Post By: Vishwanath Iyer Published on: December 19, 2016 Reading time: 41 minutes
School of Yoga is profoundly grateful to Saṃskṛta scholars and academics Pijus Kanti Pal (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dolon Chanpa Mondal for their support in Saṃskṛta transliteration and quality control.
As we have seen in chapter 1, Arjuna experiences deep conflict at the futility of war, horror at the prospect of fighting his own kinsmen and he refuses to fight. His situational awareness (prajñā) in that moment is one of turmoil, distress and melancholy.
This reaction is similar to what we experience when confronted with dissonance in relationships or difficult situations! Initially, in the heat of the moment, we may wish to confront and fight but when we review the possible consequences, our desire for conflict dissipates. Consequently, we try to disengage from confrontation, sometimes even at the cost of hurting ourselves or sacrificing our values and principles.
In this chapter, Śrī Kṛṣṇa explains the philosophy of life, starting with the origin of our existence and place in it. Then he goes on to fleshing out the meaning of action and why performance of duty is the only solution to any problem. Finally, he details the attributes of one who has optimum situational awareness.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa starts his discourse to Arjuna by laying out the first principles of life and living called sāṃkhya-yoga.
Additionally, Śrī Kṛṣṇa emphasises that while each of us may have a different way of solving any problem, some aspects must not be compromised.
This chapter is about change management. Change occurs continuously and everyone gets affected by it. However, a yogī must slowly learn to move away from duality such as like/ dislike or attraction/ repelling, to one of dispassion (vairāgya) and discrimination (viveka).
When this state is realised, the person is able to step back from his or her surroundings and view the environment with increased clarity. This results in decision making that is closer to reality of the situation. Also, the person develops an awareness that transcends physical inability, fear of outcome, emotional swings or intellectual manipulation.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa, smilingly exhorted Arjuna not to think like a loser. Arjuna, besieged by sorrow and horror of the consequences of his proposed actions was overwhelmed by self-pity and begged Śrī Kṛṣṇa to advise him on what he should do.
The key lesson Śrī Kṛṣṇa delivers in this chapter is on impermanence and sentimentality. He says that the body is an impermanent, it passes through childhood, youth, old age and entry into another body upon death. So, one should be self-possessed and not get sentimental about situations or their perceived outcomes. Instead, one must focus on completing his or her duty with integrity.
Conclusion – Brahman is a state of infinite, imperishable (cannot die) and immutable (cannot change) state of peace.
Importantly, Brahman is the underwriter of all creation. It is the source and motility of all mass, energy, identity and intelligence, supporting the functioning of everything. Brahman does not become involved in creation also does not acquire the property of anything that it supports.
So, what might a state that conforms to the above conditions be? If we were to reflect a little, then the only state that can conform to all the above conditions is either the state of “null” or “infinity”, “null” being a state of nothing and “infinity” being a state beyond nothing.
Can we visualise the above state? Let us review where do our ideas, imagination and creativity come from. We will quickly realise that most ideas come when we are quiet, in a state of null or peace. Then, there is an internal vibration (spandana), followed by a eureka sensation after which the idea is born.
In yoga, awareness of this state is called jñāna or direct experience of Brahman within the person and this experience is called nirvikalpa-samādhi (uninterrupted and unchanging state of peace).
What is the difference between Brahman (permanence) and māyā (impermanence)?
To answer the difference between permanence and impermanent, we need to look at change.
So, we can conclude that everything which we perceive in the world around us is impermanent because of three reasons:
Let’s start from first principles. Brahman is the foundation of all existence. It is indestructible, unborn, infinite, exists everywhere, and is the motility of all change.
What is the driving principle of change? In any situation, when we receive stimulus, we either react or not-react. So, change occurs as an outcome of stimulus and response. When there is a stimulus, there is a response which causes change. Importantly, even lack of response is a response.
All change is actually thermodynamic because, no matter what the response to stimulus, there is change in internal material and energy configuration of both, the instigator and responder. This known as internal energy or the total energy content of any system. Whether we react or not react our internal configuration or energy content changes. When we absorb change/ energy or do not react, it is an endothermic reaction or there is an increase in internal energy because our internal processing pressures increase. Similarly, when we react to change, we give out energy to the environment, it is an exothermic reaction and there is a drop in our internal energy. But, there is change in some form.
We can see that the permanent cognitive state of Brahman is the only place where there is no change, it is also known as Truth or as a thermodynamically ideal state. Everything else is impermanent.
Impermanence in sentient entities is everything that is touched by the senses. This means that in order to understand what is permanent, one needs to transcend (go beyond) the senses.
Finally, it can be seen that the continuous and ephemeral nature of change is dependent on cognition of stimuli (manas) by the senses (indriyāṇi) and it’s processing by the intellect (buddhi) in addition to the senses (indriya). This processing of information is done by each of us on a framework that is different between each of us because each person’s conditioning is different. This conditioning is called dharma (natural state), ephemeral as well as unique to each of us. This unique and individual nature of how stimuli is received, processed and reacted to, makes current state temporary or impermanent.
In the above example, we said that karma (action) occurs when we like something and we pull it closer or when we dislike something and push it away.
