - a resolute mind and firm conviction.

Having stated what is required,
Krishna says something very profound in the next three slokas.

||Sloka 41-44||

yāmimāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācam pravadantya vipaścitaḥ|
vēdavādaratāḥ pārtha nānyadastīti vādinaḥ ||42||
kāmātmānaḥ svargaparāḥ janmakarma phalapradām |
kiyā viśēṣa bahuḷāṁ bhōgaiśvarya gatiṁ prati ||43||
bhōgaiśvarya prasaktānāṁ tayā'pahr̥tacētasām |
vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samadhau na vidhīyatē ||44||

sa|| hē pārtha ! (sarvēṣāṁ) vyavasāyitmikā buddhiḥ (ēkāgrabuddhiḥ) samādhau navidhīyatē | vēda vāda ratāḥ, na anyad asti iti vādinaḥ, kāmātmānaḥ, svarga parāḥ, avipaścitaḥ (avivēkaḥ) janmakarma pradāṁ bhōgaiśvarya gatiṁ prati kriyā viśēṣa bahuḷāṁ puṣpitāṁ yām imām vācaṁ pravadanti tayā apahr̥ta cētasāṁ bhōgaiśvarya prasaktānām (imē) vyavasāyitmikā buddhiḥ samādhau navidhīyatē ||41-44||

||Sloka meanings||

hē pārtha ! (sarvēṣāṁ) vyavasāyitmikā buddhiḥ - O Partha,
vēda vāda ratāḥ, - those who revel in the word of Vedas
na anyad asti iti vādinaḥ - who declare there is no other thing
kāmātmānaḥ , svarga parāḥ - full of desires , seeking heaven
avipaścitaḥ ( avivēkaḥ) - unenlightened people
janmakarma pradāṁ - produce births and action
bhōgaiśvarya gatiṁ prati - to acquire enjoyments and wealth
kriyā viśēṣa bahuḷāṁ - many actions replete with special rites
puṣpitāṁ yām imām vācaṁ - fruitless flowery talk
pravadanti- utter
tayā apahr̥ta cētasāṁ - those who have their minds captured by such talk
bhōgaiśvarya prasaktānām - those who are attached to enjoyment and riches
vyavasāyitmikā buddhiḥ - O Partha , the resolute mind
samādhau navidhīyatē - does not happen for concentration

||Sloka summary ||

" O Partha, those who revel in the word of Vedas and declare that there is no other thing,
those full of desires, those seeking heaven, unenlightened people who have their minds captured by flowery talk which produces births and actions, which abounds in many actions replete with special skills to acquire enjoyments and wealth, those who are attached to enjoyments and wealth, cannot have the resolute mind required for concentration."

Having said what is required is only a resolute mind, Krishna says something profound.
Here, Krishna elaborates on who will not have the required resolute mind.

They are those who get carried away by the fruitless flowery speeches.
They delight in the word of Vedas and argue that there is nothing else other than the fruit-oriented actions.
They are full of desires, consider heaven as the highest reach.
Their actions lead to the fruit of rebirth and action.
They are full of rites that yield enjoyment and riches.
Those who have given themselves to pleasure and power,
Their minds have been captured by similar thoughts.
They do not have the capability for developing a mind which leads to concentration on the ultimate reality.

Krishna uses two potent descriptions:
vēdavādaratāḥ - people who argue Veda as supreme
nānyadastīti vādinaḥ - those who argue that there is nothing else

" Oh Partha! Those who argue that there is no way other than the path of fruitful action as per Vedas.".
Such people will not have the resolute nature required for following the path of action without fruits.
They are unwise, wanting in discrimination.
They are enamored of the Vedic passages composed of many a praise for Gods.
They say there is nothing else beyond the words which are the means of attaining Swarga or attaining other material benefits.
They are full of desires and are always in pursuit of them.
Singular focus is thus not possible for them
In one stroke Krishna negates all the fruit related acts of Vedas.
This is profound.

When we talk of Vedas, we must realize that it is an ocean.
Vedas consists of Samhita, Brahmanas, Araanyakas, and Upanishads.
The fruit related parts are all part of the first two Samhita and Brahmanas
Araanyakas are about performing such rites in the later part of life in a forest.
Upanishads talk of higher-level spiritual activity with references to Atman, Brahman, and Moksha.
The three slokas above refer to Vedas focused on the ritual oriented Suktas and Brahmanas.
Krishna rejects that in no uncertain terms.

This is very important, but not really new.
In later part of Vedas itself we hear this.
In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad it is said that,
when one realizes truth of Atman, or Brahman, then vēdō avēdō bhavati. Vedas become no Vedas.
In effect for the one who realized what is the use of Vedas?
While what Krishna said may look revolutionary, the same was there in the Upanishads which are also part of Vedas.
The Vedas tell the seeker to go beyond and seek the truth.
That is the gist of Upanishads, and Gita as Shankaracharya stated is the essence of Upanishads.

