Sankhya Yoga (साङ्ख्ययोगः)

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अध्यायसारः ॥ Summary of the Second Chapter

Summary of Chapter 2 is in Gitaartha Sangraha (sloka6) NITYA-ATMAA ASANGA KARMA-iHAA GOCHARAA SANKYA YOGADHEE : I DWITHEE-YEH STHITADHEE LAKSHA PROKTHAA !TAN MOHA-SAANTHAYEH II

In the second chapter (Dwitee yeh), it was said (Proktaa) , to remove Arjuna's agony (tan moha-saantayeh), two things (Gocharaah)- Nitya Atmaa, Asanga Karmehaa - i.e Atma is eternal and body is temporary & We should do our Karma unattached (Asanga Karmeha) to either the results or the feeling of "ownership". Repeat: Two "YOGAS" - Karma Yogam and Jnaana Yogam are mentioned here (we will hear this two terms repeatedly going forward). "Sankhya YogaDhee" - Sankya-Dee and Yoga-Dee . "Dee means Buddhi". Sankhya - Buddhi ; Jeevatma -is known as Sankhyam because it's perceived by Buddhi. Sankhya-Dee :The Atma which is known/perceived by Buddhi. Yoga-Dee: Yoga is KarmaYogam here; Since this Chapter2 details the nature of indestructibility of Atma , it is known as Sankya Yogam.

Sthita-Dee Laksha : Sthita Pragnya. Gnaana Nishtai (true Knowledge). What is the point and benefit in knowing the nature of Atma? We will get 'Gnaana-Nishtai" (ultimate knowledge). By knowing the Atma is Nityam and Body is temporary and all Atma's are same, we will be blessed with true and real knowledge. It will help us realize what is important and not. Atma is nityam, knowing and realizing this eternal truth, if we do Karma Yoga, we will achieve Atma-Saaksatkaram and Sthitadee-Laksha.

Now, we will get a question. In first chapter, Arjuna is refusing to fight and is sad. So, what is the connection between Jnaana-yogam, Karma Yogam and Arjuna's misery? Krishna is going to the root cause of Arjuna's moham(delusion), hence is doing "Proktaa tan moha-saantayeh" (telling about the two things to shed Arjuna's delusion). In this chapter it is emphasized that the soul or Atman is everlasting or nithyam. While body in which the soul is there is perishable, atman does not perish. To realize this atman one requires wisdom or budhhi as the usual sensual organs like eyes, ears, mouth, etc cannot perceive it. In Sanskrit sankya means wisdom or budhhi and so the atman or soul is called Saankyam. This chapter, because it details about the eternalness of atman, is called Saankya yoga and the previous chapter was called Arjuna vishada yoga. By understanding the Atman s permanency and by performing one s duty with detachment to the results one gets the wisdom about the Atman or one gets Gyana. This is an important step. If one gets proper perception of Atman, one will not be able to differentiate between various persons as all differences such as old or young, male or female,short or tall, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, etc. are related to body only. Understanding all souls or Atmas or equal is called Atman Saakshthkaram. This seeing or Atman darisanam is very important in the next step of Gyana yoga. How the baffled Arjuna is related to this realization of soul is all the second chapter. Arjuna thinks that in the war he is going to kill his grand father and teacher and others and Sri Krishna is going to tell how Arjuna cannot destroy the soul, by diagnosing his problem in thinking, and suggesting proper remedy.

विषयविस्तारः || Subject Matter

2-1: sanjaya uvaca tam tatha kripaya-avistam asru-purna akule-iksanam visidantam idam vakyam uvaca madhusudanah

This chapter starts with Sanjaya uvacha Sanjaya speaks. In the last chapter when the last 47th sloka also started with Sanjaya uvacha and again here also same words. Why? Reason is it is the start of a new chapter and we should not mistake this as again Sri Krishna or Arjuna is speaking; but Sanjaya is continuing and so Sage Vyasa reminds that Sanjaya is speaking: With Compassion, he was suffering (Kripaya avistam) and in tears(asru-purna) , akula (depressed) ,visidantam(lamenting) - To this suffering Arjuna, Krishna (ala Madhusudanah) spoke as follows (in subsequent slokas). One should be detached from everything i.e when one is separated from good things etc, there should be no feeling of dejection or sorrow. It should be considered as a "Iccha" of the Lord. So, being overcome by compassion and that too for the wrong reasons(i,e sympathy for wicked like Duryodhana etc) and wrong people was wrong on the part of Arjuna. Lord Madhusudhanah i.e Krishna is so called because he vaniqushed evil asuras Madhu and Kaitabhara. In us too, there are two asuras called Kaama and Krodha (attachment and Anger) which are always alive and kicking and we should surrender to the feet of the lord to vanquist these two deadly asuras within us, just like Arjuna did. In addition, we should shed two of the gunas (Rajas and Tamas) and develop within us Sattva Gunam. THis is also referred in the pasuram by Tirumangai Azhwar (Out of 3, shed 2 and develop 1). Incidentally this series of pasurams is, where Azhwar structures the pasurams in a Numeric progressive sequence. Madhusoodana is used to denote Sri Krishna. Two demons Madhu and Kaitapa were creating lots of hardships to all and they were killed by the Lord and got the name Madhusoodana or Kaitapasoodana. The Lord has destroyed twins like Ravana- Kumbakarna, Sisupala-Dhandhavaktra, Hiranya- Hiranyaksha, etc. Underlying these,it is to be noted that the Lord is destroying someone also. They are Kama [the desire after materials] and Krodha [the anger arising when the desire is not fulfilled]. It can also be Rajo guna [the mental state of anger and pride] or Thamo guna [the mental state of ignorance or drowsy]. So Sri Krishna destroys these twin evil qualities and so He is aptly addressed Madhusoodana. The three qualities, which always are sticking to our character, are Satva, Rajo and Thamas behavior. Satva quality induces clarity, enthusiasm and hard work. Rajo quality brings out desire and the resultant anger and condemning others. Thamas quality gives raise to drowsiness, sleepishness, ignorance and laziness. So it is necessary for us to encourage Satva quality and destroy the other two evil qualities to maintain a godly power in us. Sanjaya indicates this. Sri Krishna is going to destroy the Rajo-Thamo qualities in Arjuna and cultivate the Satva quality in him. Thirumangai Alwar in one of his six prabhandams [collections] viz Thiruezhukootrirukkai tells this. This prabhandam is composed of numbers in ascending and descending order and the lines are arranged like a chariot. He says that the two qualities are to be cast aside and the one quality has to be nourished and maintained. So we should avoid Rajo and Thamo qualities and cultivate Satva trait. Here Arjuna is described as one obsessed by mercy or compassion. It is better for everyone to avoid being obsessed by any quality good or bad. We should not cultivate, or attach ourselves to, habits, which will make us addicts, or fanatic to them. Sri Krishna at the time of His departure from this world told one of His ardent devotees, Uddhava, that He was leaving for His eternal abode and Uddhava wondered how they could remain without Him. Sri Krishna says that Uddhava should cast away his attachment to Him and go to Gandhamana hills and do penance at Badarikashram. Uddhava questions whether attachment to the Lord also should be stopped. Sri Krishna replies that His advice should be adhered to without questioning. After completing His exile to the forests Sri Rama returns to Ayodya and is crowned the King. At that time He calls Lakshmana and tells him that He wants to make him as His deputy [something akin to Prince of Wales or yuvaraj]. Lakshmana flatly refuses and wants to remain as a servant to Sri Rama. Then Sri Rama called Bharatha and told His intention to crown Bharatha as deputy. Bharatha said if that was Sri Rama s order he would accept it. Now if we examine the acts of both, Lakshmana, though was having a noble trait, wanted to serve Sri Rama no matter what Sri Rama wanted him to do. Whereas, Bharatha was totally detached and considered to obey Sri Rama as the only objective. So one should obey the Lord and not attach oneself to any other, however noble it is. That is why He is going to correct Arjuna who is steadfast in having mercy at wrong circumstances, though compassion is a noble trait. A surgeon cannot say that he is overcome by mercy and so he will not operate on the patient. So it should be understood that it is wrong to addict to be merciful.

2-2: sri-bhagavan uvaca kutas tva kasmalam idam visame samupasthitam anarya-justam asvargyam akirti-karam arjuna Arjuna! How these inferior thoughts have grabbed you. They do not fit higher [thinking] persons nor lead to higher worlds nor bring fame . This is a SUPER Slokam of exhortation , where the Lord chides Arjuna for running away from his true calling as a warrior. THis is also a exhortation for all of us, to crush any sort of dejection and face life bravely and cheerfully with getting drenched in sorrow or misery. What is the reason for being dejected or being overcome with sorrows? It's only the mentally weak without any Aryan traits(AnArya Justam-Un Aryan traits) and one which does not lead to Glory (Akirti karam) or heaven (Asvargyam) indulge in such behaviour. Nowadays, there is lot of talk about depression, medicines for it etc.. THis slokam is the best anti-depressant which comes right from the Lord! This is not told in a soft vien, but in a forceful manner by Krishna to Arjuna, like a commander rallying his troops. (Visame Sam-Upasthitam -> in this hour of crisis , Arjuna is indulging in depression over things which don't deserve it.). (Kutas tva - Where from? Krishna is asking Arjuna, "where from" he has got this depression at this moment!) We should always maintain a positive and cheerful spirit and never fall prey to depression. Imagine the difficulties Rama faced. Despite, all of it, Rama maintained a steady composure and faced everything bravely. It's a lesson to us to not whine about difficulties or feel depressed about it. We should confront it bravely and dedicate ourselves to the Lord.

2-3: klaibyam ma sma gamah partha nah-etat-tvayy upa-padyate ksudram hridaya-daurbalyam tyaktva-uttistha parantapa "O son of Pritha! do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not becoming of you. Give up such petty weakness at heart and getup, Oh! destroyer of the enemy." This is a continuation of the exhortation from Krishna to Arjuna to shed his misplaced angst and mental weakness. Life is a blessing of the lord. There are people who consider suicide in face of troubles, but this are misplaced grievances which overlook the truth of life. Life has to be lived as a blessing of the lord and nothing should deter one. Suicides due to loss in love, exams, job etc are shortsighted. It doesn't befit one. Krishna exhorts Arjuna to rise. And this is also a message to us to raise above our mental weakness. Arjuna is a great warrior and this depression doesn't befit him (na upa-padyateh). We are normally familiar with a person's attitude and outlook. If a person is always laughing and positive and suddenly looks sad, it invokes questions from onlookers. Or if somebody always looks sad and is suddenly all smiles, it will invoke the same question from people. Similarly, Arjuna is a great warrior and this depression is befitting. The "hridaya-daurbalyam" (weakness of hrdyam- heart etc) is ksudram(pathetic). Thinking weakly, capitulating to difficulties, having sucidal tedencies etc should all be destroyed. And if fall into this pits of depression, the Lord himself throws a rope to help us out from this pit. This sloka should be a reminder for us to face life with braveness and cheerfulness. Sri Krishna calls Arjuna, Paranthapa or one who creates fear in his enemies hearts. When Arjuna is on the chariot and takes his bow the enemies will shiver out of fear. Is that Arjuna, who has to lead the army is perturbed? Then how can he lead the army to victory? People want protection of them by Arjuna and if he falters and sits with tears in his eyes and mind shaken. then who is going to protect them? Sri Krishna asks him to get up. Any person mentally weak could be encouraged to his self by these 2nd and 3rd slokas of 2nd chapter. God s advice rich in meaning has the power to wake up anyone from gloom and depression and make him cheerful. Elders advice can dispel darkness and gloom. Arjuna was addressed as "the son of Prtha," who happened to be the sister of Krsna's father Vasudeva. Therefore Arjuna had a blood relationship with Krsna.

2-4: arjuna uvaca katham bhismam aham sankhye dronam ca madhusudana isubhih pratiyots-yami puja-arhav ari-sudana In the previous slokas, Krishna said that this attitude of Arjuna is not befitting him, will not give him any repute or victory or glory and he needs to shed it. But depression is not like ordinary body pain, which can be cured with a balm etc. It's something more deeper. So, Arjuna is still desolate and not convinced. In ordinary life too, we see lot of depressed people- the school or college kids commit suicide or go into depression due to scoring poorly in the exams, lovers commit suicide due to loss of a their loved ones etc - these are all decisions made out of depression and have no foundation. Though Arjuna did not commit suicide, such dejection for the caliber of Arjuna is equivalent to death. Out of mercy, Arjuna resorts to this decision to withdraw from the war in spite of all encouragement from Sri Krishna. Now in the 4th sloka he asks Sri Krishna: Arjuna said: Oh! Killer of enemies! Oh! Killer of Madhu! How can I attack with arrows in battle Bhishma and Drona, who are worthy of my worship? He says, in this war (Sankhye), how (katham) can face Bhishma and Drona , how can i attack them with Arrows (isubhih pratiyotsyami), they who are worthy of my worship. He addresses Krishna as Madhusudhana and AriSudhana, deliberately. An important point to be noted is that how we are to behave towards our teachers or gurus. Bheeshma and Drona are teachers for Arjuna and he has to worship them; but now he is asked to aim missiles at them. This is something, which Arjuna can never think of. Here he is indirectly indicting Sri Krishna by addressing Him as Ari soodana and Madhu soodana. Ari means enemy and He kills the enemies and Madhu. Whereas He never attempted to kill His teacher Sandheepani,and He got fame by killing only enemies, how could he want Arjuna to become notorious by killing his teachers? Arjuna regards the teachers much superior to the words of advice of Sri Krishna. Who is greater- the teacher or God? This is a delicate question. Gold is superior to silver and so normally we regard the person who donates gold to us as greater than the one who donated silver. Why do we regard teacher as great? Because he is the one who guides us to open our inner eyes to see the reality of God, the Supreme Being. So by earlier analogy teacher is greater for having made us to realize the most important in life. But it is God s design that we reach a suitable teacher. Therefore from one angle teacher is greater and from another side God is greater. That is why there is a saying that there is no god above teacher. Sri Madurakavi Alwar also reflects this in his kanninun chiruthambu . He says thevu matrariyen kurugur nambi He regards Sri Nammalwar, his guru as god unto him. God may not forgive one for the paap committed; but the teacher not only ignores one s paap but also guides one in the vision of the Supreme Being. Upanishad says regard mother as god, regard father as god, regard teacher as god, regard guests as god. This is the confusion Arjuna is entangled in- whether to regard the advice of the God and act or whether to worship his teachers and abandon the war. Before enrolling as a student, he was a barren land and only afterwards the teacher has cultivated him to such skills and so Arjuna is defiant. Isn't Guru the greatest ? One's Guru is greater than God. So, how can one fight or raise against one's own Guru ? This is Arjuna's predicament. Guru and God are like Gold and silve. Gold is greater/valuable than Silver , so we can consider Acharya is importan than God, with this analogy. But, look at it in a different way, the person who gifts Gold is greater than the one who gives Silver, so the Lord who gifts us "gold-like" Acharya is important than Acharya!. If looked at either way, it seems puzzling on who is more important - one's Acharya or God?? Remember, MadhuraKavi Azhwar who sang the glories of his Acharya, Nammazhwar.

2-5: gurun-ahatva hi mahaa-anubhaavaan sreyo bhoktum ! bhaiksyam apiiha loke hatva-artha-kamams-tu! gurun ihaiva bhun-jiya bhogAn! rudhira-pradigdhan In the last sloka Arjuna asked how he could afford to kill Bheeshma, Drona and others. The word others include Kauravas viz Duryodana and his brothers. For this Sri Krishna is posing a question seemingly. If Arjuna runs away from the war, what will he do for food and shelter? Will he live in forests? The twelve-year exile itself was considered by the Pandavas as a shame. Then how are they going to take this forest life if he ran away from the war? Sri Krishna apparently asks this and so Arjuna s reply is accordingly in sloka 5: "Arjuna says it is better for him to beg and live rather than killing great personalities like Bhishma and his guru Drona. If these people are attached to luxuries and material opulence (referring to Duryodhan etc), there is nothing wrong in it. So, why should he kill them. Isn't it better to let them enjoy their luxury rather than slaying them and ruling the land stained with their blood?" In a way Arjuna is concerned with the hell that awaits him if he were to kill his Teachers. He is also apprehensive that after killing all these people, living in this world with bloodstains will also be hell. So he fears hell before and after his death. Sri Krishna logically rebuts this. If Arjuna left the battle without fighting it will be a disgrace for a kshatriya [royal community] and he will have to lead life by resorting to begging, as he will be deprived of all property. Also, by abandoning his dharma of protection of his people and gifting the kingdom to wicked people will make him a great paapi (Sinner) and ensure hell after death. So Sri Krishna s rebuttal was either way hell only if Arjuna refused to fight. By fighting and recapturing the kingdom he can lead a normal life in this world. He need not consider this as enjoyment with blood stains as he is expected to do his duty and be a trusty for good administration and not for pleasure. This way because he established the moral ethics of kshathriya in the war, he will be awarded heaven after death. So instead of Arjuna s imagination as either way hell for him, Sri Krishna s argument is that by fighting it will be either way heaven for Arjuna. Arjuna preferred begging to killing those noble teachers. Perhaps he was reminding Sri Krishna that in one of His earlier Avatars or incarnations, He had also begged. As Sri Vamana, a young dwarf bachelor, He went to the Yagnashala or the sacred place, where Emperor Bali was performing Yagna and begged for a small piece of land to be measured by His tiny feet.

2-6: na-cah-etad vidmah, kataran-no-gariyah! yad va jayemah! yadi-va-no jaye-yuhu! yan-eva hatva, na jiji-visamah! teh-avasthitah pramukhe dhartarastrah [Uncertainity in the battle and so] whether winning or losing is better for us. When not interested to live by killing these children of Dhridhrashtra, the same persons are arrayed against us . Bhagavat Gita has a reputation that a recitation of a chapter or half of it or a sloka in a chapter or half or even quarter of a sloka will accumulate punya. This is to emphasize that every word in this sacred text is rich and brimming with significance." Arjuna says he is torn between what to do (Kataran no gariyah?), he doesn't know what to do (na-cah-etad-vidmah?). He is in Dharma-Sankatam - i.e choosing between the two dharmas - Being a Kshatriya and fighting or invoking paap of killing his acharya. With this plaguing doubt, he says, even winning is not guaranteed in this war (yad va jayemah! yadi va no jaye yuhu!). And even if he is ready to fight, listening to Krishna, he sees his gurus, relatives etc arrayed against him in the war, the very people whom he does not want to kill! Arjuna expresses his quandry here. Like all of us, he is caught in a dilemma of what is right or wrong and what is better. With this quandry, he also has doubts on his winning the war. He doesn't wish to kill his guru and close relatives, but they are arrayed against him in the war which he has to Win! Arjuna is thrown into despair. This is akin to the dilemma of a Father who wants to ensure his wayword Son reigns his habits to write the exam, but if he physically assaults him to control, then the son ends up not writing the exam due to being incapacitated.

2-7: kaarpanya-dosoh-upahata-svabhavah , prcchami-tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah yac sreyah-syan niscitam bruhi tan me! shishyas te ham saadhi maam tvam prapannam Taken over by the cowardice and losing my bravery, I ask you to tell me for certain what is upright for me. I am your disciple surrendered unto you svabhavam ->Dairyam; Karpanya dosam -> Cowardice due to; tvam- You(kannan), prchaami->asking, what is dharma, adharma-> dharam sammudaha what is good for me -> Yac sreyah, tan meh bruhi -> please tell me; consider me your sishya ->sishya te aham; i am taking refuge, surrending to you-> maam tvam prapannam saadhi- please instruct me. A super sloka, where Arjuna helplessly falls at Krishna's feet seeking refuge and begs him for guidance. This is a guide to all of us to do the same! He entreats Krishna to guide him, considering him as his disciple and not as some stranger, in case Krishna has reservations on why he should guide anybody who is not his disciple or son. This shows that Lord is the one who can clear our fears and doubts. Azhwar sings, the Lotus blooms only by the rays of the sun and not by mere heat of a fire and the waves come down to the shore, similarly the jeevatma's refuge is the Lord. From this it is clear that only the Supreme Being can remove a person s perpetual ignorance. This is what Alwar also declares in his hymns. Just as a river moves toward a distant ocean or jus as a lotus blossoms at the sight of a distant Sun, the wisdom of the soul [jeevatma] will yearn for enlightenment from the Supreme Being [Paramatma]. So the Alwar advises his mind to surrender unto the beloved of Mother Lakshmi, the dweller in Lotus. Unlike human nature to offer materials such as flowers or fruits to gain favours from others, to get His grace all one needs is to surrender unto Him. While the soul is groping in darkness, He is shining with brilliance, the soul is slave and He is the Master and with this attitude Arjuna falls at the feet of Sri Krishna. He says he is suffering from karpanya dosha- a defect of a kripana. Sage Yagnavalkya (instructing Gaargi) says the one who has not attained the knowledge of the Supreme Being is called a kripana. Ignorance of the knowledge of God or the relationship between one s soul and Paramatma, will not make a person learned even if he has acquired thousands of various other subjects, says Swami Vedanta Desika. "Vidyaanan silpa nai punyam". Arjuna says he is affected by this karpanya dosha. Because of this he has lost his courage. The Thaithriyopanishad says that as one approaches God, he gets courage and one who withdraws from Him loses courage. If we realize God in ourselves, we get motivated to do things. On the other hand virakthi or nirvedam or frustration leads to retardation. Hanuman searched for Mother Sri Sita all over Lanka and when he was frustrated, suddenly he remembered Sri Rama. Sri Rama gave Hanuman His Ring to be handed over to Sri Sita and so, how can His words fail? So he got enthused and also removed the feeling that he was searching Sri Sita and corrected that feeling by the wisdom that Sri Sita Herself will show up and successfully complete his mission. Immediately, Hanuman spotted Sri Sita. One should dismiss the thought that one is doing but realize that it is God who gets actions done for that one. This does not mean that one should practice idling or remain inactive; but take all out efforts with the realization that He is the prime mover behind one s actions. This leads to humility. So now Arjuna surrenders to Sri Krishna for remedy, like a person resorting to the family doctor who knows the history of the patient and so could suggest the right remedy. And who else is better equipped than Sri Krishna, Who after all is Arjuna s cousin and Who knows Arjuna too well? Sometimes we also approach elders and seek their advice, but later act according to our wishes. To dispel that thought in Sri Krishna, Arjuna says he is His sishya or disciple and so will obey and act according to His guidance. This also shows how something like mental weakness and worry can cripple even a great warrior like Arjuna into confusion and sorrow.

2-8: na hi prapasyami mama-apanudyat yac chokam ucchosanam indriyaanam avapya bhumav asapatnam rddham, rajyam suranam api cadhipatyam "I can find no means to drive away this grief which is burning up my senses. I will not be able to dispel it even if I win a prosperous, unrivaled kingdom on earth with sovereignty or one like in heaven." Na hi prapasyami -> I cannot find ; Ya Sokham ucchosanam indriyanam -> The grief which is burning my senses and causing me sadness avapya bhumav asapatnam rddham -> even if i win prosperous, unrivaled kingdom on earth rajyam suranam api ca adhipatyam -> or soverignity like in heaven. In case Krishna is thinking - What, if there is some grief? Grief is just temporary and one typically gets over it in no time. So, if Arjuna is feeling grieved over the prospect of bloodshed, he should surely get over it , once he gets to rule a prosperous empire and enjoy all the luxuries? In response to this, Arjuna says - unrivalled soveregnity etc is not going to overcome his grief, because this will constantly remind him of the bloodshed he had to do to gain it. ARjuna is a learned person too, but is not able to overcome his grief. THis shows two things - even all the learning in the world will not help, if one doesn't truly understand the meaning of the scriptures and practices it. For eg: Narada is a learned scholar in all branches of Vedic knowledge but was driven to grief and Saunaka muni points out that he needs to inculcate the vedic meanings truly (it's a pointer to us). Similarly, Rama whom nothing could defeat, was drowned in misery with separation of Sita, due to grief. So, grief can torment a living soul and is more dangerous than the crematory fire which just burns a corpse. Arjuna sees his beloved ones like Bheeshma and Drona on the enemy camp ready to fight and this sight dries his sensual organs like eyes and tongue. He is engulfed in anguish and finds no cure. Our forefathers convey us a great lesson here. One hears the words chithai [pyre] and chinthanai [brooding]. Chithai or a pyre is used in the cremation grounds for burning dead bodies. Whereas, chinthanai or brooding will burn out a living person. Here brooding burns Arjuna. Once sage Narada met sage Sanatkumara and requested him that though Narada had mastered all available literature but wanted Sanatkumara to preach him that which will dispel his anguish and sorrow. In reply Sanatkumara asked Narada to first tell what all he knew. Narada started telling his knowledge in the Vedas, Upanishads, all types of Shastras, etc. Sanatkumara said that Narada had studied all and there was nothing, which could be preached to Narada. This gave the hint to Narada, that he had merely studied all these without practicing or understanding the inner significance of these literatures. Worry lines appear on the forehead. But a person who has understood the God will have no such lines on the forehead. Thus Sanatkumara dispelled Narada s worries. So one should never get worried. Hanuman, when dispatched for searching Sri Sita was wondering why Sri Rama was so worried at the loss of a mere wife. Being a bachelor, Hanuman might not have understood the role of a wife. But the same Hanuman, when saw Sri Sita, then wondered how Sri Rama was still alive after losing such a noble and righteous wife. Here, Valmiki the author of Srimad Ramayana, observes that no enemy on earth could ever kill Sri Rama and only worry had the power. Arjuna, therefore feels thoroughly handicapped by his worries, and seeks help from Sri Krishna. It was opined by Sri Krishna that no distress is there which remains forever. Even death of a dear one is forgotten after a few days or when a happier incident is encountered. So if Arjuna got back his kingdom, this grief of killing the relatives will vanish. But Arjuna says that all the so called happiness one may get by acquiring a kingdom, like music, dance, food, etc., will remind him these paap he is to commit and make him miserable. Perhaps a small kingdom, or one with enemies around or one that is stuck by poverty and famine may cause worries for the rulers. So Arjuna qualifies that even if the entire world was reigned, with no enemies and totally prosperous, will never clear him of his grief. Further, he says that even if he gains the control of the heavenly kingdom, he is unable to find the way to dispel his grief.

2-9: sanjaya uvaca evam uktva hrishikesham gudakeshah parantapah na yotsya iti govindam uktva tusnim babhuva ha evam uktva -> all that Arjuna said in the previous slokas: Arjuna has told his reasoning for not fighting. All the relatives, friends and teachers have assembled and he could not fight with them. Killing relatives and annihilating a dynasty or family is a paap, which will lead to eradication of kula dharma and so take him to hell. Enjoyment cannot be with blood stained hands. Even if the enemy camp was ready, killing near ones is paap. The very sight of these people ready to fight dries up his senses. Even if a prosperous, entire world or heaven is offered to rule, Arjuna can never think of fighting. Having given out his mind so elaborately, Arjuna takes asylum at Sri Krishna and stops talking with a final say that he will not fight. Sanjaya, who is narrating alive the happenings on the battlefield to King Dhridharashtra, exclaims with the word ha . Because he is surprised that a great warrior Arjuna is declaring he will not fight. "na yotsya" -> I will not fight, said Arjuna. tusnim babhuva-> Arjuna became silent. He has said all that he can and doesn't have anything more to say. ha -> what a surprise! (that Arjuna became silent in the thick of battlefield). Sanjaya refers to Arjuna as Gudakesa or the one who has conquered sleep and laziness, the hallmarks of Tamas quality. Arjuna is not tired or feeling weak to fight. Nor is he cowardly and afraid to fight.That is why the word paranthapa or the one who burns the enemies is used by Sanjaya. But out of shear sympathy for those arrayed against, he is refusing to fight. In the last sloka Arjuna tells Sri Krishna, that his sensual organs are all dried up at the sight of his loved ones in the opposite camp. So, significantly, Sanjaya denotes Sri Krishna with the epithet Hrishikesa or the Conqueror of the organs [both sensual and active]. We have to understand that God is the prime mover behind all the organs functioning in our body. Arjuna tells Sri Krishna that he is not going to fight. He addresses Him as Govinda. This word implies three meanings. Sri Andal in her Thiruppavai repeats this name of the Lord in the 27th [koodarai vellum], 28th [karavaigal pinsenru] and 29th [chitran chirukalai] pasurams. Govinda means Protector of cows. It also means protector of the earth. And, it can also mean protector of souls. In this temple the Lord is called Bha[k]tharavi Perumal, which means He is the Aavi or Soul of the devotees. It seems the Lord prefers cow herding to being the Leader of all the gods or residing in Sri Vaikuntam. Sri Andal says karavaigal pin senru, which is going behind the cows. The cows do not say to Sri Krishna, Who is following them, not to come behind them. In fact, He is in every soul and follows as the inner conscience and directs. But if we say to Him that He need not follow and we will go our own way, He lets us go and we get entangled into all types of situations. On the other hand, if we allow Him to follow us or direct us, we are assured of proper destiny. So here Arjuna calls Him Govinda and wants Him to direct in the right path. This slokam is a summary from Sanjaya of the previous verses of Arjuna: Sanjaya says that having said all the above, Arjuna concluded that "I shall NOT fight" to Krishna. In this sloka, Arjuna is referred to as "GudaKesah", "Paramtapah" - which are salutary terms signifying a person who is an accomplished warrior and master of curbing ignorance ie one not given to laziness or lack of will. THis shows that Arjuna is not shirking from war, because of laziness or skill, but due to mental sorrow and confusion. On the same note, Krishna is referred to as Hrishikesa and Govinda in this sloka. Hrishikesa is the master of senses and since the senses are crippling Arjuna, who better than their Master to tame them and set Arjuna in the right path? Govinda is the one who herds cows, ruler of the earth and one who stays true to his word. All this three are apt in this case, because Arjuna is asking the Lord who is so merciful to herd cows etc to guide him too; one who is sovereign ruler of the earth, his duty is to guide him too in this war and one who stays and mesmerises others with his words should guide him (which Krishna does through his Gitaupadesam). A guru is not only one who is a gnaani, but can guide his devotees by articulating the right path and mesmerizes with right words.

