Shrimad Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 2

Sankhya Yoga {The Yoga of Knowledge}

Lord Shree Krishna
Lord Shree Krishna
Chapter 2

Sanjaya said: Lord Shree Krishna then addressed the following words to Arjuna, who was, as mentioned before, overwhelmed with pity, whose eyes were filled with tears and agitated, and who was full of sorrow. (1)

Shree Bhagavan said: Arjuna, how has this infatuation overtaken you at this odd hour? It is shunned by noble souls; neither will it bring heaven, nor fame to you. (2)

Yield not to unmanliness, Arjuna; this does not become you. Shaking off this base faint-heartedness stand-up, O scorcher of enemies. (3)

Arjuna said: How O Krishna, shall I fight Bheeshma and Drona with arrows on the battlefield? They are worthy of deepest reverence, O destroyer of foes. (4)

It is better to live on alms in this world by not slaying these noble elders, because even after killing them we shall after all enjoy only bloodstained pleasures in the form of wealth and sense-enjoyments. (5)

We do not even know which is preferable for us to fight or not to fight; nor do we know whether we shall win or whether they will conquer us. Those very sons of Dhrithrashtra, killing whom we do not even wish to live, stand in the enemy ranks. (6)

With my very being smitten by the vice of faint-heartedness and my mind puzzled with regard to duty, I beseech You! tell me that which is decidedly good; I am your disciple. Pray, instruct me, who have taken refuge in You. (7)

For, even on obtaining undisputed sovereignty and an affluent kingdom on this Earth and Lordship over the Gods, I do not see any means that can drive away the grief which is drying up my senses. (8)

Sanjaya said: O King, having thus spoken to Lord Shree Krishna, Arjuna again said to Him, I will not fight, and became silent. (9)

Then, O Dhrithrashtra, Lord Shree Krishna, as if smiling, addressed the following words to Arjuna, sorrowing in the midst of the two armies. (10)

Shree Bhagavan said: Arjuna, you grieve over those who should not be grieved for and yet speak like the learned; wise men do not sorrow over the dead or the living. (11)

In fact, there was never a time when I was not, or when you or these Kings were not. Nor is it a fact that hereafter we shall all cease to be. (12)

Just as boyhood, youth and old age are attributed to the soul through this body, even so it attains another body. The wise man does not get deluded about this. (13)

O son of Kunti, the contacts between the senses and their objects, which give rise to the feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain etc., are transitory and fleeting; therefore, Arjuna, endure them. (14)

Arjuna, the wise man to whom pain and pleasure are alike, and who is not tormented by these contacts, becomes eligible for immortality. (15)

The unreal has no existence, and the real never ceases to be; the reality of both has thus been perceived by the seers of Truth. (16)

Know that alone to be imperishable which pervades this universe; for no one has power to destroy this indestructible substance. (17)

All these bodies pertaining to the imperishable, indefinable and eternal soul are spoken of as perishable; therefore, Arjuna, fight. (18)

Both of them are ignorant, he who considers the soul to be capable of killing and he who takes it as killed; for verily the soul neither kills, nor is killed. (19)

The soul is never born, nor it ever dies; nor does it become after being born. For, it is unborn, eternal, everlasting and primeval; even though the body is slain, the soul is not. (20)

Arjuna, the man who knows this soul to be imperishable; eternal and free from birth and decay - how and whom will he cause to be killed, how and whom will he kill? (21)

As a man shedding worn-out garments, takes other new ones, likewise, the embodied soul, casting off worn-out bodies, enters into others that are new. (22)

Weapons cannot cut it nor can fire burn it; water cannot wet it nor can wind dry it. (23)

For this soul is incapable of being cut, or burnt by fire; nor can it be dissolved by water and is un-dryable by air as well; this soul is eternal, all-pervading, immovable, constant and everlasting. (24)

This soul is unmanifest; it is incomprehensible and it is spoken of as immutable. Therefore, knowing it as such, you should not grieve. (25)

And, Arjuna, if you should suppose this soul to be subject to constant birth and death, even then you should not grieve like this. (26)

For, in that case death is certain for the born, and rebirth is inevitable for the dead. You should not, therefore, grieve over the inevitable. (27)

Arjuna, before birth beings are not manifest to our human senses; on death they return to the unmanifest again. They are manifest only in the interim between birth and death. What occasion, then, for lamentation? (28)

Hardly any great soul perceives this soul as marvelous, scarce another great soul likewise speaks thereof as marvelous, and scarce another worthy one hears of it as marvelous, while there are some who know it not even on hearing of it. (29)

Arjuna, this soul dwelling in the bodies of all, can never be slain; therefore, you should not mourn for anyone. (30)

Besides, considering your own duty too, you should not waver, for there is nothing more welcome for a man of the warrior class than a righteous war. (31)

Arjuna, fortunate are the Kshatriyas who get such an unsolicited opportunity for war, which is an open gateway to heaven. (32)

Now, if you refuse to fight this righteous war, then, shirking your duty and losing your reputation, you will incur sin. (33)

Surely, people will also pour undying infamy on you; and infamy brought on a man enjoying popular esteem is worse than death. (34)

And the warrior-chiefs who thought highly of you, will now despise you, thinking that it was fear which drove you away from battle. (35)

And your enemies, disparaging your might, will speak many unbecoming words; what can be more distressing than this? (36)

Die, and you will win heaven; conquer, and you enjoy sovereignty of the Earth; therefore, stand up, Arjuna, determined to fight. (37)

Treating alike victory and defeat, gain and loss, pleasure and pain, get ready for the battle; fighting thus you will not incur sin. (38)

