Chapter 2 !

Summary of Sankhya Yoga

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

||om tat sat||
Sanjaya said:
तं तथा कृपया विष्टं अश्रुपूर्णाकुलेक्षणम् |
विषीदंत मिदं वाक्यं उवाच मथुसूदनः ||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"

सांख्य योगमु

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 Atman which is death less or eternal. The second is the body which we see passing through stages of life before the death and the third is our duty. All these are brought forth one after another to counter the grief felt by Arjuna.

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

Sanjaya talks about Arjuna using the descriptions saying "
"शोकसंविग्न मानसं"
- "mind afflicted with sorrow",
"- "eyes filled with tears",
" विषीदंतं"
- "grieving."
All these describe the confused mental state of Arjuna.
Looking at Arjuna in that condition with a smile indicative of pity, Krishna says as follows:

श्री भगवानुवाच:
कुतस्त्वा कश्मलमिदं विषमे समुपस्थितम् |
अनार्य जुष्टं अस्वर्ग्यं अकीर्तिकरं अर्जुन ||2||
" Oh Arjuna, at this critical time how did you get this faint heartedness
which is not fit for learned ones,
which stops ascent to heaven, and which is defaming?"

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.
He says
गुरून् हत्वापि महानुभावान्
श्रेयो भोक्तुंभैक्ष्यं अपि इह लोके॥

Arjuna says:
" गुरून् हत्वा
..."Killing the Gurus and enjoying the fruits."
" बैक्ष्यम् अपि इह लोके
.." It is better to beg for alms."
It is better to beg for alms than killing Gurus.
Having conveyed his fears that Arjuna confesses to one more thing.
He is not sure what he should do.
He says,
" न च एतत् विद्मः
.." " 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.

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

And Arjuna adds,
यत् श्रेयस्स्यान्निश्चितं ब्रूहितन्मे
शिष्यस्ते अहं शाधि मां त्वां प्रपन्नम्॥2.7||
"I am your disciple seeking protection.
Tell me what is without doubt good for me ".

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

He literally asks Krishna to order on the next steps.
"शाधि मां" - "order me"
"न योत्स्य इतिÓ. "तूष्णीं बभुव हÓ - saying " cannot fight " he " became silent".
The picture painted is that of a man who has given up.

From start of "दृष्ट्वा तु पांडवानीकम्."(1.2) in Chapter 1, till this point
"न योत्स्य इति गोविंदम् उक्त्वा तूष्णीं बभूव ह "(2.10)
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 or law of righteousness
- swayed by ignorance
- in deep sorrow.
One in sorrow requires a solution, or a knowledge to implement that solution,
or a knowledge to be able to find the solution and implement the solution.

With Arjuna in that state of dejection and delusion,
Krishna starts his divine teaching to make Arjuna see the truth of 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.
Having mentioned the knowledge, there must be a way of acquiring that knowledge.
That is where the concept of action that is brought in.
That action must be in a way that is not entangling you in to more of worldly ways
Krishan elaborates all of this in a step-by-step way.

Krishna's elaboration has one singular purpose.
It is about knowledge, acquiring the knowledge, using that knowledge to decide for himself.
Although Arjuna said "शाधि मां" (2.07), "order me" to do the right thing,
Krishna sees his role as only giving that knowledge which will enable Arjuna to act.
At the end (18th chapter) Krishna says "यथेच्छसि तदा कुरु",
which means "do what you think is right!".
Of course, Arjuna falls in line!!

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

श्री भगवानुवाच:
आशोच्यानन्व शोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे।
गतासून गतासूंश्च नानुशोचंति पंडिताः ||(2.11)

"Oh Arjuna! you are grieving for things that should not grieved for!
you are speaking the words of a learned man.
Learned ones do not grieve for dead or even the living."

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

Krishna says. नत्वे वाहं जातु नासं ...not that I was not there before
नत्वं नेमे not that you are not there before.
And we will be there in future नचेवं न भविष्यामः (2.12)

We are eternal

How are they eternal?

देहिनोऽस्मिन् यथा देहे
कौमारं यौव्वनं जरा।
तथा देहान्तर प्राप्तिः
धीरं तत्त्र न मुह्यति॥(2.13)||

The embodied body passes through the stage's boyhood and youth and old age and decay.
After death is another stage where he enters another body.

