WHY IS THE UNSTEADY MAN INCAPABLE OF KNOWLEDGE?
indriyaanaam hi charataam yanmano'nuvidheeyate
tadasya harati prajnaam vaayur naavam ivaambhasi // 2.67 //
When the mind runs after the wandering senses, it carries away his discrimination as the wind carries away a boat on the waters.
CONDITION OF THE SEEKER WHO CONTROLLED HIS SENSES
tasmaad yasya mahaabaaho nigriheetaani sarvashah
indriyaaneendriyaarthebhyas tasya prajnaa pratishthitaa // 2.68 //
Therefore, O Mighty Armed Arjuna, his wisdom is steady whose senses are completely restrained from their objects.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WISE AND THE IGNORANT
yaanishaa sarvabhootaanaam tasyam jaagarti samyamee
yasyaam jaagrati bhootani saa nishaa pashyato muneh // 2.69 //
In that which is night to all beings, the self-controlled man is awake and where all beings are awake, that is the night for the man who sees (has
IF THE WORLD IS DARK TO A SEER, THEN HOW DOES HE LIVE IN THE WORLD?
samudram aapah pravishanti yadwat
tadwat kaamaa yam pravishanti sarve
sa shaantim aapnoti na kaamakaami // 2.70 //
He attains peace into whom all desires enter as the waters enter the ocean, which is full to the brim and grounded in stillness, but not the man who is the desirer of desires.
vihaaya kaamaan yah sarvaan pumaamshcharati nihsprihah
nirmamo nirahankaarah sa shaantim adhigacchati // 2.71 //
That man attains peace who, abandoning all desires, moves about without longing, devoid of the sense of `I'-ness and `my'-ness.
This verse answers Arjuna’s question ‘how a man of steadfast mind walks or what is his mode of conduct?
ULTIMATE STATE OF A PERSON OF STEADY WISDOM
eshaa braahmee sthitih paartha nainaam praapya vimuhyati
sthitwaasyaamantakaale'pi brahmanirvaanamricchati // 2.72 //
This is the Brahmi-state, O Son of Pritha. Attaining this, none is deluded. Being established therein, even at the hour of death, one attains final liberation in Brahman.
Working without attachment and desires, egoism and vanity, always equanimous with pairs of opposites is to control the ego and experience the Self. This technique of Karma Yoga is not different from the technique of meditation or knowledge or devotion. Such a sage of steady wisdom lives a life
of disinterested action. But Arjuna remains confused and so The Lord explains
Karma Yoga further in the next chapter.
om tat sat iti srimad bhagavadgeetaasu upanishatsu brahma vidyaayaam
yogashaastre sri krishnaarjuna samvaade saankhya yogo naama dvitiyo'dhyaayah ||
Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna ends the second discourse entitled The Yoga of Knowledge.
Summary & Key Concepts:
This section of the Gita is the fulcrum around which all its teachings revolve. The basic issue is how to live a God-realized life by continuing to perform the duties with a disinterested attitude? What are the techniques available to get rid off egoism and a sense of mine? A comprehensive knowledge of life is given here by understanding which all human sufferings could be relieved by getting over duality and conflicts.
As this Chapter symbolizes all the teachings of the Gita it’s full summing up is given below for an easy recapitulation of the issues involved.
I ~ ARJUNA’S DESPONDENT CONDITION ~ VERSES 1-10
- Arjuna continues in his state of dejection. His personality is destroyed by
his overwhelming emotions erupting at the sight of his near and dear ones
on the battlefront.
- Assuming a false sense of renunciation, he argues that he would rather live on alms than slay noble elders like Bhishma and Drona and that even an undisputed sovereignty over all the worlds would not drive away his
- Arguing thus, he expresses his unwillingness to fight and completely spent
he becomes silent.
II ~ INDESTRUCTIBILITY OF THE EMBODIED ~ VERSES 11 – 30
Krishna starts the sermon of the Gita by stating that:
- The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead.
- The Self within is eternal, indestructible.
- The bodies enveloping the Self are ephemeral. They have a beginning and an end.
- Death is certain for the born and birth for the dead.
- Beings constantly pass through the repeated stages of unmanifest, manifest and again unmanifest. So why grieve over the inevitable?
- The indwelling Self remains eternally the same.
III ~ YOUR DUTY TO ACT ~ 31 – 40
Krishna explains to Arjuna the importance of performing his duty.
- A kshatriya (warrior) is fortunate to find an opportunity to fight a
- Abandoning such an opportunity will only incur infamy and sin.
- In victory a kshatriya enjoys sovereignty over the worlds. If slain in battle he will gain heaven.
- Therefore, Krishna advises Arjuna to arise from his paralyzed state and fight the battle without concern for the results.
The knowledge imparted up to verse 38 in this chapter is Sankhya. Thereafter Krishna turns towards Karma Yoga, the practice of which will eradicate the deepest fear in Arjuna.
IV ~ DESIRE RIDDEN ACTIONS ~ VERSES 41 – 44
- Those who fanatically adhere to mechanical rituals are the irresolute whose desires dissipate their minds. They eulogize the ritualistic portion of the Vedas and declare in flowery speech that there is nothing beyond
- Despite regular performance of the rituals their attention in life remains focused on enjoying the pleasures and power in the world.
- Such people possess a vacillating mind unable to concentrate and meditate on the Supreme Self.
V ~ DESIRELESS ACTIONS LEAD TO SELF-REALIZATION ~ VERSES 45 –53
- The Vedas deal with three gunas – sattwa, rajas and tamas. They explain the process of evolution from tamas to rajas and from rajas to sattwa. Krishna advises Arjuna to free himself from the endless pairs of opposites that plague this world and rise to the state of sattwa. To free himself from the mania of acquiring and preserving and instead slowly merge with
- An enlightened soul remains ever in supreme peace and bliss. In that state he will find even the Vedas as redundant to him as a pond would be in a flooded village.
- To act steadfastly towards the goal of Realization without worldly
attachments and remain balanced in success or failure. and to keep the mind calm and composed while the body acts dynamically towards the
- The process of pursuing the supreme goal steadfastly with an equanimous mind is Yoga. Continuing on the path of yoga one sheds vasanas / desires and the mind turns introvert. An introverted mind alone can meditate and realize the supreme Self.
VI ~ DESCRIPTION OF AN ENLIGHTENED SOUL ~ VERSES 54 –72
Arjuna asks Krishna to describe the nature of enlightened Soul.
- How would he express himself in the world?
- What happens to him internally?
- How does he contact the external world?
The last eighteen verses of this chapter give a brilliant exposition of a Self-realized soul. Reveling in the bliss of the Self the enlightened one stays free from all egocentric attachments and desires. In the state of absolute fulfillment all worldly enjoyments fall into insignificance. He is like a river which has entered the ocean. Having reached that supreme state he has merged with eternity.