||Sloka 45||

traiguṇya viṣa yāvēdāḥ nistraiguṇyō bhavārjuna |
nirdvandvō nitya sattvōsthō niryōga kṣēma ātmavān ||45||

sa|| hē arjunā ! vēdāḥ traiguṇya viṣayāḥ | tvaṁ nistraiguṇyaḥ bhava | nirdvaṁdvaḥ bhava| nitya satvasthaḥ bhava| niryōgakṣēmaḥ bhava | ātma vān bhava |

||Sloka meanings||

hē arjunā ! vēdāḥ traiguṇya viṣayāḥ - O Arjuna Vedas deal with three Gunas of nature .
tvaṁ nistraiguṇyaḥ bhava - You go beyond the three Gunas.
nirdvaṁdvaḥ bhava- be free from all duality.
nitya satvasthaḥ bhava- be poised in eternal placidity
niryōgakṣēmaḥ bhava - be beyond acquisition and preservation
ātma vān bhava - and master the Self
||Sloka summary ||

"O Arjuna Vedas deal with three Gunas of nature. You go beyond the three Gunas.
Be free from all duality. Be poised in eternal placidity
Be beyond acquisition and preservation and master the Self". ||45||

To start with, Vedas are structured on processes.
The early parts of Vedas are built on the three Gunas that control people, namely Sattva, Rajo, and Tamas.
All actions are an interplay of these Gunas.
One has to beyond these three Gunas. Then only one is able to overcome the bondages.
So Krishna having told that we should not be lost in rituals, now tells Arjuna very clearly to be free of the three Gunas, 'nistraigu ṇyō bhava'.
He asks Arjuna to beyond the Vedas.

He does not stop there. Krishna elaborates on what he wants Arjuna to be.

"Free of dualities, being in a state of eternal calmness, being unconcerned about personal welfare, be established in Self"

If the focus is on acquiring and preserving (Yoga- Kshama), then one will find it hard to strive for spiritual well-being.

If one is following all these, is there any use of Vedic instructions.
A Brahmana (one who achieved realization) has that much utility in Vedas
as a man has the utility of a well when there is a flood all around!
That is precisely what we hear in the sloka.

||Sloka 46||

yāvānartha udapānē sarvataḥ saṁplutōdakē |
tāvān sarvēṣu vēdēṣu brāhmaṇasya vijānataḥ ||46||

sa|| udapānē yāvānarthaḥ sarvata saṁplutōdakē tāvān ( arthaḥ) yathā bhavati, ( tathaiva) sarvavēdēṣu yāvānarthaḥ tāvān arthaḥ vijānataḥ brāhmaṇasya bhavati ||46||

||Sloka meanings||

udapānē yāvānarthaḥ - the extent of need in well ( of water)
tāvān ( arthaḥ) yathā bhavati- is fulfilled to that extent
sarvata saṁplutōdakē - in a reservoir filled from all sides ( similarly)
sarvavēdēṣu yāvānarthaḥ - the need fulfilled by all Vedas
tāvān arthaḥ vijānataḥ brāhmaṇasya - gets filled by the one who has realized Brahman

||Sloka summary ||

"Just as the extent of need in well of water is fulfilled to that extent in a reservoir filled from all sides, similarly the need fulfilled by all Vedas, gets filled by the one who has realized Brahman."||46||

This Sloka has been explained in many ways. But the sum and substance of this thought is that just like there is no use for a well of water, when there is water all around, there is no need for the well of knowledge in Vedas, when one has achieved the ultimate realization. This is a restatement of the earlier Upanishadic line,'vēdō avēdō bhavati.'

||Sloka 47||

karmaṇyēvādhikārastē māphalēṣu kadācana |
mākarmaphala hēturbhūḥ mātē saṅgō'stvakarmaṇi || 47||

sa|| tē karmaṇyēna adhikāraḥ | kadācana phalēṣu adhikāraḥ mā | karma phalahētuḥ mābhūḥ | akarmaṇi tē saṅgaḥ mā astu ||47||

||Sloka meanings||

tē karmaṇyēna adhikāraḥ - you have a right in the action alone
kadācana phalēṣu adhikāraḥ mā - not ever in the fruits of that action
karma phalahētuḥ mābhūḥ - Do not be impelled by the fruits of action.
akarmaṇi tē saṅgaḥ mā astu - Do not be interested in not doing action itself.

||Sloka summary ||

"You have a right in the action alone, not ever in the fruits of that action. Do not be impelled by the fruits of action.
Do not be interested in not doing action itself." || 47||

Here, Krishna is laying down an important principle of action.
"You have right to perform action, but not the fruits of that action".
We are required to act without interest in the fruits of that action, and also avoid actions that create bondage
But this should not result in a thought process leading to no action as a safe action.
The principal idea is do not be concerned with fruits of action and not be attached to "inaction".

If we say one shall perform action without focusing on results, the appropriate question is how to perform such action?
A little more precise thought is how does one acquire the ability to perform for such action.
Krishna, ever precise in his words, gives the direction.

||Sloka 48||

yōgastaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvā dhanaṁjaya |
sidhya sidhyōḥ samōbhūtvā samatvaṁ yōga ucyatē ||48||

sa|| hē dhanaṁjaya ! (tvaṁ) yōgasthaḥ saṅgaṁ tyaktvā sidhyasidhyōḥ samō bhūtvā karmāṇi kuru | samatvaṁ yōgam (iti) ucyatē ||48||

||Sloka meanings||

saṅgaṁ tyaktvā - giving up attachment
sidhyasidhyōḥ samō bhūtvā - with equanimity in success or failure
yōgasthaḥ karmāṇi kuru - established in Yoga, perform action.
samatvaṁ yōgam (iti) ucyatē- equanimity is said to be Yoga.

||Sloka summary ||

"Giving up attachment, with equanimity in success or failure, and established in Yoga, perform action.
Equanimity is said to be Yoga." ||48||

Krishna tells how one may acquire the ability to perform such action
- being in a state of Yoga
- casting away the concern with results
- seeing success or failure as equal
Then one can perform action!