What is the basis on which we like or dislike something? That is called dharma or our natural state. Dharma is a mix of birth and conditioning. Birth defines DNA in sentient entities and conditioning defines values and behaviour which we exhibit in any situation.
Concept of duty and dharma.
We are born with a unique DNA and grow up in our own specific environment, this moulds our values and behaviour, which define our experiences. These experiences become predominant drivers of our self-esteem or state of being and in turn reorient our value system.
Consequently, we are at peace when our experiences are within these parameters of DNA and conditioning, natural state or thermodynamic entropy. This state of equilibrium is our natural state or dharma.
This natural state can be extended to cover sentient, insentient states as well as professions, businesses, systems and activities which makes this universal or sanātana-dharma. Let us review how dharma intricately weaves work with personality, duty, system and environment;
Conclusion: Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s advice of dharma and duty applies to every person, activity or section of society. Consequently, when people do not perform their designated duties, shirk performing them, or perform them without integrity, society suffers and chaos (adharma) results.
Ramaśāstrī Prabhune was a mukhya-nyāyādhiṣa (Chief Judge) of the Indian kingdom of Marathas. In 1772, the ruling Peshwa Narayan Rao was murdered by his own paternal uncle Raghunath Rao and his wife Anandibai who then became the Peshwa or ruler. When the case came up for hearing, Ramaśāstrī declared the sitting Peshwa guilty and sentenced him to death in his own court. As a result, Ramaśāstrī faced definite threat to his life and left Pune to go into exile.
Every right comes with a responsibility and without an effective execution of responsibility, the right can never be enjoyed. For example, to be a citizen or a member of a community is a right, but that right comes with a responsibility of behaviour. Without responsible behaviour, the values of the community cannot be realised. As a result, rights conferred by the community or country are undermined, so these rights cannot be enjoyed by all members of the community or citizens of the country.
School of Yoga explains the concept of guṇa (attributes).
Our ability to act comes from our situational awareness (prajñā). When our awareness is beset by inertia, doubt, fear or self-pity it is called tamas. Next, when our awareness is driven by anger, greed or ambition, this is called rajas, a state of energy. Finally, when there is a balance and state of balance or harmony, this is called sattva. These three attributes or guṇa (attributes of cognition) are always together, never static and continuously changing in proportion;
A person is using an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) for the first time. The bank has issued an ATM card to the person but the person has never used an ATM. Imagine the person’s state when for the first time he/she has to work with the ATM.
Consequently, the achievement of having found a solution brings an awareness of the system in the person. This is vijñāna. This results in increased confidence in the Self, an increase in asmitā (I am this) which is called jñāna.
The above example can cover all situations and experiences, first we are confused, then we put in effort to understand and finally achieve a balance. These three attributes are called guṇa and are continuously vying for ascendency with each other.
What are the qualities of one who has reached sthitaprajña – (sthita = stable, heightened or resolute + prajñā = awareness of the Self or situational awareness)?
Let us look at the nature of response to any stimulus.
What is the solution?
Śrī Kṛṣṇa is asking everyone to remain in the present, that’s all! In the present, there is no past or future and all the senses as well as allied apparatus are controlled. If there is no past, there can also be no memory, this means that all memory is erased. If there is to be no future, there can be no planning or anxiety of outcome.
But, remaining in the present is not easy, it requires an awareness of the situation as it unfolds and develops.
Additionally, this awareness covers all physical, emotional and intellectual experiences. Therein lies the subtlety as well as complexity of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s advise.
Time – We are all born equal, all of us have 24 hours in a day. When we are in a happy situation (like party, movie or with friends), time seems to go faster. But, when we are waiting for a flight, exam results or relief from a headache after taking medication, time seems to move slowly. How is this possible? What has changed is our attachment to the outcome or like/ dislike of the subject or any other reasons associated with our self-esteem (asmitā).
Bias – Often, when we listen to people we like, we agree to do what they ask. However, when we don’t like the person, we get filled with resistance and experience resentment, even if the advice is for our own wellbeing. Why?
Fear – When we have missed our targets at work, lost marks in exams or missed a flight, we experience a fear which stops us from thinking about solutions to the problem. Often, our fear triggers anxieties and extreme reactions and this makes it difficult for our friends, companions, colleagues and family members to work with us.
The above examples are some of the many ways in which we lose our ability to remain in the present due to our conditioning (dharma).
Do not mistake intellectual, emotional intelligence or physical awareness as situational awareness. Situational awareness is a cognitive, visceral and experiential awareness of the present where we participate without becoming attached.
In this part of the chapter, śrī Kṛṣṇa is trying to define the character and behaviour of a role model having ideal situational awareness. It’s not easy, but can be achieved with constant practice.
Note – The Saṃskṛta diacritic words are in red italics..