2-10: Sanjaya continues: tam uvaca hrishikeshah prahasann iva bharata senayor ubhayor madhye visidantam idam vacah Oh! Bhaaratha [Dhridharashtra] standing in between the two armies, Hrishikesa [Sri Krishna] with a smile spoke these words to the grieved [Arjuna] In response to Arjuna's request, Krishna responded with a Smile and started speaking. Lord's reason to smile are multifold here. One is, he knows all that will occur in the future and is smiling; Next is, he has guided Arjuna and the Pandavas throughout in preparation for the war and is now again at the primary center. The smile has several interpretations. Firstly, it is a sarcastic one at the behavior of Arjuna. The war is about to begin at any moment and both sides have blown their conches as a mark of their readiness to start the fight. At that time Arjuna tells he is heartbroken to fight. Though he wants to avoid war out of sympathy for his kith and kin, the world will think that he is withdrawing out of fear. He is also exhibiting his contradictory actions. When Draupathi was humiliated in the assembly hall, Arjuna burst like a volcano to kill the Kauravas and now he says he is feeling compassion. Next, the smile on Sri Krishna s face also could mean the lecture He is going to deliver. If a lecturer wants proper attendance from the listeners, he has to put up a welcome face. The great Acharya Sri Parasara Bhattar, seeing the twin dimples on the Sri Namperumal idol, used to say that He appeared as though to say something. Next, the smile also signifies the toy Arjuna in the hands of Sri Krishna. Before the war commenced, Sri Krishna was sent as an emissary to explore the possibility of stopping the war. Then He was requested to participate in the war as Arjuna s chariot driver. Now Arjuna is at His feet requesting for advice. Also Sanjaya is narrating the incident and hints to Dhridharashtra that the smile is actually a deception to the disaster that awaited the Kuru dynasty. The smile could also mean the great philosophy to be delivered to the World at large and using Arjuna as a ploy. He is smiling because through the forthcoming words so many ideas like way of life etc. are going to be told. This Sri Krishna is trying to tell with a body language, which Arjuna was fortunate to witness.

2-11: sri-bhagavan uvaca asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase gatasun agatasums ca nanusocanti panditah Bhagavan [Sri Krishna] said [to Arjuna]: you speak like a learned and at the same time your words show ignorance tvam -> you; asocyan -> that which is not worthy of lamentation; anvasocas -> you are lamenting ; Prajna vadams ca bhasase -> you speak like a learned one(prajna vadams) panditah -> those who have discriminating sense , deha-atma viveka jnaanam who can differentiate between body and soul. ; nanu-anusocanti -> do not lament gatasun -> body (which is temporary) agatasun -> soul ; asu->pranam; gata-"asun" -> whose pranam goes away i.e bodies agata-sun->whose pranam does not go away(soul). Krishna says that Arjuna's lamentations in the previous verses display somebody who speaks like a learned person but is truly lamenting like a fool. Who is considered learned? A panditah? One who knows and understands that body and soul are not the same and acts accordingly is the truly learned one in this world. And not the material experts or people who know the sciences and other aspects of material universe. In some of the earlier verses, Arjuna seems to recognize this difference. For instance, when he says that killing all the kaurvas would leave nobody to offer oblations to the forefathers seems to point that he knows the concept of soul. But at the same time in the next few verses he laments that killing Drona, Bhismha etc is a paap, forgetting that in the War, it's his Dharma to fight irrespective of the opponents and that ultimately he is killing their bodies but not their souls. It is very important to note that, this shouldn't be miscontrued as an excuse to kill anybody. Arjuna's situation was that he was in the War fighting a battle to save his land from the wicked and that was his Kshatriya Dharma which Krishna was teaching. But, in normal situations, we don't have right to kill anybody. So, in this verse, Krishna says the learned pandits who know the difference between body and soul do not grieve at any stage of life. But, Arjuna who seems to speak like a learned person is lamenting for something which not worthy of it. What is Body? What is soul? How can we say it is distinct? For eg: in our daily reference, we say this is my feet, my tongue, my car, my house etc.. It implies the feet, tongue, car, house etc are separate from "I". The "I" is what we refer to as SOUL, which lives forever and is distinct from the Body. The soul has a atomic form as per puranas. Sri Krishna refers to Pundit, which means learned. It is not mere worldly knowledge, but the person possessing the knowledge about body and soul is referred to as pundit He is also called a vedanhi. Like a pundit, Arjuna appears to know the difference between soul [atman] and body [sareeram]. But he also says words, which show that he thinks both atman and sareeram are same. Asu means prana or imperishable. Gathasu means perishable or without asu or only body without soul. Agathasu is opposite of gathasu or with asu or prana, which means the body with soul. Pundits know about the destroyable and the indestroyable. All slokas upto this point (from 1.1 to 2.11) are prelude to the actual Bhagavad Gita. a) Consider all slokas so far (Chapter1 and chapter2 till 11): Preceding slokas are related to Arjuna's lamentation and ignorance. Next set of slokas starting with this one is Lord's response clearing Arjuna's doubts. a1) Arjuna exhibited his misunderstanding of soul and body and thought that he is destroying Bheeshma and Drona. In Sanskrit language one word can give several meanings and several words can mean same thing; but they have to be judiciously used. Sareeram and Deham refer to body but have different connotations. We see a person after, say, 10 years and that person has become thinner and weak. So we enquire why his body has become weak and thin. Here, as per the dhathu or root, to indicate diminishing nature we have to use the word sareeram. On the other hand, suppose we see a person looking fatter or bigger than what we saw him some years back, we express that the body has grown. Here, it is apt to use the word Deham which indicates growth. But in both cases the soul or atman remains in tact. So change is the nature of body and anything that changes is not permanent. Thus the body is destroyable whereas the soul never changes and so is indestructible. b) Body goes thru 6 changes: Shad bhavam vikaram - Asti, Jayate(born), Parinamate(change), Vivarte(grow), Apakshiyateh(decay) Vinashyati Atma(Soul) doesn't go thru any changes. Anything which does not go through changes, is eternal and soul is the only such entity. c) Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather -> A man can go through all this roles in his life demonstrating material relations in world, which can go thru changes. But, once self is always constant like the Soul and is never changing. d) What is body made of?? - PanchaBhootam - Prithvi(Earth), Ap(Water), Tejas(Fire), Vayu(WInd), Akasam(Ether). When this five materials are joined together, they will never survive for long. Eg: Take Salt, Flour, Water. When they are separate, they can survive for long, but when joined together as upma, their shelf life becomes shortened. What is Soul made off? - It is JnaanaSwaropam, full of knowledge. It is eternal and never changing. Soul resides within our hearts in the shape of lotus(?). e) Who experiences joy and sorrow? - Body and Soul? - Soul is full of knowledge , but the karmas cover it's knowledge. It's just like clouds of karma covering the Sun's shine. That's why everybody has different levels of knowledge. -Body is material and has NO knowledge. - Soul resides in the Body. It's knowledge is spread throughout the body, even though it's not seen and is tiny. eg. Soul is like SIM card in Mobile phone ;-). Without Soul, the body is dead. - Even though soul is tiny, it is "dharma-bhoota gnaanam" i.e it's knowledge is like the rays of the lamp which even though in a single place, lights the whole place. (eg: Tirumaalai of Thondarpodi azhwar. "Maram suvar madil edutu...", where he says Body is like a pot full of holes. If we list the properties of the soul, we can say it understands, it is minute, it is intelligent, it has no organs and enjoys [or suffers] the effect of karma. Body, on the other hand, is having the opposite properties. It does not understand, it is big, it is dumb, it has organs and it does not realize the effects of karma. So bottomline, which we need to be always aware of is, the body and soul are NOT the same. Body is perishable, subject to shad-bhava vikaram , made of pancha bhootam. Whereas Soul is unchanging and eternal and it's inherent nature is knowledge. Each of us are jeevatmas and are souls, with a temporary body. (Note: Numerous souls and Jeevatma is different from Paramatma). Unfortunately, most of us suffer from "deha-atma abhimaanam" (mistaking body and soul as one). Arjuna also suffers from this same delusion and that's why Krishna is telling Arjuna that he is speaking like an ignoramus.

2.12. na tvev-Aham jatu na-asam na tvam neme janadhipah na caiva na bhavisyamah sarve vayam atah param NEVER was there a time when I did NOT exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.". Note, krishna uses two negatives (Never & Not), instead of just one Positive (Always), which would have meant the same. He does it for "emphasis" purpose. For example, in a village, if one asks who was educated there and if the reply was that so and so was educated, it can mean that there were many educated persons in that village and that the so and so also was educated. On the other hand, if the reply was that excepting the so and so, no other was educated, it means that the person in question alone was educated. The latter form of reply gives certainty and emphasizes the fact forcefully. Note: Krishna refers to the "SOUL" here and not "bodies". (Advaitic view is, the I, you and they refers to multiplicity of bodies. But, that is NOT true. It refers to mulitplicity of souls, since only soul is eternal across past, present and future. Sri Ramanjua has refuted the Advaitic view very clearly in his Gita Bhasya). This is an IMPORTANT SLOKA, where krishna explains tattva traya siddhantam(Achit, chit, iswara) and their svabhavam. This Ishwaram is praised as Brahama by upanishads. Chit are numerous, but of same jaati, even though their may be some external differences in terms of varnas etc, based on the bodies they house. Here Krishna emphasizes, there are multipile Jeevatmas, and not just one. Krishna also emphasizes the "bedham" (difference) between Jeevatma and Paramatma. Jeevatma is NOT paramatma and CANNOT become Paramatma (which refutes Advaitic theory, which expounds Abhedam siddhantam). Krishna says that all souls exist eternally in the past, present and future. He uses double negatives to emphasize the fact. (Rather than just stating, souls exist eternally, he says, there were NEVER a time where they did NOT exist!). Body is temporary, soul is eternal. Without Soul, the body is dead and has no value. Krishna mentions about himself first, saying as a paramatma, he existed in the past, in the present and the future. This is easy to understand, since it is generally known and agreed that Lord is eternal (Bhuta-Bhavya- Bhavat Prabhu! as mentioned in SriVishnu Sahasranamam) across time, space and material entities (across all times,all pervading and inside every being). Having said this, Krishna then says, just like he is eternal, all the jeevas are also eternal. Another important thing to note in this sloka is, "tattva traya Sidhantam" - Krishna makes distinction between Chit, achit and Easwara tattvam by quoting himself first and then arjuna and the warriors. He also makes it clear that he is distinct from the jeevatmas. Achit is subject to transition, but never destroyed. Jeevatma is subject to transition, but only as it's soul passes through experiences based on the body it is housed in, but it is never destroyed or changing. Paramatma is never subject to transition. It is "avikaaraya shuddhaya, nityaaya paramaatmane, saidaka rupa rupaaya, vishnavey prabha ..." Everything in this universe could be grouped in three categories- Iswara, Chit and Achit. Achit are all those materials we see or hear or smell or taste or feel. Achit means without the intellect. The tombs of temples or the trees and plants or our limbs are all in this category as none of them have the intelligence. But all these are indestructible. One may wonder how this is true? We see tombs crumbling and trees are burnt. Here we should realize that only the form changes, but the matter remains in a different form. Gold might have become a ring or necklace but it remains as gold. Similarly, mud is made into a pot or plate etc. It can be made into mud again or in some other form but can never be annihilated. So an important point we should know about Achit is that it has no intelligence, but constantly changes its form and can never be drstroyed. The second category is Chit, which means that which has the intelligence. It is also called Jeevatma or sometimes Atman. It is recognized by the I in us. With that intelligence only we recognize various things around us. That is Chit recognizes Achit. So a Jeevatma using his intelligence understands Achit. This is the difference and relationship between the two. Apart from these two, a third is there and is called Iswara. Sri Krishna brings out all these three entities in the 12th sloka. He mentions about Him as I [aham] and Arjuna as you and others by they . Sri Krishna represents Paramatma and He is unique. Jeevatma are many and are represented by Arjuna and all others. All materials are Achit. The Thatvatrayam is thus indicated in this sloka. We can see in Sri Vaishnava sanyasins carry tridhandam or three sticks bundled together. This is to indicate the thatvathrayam. We find that Chit is there to enjoy all Achits. I is there to enjoy the sweet drink or the sandal fragrance. Then, where is the need for a third entity, Iswara or God? Then there is the third force that controls both Chit and Achit, and we call that as Iswara or God. We will see the differences in these three entities. Achit is unintelligent and is subject to change in its form, though undestroyable. Chits are many in number and are not subject to changes and are very minute. Here, we all observe that everyone is happy sometimes and sorrow sometimes. Since it is the soul, which has the intelligence, it only can enjoy or suffer. Does it not mean that soul also is subject to changes? We should clearly note here that the contact between achit and chit brings about the feeling of happiness or sorrow. That is when the soul resides in a body, it feels sorry or delightful for various reasons. But if the soul is away from the body, then it is having an eternal bliss only. Therefore, the real nature of soul is happiness only and when in contact with a body, mixed feelings are felt. So, while change is natural to Achit, the changes felt when in contact with a body is unnatural to the soul or chit. Iswara or Paramathma on the other hand is never subject to any change, natural or artificial, temporary or permanent. That is why in Sri Vishnu sahasranama it is said avikaraya sudhdhaya nithyaya paramathmane.. This is a fundamental principle to be always kept in mind. The basis for the existence for Paramatma can be made through analogies. Wherever there is a creation, there is a creator. For eg: when there is Pot, we know there is a potter ; when there is a garden, we know there is a gardener, where there is smoke, there is fire. Similarly, when the existence of Jeevatamas and Achit, points to the existence of Paramatma. But, as jeevatmas, we CANNOT comprehend Paramatma by speculation or mental thinking or anumaanam or extrapolating. So for every creativity, we can definitely conclude that there must be a creator. This is logical, even if we do not see the architect of that creation by our sensual organs. This is similar to concluding there is fire by seeing only the smoke. This is inference or deduction. So by seeing all the various creations in the world, we can deduce that there must be a Creator and He is God.But our ancestors and learned men do not rely on inference or logic or deduction to conclude the existence of God. Philosophers classify the bedam or difference into three categories. We have to take the guidance of Vedas for this purpose. There is a Bedham between Jeevatma and Paramatma and Bedhams are of three kinds: 1.sajAtIya bhEdam : a pot being different from other pots. This Individualistic difference is the difference between individuals of the same category. (Sa-Jaathi -> Same category) 2.vijAtIya bhEdam : a pot being different from a cloth or picture . This categorical difference is the difference existing between different categories . (Vi-Jaathi -> Different category 3. svagata bhEdam the difference between the attributes of pot . This attribute difference is the difference between attributes of an entity like the difference between attributes like colour, form, shape, capacity, etc; where one attribute cannot substitute the other. Similarly, there is a difference between Jeevatma and Paramatma along this three bedhams. Paramatma and jeevatma both have intelligence or gyana, but the jeevatma s intelligence is limited by the body it resides. So, here we see sajatiya bedam. Bramham or Paramatma has wisdom and the objects and materials we see do not possess any intellect. This is vijatiya bedam. As God cannot be worshipped if there was no form or He did not possess qualities like mercy, Bramham has forms and qualities and so here the swagata bedam is exhibited. So Bramham has all the three types of bedam. Bhagavan has gunams i.e Saguna Brahmam i.e Kalyaana gunams, Tirumeni etc. Saying Bhagavan has no Gunam, Tirumeni etc (Nirguna Brahamam) is incorrect.

2.13. dehino smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati "As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A brave person is not concerned by such a change." We have seen that Bramham, Chit and Achit as the thatvathrayam and their relationship and differences. Sri Krishna tries to clear the doubt in Arjuna s mind and tells that Atman is eternal and cannot be destroyed. Body is required and we have to take care of it to the extent possible and the perishable nature of it has to be kept in mind. Atman is pure and superior to body. In the previous sloka, Krishna explains that Souls are eternal . So, Arjuna had a doubt, if souls are eternal, then what is the meaning of birth, death etc which we see in the world. In response, Krishna answers with this sloka. Just like a human goes through various stages of life from boyhood, adulthood, old age, undergoing changes in his body and appearance and experiences, but still has the "I" untouched, similarly soul embodies itself in bodies and disembodies as per it's karma. Sankara says "Punarapi Jananam , Punarapi Maranam" in "Bhaja Govindam" i.e a soul goes through cycle of birth and death through the body, though it itself is unchanging. Atma is unchanging, it is nityam. But, when it enters a body,it is called Birth. And when it sheds the body , it is called Death. It is similar to the body itself going through Kumaram, Yauvanam, Jara (old age), but the person itself is the same. It's intresting to note that, there is no grief expressed when a body transitions through these stages of boyhood, youth, old age (infact it is celebrated through various rituals!), but when the soul sheds the body (death), it is considered tragedy. Sri Krishna says a brave man will not brood and lament. We see deaths and births. The great philosopher Adi Sankara says punarabi jananam punarabi maranam It is a cycle, withbirths and deaths repeating. A soul can get released from this cycle only by uttering Sri Govinda s name, says Adi Sankara. Atman as such is not born. When it contacts and resides in a body we call it birth. When the same atman departs from the body it was residing, we call it death. But atman never dies. In this sloka, atman is referred as dehi. A person is born as a child; he becomes a boy, then a lad and then old man. These changes pertain to body only and not to the soul. Sri Krishna calls him who understands this true nature of the soul a dheera or brave man. When a person becomes a boy after being a child but never laments that he lost his childhood. Similarly an old man does not mourn for the lost youth. On the contrary, we celebrate every stage in our life, like marriages, fatherhood, etc (Seemantham, Punyojanam, Marriage, Saattabhishekam, Kaanakabhishekam etc). The soul in the body- I - has been watching all these changes happening on the body. It is able to remember when the body was of a child and then of youth, etc. We remember when we started learning cycling and similar details. Another great philosopher Madhavcharya, says, we should lament when child becomes youth. Whereas we are happy and celebrate. We should realize that we are going from one phase to another. A worm while moving from one leaf to another, clings to the new leaf and leaves the earlier one. Same thing happening to body also and so there should be no room for worry and concern. A person with such attitude is called dheera. After listening to this explanation , the Lord expects arjuna to reply as I accept that the body is perishable and the soul is permanent . But the soul is not divorced from the body . I have to bear the suffering due to arrows piercing my body and that of others who are dear to me . How then do you justify this war with respect to the degree of suffering caused ? This question is answered by the lord in the subsequent slokas .

2.14. matra-sparshas tu kaunteya ! sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah agama payino anityaH ! tams- titikshasva bharata "O son of Kunti, the cold and heat and happiness and distress, are transient. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed." O son of Kunti , as a result of the action of basic forces(tanma:tra:s) in the form of shabda , sparsha , roopa , rasa and gandha otherwise speech , sensation , form , fluidity and smell with which the senses come into contact by means of the field of association called samyo:ga , coldness , heat etc are felt. These cause happiness and sorrow in varying proportions. In the state of liberation , such happiness or sorrow are incapable of affecting the soul. Hence you must bear with such happiness and sorrow. In response to previous sloka, Arjuna responds that, if the soul is eternal and moves from body to body, then it will be ok, if the "I" is aware of this change. But, since a person does not know or does not have any proof of this, he is doubtful and grieved at the thought of shedding his body at death! Krishna says in response, that since he is saying this happens, it should be accepted. Great Gnaani's and Yogis know about this. Since individuals are ignorant, they don't realize it. For eg: WHen a sun sets in east, it rises on the other side of the earth. Even though people in east cannot directly infer it, the truth is the sun is visible elsewhere. Thus we believe others in the other part of the world saying that the Sun is still shining. So, He asks Arjuna, 'you believe others but why not what I said about the Atman?'. This is a difficult suggestion. But only when we have this unshakable faith in Him that what He told is the truth and correct, we can be regarded as Bhakthas. This appears to be illogical. There are many yogis and saints, who have seen the atman going from one body to another. They are able to tell what was the previous birth and what the future birth would be. If one cultivates one s knowledge, one can also know all these abstract happenings. So Sri Krishna says that just because Arjuna did not know the traverse from one body to another, he cannot deny that phenomenon. Arjuna says that granting what He said was accepted, why still one should fight and suffer? Even if the body and all matters are momentary, all feel the pain and why should we suffer? Arjuna then has another question, accepting even that soul is eternal, don't we still have to suffer with pain in this body, indulging in warfare ?? Krishna responds that it is true, but a true gnaani should bear it with equanimity. Sri Krishna says that when objectives are exalted, one has to bear these pains. All types of weather (Heat, Cold etc) and all types of situations (Happiness, Grief etc) should be borne with calmness and same attitude by a true gnaani. The basis for all this pain and pleasure is our "TanMaatras" which is INEVITABLE. (Senses and the PanchaBhootams) Maatra - TanMaatra : Pancha Bhootam -Pritvi, Vayu, Apsu, Tejas, Akasaam Pancha Tanmatram - Shabdham, Sparsam, Roopam, Rasam, Gandham - "Gandhavati Pruthvi" (man-Vaasanai SMELL - NOSE) , "Water-Ruchi Rasam TASTE - TONGUE" "Blaze of Fire has a FORM - EYES" , "Roopa Rahita Sparashavaan Vayu - TOUCH SKIN" "Shabdham - SOUND - EAR" Cold and heat and happiness and sorrow should be tolerated. Which are responsible for these feelings? Sri Krishna mentions mathra and contact. Mathra denotes the pancha thanmathra or the five basic feelings related to the five basic elements. The five elements are earth, water, fire, air and space [prithvi, appu, agni, vayu and akasam]. Each of these has a unique characteristic. These characteristics are called the thanmathras. Smell or gandham is earth s feature. Taste or rasam is of water. Appearance or roopam is of fire. Touch or sparsam is of air and sound or shabdam is of space. Each of these thanmathras are felt by specific organs in our body, nose for smell, tongue for taste, eyes for vision, ears for hearing and skin for touch. ELEMENT**** THANMATHRA **** SENSING ORGAN Earth *********smell or scent********* nose Water********* taste***************** tongue Fire************vision or sight ********eyes Air ************touch****************skin Space********** sound**************** ear When there is a contact between the elements and the organs, we get that feeling which is responsible for happiness or sorrow. If this contact or connection was not there, we will not feel. So Sri Krishna says that this sparsam or connectivity between the organs and the matter [composed of the five elements] happiness, sorrow, heat and cold are felt. This cannot be avoided and inevitable. Similarly, in a fight such pains are inevitable and with that knowledge Arjuna is advised to bear the sufferings. Every person will have to endure what he must . A brahmin or priest who does rituals has to observe severe austerities , suffer from hunger and thirst till the ritual is completed. Similarly what arjuna is doing is a ritual a ritual for justice . Besides , arjuna is the son of kunti whose fore fathers were great warriors. Arjuna is the descendant of bharatha , another great warrior . Is it justified for one born in the clan of great warriors to shy from pain of war ? Hence the Lord instructs arjuna that the pain from war is to be endured as part of his duty . Even if he runs away from war , he cannot escape pain . This is because sorrow will haunt as long there is body . Until the state of liberation is reached , one will have to endure all happiness and sorrow. There is no escape till then . Such enduration will confer the greater fruit of the soul. The two different names of address given to Arjuna are also significant. To address him as Kaunteya signifies his great blood relations from his mother's side; and to address him as Bharata signifies his greatness from his father's side. From both sides he is supposed to have a great heritage. A great heritage brings responsibility in the matter of proper discharge of duties; therefore, he cannot avoid fighting.

2.15. yam hi na vyatayantye:te: purusham purusharshabha | sama dukha sukham dhi:ram so~mrutatva:ya kalpate:|| " O great of men , The courageous look at their sorrow as happiness itself. One who remains unshaken by the emotions springing out of pleasure or pain is fit for eternity."In the 14th sloka, we saw that the connection with organs and elements creates sorrow or happy feelings. Every doubt expressed here is on behalf of us by Arjuna. He asks why should one bear these twins, happy and sorrow or cold and heat? By getting hurt in this fight, if we are to get any benefits we can bear that pain. Or, if it promises a better world after death also we can tolerate this pain. But the pain is unbearable here and by killing relatives and teachers only hell is assured, so this fight appears to be avoidable, says Arjuna. Arjuna questions, WHY should he bear al the pain?? Is he going to get "return" in this world for bearing the pain?? Or is he going to be benefited in a future life (swargam etc..??)? Arjuna says, he is only guaranteed Narakam by killing his elders in future and in this life he is only going to get pain. So, why should he battle?? Krishna responds : "DhIram" A DhirAm is one who remains poised , patient, unruffled under any circumstance, whether it is joy or sorrow is a true "KarmaYogi" (Dheeran!). For eg: Swami Vivekananda gives an example that a KarmaYogi is one who remains the same in Busy city market or a desert in the same way. The Courageous deem their suffering as inevitable as pleasure itself. To them the waves of pleasure and pain are unavoidable. Therefore they perform their duties assigned to them righteously without an eye on the result or fruit of such exercise. Such action , to them is a means to immortality . O Arjuna , Only a person who is unfazed by any contact, hard or soft such as those resulting from the use of weapons in war , etc; is destined to immortality . You ,being the great of your men , look unable to bear grief . This is not the behaviour of the courageous. The body is bound to perish. The soul is invincible and never loses its existence . So the wise do not grieve for the body that has been already predestined to perish. They don't grieve for the soul as its devoid of death . This much was asserted in 2.11 . The Lord further advised Arjuna in the previous verse to remain undisturbed by pleasure or pain . The reason for adopting the mental state of treating pleasure and pain equally is now put forward. The Lord describes the mental state of the courageous who have nothing to attain but immortality , and hence are not worried about pain or pleasure. And a Person who acts in such a way, is blessed with Liberation. What is this "Amrutatvaya" which Krishna refers here? It is not "Swargam" or "Narakam" (Like Arjuna fears). Liberation is beyond Swargam and Narakam i.e eternal Kaimkaryam to the Lord in Vaikuntam. Pain and Pleasure is constantly arriving and departing in life. The same thing which gives pleasure also gives pain beyond a certain point or in a different situation. eg. In Cold , we wear sweater, blanket etc , but the same blanket etc is thrown out in Summer. Similarly, foods which seems bitter, tasteless etc are normally good for health. Now, how can be a "DhIran" ?? It is the Lord's grace and one's sense of purpose to follow that path. For eg: Freedom fighters in the past bore great pain without demur, which we cannot imagine going through in normal circumstances. Why? Because, they had the great sense of purpose to sacrifice and suffer. The word purusham does not mean male, but atman. Our body is called puri and the one who is dwelling in that puri is purusha. The soul is not different for males and females.