To remove any doubt about being in the state of Yoga in the context of his command ""yōgasthaḥkuru karmāṇi -
'Perform action being in a state of Yoga', Krishna clarifies

"samatvaṁ yōgamucyatē" -
"Evenness is called Yoga".

That means Krishna is saying
" Maintaining equipoise in your mind, you perform action without desires"
Clearly the action with equipoise, action with wisdom is superior to the other action.
What is the inferior action?

||Sloka 49||

dūrēṇāhyavaraṁ karma buddhiyōgāt dhanaṁjaya |
buddhau śaraṇa manvichcha kr̥paṇāḥ phalahētavaḥ ||49||

sa|| hē dhanaṁjaya ! buddhiyōgāt karma dūrēṇa avaraṁ hi ( hīnaṁ bhavati) ! (tadēva samatva) buddhau śaraṇaṁ anviccha | phalahētavaḥ kr̥paṇāḥ (dīnāḥ) ||49||

||Sloka meanings||

buddhiyōgāt karma - Action ( desiring fruits) compared to Yoga of intellect
dūrēṇa avaraṁ hi - is far inferior
(tadēva) buddhau śaraṇaṁ anviccha - (Hence) seek refuge in intellect.
phalahētavaḥ kr̥paṇāḥ - those desiring fruits are pitiable

||Sloka summary||

"Action desiring fruits compared to Yoga of intellect is far inferior. Hence seek refuge in intellect.
Those desiring fruits are pitiable." ||49||

The action which is focused on results is the inferior.
The people who follow action focused on results are wretched people.
So, the action with equipoise or wisdom is superior to the inferior action focused on results.
That is what Krishna says in this sloka (2.49).
Why maintain equipoise or evenness of mind which is to say act with wisdom?
We hear the answer. The one who maintains equipoise, and acts with wisdom casts off good deeds and bad deeds in this life itself.
So devote yourself to this yoga. Yoga is efficiency in action (2.50).

||Sloka 50||

buddhiyuktō jahātiha ubhē sukr̥ta duṣkr̥tē |
tasmādyōgāya yujyasva yōgaḥ karmasu kauśalam||50||

sa|| buddhiyuktaḥ ubhē sukr̥ta duṣkr̥tē iha ( lōkē) jahāti ( tyajati) |tasmāt yōgāya yujyasva | karmasu kauśalaṁ yōgaḥ iti ucyatē ||50||

||Sloka meanings||

buddhiyuktaḥ- imbued with intellect of equanimity
ubhē sukr̥ta duṣkr̥tē - both god and evil
iha ( lōkē) jahāti - discards in this world itself
tasmāt yōgāya yujyasva - Hence strive for yoga (of equanimity
karmasu kauśalaṁ yōgaḥ iti ucyatē - Yoga is said to be skill in action

||Sloka summary||

"One imbued with intellect of equanimity
discards both God and evil in this world itself. Hence strive for yoga of equanimity
Yoga is said to be skill in action." ||50||.

When one who is possessed of evenness of mind, abandons fruits of action, he leaves good and evil in this world itself. So he is a liberated man. That means he attains Moksha.

||Sloka 51||

karmajaṁ buddhiyuktā hi phalaṁ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ |
janma bandha vinirmuktāḥ padaṁ gaccantyanāmayam||51||

sa|| buddhi yuktāḥ manīṣiṇaḥ karmajam phalaṁ tyaktvā janma baṁdhavinirmuktāḥ ( bhavanti) | anāmayaṁ padaṁ gaccantī hi (ca) ||

||Sloka meanings||

buddhi yuktāḥ manīṣiṇaḥ - wise men united with intelligence of even ness
karmajam phalaṁ tyaktvā - giving up fruits of actions
janma baṁdhavinirmuktāḥ - become free from the bondage of birth .
anāmayaṁ padaṁ gaccantī hi - attains that state which is free from sorrow

||Sloka summary||

"Wise men united with intelligence of evenness,
giving up the fruits of actions, become free from the bondage of birth.
They attain that state which is free from sorrow." ||51||

When one who is possessed of evenness of mind, abandons fruits of action, then free from the bondage of birth, he attains a status which is free from all sufferings That means he attains Moksha.

