This chapter is entitled “Arjuna Vishaada Yogah: The Yoga of Arjuna’s despondency”. How despondency or grief can be yoga?
Chapter 2 - Saankhya Yogah: Yoga of Knowledge [Continued]
IN THE NEXT TWO VERSES THE LORD SHOWS THAT IT IS IMPROPER TO GRIEVE FOR THE SOUL EVEN IF IT IS ASSUMED TO BE SUBJECT TO BIRTH AND DEATH.
atha chainam nityajaatam nityam vaa manyase mritam
tathaapi twam mahaabaaho nainam shochitum arhasi // 2.26 //
But even if you think of it as being perpetually born and perpetually dying, even
then, O Mighty Armed (Arjuna), you should not grieve.
jaatasya hi dhruvo mrityur dhruvam janma mritasya cha
tasmaad aparihaarye'rthe natwam shochitum arhasi // 2.27 //
Death is sure to happen to that which is born. Birth is sure to happen to that which dies. Birth and death are certainly unavoidable. Therefore you should not grieve over an inevitable occurrence.
IT IS NOT PROPER TO GRIEVE FOR BEINGS WHICH ARE MERE COMBINATION OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.
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?
MARVELOUS NATURE OF THE SOUL
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.
- 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.
KRISHNA CONCLUDES THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN THE SOUL AND THE BODY
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.
GRIEVING IS NOT PROPER TO ARJUNA EVEN ACCORDING TO HIS SENSE OF DUTY AS A KSHATRIYA
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.
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.
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.
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.
In these verses Krishna clarified several doubts that arose in the mind of Arjuna
in the 1st Chapter. Some of them are illustrated below:
Arjuna’s doubt: I don’t foresee any good ensuing from the slaughter of my kinsmen -1.31.
Krishna’s clarification: There is nothing more welcome to a man of the warrior class than a righteous war - 2.31
Arjuna’s doubt: How can we, by killing our kinsmen be happy? 1.37
Krishna’s clarification: Happy are the Kshatrias who get the opportunity of waging such an unsolicited war 2.32.
Arjuna’s doubt: The consequences of war will lead to hell - 1.44
Krishna’s clarification: The war is an open way to heaven 2.32, 37.
Arjuna’s doubt: Sin alone will accrue to us by waging the war and by slaying them 1.36, 39, 45.
Krishna’s clarification: If you do not wage such a righteous war with an equanimous mind and abandon your duty, you will incur sin 2.33, 38.
Arjuna’s doubt: The result of the war will be that impiety will take hold of the entire family 1.40.
Krishna’s clarification: If you do not wage the war you will be abandoning righteousness 2.33.
Arjuna’s doubt: It is better to live on alms than to wage war 2.5.
Krishna’s clarification: Arjuna is ordered to wage war 2.38.
THE INSIGHT OF YOGA
eshaa te'bhihitaa saankhye buddhir yoge twimaam shrinu
buddhyaa yukto yayaa paartha karma bandham prahaasyasi // 2.39 //
What has been declared to you so far is the wisdom of sankhya. Now listen to the wisdom of yoga, armed with which, O son of Pritha, you will break through the bonds of Karma.
THE SPECIAL MERIT OF KARMAYOGA
nehaabhikramanaasho'sti pratyavaayo na vidyate
swalpamapyasya dharmasya traayate mahato bhayaat // 2.40 //
In this no effort is ever lost and no harm is ever done. Even very little of this
discipline (Dharma) saves a man from the Great Fear.
KARMA YOGA LEADS TO THE HIGHEST GOOD
vyavasaayaatmikaa buddhir ekeha kurunandana
bahushaakhaa hyanantaashcha buddhayo'vyavasaayinaam // 2.41 //
O Joy of the Kurus (Arjuna), in this blessed path, there is a concentrated
one-pointed determination. Scattered and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute or the undecided.
TO BE CONTINUED......