तं तथा कृपयाविष्टमश्रुपूर्णाकुलेक्षणम् ।
विषीदन्तमिदं वाक्यमुवाच मधुसूदनः ॥ २-१॥
Sañjaya said (1) Madhusūdana said this to him, who was overcome with pity, despondent and whose eyes were filled with tears (taṃ tathā kṛpayāviṣṭamaśrupūrṇākulekṣaṇam । viṣīdantamidaṃ vākyamuvāca madhusūdanaḥ ॥ 2-1॥)
कुतस्त्वा कश्मलमिदं विषमे समुपस्थितम् ।
अनार्यजुष्टमस्वर्ग्यमकीर्तिकरमर्जुन ॥ २-२॥
क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते ।
क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप ॥ २-३॥
Śrī Kṛṣṇa said (2-3) How did this dejection which brings you to this perilous state that makes you un-aryan like, unfit for heaven and disgraceful (kutastvā kaśmalamidaṃ viṣame samupasthitam । anāryajuṣṭamasvargyamakīrtikaramarjuna ॥ 2-2॥). Do not become impotent, it is not fitting in you, discard weakness of the heart, stand up and fight (klaibyaṃ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha naitattvayyupapadyate । kṣudraṃ hṛdayadaurbalyaṃ tyaktvottiṣṭha parantapa ॥ 2-3॥).
कथं भीष्ममहं सङ्ख्ये द्रोणं च मधुसूदन ।
इषुभिः प्रतियोत्स्यामि पूजार्हावरिसूदन ॥ २-४॥
गुरूनहत्वा हि महानुभावान्
श्रेयो भोक्तुं भैक्ष्यमपीह लोके ।
भुञ्जीय भोगान् रुधिरप्रदिग्धान् ॥ २-५॥
न चैतद्विद्मः कतरन्नो गरीयो
यद्वा जयेम यदि वा नो जयेयुः ।
यानेव हत्वा न जिजीविषाम-
स्तेऽवस्थिताः प्रमुखे धार्तराष्ट्राः ॥ २-६॥
Arjuna said (4-6) How can I do battle with arrows at Bhīṣma and Droṇa, they that are fit to be worshipped (kathaṃ bhīṣmamahaṃ saṅkhye droṇaṃ ca madhusūdana । iṣubhiḥ pratiyotsyāmi pūjārhāvarisūdana ॥ 2-4॥). Instead of slaying these greatly experienced gurus, it is better to eat alms. Indeed, how can I enjoy wealth and desires in this world when I am stained with their blood (gurūnahatvā hi mahānubhāvān śreyo bhoktuṃ bhaikṣyamapīha loke । hatvārthakāmāṃstu gurūnihaiva bhuñjīya bhogān rudhirapradigdhān ॥ 2-5॥). I am unable to know which is better, whether we conquer them or they conquer us, whether we would wish to live after slaying the sons of Dhṛtaraṣṭra (na caitadvidmaḥ kataranno garīyo yadvā jayema yadi vā no jayeyuḥ । yāneva hatvā na jijīviṣāma- ste’vasthitāḥ pramukhe dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ ॥ 2-6॥).
पृच्छामि त्वां धर्मसम्मूढचेताः ।
यच्छ्रेयः स्यान्निश्चितं ब्रूहि तन्मे
शिष्यस्तेऽहं शाधि मां त्वां प्रपन्नम् ॥ २-७॥
न हि प्रपश्यामि ममापनुद्याद्
राज्यं सुराणामपि चाधिपत्यम् ॥ २-८॥
(7-8) With natural instinct overcome by pity I as you about dharma with a confused mind, what is good for me. As your pupil I take refuge in you, teach me (kārpaṇyadoṣopahatasvabhāvaḥ pṛcchāmi tvāṃ dharmasammūḍhacetāḥ । yacchreyaḥ syānniścitaṃ brūhi tanme śiṣyaste’haṃ śādhi māṃ tvāṃ prapannam ॥ 2-7॥). Nothing I see is able to remove my grief, my senses are clogged up, even obtaining unrivalled prosperity on Earth or even dominion over the deities (na hi prapaśyāmi mamāpanudyād yacchokamucchoṣaṇamindriyāṇām । avāpya bhūmāvasapatnamṛddhaṃ rājyaṃ surāṇāmapi cādhipatyam ॥ 2-8॥).
एवमुक्त्वा हृषीकेशं गुडाकेशः परन्तप ।
न योत्स्य इति गोविन्दमुक्त्वा तूष्णीं बभूव ह ॥ २-९॥
तमुवाच हृषीकेशः प्रहसन्निव भारत ।
सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये विषीदन्तमिदं वचः ॥ २-१०॥
Sañjaya spoke (9-10) Having thus spoken to Hṛṣīkeśa, Guḍākeśa, the destroyer of foes said I will not fight to Govinda and became silent (evamuktvā hṛṣīkeśaṃ guḍākeśaḥ parantapa । na yotsya iti govindamuktvā tūṣṇīṃ babhūva ha ॥ 2-9॥). Hṛṣīkeśa smilingly said this to Bhārata who was despondent in the middle of the two armies (tamuvāca hṛṣīkeśaḥ prahasanniva bhārata । senayorubhayormadhye viṣīdantamidaṃ vacaḥ ॥ 2-10॥).