How is it possible? Acting with wisdom one attains mental purity.
With that mental purity, the continued devotion or action with no concern for fruits, leads to a state of evenness of mind or equanimity.
The state of evenness of mind leads to realization of Self.
Having elaborated in general terms so far, Krishna now addresses Arjuna.

||Sloka 52||

yadātē mōhakalilaṁ buddhirvyatiriṣyati |
tadā gantāsi nirvēdaṁ śrōtavyasya śrutasya ca||52||

sa|| yadā tē buddhiḥ mōhakalilaṁ vyatiriṣyati tadā śrōtavyasya ca śrutasya ca nirvēdaṁ gantāsi ( āpnōsi) || 52||

||Sloka meanings||

yadā tē buddhiḥ - when your intellect
mōhakalilaṁ vyatiriṣyati - goes beyond the veil of ignorance
tadā śrōtavyasya ca śrutasya ca - then from that which is to be heard and which is heard
nirvēdaṁ gantāsi - attains detachment

||Sloka summary||

"When your intellect goes beyond the veil of ignorance, you attain detachment from that which is to be heard and also which is heard. "||52||

Once a person attains the state of liberation, there is no more about what is to be heard or what is heard. This is akin to the Upanishad line of 'vēdō avēdō bhavati', describing the ones who attains liberation. Veda- is that one to be known. Aveda- is the one not needed to know. 'vēdō avēdō bhavati' means, 'Vedas becomes something that is not needed to be known'. This is because for the man who realized Brahman, he has already known what is taught by Vedas.

||Sloka 53||

śruti viprati pannātē yadā sthāsyati niścalā |
samādhā vacalā buddhiḥ tadā yōga mavāpsyasi||53||

sa|| śr̥ti viprati pannā tē buddhiḥ yadā niścalā ( bhavati) samādhau acalā sthāsyati ( bhavati) tadā (tvaṁ)yōgam avāpsyasi ||53||

||Sloka meanings||

śr̥ti viprati pannā - bewildered by many texts heard
tē buddhiḥ yadā niścalā - when your intellect becomes firm
samādhau acalā sthāsyati - stays unwavering in concentration
tadā (tvaṁ)yōgam avāpsyasi - then you attain that Yoga.

||Sloka summary||

"When your mind bewildered by many texts heard, becomes firm
and stays unwavering in concentration, then you attain that Yoga."||53||

Going beyond the three Gunas, being free of the dualities, there by being beyond the happiness or sorrow, winning or losing, then being free of acquisition and sustenance, one attains an intellect drenched in equanimity. Being established in equanimity or Samatva, is said to be Yoga. If you take refuge in Samatva, you leave all good and evil here itself, attaining Moksha.
Such man has his mind firmly established.

Here Arjuna want to know more about that person established in Samatva, who attains Yoga.

||Sloka 54||

arjuna uvāca:
sthita prajñasya kā bhāṣā samādhistasya kēśava |
sthitadhīḥ kīm prabhāṣēta kimāsīta vrajēta kim||54||

sa||hē kēśavā| samādhisthasya sthita prajñasyabāṣā kā ? sthita dhīḥ kiṁ prabhāṣēta ? kim āsīta ? kim vrajēta? 54||

||Sloka meanings||

hē kēśavā| samādhisthasya - O Kesava the one anchored in concentration
sthita prajñasya bāṣā kā - the man of stable wisdom how is he described?
sthita dhīḥ kiṁ prabhāṣēta - a man of steady wisdom what does she speak
kim āsīta ? kim vrajēta? - how does he sit? how does he walk?

||Sloka summary||

Arjuna said:
"O Kesava, the man of stable wisdom, anchored in concentration, how is he described?
a man of steady wisdom what does she speak
how does he sit? how does he walk?"||54||

Arjuna asks about "the characteristics of one who attains "Samadhi" or the one with steady mind".
in response to this request Krishna has portrayed in eighteen verses the noble and exalted character of the "Sthitapragnya."

Vinobha Bhave, the Gandhian, feels that these eighteen Slokas contain the essence of the all the chapters of Gita.
He says that the Satyagrahis in Gandhi Ashram used to recite these eighteen Slokas regularly. The Satyagrahis are to be like Sthitapragnya.
Swami Ranganathananda in his commentary on Gita also refers to these saying that in Gandhi's Ashram these slokas used to be recited every day.

Like the description of Sthitapragnya, there a few more specific descriptions in Gita. There is a description of "jivanmukta", the liberated one, in chapter five. There is a description of a Bhakta in twelfth chapter. The description of Gunaateeta, the one who has transcended the three Gunas is in the fourteenth chapter, and Jnyana nishta, one steadfastly committed to Supreme knowledge in chapter eighteenth, the last chapter.

Then Krishna takes Arjuna through the characteristics of such a person in the following Slokas.

||Sloka 55||

śrī bhagavānuvāca :
vrajahāti yadā kāmān sarvān pārtha manōgatān |
ātnmanyēvātmanā tuṣṭaḥ sthita prajñaḥ tadōcyatē ||55||

sa|| hē pārtha ! yadā manōgatān sarvān kāmān vrajahāti ātmanyēva ātmanā tuṣṭhaḥ ( saṁtuṣṭhaḥ) bhavati (taṁ) sthita prajña iti ucyatē ||55||

||Sloka meanings||

yadā manōgatān sarvān kāmān - when all desires belonging to the mind
vrajahāti - renounces fully
ātmanyēva ātmanā tuṣṭhaḥ - remains fully contended in the Self alone
(taṁ) sthita prajña iti ucyatē - he is called a man of steady wisdom
||Sloka summary||

"When one renounces fully all desires belonging to the mind, remains fully contended in the Self alone
then he is called a man of steady wisdom".
-
"||55||.