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

Thus "देही", or "Self" is eternal.

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, 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.
Pleasure and pain. Happiness and sorrow. Heat and cold.
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 "तितीक्षस्व" - bear that pain due to pleasure and pain or other dualities (2.14)
So, if we bear the pain what do we gain?
Krishna answers that too!

यं हि न व्यधयन्त्येते पुरुषं पुरुषर्षभ।
सम दुःख सुखं धीरं सोsमृतत्वाय कल्पते॥(2.15)||

This is an important line about people who bear the pain

The one whom these
"एते" - "these" the heat and cold as well as pleasure and pain
"न व्यधयन्ति" - "do not trouble him"
As also the one who sees
"सम दुःख सुखं"- pleasure and pain as same
That wise one (as above) is fit for immortality.

Thus, if the grief is not account of Self
but on account of the heat and cold as well as the pleasure and pain
- then Krishna's direction is to bear it.
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, we conclude that there is no scope for grief.

Even apart from the above 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.

Krishna says
न असतो विद्यते भावो the not real ( or unreal) has no existence
न अभावो विद्यते सतः nonexistence is not possible for the real

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.

The reality is imperishable. The reality by which all this universe is pervaded is imperishable.

The bodies of the embodied Self which is eternal do have an end.
And only the Self is eternal.
Krishna says, "knowing this Arjuna there is no need to grieve".
तस्मात् युद्ध्यस्व भारत |(2.18)|
"Hence 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.
That eternal "self" cannot be killed by anyone.
He is not born, nor does he die.

ययेनं वेत्ति हन्तारं
यश्चैनं मन्यते हतम्।
उभौ तौ न विजानीते
नायं हन्ति न हन्यते॥(2.19)||.

One who realizes this about "Self",
such a one how will he kill or get killed.
The Self has no birth or death. For the Self changes the body like one change his clothes.

"वासांसि जीर्णानि यथाविहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोपराणि |
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णान्
अन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही" ||2.22||

"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".

Continuing his teaching of "Self", Krishna tells us more about the self.

"न एनं छिन्दन्ति अस्त्राणि" - This (Self) cannot cut by weapons.
"न एनं दहति पावकः" - This (Self) cannot be burnt by fire.
"न च एनं क्लेदयन्ति आपः" - water cannot wet this (Self).
"न शोषयति मारुतः" - the air does not dry it (Self).
"अयं अव्यक्तः" - This (Self) is invisible
"अचिन्त्यः - This (Self) is unthinkable since it cannot be perceived by the organs of perception
" अविकारः" - This one (Self) has no changes.

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

Krishna having established the argument that with a self that cannot be destroyed,
says there is no need to grieve about death.
Now Krishna tells one more line of reasoning.

Krishna says, "Let us suppose that the "Self" is not eternal, even then there is no need for grief (2.26)"
When it is said "Self is not eternal," it is meant that Self also born again and dies again

अथ चैनं नित्य जातं
नित्यं वा हन्यसे मृतम्।
तथापि त्वं महाबाहो
नैवं शोचितुं अर्हसि॥ (2.26)||


"जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युः
ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च " ||2.27||


Krishna says
"Arjuna! death is certain for one that is born,
to the one who is dead birth is certain".

So, the birth and death are unavoidable.
Since they are unavoidable there is no need to grieve.

Not only that these beings are not known before birth,
after birth we see them in the middle.
Then after death the beings are not seen.
Thus, the beings come from an unseen state and move back to the unseen state.
For such a being why grieve? (2.28)

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

Well this completes the argument.
No need to grieve. Period.

देही नित्यं अवध्योऽयं
देहे सर्वस्य भारत।
तस्मात् सर्वाणि भूतानि
न त्वं शोचितुं अर्हसि॥(2.30)||

The arguments based on the eternality of Self etc are thus complete.
This should be enough for Arjuna to accept Krishna's direction.
Krishna now continues further arguments.
This time the arguments are based on one's duty (स्वधर्म).