2.16. na: Asato: vidhyate: bha:vo: ! na:Abha:vo: vidhyate: sata: | ubhayo:r api drushtah: antah: ! tu-anayo: tatva darshibhi: || Arjuna questions that why should one tolerate and be unruffled with pain and pleasure?? Krishna continues his response, by defining the nature of body and soul in great detail. In this sloka, he says that the very nature of body is changing and never constant and it is "unreal", whereas Soul is constant. Nammazhwar says in his pasuram in TiruvaayMozhi that "Min in Nila Yila, Mann uyir akaaigal ..", that compared to the body a lightning's lifespan is far better , because we all know the life span of lightning, whereas a human life is not even guaranteed that span! Azhwar also sings the same in this pasuram " Illadum uladum, alladum avanuru ...". **Please note: "Unreal" does NOT mean that the body does NOT exist. It means that the body is changing and TEMPORARY. (Advaitains interpret this unreal literally, which is not the view of Vishtadvaita). The literal meaning of anta is end. Here it means the summation or conclusion of the essential natures of sat and asat. The authoritative conclusion arrived at by elevated sages in this matter is that the nature of the physical body is asat being temporary and that the nature of the spiritual soul is sat being eternal. That which is asat is therefore known by its perishable nature and that which is sat is known by its imperishable nature. Hence it is clear that what is indicated by satva and asatva are the soul and the body. Four important terms are defined here: Sat = Atmah Asat = Body BhAvah = Constant and eternal AbhaVah = changing * na: Asato: vidhyate: bha:vo: -> Body is NOT constant and eternal (i.e it is constantly changing) * na: Abha:vo: vidhyate: sata: -> Atmah is NOT changing (it is eternal). The Lord uses two Negatives here , instead of one positive. So, it's slightly confusing, but it is done to lay emphasis. *The above two truths about Body and Soul, were seen (drustah:) have been said by great seers. The property of the body is asat . It cannot be designated as sat. The property of the soul is sat and similarly it cannot be referred as asat. This is the ultimate truth as has been asserted by the word "anta:h" and has been seen by the intellects of truth or sages. Asat denotes perishability. Sat denotes constancy . Thus the conclusion drawn is this "the body is perishable , the soul is constant." Sva:mi Para:shara said , "tasma:t vigna:namruthe: kinchith kacitkada:ciddvija vastuja:tam sadbha:vam e:vam bhavato: mayo: kto: gna:nam yatha: satyamasatyamanyata". [Meaning : "O Twice born(or brahmin) , it is a straight conclusion barring the soul there is no other quantity even in meagre measure that is free of perishability . Thus I have taught you that the soul is that which is the truth . Everything else is asatyam or devoid of constancy.] It has also been mentioned in the Vishnu pura:na "yatu ka:la:ntare:Na:pi na:naya:m sagnya:mupaiti vai | pariNa:madi sambhu:ta:m tat vastu nrupa taccha kim ? " [Meaning: "Which is that O king , that over the periods of change undergoes no modification in terms of its identity (i.e.. it receives no names) ?" the implication being the soul. The Lord Himself says in 2-18 , "antavanta ime: de:ha:h" [Meaning: These bodies will have an end"] and "avina:shi tu tadviddhi"[Meaning: Know that the soul is indestructible] in 2-17. To achieve something, there is always some struggle involved. To win a race, it needs practice and enduring the rigors of the race. Similarly, a woman gives birth to a child and has to endure pain, but at the end of it , she enjoys the bliss and company of the baby. For doing great in exam, students struggle but it pays off at results time. Krishna is saying the same here to Arjuna, saying even if he avoids this war, he can't escape fighting as a kshatriya. Body's very nature is change. Atma's very nature is unchanging. But how is it that the souls imperishable nature is known? The next verse states this.

2.17. avinasi tu tad viddhi !yena sarvam idam tatam vinasam avyayas-yasya na kascit kartum arhati "That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul." Krishna explains in this sloka , why the Atma is eternal and never perishes. In the 16th sloka He told about the everlasing nature of the soul and the fleeting nature of the body. In this (17th )sloka He gives the reason for the eternity of the soul and in the 18th sloka the reasons for the perishable quality of body. In this sloka, krishna says that which pervades the body is indestructible. He refers to Soul as unperishable. No one or Nothing can destroy the soul. Why? That's the inherent nature of the soul. Note: The allusion here is that there are NUMEROUS Souls! The soul in one body is different from the soul in another body. This disputes the "Advaitic" theory of only One Soul. ANother intresting thing to note is, Krishna says only a "subtlel" element only destroys a "grosser" element and not in the reverse. For eg: An arrow or a Bullet which is Sukshmam annhilates a Sthulam eg. Man, Elephant etc. But, not the reverse. Using this logic, since Soul is the smallest atom i.e most subtle (Sukshmam), there is nothing or anybody which can perish it, so it is Eternal! THis is the reasoning Krishna mentions here to support the assertion that Soul is eternal. Know that the self in its essential nature is imperishable. The whole of insentient matter, which is different (from the self), is pervaded by the self. Because of pervasiveness and extreme subtlety, the self cannot be destroyed; for every entity other than the self is capable of being pervaded by the self, and hence they are grosser than It. Destructive agents like weapons, water, wind, fire etc., pervade the substances to be destroyed and disintegrate them. Even hammers and such other instruments rouse wind through violent contact with the objects and thereby destroy their objects. So, the essential nature of the self being subtler than anything else, It is imperishable. Agents like fire , water or wind pervade the substances and cause destruction. Striking objects are guided by force cutting the air . Destruction is caused by forces which are subtle essentially. The destroyed objects are gross and manifest.So for destruction to be effected , the destroying agent must be subtler than the object destroyed. The soul is subtler than everything else . Hence it is free of destruction. That is, only sookshmam [minute] will destroy sthoolam [enormity] and as a corollary sthoolam can never destroy sookshmam. Since atman is the tiniest and there is nothing else smaller than atman, it cannot be destroyed. Let us examine the veracity of this Law. A stout rod destroys a small earthen pot. Apparently,it is contrary to the law mentioned now in that the bigger rod destroyed the smaller pot. But actually, the enormity has not destroyed the pot. If that was true then a big bundle of cotton if thrown on the pot should have broken the pot. Similarly, if the rod were just kept on the pot, the pot remains without breaking. So a massive rod alone is not responsible for breaking the pot. Even a throw cannot break the pot as we saw throwing cotton bundle could not break it. So it is seen that a rod and a force are needed to break the pot. This is also not enough. If the pot were at one place and if we swipe the rod with force at another place, the pot will not break. Because a contact between the rod and pot is essential to break the pot. So, we can now conclude that to break a pot, a mass, a force and a contact are needed. Science tells that mass and velocity [or acceleration] produce force or power and this in a minute form acts at the contact point to destroy. We can remember the famous equation E [energy]= m [mass] Xc*2 [velocity]. Thus the law is observed to be true. An invisible minute power destroyed the pot. That is why Sri Krishna says that atman without a smaller entity being available, can never be destroyed. The soul is described as one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair point in size. The Svetasvatara Upanisad confirms this: balagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca bhago jivah sa vijneyah sa canantyaya kalpate "When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the spirit soul." (Svet. 5.9) In the Mundaka Upanisad the measurement of the atomic spirit soul is further explained: eso 'nur atma cetasa veditavyo yasmin pranah pancadha samvivesa pranais cittam sarvam otam prajanam yasmin visuddhe vibhavaty esa atma "The soul is atomic in size and can be perceived by perfect intelligence. This atomic soul is floating in the five kinds of air [prana, apana, vyana, samana and udana], is situated within the heart, and spreads its influence all over the body of the embodied living entities. When the soul is purified from the contamination of the five kinds of material air, its spiritual influence is exhibited." (Mund. 3.1.9) In Tatparya Chandrikai, Swami Desikan says that it's true that Jeevatma is more subtle and Sukshmamam and nothing can destroy it. But, isn't Paramaatma is more subtle (Sukshmam) than Jeevatma. Shastras says that Paramaatma is " Anoraniyan, MahatoMaHiyaan, Atmauhaayaam ...". So, can't Paramatma be the reason for destroying Jeevatma?? Atleast potentially ? (Remember the analogy: SimCard is the atma and Cellphone is the body; Next, with just Simcard, cell phone will not work; It needs to catch signal from Tower to work. Tower is similar to Paramatma. Though in this case, the paramatma is inside Jeevatma and not outside. Another example: Injection. Inserting a needle inside the body is required to put the medicine inside the body. Similarly the needle is like Jeevatma and the medicine inside needle is the Paramatma.) Nammazhwar says "Udal Misai Uyir Enna, Karand Engum Parand Ulan ....", which confirms that Paramatma is inside every Jeevatma. Now the question arises, can't Paramatma destroy Jeevatma ?? This causes a dilemma ! If we say, Paramatma can destroy Jeevatma, then it negates the fact that Jeevatma is indestructible! But, if we say Paramatma cannot destroy Jeevatma, then it negates the fact that Paramatma is "Sarva Shakti" (attributes of Bhagavan). Swami Desikan says that "Paramatma" definitely has the capability to destroy "Jeevatma", since he is Bhagavan. But, Paramatama has taken "Sankalpam" NOT to destroy Jeevatma. {Satyam Satyam Punah Satyam! Udbrhishta Bhujam Uchyateh!... )

2.18. antavanta ime: deha:h nityasyokta: Sari:riNah | ana:shino:~aprame:yasya tasma:t yudhyasva bha:rata || In the last slo:ka , it was clearly established that the soul is to be eternal . In this slo:ka it is being ascertained on the pillars of the holy scriptures that the body which houses the soul is inherently prone to destruction . Basically the arguments in this slo:ka and the last are soul-centric. While the last slo:ka explains the soul's nature of being undestroyed , this one puts across a view of contrasting the eternal nature of soul with the property of destruction inherently dwelling in the body . Hence the Lord advises , "Grieve not . Fight!" (The Lord) now says that the bodies are perishable and the reason for it. The very nature of Body is perishable. He gives three reasons for it in this sloka. The immeasurable (aprameyasya) and indestructible(aNasinah) soul(Sari:riNah) gets a perishable (anta-vantah) body (deha:h) as per it's Karmas. The Soul is eternal (Nityasya). Note: Immeasurable i.e aPrameyasya means something which cannot be comprehended or measured (Prameyam is something we can imagine or comprehend). Ime -> all these i.e which we can see. What? This is the PanchaBhootam out of which Body is made. Anything which is made of panchaBhootam is destructible (eg: take example of Upma, which is a mixture of salt, water, flour etc and has a lifespan of just a day, compared to years of the salt, water, flour etc individually). Whereas, Soul is made of Gnaanam and is eternal. dehAh -> Upachayam (grown) and Apachayam(dimimish). Body is subject to growth and decay. Body has external features like legs, hands,eyes, ears, nose etc, unlike Atma. Atma is sukshmam and is unchanged. The term deha meaning body is derived from the word dih meaning to increase and correspondingly those bodies having increase must also have decrease and therefore are of a perishable nature. The elements combine to form the body dictated by karma ato render service to the imperishable soul to enable the living entity to experience the positive and negative fruits of their actions. In the Brihad- aranyaka Upanisad it is stated: by accruring merit one becomes meritorious. A living entity is forced to accept a body only until all ones positive and negative karma is exhausted and then the physical body is no longer bound to exist in the physical plane. Sareerinah(Jeevatma), Sarirah(Body) -> Sareeram is by it's very nature subject to decay, because it's purpose to exhaust the good and bad karmas of Jeevatma. The body is called de:ha , Sari:ra etc; This principally qualifies that the body is composed of parts . As it is composed of parts , destruction or damage of individual parts means destruction of body. Further , the body is understood to be composed of five elements . As new matter cannot be created from nothingness , its the elements that have transformed into body . To rediscover the elements , its only imperative that the body shed into its elements . Hence , the passing existence of the body is beyond doubt or debate . Sari:riNah denotes the proprietor of the body , that is the soul . A man owns his house. His house could be quite strong or weak, tall or small , vast or compact . If there are holes on the roof of his house , he suffers during rain . Otherwise , he comfortably protects himself . The house , depending on its nature decided the comfort or trouble of its owner. Similarly the body decides the pleasure or pain of the soul .The soul dwells in the body. The bodies are different because of the differences in good or bad actions (karma) of the indwelling soul. Accordingly the soul begets the good or bad results stemming out of his actions through the body. As it is understood that the body is merely an enclosure for the soul , that provides pain or pleasure in accordance to the soul's karma , its again inferred easily that the body cannot exist for ever. It will cease to exist once the pleasure or pain that was consigned to it , to be conferred upon the soul are all exhausted. Hence , it can be concluded that the body is of temporal existence. The body is therefore of transient existence as it is 1.composed of parts (Posseses organs, limbs etc) 2.macroscopic allowing further addition of macroscopic objects like food to enter it ( its not eternal or permanent and its composition is often altered) 3.built or transformed from the five elements (Pancha Bhootam ) 4.only an enclosure for serving on the soul the fruits of pain or pleasure consigned to it. (Vehicle to perform karma) But the soul is eternal because it is 1.not composed of parts 2.not pervaded or added by other macroscopic material 3.a unit in itself and not built from elements (it is pure Gyaana only) 4. the real sufferer/enjoyer of cycles of pain and pleasure through the body (beneficiary of karma) Whatever part of the body falls or decays , the soul remains the same . The cognition of 'I' is independent of the body. Whether the body is put to disease or disability , the 'I' factor always remains unaltered. Pain is sensed in the hand or leg etc; when it comes to body level. But talking at the level of soul , there is no headache of soul or legsore . The soul suffers as a unit . It is not built on any parts. It cannot be transformed into anything new. The conscious is eternal , irrespective of the nature or the state of the body. Experience may come in different forms but ultimately its the 'I' , that forms the focal point of all experience. What is cognized as 'I' is the soul. So, in summary, the three main differences between Jeevatma and Body is that Body is made of PANCHABOOTAMS, Body has external attributes, Body's purpose to exhaust the Karma of the Jeevatma, whereas Soul is "Jnaanam", is "sukshamam". (In the 17th sloka, Krishna reasoned that Atma is Nityam because its is Sukshmam(subtle) and Pervasive. In the 18th sloka, he reasons that Body is temporary because it's made of PanchaBhootas, is a vehicle to exhaust Karma and is subject to change i.e growth and decay. So, in summary, Atma is eternal and Body is temporary). Going by the science elucidated above , its clear that it is not just that the soul is eternal , it "alone" is . The body is bound to perish. So the eternal of eternals , the Lord tells Arjuna , " Your grief is unjustified on any account . Rise and fight." Now a question arises on why Krishna has to go to such depths to explain the temporary nature of the Body. It's well known that Body is temporary and decayable by common observation. However, it is not so and there are reasons to make this much of effort to say. Firstly, atman is not perishable like Him, the Paramatma. This is affirmative comparison. In a negative comparison, the atman is not like the body, which perishes. So, to establish the superiority of atman, destructible body is compared. Just as we come across dos and don ts in our daily life, two types of examples were needed to show the indestructible quality of atman and so comparison with body was necessary. Krishna does so to emphasize that even if Arjuna doesn't battle, the demise of body of his opposition is anyway foregone. Next, krishna also says this to people who are worried about their continued misery, saying the bodily misery is temporary and we have to do our duty. Another reason is, it's a sign for people who spend lot of time and money decorating themselves in a artificial sense and Krishna says irrespective of all the "alankaram" being done to body, it's just artificial and doesn't change it's temporary nature. Importantly, by understanding that body is temporary, Krishna wants us to build "Vairagyam" (Detachment), knowing that Soul is permanent.

2.19. ya-enam vetti hantaram! yas cainam manyate hatam ubhau tau na vijanitah! nA-yam hanti na-hanyate There is nothing or anybody which can destroy a soul. A soul cannot be killed nor is there anything which can destroy a soul. Thus a Soul is eternal. The two types of people, i.e one who thinks there is something which kills this Atma or that Soul gets killed, are ignorant. Whoever doesn't understand this, doesn't have true knowledge. Now, a moral dilemma arises. In shastras, there are statements which advices us not to treat and kill other Jeevas (animals, humans, trees etc Na Himsyaat Sarva BhutaanI). But, here Krishna says that a Soul can never be destroyed or killed by anybody or anything. Isn't it contradictory? Does the Shastras means "Body" shouldn't be injured and not refers to Soul? Not really, since after the soul leaves the body, body perishes by itself. The reason is, when Shastras warn us not to mistreat or harm other creatures, it means that we shouldn't "separate" a body and it's soul, because we have no right to do it!! (source: Katavalli Upanishad). We may think, perhaps the shastras only ask us not to kill the bodies of other creatures. When Veda says cow slaughter should be avoided, does it mean the body of the cow should not be hurt? This is also not correct. Because, when someone dies, the body is cremated by igniting fire to the body. None calls this as himsa or hurting. So the shastras instruct us not to harm a body which is living or when the soul is inside. Therefore, the implication is that one should not cause maranam [death]. Maranam means mruth prana thyagena. That is separation of atman from the body and the Vedas advise us not to do this separation. So, the correct interpretation of the shastras is that, we are not authorized to separate the soul from the body. Conclusion: 1.The scriptures don't talk of destroying the body alone.(dead body) 2. The scriptures ban unrighteous separation of soul from body. This is called non-violence theory or policy of ahimsa. 3. In case of situations like righteous war, the scriptures allow the action of separaton of soul from body. This is only to establish righteousness . As the soul is indestructible and cannot be destroyed by any agent, its ignorance to think that one can destroy the "very existence" itself even in righteous actions like war. The soul continues to exist even after the action of "killing" known to the world.

2.20. na jAyate mriyate va kadacit ! nAyam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah ! ajo nityah sasvato yam purano ! na hanyate hanyamAne sarire ! "For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He was not born at the time of kalpa, does not disappear at the end of kalpa. He is unborn, eternal, unchanging and very ancient. He is not slain when the body is slain." The soul never takes birth or dies. The soul is unborn , beyond destruction , without any changes in their intrinsic state and remains FRESH even after being many ages old. It is not formed at the beginning of creation and it is not destroyed at the end of this world. The soul remains even as the body perishes. Soul is -> "ajah:" (unborn), "Nitya:"(eternal), "Sasvatah:"(not subject to modification), "Puranah" (pura-apinavah: -> always fresh;-) ), forever(kadacit). The word purana means ancient. Etymologically it stems from purapi navah meaning old yet new illustrating that the eternal soul although ancient is experienced with every birth as ever new. Thus it has been clarified that the physical body only perishes but never can the eternal soul perish. The 17th sloka dealt with the reasoning that since there is not a smaller entity than the atman, it is indestructible. In the 18th sloka, since the body was a composite of the five elements and since it was growing and waning, it is destroyable. In the 19th sloka, it was told that he, who does not understand this true nature of atman and body, is not a wise man. Having stated so, now in the 20th sloka, Sri Krishna establishes that atman does not undergo any changes whatsoever. In this slokam, Krishna says that Soul is not only eternal and indestructible, but it is not subject to any change, at ANY time. This is to address the doubt Arjuna had on whether the Soul was "indestructible and not subject to change", just now or in last 1000 years and probably it has a "manufacturing and expiry" date?. Krishna says emphatically that soul is "ALWAYS" eternal, unborn, without death and unchanging. Now, we will have a doubt. In shastras, it is mentioned that the lifespan of a human is less than Devas , which is less than Brahma etc.. (eg: 1 human year is equal to 1 day for deva). 4 Yugas = 4,320,000 years * 1000 is the span of Brahma for one kalpa, when Shrusti and Pralayam takes place. Krishna says here, that Soul is never born or dead during any of this times, whether it is Shrusthi, Pralayam, Kalpa or a human life span!! Now, another question arises, since the souls are eternal, are we Paramatma?? No, Jeevatmas are separate from Paramatma. Due to ignorance and material contact, we have lost this true knowledge. Based on our karmas, the soul takes bodies accordingly. In an inanimate object, also soul exists, but it has no way to increase it's understanding. Beyond, inanimate objects is trees, then animals, then human, then devas etc. When it acheives true knowledge, it reaches "paramapadam" to live eternally with Paramatma. Each of this body, gives the soul a potential to gain the true nature of itself. Soul is not subject to the six types of change, like body! But, intrestingly, even though Soul is eternal, it appears to be changing as per the body it takes.It's similar to we wearing different types and colors of dresses every day! Even though we are the same person, our external appearance seems to change as per the dress we wear! This Self (Atman) is destitute of the six types of transformation or Bhava-Vikaras such as birth, existence, growth, transformation, decline and death. As It is indivisible (Akhanda). It does not diminish in size. It neither grows nor does It decline. It is ever the same. Birth and death are for the physical body only. Birth and death cannot touch the immortal, all-pervading Self. The understanding that the eternal soul is never slain is being confirmed by its freedom from the six changes of material existence being: birth, existence, growth, modification, decay and death which are controlling all living entities high and low in the material existence. The Supreme Lord by declaring the eternal soul is not born confirms the absence of any birth and by declaring the eternal soul does not die confirms the absence of any destruction. The word va occurring twice is used in the sense of and as in and the immortal soul does not come into existence by birth. The immortal soul is already by nature itself eternal. So existence by conception is proven false due to the fact the eternal soul is birthless. That which is conceived attains existence after birth; but that which already eternally exists by its own nature cannot be conceived again. This is the purport of this verse. Constant means not subject to modification. This confirms the absence of growth. Eternal confirms the absence of decay. Ancient confirms the absence of ageing ever beyond time the eternal soul is ageless. Thus there is never a repetition regarding the existence of the eternal soul and the six changes of the physical of birth, existence, growth, modification, decay and death mentioned by Yaksa and other expounders of the Vedic scriptures as to the nature of things in this world never is applicable to the eternal soul which factually every living entity born from a womb possesses. The imperishable nature of the soul and the fact that the six changes of the physical body have no influence on it which is the topic presently under discussion has now been satisfactorily concluded and so it is confirmed that the eternal soul does not perish when the body perishes. In the Katha Upanisad also we find a similar passage which reads: na jayate mriyate va vipascin nayam kutascin na vibhuva kascit ajo nityah sasvato 'yam purano na hanyate hanyamane sarire (Katha 1.2.18) The meaning and purport of this verse is the same as in the Bhagavad-gita, but here in this verse there is one special word, vipascit, which means learned or with knowledge. The soul is full of knowledge, or full always with consciousness. Therefore, consciousness is the symptom of the soul. Even if one does not find the soul within the heart, where he is situated, one can still understand the presence of the soul simply by the presence of consciousness. Sometimes we do not find the sun in the sky owing to clouds, or for some other reason, but the light of the sun is always there, and we are convinced that it is therefore daytime. As soon as there is a little light in the sky early in the morning, we can understand that the sun is in the sky. Similarly, since there is some consciousness in all bodies--whether man or animal--we can understand the presence of the soul. This consciousness of the soul is, however, different from the consciousness of the Supreme because the supreme consciousness is all-knowledge--past, present and future. The consciousness of the individual soul is prone to be forgetful. When he is forgetful of his real nature, he obtains education and enlightenment from the superior lessons of Krsna. The soul is full of knowledge, or full always with consciousness. Therefore, consciousness is the symptom of the soul. Even if one does not find the soul within the heart, where he is situated, one can still understand the presence of the soul simply by the presence of consciousness. Sometimes we do not find the sun in the sky owing to clouds, or for some other reason, but the light of the sun is always there, and we are convinced that it is therefore daytime. As soon as there is a little light in the sky early in the morning, we can understand that the sun is in the sky. Similarly, since there is some consciousness in all bodies--whether man or animal--we can understand the presence of the soul. This consciousness of the soul is, however, different from the consciousness of the Supreme because the supreme consciousness is all-knowledge--past, present and future. The consciousness of the individual soul is prone to be forgetful. When he is forgetful of his real nature, he obtains education and enlightenment from the superior lessons of Krsna. The great deluge [pralayam] is called kalpa. At the start of the kalpa, Brahma creates everything in this Universe. At that time also the atman is not created. Nor the atmans perish at the end of a kalpa. When a child is born, at that time an atman chooses that body and is born. Atman is there in everything. It is in this plant and in that pillar. One may wonder how atman can be in those inanimate objects. But if we examine closely, even our body is inanimate and we know atman is there. So, there is atman in all materials also. The only difference is that the atman in our body can develop his knowledge while, the atman in the pillar has no scope for wisdom. The atman in that pillar is there to expend the karma he had acquired and the moment that is over, that atman will depart that pillar and reside in another body. The magnitude of the wisdom of the atman in any body is determined by its past karma. If the wisdom is, let us say, 0%, it resides in an inanimate body like pillar. A slightly higher intellectual makes the soul to take a bird s body or animal s body. More wisdom makes the soul to take bodies of human beings or devas or even a Brahma. So the ranking of the knowledge decides the body that soul will be residing. The up and down in gyana or wisdom is only found in atmans. Once, the soul has taken a body, he tries to develop his wisdom and seek a higher level and ultimately, resides in the Sri Vaikuntam or His abode from where there is no more return for the atman to lower planes like this earth. Thus atman is eternal and never undergoes any change. Sri Krishna calls atman as purana. Pura api navaha puranaha is the Sanskrit meaning for the word purana. It means to say that it is very ancient and at the same time fresh or novel. Atman also is ancient but appears fresh everyday. It is common knowledge that we seek changes so as to avoid monotonous, which can be boring and dull. We rearrange our surroundings. We change our dress. So Arjuna feels that an unchanging and static atman might cause boredom. Sri Krishna allays such thoughts and says that atman is fresh everyday with more and better knowledge. This is a greatness of atman that though he is changeless, he appears afresh every time. Like Sri Aravamudan of Thirukkudanthai [Kumbakonam], Alwar says, every time he visits Him, he finds Him revealing Himself differently. We listen to Sri Ramayana. But every time we listen it refreshes our knowledge. So He now tells Arjuna that by killing Bheeshma, he will not kill the atman of Bheeshma.

2-21: vedA-avinasinam nityam ya enam ajam avyayam katham sa purushah pArtha kam-ghAtayati hanti kam "O Partha, how can a person who knows that the soul is indestructible, eternal, unborn and immutable kill anyone or encourage anyone to kill?" Tirumangai Azhwar says in Thirunedundantakam - Munuru(Achit), Pinuru(Jeevatma,Chit), Ponuru (Paramatma). " .. Irrapaturuku enathu!". Paramatma is embedded inside every Jeevatma and Jeevatma is in every material body. One who knows the true nature of soul is eternal understands that he cannot destroy or kill anybody, nor will be make an attempt to kill. Krishna says this to Arjuna to ensure that if he knows this truth, he will understand that he cannot kill Bhishma, Drona etc. Atma is inside Shareeram, temporarily. Soul is "AJAM" (unborn, unchanging)., NITYAM(eternal), AVINASINAM (indestructible), "AVYAYAM" (unchangeable). Whoever realises this gnaanam (i.e a soul is unborn, eternal, indestructible), CANNOT kill anybody and neither will he even attempt to kill i.e "Katam cha purushah paartha!". There are two types of Tattvam - ParaaDarsham, PratyaDarsham. Achit (Lamp, Stone etc) are all Paraaa Darsham. Whereas, human, animal etc is all "PratyaDarsham", because we all have the feeling of "I" (self), which is "Self-illuminating". So possessing spiritual intelligence, knowing the soul to be eternal, understanding it to be birthless and deathless being of an inexhaustible nature how is it possible for anyone to commit any act of destruction against the immortal soul which dwells in trillions of various and diverse living entities among the 8 million 400 thousand species of life throughout the billions of material universes. Whom can anyone destroy? How can anyone destroy anyone? Who can cause anyone to be destroyed? No one can! Thus it can be seen that ignorance of the eternal nature of the soul is the cause of all grief by not understanding that the soul is immortal and thinking that the eternal soul perishes when the physical body perishes. Comprehending that what happens to the immortal soul when the physical body ceases to function is factually the withdrawal from an old physical body to enter into a new physical body. So it can be understood that those who have deep regret for the loss of the physical body, serving as it does as the facility for securing and enjoying material pleasures; these living entities should reflect on the futility and temporal nature of material existence rather than trying to eternally exploit their senses. Yaksha poses this question to DharmaPutram in Mahabharat - "What is the most wonderful-AAshcharyam thing in this world" ?? Yudishtra replies that "even though this body has 9 holes, the Jeevatma doesn't fly away and still resides in this body!.. that is the most amazing thing in this world" . Body is "NavaDwara Pura patnam". Yaksha poses another question : "What is even more amazing"? Yudishtra replies that "Seeing so many people die also, a person still thinks he is going to live forever. For eg: Even the pallbearers plan to make a living by carrying dead!". So it is very difficult to come to that realization that the atman is everlasting and the body only perishes.