Krishna says, when one completely throws away all the desires of the mind, and is content with "Self" alone, then he is called "Sthitapragnya".
How do we describe a person content with Self alone?

"That person is an extraordinary person
who though he has no wealth, no power, no resources, yet is full of joy, full of cheer?
Though he has no helpers, he is infinitely strong.
Though devoid of sense pleasures, he is ever satisfied.
Though incomparable, looks upon others as his equals."
That is the joy of Atman.
Krishna continues with more.
||Sloka 56||

duḥkhēṣvanudigna manāḥ sukhēṣu vigata spr̥hāḥ |
vītarāga bhayakrōthaḥ sthitadhīḥ munirucyatē ||56||

sa|| (yaḥ) duḥkhēṣu anudvigna manāḥ (yaḥ) sukhēṣu vigata spr̥hāḥ (yaḥ) vītarāga bhayakrōdhaḥ (saḥ) muniḥ sthitadhīḥ iti ucyatē ||56||

||Sloka meanings||

duḥkhēṣu anudvigna manāḥ - one with an unperturbed mind in sorrow
sukhēṣu vigata spr̥hāḥ - one free from longing for pleasures
vītarāga bhayakrōdhaḥ - devoid of attachment, fear and anger
muniḥ sthitadhīḥ iti ucyatē - that monk is called a man of steady wisdom.

||Sloka summary||

"A monk, who is with an unperturbed mind in sorrow, who is free from longing for pleasures,
who is devoid of attachment, fear, and anger, is called a man of steady wisdom"? ||56||

Here is the person from whose mind the three evils namely attachment, fear and anger are gone.
He is not shaken in sorrows or hanker after happiness.
He is the man of steady wisdom.

||Sloka 57||

yassarvatrānabhisnēhaḥ tattatprāpya śubhāśubhaṁ |
nābhi nandati nadvēṣṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭitā||57||

sa|| yaḥ sarvatra anabhisnēhaḥ tat tat śubhāśubhaṁ prāpya na abhinandati na dvēṣṭhi ( bhavati) tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ||57||

||Sloka meanings||

yaḥ sarvatra anabhisnēhaḥ - who is without attachment everywhere in all matters
tat tat śubhāśubhaṁ prāpya - attaining those good or evil
na abhinandati na dvēṣṭhi- does not hate or become elated
tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā - such a man's wisdom remains established

|| Sloka summary||

"One who is without attachment everywhere in all matters
who attaining those good or evil does not hate or become elated,
such a man's wisdom remains established." ||57||

The silent sage does not care for his own body, lifestyle etc. He is devoid of all attachments and aversion when good or evil happens to him. He neither seeks one nor shuns the other. The discriminating wisdom of such a sage, free from gaiety and depression, is stable

What is his special capability?
||Sloka 58||

yadā saṁhārayatē cāyam kūrmōṅgānīva sarvaśaḥ |
indriyāṇīndriyārthēbhyaḥ tasya prajñā pratiṣṭitā||58||

sa|| yathā kūrmaḥ aṁgāni saṁharayati tathaiva yadā ayaṁ (yōgī) indriyārthēbhyaḥ indriyāṇi sarvaśaḥ saṁharatē tadā tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ||58||

||Sloka meanings||

yathā kūrmaḥ aṁgāni saṁharayati - just as tortoise withdraws its limbs
tathaiva yadā ayaṁ (yōgī) - similarly when this one
indriyārthēbhyaḥ indriyāṇi sarvaśaḥ saṁharatē -
fully withdraws the organs form the objects of organs.
tadā tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā - then his wisdom remains established

||Sloka summary||

"Just as a tortoise withdraws its limbs
similarly when one fully withdraws the organs from the objects of organs.
then his wisdom remains established." ||58||

The ability to withdraw senses is that special capability.
A fasting man too withdraws from want of food, is it any different?

||Sloka 59||

viṣayā vinivartantē nirāhārasya dēhinaḥ |
rasavarjaṁ rasō' pyasya paraṁ dr̥ṣṭvā nivartatē ||59||

sa|| nirāharasya dēhinaḥ rasavarjaṁ viṣayāḥ | param ( paramātman) dr̥ṣṭvā rasō api asya nivartatē ||59||

||Sloka meanings||

nirāharasya dēhinaḥ - for the one who does not feed on objects
rasavarjaṁ - excepting for taste
viṣayāḥ vinivartantē- objects recede.
param ( paramātman) dr̥ṣṭvā - for the one who realized the Brahman
rasō api asya nivartatē - even the taste also falls away.

||Sloka summary||

"For the one who does not feed on objects, objects recede
excepting for taste. For the one who realized the Brahman
even the taste also recedes". ||59||

"A man may fast, but still retains that taste. But for one established in wisdom, knowing the brahman even the taste is withdrawn". ||5||

||Sloka 60||

yatatōhyapi kauntēya puruṣasya vipaścitaḥ |
indriyāṇi pramādhīni haranti prasabhaṁ manaḥ ||60||

sa|| hē kauntēya ! yatataḥ ( prayatnaṁ kurvan) api vipaścitaḥ puruṣasya manaḥ pramādhīni iṁdriyāṇi prasabhaṁ haraṁti ||60||

||Sloka meanings||

yatataḥ ( prayatnaṁ kurvan) api- although one is striving
vipaścitaḥ puruṣasya manaḥ - a learned man's mind
pramādhīni iṁdriyāṇi - impetuous senses
prasabhaṁ haraṁti - forcefully drive it away.