So, Krishna says one may move away from the arguments based on absolute truth
and look at this from the point of view of only one's duty (स्वधर्म).
We are born to perform our duties

स्वधर्म मपि आवेक्ष्य
न विकंपितुं अर्हसि ||(2.31)||
If you look at your own duty also there is no need to be perturbed!
So, considering your duty there is no need to grieve.


"Fighting for a just cause is the duty of the warriors.
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.
If one attains death in battle, he courts heavens.
On the other hand, if he wins, he gains the kingdom".

So, we hear the famous battel cry.

हतो वा प्राप्यसि स्वर्गं
जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीं।
तस्मात् उत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय
युद्धाय कृत निश्चयः॥(2.37)||
"If you are killed to attain heavens,
if you are victorious, you gain the kingdom.
Hence Arjuna, stand up with
firm determination to fight".

Hence it is better to follow one's own duty.
For those following "own duty" Krishna has this thought.
How to perform that duty.

सुख दुःखे समे कृत्वा
लाभालाभौ जया जयौ।
ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व
नैवं पापमवाप्यसि ||2.38||

"Treating alike the pain and pleasure, winning, and losing,
with a mind locked with equanimity be ready for the battle.
Then you will not incur any sin"

Thus, Krishna teaches Arjuna why one shall not grieve following the principles of Samkhya embodying the knowledge of "Self".

Krishna does not stop with 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.
एषा तेभिहिते सांख्ये
बुद्धिर्योगेत्विमां श्रुणु।
Now he will tell Arjuna yoga of action.

Thus, Krishna proceeds to tell Arjuna about the yoga of action,
that would free one from the bondages of action.
So, continuing his teaching he says:

बुद्ध्यायुक्तो यया पार्थ
कर्मबंधं प्रहास्यसि || (2:39)
"The kind of intellect needed for breaking that bondage of action
- that I will tell you please listen "!

Krishna now talks about yoga of action. for what purpose?
To acquire Self Knowledge!

Thus, Krishna starts his teaching on Karma yoga.

The very first line is of great import or importance.

नेहाभिक्रमनाशो अस्ति
प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते।
स्वल्पमपि अस्य धर्मस्य
त्रायते महतो भयात् ||" 2:40||

This is a classic introduction to the Karma yoga with Krishna being a master teacher.

Krishna says: about Karma Yoga or Yoga of action.
अभिक्रम नाशः - wasted effort
न अस्ति - is not there
प्रत्यवायो - harm
न विद्यते - 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.

"स्वल्पं अपि" means that if you do "even a little" -
it saves you from fear "भयात्" which is greatest concern.

Hare 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 anticipating the fruits of that action.
It is more simply "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 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.

Then even if that action is very small,
- स्वल्पमपि - 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 निष्कामकर्म 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 lines.
Krishna continues.
व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः
एकेह कुरुनन्दना।
बहुशाखाः अनन्ताश्च
बुद्धयो व्यवसायिनाम्॥2.41||

To follow the path of action one needs only 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.

यामिमां पुष्पितां वाचम्
प्रवदन्त्य विपश्चितः।
वेदवादरताः पार्थ
नान्यदस्तीति वादिनः.! (2.42)

They are the unwise who utter -पुष्पितां वाचम्- flowery speeches.
They delight in the word of Vedas and argue that there is nothing else.
वेदवादरताः - people who argue Veda as supreme
नान्यदस्तीति वादिनः - 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.

कामात्मनः स्वर्ग परा
जन्मकर्म फलप्रदाम्।
क्रियाविशेष बहुळाम्
भोगैश्वर्यगतिं प्रति॥ (2.42)

कामात्मनः - They are full of desires,
स्वर्ग परा - 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.

भोगैश्वर्य प्रसक्तानां
तयापहृत चेतसाम्।
व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः
समाधौ नविधीयते॥(2.43)

भोगैश्वर्य प्रसक्तानां - Those who have given themselves to pleasure and power,
तयापहृत चेतसाम् - their minds have been captured,
They do not have the capability or developing a
mind which leads to Samadhi.

They say there is nothing else besides 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 the fruit related acts of Vedas.

When one 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 namely, 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 not new.
In later part of Vedas itself we hear this.