2-22: vAsamsi jirnani yatha vihaya navani grhnati naro parani tatha sarirani vihaya jirnany anyani samyAti navani dehi "As a person puts on new garments, giving up used up ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones." Arjuna has a doubt now, after hearing Krishna mentioning that Atma is Nityam, Indestructible etc , body is temporary and will fall and that one has to bear the pain to achieve the goal. But, human has an attachment by nature with his body, due to the association of being in it. It's natural! So, isn't it normal to show attachment to a body which has given us company throughout the life and not show any dukham to it's demise or destruction?? In response Krishna mentions that Slokam. He says that rather than showing Dukham at the demise of the body, one should express joy! He says, just like a man wears new garments and throws off worn out garments, similarly the Jeevatma casts off one body and takes another. So, isn't it a cause for joy rather than sorrow? So, rather than feeling sorrow of casting away old body and taking new, it should be joyous occasion. In Taittraya Upanishad " Yuvasya .. athisthio... Maanusha Anandah", it says that Youth is the ultimate fountainhead of happiness for human life and when this body has overlasted it's usefulness, so isn't it a joy to shed it? Now, Arjuna had another doubt - If at the end of this life, one gets a worst body e.g. animal etc due to past karmas, isn't it a scary thought? i.e if one gets to wear rags, it would be preferable to wear an old shirt, rather than shedding it and wearing a rag. Krishna says that, Arjuna need not fear, since he is fighting a battle doing his Kshatriya duty and even if he perishes in the battle, he is assured of swargam. So, he need not worry about the next life. Transference of the atomic individual soul to another body is made possible by the grace of the Supersoul. The Supersoul fulfills the desire of the atomic soul as one friend fulfills the desire of another. The Vedas, like the Mundaka Upanisad, as well as the Svetasvatara Upanisad, compare the soul and the Supersoul to two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird (Krsna) is simply watching His friend. Of these two birds--although they are the same in quality-- one is captivated by the fruits of the material tree, while the other is simply witnessing the activities of His friend. Krsna is the witnessing bird, and Arjuna is the eating bird. Although they are friends, one is still the master and the other is the servant. Forgetfulness of this relationship by the atomic soul is the cause of one's changing his position from one tree to another or from one body to another. The jiva soul is struggling very hard on the tree of the material body, but as soon as he agrees to accept the other bird as the supreme spiritual master--as Arjuna agreed to do by voluntary surrender unto Krsna for instruction-- the subordinate bird immediately becomes free from all lamentations. Both the Katha Upanisad and Svetasvatara Upanisad confirm this: samane vrkse puruso nimagno 'nisaya socati muhyamanah justam yada pasyaty anyam isam asya mahimanam iti vita-sokah "Although the two birds are in the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord and knows His glories--at once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties." Arjuna has now turned his face towards his eternal friend, Krsna, and is understanding the Bhagavad-gita from Him. And thus, hearing from Krsna, he can understand the supreme glories of the Lord and be free from lamentation.

2-23 & 2-24: na-enam chindanti shastrani na-enam dahati pavakah: na ca-enam kledayanty-apah: na sosayati marutah "The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor dried by the wind." acchEdyo yam adAhyo yam aklEdyo asosya eva ca nityah: sarva-gatah: sthanuh: acalo yam puratanah "This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same." The concept of indestructibility of the soul that was already spoken from 11 to 17 is being reiterated here for the sake of emphasis. Soul cannot be cleaved, burnt, wetted or dryed by weapons, fire, water and air respectively. It is not capable of being pervaded by them and cleaving, burning, wetting and drying are actions which can take place only by pervading a substance. Krishna says the same thing in both verses 23 and 24, only with a different wording. Why?? Because, this is important and he wants to reemphasize the truth of such import, by repeating and stressing on it. No Weapons can cut this soul! Fire cannot burn this soul! Water cannot drown or destroy this soul! Air cannot dry or destroy this soul! Why? Because soul is pervaded inside everything! Now a question will arise - Isn't this pervasion, omnipresence a characterisitic of only Paramatma?? Not really. Paramatma is indeed omnipresent, but Jeevatma also has pervasion(sarvagatah). The significant difference is that, numerous jeevatmas pervaded throughout the substances of this world and at any single time, single place, a jeevatma can only pervade only one place, unlike Paramatma who pervades across space, time and place. Now, Arjuna has another doubt. Ok, a soul cannot be cut, burnt or destroyed in any way. But, will a soul will subject to perishment over course of time? Will it change its nature, svabhavam over time?? Krishna says NO. Self is eternal. It is Stable, Immovable (achalah) and primeval (Puratanah). Another important point here is that Krishna says Self is always having knowledge(achalah) and it doesn't change or get any new knowledge. What makes humans and other beings behave differently is due to this knowledge being hidden or covered due to karmas, just like a Sun gets temporarily obscured by clouds. Though the two slokas appear to be repetitive, the 23rd sloka talks of implements, if any, to destroy atman and the next sloka says the atman is indestructible. It is our experience in our schools also that important points are reiterated by teachers so that they are remembered always. Here, Sri Krishna also a Teacher par excellence, wants Arjuna to remember these noble qualities of atman, and so reiterates. This will clear any doubts Arjuna has. In the first place, He says that no weapons are there to cut the atman. Fire cannot burn it. Water cannot wet it. Here it should be understood that the atman couldn t be dissolved by water. Air cannot dry it. In the next sloka Sri Krishna says about the everlasting nature of atman, which we had seen earlier. But, in addition He makes another statement that atman is pervading or permeating all over. We have heard that only Paramatma or God only is all pervading and omni present. How, then, atman can have this quality? The interpretation by elders is that when an atman is in a body, by its power of wisdom or knowledge it is pervading in the entire body without a gap. Same atman when takes another body as its residence, pervades that body fully. Like this many bodies are fully pervaded by the atman, at different times. This is a major difference between the Paramatma and the Jeevatma. While, the former permeates all bodies always and simultaneously, the latter occupies different bodies at different times. It is said that certain yogis have that power to have their atman present in more than one body at the same time. Normally, atman is present in one body only. Arjuna accepts that it is all right the atman cannot be dissolved by water or burnt by fire and so on, but it is possible, he doubts, that the atman might fade on its own and disappear. Sri Krishna says that the eternalness is natural to atman. Still not convinced, Arjuna feels that the atman may change its characters with time. He wants to know whether atman s swabhavam or characteristics undergo change. Sri Krishna says that the swabhavam of atman is gyana or intellect. In other words it is gyana swaroopy, a personification of wisdom. This never changes. A fresh doubt comes in the mind of Arjuna. We find knowledge is neither uniform nor complete and we take efforts to develop. So how it is justified to say that the knowledge of soul is not changing? Our elders have explained this. All atman have total wisdom but when in a body, the knowledge exhibited is limited by the past karmas. So the brightness is reduced by the karmas. We dig the earth at a place for water. Water gushes out. Water was already present there and by digging at the right place the water sprang up. Similarly, the gyana or knowledge is already in the soul and by our efforts we try to bring out and become more knowledgeable. Like Sunshine being reduced by the clouds or the umbrella. So, the atman s gyana is also permanent.

2-25: avyakto ayam! acintyo ayam! avikAryo ayam! ucyate tasmad evam viditva-enam na-anusocitum arhasi Krishna continues to emphasize the nature of soul - Avayaktoyam, Achintyoyam, Avikaaroyam. In this verse Lord Krishna gives additional reasons why one should never grieve for the soul. Because the soul is unmanifest it is not able to be cut or burned like objects which are manifest in this world and being unmanifest it is inconceivable as it is not possible to equate it with the form or nature of anything that one could imagine in the material existence. Being unable to imagine the constitution of the soul indicates it is immutable because it is devoid of any process of modification for example milk transforming to youghurt. Therfore comprehending the nature and quality of the soul as enunciated above one should not be under the delusion of lamentation. There are three sources of knowledge - Pratyaksham (Perception), Anumaanam (inference), Shabdham(thru other sources e.g. Vedas). So, whatever thing you take in this world, the three sources of knowledge will tell that it is perishable. But, for Atma(soul), there is nothing which tells it is perishable - Avyakta-Ayam. Krishna says soul is Achintyoyam - i.e it cannot even be conceived. Krishna says soul is Avikaaroyam - AviKaaryaam i.e it is unchanging. e.g take an example. Body can be felt, perceived , while soul cannot be felt through Senses. And neither cannot it be infered i.e by looking at something and then saying soul can be perished. Another example is, even though a Lamp is seen through pratyaksham as one light which is glowing, by inference we can see that it consists of wick, oil which is getting exhausted. But, for soul neither through pratyaksham, nor through inference can we say that soul is temporary. The word avyaktah means invisible or imperceivable this is because the eternal soul being totally transcendental to the material existence cannot be practically examined as can objects which possess qualities of a physical nature. The word acintyah means inconceivable because the eternal soul is impossible to perceive by the mind and the senses being in every way transcendental to the material substratum which is what the consciousness of the living entities base their understanding on. The eternal soul differs from all other existences and levels of existence is in transcendence. Therefore it is avikaryah unchangeable and immutable. The Supreme Lord Krishna instructs that by knowing the eternal soul to be immortal there is no cause for grief.

2-26: atha-ca-enam nitya-jatam nityam va manyase mrtam tathapi tvam maha-baho na-enam socitum arhasi "If, however, you think that the soul [or the symptoms of life] is always born and dies forever, you still have no reason to lament, O mighty-armed." In the previous slokas, Krishna emphasized the body is different from Soul and says to Arjuna not to worry about this temporary body and fight in the war. . But in this sloka and the next two slokas, Krishna indulges in "Adbhukgamavadam" , where he changes tact , In this you argue your point agreeing with the point what your opponent is imagining. So, Sri Krishna argues assuming that the body and soul are same, as thought by Arjuna. If both are same also Arjuna should not mourn at the killing of Bheeshma or Drona. Because, as the body falls, the soul also dies according to the assumption of Arjuna. He should not now worry where the soul is going, to hell or heaven, as the soul is no longer there after the body is slain. So, here he says, Arjuna .. Ok, even if you consider Atma is identical with body and is "NityaJatam"(constantly born) and "NityamMurtam" (Constantly dying), even then (tatah pi), you should not feel grief. Why? The only constant in this body is CHANGE! We don't always remain a kid, a boy,a youth or so on. Even things around us, change constantly! Now, Arjuna says, he is not worried about change, but death. Krishna says, why worry about death? Arjuna says, he is worried to be separated from everybody or others separating and the unknown stage after death. Krishna laughs and says, if Arjuna is considering body and soul as one and the same, what is there to worry about death, because once the body perishes, it's the end of body and soul! This is a good example of how ignorance can cloud us with fear. For e.g. when we get hurt etc, we are scared, but the expert Medics are calm and repair us without any fear. A surgeon is not scared to operate or seeing blood etc, but we are scared. Why? Because the surgeon is an expert. This shows that ignorance is the root of this fear. Another reason is "experience".. Lack of awareness is also another reason for fear. For eg. if we are familiar with a misery or a disease etc, it is no longer a reason for fear. So, if Arjuna thinks body and soul are one and the same, change is inevitable and there is no reason to worry. Similarly, the question of Swargam, Narakam doesn't arise, because if Arjuna considers body and soul are one and the same, there is no swargam, Narakam. Arjuna now has another doubt - "We" know the change in One body i.e from infant to old age, but when we shed one body and take another body, we are not aware of the old body and that is a reason for fear, since the past and future are unknown. Krishna responds that, if we remember every past life, then we will end up being inundated with past memories and past relationships, which will end us drowned in samasaram, without any chance of redemption. Only great yogis and gnaanis have this power of rememberance, since it doesn't disturb them. So, Krishna says that birth and death are inevitable for the body, whose nature is modification and there is no need to feel grief. Krsna sarcastically addressed Arjuna as maha-bahu, mighty-armed, because He, at least, did not accept the theory of the Vaibhasikas (a school of philosophy which does not accept soul), which leaves aside the Vedic wisdom. As a ksatriya, Arjuna belonged to the Vedic culture, and it behooved him to continue to follow its principles.

2-27: jatasya hi dhruvo mrityur dhruvam janma mrtasya ca tasmad aparihArye rthe na tvam socitum arhasi "One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament." Krishna says that whatever is originating, it's destruction is certain and whatever is perishable, it will inevitably originate. Arjuna now has a doubt. If he wins the war and whatever is born is going to perish, it means the win will also be temporary. So, why even battle?? Similarly, shouldn't a person who has recuperated from disease is happy, should he be, because his recuperation is ultimately temporary? Krishna responds saying that, this efforts are required for clearing of the trouble for that period, which is natural and there is no confusion or wrong about it. Similarly, it's Arjuna's responsibility to fight his way from the current situation, rather than running away. Now another doubt comes up - Is something coming up from nothing or is it coming up from something ; This two types of arguments are called - Sat-kaarya Vaadham and Asat-kaarya Vaadham. e.g. To take an analogy, it's the difference between Discovery and Invention. Discovery is something which is already there and been identified for use (eg> country, columbus discovering America). Invention is creating something which was not there previously (eg> Telephone). But, really speaking, the components of telephone was always there and it's only been arranged in a new way. e.g Wool.Thread strung together becomes a Cloth. Similarly, something can come out of something and nothing (this is Satkaarya Vaadham) and when it perishes, it doesn't go away. but is transformed. eg. when a pot is broken, even though the Pot is destroyed, it creates the clay (broken into clay pieces). Similarly, when a body perishes, it takes a different form. It is evident that death of the physical body is inevitable to whatever is born and that there is no way to escape from this physical termination of the body. Similarly rebirth is unavoidable once one's physical body has died. How can something which has been lost become again? It is conceivable that something which has already been to become again; but it is inconceivable for that which has never been to become. Therefore there is nothing that can come that has not been. What is known as birth and death is but just different modifications of an ever existing condition. Yarn and other materials exist but when they are woven into a fabric that is a particular arrangement of the yarn itself, it receives the name cloth in its modified state. Even the asat-karya-vadis who follow the fallacious hypothesis that existence comes from non-existence should admit the ever existing state, for what we know as cloth to them is a new creation but is factually the same old yarn only in a new form which has been created. It is not sagacious or well thought out to assume that a new substance has come into being simply because of a modified condition. Thus coming into existence and disappearing from existence are modified states of an ever existing reality. One of the conditions of this modified state is its appearance called birth and another condition being its diametric opposite is known as death which by disappearing this ever existing reality passes into. For a substance which is intrinsically metamorphic the process of modification is essential. As in the case of a clod of earth, transformed into clay, transformed into a pot, transformed into dust and transformed back to earth again. The manifestation of a subsequent condition is but a modification of a previous condition and that same subsequent condition becomes a prior condition of another subsequent condition. Reasoning in this way it can be understood that it is natural that successive modifications take place in regards to creation and destruction of physical bodies which cannot be avoided and there is no reason to lament due to this. If there is some slight grief which may be apparent by the passing from a prior modified state to a subsequent modified state even this grief need not arise in the case of living entities such as human beings because... and the next verse 28 clarifies why.

2-28: avyaktadi-ni bhutani ! vyakta-madhyani bharata! avyakta-nidhanAny eva! tatra ka paridevana "The [five elements made] body is not capable of revealing the past [but] middle [present] revealed. Future not revealed, Oh! Bharatha, where is then need for grief?" All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation? Note, slokas 26,27,28 are all based on the assumption that body and soul are the same and Krishna presenting that even assuming this false assumption is true, even then one should not get disturbed by the death or destruction of this body. Take for eg: Pot, clay, mud are three different forms of the same thing and one thing transforms into another in it's cycle of formation and destruction. Atleast for Pot, we know what form it will take (mud, clay etc), when it gets broken. But, for human, we wouldn't know for sure what it's future state be, after death. After death, it may take a better form. Arjuna asks, whether it's possible to know what the past or future states would be? Krishna responds that, we won't know our past or future, but only our present. This body which is made up of PanchaBhootams(Bhootani) is "Avyaaktaani" (unknown) in the past; Our current state(madhya) is known (Vyaktaani); Our future i.e after death (Nidhana) is unknown(Avyaktaani). So, there is no point in grieving about the future stage. Do remember that this sloka is based on the assumption that body and soul are same and Krishna is presenting it from this point of view and letting Arjuna know, even with this assumption, there is no point in grieving(paridevana) about future or past. Accepting that there are two classes of philosophers, one believing in the existence of soul and the other not believing in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation in either case. Nonbelievers in the existence of the soul are called atheists by followers of Vedic wisdom. Yet even if, for argument's sake, we accept the atheistic theory, there is still no cause for lamentation. Apart from the separate existence of the soul, the material elements remain unmanifested before creation. From this subtle state of unmanifestation comes manifestation, just as from ether, air is generated; from air, fire is generated; from fire, water is generated; and from water, earth becomes manifested. From the earth, many varieties of manifestations take place. Take, for example, a big skyscraper manifested from the earth. When it is dismantled, the manifestation becomes again unmanifested and remains as atoms in the ultimate stage. The law of conservation of energy remains, but in course of time things are manifested and unmanifested--that is the difference. Then what cause is there for lamentation either in the stage of manifestation or unmanifestation? Somehow or other, even in the unmanifested stage, things are not lost. Both at the beginning and at the end, all elements remain unmanifested, and only in the middle are they manifested, and this does not make any real material difference. And if we accept the Vedic conclusion as stated in the Bhagavad-gita (antavanta ime dehah) that these material bodies are perishable in due course of time (nityasyoktah saririnah) but that soul is eternal, then we must remember always that the body is like a dress; therefore why lament the changing of a dress? Why then is it seen that even men possessing intelligence lament in this world? It is simply due to ignorance about the true nature of the eternal soul. Having this theme in mind the abstruseness of the eternal soul is being given, in the next slokam (2.29).

2-29: ascarya-vat pasyati kascid-enam ascarya-vad vadati tathaiva cAnyah ascarya-vac cainam anyah-srnoti srutvapy-enam veda na-caiva kascit In the previous three slokas, Krishna expatiated about not being concerned about Body and how it is temporary. Arjuna is now baffled that he is unable to comprehend this reality and is still scared. All of us are in the same boat, including the great Jnaanis, even though the jnaanis are in a higher plane of understanding. The power of this bodily conception is very difficult to overcome. Krishna responds to this fear of Arjuna: This amazing (Aasharyavati ) nature of soul is known/seen (Pashchati) by only one among crores and only one among crores talks(Vadati) about it and then only one among crores hears (Shrunoti) about it and then only one among crores will really understand(veda) and realise the soul exists and that body is temporary. This shows that it's only the rare among the beings that truly realises the Atma and not everybody can get away from this bodily allure and conception. Sri Krishna says that one in a crore [ten million] see atman, one in a crore only hear about atman and one in a crore only talk about him. But it is much more rare to find a person who understands atman. This may cause a doubt in us that there is no one knowing about atman. So there is nothing like atman. Because, if anything exists, then at least some persons should know about it. We talk of Mount Everest. Very few persons would have seen it. From them we understand it is there. We believe an object only if someone who had seen the object tells us. So, Arjuna doubts whether there is an atman, as nobody has seen it. Sri Krishna replies that He did not say there was no one who had seen the atman, but it is very, very rare to find a person who had seen atman. Such a person is a noble one, who can be followed. This second chapter unlike the first one is quite difficult to follow, for everyone learning Gita. Because the soul is abstract and it has no form to recognize nor are there any similar substance in the world to identify. But constant studies and thinking can slowly make us to understand. We are able to conceive God, as many forms are available. But for atman there are no icons. A beginning is now made and by continuous efforts we can refine our knowledge about atman. We shouldn't get distressed by this! How to overcome this rarity?? Our lives are totally consumed by material being. It needs dedication to reflect about our selves (Atma), focus our efforts on it and be dedicated. For eg: if a boy is given to solve a PHD maths problem, he cannot solve it. He needs to complete schooling, Graduate, masters, PHD, before he can solve it. But, at the same time, if he reached adult age, it doesn't mean that he can solve it, unless he is in the Maths field. So, this requires not only "age" & experience, but to study in that field. Similarly, in our lives, we need continued focus in the reflection of the truth about atma to understand this truth. Simply, by living in material life and diving once in a while into spiritual pursuit isn't going to help. When we put effort, the Lord too will reach his hand to guide us. Infact, knowing about Atma is difficult, because it's not seen, heard etc. Atleast dieties in temples, we can see and relish and celebrate fesivals etc, whereas for our atma this is not possible. So, this is difficult. Among innumerable beings, someone, who by great austerity has got rid of paap and has increased his merits, realises this self possessing the above mentioned nature, which is wonderful and distinct in kind from all things other than Itself. Such a one speaks of It to another. Thus, someone hears of It. And even after hearing of It, no one knows It exactly that It really exists. The term 'ca' (and) implies that even amongst the seers, the speakers and hearers, one with authentic percepetion, authentic speech and authentic hearing, is a rarity.

2-30: dehi nityam avadhyo yam dehe sarvasya bharata tasmat sarvani bhutani na tvam socitum arhasi dehi-> Atma (it resides in body); Nityam->Eternal ; "Na Tvam sochitu arhasi".. THis is a common refrain of Krishna in many slokas, which implies that "you do not grieve"! Here Krishna says that Self(Jeevatma) exists in everyone's body and even when all this bodies perish, the atma(s) in them do not perish. Note that, Krishna says there is Jeevatma in everyone's body and it's not that ONE atma pervades all bodies! This is in response to Arjuna's doubt: 'I am understanding about the perishability of body as per krishan's slokas below. Now, everybody in this world seems different. One person varies from another in appearance, personality, esteem, joys and sorrows etc. So, is there a difference in the Jeevatmas nature too among people? i.e is one jeevatma's nature different from another?? Is one jeevatma eternal and the other not? ". In response, Krishna tells this sloka that the atmas residing in all bodies are eternal and do not perish, when the body perishes. Now, another question arises, when the bodies are different (color, sex, creed, appearance etc), how come the atma is same?? To remove this doubt only Sri Krishna tells that the atman or dehi in every body or deham is eternal. We are witnessing changes on the body but the soul remains the same. To understand this we should examine closely our daily habits and experiences. We see variety of persons. Some are fair, some black, some tall, some short, some females, some males, some animals, etc. but all these differences do not change our habits. One may be a millionaire and another a poor. But both see with their eyes only and hear with their ears. There is no difference in these functions. Educated or illiterate, one has to eat with his mouth only. So, God has not permitted any difference in certain basic functions. We eat varieties of food and vegetables. They remain so till what we eat reaches the throat. After this the body assimilates them as protein, vitamin or carbohydrates. This is scientific fact. We do not eat as such fat or proteins. So, all differences are in the external appearance only, such as brinjal [butter fruit] or lady s finger [okra]. The body, however, takes only the essence. So, only those, which appear different, are all destroyed and atman, which is identical in every creature, is eternal. So Arjuna need not to worry that he may be destroying a destroyable atman. So, in this sloka Krishna says, that Arjuna need not show grief. (Note that as per bodily conception of relations, we do have to show compassion, affection etc, but if we limit to just bodily ideas, then we end up being selfish about self, family etc, but if we look at if from jeevatma conception, our compassion will not be limited just to few, but to everybody! and it will also ensure we understand the sense of duty without getting over emotional and binding). If we distinguish atman from body, then we can be of real help to not merely our relatives but to everyone suffering. Relatives are body related. Only a perspective that all atmans are same can make us render help to all. That is why in any calamity, there are some persons who concentrate on the things to do and do not go emotional. Such duty minded persons are of real help. Though the soul is immortal, violence is not encouraged, but at the time of war it is not discouraged when there is actual need for it. That need must be justified in terms of the sanction of the Lord, and not capriciously.

2-31: sva-dharmam api ca-aveksya na vikam-pitum arhasi dharmyad-dhi yuddhA shreyo anyat kshatriya- sya na vidyate "Considering your specific duty as a kshatriya, you should know that there is no better engagement for you than fighting on religious principles; and so there is no need for hesitation." In the previous slokas Krishna adviced that Arjuna should not show love and undue attention to the body, since it is temporary. In this slokam, he focusses on the importance of doing one's dharma. As a Kshatriya, it is Arjuna's duty to fight. There is no other way for Moksham for a Kshatriya. Now, there is a seeming "controversy" here. Here, Krishna says to Arjuna that he has to fight the war, if he wants to gain Moksham. In some quarters, Gita is incorrectly potrayed as a "war goading" book, which resulted in Mahabharat war. The question is, is "fighting war" the only way for Arjuna to gain moksham?? Not exactly. Krishna is telling Arjuna to do his Dharma. And Kshatriya's duty is to fight a "righteous" war and not run away. Had Krishna given Gita to a non-kshatriya, it would have been a different dharma (and not war). Another question, doesn't war involve killing and pain to other beings?? So, how would it be construed as a path to Moksham?? The reality is, there are different kinds of "Himsa" in this world (e.g. for example surgery on a body, mental agony, woman giving birth to a child etc, grabbing property from a family etc). Himsa is something which gives pain not just for the present but also in the future. So, in this war, all the warriors who are fighting get "veera" swargam. As long as Arjuna is fighting a war justly and also a just war(whose end is just) then it's his dharma and is assured of Moksham. Out of the four orders of social administration, the second order, for the matter of good administration, is called ksatriya. Ksat means hurt. One who gives protection from harm is called ksatriya (trayate--to give protection). There are two kinds of svadharmas, specific duties. As long as one is not liberated, one has to perform the duties of that particular body in accordance with religious principles in order to achieve liberation. When one is liberated, one's sva-dharma--specific duty--becomes spiritual and is not in the material bodily concept. In the bodily conception of life there are specific duties for the brahmanas and ksatriyas respectively, and such duties are unavoidable. Sva-dharma is ordained by the Lord, and this will be clarified in the Fourth Chapter. On the bodily plane sva-dharma is called varnasrama-dharma, or man's steppingstone for spiritual understanding. Human civilization begins from the stage of varnasrama-dharma, or specific duties in terms of the specific modes of nature of the body obtained. Discharging one's specific duty in any field of action in accordance with varnasrama-dharma serves to elevate one to a higher status of life.

2-32: yadrcchaya-ca upa-pannam svarga-dvaaram apaa-vrtam sukhinah kshatriyAh partha labhante yuddham idrsam "O Partha, happy are the kshatriyas to whom such fighting opportunities come unsought, opening for them unhindered the doors of the heavenly planets." The impending war is happening by itself, on its own, without any solicitation on the part of Arjuna. Thus when it happens he and his brothers will be fighting on the side of righteousness which constitutes the means for acquiring heavenly happiness without obstacles. Such a war can only be fought by the most fortunate of ksatriyas and Arjuna should understand his good fortune. Krishna continues mentioning about the importance of Dharma here. He says Arjuna is facing this war, not out of his own making, but by "yaddrachaya" (Fate, God's grace), which is a gateway to heaven, which is a blessing for the great and righteous Kshatriyas. Now that question arises, which "swargam" is Krishna referring to here? Is it Indra lokam etc?? No. Krishna is referring to Moksham here. **This also point out to how to qualify a decision - Before we engage ourselves in any work we will have to see these points: Is this legally allowed? After starting the work, will there be need for any unlawful activities? Is the objective a virtuous one or evil? Is there precedence by elders? These four points are required to be examined before we embark on any activity. In the present context, the fighting of this war has to answer all these quest ** Referring to Dharma Yuddham - The Lord himself went to war against tyrannical demons to protect Dharma. For e.g. Rama, Nrusimha, Vamana etc. In the Parasara-smrti or religious codes made by Parasara, the great sage and father of Vyasadeva, it is stated: ksatriyo hi praja raksan sastra-panih pradandayan nirjitya para-sainyadi ksitim dharmena palayet "The ksatriya's duty is to protect the citizens from all kinds of difficulties, and for that reason he has to apply violence in suitable cases for law and order. Therefore he has to conquer the soldiers of inimical kings, and thus, with religious principles, he should rule over the world." Considering all aspects, Arjuna had no reason to refrain from fighting. If he should conquer his enemies, he would enjoy the kingdom; and if he should die in the battle, he would be elevated to the heavenly planets whose doors were wide open to him. Fighting would be for his benefit in either case.

