Essence of SrI bhagavath gIthA – Chapter 2 (sAnkhya yOga)

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Essence of SrI bhagavath gIthA

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In the sixth SlOkam of gIthArtha sangraham, ALavandhAr explains the summary of second chapter saying “Topics such as eternal AthmA, righteous duties with detachment, having the state of sthithapragya (firm in judgement and wisdom) as the goal, knowledge about self and karma yOgam were instructed to eradicate arjuna’s bewilderment in the second chapter”.

Important SlOkams/Verses

In the first few SlOkams krishNa chastises arjuna for being a coward and orders him to give up his weakness. But arjuna again places the same arguments before krishNa saying that he does not desire to kill the teachers and relatives.

SlOkam/Verse 7

kArpaNya dhOshOpahathasvabhAva: pruchchAmi thvA dharmasammUdachEthA: |
yachrEya: syAn nichchitham brUhi thanmE Sishyas thEham SAdhimAm thvAm prapannam ||

Having my courage destroyed due to lack of mental strength and having a mind that is confused on virtues, I am asking you. I am becoming your disciple. Please instruct me that which will be good for (me). Please reform me who has surrendered unto you.

Note: Here he accepts krishNa as his guru, surrenders to him and asks him for guidance. In the next few SlOkams, his total surrender is explained. krishNa proceeds with his gIthOpadhESam, starting with the eleventh SlOkam.

SlOkam/Verse 11

SrI bhagavAn uvAcha
aSOchyAn anvaSOchas thvam pragyA vAdhAmS cha bhAshasE |
gathAsUn agathAsUmS cha nAnuSochanthi paNdithA: ||

krishNa spoke – You are (arjuna) worried for those who are not qualified to be worried for; you are also speaking that which arises out of intelligence; intelligent persons will neither worry for bodies that have no life nor for the souls that have life.

Note: First, it is important to understand what should be pursued and what should be ignored.

SlOkam/Verse 12

na thvEvAham jAthu nAsam na thvam nEmE janAdhipA: |
na chaiva na bhavishyAma: sarvE vayam atha: param ||

Never was there a time in the past, when I (who am sarvESvara – the lord of all), you (who are jIvAthmA – the soul, sentient being) and these kings (who are jIvAthmAs – souls, sentient beings) did not exist. Nor will there be a time in the future when all of us (me, you and these kings) will not exist.

Note: krishNa establishes the eternal nature of all AthmAs and also differentiates between himself and arjuna as the teacher and the disciple respectively.

SlOkam/Verse 13

dhEhino ‘smin yathA dhEhE kaumAram yauvanam jarA |
thathA dhEhAnthara prApthir dhIras tathra na muhyathi ||

Just like how the AthmA (soul) (that which resides) in this body goes through childhood, youth and old-age, in the same manner, the soul will beget another body (once this body is given up). The one who is wise does not get bewildered in this transmigration of soul.

Starting with this SlOkam, in many SlOkams, krishNa explains this principles such as AthmA being eternal, body being temporary, need for control of senses etc in detail.

SlOkam/Verse 17

avinASi thu thadh vidhdhi yEna sarvam idham thatham |
vinASam avyayasyAsya na kaSchith karthum arhathi ||

Know that the AthmA that has pervaded all these insentient objects, that AthmA is indestructible. It is not possible for anything to destroy this imperishable AthmA.

SlOkam/Verse 20

na jAyathE mriyathE vA kadhAchin nAyam bhUthvA bhavithA vA na bhUya: |
ajO nithya: SAsvathO ’yam purANO na hanyathE hanyamAnE SarIrE ||

The AthmA (soul) is never created nor destroyed; this AthmA is not created (during the beginning of kalpa – brahmA’s day) and again (at the end of the kalpa) not that he will be destroyed; he is unborn, eternal, unchangeable, both ancient and ever-fresh; thus when the body is destroyed this AthmA is not destroyed.

SlOkam/Verse 22

vAsAmsi jIrNAni yathA vihAya navAni gruhNAthi narO ’parANi |
thathA SarIrANi vihAya jIrNAni anyAni samyAthi navAni dhEhI ||

Like how a man gives up worn out clothes and accepts new clothes, the AthmA (who dwells in the body) gives up worn out bodies and nicely acquires other new bodies.

In SlOkams 26 and 27, krishNa says “Even if you consider AthmA to be created and destroyed, you should not worry, since what is created will get destroyed one day anyway”.

In SlOkam 31, krishNa says “Even as per your kshathriya dharma, you have to engage in this battle and cannot withdraw”. He subsequently tries to convince arjuna giving various reasons to fight.