अशोच्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे ।
गतासूनगतासूंश्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः ॥ २-११॥
न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः ।
न चैव न भविष्यामः सर्वे वयमतः परम् ॥ २-१२॥
देहिनोऽस्मिन्यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा ।
तथा देहान्तरप्राप्तिर्धीरस्तत्र न मुह्यति ॥ २-१३॥
Śrī Kṛṣṇa said (11-13) You grieve for those that should not be grieved, the wise do not grieve for the dead and living (aśocyānanvaśocastvaṃ prajñāvādāṃśca bhāṣase । gatāsūnagatāsūṃśca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ ॥ 2-11॥). Not I or even you nor any of the rulers of men also existed at any time, nor shall anyone in the future (na tvevāhaṃ jātu nāsaṃ na tvaṃ neme janādhipāḥ । na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ sarve vayamataḥ param ॥ 2-12॥). The embodied in this body passes through childhood, youth, old age and entry into another body, the self-possessed do not get bewildered (dehino’sminyathā dehe kaumāraṃ yauvanaṃ jarā । tathā dehāntaraprāptirdhīrastatra na muhyati ॥ 2-13॥).
मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः ।
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ॥ २-१४॥
यं हि न व्यथयन्त्येते पुरुषं पुरुषर्षभ ।
समदुःखसुखं धीरं सोऽमृतत्वाय कल्पते ॥ २-१५॥
(14-15) Indeed, outward cognition results in cold / heat, pleasure / pain, which enter, their stay is impermanent, be patient (mātrāsparśāstu kaunteya śītoṣṇasukhaduḥkhadāḥ । āgamāpāyino’nityāstāṃstitikṣasva bhārata ॥ 2-14॥). The man who is not anguished is a champion among men, he who is firm and equal in pain and pleasure is fit for immortality (yaṃ hi na vyathayantyete puruṣaṃ puruṣarṣabha । samaduḥkhasukhaṃ dhīraṃ so’mṛtatvāya kalpate ॥ 2-15॥).
नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सतः ।
उभयोरपि दृष्टोऽन्तस्त्वनयोस्तत्त्वदर्शिभिः ॥ २-१६॥
अविनाशि तु तद्विद्धि येन सर्वमिदं ततम् ।
विनाशमव्ययस्यास्य न कश्चित्कर्तुमर्हति ॥ २-१७॥
(16-17) It does not exist in cognition of experience; no experience is cognised in the Truth. Also, inside of these two states have indeed been seen by knowers of the Truth (nāsato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ । ubhayorapi dṛṣṭo’ntastvanayostattvadarśibhiḥ ॥ 2-16॥). Cognise that indestructible indeed is that which pervades everything. Destruction of the imperishable is not something anyone can do (avināśi tu tadviddhi yena sarvamidaṃ tatam । vināśamavyayasyāsya na kaścitkartumarhati ॥ 2-17॥).
अन्तवन्त इमे देहा नित्यस्योक्ताः शरीरिणः ।
अनाशिनोऽप्रमेयस्य तस्माद्युध्यस्व भारत ॥ २-१८॥
य एनं वेत्ति हन्तारं यश्चैनं मन्यते हतम् ।
उभौ तौ न विजानीतो नायं हन्ति न हन्यते ॥ २-१९॥
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचिन्
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः ।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ २-२०॥
(18-20) These bodies have an end, but the everlasting is said to be embodied as indestructible and immeasurable, so fight (antavanta ime dehā nityasyoktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ । anāśino’prameyasya tasmādyudhyasva bhārata ॥ 2-18॥). He who thinks that he is the slayer, he who cognises that something is slain, both do not know that this does not slay nor is it slain (ya enaṃ vetti hantāraṃ yaścainaṃ manyate hatam । ubhau tau na vijānīto nāyaṃ hanti na hanyate ॥ 2-19॥). It is neither born nor does it die anytime; it is not present now or later in the future or in that which is occurring. It is unborn, eternal and changeless, this ancient is not killed when it the body is being killed. (na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin nāyaṃ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ । ajo nityaḥ śāśvato’yaṃ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre ॥ 2-20॥).
वेदाविनाशिनं नित्यं य एनमजमव्ययम् ।
कथं स पुरुषः पार्थ कं घातयति हन्ति कम् ॥ २-२१॥
वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि ।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा-
न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ॥ २-२२॥
(21-22) He who cognises this to be indestructible, unborn, infinite, to exist everywhere, how can that person cause slaying or slay (vedāvināśinaṃ nityaṃ ya enamajamavyayam । kathaṃ sa puruṣaḥ pārtha kaṃ ghātayati hanti kam ॥ 2-21॥). Just as worn-out clothes are cast away and new additional ones taken by man, similarly bodies are cast off after they are used up and other new bodies entered (vāsāṃsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya navāni gṛhṇāti naro’parāṇi । tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇā- nyanyāni saṃyāti navāni dehī ॥ 2-22॥).
नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः ।
न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः ॥ २-२३॥
अच्छेद्योऽयमदाह्योऽयमक्लेद्योऽशोष्य एव च ।
नित्यः सर्वगतः स्थाणुरचलोऽयं सनातनः ॥ २-२४॥
तस्मादेवं विदित्वैनं नानुशोचितुमर्हसि ॥ २-२५॥
(23-25) This cannot be cut with weapons; this does not burn in fire and this does not get wet in water and does not get dry in the wind (nainaṃ chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṃ dahati pāvakaḥ । na cainaṃ kledayantyāpo na śoṣayati mārutaḥ ॥ 2-23॥). This cannot be cut, this cannot be burnt, this cannot be wetted or dried and also constant, everywhere, stable, immovable, this universal (acchedyo’yamadāhyo’yamakledyo’śoṣya eva ca । nityaḥ sarvagataḥ sthāṇuracalo’yaṃ sanātanaḥ ॥ 2-24॥). This is unmanifested, this is unthinking, this is unchangeable, this is therefore knowing this, one ought not to lament (avyakto’yamacintyo’yamavikāryo’yamucyate । tasmādevaṃ viditvainaṃ nānuśocitumarhasi ॥ 2-25॥).
अथ चैनं नित्यजातं नित्यं वा मन्यसे मृतम् ।
तथापि त्वं महाबाहो नैवं शोचितुमर्हसि ॥ २-२६॥
जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च ।
तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि ॥ २-२७॥
अव्यक्तादीनि भूतानि व्यक्तमध्यानि भारत ।
अव्यक्तनिधनान्येव तत्र का परिदेवना ॥ २-२८॥
(26-28) Now, if you think that this is constantly being born or constantly dying, even then you must not grieve (atha cainaṃ nityajātaṃ nityaṃ vā manyase mṛtam । tathāpi tvaṃ mahābāho naivaṃ śocitumarhasi ॥ 2-26॥). For those that are born death is certain, definitely there is birth for those that die, this is inevitable in matter, you should not grieve (jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyurdhruvaṃ janma mṛtasya ca । tasmādaparihārye’rthe na tvaṃ śocitumarhasi ॥ 2-27॥). Unmanifested in the beginning are beings, manifested in the middle, unmanifested again in the end, so what is there to lament (avyaktādīni bhūtāni vyaktamadhyāni bhārata । avyaktanidhanānyeva tatra kā paridevanā ॥ 2-28॥).
माश्चर्यवद्वदति तथैव चान्यः ।
श्रुत्वाप्येनं वेद न चैव कश्चित् ॥ २-२९॥
देही नित्यमवध्योऽयं देहे सर्वस्य भारत ।
तस्मात्सर्वाणि भूतानि न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि ॥ २-३०॥
(29-30) In wonder one sees this, in wonder one speaks of also, many wonders one hears of this, after hearing this is not known to anyone at all (āścaryavatpaśyati kaścidenamāścaryavadvadati tathaiva cānyaḥ । āścaryavaccainamanyaḥ śaṛṇoti śrutvāpyenaṃ veda na caiva kaścit ॥ 2-29॥). This in-dweller in the body is eternally indestructible in all creatures, therefore you should not grieve for anyone (dehī nityamavadhyo’yaṃ dehe sarvasya bhārata । tasmātsarvāṇi bhūtāni na tvaṃ śocitumarhasi ॥ 2-30॥).
स्वधर्ममपि चावेक्ष्य न विकम्पितुमर्हसि ।
धर्म्याद्धि युद्धाच्छ्रेयोऽन्यत्क्षत्रियस्य न विद्यते ॥ २-३१॥
यदृच्छया चोपपन्नं स्वर्गद्वारमपावृतम् ।
सुखिनः क्षत्रियाः पार्थ लभन्ते युद्धमीदृशम् ॥ २-३२॥
अथ चेत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं सङ्ग्रामं न करिष्यसि ।
ततः स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि ॥ २-३३॥
(31-33) Observing one’s own duty and not wavering at war should be higher than any other duty of a kṣatriya (svadharmamapi cāvekṣya na vikampitumarhasi । dharmyāddhi yuddhācchreyo’nyatkṣatriyasya na vidyate ॥ 2-31॥). Doors of heavens are laid open, happy kṣatriyas obtain battles that occur by themselves (yadṛcchayā copapannaṃ svargadvāramapāvṛtam । sukhinaḥ kṣatriyāḥ pārtha labhante yuddhamīdṛśam ॥ 2-32॥). However, if you do not act in this duty-bound warfare then your honour will be stained as own who abandoned his self-duty (atha cettvamimaṃ dharmyaṃ saṅgrāmaṃ na kariṣyasi । tataḥ svadharmaṃ kīrtiṃ ca hitvā pāpamavāpsyasi ॥ 2-33॥).