In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad it is said that,
when one realizes truth of Atman, Brahman then
वेदो अवेदो भवति. 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,
that is the gist of Gita too.

But to start with Vedas are structured on processes,
Vedas are built on the three Gunas that control people
- sattva, rajo, tamas -
All actions are an interplay of these Gunas.
If one goes beyond these three Gunas, one can overcome the bondages.

Krishna says in Gita.
त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा वेदा
निस्त्रैगुण्यो भवार्जुन |
निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्य सत्त्वस्थः
निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान् || 2.45||

So, Krishna having told that we should not be lost in rituals,
now tells Arjuna very clearly. Go beyond.

" Oh Arjuna - " निस्त्रैगु ण्यो भव" (nistraigunyo bhava) -
'Be free of the three Gunas'.
He is asking Arjuna to beyond the Vedas.

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

निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्य सत्त्वस्थः
निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान् || 2.45||

"निर्द्वन्द्वो"- Free of dualities,
"नित्य सत्त्वस्थः+- being in a state of eternal calmness,
"निर्योगक्षेम"- being unconcerned about personal welfare,
"आत्मवान्"- be established in Self"

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

If you are doing all these namely "निर्द्वन्द्वो"- etc,
there is no need for following 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 2.46.

यावानर्थ उदपाने
सर्वतः संप्लुतोदके |
तावान्सर्वेषु वेदेषु
ब्राह्मणस्य विजानतः॥2.46||

But use the well to get yourself fit for required activities,
before the flood of realization.

All of this leaves us questions on the utility of action.

माफलेषु कदाचन |
मा कर्मफल हेतुर्भूः
मा ते सङ्गोस्त्वकर्मणिभिः॥2.47||

"You have right to perform action,
but not the fruits of that action.
Do not be concerned with fruits of action.
and not be attached to "inaction".

To act without interest in the fruits of that action,
should not result in a thought process leading to no action

If we say one shall perform action without focusing on results,
the 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 tells how one may acquire the ability to perform such action

योगस्ठः कुरु कर्माणि
सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनंजय।
सिध्य असिध्योः समे कृत्वा
समत्वं योग उच्यते॥2.48||

"योगस्थः - being in a state of Yoga
"संगं त्यक्त्वा"- casting away the concern with results
"सिद्ध्य असिद्ध्यो समोभूत्वा"- seeing success or failure as equal
"कुरु कर्माणि"- (then) perform action!

to remove any doubt about Yoga in the context of his command,
"योगस्थःकुरु कर्माणि -
perform action being in a state of Yoga,
Krishna says here

"समत्वं योगमुच्यते" -
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?
The action which is focused on results.
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).

दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म
बुद्धियोगात् धनंजय।
बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ
कृपणाः फलहेतवः॥2.49||

Work performed with desire is inferior to that performed with mind established in Yoga.
Hence बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ. seek refuge in (This) Buddhi - even ness mind.
कृपणाः फलहेतवः- only misers act for results!

Why बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ?
Why maintain equipoise or evenness of mind which is to say act with wisdom?

The answer,
बुद्धियुक्तो जहातीह
उभे सुकृत दुष्कृते |
तस्म्मात् योगाय युज्यस्व
योगः कर्मसु कौशलम्॥2.50||

The one who maintains equipoise 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).

We hear something very interesting.
maintaining equipoise and act with wisdom - one casts off good and evil in this life itself.
So, it means he would be free of bondage of birth death
That means he attains Moksha.
We hear that in the next sloka.

कर्मजं बुद्धियुक्ताहि
फलं त्यक्त्वा मनीषिणः |
पदं गच्छन्त्यनामयम् ||2.51||

कर्मजं बुद्धियुक्ताहि-possessed of evenness of mind
फलं त्यक्त्वा - giving up fruits
जन्मबन्ध विनिर्मुक्ताः - becomes free of birth and death.
पदं गच्छन्त्यनामयम् - goes to a state beyond everything. ||2.51||

How is it possible?
Acting with wisdom one attains mental purity.
The continued devotion or action with no concern for fruits,
leads to a state of mental purity which leads to realization of Self.