2-33: atha-cet-tvam imam dharmyam sangraamam na karishyasi tatah sva-dharmam kIrtim ca hitva paapam avapsyasi "If, however, you do not perform your duty of fighting for dharma, then you will certainly incur paap for neglecting your duties and lose your reputation as a fighter." In the previous two slokas, Krishna explained to Arjuna that it is imperative for him to follow his dharma as Kshatriya and fight the war which has come upon him as "yaddhrachaya" (thru divine chance) and that by doing so, he will achieve Moksham. In this sloka and the next, Krishna says the paap that will befall Arjuna if he does NOT fight the war. By listing the difficulties and sorrows he would encounter if he slipped from his expected duty, Sri Krishna is encouraging him to fight. In any act we have to state the benefits by doing that and the ill effects by not doing. By judging both one has to conclude to perform an action. Krishna terms this war as "Sangraamam" and not "Yuddham", in this slokam. Why? Because the war has already started and the armies ready to battle! Yudhdham means it could start even next day or after. But sangramam means that is already started and when both sides are aligned and ready to fight. Peace efforts could have been initiated before start of a fight but not after it had started. Such efforts before the fight began would be appreciated; but after it had started any such efforts would be branded as act of cowardice. So Sri Krishna cautions that if Arjuna decided to withdraw from the war, he will be defamed and then he would also be slipping from his expected dharma, resulting in paapa to accumulate. So by abandoning the fight he will fail in his swadharmam, that is his duty as Kshatriya to fight, and lose kirti or fame. Even if he does not care for the fame, paap or paap will accrue for slipping from swadharma. Sri Krishna lists the two, swadharma and kirti, as necessities for life in this world and in the nether world. Sri Krishna uses the words dharmyam sangraman, which means fight performed righteously. This war is for establishing dharma, it is to be performed legally and the outcome also is for dharma, a high objective. Since Arjuna, desirous of preservation of dharma, this is a holy and upright war. The word sangramam is used instead of yudhdham. . Why? Because it is as per the law, dharma shastras, the results are worth it. If he doesn't fight this battle - all the fame(Keerti) he achieved in the past as a warrior will be gone, giving up his "svadharma" as a Kshatriya, he will incur Paapa (Paapam Avaapsyaasi). If through injudicious sentiment or bewildered ignorance Arjuna should fail to perform his prescribed duty as a ksatriya by fighting for the sake of righteousness; he would lose a most excellent opportunity of attaining the heavenly spheres, he would lose his reputation as a hero and he would have to accept great impure reaction.Losing Fame and Name (Keerti) is a big loss in this Lokam for a Kshatriya and Arjuna will lose it, if he doesn't battle. Not only that, even in the other worlds, Arjuna will be at loss, since by shirking his duty , he incurs paap and doesn't gain swargam. Karma Yogam basically is doing one's duty as per his "ashrama dharma" (Varanaashrama) and that leads to Bhakti Yogam. If Arjuna is shedding his basic duty, he is not doing either Karma or Bhakti yogam and that leads him to paap. **Abide by swadharma is what is advocated.

2-34: akirtim ca-api bhutani katha-yisyanti te vyayaam sambha-vitasya ca-akirtir maranad atiricyate "Creatures will always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonor is worse than death." In this slokam, Krishna continues detailing the ills which would befall if Arjuna runs away from the war. He says that Arjuna will lose his honor and reputation as great warrior which he gained from all times (avyaayam) and be (kaithshyanti) ridiculed by all people (Bhutaani) that he has run away from the battle. This infamy will be worse than death for somebody as honored and reputable as Arjuna. For a wise man, discrimination(vivekam), courage, bravery, calmness and caution all need to be prevalent. Arjuna cannot say that he doesn't care about his reputation and run away. It may be ok for a common man, but for a great personality like Arjuna with a legacy of honor, it will come off poorly. Not only will happiness and fame elude him if he disregards his duty as a ksatriya but the world opinion of those competent to judge and those incompetent as well will chastise him and speak of his act of disgrace public and privately. They will say Arjuna was a coward for when the battle was about to begin he gave only excuses and retreated hastily from the battlefield. The Supreme Lord Krishna is telling him that forever history will brand him for cowardice. If Arjuna was to reply that what the public think is of no consequence to him, the Supreme Lord neutralises that by stating that for a person of honour possessing the qualities of heroism, determination, puissance, courage etc. which are all contrary to cowardice to have to accept infamy is worse than death. If he was to acquire disgrace of this kind death for him would certainly be much better. If reasoning further one was to present the question of how ignominy could attach itself to one who is already a renowned hero and whose resignation from the battle field is prompted only by motives of respect for elders and compassion to friends and relatives then the next verse 34 neutralises that argument.

2-35: bhayad ranad uparatam mamsyante tvaam maha-rathah yesham ca tvam bahu-matah: bhutva yaasyasi laaghavam "The great generals who have highly esteemed your name and fame will think that you have left the battlefield out of fear only, and thus they will consider you irrelevant." "Astaana Sneham" - Showing compassion to the wrong places and towards the wrong people, like Arjuna is doing by showing compassion etc towards Duryodhana etc. In this slokam, Krishna responds to Arjuna's doubt from the previous slokam. Arjuna asks how can he get dishonor when he is withdrawing from the battle only out of love and compassion towards his relatives and avoiding bloodshed. Krishna responds about Arjuna(Tvam), the mahaarathis(warriors like Duryodhan, Karna) etc will think (manyate) that out of fear (bhayaat) that you ran (uparatam) from the battle (ranaat) and for those (yesham bhutvah) who have been thinking greatly (bahumata) of you, will think in the futurue (yaasyasi) lightly (laagavam) of you and treat you with contempt. Despite going through many humilations in losing the kingdom through treachery etc, Arjuna and other pandavas didn't lose their honor or reputation as great warriors among the common people, because they behaved with honor! Now, running away from the battle, would make him lose all the reputation. There is a thin dividing line between "patience and compassion" and "cowardly and weak". If somebody is very patient and tolerant, it can be sometimes miscontrued as weakness and cowardliness. In this case, it's possible that great understanding souls like Bheeshma and Drona would understand Arjuna's dilemma, but "Duryodhana and Karna etc" would not think it that way. Now, Arjuna says, he doesn't care about what Duryodhan etc thinks and would prefer to not battle. Krishna says, it's not just about Duryodhana, but even the common man will perceive Arjuna as running away from battle and not doing his duty. We should thus understand to differentiate between mercy and patience on one hand and incompetence and cowardice on the other.

2-36: avacya vAdams-ca bahun! vadisyanti tava-ahitah: nindan-tas tava samarthyam ! tato dukha-taram nu kim "Your enemies will describe you in many unkind words and scorn your ability. What could be more painful for you? This slokam is also advising Arjuna not to show "Astaana Sneham". His enemies(ahitAh) will talk (vaadan cya) a lot (Bahun Vadishyanti) of unkind and fabricated (avAcya) words. His abilities (saamarthyam) will be vilified (nindantah). For Arjuna who is so proud about his prowess and "Gandhivaam" would not be able to suffer this ignominy of being humilated by his enemies with slanderous remarks. That is what Krishna is warning Arjuna against. When a friend or wellwishers pass remarks like it, we can tolerate it, because they are close ones. But, when a enemy is vilifiying, a warrior like Arjuna cannot bear it. Now, Arjuna may think, Ok, so what if my enemies poke fun at me. Krishna also gives a vieled warning here, saying that Arjuna may then get provoked and fight the war and if he does so, then he will be potrayed as someone who is fighting due to being slighted and not for the people. A question may arise : Krishna himself "ran away" from battle with Jarasandha and went and built Dwarka city. Arjuna may have the question on why he is suggesting Arjuna to fight and not quit. Sri Krishna was born in Gokulam and after ten years, He lived in Mathura for some years. But King Jarasanda invaded Mathura several times. Seventeen times he invaded and Sri Krishna defeated him every time. Sri Krishna requested His brother Sri Balarama, to go to west seashore and reclaim land from the sea and establish a new city of Dwaraka. Sri Balarama did not agree. When next time Jarasanda invaded Mathura, Sri Krishna ran away from Mathura. Arjuna remembered this incident. But there are two main differences in the two incidents. Firstly, rules, which we follow, cannot be applied on the Lord. Secondly, Sri Krishna had vanquished Jarasanda several times and He was merely acting as though He was running away from Jarasanda out of fear. Here, for Arjuna this is the first time to fight with these people. So, how can he run away and compare this with Sri Krishna s action?

2-37: hato va prapsyasi svargam jitva va bhoksyase mahim tasmad uttistha kaunteya yuddhaya krta-niscayah "O son of Kunti, either you will be killed on the battlefield and attain the heavenly planets, or you will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom. Therefore get up and fight with determination." "Tasmad Uttishtha Kaunteya" - Thus! exhorts Krishna to Arjuna to Stand up with determination (krta) to fight (YuddhAya), in this slokam. If you get killed, you will achieve Swargam (Hatoh VA prApasyasi Svargam) and if you win, you will enjoy this worldly kingdom (jitA vA bhoksyase mahim). If you don't fight, you will not achieve either glory here nor in other worlds. He addresses Arjuna as "Kunti Putra" (Kaunteya), because Kunti is renowed for her courage and devotion. In addition, Kunti is Krishna's dear aunty and as such it becomes Krishna's responsibility to protect Krishna. Related comments: Some may say that Asoka gave up war and violence, whereas Krishna is prompting Arjuna for war. Asoka actually gave up wars etc, after fighting numerous wars. Whereas Arjuna's Dharma here is to wage war against Kauravas to protect his people and ensure the kingdom is not ruled by crooked Kauravas. In addition, when both opposition factions are in agreement to call of war, it may make sense to back off (eg: Alexander and Paurus etc), but in this case, there is no such signal from Kauravas. Another question is, Arjuna didn't have similar qualms when warring with Kauravas in the past (Virata yuddham during vanavas), but why is he having the fear now?? In the past, he didn't have to worry about killing Drona or Bheeshma or other close relatives, so there was no issue.

2-38: Sukha-dukhe samEy krtva, lAbhaAlabhau jayaAjayau, tathO yudhAya yujasva, naivam pApam avApsyAsi. This begins the prelude to KARMA YOGAM section. Krishna says Arjuna will not incur sun (Naivam pApam avApsyasi), if he just engages in war just for the sake of war (YuddhAya yujasvya) and not with sense of attachment or results. What attachment or results is Krishna referring to here - be equanimous in joy and sorrow i.e no need to feel joy by killing enemies or felling them or no need to feel sorrow in felling opponents such as Bhishma etc. We cannot equate Joy and Sorrow as one, but the feelings and reactions which emanate in the face of joy and sorrow - those feelings is something we need to control and look at it with some sense of detachment. The same sense of equanimity should also be there in the face of gain and loss, victory and defeat. This is in response to Arjuna's lament that he doesn't care about kingdom, winning etc and doesn't want to fight. In response, Krishna said that Arjuna should fight , since it's his duty, which will result in his gaining heavenly kingdom (Moksham). In this slokam, Krishna says that Arjuna should fight as a sense of duty and not get disturbed by dualities such as joy & sorrow, victory & defeat, gain&loss. This is a important qualification for a KarmaYogi! Krishna says that Arjuna should fight as a Karma yogi, as a sense of duty, without consideration or attachment or disturbed by gain or loss, victory or defeat etc and when he does it, there will be no incurring of paap. He who acts for his own sense gratification, either in goodness or in passion, is subject to reaction, good or bad. Knowing the immortal eternal soul to be that which is distinct and independent from the physical body, uncontaminated with the qualities pertaining to the material existence but connected to those qualities which are spiritual in nature and eternal; maintaining an equipoised mind in the various conditions of pleasure and pain, loss and gain, victory or defeat being devoid of any fruitive desire or hankering for any reward or remuneration, such as going to the heavenly worlds, fight this righteous battle as a matter of duty which needs to be discharged. One who is situated in wisdom with their mind properly composed in this manner while executing their prescribed duties will incur no impure reactions and thus will be eligible for salvation from material existence. Immoral reactions is the root of all suffering and the cause of perpetual bondage in the cycle of birth and death in the material existence. Arjuna is baffled on how he can do it. Krishna points out that as Rama in the previous avtaar, he followed this same principles!!

2-39: esA te a'bhijitha sAnkhye! buddhir yoge tv imAm Srnu ; buddhyA yukto yayA pArtha, karma-bandham prahAsyasi. "Thus far I have described atman to you through analytical study. Now listen as I explain it in terms of working without trivial results. O son of Pritha, when you act with such knowledge you can free yourself from the bondage of karma." This sloka starts the KARMA yogam section, where krishna expounds on Karma yoga. Gita is the extraction of the sayings of Upanishad. Upanishad - UPA(near), Nishana(getting to Brahman) . Upanishad tells us the reality of Brahman and the ways to reach close to Brahman. The ways it propounds is Karma Yogam, Jnaana Yogam, Bhakti Yogam. In this it's generally considered that Bhakti Yogam is primary and Karma and Jnaana Yogam are it's ancillary i.e for Bhakti, one needs Karma and Jnaana anushtaanam as pre-requisites. nstead of practicing each separately, it is better to have one as the pradhanam [main] and the other two as angam [branches or ancillaries]. Just like in our degree courses we have one subject, say Chemistry, as main and study say, mathematics and physics, as ancillaries. Similarly, if one decides to seek Moksham through Karmayoga, then one has to have Gyanayoga and Bhakthiyoga as ancillaries. But there is a difference. In the education system, pass in the main can be done without studying the ancillaries. Whereas, in seeking Moksham, if Bhakthiyoga has to be practiced, then one has to practice Karmayoga and Gyanayoga. Without these two, a person cannot practice Bhakthiyoga. Upanishad says - Atma Drashtavaya, Stortavyaa, mantvyaya, nidhistavyaaya - i.e we should constantly, deeply, exclusively hear about the lord for reaching him. Question is, we also need to know how to conduct ourselves in this world, while we seek to achieve salvation(Moksham). The primary requirement for it is to realise that body is temporary and soul is eternal and salvation lies in getting out of the cycle of birth and death. If one doesn't realise this, then it's not possible to get away from this never ending cycle and we will be forever caught in this web of material existence. So, the first step is to realise that Soul is eternal and body is temporary. To realize Paramatma, atman has to listen about Him. Then, contemplate on what was listened to. Then meditate without interruption , but with concentration. Such continuous meditation is called Bhakthi and this results in merging with the Paramatma. This will make the atman to feel happy in union with and sorrow in separation from God. Thereafter, the soul departs this body and this world and reaches Moksham and remains with Him in eternal happiness. It is a stairway to Moksham. All born cannot immediately go for Moksham. In this world lots of good things are to be done and this life has to be happily spent. But the objective should be to reach Moksham after this life without the perils of another birth. When will this thought come? First, one should realize that this body is perishable and atman is indestructible. If one thinks atman and body are same, when body perishes, atman also will perish and then there would be no need for Moksham or worry about rebirth. So, this basic knowledge that atman and body are different is essential. Not merely accepting that they are separate, it should be firmly believed that atman is eternal and body is destroyable. Further, it should be realized that in this life happiness and sorrow are mixed. The natural feeling of the atman is always happy. But when inside a body in this earth, mixed feelings are unavoidable. So, the objective should be to get the everlasting happiness, its natural quality. This pursuit is necessary. Next step is to know that Soul is owned(adimai) by Paramatma and we are not owners or independent. This realization about atman and body is the first step in the stairway. This step alone cannot take to the top. The next step is to realize that this atman is servant of God. Paramatma is the ruler and atman is ruled. Therefore, atman has to cling to the Feet of the Lord. Instead of saying that Karmayaoga, Gyanayoga and Bhakthyoga are various paths to reach Moksham, Bhakthyoga is the main. Visiting temples, chanting His names and helping His devotees, will all constitute Bhakthiyoga. For this as main one needs Karma [action] and Gyana [knowledge]. These are needed in any activity. Ways to reach the lord are Karma, Jnaana and Bhakti Yogam. Rather than saying three yogams are seperate and independent, we can say Bhakti yogam is the primary way to reach lord and this involves singing, chanting, visting holy places, helping others, being close to devotees etc. Bhakti yogam has two angas, karma and Jnaana - it requires discipline and knowledge. It is similar to - for riding a vehicle, one needs knowledge that vehicle requires petrol etc to run, need to operate clutch and brake together, brake to stop the vehicle and in addition one needs the skills to operate the vehicle. Similarly for Bhakti, one needs knowledge and discipline. ANd to even start this course, the primary pre-requisite is the basic knowledge that Atma is Nityam and Body is temporary. Krishna has followed the same pattern. From slokas 2-12 onwards to sloka 2-30, Krishna has emphasized that Atma is Nityam and temporary nature of the body. From Slokams 2-39 to 2-51, Krishna expounds on Karma Yogam and after that he expounds Jnaana Yogam and in Chapters 7,8,9 he expounds on Bhakti Yogam and in the later chapters he explains the ways for Moksha. So, Geeta has been laid out in this manner - Initially in the second chapter (slokas 12 to 30), it tells us the nature of the soul and the temporary nature of body, since this is the primary pre-requisite. Next, it explains the ways of Karma Yogam i.e how to do our duties. NExt, it explains Jnaana yogam (knowledge). Next, it explains Bhakti yogam (which needs knowledge of soul, how to do our duty, knowledge) and next it explains ways for Moksham. In this slokam, "esa te abhihitA SANKHYE!" - note, esA te i.e in the slokas (2-12 to 2-30), i have explained (abhitha) the philosophy of Sankhye!. Sankhya means "buddhi" and Sankhyam is "the Atma which is understood by Buddhi" and Sankhye is the philosophy which describes the real nature of the soul (i.e it is nityam, it is eternal). I.e i have explained about Sankya Yoga(the true nature of the soul). 'Sankhya' means 'intellect,' and the truth about the Atman, which is determinable by the intellect, is 'Sankhyam'. Concerning the nature of the self which has to be known, whatever Buddhi has to be taught, has been taught to you in the passage beginning with, 'It is not that I did not exist' (II.12) and ending with the words, 'Therefore, you shall not grieve for any being' (II.30). Krishna says - "yayA buddhyA yuktah" - that buddhih (intelligence) by which , "Karma bandham prahAsyasi" you can released from bondage of reaction - that knowledge (Karma yogam) will be explained to him. The disposition of mind (Buddhi) which is required for the performance of works preceded by knowledge of the self and which thus constitutes the means of attaining release, that is here called by the term Yoga. It will be clearly told later on, 'Work done with desire for fruits is far inferior to work done with evennes of mind' (II. 49). "buddhir yoge tv imAm srunu" - Now Listen(Srnu) about yogE buddhi (karma yogam). What Buddhi or attitude of mind is required for making your act deserve the name of Yoga, listen to it now. Endowed with that knowledge, you will be able to cast away the bondage of Karma. 'Karma-bandha' means the bondage due to Karma i.e., the bondage of Samsara. 'Sankhya' means 'intellect,' and the truth about the Atman, which is determinable by the intellect, is 'Sankhyam'. Concerning the nature of the self which has to be known, whatever Buddhi has to be taught, has been taught to you in the passage beginning with, 'It is not that I did not exist' (II.12) and ending with the words, 'Therefore, you shall not grieve for any being' (II.30). The disposition of mind (Buddhi) which is required for the performance of works preceded by knowledge of the self and which thus constitutes the means of attaining release, that is here called by the term Yoga. It will be clearly told later on, 'Work done with desire for fruits is far inferior to work done with evennes of mind' (II. 49). What Buddhi or attitude of mind is required for making your act deserve the name of Yoga, listen to it now. Endowed with that knowledge, you will be able to cast away the bondage of Karma. 'Karma-bandha' means the bondage due to Karma i.e., the bondage of Samsara. Now question comes up, Arjuna is not intrested in fighting. So, why is Krishna talking about Sankha Yogam, Karma yogam etc, rather than just exhorting Arjuna to fight?? Krishna first explains thru Sankha Yogam that Souls are eternal and body is temporary, thus killing in a just war is not sinful and Arjuna shouldn't go weak at the thought of killing relatives etc. Next, Krishna addresses the concern of Arjuna about not being intrested in fruits of war etc, by talking about Karma Yogam and explaining that Arjuna need not fight for fruitive results, but a Saadhanam for Moksham. Waging just war is a Kshatriya Dharma and is his karma yogam. Karma Yogam: Introduction: One can do a thing anywhere, or as prescribed in vedas or not prescribed according to vedas. But, if one performs a duty in a "loukeeka" fashion, one doesn't get any benefit other than material benefits. But, if one does one's duty as per the viddhi of vedas, eg> when we bath at home, under a tap etc, there is no additional benefit, apart from cleaning body. But, if we take a dip in ganges and other temple pushkarinis, the body not only gets cleaned, but we are also blessed with washing away of paap. Why? Because it's prescribed in vedas. What constitutes Karma yogam - All our daily activities, eating, sleeping, working, helping etc basically constitute Karma yogam. Simple? Right? Yes. But, this needs to be done as per the prescription of Vedas and not do anything which is NOT prescribed in the vedas. And it needs to be done in full faith and spirit and also NOT with sense of attachment. For eg: if one takes bath in Pushkarini, without any belief in it's powers, then it will not help. Again, What is Karma yoga? It is eating, sleeping, working, etc. Nothing extra is required to be done. But these activities are to be done as prescribed in shastras. This is very important. If we do our activities according to the dos and don ts of shastras, it is karmayoga. If we do karma yoga we are sure to attain Moksham. Shastras are instructions given by God. He has told that He liberates the one who faithfully follows His instructions. Once we have that belief that we are acting according to the stipulations of the Lord, He also will erase all our paap and make us to reach our natural state of happiness,Moksham. In these instructions one is asked to eat, sleep and work. Nowhere the shastras ask us not to do anything else. The person instructed [by shastras] could be a bachelor or married or sanyasin or a beast or bird. Whoever be, if the prescribed action is performed with a firm belief that this will yield Moksham, that result will be achieved. A bath in this pond with a belief that it will only remove my body dirt, then this action will not get Moksham. But same action with a firm belief that I will get Moksham, by bathing in this pond, will get Moksham. So a steadfast belief is to be there along with the vidhi. So: Karma Yogam constitutes: * Performing duties which are prescribed and NOT doing anything which is against prescribed * Belief in it and doing it as Bhagavan's viddhi that it's a means for moksham. (eg: not having faith while bathing in holy waters, but just doing it because it's prescribed!) (eg: Marrying, having kids, performing family duties etc should be done as Karma yogam, since it is prescribed and do it as a means of moksham i.e just as duty). Karma can be divided into three: * Nitya Karma - to be practiced daily. Tharpanam, Daana-Dharama(Charity), Festival celebration * Naimitika Karma - to be performed due to certain reasons or in certain occasions * Kaamya Karma - Doing things with desire for material benefits, to achieve certain goals eg: passing exam, marriage etc All these karmas or actions are stipulated. These have to be done uninterruptedly. Performing annual ceremonies [shraddham] for deceased forefathers [pithru], celebrating festivals, etc. are all Karma yoga. Why Sri Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to fight? Because it is stipulated for him. He is asked to do what he learnt. So, Karma yoga can be performed by anybody. Sri Krishna lauds the greatness of Karma yoga in the next sloka.

2-40: nehA-abhikrama nAso-asti ! Pratya-vAyo na vidyate! svalpam apya-sya dharmasya! trAyateh mahato bhayAt! "In this endeavor [karma yoga] there is no loss or lessening for a little advancement on this path and can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear." In this slokam, Krishna expounds the benefit and greatness of Karma Yogam. Just like a Parent tells a kid that what glory would be, if he achieves 99% marks , to intrest the kid in studying, similarly Krishna tells the greatness of Karma Yogam to Arjuna, before explaining the details of Karma Yogam. "NehA abikramoa-Nasao Asti" - There is no loss in this Karma yogam. eg. unlike leaves which "lapse", this doesn't lapse. It "carries" over it's benefits. For eg: if we follow for sometime and discontinue, the benefits of whatever we did will not lapse. One percent of work done in Krishna consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent, whereas in material business, without a hundred percent profit there is no success. or it's like writing an exam- attempt an answer but even if you do not get the right answer or not complete it, even then the examiner puts marks based on how much you wrote correctly. "pratyavAyo na vidyate" - Another fear is, if we stop karma in between, we incur paap etc. Arjuna is scared that incuring paap would make it a bigger issue and invite additional paap. Krishna says here that, there is no need to fear and it does not happen that way, as long as one performs duties with selfless spirit as a sense of duty for Moksham and not for material gains etc. "Svalpma apsya Dharmasya" - Even performing a little will still help. Atleast do svalpa! (how kind of krishna!) "TrAyateh Mahatoh BhayAt" - Doing the above can protect one from the greatest danger and fear of samsara. The Supreme Lord Krishna reveals that even the slightest, most minuscule effort made regarding this karma yoga of performing actions without desiring fruitive results is never in vain. The word abhikrama is derived from arambha meaning any beginning as in any effort. The word nasa means destruction as in loss of, thus the effort itself is the means to a guaranteed result. Not even is failure accrued when a righteous action is begun but is unable to be completed due to circumstances and absolutely no negative effect will accrue even when a righteous action is interrupted at its very commencement. Even a the most minute righteous action performed without desiring fruitive results saves one with spiritual knowledge from the great fear of the endless cycle of birth and death in the material existence. This same view is further elaborated later in chapter six, verse 40 describing that in this world or the next there is no loss or dimunition for the aspirant.