अकीर्तिं चापि भूतानि कथयिष्यन्ति तेऽव्ययाम् ।
सम्भावितस्य चाकीर्तिर्मरणादतिरिच्यते ॥ २-३४॥
भयाद्रणादुपरतं मंस्यन्ते त्वां महारथाः ।
येषां च त्वं बहुमतो भूत्वा यास्यसि लाघवम् ॥ २-३५॥
अवाच्यवादांश्च बहून्वदिष्यन्ति तवाहिताः ।
निन्दन्तस्तव सामर्थ्यं ततो दुःखतरं नु किम् ॥ २-३६॥
हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम् ।
तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चयः ॥ २-३७॥
(34-37) Beings recount your story of dishonour forever, in their thought dishonour outlives death (akīrtiṃ cāpi bhūtāni kathayiṣyanti te’vyayām । sambhāvitasya cākīrtirmaraṇādatiricyate ॥ 2-34॥). The great charioteers will think that you withdrew from the battlefield in fear (bhayādraṇāduparataṃ maṃsyante tvāṃ mahārathāḥ ।) those that thought highly of you will receive you as a lightweight (yeṣāṃ ca tvaṃ bahumato bhūtvā yāsyasi lāghavam ॥ 2-35॥). Your enemies will speak many inappropriate words and many will defame your abilities, which will indeed be more painful than this (avācyavādāṃśca bahūnvadiṣyanti tavāhitāḥ । nindantastava sāmarthyaṃ tato duḥkhataraṃ nu kim ॥ 2-36॥). Slain, you will attain heaven, alive you will enjoy victory on earth therefore, stand up and resolve to fight. (hato vā prāpsyasi svargaṃ jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm । tasmāduttiṣṭha kaunteya yuddhāya kṛtaniścayaḥ ॥ 2-37॥).
सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ ।
ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि ॥ २-३८॥
एषा तेऽभिहिता साङ्ख्ये बुद्धिर्योगे त्विमां शृणु ।
बुद्ध्या युक्तो यया पार्थ कर्मबन्धं प्रहास्यसि ॥ २-३९॥
नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते ।
स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ॥ २-४०॥
(38-40) Treat pain and pleasure, profit and loss, victory and defeat in the same manner, then engage in battle and no staining will result (sukhaduḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau । tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṃ pāpamavāpsyasi ॥ 2-38॥). I am telling you the philosophical wisdom in yoga, indeed hear it with wisdom and follow it to cast off the bondage of karma (eṣā te’bhihitā sāṅkhye buddhiryoge tvimāṃ śaṛṇu । buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha karmabandhaṃ prahāsyasi ॥ 2-39॥). Contrary results do not come from unsuccessful effort, even little of this duty protects from great fear (nehābhikramanāśo’sti pratyavāyo na vidyate । svalpamapyasya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt ॥ 2-40॥).
व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनन्दन ।
बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् ॥ २-४१॥
यामिमां पुष्पितां वाचं प्रवदन्त्यविपश्चितः ।
वेदवादरताः पार्थ नान्यदस्तीति वादिनः ॥ २-४२॥
कामात्मानः स्वर्गपरा जन्मकर्मफलप्रदाम् ।
क्रियाविशेषबहुलां भोगैश्वर्यगतिं प्रति ॥ २-४३॥
(41-43) Maintain a firm soul and focussed intellect diverse, endless contemplation is of the irresolute (vyavasāyātmikā buddhirekeha kurunandana । bahuśākhā hyanantāśca buddhayo’vyavasāyinām ॥ 2-41॥). The ignorant get carried away by flowery speech quoting the Vedas, not these other words (yāmimāṃ puṣpitāṃ vācaṃ pravadantyavipaścitaḥ । vedavādaratāḥ pārtha nānyadastīti vādinaḥ ॥ 2-42॥). Those whose soul is full of desires, even with heaven as their highest goal, get birth as the fruit of action because their actions are focused on goals specific for attainment of pleasure and wealth (kāmātmānaḥ svargaparā janmakarmaphalapradām । kriyāviśeṣabahulāṃ bhogaiśvaryagatiṃ prati ॥ 2-43॥).
भोगैश्वर्यप्रसक्तानां तयापहृतचेतसाम् ।
व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः समाधौ न विधीयते ॥ २-४४॥
त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा निस्त्रैगुण्यो भवार्जुन ।
निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्यसत्त्वस्थो निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान् ॥ २-४५॥
यावानर्थ उदपाने सर्वतः सम्प्लुतोदके ।
तावान्सर्वेषु वेदेषु ब्राह्मणस्य विजानतः ॥ २-४६॥
(44-46) Those that are attached to enjoyment and wealth are bereft of consciousness, firm soul and intellect not focused in samaadhi (bhogaiśvaryaprasaktānāṃ tayāpahṛtacetasām । vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samādhau na vidhīyate ॥ 2-44॥). The Vedas would not exist without the aspect of the three guṇas (traiguṇyaviṣayā vedā nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna ।) be without duality, constantly in sattva state with a Soul that is free from outcomes (nirdvandvo nityasattvastho niryogakṣema ātmavān ॥ 2-45॥). Just as a tank is as useful when there is flood everywhere (yāvānartha udapāne sarvataḥ samplutodake ।), similarly all the Vedas are of use to a brāhmaṇa who knows (tāvānsarveṣu vedeṣu brāhmaṇasya vijānataḥ ॥ 2-46॥).
