Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2 (Part-3) Saankhya Yogah - Yoga Of Knowledge


avyaktaadeeni  bhootani vyaktamadhyaani bhaarata
    avyakta  nidhanaanyeva tatra kaa paridevanaa // 2.28 //

Beings  are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their middle state and unmanifest  again in their end O, Arjuna. What is there to grieve about?

The  world of beings which we see and experience i.e. the world which is manifest  follows the law of causation. Effects rise from the causes.  The effects are manifest i.e. visible while  the causes are unmanifest.  Projection  from the unmanifest to the manifest is called the creation of a thing.

The  manifest world of today was in a condition of unmanifest before its  creation.  Now temporarily it is manifest  or available for cognition. It shall fade away one day again into  unmanifest.  The present came from the  unknown and will return to the unknown. The physical body is a combination of  the five elements.  It is perceived by  the physical eye only after the five elements have entered into such combination.  After death the body disintegrates and the  five elements return to their source. The body cannot be perceived then.  Therefore the body can be perceived only in  the middle state.

Thus  before birth, beings had no connection with the bodies; after death too they  would maintain no connection with these gross bodies. During the intermediate  period alone viz. from birth to death, they are manifest and maintain  relationship with their bodies.

The  relationships such as son, wife, father, mother, brother, sister and teacher  etc., are formed through the body because of delusion and attachment. Such  relationships are only temporary as long as the bodies can perceive and are  mere correlations as causes and effects just as we perceive the dream world only  as long as the dream lasts and which was not existent before or after the  dream.

It  is just like a pot which was not there before it was made nor would it be there  when it is destroyed. The only constant factor was the mud out of which the pot  was made. The existence of the pot is visible only in the middle state and  hence its existence is illusory.  So also  there is no body in the beginning or in the end.  That which does not exist in the beginning or  in the end must be having no real existence in the middle state as well. It can  only be an illusory perception. He who thus understands the nature of the body  and all human relationships based upon it will not allow them to have any  influence upon his mind and therefore there is no point in lamenting over the  situation.


aashcharyavat  pashyati kashchid enam
    aashcharyavad  vadati tathaiva chaanyah
    aashcharyavacchainam  anyah shrinoti
    shrutwaapyenam  veda na chaiva kaschit // 2.29 //

Some  look on the Self as a wonder; some speak of It as a wonder; some hear of It as  a wonder; still others, though  hearing,  do not understand It at all.

The  Self is incomprehensible because it is not known by the ordinary means of  knowledge. Though the knowledge of the Self is freely accessible to all mankind,  it is attained only by a very few who are willing to pay the price in the form  of self-discipline, steadfastness and non-attachment. Though the truth is open  to all, many do not feel any urge to seek. Of those who have the urge, many  suffer from doubt and vacillation. Even if they do not have doubts, many are  scared away by difficulties. Only a few rare souls succeed in braving the  perils and reaching the goal.

Although  it is difficult to comprehend the idea of the Self, if one starts the practice  of listening (sravanam), continuous reflection (mananam) and long  contemplation (nidhidhyasan) it is possible to realize the Self in him.


dehee  nityam avadhyo'yam dehe sarvasya bhaarata
    tasmaat  sarvaani bhootani na twam shochitum arhasi // 2.30 //

This  Self, the indweller in the body of everyone, is always indestructible.  O, Arjuna, therefore you should not grieve  for any creature.

The  body of any creature may be destroyed but the Self dwelling within it cannot be  killed.  Therefore, grief on account of  death is improper, be it Bhishma or anyone else.

So  far Krishna argued establishing the eternal nature of the soul and finite  nature of the bodies. This verse concludes the idea opened in verse 11.


swadharmam  api chaavekshya na vikampitum arhasi
    dharmyaaddhi  yuddhaachhreyo'nyat kshatriyasya na vidyate // 2.31 //
    Further  having regard to your duty (your own Dharma) you should not waver, for there is  nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a righteous war.

Sri  Krishna, so far talked to Arjuna on the immortality of the Self and the  perishable nature of the body to justify why he should fight.  He now gives him worldly reasons for  fighting. He tells Arjuna that fighting is the natural duty of a Kshatriya or  the one born in the ruling class. His svadharma or law of action  requires him to engage in battle for upholding law, justice and righteousness.  To him nothing is more ennobling than a fair fight. Arjuna should therefore  wage the war and ought not to waver from his duty.

yadricchayaa  chopapannam swargadwaaram apaavritam
    sukhinah  kshatriyaah paartha labhante yuddham eedrisham   // 2.32 //

Happy  are the Kshatriyas who are called upon to fight in such a battle that comes of  itself unsought as an open door to heaven, O Arjuna.

Arjuna’s  opponents had precipitated the war by their own indiscretion and hence this war  has been called to come of itself unsought. A Kshatriya who gives up his life  in a righteous war is said to go to heaven.

atha  chettwam imam dharmyam samgraamam na karishyasi
    tatah  swadharmam keertim cha hitwaa paapam avaapsyasi // 2.33 //

But  if you will not fight in this lawful battle, then, having abandoned your own Dharma  and honor, you shall incur sin.

akeertim  chaapi bhootaani kathayishyanti te'vyayaam
    sambhaavitasya  chaakeertir maranaad atirichyate // 2.34 //

People  too will recount for ever your infamy; to a man who has been honored dishonor  is worse than death.

With  these stinging words Krishna seeks to stiffen Arjuna’s spirit.

bhayaad  ranaad uparatam mamsyante twaam mahaarathaah
    yesham  cha twam bahumato bhootwaa yaasyasi laaghavam // 2.35 //

The  great chariot-warriors (such as Bhishma, Drona, Kripa etc.) will think that you  have withdrawn from the battle through fear and you will be ridiculed by them  who held you in much esteem.

avaachyavaadaamshcha  bahoon vadishyanti tavaahitaah
    nindantastava  saamarthyam tato duhkhataram nu kim // 2.36 //

Your  enemies also, finding fault with your abilities, will speak many a word that  should not be uttered.  What could be  more painful than this?
    hato  vaa praapsyasi swargam jitwaa vaa bhokshyase maheem
    tasmaad  uttishtha kaunteya yuddhaaya kritanishchayah // 2.37 //

If  you are killed in the battle, you will go to heaven; if you win, you will enjoy  the earth. Therefore arise, O Son of Kunti, resolved to fight.

The  idea is that whatever may be the outcome of the war, Arjuna will be the gainer.  Krishna implies that everyone should discharge his duty very sincerely and  enthusiastically, to the best of his power and ability, in whatever  circumstances, he is placed. Humanity demands it.

sukhaduhkhe  same kritwaa laabhaalaabhau jayaajayau
    tato  yuddhaaya yujyaswa naivam paapamavaapsyasi // 2.38 //

Treating  alike pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, engage in battle  for the sake of the battle, thus you shall not incur sin.

Arjuna  was thinking that by killing his kinsmen he would incur sin. So Krishna  clarifies that it is the desire for and attachment to the result of an action  that create bondage; but when an action is performed without any such desire,  it leads to freedom of the soul. The injunction to fight is only incidental.

Pain  and pleasure are the intellectual awareness of the unfavorable or favorable experiences.  Gain and loss are such awareness at the mental level.  Victory and defeat are the experiences felt  at bodily level or physical fields. Arjuna’s goal is not to think of victory  and defeat etc. but to discharge his duty by treating the agreeable and  disagreeable alike. By doing so he would not commit any sin. i.e. he would be  free from bondage.

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