SlOkam/Verse 38

sukha dhu:khE samE kruthvA  lAbhAlAbhau jayAjayau |
thathO yuddhAya yujyasva naivam pApam avApsyasi ||

Consider joy and grief to be equal, gain and loss of desired aspects (which are the cause of joy and grief) and victory and defeat (that are the cause of gain and loss) to be equal; Subsequently, if you engage in the battle (with this thinking), you will not attain samsAram (material realm) which is filled with sorrows.

From 39th SlOkam, krishNa starts explaining karma yOgam to arjuna.

SlOkam/Verse 40

nEhAbhikrama nASO’sthi prathyavAyO na vidhyathE |
svalpam api asya dharmasya thrAyathE mahathO bhayAth ||

In this karma yOga, there is no loss for the begun efforts. (Even if stopped after beginning) there is no defect; in this dharma named karma yOga, even minute effort will protect from great fear of samsAram (material realm/bondage).

SlOkam/Verse 45

thraiguNya vishayA vedhA: nisthraiguNyO bhavArjuna |
nirdhvandhvO nithyasathvasthO niryOgakshEma AthmavAn ||

Oh arjuna! vEdhams are focussed on the well-being of the ones having the three qualities (sathva, rajas, thamas). But you become free from having those three qualities. And become free from duality (like pleasure/pain etc), being with goodness that expands everyday, being unconcerned with the ability to acquire things (yOga) and to protect those that are acquired (kshEma), become one who is fully focussed on the true nature of the self.

Note: While explaining people with lowly goals focus on the rewards given in vEdham, krishNa explains the reason why vEdham shows these lowly goals in this SlOkam. And in the next SlOkam, how intelligent persons will choose higher goals is explained.

SlOkam/Verse 46

yAvAn artha udhapAnE sarvatha: sampluthOdhakE |
thAvAn sarvEshu vEdhEshu brAhmaNasya vijAnatha: ||

For the one who desires to use some water, only that much is accepted from a reservoir which is filled with water on all sides. Similarly, for a wise mumukshu (one who is desirous of mOksham), though being a vaidhika [follower of vEdhas], in all of vEdhams, only that which is required (as means for mOksham) is accepted [Implies that all aspects of vEdhas need not be accepted and pursued by mumukshus].

SlOkam/Verse 47

karmaNi EvAdhikAras thE mA phalEshu kadhAchana |
mA karmaphalahEthur bhUr mA the sangO’sthvakarmaNi ||

Being a mumukshu, you can desire only for the true nithya (daily) naimiththika (perioidic) karmas; the inferior results such as svargam etc (which are highlighted as the result of such karmas) are never to be desired by you; you can also not have attachment in being inactive in such karmas which lead to mOksham.

In the next several SlOkams, krishNa explains how intelligent persons engage in karma without attachment to results.

SlOkam/Verse 53

SruthiviprathipannA thE yadhA sthAsyathi niSchalA |
samAdhAvachalA budhdhis thadhA yOgam avApsyasi ||

Knowing well after having heard from me, when your unshakable intelligence becomes very firm, you will attain Athma sAkshAthkAram (self realisation) at that time.

Note: Then, arjuna asks about sthithapragya (one who is situated in gyAna yOga). From, SlOkam 55, krishNa starts explaining about sthithapragya.

SlOkam/Verse 55

SrI bhagavAn uvAcha
prajahAthi yadhA kAmAn sarvAn pArtha manOgathAn |
Atmani EvAthmanA tushta: sthithapragyas tadhOchyathE ||

Oh son of pruthA! When one is being affectionate towards one’s AthmA (which is blissful) with the mind (that is focussed on AthmA) and gives up all desires (on other matters) totally, at that time, he is known to be a sthitha pragya.

Note: In this 55th SlOkam, the highest stage of vaSIkAra samgyai is explained. In 56th SlOkam, the next lower stage of EkEndhriya samgyai is explained. In 57th SlOkam, the next lower stage of vyathirEka samgyai is explained. Finally, in the 58th SlOkam, the lowest stage of yathamAna samgyai is explained. These stages show the progressive movement of mind towards the AthmA. Subsequently, focussing on bhagavAn’s divine form and the result of not doing so are explained. Finally, in the 68th SlOkam, krishNa concludes that those who withdraw their senses from worldly enjoyment, will have their knowledge focussed on self.

In the final SlOkams of the chapter, the greatness of self realisation and the attainment of self realisation are explained.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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