||Sloka summary||

"O Arjuna, although one is striving
a learned man's mind is forcefully driven away by the impetuous senses ". ||60||

This is the hard truth. But the man established in wisdom stands this trial.

|| Sloka 61||

tāni sarvāṇi saṁyamya yukta āsīta matparaḥ|
vaśē hi yasyēndriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭitā ||61||

sa|| tāni sarvāṇi saṁyamya yuktaḥ matparaḥ āsīta | hi ( yataḥ) yasya iṁdriyāṇi vaśē tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ||61||

||Sloka meanings||

tāni sarvāṇi saṁyamya - Having all the sense organs under control
yuktaḥ matparaḥ āsīta - one in Yoga should sit with his mind focused on Me
hi ( yataḥ) yasya:iṁdriyāṇi vaśē - the one who has his sense organs under control
tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā - such a one's wisdom is stable

||Sloka summary||

" Having all the sense organs under control, one in Yoga should sit with his mind focused on Me. The one who has his sense organs under control, such a one's wisdom is stable" ||61||

The story of one whose senses are not under control is different.

||Sloka 62-63||

dhyāyatō viṣayān puṁsaḥ saṅgastēṣūpajāyatē |
saṅgāt saṁjāyatē kāmaḥ kāmāt krōdhōbhijāyatē ||62||
krōdhāt bhavati sammōhaḥ sammōhāt smr̥ti vibhramaḥ |
smr̥ti bhraṁśāt buddhināśō buddhināśāt praṇasyati ||63||

sa|| viṣayān dhyāyataḥ puṁsaḥ tēṣu saṁgaḥ upajāyatē | saṁgāt kāmaḥ saṁjāyatē| kāmāt krōdhaḥ abhijāyatē |krōdhāt sammōhaḥ bhavati | sammōhāt smr̥ti vibhramaḥ bhavati | smr̥ti bhraṁśāt buddhi nāśaḥ bhavati | buddhi nāśāt praṇasyati ||62-63||

||Sloka meanings||

viṣayān dhyāyataḥ puṁsaḥ -for one thinking about objects
tēṣu saṁgaḥ upajāyatē - attachment grows about those objects
saṁgāt kāmaḥ saṁjāyatē- from attachment grows desire.
kāmāt krōdhaḥ abhijāyatē - From desire grows anger
krōdhāt sammōhaḥ bhavati - Anger leads to delusion
sammōhāt smr̥ti vibhramaḥ bhavati - delusion leads to loss of memory
smr̥ti bhraṁśāt buddhi nāśaḥ bhavati - loss memory leads to loss of intellect.
buddhi nāśāt praṇasyati- with loss of intellect he perishes

||Sloka summary||

"For one thinking about objects, attachment grows about those objects.
From attachment, grows desire. From desire, grows anger
Anger leads to delusion. Delusion leads to loss of memory
Loss memory leads to loss of intellect. With loss of intellect he perishes "||62-63||

How does desire originate?
First an object come into focus. It then occupies the mind. Having occupied the mind space, it then pushes the mind to seek the ownership. Any and all hindrances for ownership lead to anger. It does not stop with anger. Anger led to lack of discrimination. Lack of discrimination eventually leads to one destroying himself.

All of this is a consequence of the three Gunas. Krishna has earlier told Arjuna to go beyond these three Gunas.
Only when one is able to overcome Gunas, then one will attain peace.
We hear this as we go along.

||Sloka 64||

rāgadvēṣaviyuktaistu viṣayānindriyaiścaran |
atmavaśyairvidhēyātmā prasādamadhi gacchati ||64||

sa|| (saḥ) vidhēyātmā rāgadvēṣaviyuktaiḥ ātmavaśyaiḥ iṁdriyaiḥ viṣayān caran prasādaṁ adhigacchati ||64||

||Sloka meanings||

vidhēyātmā - one with a control of his mind
rāgadvēṣaviyuktaiḥ - free from attraction and hatred
ātmavaśyaiḥ iṁdriyaiḥ- through the senses under his control
viṣayān caran - while perceiving objects
prasādaṁ adhigacchati - attains serenity.

||Sloka summary||

"One with a control of his mind, while perceiving objects through the senses under his control free from attraction and hatred, attains serenity." || 64||

' When mind is under control, the attraction and hatred lose their power. So the individual attains peace, even while interacting with objects. Once you attain peace the sorrows are destroyed. with a tranquil mind the intellect becomes stable'.

||Sloka 65||

prasādē sarvaduḥkhānāṁ hānirasyōpajāyatē |
prasanna cētasō hyāśu buddhiḥ paryavatiṣṭati||65||

sa|| prasādē asya sarva duḥkhānāṁ hāniḥ( vināśaḥ) upajāyatē | (tataḥ) prasanna cētasaḥ buddhiḥ aśu paryavatiṣṭhati ( paramātman adhi tiṣṭhati) || .