2-41: vyavasAyA-atmikA buddhir! eka-iha kuru-nandana! Bahu-sAka hy anantAs-ca ! buddhayO-A'vyava-sAyinam! "Those who are on this path[ with Moksham as objective] are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute [performing kamya karmas]is many-branched." So far, Lord has mentioned two key things about Karma Yoga : One is the performer should do it without attachment to results (Labah-Alabah Jaya-Ajayaoh!) & show equanimity to joy & sorrow and the second is there is no dimunition of results (Na-iha- Abhikramoh Nasao-Asti) even with some effort and also if the effort (Pratya Vayoh na drishyateh) could not be completed due to various reasons, there will be no Dosham. It will give benefits till the extent it's done and protect one from the dangers of this samsara. Krishna splits karma into two types. One which is focussed on Moksham and other on Kaamyam-material gains. Krishna says the greatness of doing karma related to Moksham is superior and preferable to to kaamyam gains. Now this may see tough - why should we only focus on Moksha karmam? We have so many desires. To explain this further, swami says, it's similar to schooling. Till Class 12, we learn lot of subjects. But, from college, we focus on few subjects and as we go further up in education, we focus on fewer subjects and then finally in PHD , we focus on only ONE subject and one goal. Similarly, in world, if we keep pursuing material desires, it keeps growing and growing and we get mired into it without any end (education, marriage, kids, fame, career etc) and dissipates our focus on the actual goal (moksham and Brahmam). To avoid this, our focus should be on that Karma which is on the path of Moksham. Kaamyam Karma are variegated because there is no end to material desires. But, the Moksha karma always remains the same(eka), since it's never changing. Soul is the servant of God. Atman has total knowledge. Atman s nature is happiness. So atman cannot waste pursuits after trivial results. If one remembers these and performs the actions or karma with a steadfast mind, then that knowledge will be one or same. Whereas since the kamya karmas are not performed with the right knowledge of atman, they will all be diversified and will not lead to a finite result. Convergence only can lead to a single objective. So Arjuna is advised to take up only those karmas, which will get him Moksham. A clear and proper understanding of the atman alone will enable to perform karma yoga.The key thing is the right disposition of mind i.e "vyaavasayika-atmika buddhi" i.e knowledge of the true nature of soul while doing any act and being focussed on pleasing the lord and not for material gains. One should be focussed (single minded - vyaavasayika) with the unshakeable conviction and disposition of mind (buddhi) of "atma swaaroopam" ( i.e i am subservient to the Lord, jeevatma has knowledge, body and soul are different) and be focussed ONLY (eka) on Moksham and not be many-branched or all over the place (bahushaaka) i.e immersed in worldy desires, being stuck in material and part spiritual pursuits or doing endless karmas for worldly desires and thoughts, it will lead to nowhere and we will be stuck in samsara taking repeated births. One who is not FIRMLY fixed in mind is diverted by various types of fruitive acts. The word vyavasaya derived from nischaya means certainty. The unshakeable conviction one has of such a decisive nature is that which the aspirant of salvation possesses and which can be understood by the actions they perform. The strength of this unshakeable conviction is directly connected to one's understanding of the eternal reality of the soul's immortality. Fragmented and not evolved is that mind which entertains ideas of performing actions for the reaping of results. People of this type vaguely know that the soul exists, although mistakenly attributing it as being part of the body and no more knowledge is required in their case as their material wishes for wealth and fame and even heaven can be obtained without having accurate, precise knowledge of the actual transcendental position of the eternal soul. But on the other hand the conviction of certainty is unique in its singleness of purpose and focused aim. All actions executed by such a living entity has for its sole objective salvation and the means is yoga which is the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the Ultimate Consciousness. This is the essence of the Vedic scriptures which lead to this conclusion and such being the case there can arise only one unshakeable conviction to one possessing spiritual insight. For the fulfilment of one single attainment being salvation, all actions are dedicated by one fixed in the firm resolve for salvation. Hence as the primary objective of the Vedic scriptures is one, the firm resolve as regarding the purpose of all actions can be but one as in the case for example of the six different kinds of rituals called Darsapurnamasa. Three rituals are to be performed on the new moon and three are to be performed on the full moon. In their performance they all differ in regards to execution yet they may be said to constitute a single aim for when all are directed to obtaining a single fruit all there seperate differences may be understood as part of a whole. Whereas in the case of those with fragmented and unfocused minds who engage in various activities each intended to acquire some result such as heaven, wealth, fame, power and so forth and so on the schemes are endless as the desires are endless. Even the results are diverse as in the case again of the Darsa-purnamasa, for although the rituals are directed to be performed for the obtainment of a specific goal, yet they confer minor benefits as well such as good health, vigor and long life. Thus it is stated that the mentality of those not evolved is endless and ramifying. The conclusion of this verse is that all nitya or daily rites and all naimittika or occasional rites for specific times prescribed in the Vedic scriptures shall be performed with the sole aim of ultimate salvation as the purpose. Although each rite individually is capable of giving its own temporary, material reward; but all such rewards are to be ignored while holding focus solely on salvation. As for fruitive rites and rituals desiring some material benediction, these shall be performed in the manner prescribed for the four varnas or classes of cultured life being brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, and sudra in the four asramas or stages of cultured life being brahmacarya or celibate life, grihasta or married life, vanaprastha or renunounced life and sannyasa or dedication and focus solely on the Supreme Lord. Accordingly they should also resign the acquired results of their efforts in favor of salvation. In the next three verses will be seen that those who engage solely in fruitive activities are condemned. 2-42: yAm imAm puspitAm vAcam pravadanty avi-pascitah! veda-vAda-ratAh-pArtha nAnyad astiti vAdinah 2-43 kAm-AtmAnaha svarga-parA ! janma-karma-phala-pradAm kriyA-visesa-bahulAm bhogAisvarya-gatim prati 2-44 bhog-Aiswarya prasaktAnAm tayApahrta cetasAm! vyavasAya-AtmikA buddhih samAdhau-na-vidhIyateh! Our desires can be categorized into three: *This world desires - Lookoh Bina Ruchih! Different types of desires in this world. Eating well, marrying, property, hobbies, career etc. It's all based on misunderstanding that body and soul are the same. *Swargam desires - This is the desire for swargam i.e enjoying other worlds like devas. This is based on the understanding that body and soul are different *Moksham - This is the desire for Moksham i.e breaking the eternal cycle of births. Thus earthly pleasures, heavenly pleasures and the endless pleasures in Moksham are before us. Krishna divides this desires into two: *Desires of this world and other world *Desire for Moksham He tells Arjuna that the various karmas performed for attaining the earthly/heavenly pleasures, will lead one to nowhere. But a single-minded karma with Moksham as target, will progress in a single direction and there will be no need to do the karmas for the earthly/ heavenly benefits. That will be karma yoga. Here we may think like this. All may not be interested in Moksham. Besides, if Sri Krishna declares that by doing karma yoga one will soon get Moksham, many will withdraw from practicing karma yoga or even listening to these lectures. People will discourage younger ones from listening to Gita lecture as they may think that Moksham will be attained immediately, and they may not be able to do the expected domestic duties. So, it is emphasized that merely knowing Gita will not immediately fetch Moksham and only after the prescribed life is over one will attain Moksham. In the previous slokam, Krishna mentioned that one needs to be focussed on the desire for moksham and do duties accordingly. Now, a question arises on how we can do this, while living in this material plane, where we are forced to do material duties to survive and thrive ?? Krishna responds that, by immersing only on material desires, we will definitely NOT get anywhere close to Moksham. But, if we focus on moksham and do all the worldly duties, Krishna will take care of the material needs and we don't need to worry about it. That is, by being focussed on Moksham and doing worldly duties, we also get material needs fullfilled as a "byproduct". Then what happens to our domestic compulsions and duties? So one may doubt whether this sermon is practical. Actually, by practicing Karma Yoga as preached by Sri Krishna one will get all the comforts in this world as a bye-product. But karmas done with aim for earthly/ heavenly comforts will never get Moksham. Sri Krishna clearly says that all karmas with Moksham as objective, will by the Grace of Sri Krishna, satisfy all the necessities in this earth, besides guaranteeing Moksham. One need not aspire for these worldly desires and Sri Krishna will take care of all those. It is like one pounds paddy to get rice. In the process, one sweats profusely. Seeing this the neighbor asks whether one was pounding to sweat. Sweating was only a bye-product and aim was not for sweating. Similarly, we should perform our karmas with Moksham as the only objective and nothing else. Paramatma will on His own take care of our comforts in this earth also. This declaration is necessary for anyone to aspire to do karma yoga. Another example is, when a wealthy man is ready to give one Lakh rupees, if we ask him 100 rupees, we only get 100Rs and waste the opportunity to get 1 Lakh. This is similar to asking the Lord for only material things and not Moksham. If we focus and ask for Moksham, we would also get "material" things as part of it. (just like 100 is part of 1 Lakh!). Another example is, in exam, if we target to get 80 marks, we may get 60, but if we focus to get Cent percent, we have better chance of getting cent percent. It's the same for Moksham, which is the highest goal. God is ready to give us the Ultimate- Moksham. The trivial benefits will automatically follow suit. So Sri Krishna declares: yam imam puspitam vacam pravadanty avipascitah veda-vada-ratah partha nanyad astiti vadinah "Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various trivial activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth Through all these slokas, Sri Krishna is instructing that all actions should be performed with Moksham as the only purpose. Our aim should not be for the lower benefits of comforts in this world are other heavenly pleasures. Why does Sri Krishna say so? Firstly these earthly/heavenly delights are trivial. They are transient in nature. The wealth accumulated is not permanent. What was comfortable yesterday may be irritating today. Thirdly, we are His servants and so we should accept only what He ordains. Our service also should only be for His pleasure. By aspiring for lowly results, our attribute as His dependent is maligned. Jeevatma is the servant or slave of Paramatma. Jeevatma is dependent on Paramatma. So, it is necessary to listen to What Sri Krishna orders and do the same. Every action of us should please the Lord. By independently choosing a goal and doing karma to attain that, will displease Him. Thus these pleasures are trivial and momentary, and realizing we are in His possession, we should never do any karma with results anything other than Moksham. Though, this may be accepted, it is not easy to drag away our actions from performing for petty results. Even Alwars lament that the mind is pulled towards smaller pleasures. So one cannot avoid this struggle and only continuous efforts will make us to realize this. Never at anytime think that this is impossible. As long we keep faith in Him, our efforts in karmas for lowly benefits will fade and we will perform all our actions only for Moksham. An action could be done for smaller results or for lofty purpose and the attained results will be as intended. This material fruits are petty. The fruits of this desires are temporary (love changes, property doesn't remain forever etc). Moreover, we are the Lord's property (Jeevatma is subservient to Paramatma by nature), so we should follow the path laid by the Lord, for our benefit, rather than chasing petty and temporary things. Ofcourse, it is not at all easy by any means to shed this material desires. Even great Azhwars have written about the pull of the samsaric desires for Kama, artha etc. This is a struggle which we have to go through, with full faith in the Lord and not give up easily. Krishna says, a karma can be done with the intention of Moksham rather than petty desires. We can do our daily duties with this spirit. eg. Nuclear energy. Nuclear science can be used for good like energy production but it can also be used for destruction. Thus there are two sides of the coin. Therefore, the intention makes all the difference. Similarly our karmas or actions could be intended for lowly benefits and the same will be reaped. But with an intention to achieve Moksham, the same karmas will yield not only Moksham but the worldly happiness also. If we perform actions with lowly intentions, then we will obtain only them and we cannot avoid the recurring cycle of rebirths. Therefore, with a determination to set goal as Moksham only, Arjuna is advised to perform his duty. Apart from doing this way just because Sri Krishna has told, Arjuna should have realized the temporary nature of the worldly desires. We are able to distinguish, in our daily life, what is good for us and what is bad. The confusion emerges because we think atman and body are same. Since body gets destroyed, our aim should be to do good for the atman. Atman, like Paramatma, is in eternal bliss, but being a captive in the body, is unable to attain its natural everlasting happiness. Therefore, if this thought is always in our mind, we can understand Karma Yoga properly. The true basic nature of atman is necessary. Ofcourse, the spirit of doing a karma in this sense requires the basic understanding of sankya yoga which Krishna explained earlier in this chapter i.e body and soul are not the same, soul is eternal and is subservient to the Lord i,e ATMA SWAROOPAM. Those who believe "svargam" is the greatest thing and pursue it in their karmas , they do not get "vyavaSaytmika buddhi" (i.e fixed in the mind) i.,e controlled mind and understanding the true nature of soul and it's subservience to the Lord. Who does Krishna call as Avi-pascitaha!(i.e one who have poor fund of knowledge)? - These are people who know the Vedas, BUT do not understand the true import of it!!. In vedas, there are lot of karma kandas which tell the things to do to gain heaven, gain children and other material benefits. These folks are "veda-vAda-ratAh" i.e supposed followers of vedas. They argue (vAdinah) that there is nothing else (na- Asti) in vedas, other than the fruitive activies (karmas, sacrifices etc) that vedas recommend. "puspitAm vAcam" - Why does krishna refer to flowery words? these words are like flowers which fall away, but do not give any "fruits" i.e the words of unintelligent people who say the purpose of vedas is to do karmas for gaining heaven and other material things, their words are merely flowery, but have no real fruits and do not reflect the true import of vedas. What is true import of vedas? There are two portions of vedas - Poorva bhagam i.e Karma Kandam which explain all the yagnams, karmas etc which provide guidance on the karmas (yagna, poojas ) which needs to be done and includes Rig, Yagur,Sama,Atharva Vedas. The other portion(uttara bhaagam) is the jnana kanda which are upanishads etc which tell us to reach Brahman . This is also called vedAnta (i.e way to reach brahman). KenoUpanishad, Taittriya Upanishad etc , which refers to brahmam and ways to reach Brahman. The unintelligent focus only on the karma kandam, but forget the true import of vedas which is to reach brahman. If we do activities for material things i,e sense gratification (kAm- Atmanah!), opulent life (svarga-parA) ; Krishna refers to "svarga-Para", because when we are in material zone, "svargam" is considered the ultimate for this people (and not moksham). These people consider Swargam as the ultimate Parayanam(goal). When we do this activties, it only ends us in taking repeated cycles of birth and death i.e "janma-karma-phala-pradAm" i.e we may get heaven or hell , but that only results in temporary enjoyment or pain and the cycle keeps getting repeated. These are not "nityam" (not eternal). Even if one achieves highest heavens, it is only a matter of time, before one gets pushed back to the earth after the time is up. In the 43rd sloka He says that people do various karma for lowly objectives. The mind would have been set on various ordinary desires. The term atman here means mind. Kama means desires. So, kamatmana means our frequently changing desires. If there was only one want, it could be fulfilled. But the desires are ever increasing and continuing. In this list of desires the final is swarga or heaven. That is these persons [so called Vedic scholars] claim swarga as the ultimate and final in happiness. By repeatedly doing these types of karma, they will only yield rebirth as the consequential benefits. Sri Krishna indicates the cycle of rebirths after attaining heaven. If one wants to get away from these cycles, then one has to do karma yoga without any desire excepting Moksham. Here we will explain this cycle to some extent. We are in this world now. We do various karmas and earn paapa and punya [virtues]. Paap leads us to hell or naraka and punya takes us to swarga. In both naraka and swarga our atman will get new bodies and we will undergo sufferings and pleasures respectively. After the punya is exhausted, we will be pushed out of the heaven. This is an authoritative statement [in the Vedas]. The person enjoying pleasures in heaven does not enjoy fully as the fear of being pushed away [after the punya is over] will be lingering in his mind. It is like in a case where a person usually gets only ordinary buttermilk and rice for meals. One day he is told that he would get sarkarai pongal [a delicious sugar candy and rice preparation] for next ten days. When he is enjoying that delicacy, he will always be remembering that this enjoyment is not permanent and after the ten-day period is over, he would get the ordinary buttermilk and rice only. This thought will not allow him to enjoy the eating of delicacy fully. He may feel it was better to continue with the ordinary food itself and there was no need for this temporary spell of pleasure. This fear of being pushed out is not there in Moksham, and this is what Sri Krishna tells Arjuna. This is what Nammalwar in Thiruvaimozhi says. Instead of enjoying in heaven in constant fear of being pushed away one day, it is far better to avoid heaven. At least, if there was nothing superior to heaven also one could aspire for that happiness. Sri Krishna says that He would show Arjuna better place for pleasure and so why set the mind in such cheap targets. Janma-karma-phala-pradAm - A question comes up here? Do we take Birth due to our Karmas ? or do we do karmas due to birth? This is like asking whether the seed or the tree came first! So, the answer is, it's a cycle with no beginning or end. Now, another questions may come up, what was the first karma of Atma? was it paapam or punyam?? Answer is, atma is nityam i.e it is birthless and Anaadi. Krishna refers here to this "karma phalam" which results(pradAm) in births(janma). We should remember that there is nothing like first birth, as atman is eternal and there was not a time when it was non-existent. So the births also are in multitudes and the swarga pala karma recommended by some Vedic pundits will result in the continuation of this cycle of births and karmas. Only a resolve to cling to the feet of the Lord will divert our fickle mind from such attractions. Swami Vedantha Desika in his Hayagreeva Sthothram says that when his head is covered by the pollen of the Lord s Lotus feet, why should he fall at any mortal s feet for favors and remedies? A steadfast surrender unto Him will take care of all requirements in this world for a comfortable life, besides yielding Moksham and cutting off this cycle of rebirths. Jeevatma is given "ahuthi" (i.e oblations) at five areas - Shraddhai, Somam, vrushti, Annam and Repas for it to take birth in human life. I.e when a Jeevatma's time is up in heavens , it gets pushed back from Akasaham to Megam(clouds) and through rains it gets pushed back to earth and through the grains(food), it finds itself in a man and through his sperm, it deposits itself in the egg of woman and takes birth as human. This is cycle which goes on foreover! his cycle of births resemble yagna or homam. Just as ghee or havis is offered n the sacred fire in a yagna, this atman also is offered at many places. The birth of a child is described as Panchagni Vidya Prakaranam in Upanishads. An atman after his tenure in swarga is over is thrown out of swarga and the atman dwells in the clouds. One day, in the decision of God, the clouds make rain. The atman mingling in the rainy water reaches earth and feeds a crop, say rice. The atman gets into a grain of rice and after harvest, the rice is cooked in a house for meal. This food is eaten by someone and later, enters the womb of a woman and takes birth as a child, who could be male or female. Thus the atman resided in space, cloud, rainwater, grains and womb and then takes the body of a child and is born. The born child grows, performs karmas and earns paap and punya and accordingly reaches hell or heaven and after the paap/punya is expended, again pushed out to start the next cycle. We have to therefore learn that we will have to do our karma without attachment to these smaller benefits, which will take us only to heaven, only to be born again after sometime. We will have to breakaway from this cycle. kriyA-visEsa-bahulAm - They do pompous ceremonies, endless karmas, activities in pursuit of material gains. All of this just to for sense enjoyment and progress towards material gains. bhOg-Aiswarya-prasaktAnam - People who are attached to Bhogam, Aiswaryam and in a material plane; And NOT rooted in the understanding that Body and Soul are different, Body is temporary, the Soul's nature is servitude to the lord, it's goal is to get out of this life-death cycle - these people are condemned forever. TiruppanAzhwar in this AMalandipaaran pasuram "Mandipaay..." mentions about monkeys who jumps from tree to tree eating fruits half here, half there and compares us to these monkeys. When we go to Tiruvenkgadam, we go with similar desires which keeps increasing and changing everytime we go there and the Lord is kind enough to do it, but we are never satisfied. Like Agni 's characterisitic "Analaaha", there is no end to our desire, we keep swallowing and ask more and more. The ignorant, whose knowledge is little, and who have as their sole aim the attainment of enjoyment and power, speak the flowery language i.e., having its flowers (show) only as fruits, which look apparently beautiful at first sight. They rejoice in the letter of the Vedas i.e., they are attached to heaven and such other results (promised in the Karma-kanda of the Vedas). They say that there is nothing else, owing to their intense attachment to these results. They say that there is no fruit superior to heaven etc. They are full of worldly desires and their minds are highly attached to secular desires. They hanker for heaven, i.e. think of the enjoyment of the felicities of heaven, after which one can again have rebirth which offers again the opportunity to perform varied rites devoid of true knowledge and leads towards the attainment of enjoyments and power once again. With regard to those who cling to pleasure and power and whose understanding is contaminated by that flowery speech relating to pleasure and lordly powers, the aforesaid mental disposition characterised by resolution, will not arise in their Samadhi. Samadhi here means the mind. The knowledge of the self will not arise in such minds. In the minds of these persons, there cannot arise the mental disposition that looks on all Vedic rituals as means for liberation based on the determined conviction about the real form of the self. Hence, in an aspirant for liberation, there should be no attachment to rituals out of the conviction that they are meant for the acquisition of objects of desire only. It may be questioned why the Vedas, which have more of love for Jivas than thousands of parents, and which are endeavouring to save the Jivas, should prescribe in this way rites whose fruits are infinitesimal and which produce only new births. It can also be asked if it is proper to abandon what is given in the Vedas. Sri Krsna replies to these questions. O! Partha, the unwise, who rejoice in the letter of the Vedas, say, 'There is nothing else.' They are full only of wordly desires and they hanker for heaven. They speak flowery words which offer rebirth as the fruit of work. They look upon the Vedas as consisting entirely of varied rites for the attainment of pleasure and power. Those who cling so to pleasure and power are attracted by that speech (offering heavenly rewards) and are unable to develop the resolute will of a concentrated mind. In the 42nd sloka, He mentioned that some Vedic Pundits claim in flowery language that swarga is the ultimate goal for the atman. In the 43rd sloka He explains how all these karmas will lead one to earthly wealth only. In the 44th sloka, He says that such people, who pursue karmas for worldly wealth, will never realize the real nature of atman. If one understands atman is different from body, one will not give that importance to the body. But these worldly wealth are all related to body only. Therefore, these karmas will enable only recurring births and remain in the birth cycle. So, atman chinthana or contemplating on atman is necessary to break away from this cycle. This step will lead to reaching Brahman or God. These people are not going to get the wisdom, if they are absorbed in karmas leading to swarga. Which wisdom? The wisdom or gyana that atman and body are different, that the atman is eternal and indestructible, that the atman nature is everlasting happiness and that the atman is servant of the Lord. Thiruppanalwar describes in his Amalanadhipiran in the 3rd hymn, mandhi pai vada venkata.. We see a tree here. Lots of birds perch and eat the fruits. After the fruits are exhausted, they migrate to another tree. When we go to Thirumala we notice monkeys. They jump from one tree to another. The monkeys mentioned by Alwar in the hymn are people like us, our Acharyas emphatically mention. Because we possess same qualities. Just as monkeys jump off from one tree after exhausting the fruits, we also seek various boons from the Lord Venkatesa. The Lord also thinking that next time that person might pray for Moksham, grants the smaller desires. But that person comes with more earthly desires next time. A villager visited a city. His friends cautioned him that in the city you should purchase anything only after bargaining. They told that he should bargain for 50% of the seller s price. He came to the city and wanted to purchase an article and the seller demanded Rs.100. villager remembered the advice of his friends and bargained for Rs.50. The seller felt it was too low and said he would agree for Rs.70. Immediately, the villager asked for Rs.35. Puzzled the seller said he may as well give it free. Quick came the bargain from the villager; whether he would give two such articles! In a similar way we never get satisfied with what we have and our demands are ever growing. Like the monkeys hopping tree after tree. The fire in yagna is called anala. It will consume anything without a limit. Our mind also is in a way like that, never satisfied with what was given. We never say enough for the accumulation of wealth. We should earn to give the needy and poor. But we accumulate for our children without a limit. Our mind is trained to calculate how much more we should earn and how to amass wealth. We surely know what is enough for us, but we are greedy and want to amass more and more. If only we could devote our attention to the welfare of atman instead of body, we would have achieved great results. We are comforting the body in shade while allowing the atman to suffer in the hot sun. That is we are keeping the body in wealth and comforts. It should be the other way. But we never do that and our mind is engaged in these worldly wealth and happiness all the time losing even our sleep. Sri Krishna therefore tells Arjuna that by thinking of these earthly pleasures and planning how to attain, such minds have no scope for thinking what is good for the soul. Naturally, they can never do karma yoga and consequently, Moksham is denied to them. That means they will be in the birthdeath cycle and earn paap and punya. To expend these more and more births will be needed. So only by doing one s duty with detachment and determination, one can come away from the cycle of births. This is the substance of 44th sloka. ***** Extract from Gita Bhashyam Commentary for verses 42, 43, 44 : The word puspitam meaning flowery or that whose fruit is no more than the flower itself and therefore although flowery language may be pleasant to hear it is merely a superficial pleasure in the same way it is pleasant to gaze upon a flower but what is actually gained from it is negligible. Thus those of little understanding lacking spiritual intelligence discourse on that which concerns the acquisition of power and wealth. The words veda-vada-ratah defines those who are addicted to the specific sections of the Vedic scriptures which prescribe activities to receive rewards like celestial worlds with heavenly delights. The words anyad astiti vadinah defines those who contend that no higher goal exists beyond the heavenly planets. The word kamatmanah defines those whose minds are always seeking enjoyment engrossed in material sense gratification. The words svarga-parah defines those whose attention is always focused on attaining enjoyments in the heavenly worlds. The words janma-karma-phala-pradam defines that which relates to activities which would result in being born again into the material existence due to having to accept the rewards of one's past actions. The word kriya-visesha-bahulam defines those discussions regarding the manifold rites and rituals required to be performed successfully in order to aquire opulence and power. To those then who are addicted to wealth and power. To those whose light of understanding is dimmed. To those who are captivated by the thought of obtaining opulence and power and are raptly interested in the discussion of all subjects related to acquiring opulence and power; then no determined resolve as that which is mentioned in verse 41 will be able to manifest in their minds. The word samadhi is a permanent meditative state of mind and when achieved it can be likened to the mind for the mind is where spiritual knowledge is collected, contemplated and comprehended and where consciousness of a superior nature is attained. This is indicated by the word samadhiyate a derivative of the root word samadhi. The understanding is that at no time ever does spiritual knowledge come to those whose minds are engrossed in mere desire for wealth and power. The conviction one has to obtain temporal material objects is not of the same quality as the conviction one has who is determined to free themselves from the material existence forever. All activities for them either practical or esoteric are but the means to accomplish this goal and attain salvation and hence those who have qualified in this way are very careful not to connect themselves with any kamakarmas or actions which bring rise to carnal desires so as not to cause any impediments in their spiritual progress. Hence, in an aspirant for liberation, there should be no attachment to rituals out of the conviction that they are meant for the acquisition of objects of desire only. It may be questioned why the Vedas, which have more of love for Jivas than thousands of parents, and which are endeavouring to save the Jivas, should prescribe in this way rites whose fruits are infinitesimal and which produce only new births. It can also be asked if it is proper to abandon what is given in the Vedas. Sri Krsna replies to these questions in next verses.