Having elaborated in general terms so far,
Krishna now addresses Arjuna.

यदा ते मोहकलिलं
बुद्धिः व्यतितरिष्यति |
तदा गन्तासि निर्वेदं
श्रोतव्यस्य श्रुतस्य च ||

When your intellect crosses the taint of illusion, "मोहकलिलं",
then you obtain indifference or dispassion, निर्वेदं,
indifference to what is heard and what is to be heard.

शृतिविप्रतिपन्ना ते
यथा स्थास्यति निश्चला
समाधावचला बुद्धिः
तदा योगमवाप्यसि॥ 2.53||

When your intellect, though tossed by all sorts opinions (like शृति),
becomes immovable and steady,
then you attain this yoga

Krishna thus raised the prospect of reaching that stage of liberation in this life itself (2.51).
Who can reach such a stage?
Krishna described that person so far in many ways in Slokas (2.50 -53)
He is Sthita pragnya.
Now Krishna elaborates on that!
The response comes in the form of a reply to Arjuna.


Then Arjuna in his wonderment asks Krishna about such a person
who attains such profound concentration of thoughts?

आर्जुन उवाच:
"स्थितप्रज्ञस्य का भाषा
समाधिः तस्य केशव" |
स्थित धीः किंप्रभाषेत
किमासीत व्रजेत किम्॥2.54 ||

का भाषा what is his language
किंप्रभाषेत what is spoken by him
किमासीत - how does he sit
व्रजेत किम् - how does he move about

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".
All the Slokas till the end of the chapter are in response to this.

Vinobha Bhave, the Gandhian, feels that these eighteen Slokas contain the essence of the 18 chapters of Gita.
The Satyagrahis used to recite these eighteen Slokas regularly.
The Satyagrahis are to be like Sthitapragnya.

Swami Ranganathananda in his commentary on Gita also refers to this.
He also says that in Gandhi's Ashram these used to be recited every day.

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

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

श्री भगवानुवाच:
प्रजहाति यदा कामान्
सर्वान् पार्थ मनोगतान्
आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्ठः
स्थितप्रङः तदोच्यते॥ प्रज्ञ प्रज्ञ

"O Partha when one completely throws away all the desires of the mind,
and is content with "Self" alone, "आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्ठः",
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.

Ever satisfied though devoid of sense pleasures.
Though incomparable, looks upon others as his equals."
That is the joy of Atman.
No joy obtained through external events equals the joy that is inborn.

The second verse says
दुःखेषु अनुद्विग्नमनाः
सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः |
वीतराग भयक्रोधः
स्थितधिः मुनिरुच्यते॥ 2.56||

'दुःखेषु अनुद्विग्नमनाः' - One whose mind is not shaken in sorrows,
'सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः '| one who does not lose himself in happiness,
'वीतराग भयक्रोधः 'one who has become free from attachment, fear, and anger,
such a one is a sage of Sthitapragnya or steady wisdom.

यः सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहः
तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभं
नाभिनन्दति नद्वेष्ठि
तस्य प्रज्ङा प्रतिष्ठिता॥ 2.57||

One who is without attachment,
who does not rejoice (नन्दति) when he obtains good,
nor lament (नद्वेष्ठि) when he obtains evil.
He is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge.
It is easy not to have attachment to things one does not like.
It is with respect to things one loves; one must grow nonattachment.

Is it possible?
Do we have an example?
Yes, look at a tortoise.
As soon it sees a threat it withdraws all its limbs into itself.

यदासंहरते चायं
कूर्मोङ्गानीव सर्वशः।
इन्द्रियाणि इन्द्रियेभ्यः
तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्थिता॥2.58||

He is one who can withdraw his senses from sense objects,
as the tortoise draws his limbs within the shell,
He is to be understood as truly situated in knowledge.
Such a one is called man of steady mind

विषया विनिवर्तन्ते
निराहारस्य देहिनः |
रसवर्ज रसोऽप्यस्य
परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते॥2.59||

विषया विनिवर्तन्ते - the feel for Sense objects falls away
निराहारस्य देहिनः - from the one who is fasting.
But does the taste for the same go away? Yes, for those who realized Brahman
The taste for the sense objects too goes away when he realizes the supreme.