||Sloka meanings||

prasādē asya - with a tranquil mind
sarva duḥkhānāṁ hāniḥ( vināśaḥ) upajāyatē - eradication of all sorrows happens.
prasanna cētasaḥ - For the one with tranquil mind
buddhiḥ aśu paryavatiṣṭhati - the intellect is fully established

||Sloka summary||

" With a tranquil mind eradication of all sorrows happens.
Because with a tranquil mind the intellect is fully established." || 65||

||Sloka 66||

nāsti buddhi rayuktasya na cāyuktasya bhāvanā |
nacā bhāvayataśśāntiḥ aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham ||66||

sa|| ayuktasya buddhiḥ nāsti | ayuktasya bhāvanāca ( ātma ciṁtana) na ( bhavati) | abhāvayataḥ śāṁtiḥ ca na ( bhavati) | aśāṁtasya sukhaḥ kutaḥ ||66||

||Sloka meanings||

ayuktasya buddhiḥ nāsti - For one without the control mind there is no wisdom
ayuktasya bhāvanāca ( ātma ciṁtana) na - one not having control cannot meditate.
abhāvayataḥ śāṁtiḥ ca na - for one who cannot meditate there is no peace.
aśāṁtasya sukhaḥ kutaḥ - How can there be happiness without peace?

||Sloka summary||

"For one without the control mind there is no wisdom. One not having control cannot meditate.
For one who cannot meditate, there is no peace. How can there be happiness without peace?" ||66||

||Sloka 67||

indriyāṇāṁ hi caratāṁ yanmana'nu vidhīyatē |
tadasya harati prajñāṁ vāyurnvāmivāṁbhasi ||67||

sa|| caratāṁ indriyāṇāṁ yat (indriyaḥ) manaḥ anuvidhīyatē tat ( indriyaḥ) asya prajñāṁ ( buddhiṁ) harati hi - ( yathā ) aṁbhasē nāvaṁ vāyuriva harati hi ||67||

||Sloka meanings||

caratāṁ indriyāṇāṁ - among wandering organs
yat (indriyaḥ) manaḥ anuvidhīyatē - that organ which is being followed by mind
tat ( indriyaḥ) asya prajñāṁ ( buddhiṁ) harati hi -
that organ carries away his wisdom
aṁbhasē nāvaṁ vāyuriva harati hi - like a boat swept away by the wind,

||Sloka summary||

" Among the wandering organs,
the organ which is being followed by mind, that organ carries away his wisdom like a boat swept away by the wind."||67||

||Sloka 68||

tasmādyasya mahābāhō nigr̥hītāni sarvaśaḥ|
indriyāṇīndriyārthēbhyaḥ tasya prajñā pratiṣṭitā ||68||

sa|| hē mahābāhō! tasmāt yasya indriyāṇi ndriyārdēbhyaḥ sarvaśaḥ nigr̥hītāni tasya prajñā ( buddhiḥ, vivēkaḥ) pratiṣṭhitā ||68||

||Sloka meanings||

tasmāt yasya indriyāṇi - Hence the one whose organs
indriyārdēbhyaḥ sarvaśaḥ nigr̥hītāni - have been everywhere withdrawn from the objects
tasya prajñā ( buddhiḥ, vivēkaḥ) pratiṣṭhitā- the wisdom of such person becomes established

||Sloka summary||

"Hence O Arjuna, the one whose organs
have been everywhere withdrawn from the objects,
the wisdom of such person becomes established." ||68||

Earlier Krishna compared the man without control of senses to a boat caught up in high seas, pulled away by the winds in whatever direction. In the next Sloka, Krishna resorts to a comparison of a sage with all his senses in his control to a common man and explains the difference.
||Sloka 69||

yāniśā sarvabhūtānāṁ tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī |
yasyāṁ jāgrati bhūtāni sa niśā paśyatē munēḥ ||69||

sa|| sarvabhūtānāṁ yā niśā tasyāṁ saṁyamī( yōgī) jāgarti | yasyāṁ bhūtāni jāgrati sā paśyataḥ munēḥ niśā (bhavati) ||69||

||Sloka meanings||

sarvabhūtānāṁ yā niśā - that which is a night for all beings
tasyāṁ saṁyamī( yōgī) jāgarti - in that the self-controlled man remains awake
yasyāṁ bhūtāni jāgrati - That in which the beings are awake
sā paśyataḥ munēḥ niśā- the sages see that as the dark night

||Sloka summary||

"That which is a night for all beings, in that the self-controlled man remains awake.
That in which the beings are awake the sages see that as the dark night

". ||69||

yā niśā sarvabhūtānāṁ - That which is dark and beyond comprehension for all beings
tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī - that is crystal clear as a daylight for the one who knows.
The knowledge appears dark and beyond comprehension for an ignorant one.
For the one who knows, the that appears dark and incomprehensible is crystal clear.