2.45 trai-gunya-visaya veda nis-trai-gunyo bhav-arjuna nir-dvandvo nitya-sattva-sthah: niryoga-ksema atmavan "The Vedas prescribe for all the three qualities found in men. O Arjuna, become apart from these three modes. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and preservation, and be established in the self." In the 42nd, 43rd and 44th slokas it was told that some learn Vedas and argue that swarga or heaven is the ultimate to be attained. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that he should ignore karmas in the Vedas that yield the smaller rewards like swarga and concentrate to attain Moksham or Vaikunta Prapthi. Arjuna asked which are those karmas he should ignore. Sri Krishna intended the karmas like Jyotish Homam, etc. All these karmas yield swarga prapthi or begetting children or destroying enemies and so on. Sri Krishna wants Arjuna to set his objective on the superior Moksham and not on these trivial rewards. Arjuna now asks after all these karmas, which are intended for swarga etc., are also prescribed in Vedas, then how can he ignore them? Vedas have recommended these acts and Vedas will never advocate wrong things. It is said that what good a thousand mothers and fathers cannot do to a person, Vedas do to us. Vedas will never cheat us. So how can we disregard acts or karmas prescribed in Vedas? The second question is, we have to follow all the commands in the Vedas. We are to faithfully follow the instructions in the Shastras and perform the dos and avoid the don ts. These karmas resulting in swarga are prescribed in shastras and so how can Sri Krishna ask to ignore these karmas? Once we start ignoring such commands of Vedas, soon we will discard all the acts prescribed in the Vedas. Thus the two questions :one Vedas speak only truth and will never divert anyone to wrong path and so how can anyone ignore any commands in Vedas. Second, by saying that one should not do karmas for achieving swarga, though prescribed in the Vedas, will not the defect of disobeying Vedas occur? This also will lead to discrimination and discarding the entire Vedas. If the rewards like heaven are of such an impermanent nature then why do the Vedas which are eternally perfect and beneficial for all beings enjoin practices aimed at achieving heavenly spheres.These doubts of Arjuna are responded in the 45th and 46th slokas. Vedas is not just for one category of people, but for everybody! i.e it includes everybody who have the three qualities (sattva, rajas, tamas). But, you Arjuna, should get away from rajah and tamas guna and be placed in the Sattva platform only. Here we see the word traigunya indicating the three qualities of material nature being goodness, passion and ignorance. This term refers to the three groups of living entities characterised under the influence of these three aforementioned qualities. Vedic scriptures deals with the three modes of material nature which are goodness, passion and ignorance and all beings are born into these three modes of material nature. Some beings have a preponderance for goodness, others for passion and others for ignorance while some are mixed. These modes are conditioned within the mind and they typify the three types of created beings. With exception of the Upanisads the Vedic scriptures dealing with the three modes gives prescribed activities and their results. If the Vedic scriptures did not address these three classes according to their predilections by prescribing the appropriate method for attainment of the heavenly spheres, then those living entities under the influence of passion and ignorance would be adverse to goodness unwittingly hindering their own progress. Also they would be in the dark as to how to advance themselves from their present position and being lost compounded by being full of desires they would fall into degradation falsely fancying it to lead the way to their goal; and in vain they would be ruined. Whatsoever one desires to obtain in heaven the prescription is enjoined for them to achieve it and the description of the various rewards are eulogised as well as the rituals for their fulfilment. If the Vedas were not to reveal and elaborate a way for those within the three modes to benefit themselves according to the three modes of material nature. Then those locked in the cycle of birth and death would forfeit both their opportunities. Firstly unaware of the reward of liberation beyond the three modes and thus being oblivious to it would miss it altogether and secondly if their was no material goal which they could strive for they would lose faith in spiritual knowledge without rituals and practices giving them the means to acquire their cherished goals such as heavenly delights and thus they would lose both chances bequeathed to them with birth into material existence. So it is justly so that the Vedic scriptures deal with the three modes of material nature as they explain the rituals that bring benefits for all those subject to the influence of these modes. For example, imagine a person having no faith in Vedas. He wanted to get rid of his enemy but could not succeed. He came across a Vedic scholar and he sought the scholar s advice. He recommended sena yagna. This person though not believing in Vedas, wanted to give that advice a try. His enemy was vanquished. Then he wanted money and this time scholar recommended another karma and after performing that wealth accumulated. Now, this person slowly started having faith in the Vedas. As time passed, his desires also multiplied and every time he resorted to various karmas in the Vedas and sincerely performed and got satisfied. He aspired for swarga and got it. But later found that also was limited and so sought the advice of Vedic scholars for permanent happiness free from all miseries. He realized that Karma yoga or Gyana yoga or Bhakthi yoga would yield Moksham. This method was required to correct a non-believer. This method is not applicable to people like Arjuna who have already surrendered to the Lord. Therefore, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that the Vedas are meant for all three types-satva, rajo and tamo- of persons. Imagine a mother having three children. One is very submissive and good mannered. The second is a rough and arrogant. Third one is lazy. The mother is common to all the three. The methods used by the mother to get things done from each child will vary. For example if the first child tries to eat something that should be avoided, a mere warning will do. Whereas for the second child, the mother will allow the child to eat and later on when the child complains of stomach disorder, she would give the advice and correct to avoid such foods. This example is quoted by Pillai Lokacharya and his brother Azhgiya Manavalaperumal Nayanar.Now, the first child cannot complain that the mother was partial and she allowed the other child to eat that avoidable food. So, Vedas being common to all sorts of people, that is, variety of people endowed with satva, rajo and tamo guanas, the Lord cannot ask the same karma to be performed by all. Hence the Vedic scriptures contain all that the three classification of living entities possessing different qualities could desire. But ideally one should free themselves from passion and ignorance and devote oneself to increasing the quality of goodness fully. This increase should be pure without any dilution of passion and ignorance all intermixture should be fully purged. The word nirdvandvah means free from duality, devoid of any influence of material nature. Nitya-sattva-sthah is one who is ever wedded to increasing goodness without any trace of passion and ignorance. How is this to be accomplished? By being niryoga- ksema meaning one is completely unconcerned about acquiring any other advantage apart from the realisation of the soul and the means to effect that end. By this method one becomes atmavan or established in the soul. If one conducts oneself in this manner and remains fixed, the influence of passion and ignorance will cease and goodness will become predominant. It may be put forth that one may become indifferent to heavenly delights but that the basic requirements for human existence such as food, clothing and shelter which are also veritable modifications of the three modes of material nature are impossible to ignore and become indifferent too. In answer to this Lord Krishna explains to be free from dualities like praise and blame, heat and cold, pleasure and pain. Being free from them means being unattached to them. How is this to be done? By enduring them and becoming established in pure spiritual consciousness. Its characteristic is patience and endurance uninfluenced by passion or covered by ignorance. One should always be tempered by patience for one without patience is easily overpowered by passion and ignorance and becomes uncontrolled and fearful in situations involving the three modes of material nature. So we should overcome the hindrances of passion and ignorance and maintain a balanced state of equilibrium. But in all this one with worldly possessions desirous of increasing and protecting them may wonder how they may maintain themselves in the material nature. To this Lord Krishna reiterates niryoga-ksema become free from conceptions of acquisition and preservation. But how then would one sustain their lives? By atmavan firmly established in spiritual consciousness of the soul. The essence is to understand that the Supreme Lord is the fulfiller and bestower of all desires. So one should only seek His refuge and accept His shelter. Never fear nor seek any other succour from any other source for the Supreme Lord will provide all sustenance and maintenance to those who understanding Him are fully surrendered. Nirdvandva: Dvandam is duality. Nirdvandam is non-duality. What is it? We see everything in pairs : Happiness-Sorrow, Birth-death; Gain-Loss etc (we have seen in earlier sloka on how to bear duality.. suka dukha samey krtva, laabah-Alaabah , Jaya-Ajayau). So, Nirdvanda moksham is treat this duality as equal and bear with equanimity. We have to train ourselves to pass these pairs. Another intepretation is, we see duality in this life only. So bypassing this samsaram or lifecycles, and reaching Moksham. So our aim is to achieve nirdvandvo. But in our daily life we come across these pairs regularly and react accordingly! Isn't it extremely difficult! How can we avoid these pairs then? nis-trai-gunyo:This is explained in the next words in the 45th sloka. In the beginning of this sloka He told that Arjuna should be without the three gunas or qualities. This does NOT mean that Arjuna should be without all the three-satva, rajo and tamo qualities; but avoid rajo and tamo gunas alone. So a person without the three gunas- that is without the rajo and tamo qualitiescan passover the dualities or pairs or become nirdvandvo. We feel we are attacked by the pairs of victory-defeat, happiness-sorrow and profit-loss, because of the inherent rajo and tamo qualities. nitya-sattva-sthah: By training ourselves in satva guna, we can resist the impact of the pairs. The pairs cannot be avoided in our lives, we should remember, but we can avoid the influence of them on us. Just as we cannot avoid mosquitoes but we guard ourselves against mosquito bite by various methods. Sri Krishna also suggests two methods to resist the influence of the pairs on us. One, by avoiding the trigunya or discarding rajo and tamo qualities. The second is to cultivate the satva quality in us. This two-pronged approach will enable us to overcome the impact of the pairs. Now Arjuna asks Sri Krishna how to identify these three qualities in him and how to manage them? Sri Krishna smiled, as these qualities are not physically identifiable. But He suggests a method for that also. niryoga-ksema : He says one should be niryoga-ksema atmavan. In Sanskrit yogam means receiving what is not possessed. Kshemam means protecting what is possessed. Here Sri Krishna advises that other than atman, do not aspire to possess anything else and do not desire to retain what is possessed. Desireless on yoga kshemam, excepting atman, will make one nistrai-gunyo and nitya-sattva-stho. Because the desire to acquire makes us to employ our rajo guna. We get angry with all those impeding our desire. On the other hand, if we can discard that desire to acquire, then there is no room for passion, anger and jealousy. Niryogakshema will reduce rajo and tamo qualities. Atmavan- What about cultivating satva quality? that is always be thoughtful of the atman. This will grow satva quality and we can easily resist the influence of the pairs. Summarizing, atmavan and niryogakshema will make one nistraigunyo and nithya satvo. This will make one nirdvandvo, which is essential to reach Moksham. The elimination of rajo and tamo qualities and developing satva quality depend on our food habits. 2.46 yaavan artha udapaane sarvatah: samplutohdakE taavan sarveshu vedesu brahmanasya vijanatah In the preceding sloka Sri Krishna advised Arjuna to contemplate on the atman only and to discard passion to acquire or retain material benefits. By doing these Arjuna can eliminate rajo and tamo qualities and develop satva quality. This will result Arjuna being immune to the pairs happiness and sorrow, victory and defeat and gain or loss. Arjuna is commanded to take initiatives to achieve these. Arjuna has doubts, that when everything is mentioned in vedas, why should Krishna tell him to ignore the material benefits provided by Vedas and select what is related to Brahman? Vedas are supreme. Isn't it? Why should Vedas tell it and then Krishna is telling to ignore it? Why doesn't the Vedas provide only what is ultimate, instead of giving Swargam, Putra Kameshti Yagnam and other tips (rituals etc) which are for material benefits? The reason is, ALL of us are living in a material plane and each one of us (except very rare exceptions) have some desire or other (whether it is wealth, property, Son, knowledge etc), so Vedas are kind to help us in this process. Krishna is repeating that this desires will keep us in a endless cycle of material world and that we should focus on getting out of this, by taking the appropriate portions of Vedas. This continuous exhortation will atleast help a few of us to realize it and stop chasing more new material desires and limit our existing desires Or atleast realize the importance giving attention to the needs of the soul. Also Krishna is telling Arjuna not to consider what the vedas are telling for all, but just focus on what Krishna is telling him. Now citing an example Sri Krishna tells in the 46th sloka: "Water in a reservoir is common to all kinds of people and purposes and at all times. Similarly, all the Vedas serve all and brahmana selects the one needed by him." Sri Krishna says that His commands in the Vedas are for all types of people, just as a mother is common to her various children. So, Arjuna should pick up what is applicable to him. He now cites an example. Let us consider river Ganges or Kaveri or a large lake where water from various rivers is stored. There are many ghats in the river or lake. People of various requirements are at these ghats. One wants to get his thirst quenched. Another wants to have a bath, and so on. Even for the person who wants to quench his thirst, he can take water to the extent he needs. Also, he can drink the quantity his palms can collect. One cannot complain that he is not drinking all the water in the river or lake, just because so much water is available. Because, he has to take water to the extent to quench the thirst only and cannot take more. He also cannot complain that there should be water in the river to his requirement only. The water in the river or lake is meant for all and at all times. Also, the water is required for not only drinking but for other uses also. Similarly the commands in the Vedas are for all types of people with various degree of the triguna satva, rajo and tamo qualities. Vedas are also meant for the people in various eras or yugas kritha, thretha, dwapara and kali yugas. It is also meant for persons at various stages in life like bramhachari [bachelor], grahastha [familied persons], vanaprastha [secluded life] and sanyasi [renounced]. It is meant for both males and females, young and old, learned and the ignorant. So, everyone should accept what is suited or prescribed for him. Sri Krishna now advises Arjuna not to resort to some karmas as he is not suited for those. Arjuna is having the satva quality and the other two rajo and tamo- are absent in him. Arjuna should fight to establish dharma. At the same time, he should not fight to gain inferior rewards like swarga, but for obtaining Moksham. He should not fight for acquiring the kingdom or for enjoying regal comforts. Besides, Arjuna being His cousin, who else could be dearer to be preached to cultivate satva quality? Thus, Sri Krishna preached that Moksham was the appropriate path for Arjuna in this juncture. We may not be in the same high level as Arjuna and so it may be difficult to relinquish our desires. We can write down our desires and review them periodically to see whether we have renounced any as preached in Gita. We can also note the dos and don ts, Sri Krishna has advised and review all those where we have drifted away from His advice. Small progresses achieved are great steps in the path Sri Krishna has shown to us. Sri Krishna further says that all the Vedas prescribe the karmas for all types of people and a brahmana should follow those suitable and applicable to him. Here the word brahmana does not indicate a Brahmin as a caste member. Any person who is desirous of reaching the Brahman as mentioned in the Vedas is addressed as Brahmana. Such persons should follow the commands in Vedas, which will take them to the Paramatman. All other destinations should be treated as mere impediments in reaching Moksham and they should be avoided. Any karma, which takes one to swarga or other worlds for enjoyment, will prevent the person from reaching Moksham till that tenure was over and to that extent they become obstacles in the path for eternal happiness. Avoid all those objectives of inferior results. They are the techniques of rajo and tamo quality persons. So advices Sri Krishna and induces Arjuna to fight for dharma with Moksham as the end result. It must be understood that not everything written in the Vedic scriptures is necessary for all the three classifications of living entities. Some injunctions apply only to those possessing qualities of passion and ignorance and some apply only to those solely possessing the qualities of goodness. The rituals and sacrifices mentioned in the karma-kanda division of the Vedic literature are to encourage gradual development of self-realization. And the purpose of selfrealization is clearly stated in the Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita (15.15): the purpose of studying the Vedas is to know Lord Krsna, the primeval cause of everything. So, selfrealization means understanding Krsna and one's eternal relationship with Him.One should follow that portion of the Vedas to perform activities that are most pleasing to Lord Krishna which is in the best interests of all beings. It is not that one must just adopt everything that is said in the Vedas. One should never do activities against the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures but according to qualification and circumstances one must follow what is prescribed in the Vedas. For example certain rituals such as the agnihotra are prescribed to be performed in the Vedas; but they are prescribed for married householders. They are not to be performed by sannyasis. Also celibacy is prescribed in the Vedic scriptures but it is prescribed for brahmacaris and sannyasis. It is not prescribed for married householders. So it is not that everything in the Vedas is to be followed by everyone although all the four orders must certainly follow the Vedas but according to ones ashram. This is the discrimination regarding this matter. Lord Krishna gives the example here that just as a great reservoir of water answers the purpose of a well and when water is flowing to the brim on all sides there is only a small amount required to one thirsty to allay their thirst in the same way only that much need be taken from the Vedic scriptures as may be required. Hence it can be clearly ascertained that from all the Vedic scriptures only that which leads to the realisation of the Ultimate Truth needs to be chosen by those who are in complete knowledge. What is then necessary for one in goodness aspiring for this is revealed in the next verse. 2.47 karmany eva-adhikaras te ma phalesu kadacana ma karma-phala-hetur bhu: ma te sango astv akarmani "You have ONLY right to perform your prescribed duty, but you have no rights for the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be inactive." This sloka is very sweet to listen to but most difficult to follow in practice. Why Sri Krishna told this sloka and what is the connection to the previous sloka? In the earlier slokas 45 & 46, Krishna mentioned to Arjuna that , he can't take everything in Vedas and follow it, since Vedas is like a river and for everybody. But, just like we use river water as per our individual use, Arjuna should use those aspects of veda, which is specifically suited to him i.e. he should follow the sattvic ones (ones which reach him to brahman and not the ones which are for material desires). Arjuna has a question here - Krishna is telling him to pick specific part of vedas - So, can Arjuna ignore what he doesn't feel like? This is a challenge. Sri Krishna is advising him to discard some commands of Vedas. So can he discard any? If someone is asked to follow all in a book then there is no problem. But if same person is told that some in that book are not meant for him, then he thinks that he has the discretion to choose any and discard some, as he likes. There are so many daily karmas prescribed like the simple ones: speak the truth, do not steal, etc. These are also prescribed in the Vedas. Can anyone discard these basic tenets also? Can we discard daily routines like Pooja for the God? So, there is every possibility of total confusion in following Vedas. Also whichever karma is being performed, the objective will always be lingering in mind. As a reply to all these doubts, Sri Krishna mentions this 47th sloka. He says, Arjuna has right to do ONLY his karma . ONLY(te) emphasizes that he has no RIGHT on the RESULTS. He says, "phalesu" -> numerous results/fruits. arjuna should not be thinking he has any right on all the numerous fruits. Karma-Phala->results of the work; hetur->responsible/ownership; ma-bhuh->do not : Do not think you are the cause for the results. Akarmani-> Never be inactive. Ma-teh-Sangah-Astu -> Do not associate : Do not associate anytime with inactivity. You have only Right for doing your presribed duty; You have no right for the fruits of the action Do not think that you are the cause of the results of your activities; But,at the same time, do not ever associate with inactivity. This is very difficult to understand. Every thing we do, again, everything we do -> even simple acts such as turning on TV is with the expectation for some result or working for money .. everything we do is with expectation for result. So, why is Krishna saying like this? Even a dull-headed person will not move a finger unless some results are there. So it might surprise us as to why Sri Krishna is advising like this. We should note that Sri Krishna does not say Arjuna should do without expecting any results. Actually we should link this with the previous sloka and understand that one should contemplate on atman and making the atman to reach Moksham alone should be the result we should expect in every karma performed. Sri Krishna is not saying that we should not aspire for results, but asks not to desire for inferior rewards but aspire to reach the Paramatman for all our actions. In the next line of the sloka it is said that Arjuna should not be the cause of any results. We are to perform the action and even though we may not aspire for a result, unless we perform, the results are not going to be there. If in a game the player is asked not to bother about results, the player may ponder as to why he should play. What Sri Krishna means, when He says that one should not be the cause for a result, is that one should not think that one was responsible for the results. Inaction should not be there. Result may or may not be but when we do a karma we should think that we are not doing that karma for an inferior reward and we should never think that we are responsible for that reward. Arjuna then feels that instead of this elaboration, he could as well remain passive and thereby avoid any result. This Sri Krishna prohibits. Arjuna cannot sit idle; he has to fight in the battle. But he should not desire for swarga or victory. Let us delve into why Sri Krishna is advising that we should not expect or desire for results. We should be clear first as to what we need in this world. If we frequently change our needs we can never reach the destination. Our objective should be that beyond which there is nothing else, that which will give us everlasting experience and that which will yield supreme feeling. The experience in this world indicates to us that happiness and sorrow are mixed. Therefore we have to elevate ourselves to higher planes and reach Paramatman for everlasting pleasure. This should be our objective. This is not small happiness. This will never be lost or decay. It is not going to end after some time. Once we have decided on this aim, all our actions should be targeted to reach this goal only. Any deviation in this will make us miss the objective. Any action for any other target will only waste our time and energy. This is what Sri Krishna explains to Arjuna. He should do his duty and that only is going to realize him the Paramatman. We have to perform duties prescribed for us. We have to do our duties. Follow the righteous path. Speak the truth. Be helpful to others. Do not malign others. Cultivate the real traits of atman. By doing all these we will follow the path shown by Sri Krishna and surely we will secure the results He indicated. We can do these acts like speaking truth only or following righteous path, for other benefits also. As an example digging to create a pond for the benefit of the society is a righteous act. By doing so one may get position or wealth. But if the same person can also think that by doing this act, he is going to make available water for many devotees in whom He resides and so this will please Paramatman and so He will receive him to His Domain. So a choice exists. We can perform a commendable act for smaller rewards like position or wealth, or for sublime rewards like pleasing the God. We should choose the latter. Here, Sri Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to fight to reach Moksham. Arjuna should have his aim as reaching the feet of the Lord and fight in the battle. That is why Sri Krishna tells that Arjuna has right only for the duty- karmanyeva. Now, Arjuna enquires that if Sri Krishna is telling that he is not the cause for results of his action, then will not the normal concept of relation between cause and action be faulted? It appears that what Sri Krishna tells is against our daily observations. If a person hits a person and is produced in a court, he cannot escape punishment by saying that he was not responsible for the injury suffered by the other. So one can never runaway from the results of an action. If the battle is won, it will mean that Arjuna was responsible for that victory. If this is not accepted then it will result in a mindless act. Result and action have to be always together only. Then why Sri Krishna is advising the other way? Swami Ramanuja in his Gita Bhashyam and Swami Vedantha Desika in his Tatparya Chandrika explain these. In karmanyeva adhikara, the word adhikara indicates the thought mine or I am doing . Where this thought should be and where it should not be? When one is doing his duty he should have this thought that it is his duty and that he is doing his duty. So this right adhikara- and the thought that right is being exercised should be there while performing one s duty. But when a result is there he should not claim it as a right and be inert to the results. Sri Krishna therefore does not say that cause and action are not related. He only says that while doing a duty, one cannot claim one was responsible for the result. If in the battle Arjuna wins it is no doubt that Arjuna was responsible for that. But he should never think that he is responsible for the outcome. With the feeling that one is not responsible for the result, one should do a duty. This feeling is quite difficult to bring to practice. The advantages of such a feeling are brought out in the next sloka. We should perform our duty for superior goal and at the same time we should always remember that we are not responsible for the end results. If we are not responsible for the results of our action, why should we do any action? Why not remain inactive? Sri Krishna says that He never said that we are not responsible for the results, but commands that we should not perform our duty with the thought that we are responsible for the results. Arjuna asks what is wrong if he assumed or thought that he was responsible for the results? Sri Krishna counters Arjuna whether could he ever say that for any result of any action, he alone was responsible? For any action it is the teamwork, which gets results. In the Shastras it is said that for any action five entities are needed. They are Paramatma, Jeevatma, body, organs and Pranavayu [Oxygen]. Team effort of all these only can result in any action. When this is the position, how can anyone claim that he has done? So there is nothing wrong in assuming that he has not performed that action. Arjuna accepting this asks whether he, being one of the five, can assume at least 20% was his contribution? Sri Krishna denies this and says that in this Universe everything perform to His orders and so it would be better to say that He was responsible for all actions. If we analyze we can realize that one alone is not responsible for any action. (Extract from Gita Bhashyam: Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna that for one who is fixed in goodness, whose sole aim is for liberation; the routine of performing daily duties, occasional duties and fruit bearing duties should be performed automatically and whatever recompense assigned to each of them should not be hankered for desiring rewards and benefits or else it becomes fruitive. The desire for reward and benefits has a binding effect keeping one bound in the material existence. But free from these impediments the same action performed as worship to the Supreme Lord becomes the veritable means to secure liberation. Therefore be devoid of motive for actions nor desire to reap the reward from actions. Though all living entities are acting their part in this world, those who are situated in goodness aspiring for liberation are considered not to be entangled as so. It can be understood that when one eats the hunger one had is appeased and the desire is satisfied as well; yet one would not consider theirself as the cause of the appeasal and satisfaction. )