यततो ह्यपि कौन्तेय
पुरुषस्य विपश्चितः।
इन्द्रियाणि प्रमाथीनि
हरन्ति प्रसभं मनः॥ 2.60||

O Kaunteya! the senses do violently snatch away the mind of
even a wise man who is striving after perfection.
That is the hard truth.

The Sthita pragnya is one who can withstand such an attack!
That comes in next sloka.

तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य
युक्त आसीत मत्परः।
वसेहि यस्येन्द्रियाणि
तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता॥2.61||

तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य - having controlled them all
युक्त आसीत - sits focused
वसेहि यस्येन्द्रियाणि - with senses under full control
तस्य - that is the one !

The Steadfast one having controlled them all, sits focused on me as the Supreme.
His wisdom is steady whose senses are under control.

ध्यायते विषयान् पुंसः
सङ्गस्तेषूप जायते |
सङ्गात् सञ्जायते कामः
कामात् क्रोधोभिजायते॥ ॥2.62||

The attachment to things is born when one ponders over them.
With attachment is born desire.
with desire comes wrath or Anger.

This is a normal sequence
See something - ponder over it -
conclude I like it - then say I want it -
decide I must have it - you cannot deny that to me.
Then comes anger because of it being refused!

'Yogavasishtam' or "Vasistha Gita" is another book on sorrow.
Rama as young boy sees the sorrow all around him.
He wonders and speaks loudly about the same.
Then Vasistha counsel him with stories of sorrow overcome by others.
In the end there is an interesting sloka which seems to summarize the essential thought.
It says,

बहुनात्र किं उक्तेन
संक्षेपात् इदं उच्यते।
संकल्पनं परो बंधः
तत् अभावो विमुक्तत॥( योगवाशि.||
"Why say in so many words.
Briefly it can be said as follows.
Imagination creates bondage.
Absence of the same is freedom (from sorrow)"

"ध्यायते विषयान् पुंसः" is simply a start of that process.

Continuing the thought Anger is not product.
It continues.

"क्रोधात् भवति सम्मोहः
सम्मोहात् स्मृति विभ्रमः
स्मृति भ्रंशात् बुद्धिनाशो
बुद्धि नाशात् प्रणस्यति"||2.63||

Man focused on the sensory organs will be guided by the desires.
The desires are the cause of anger.
क्रोधात् भवति सम्मोहः - The anger leads to inability to discriminate.
सम्मोहात् स्मृति विभ्रमः - The inability to discriminate leads to loss of memory.
Loss of memory is like forgetting who is he? where is he going?
Loss of memory leads to loss of Intelligence
Loss of intelligence leads to destruction.
This is the nature's way of pushing - this is the interplay of Rajo Tamo guna's.
One must overcome that nature.
Answer is "निस्त्रैगुण्यो भव", like the exhortation of Krishna.

आत्मवस्यैः विधेयात्मा
प्रसादमधिगच्छति॥ 2.64||

रागद्वेषवियुक्तैस्तु - free of attachment and aversion , moving among the sense objects
आत्मवस्यैः विधेयात्मा- the one who has mastered his mind,
प्रसादमधिगच्छति- attains serenity.

Moving among sense objects with senses under full control,
the one free from attraction and aversion attains tranquility|

प्रसादे सर्व दुःखानां
हानि रस्योपजायते।
प्रसन्न चेतसो ह्याशु
बुद्धिः पर्यव तिष्ठते॥ 2.65||

In tranquility all sorrows are destroyed.
प्रसन्न चेतसो ह्याशु - with a serene mind
बुद्धिः पर्यव तिष्ठते - The reason of that man becomes steadfast

नास्ति बुद्धिरयुक्तस्य
नचा युक्तस्य भावना।
न चा भावयतः शान्तिः
अशान्तस्य कुतः सुखम्॥2.66||

अयुक्तस्य for the person without control of sense organs,
नास्ति बुद्धिः- there is no intellect.
For one without intellect,
न भावना- there is no self-analysis.
For one without self-analysis.
न शान्तिः - there is no peace.
For one with no peace कुतः सुखम् where is happiness?