The knowledge of Self which appears dark and incomprehensible like dark night for one, is crystal clear like day light for a sage who knows.
By the same token that which appears as crystal clear daylight in running after wordily affairs, the one who knows realizes their futility, and it looks like a dark night for him.

||Sloka 70||

apūrvamāṇaṁ acala pratiṣṭaṁ
samudramāpaḥ praviśanti yadvat |
tadvat kāmāḥ yaṁ praviśanti sarvē
saśśānti māpnōti na kāma kāmī||70||

sa|| apūrvamāṇaṁ acalapratiṣṭhaṁ samudraṁ āpaḥ( nadī) yadvat praviśaṁti tadvat sarvē kāmāḥ yaṁ ( brahmaniṣṭāpara yōgī) praviśanti | saḥ śāntiṁ āpnōti | kāma kāmī (śāṁtiṁ) na āpnōti ||70||

||Sloka meanings||

apūrvamāṇaṁ acalapratiṣṭhaṁ - which is being filled up by all rives, and remains unchanged
samudraṁ āpaḥ( nadī) yadvat praviśaṁti - that sea, as the river waters enter into
tadvat sarvē kāmāḥ yaṁ praviśanti - similarly whom all the objects of desires enter
saḥ śāntiṁ āpnōti - he attains peace.
kāma kāmī (śāṁtiṁ) na āpnōti - not the one who is desirous of objects

||Sloka summary||

" Just as the river waters enter into a sea, which remains unchanged even while being filled from all sides,
similarly one in whom all objects enter, such a one attains peace. Not the one desirous of objects". || 70||

Here, the point to be noted is that the multiple rivers with flood waters enter a sea which remains placid, in spite of the flooding rivers which enter the sea. Similarly a man who remains calm (like the sea) in spite many conflicting thoughts entering his mind is one who attains peace. The one who is desirous objects remains entangled and does not attain peace.

||Sloka 71 ||

vihāya kāmān yassarvān pumāṁścarati nispr̥hāḥ|
nirmamō nirahaṁkāraḥ saśāntimadhigaccati || 71||

sa|| yaḥ pumān sarvān kāmān vihāya nispr̥haḥ bhavati nirmamaḥ bhavati nirahaṁkāraḥ carati saḥ śāntiṁ adhigacchati || 71||

||Sloka meanings||

yaḥ pumān sarvān kāmān vihāya - that man who rejecting all desires
nispr̥haḥ nirmamaḥ- being free from hankering, being free from attachment
nirahaṁkāraḥ carati - moves about being free of ego
saḥ śāntiṁ adhigacchati - he attains peace

||Sloka summary||

"That man attains peace who rejecting all desires moves about
being free from hankering, being free from attachment, and being free of ego." ||71||

This is the summation of all that is told. The one free from hankering, attachments, and ego, moves about rejecting all desires attains peace. Simply put, he is at peace.

||Sloka 72||

ēṣā brāhmīsthitiḥ pārtha naināṁ prāpya vimuhyati|
sthitvā' syāmantakālē'pi brahma nirvāṇa mr̥ccati ||72||

sa|| hē pārtha brāhmī sthitiḥ ēnāṁ prāpya na vimuhyati antakālē api asyāṁ (brāhmī sthitiṁ) sthitvā brahma nirvāṇaṁ r̥cchati ( apnōti) ||72||

||Sloka meanings||

hē pārtha ! brāhmī sthitiḥ - O Partha, this is the state of Brahman
ēnāṁ prāpya na vimuhyati- Having attained this , he will not be deluded
antakālē api asyāṁ ( brāhmī sthitiṁ) sthitvā - At the last moment too being in this state
brahma nirvāṇaṁ r̥cchati -he will attain supreme brahman

||Sloka summary||

"O Partha, this is the state of Brahman. Having attained this, he will not be deluded.
Being in this state in the last moments too, he will attain supreme brahman." ||72||

The differences between those who are on the path of spiritual enquiry having the control of senses, who reject objects and attains peace; and those who are not on that path.

For the one who attains peace, all the sorrows subside. For the one not on spiritual path no peace.
" nirmamō nirahaṁkāraḥ sa śāṁtimadhigacchati" means being free from attachment, and being free of ego one attains peace.
For the one without control of senses his mind is pulled away like the boat on the high seas
For the one with control of senses, his wisdom gets established.

Elaborating on who attains peace, Krishna says the one in whom the desires subside wins the peace, not the one in whom the desires rage.

The one who moves about giving up pleasures, attachments and ego attains peace.

If one keeps practicing the control of senses, rejection of objects, attachments, the Jiva attains Brahman much like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.

Here, Krishna teaches Samkhya yoga, Karma yoga as well as Sannyasa Yoga.

In the real life too many a time, unable to fight the battles one will lose the will for the battle.
The indecision or inaction takes charge. The teachings of this chapter address similar situation.

The thought is that one shall not be lost in sorrow. Proceed with actions not seeking fruits of those actions in the line of one's duty. Realization of the impermanence of life weakens the grip of sorrow. Caught in a web of confusions and issues, one should stabilize one's mind by meditation. This stabilizes one's mind, providing peace and lights a way forward giving courage.

iti śrīmadbhagavadgītāsu upaniṣatsu
brahmavidyāyāṁ yōgaśāstrē
śrīkr̥ṣṇārjuna saṁvādē
sāṁkhya yōgōnāma
dvitīyōsdhyāyaḥ ||

||ōm tat sat ||

|| Om tat sat ||

 

.