So far, I have explained to you from the point of view of Sankhyayoga (the analytical knowledge); now listen the same from the standpoint of Buddhiyoga (the yoga of intellect). By understanding which, O Parth, indeed you shall be released from the bondage of karma. (39)

In this path (of selfless action) there is no loss of effort, nor is there fear of contrary result, even a little practice of this discipline saves one from the terrible fear of birth and death. (40)

Arjuna, in this Yoga (of selfless action) the intellect is determinate and directed singly towards one ideal; whereas the intellect of the undecided (ignorant men moved by desires) wanders in all directions after innumerable aims. (41)

Arjuna, those who are full of worldly desires and devoted to the letter of the Vedas, who look upon heaven as the supreme goal and argue that there is nothing beyond heaven, are unwise. They utter flowery speech recommending many rituals of various kinds for the attainment of pleasure and power with rebirth as their fruit. Those whose minds are carried away by such words, and who are deeply attached to pleasures and worldly power, cannot attain the determinate intellect concentrated on God. (42 to 44)

Arjuna, the Vedas thus deal with the evolutes of the three Gunas (modes of Prakrati), viz., worldly enjoyments and the means of attaining such enjoyments; you be indifferent to these enjoyments and their means, rising above pairs of opposites like pleasure and pain etc., established in the Eternal Existence (God), absolutely unconcerned about the fulfilment of wants and the preservation of what has been already attained, you be self-controlled. (45)

A Brahmana, who has obtained enlightenment, has as much use for all the Vedas as one who stands at the brink of a sheet of water overflowing on all sides has for a small reservoir of water. (46)

Your right is to work only and never to the fruit thereof. Do not consider yourself to be the cause of the fruit of action; nor let your attachment be to inaction. (47)

Arjuna, perform your duties established in Yoga, renouncing attachment, and be even-minded in success and failure; evenness of mind is called Yoga. (48)

Action with a selfish motive is far inferior to this Yoga in the form of equanimity. Do seek refuge in this equipoise of mind, Arjuna; for poor and wretched are those who are the cause in making their actions bear fruit. (49)

Endowed with equanimity, one sheds in this life both good and evil. Therefore, strive for the practice of this Yoga of equanimity. Skill in action lies in the practice of this Yoga. (50)

For, wise men possessing equipoised mind, renouncing the fruit of actions and freed from the shackles of birth, attain the blissful supreme state. (51)

When your mind will have fully crossed the mire of delusion, you will then grow indifferent to the enjoyments of this world and the next that have been heard of as well as to those that are yet to be heard of. (52)

When your intellect, confused by hearing conflicting statements, will rest steady and undistracted (in meditation) on God, you will then attain Yoga (everlasting union with God). (53)

Arjuna said: O Krishna, what are the characteristics of a God-realized soul, stable of mind and established in Samadhi (perfect tranquility of mind)? How does the man of stable mind speak, how does he sit, how does he walk? (54)

Shree Bhagavan said: Arjuna, when one thoroughly casts off all cravings of the mind, and is satisfied in the Self through the joy of the Self, he is then called stable of mind. (55)

The sage, whose mind remains unperturbed amid sorrows, whose thirst for pleasures has altogether disappeared, and who is free from passion, fear and anger, is called stable of mind. (56)

He who is unattached to everything, and meeting with good and evil, neither rejoices nor recoils, his mind is stable. (57)

When, like a tortoise, that draws in its limbs from all directions, he withdraws all his senses from the sense-objects, his mind becomes steady. (58)

Sense-objects turn away from him, who does not enjoy them with his senses; but the taste for them persists. This relish also disappears in the case of the man of stable mind when he realizes the Supreme. (59)

Turbulent by nature, the senses (not free from attachment) even of a wise man, who is practicing self-control, forcibly carry away his mind, Arjuna. (60)

Therefore, having controlled all the senses and concentrating his mind, he should sit for meditation, devoting himself heart and soul to Me. For, he whose senses are under his control, is known to have a stable mind. (61)

The man dwelling on sense-objects develops attachment for them; from attachment springs up desire, and from desire (unfulfilled) ensues anger. (62)

From anger arises delusion; from delusion, confusion of memory; from confusion of memory, loss of reason; and from loss of reason, one goes to complete ruin. (63)

But the self-controlled Sadhaka, while enjoying the various sense-objects through his senses, which are disciplined and free from likes and dislikes, attains placidity of mind. (64)

With the attainment of such placidity of mind, all his sorrows come to an end; and the intellect of such a person of tranquil mind soon withdrawing itself from all sides, becomes firmly established in God. (65)

He who has not controlled his mind and senses, can have no determinate intellect, nor contemplation. Without contemplation, he can have no peace; and how can there be happiness for one lacking peace of mind? (66)

As the wind carries away a boat upon the waters, even so, of the senses moving among sense-objects, the one to which the mind is attached, takes away his discrimination. (67)

Therefore, Arjuna, he whose senses are completely restrained from their objects, is said to have a stable mind. (68)

That which is night to all beings, in that state of Divine Knowledge and Supreme Bliss the God realized Yogi keeps awake, and that (the everchanging, transient worldly happiness) in which all beings keep awake, is night to the seer. (69)

As the waters of different rivers enter the ocean, which, though full on all sides, remains undisturbed; likewise, he in whom all enjoyments merge themselves without causing disturbance attains peace; not he who hankers after such enjoyments. (70)

He who has given up all desires, and moves free from attachment, egoism and thirst for enjoyment attains peace. (71)

Arjuna, such is the state of the God-realized soul; having reached this state, he overcomes delusion. And established in this state, even at the last moment, he attains Brahmic Bliss. (72)