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥ २-४७॥
योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय ।
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ॥ २-४८॥
दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म बुद्धियोगाद्धनञ्जय ।
बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ कृपणाः फलहेतवः ॥ २-४९॥
(47-49) Perform karma for itself alone, not for its fruits, anytime (karmaṇyevādhikāraste mā phaleṣu kadācana ।), do not be attached to the fruits of action, nor be attached to inaction (mā karmaphalaheturbhūrmā te saṅgo’stvakarmaṇi ॥ 2-47॥). Absorbed in yoga of action, abandoning attachment to action, being the same in perfection or out of perfection, retaining equilibrium is called yoga (yogasthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṃ tyaktvā dhanañjaya । siddhyasiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṃ yoga ucyate ॥ 2-48॥). By far, action is inferior to yoga of wisdom, in wisdom one seeks refuge, in action one seeks fruits (dūreṇa hyavaraṃ karma buddhiyogāddhanañjaya । buddhau śaraṇamanviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phalahetavaḥ ॥ 2-49॥).
बुद्धियुक्तो जहातीह उभे सुकृतदुष्कृते ।
तस्माद्योगाय युज्यस्व योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् ॥ २-५०॥
कर्मजं बुद्धियुक्ता हि फलं त्यक्त्वा मनीषिणः ।
जन्मबन्धविनिर्मुक्ताः पदं गच्छन्त्यनामयम् ॥ २-५१॥
(50-51) One who is merged with wisdom casts off in this life both, pious and evil actions therefore dedicate yourself to yoga and become skilled in its ways (buddhiyukto jahātīha ubhe sukṛtaduṣkṛte । tasmādyogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam ॥ 2-50॥). Indeed, the wise having abandoned fruits of action that is born due to motivation by intelligence are freed from bonds of birth and go to a happy abode (karmajaṃ buddhiyuktā hi phalaṃ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ । janmabandhavinirmuktāḥ padaṃ gacchantyanāmayam ॥ 2-51॥).
यदा ते मोहकलिलं बुद्धिर्व्यतितरिष्यति ।
तदा गन्तासि निर्वेदं श्रोतव्यस्य श्रुतस्य च ॥ २-५२॥
श्रुतिविप्रतिपन्ना ते यदा स्थास्यति निश्चला ।
समाधावचला बुद्धिस्तदा योगमवाप्स्यसि ॥ २-५३॥
(52-53) When your intellect crosses the more of delusion then you will experience indifference to what you hear and the subject of hearing (yadā te mohakalilaṃ buddhirvyatitariṣyati । tadā gantāsi nirvedaṃ śrotavyasya śrutasya ca ॥ 2-52॥). When you remain firm, unruffled with steady intellect in the midst of conflicts, then you will attain yoga (harmony), (śrutivipratipannā te yadā sthāsyati niścalā । samādhāvacalā buddhistadā yogamavāpsyasi ॥ 2-53॥).
स्थितप्रज्ञस्य का भाषा समाधिस्थस्य केशव ।
स्थितधीः किं प्रभाषेत किमासीत व्रजेत किम् ॥ २-५४॥
Arjuna said (54) What is the description of steady awareness state of a person who is in a state of samādhi (sthitaprajñasya kā bhāṣā samādhisthasya keśava ।), How does a person in this state speak, how does he sit, how does he walk (sthitadhīḥ kiṃ prabhāṣeta kimāsīta vrajeta kim ॥ 2-54॥).
प्रजहाति यदा कामान्सर्वान्पार्थ मनोगतान् ।
आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्टः स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते ॥ २-५५॥
दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः ।
वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते ॥ २-५६॥
यः सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभम् ।
नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ॥ २-५७॥
Śrī Kṛṣṇa said (55-57) When one casts off all desires even in the form of ideas and is satisfied in the Self by the Self alone, that person is called sthithapragnya (prajahāti yadā kāmānsarvānpārtha manogatān । ātmanyevātmanā tuṣṭaḥ sthitaprajñastadocyate ॥ 2-55॥). In pain, without agitation, indifferent to pleasure, freed from attachment, fear and unmoved is called a sage (duḥkheṣvanudvignamanāḥ sukheṣu vigataspṛhaḥ । vītarāgabhayakrodhaḥ sthitadhīrmunirucyate ॥ 2-56॥). He who is without affection everywhere no matter whether obtained in good or bad, does not rejoice nor repel, in him awareness is fixed (yaḥ sarvatrānabhisnehastattatprāpya śubhāśubham । nābhinandati na dveṣṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ॥ 2-57॥).
यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वशः ।
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ॥ २-५८॥
विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः ।
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते ॥ २-५९॥
यततो ह्यपि कौन्तेय पुरुषस्य विपश्चितः ।
इन्द्रियाणि प्रमाथीनि हरन्ति प्रसभं मनः ॥ २-६०॥
(58-60) When he withdraws his senses from all sense objects like a tortoise withdraws its limbs awareness is steadied (yadā saṃharate cāyaṃ kūrmo’ṅgānīva sarvaśaḥ । indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyastasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ॥ 2-58॥). Abstaining from objects annul longing in a person (viṣayā vinivartante nirāhārasya dehinaḥ ।), longing even to experience the supreme turns away (rasavarjaṃ raso’pyasya paraṃ dṛṣṭvā nivartate ॥ 2-59॥). Indeed, even in the person who is persevering as well as wise, the turbulent senses violently hijack cognition (yatato hyapi kaunteya puruṣasya vipaścitaḥ । indriyāṇi pramāthīni haranti prasabhaṃ manaḥ ॥ 2-60॥).
तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य युक्त आसीत मत्परः ।
वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ॥ २-६१॥
ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते ।
सङ्गात्सञ्जायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते ॥ २-६२॥
क्रोधाद्भवति सम्मोहः सम्मोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः ।
स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति ॥ २-६३॥
(61-63) Indeed, they whose every sense has been restrained all together, sit devoted to me with senses under control is one whose awareness is complete (tāni sarvāṇi saṃyamya yukta āsīta matparaḥ । vaśe hi yasyendriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ॥ 2-61॥). In man, thinking of objects results in attachment developing to them, from attachment desire is born, from desire anger rises (dhyāyato viṣayānpuṃsaḥ saṅgasteṣūpajāyate । saṅgātsañjāyate kāmaḥ kāmātkrodho’bhijāyate ॥ 2-62॥). From anger comes delusion, from delusion confusion of memory, from confusion of memory comes loss of reason, from loss of reason comes destruction (krodhādbhavati sammohaḥ sammohātsmṛtivibhramaḥ । smṛtibhraṃśād buddhināśo buddhināśātpraṇaśyati ॥ 2-63॥).
रागद्वेषविमुक्तैस्तु विषयानिन्द्रियैश्चरन् । orवियुक्तैस्तु
आत्मवश्यैर्विधेयात्मा प्रसादमधिगच्छति ॥ २-६४॥
प्रसादे सर्वदुःखानां हानिरस्योपजायते ।
प्रसन्नचेतसो ह्याशु बुद्धिः पर्यवतिष्ठते ॥ २-६५॥
नास्ति बुद्धिरयुक्तस्य न चायुक्तस्य भावना ।
न चाभावयतः शान्तिरशान्तस्य कुतः सुखम् ॥ २-६६॥
(64-66) Freedom from attachment and repulsion comes from exerting control over the churn of senses by objects, then a controlled Self is the outcome (rāgadveṣavimuktaistu viṣayānindriyaiścaran । orviyuktaistu ātmavaśyairvidheyātmā prasādamadhigacchati ॥ 2-64॥). The outcome of reduction in overall misery results in the appearance of a tranquil consciousness because quickly the intellect becomes steady (prasāde sarvaduḥkhānāṃ hānirasyopajāyate । prasannacetaso hyāśu buddhiḥ paryavatiṣṭhate ॥ 2-65॥). The fickle have no intellect nor steady vision (bhāvanā) and no peace in those without awareness (abhāvayat) how can happiness come to those that have no peace (nāsti buddhirayuktasya na cāyuktasya bhāvanā । na cābhāvayataḥ śāntiraśāntasya kutaḥ sukham ॥ 2-66॥).
इन्द्रियाणां हि चरतां यन्मनोऽनुविधीयते ।
तदस्य हरति प्रज्ञां वायुर्नावमिवाम्भसि ॥ २-६७॥
तस्माद्यस्य महाबाहो निगृहीतानि सर्वशः ।
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ॥ २-६८॥
या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी ।
यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुनेः ॥ २-६९॥
(67-69) The wandering senses are followed by the cognition which annihilate awareness like the wind takes away a boat on the water (indriyāṇāṃ hi caratāṃ yanmano’nuvidhīyate । tadasya harati prajñāṃ vāyurnāvamivāmbhasi ॥ 2-67॥). Therefore, one who has restrained the senses completely from sense objects, that persons awareness is steady (tasmādyasya mahābāho nigṛhītāni sarvaśaḥ । indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyastasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā ॥ 2-68॥). When it is night for all beings, at this time awakens the self-controlled, in which all beings awaken that vision is cognised by the muni (yā niśā sarvabhūtānāṃ tasyāṃ jāgarti saṃyamī । yasyāṃ jāgrati bhūtāni sā niśā paśyato muneḥ ॥ 2-69॥).
समुद्रमापः प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् ।
तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे
स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी ॥ २-७०॥
विहाय कामान्यः सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति निःस्पृहः ।
निर्ममो निरहङ्कारः स शान्तिमधिगच्छति ॥ २-७१॥
एषा ब्राह्मी स्थितिः पार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति ।
स्थित्वास्यामन्तकालेऽपि ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृच्छति ॥ २-७२॥
(70-72) Just as waters do not fill up steadily situated sea, similarly all whom desire enters, they will not attain peace due to dictates of passion (āpūryamāṇamacalapratiṣṭhaṃ samudramāpaḥ praviśanti yadvat । tadvatkāmā yaṃ praviśanti sarve sa śāntimāpnoti na kāmakāmī ॥ 2-70॥). Everyone who abandons desire moves about free from longing, without ownership, without the sense of doer-ship, that person attains peace (vihāya kāmānyaḥ sarvānpumāṃścarati niḥspṛhaḥ । nirmamo nirahaṅkāraḥ sa śāntimadhigacchati ॥ 2-71॥). This state of brahman is not achieved by anyone who is fascinated by this achievement, but once transfixed there at the end of life attains merger with brahman (eṣā brāhmī sthitiḥ pārtha naināṃ prāpya vimuhyati । sthitvāsyāmantakāle’pi brahmanirvāṇamṛcchati ॥ 2-72॥).