There is no happiness for one who has no peace.

इन्द्रियाणां हि चरतां
तदस्य हरति प्रज्ञां
वायुर्नाव मिवाम्भसि॥2.67||

This is about one who has no control.
The mind, which follows the wandering senses,
तदस्य हरति प्रज्ञां - that robs one of his discrimination.
वायुर्नाव मिवाम्भसि- like the boat swept off its course by wind on high seas.

Hence Krishna says

तस्माद्यस्य महाबाहो निगृहीतानि सर्वशः |
इंद्रियाणी न्द्रियार्थेभ्यः तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ||2.68||

Oh Arjuna (महाबाहो) he whose senses are well controlled from the objects of diversion;
तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता - his wisdom is steady!

या निशा सर्वभूतानां
तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी।
यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि
सा निशा पश्यते मुनेः॥2.69||

That which is night for all beings, in that the self-controlled is awake.
That, in which all beings are awake, is the night for the self-seeing sage.
This is an allegorical sloka.

Night is synonymous with darkness together they refer to ignorance
What is darkness or ignorance for people, for the sage it is crystal clear as though he is wide awake.
When the people revel in the affairs of the world and are lost in its entanglements,
the sage sees those as result of ignorance.

अपूर्वमाणं अचलप्रतिष्ठं
समुद्रमापः प्रविशन्ति यद्वत्।
तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे
स शान्तिमाप्नोति न काम कामी॥ 2.70||

The brimful and still waters flow into the ocean without agitating the same.
The one who remains unperturbed like the ocean in the middle of all thoughts flowing in.
'स शान्तिमाप्नोति'- that one acquires peace.
'न काम कामी' Not the one who is after objects of desire.

We see the flooding waters of Godavari
having devastated large areas rush into the ocean -
But that hardly makes a dent on the ocean.
The flooding of thoughts into the mind too do not impact one who has realized.

The ocean does not seek the flooding waters.
They just pour in and they do not affect the ocean.
Similarly, the wise man does not invite all those thoughts.
Having realized, the impinging thoughts have no effect on him.

विहाय कामान् यः सर्वान्
पुमांचरति निस्पृहः।
निर्ममो निरहंकारः
सशान्तिमधिगच्छति॥ 2.71||

'विहाय कामान् ' - that person who lives devoid of desires,
'पुमांचरति निस्पृहः'- moves about seeking nothing,
'निर्ममो निरहंकारः' - rid of the sense of 'me' and 'mine'
'सशान्तिमधिगच्छति'- he wins peace.

Such person who gives up all sense objects and goes about unattached without ego attains peace.
(" निर्ममो निरहंकारः स शांतिमधिगच्छति.)

Krishna tells Arjuna that indeed is the state of Brahman, the state attaining which one achieves nirvana!!

Thus, Krishna leads Arjuna through a series of thoughts detailing the Yoga of intellect asking him to perform his duty, then he leads him through the Yoga of action and how one may perform Nishkama karma to attain peace and achieve Nirvana!

In the real life to the scenario of a man unable to face the problems of life,
losing courage and becoming timid, is an entirely possible scenario.
At that moment an overpowering sense of weakness takes over.
Loss of confidence, and a lack of clarity on the path to be followed inevitably follows.
The teaching of this chapter addresses the same.

The main purport of the teaching is that
we may not be lost grieving for the cause.
Action without concern for the results is the only way forward.
The ability to perform action without desire gets enhanced
when one can able to dissociate himself from the attachments of the body.

Realizing that body is temporary, but Self is everlasting
increases the ability to disengage from the dualities of life (like happiness and sorrow)

When we are caught in the vortex of issues,
strongly focusing on the almighty allows us to steady our mind.
With steadiness of mind and the resulting tranquility gives one the strength and courage to face and resolve the issues.

|| om tat sat ||

एषा ब्राह्मी स्थितिः पार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति।
स्थित्वाsस्या मन्तकालेsपि ब्रह्म निर्वाण मृच्चति॥72||

"This is the state being established in Brahman.
One who attains this will not feel deluded thereafter.
Being established in this state at the time of end of life also
one attains complete identification with Brahman"
|| om tat sat ||