2.48: yoga-sthah kuru karmani sangam tyaktva dhananjaya siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhutva samatvam yoga ucyate "Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga." yoga-sthah--steadfast in yoga; kuru--perform; karmani--your duties; sangam-- attachment; tyaktva--having abandoned; dhananjaya--O Dhananjaya; siddhiasiddhyoh-- success and failure; samah--the same; bhutva--having become; samatvam--evenness of mind; yogah--yoga; ucyate--is called. Established in yoga and renouncing attachment to all accompanying results one should engage in actions as a matter of duty to the best of one's ability completely unconcerned with success and failure. This equipoised condition of the mind keeps it peaceful and steady in the face of all adversity and balanced and calm in the fulfilment of any actions. In this 48th sloka Sri Krishna mentions yoga. It means considering victory and defeat alike without differentiation. The person who attains such a mind of tranquility and in whom the mind is in harmony is called yogi. Arjuna should be one among such yogis. We see here a large tree and the big Anaimalai rock. They represent steadfastness. Nothing can shake these. Similarly we should also be firm. Just because others talk, we should not lose our heart. By desiring various rewards our weakness is exhibited. Today this is required, tomorrow we need that, if we do this we may get that reward, if we do that we may get a different reward- like this we are advised by so many people. By losing our minds and getting distracted we will become nervous. We should decide whether we want a strong mind or a weak one? By listening to all sorts of suggestions our mind gets weaker. We should firmly believe that whatever we need will all be granted by the Lord. The relationship between a devotee and God should not be commercial. Devotee has to establish his rights and God will certainly perform His duty. Both have duties and rights. Our resolute should be that we are devoted to Him and we will do only what pleases Him. Our objective is to reach Him. This must be our resolution. With this thought we should perform our duties. When this is done there is no need to establish our rights. God Himself will grant all those. When we do our duty we should have a resolute and balanced mind to either victory or defeat arising as a result of that karma. What is balanced approach to victory or defeat? Abandoning attachment sangam tyaktva-one should perform his duty. That is we should be free from any attachment to the result of our action. Such detachment from result will enable the karma to be done properly. Here we have to see important aspects. In our daily life we notice that only if we have interest in the result, we get enthusiasm to perform a task. A student keeps his aim as securing 99% in the exam and this drives him to study harder. But what Sri Krishna is telling here is exact opposite. Don t have attachment on the result, if the work is to be properly done. There appears to be contradiction to convention we notice in this world. Will not Sri Krishna s advice induce laziness and indifference? We have to note here what is the result expected? By aiming for the ordinary worldly rewards, our efforts will be more by aspiring for those. But when we want to reach Him, we should be away from these petty rewards. We reap that only which we keep as objective in our mind. So the supreme goal of reaching His feet should be our aim and we should not care for other results. We can see some examples as how we can perform better by not attaching to the result. If a person s father, let us say, has chest pain in the midnight. All relatives are crying. The person himself is totally agitated. In this state of mind the person is unable to find means to take his father to hospital. Just at that time as Godsend, the person s friend comes and surveying the situation he does the correct actions to get the ambulance, doctor and medicines. The family is relieved from the misery. How the friend could make these arrangements while the person could not? Because in this case the person s father was suffering and the attachment of the person to the patient could not enable the person to do what his friend could do. The friend on the other hand had no such attachments and his aim, a noble one, was to help his friend. Attachment brings in anxiety. While detachment ensured calm and quite approach. We might have kept important documents in a cabinet and if the keys are misplaced, we will find very difficult to search for the keys. This is because we know the importance of the document inside the cabinet and so the anxiousness to retrieve the documents will disable our proper approach. But a person not knowing the contents in the cabinet, will be able to find the keys and get the cabinet opened. We can see our cricket team. A player may be performing excellently. But when he is made the captain of the team, his performance goes down. Why? Because now his mind is on the results to get the team perform well, to ensure coherent approach, etc. This attachment to the result of team performing well disables the player and performance goes down. Some players in this type of situation also perform well, which means they have followed the principle enunciated in the Gita. So if we get attached to rewards then this balanced approach will not be there. 2.49 durena hy avaram karma buddhi-yogAd dhananjaya buddhau saranam anviccha kripanah phala-hetavah "Action with attachment is far inferior, O Arjuna, to action done with evenness of mind. Seek refuge in evenness of mind. Miserable are they who act with a motive for results." Earlier Krishna told that we have right only to do our duty. But when we perform a duty, it should not be mere an action. That is it should not be a mere ritual. Our intellect should also be associated with that karma. What type of intellect should be there? We are NOT doing this karma for trivial rewards but for a supreme purpose of Moksham. We should be having an equitable approach on the results arising out of the action. With such a mind the duty will be performed well. Without this thought in mind if the karma is done it will be mere ritual. So, our intellect forms an important part in karma. Sri Krishna shows the difference in a karma one does with this intellect and without. With such noble mind the karma is also noble. Without this sublime thought any action performed is regarded as very low. This will result in rebirths. A person who thinks he is responsible for swarga or victory/loss in karma, is a krupana or underprivileged and he is going to have rebirths. Whereas with the intellect that he is not responsible for the rewards, the karma is noble. An action performed without involving the intellect a mere ritual- is considered very inferior. So, Arjuna is advised that applying his intellect in the action that he is not aspiring for trivial rewards like swarga, he should do his duty. He should resort to this type of understanding. The person who thinks he is responsible for rewards will have rebirth. So do the duty with the understanding that he is not responsible for the result and perform the duty. We have right only to do the karma and we should not aspire for results. Do the duty with the conscience that I am not doing this karma .The karma is to be done by Arjuna only and the rewards also will be for Arjuna. But while doing the karma he should do the duty with total detachment to the results. We can also see what happens if we do a work with conscience and without. A good example of this is the incident quoted in Srimad Bhagavatam on Krishna's request for food to Brahmans and when being refused, going to their wives with the same request. (Note that , this is just an example and it's important to understand the truth behind it and not just get stuck in the example, without understanding it's purport!) Though the Brahmins were learned and knew Sri Krishna as the God, they never applied their mind as to what for they were performing the yagna and who was to be appeased in the yagna. Thus they were doing karma without applying their intellect. The uneducated ladies on the other hand were so much devoted to Sri Krishna that they could not bear the feeling He was hungry and rushed. These women did not perform great yagnas but had the greatest devotion. Whereas the Brahmins daily performed yagna to invoke God. But they became mere ritual and so they never received His blessings. This was because the intellect that the yagna was being performed to please God and He Himself as Sri Krishna was asking for food, was missing. So mere learning is of no use and similarly, mere ritual also is waste. We also while chanting Sri Rama, Sri Krishna and Sri Govinda, should be conscious that these are His names and by uttering these we are pleasing Him and Namasankeerthanam [singing God s names] is our duty. This will elevate the mere uttering to a noble karma. One performing actions with the thought of receiving rewards gets the desired resultant. This appears positive but it is repeatedly denounced. Why? Because actions performed due to selfish motives are inferior to actions performed due to selfless motives. Selfless motives are balanced in equanimity. Equanimity possesses a determinate consciousness. Because of this reality one should seek the shelter of evenness of mind in equanimity. Actions performed with fruitive motivations are far inferior to actions performed as a matter of duty. The mind of those whose actions are performed as a matter of duty are not disturbed or unbalanced by delusions of rewards gained or lost. The activities performed in spiritual intelligence removes all suffering in the world and leads to liberation from the material existence. Contrarily activities performed for the acquisition of rewards assuredly results in suffering and affliction in the material existence. Phala-hetavah are those who sole motivation is dictated be the prospects of reward. It should be understood that such living entities are krpanah or pitiable due to the fact but acting in this way they are imprisoned in the material existence unable to attain their spiritual nature. Thus, when an act is being done, take refuge in Buddhi (evenness of mind). Refuge means abode. Live in that buddhi, is the meaning. "miserable are they who act with a motive for results": it means, "those who act with attachment to the results etc are miserable and they will continue in samsara". For all living entities the Supreme Lord is the only refuge. When this realisation finally dawns upon the intellect of a living entity whether they are ignorant, wise or liberated they surrender unto the Supreme Lord without reservation. Those who in delusion consider themselves the same as the Supreme Lord Krishna who is distinctly different due to His inconceivable potencies and transcendental attributes, descend to the hellish worlds of darkness without a doubt. They are doomed to eternal damnation in hellish conditions. 2.50 buddhi-yukto jahatiha ubhe sukrita-duskrte tasmad yogaya yujyasva yogah karmasu kausalam After pointing out the defects of performing optional activities which are not essential, Lord Krishna extols the virtues of equanimity in that it neutralises all reactions without a doubt both positive and negative. Therefore everyone should make a diligent endeavour to achieve this consciousness of equanimity. For one expertly engaged in actions which do not incur reactions on their path to attain liberation form the material existence and the ultimate truth is the highest skill. A deed done for a sublime cause elevates the doer. If the deed is done with the thought that it would please God, it is Karma yoga. So while doing karma or deed, our intellect or buddhi has to be involved. The buddhi or understanding should be that we are not doing the karma for inferior rewards like swarga. The karma is not being done by us. This karma will please God. These thoughts or understandings are needed while doing any karma. Instead if it is done as a mere karma, it will engage the person in rebirths. The thought or understanding that we are doing karma as a devotion to Him and we have no ambition for swarga or material comforts in this world, will make God to grant Himself all our needs. When we request God for anything it would be limited but if God Himself grants it would be profuse. So, instead of praying God to grant this or that, we should leave all our requirements to His judgment and devote ourselves in His service. This is a basic tenet of Karma yoga. In the preceding 47th, 48th and 49th slokas, Sri Krishna explained the difference in mere karma as a ritual and karma with intellect involved. The latter is superior. So, He advises Arjuna to resort to this understanding while doing karma. While fighting in the battle, he should have the understanding that this is his karma and by doing so he would please Sri Krishna. By pleasing Him, Arjuna will get all happiness. We have to see sloka 50. In the 50th and 51st slokas Sri Krishna mentions two rewards. In sloka 50 He says all undesirables will be destroyed from us. In sloka 51 He says we will get our desires fulfilled. It is usual for anyone to wish that things he disliked were all destroyed and get only things he liked. But the things disliked and things liked vary from person to person. Universally there should be something, which is liked by all, and something else hated by all. All like devotion to Him and reaching His feet. All would dislike what does not please God. There should not be difference in this common like and dislike. We should avoid the rebirths and associated miseries in life. Without the fluctuation of happiness and sorrow, but only everlasting happiness at His feet is what we should aspire for. Here yoga is the buddhi or understanding that the karma is being done not for inferior objectives but only as a devotion to Him. So, Sri Krishna advises Arjuna to strive for this yoga. In any work we do our intellect should be involved. When a mother feeds her child, though milk is fed, her thought that she is its mother is always there. So this becomes a noble one. In contrast, the commercially available milk does not establish a relation between the child and the mother. This is an inferior act as mere feeding is done. An action by itself cannot elevate a person unless the intellect also is involved. Iha means while doing the karma. With proper understanding or buddhi that the karma is being done as a devotion to Him and not for any inferior rewards, when the person is doing the karma yoga here itself- he relinquishes both punya and paap. Therefore Arjuna should strive to get that buddhi. Arjuna should fight, as it is his dharma. By doing that he should realize he will be pleasing the Lord. Pleasing Him will make this life happy and bring in the eternal happiness by reaching the feet of God. But a thought that this fight will enable him to experience blood smeared victory and kingdom, will bring rebirths and the associated miseries. Kausalam is talent. Sri Krishna says that both paap and punya are expended. How can doing karma nullify our paap and punya? How are these related? These doubts may arise. How our performing karma destroys the invisible paap and punya? This is one query. In Athimanushastavam, Kooratalwan says that in this world punya or paap is related to His feeling of happiness and unhappiness. It is all right paap is destroyed, but why should the punya also be got rid of? After all everybody is trying to acquire punya. Why then Sri Krishna says punya as well as paap will be removed? We should know what are punya and paap. We do certain karma and they may bring punya for us. Some other deeds may bring paap. These are not written anywhere as we do various deeds whether any are for punya or paap. But these are engraved in Him. They cannot be wiped out nor there will be any misappropriation of one s paap and punya are accounted for someone else. If our deed pleases Him, they are punya. If our deeds are displeasing to Him, then they bring paap. This will raise the doubt why then we should remove the happiness in Him i.e. punya? We should remember that our goal is to reach His feet and get Moksham. For that goal, the ordinary delights in this world as well as the pleasure in swarga are all impediments. It is like a person arrested is in fetters. Whether that person will be happy if the fetters are golden instead of iron fetters? So, when Moksham is the objective, both paap and punya have to be avoided. By acquiring punya one goes to swarga and by paap actions one goes to naraka. In either case, one does not go to Moksham. Therefore one has to avoid the karmas yielding either punya or paap. If punya was just an entity we could avoid that, but when punya means God s happiness, should we avoid that also? During Mohini Avataaram, Devas prayed Him for Amrut to have immortality. But they never prayed for His feet and permanent happiness in His Company. Had they requested Him, His happiness would have been the ultimate and total. Though He would be happy that we by doing punya karma we did not go to naraka, He would feel happiest if we seek His feet. By doing jyotishhomam he sought swarga and God will be definitely pleased to grant him. But there will be a small resentment that instead of praying for Him, the person has demanded only swarga. Though the person has followed the Vedas and performed His commands only, the person has ignored the Vedanta and not aspired for Moksham and to this extent God will have a small unhappiness. Therefore karmas, which will fetch punya, have to be avoided. From this we have to learn a minute lesson. If we pray Him to get Him, He is fully happy. But if we pray Him for anything else, Lord is not that happy. He, who is established in EVENNESS OF MIND in the performance of actions, relinquishes good and evil karmas which have accumulated from time immemorial causing bondage endlessly. Therefore, acquire this aforesaid evenness of mind (Buddhi Yoga). Yoga is skill in action. That is, this evenness of mind when one is engaged in action, is possible through great skill i.e ability. 2.51 karma-jam buddhi-yukta hi phalam tyaktva manisinah: janma-bandha-vinir-muktah padam gacchanty anaa-mayam Those who possess this evenness of mind while performing actions and relinquish their fruits, are freed from the bondage of rebirth and go to the region beyond all ills. "Hi" means that this dictum or teaching is well known in all the upanishads. How actions are able to turn out to be the means of liberation are being now given. Those with spiritual intelligence who relinquish all fruitive desires for the results of all actions, perform in righteousness activities as an offering unto the Supreme Lord are blessed with self-realisation, and being released from the bondage of birth and death they being liberated attain the eternal and everlasting spiritual worlds (SriVaikuntam) of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Amayam means illness and Anaa-mayam means the place or position without illness. That is placement in Vaikunta. The one who does the karma yoga with his buddhi or consciously, reaches the place free of illness i.e.anaa-mayam. Men discarding the karmas by which they will obtain inferior results, and by doing the karma with buddhi or intellect- that they will not do a karma for ordinary rewards but for the highest reward of Moksham, the karma is done as a devotion to God- will get the superior results. For this they are to be released from their shackles or bandham and obtain the never-to-return position (vinir-muktah). The birth and death are shackles and the karma yoga destroys these anishta or undesirables. Then, gets the ishtam or desirable of the highest reward of Moksham where one does not face any miseries. Padam can mean the feet of the Lord . "Vishnoh Padeh paramey madhva utsah:" or His abode, Sri Vaikuntam: " tad vishnoh paramam padam sada pashyanti surayo diviva chakshur-atatam , tad vipraso vipanyavo jagrivamsaha, samindhate vishnor yat paramam padam" (Just as the sun's rays in the sky are extended to the mundane vision, so in the same way the wise and learned devotees always see the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu. Because those highly praiseworthy and spiritually awake brahmanas are able to see the spiritual world, they are also able to reveal that supreme abode of Lord Vishnu." (Rig Veda 1.22.20) ) By combining both we can interpret that by clinging to His feet we can reach His abode, Vaikuntam or Moksham. By seeking refuge at His feet our fetters or bandham in this world are eliminated. For this we have to perform karma yoga without aspiring for inferior rewards and with conscience that it is done as a devotion to Him. Like the same type of food, however tasty it might be, produces aversion, by doing karmas for inferior rewards our birth gets repeated and produces distaste. Whereas in Moksham he appears afresh every moment and our experience also is fascinating every moment. Namo namo bavati jayamanaha so says Upanishad. He appears afresh every time we look at Him. The Lord is decorated everyday differently and it fascinates us every time we look at Him. Ornaments, attires, garlands, vehicles and even the prasad are changed daily. He is purana or very ancient but at the same time He appears anew everytime and graces us. Such persons attain Moksham. The Lord of this place does this important duty of getting us the Moksham. We can see how an atman goes from a body to Moksham and how Thirumogur Apthan is helping the atman in getting that highest reward. In Chandogya and Brihadaranya Upanishads and in Alwars hymns Archiradi marg is explained. Atman is residing in a very minute form in the heart. Let us assume that after innumerous births all paap and punya have been expended. After this the journey of the atman starts. All the shackles of paap and punya acquired not only in this life of 70 or 80 years but of the innumerous birth cycles experienced by the atman and which have been there binding us to this world are to be cut off now. Just as His birth removed the shackles in His parents Vasudeva and Devaki, karma yoga with dedication to His feet cuts off these bondages. There is a small hole on the top of our head. When a child is born this spot can be felt but later as the child is daily bathed, skull covers this spot. This spot is called Brahma ranthram. From the heart to this Brahma ranthram there is a nerve called sushoomna nadi. Normally this passage is dark and one day the Lord illuminates the entire path for the atman to take the journey. Out of the 101 nerves, the Lord identifies the sushoomna nadi as the route for the soul to take the journey. The soul with His help now pierces the Brahma ranthram and goes on archiradi marg. The Lord gives the atman a minute body to escape as the body made of the five elements is cast off in this world. Archit means jyoti or light. This brilliantly lit up route is there to the atman. Just as a person struggles when from darkness he is brought to bright light, the atman also is dazed. Now comes the Sri Kalamega Perumal. He is also called Sri Marga Bandhu or Vazhithunai Perumal. As a friend and guide Thirumogur Apthan will lead us on this grand voyage. Like the clouds, He sprinkles water, which is His compassion, on the entire route to make the Atman feel comfortable. Nammalwar wanted to reach the Holy Feet of the Lord and remain in service in Vaikuntam. We also can cling to the lotus feet of the Sri Kalamega Perumal praised by Alwar. Such is the splendor His idol and all should come here and experience the bliss. In this context, it's useful to note Varaha Charama Slokam, where the Lord states, When our body, mind, intellect and vital organs are properly functioning and in our control, if we surrender at the Divine feet of Sri Varaha Perumal, then, when we are in our death bed, when we can not even remember His name nor our body and mind are in our control, Sri Varaha assures that He would remember and with a helping hand would take us to Moksham. sthithE manasi susvasthE sarIrE sathi yO nara: dhAthusAmyE sthithE smarthA visvarUpam cha maamajam (1) tathastham mriyamANam thu kAshtA paashaNa sannibham aham smarAmi madh bhaktham nayAmi paramAm gathim (2) (Meaning ):Oh Bhumi Devi ! The entire universe is my body (sarIram ) . I do not have births or deaths . When my bhakthAs with mahA visvAsam surrender to me, while they are still in a state of tranquil mind and healthy body and reflect about Me as as SarvAdharan ( root cause of all) , NiyanthA ( one who commands from within ) sarva sEshi ( the ultimate ), aasrayaNeeyan ( one who is fit to be worshipped ) , Sarva VyApthan (all-pervasive ) and Nithya sannihithan ( One who is always near ) , THEN I think of them at their last moments, when they are totally unconscious like a log or a stone and lead them by archirAdhi maargam to My parama padham and bless them to have nithya kaimkarya bhAgyam to Me there . The liberated living entities seek that place where there are no material miseries. The Bhagavatam says (Bhag. 10.14.58) : samasrita ye padapallava-plavam mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam padam padam yad vipadam na tesam "For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Mukunda or the giver of mukti, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf's hoofprint. Param padam, or the place where there are no material miseries, or Vaikuntha, is his goal, not the place where there is danger in every step of life." Owing to ignorance, one does not know that this material world is a miserable place where there are dangers at every step. Out of ignorance only, less intelligent persons try to adjust to the situation by fruitive activities, thinking that the resultant actions will make them happy. They do not know that no kind of material body anywhere within the universe can give life without miseries. The miseries of life, namely birth, death, old age and diseases, are present everywhere within the material world. But one who understands his real constitutional position as the eternal servitor of the Lord, and thus knows the position of the Personality of Godhead, engages himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Consequently he becomes qualified to enter into the Vaikuntha planets, where there is neither material, miserable life nor the influence of time and death. To know one's constitutional position means to know also the sublime position of the Lord. One who wrongly thinks that the living entity's position and the Lord's position are on the same level is to be understood to be in darkness and therefore unable to engage himself in the devotional service of the Lord. He becomes a lord himself and thus paves the way for the repetition of birth and death. But one who, understanding that his position is to serve, transfers himself to the service of the Lord, at once becomes eligible for Vaikunthaloka. Service for the cause of the Lord is called karma-yoga or buddhi-yoga, or in plain words, devotional service to the Lord. 2.52 yada te moha-kalilam buddhir vyati-tarisyati tada gantasi nirvedam srotavyasya srutasya ca 52nd sloka is the last sloka on Karma yoga. Earlier by some slokas the everlasting nature of atman was told. From 39th sloka Karma yoga was described. In that sequence this is the last sloka. Lord says that Arjuna would regret and feel ashamed about the petty things he is attached and running around and ignoring the reality of what needs to be pursued, after hearing what Krishna has already said and will be saying in the next slokas. His i.e his buddhi (intelligence) will get out (vyati-tarisyati) of Moham (delusion) and Kalilam and at that time, he will reach (gantasi) nirvedam(sad, ashamed) after hearing what Krishna has said so far (srutasya) and will say (strotavyasya). Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that he is going to get disgusted with himself for having clung to various things and which, his mind should have concentrated, were ignored all these days. His intellect was confused all these days. Moham means confusion. When his buddhi comes out of this confusion, at that time he will get nirvedam i.e. he will start hating himself. When he is going to attain this state? After having heard all that Sri Krishna told and all that He is going to tell in due course. Sri Krishna had told him that he was attached to various things and in the coming slokas He is going to further explain on this subject. Hearing both, Arjuna is going to get nirvedam or get disgusted and blame himself. Where I should have attachment, I did not and where I should not have attachment, I had . This is going to be Arjuna s lamentation. Our various actions were all targeted for inferior rewards. Did we aspire for such low objectives? Such aversion is going to overtake. We should have attachment to the Lord. Our atman should have been serving Him only. Discarding these noble things in life we have been after all inferior objectives. We desired all those which were impediments to Moksham and which were all temporary and transient. Mourning such actions of us is nirvedam. So far we have understood that karma performed with detachment and with our buddhi or conscience involved, our paap and punya are eradicated. With the elimination of paap and punya , rebirths are eliminated. By avoiding rebirth we reach God s feet. Nammalwar says [2.x]: Pattrilan Isanum , Muttravam Ninrann, Patrilayaay, avan Mutril Adange! the Lord does not desire anything else but only us. When will we reach Him is His thought always. Therefore we should also discard our desires in other things and cling to His feet. Our query is that He is somewhere and after so much of time if we suddenly fall at His feet, will He accept? He is so great and will He not kick us out for not coming to Him all these days? In Srimad Ramayana, Vibheeshana was somewhere else. When he sought refuge in Sri Rama, he was not driven away. Whoever be, if he comes and falls at His feet, the Lord never drives him away. In this context, it's useful to note the slokam on Sudarshan Azhwar. The Discus held by the Lord in His right hand eliminates all our paap. Spurath sahasrara sikhathi theevram Sudarsanam bhaskara koti thulyam l surad visam prana vinasi Vishno: chakram sadaham saranam prabadye ll From all these we understand that the Lord is desirous of taking us to His domain. We should also have identical desire but we concentrated on inferior rewards. Pondering over this only will induce nirvedam and Arjuna will start disliking his behavior all these days. Our buddhi is contaminated. As long as paap and punya are there our buddhi will be like this only. Just as we cannot see our image clearly if the mirror has dust on it, with polluted mind we cannot perform any yoga properly; we cannot distinguish truth from falsehood. Which is thyajyam [rejectable] and which is upadheyam [acceptable] will not be known. This is what He calls mohakalinam. This is a great question before all of us. We cannot decide what we want. If all are asked to demand only one, which cannot be changed later, there will be total silence. We can never be firm in what we want and the requirement changes every moment. Do we want education or employment or good family orwealth? We can never be decisive. This is one type. But what Arjuna is told is that he should discard all the small and ordinary benefits like victory, swarga, etc, and desire only the feet of Sri Krishna. Thus the supreme goal will be unique or singular while the inferior rewards will be many and in multitude. We should reject the multitudes and accept the unique. This is rational knowledge. That is we are able to distinguish our acceptable and rejectable. In Sanskrit this is called thyajya upadeya gyan or viveka gyan. Once this moha kalinam is jumped over, nirvedam steps in and we start blaming ourselves for desiring such trivial things in life and having wasted our time. This disgust is a necessary step to reach Him. This only will make one to perform karma yoga with buddhi. Therefore from this 52nd sloka we understood all those multiple desires we should discard and contemplate on the unique desire to reach His feet by detached karma yoga. After this Sri Krishna starts His sermon on Gyana Yoga with introduction. ************ Summary of slokas covered in Second Chapter so far: Sri Krishna, in Gita tells about Moksham in two parts and in two situations. Our Ultimate goal is to reach the feet of Paramatman. But suddenly we cannot jump to that height. Therefore it is necessary to understand our atman. With this knowledge we should practice Karma yoga uninterruptedly. What is the knowledge about atman? This was detailed from 12th sloka to 37th sloka in 2nd Chapter. Thereafter, He started telling about Karma yoga. In the 38th sloka He explained how a karma yogi would perceive equitably victory/defeat, profit/loss and happiness/sorrow i.e "Sukha Dukha, Samey krtva, Labah-Alabau Jaya-Ajayau". With this as introduction, from 39th sloka He explained Karma yoga (Esha teh Bhitah Sankey..). So we see two steps. First is to realize Paramatman. Before that we have to realize our atman. This is called atma sakshatkaram. That is possessing clear understanding of Atma. Nothing more is required to clarify atman- this clarity should be possessed. This will be like seeing atman and so is called atma sakshatkaram. To reach this state what is needed? Three things are needed. One, the ordinary knowledge about atman. This only will mature to get atma sakshatkaram. This is a basic knowledge about atman. Once this knowledge is acquired, then we do karma without attachment or with detachment. This Karma yoga should be continuously performed. This will enable to eliminate the contaminations in our mind or intellect. Why this contamination was there? As long as paap and punya are there this pollution will be there. Confusion is the contamination. What is the confusion? Which is to be discarded and which is to be adhered to? This lack of knowledge to differentiate, is the confusion. As long as this knowledge is not acquired, the knowledge about atman is not going to ripen. Because we have to adhere to atman and leave all others. Thus the mind or buddhi is contaminated. Without the ripening or maturing of knowledge we cannot get atma sakshatkaram. To get this we have to meditate on the atman uninterruptedly. To meditate continuously we require serene mind. Like an automobile requires clear petrol and clean carburetor for smooth running, a serene mind is needed. Rational knowledge of on what we should have attachment and on which we should be detached should be there. In a confused mind meditation is impossible. Without meditation, we cannot get atma sakshatkaram. We can visualize this as stairway. By performing Karma yoga we can eradicate paap and punya. Eliminating paap and punya will facilitate to clear the confusion in our minds as to which are to be adhered to and which are to be discarded, and the mind is serene. Serene mind will allow proper meditation on atman. This will lead to atma sakshatkaram. With clear and full understanding of atman, the inner motive force of atman Paramatman- will be realized. This requires Bhakti yoga. This will be explained in the 7th, 8th and 9th Chapters. That will be the ultimate and final step. So reaching Paramatman by Bhakti yoga is one part. Since we do not have the ability to go direct to Paramatman, we have to acquire knowledge about Jeevatman. This Jeevatma sakshatkaram is another part. To get this we require doing continuous meditation, which is called Gyana yoga. This requires unpolluted intellect and so we have to get rid of paap and punya. This needs performing Karma yoga. For this basic knowledge about atman is necessary. That is why Sri Krishna sermonized on the basic nature of atman from 12th to 37th sloka of Chapter II. We can recall that He told that atman is everlasting, it is different from body, it is an embodiment of gyana or knowledge, it is full of bliss, it cannot be destroyed, it is indivisible, it can not be moistened or dried and it cannot be cut or burnt. This basic knowledge was tutored and made us to realize that atman is superior to body and it cannot be destroyed and so we should find ways and means to uplift atman. What should be our efforts for this? After learning the attitude of a Karma yogi, we have now learnt from 39th till 52nd sloka detailingKarma yoga. The one, who does Karma yoga with buddhi, destroys paap and punya and gets the bliss of Moksham. (Ihey Sukrutah duskrute. Iha Gahati ; Tadah Gacchanti AnAmayam). Karma yoga was deliberated. Karma yoga removes paap/punya. Removal of paap/punya gets us nirmala or unalloyed, serene mind. Looking back we can appreciate the logical manner all the slokas are placed. Like an able Professor teaches, Sri Krishna is taking us step by step to understand our lifestyle. Till 38th sloka , he detailed about Atma's nityatvam and Atma Gnaanam. And Till 52nd sloka Karma Yoga was explained. Karma yoga removes paap/punya. Removal of paap/punya gets us nirmala or unalloyed, serene mind. The next 53rd sloka will tell us what we achieve by a serene mind. In such a mind a coherent and concentrated knowledge can be unshakably established. This knowledge is about atman. Why this knowledge is steadfast? Because, it cannot be shaken by any rewards like that pleasure or this comfort. Our objective is only atma sakshatkaram. We have already seen that in sloka 2.41, the buddhi in pursuit of atman will be unique or singular, while the buddhi striving for other rewards will be in multiples. Rewards are many, buddhi also are many and efforts also are many. In the case of atman as objective, only one effort, objective is one and buddhi also is one. This singular knowledge will be acquired. This knowledge will be resolute and unshakable. It is in a serene and clear mind. Just as a dust-free mirror reflects our face brilliantly, we can see our atman in a serene, free of paap and punya, mind. This constant meditation is Gyana yoga. Without paap/punya there is nothing to distract and drag the mind from meditation, just as a firm ground will not slip below. Continuous Gyana yoga will result in atma sakshatkaram. Let us recapitulate the steps. Basic, ordinary knowledge about atman. (i.e Atma is eternal, body is temporary etc) Performing Karma yoga with detachment Elimination of paap/punya and acquisition of unconfused mind (after performing Karma Yogam) Qualified to undertake Gyana yoga. (after acquiring steady mind ) Ripening of Gyana yoga will lead to Atma sakshatkaram. There can be a doubt here. The first step is knowledge of atman and again the last step also is understanding atman. What is the difference? The first step was very elementary knowledge that atman is different from body and it is eternal. But visualizing the entire atman with its eminence is the last step. Thus this is a refinement process to get atma sakshatkaram. The knowledge at that time will enable one to realize that all atman are same and Paramatman resides in all atman. This knowledge is not acquired in the beginning or first step. *****

2.53 shruti-vi-pratipanna te yada sthasyati niscala samadhav acala buddhis tada yogam avapsyasi "When your mind has absorbed so far [Sri Krishna s sermon], and enlightened the intellect or buddhi , and when it remains resolute and unshaken by others, then you will have attained the atma sakshatkaram The word yogam here indicates atma sakshatkaram. So objective of second Chapter is atma sakshatkaram. Arjuna was listening to the sermons of Sri Krishna (shruti vi pratipanna te) and this enlightened his intellect or buddhi and enabled him to know what is to be adhered to and what are to be discarded in life, resulting in removing the contamination of paap/punya in the mind (acala Buddhi) . This knowledge is going to blossom as Gyana yoga, which will remain steady(samadhau). This will mature in due course to have atma sakshatkaram. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that he will get atma sakshatkaram. That is matured understanding of atman. There is no difference in the atman in various bodies. Same Paramatman resides in all atman. When this state is achieved the person is detached and renounces all worldly desires. Such a person is the one who has a ripened Gyana yoga. He gets atma sakshatkaram. When we talk about this we feel weary and wonder whether we can reach that state. But Sri Krishna does not preach something, which we cannot practice. Why then we feel bewildered? Because such things have not been in our daily habits and customs. We have never cultivated a habit to look at our atman or to control our organs. We do not control and choose right food for the body and mind. Because we are not habituated, initially we find some obstacles. But slowly practicing these, they will become our habits. We will then know how sweet life is, if we practice what Sri Krishna told. Atma sakshatkaram is all souls are identical, happiness or sorrow does not affect and realizing Paramatman is residing in every atman. Karma yoga is practicing our daily routines like eating, sleeping, nithya anushtanam, cultivating lands, doing business, guarding our home land, etc. We are doing these already but with an attachment. Same actions we should do as devotion to God and to please God. This is a first step and difficult to do. We can list all our activities and review which are all pleasing to God and decide to do only those and discard those which will displease Him. After that, we should slowly remove our attachments to the activities, which are pleasing to God. We should also realize that the activities are not done by us but by Him. We have already seen that we cannot claim any activity as done by us, as five entities are involved- self, Paramatma, body, organs and the prana. So it is always a team work. If we do our routine work with a resolution that we will not do them for ordinary rewards and with total detachment, it is Karma yoga. Continuous practice of Karma yoga, reduces the impact of paap/punya. Because of paap only we suffer so many things in life like sickness, poverty, children s problems and so many. So we have to get the impact of paap reduced. We are normally interested in rewards but we do not ponder over the ways to achieve. That is why Sri Krishna advises Arjuna to do his assigned duties with detachment and this will, as Karma yoga, yield results. He will get atma sakshatkaram. The lecturer should not lecture for fame or compensation but with a higher objective that Gita will be learnt by many and that would please God. Similarly the listeners should not listen to boast that they know Gita, but as an eye opener for practicing Karma yoga and pleasing God, thereby. This common objective of pleasing God for all of us in all works will make us practice Karma yoga. But if our objectives are all different we will be reborn. Karma yoga will reduce paap/punya and mind will get purified. All these we were doing with very little application of our intellect- that we are not doing these and not aspiring for ordinary rewards. We are yet to do meditation by controlling our organs. We have been doing our regular activities only. By continuous practice our minds get purified and we are then ready for meditation. We will have continuous thoughts on atman and our organs will get controlled. Happiness and sorrow would not affect us and we will see all as equal. This is Gyana yoga. Without interruption we will meditate on the atman. Even a half an hour such meditation will give us great benefits. But knowing the difficulty to practice Gyan yoga, Sri Krishna advises Arjuna in 3rd Chapter that he need not do Gyana yoga but by Karma yoga alone he can get atma sakshatkaram. But now Sri Krishna tells about Gyana yoga to laud its superiority. When He says that we need not practice very difficult Gyana yoga to reach Him, but continue our normal routines as Karma yoga, we have to understand His concern for us. 2.54 arjuna uvaca sthita-prajnasya kaa bhaasha samadhi-sthasya keshava sthita-dhih kim prabhaseta kim aasita vrajeta kim In the 53rd sloka Sri Krishna tells how one is ready to practice Gyana yoga and get atma sakshatkaram. Arjuna is too eager to know more about such a person practicing Gyana yoga. What all he will do, what he will think- such questions rise before Arjuna and so he asks this in the 54th sloka: "Arjuna said: O Krishna, what are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is firm in meditation? Such a steady minded person what does he speak, and what words will describe him? What does he think, and how does he act?" sthithapragna he who has resolute or firm conviction. Sri Krishna is going to reply this in the next four slokas. After telling that atman is eternal and continuous practice of Karma yoga will purify our mind, Gyana yoga can be practiced in the crystal clear mind. Arjuna became eager and wanted to know the traits of a Gyana yogi. How would he speak? How would he think? What are his actions? This was in 54th sloka. Sthitaprgna means Gyana yogi. Pragna means our intellect. Sthita is steady. When our intellect or buddhi is steady and firm, it is the first step in Gyana yoga. Sri Krishna in reply to Arjuna s query, lauds sthitapragna from 55th sloka. That is Sri Krishna praises the Gyana yogi who has acquired atma gyana. Swami Nammalwar is head among such gyanis. He is named prapanna jana kootasthar. Lord Sri Ranganatha affectionately called him Nam [Our] Alwar, even though there were ten Alwars. Sri Krishna had to explain Gyana yogi in four slokas. This Gyana yoga is in four types or samgya. These are Yatamana samgya, Vyatireka samgya, Yetendria samgya and Vaseekara samgya. What we require is vairagyam or dispassion or steadfastness. We have to get detached from the worldly affairs. This only will qualify us to Gyana yoga. So we have to slowly climb step by step. The highest or the last step is explained in the 55th sloka. The third step is in 56th sloka and the second step is in 57th sloka. The initial step is 58th sloka. So we have to first see 58th sloka, as that is the first step. So there will be a reversal in the sloka order and after coming to 55th sloka we will go to 59th sloka. Let us see what these samgyas are. Normally our desires are varied. Let us assume one has the drinking habit. This is an undesirable habit and has to be discarded. Initially when he sees drinks he should turn away and control his passion. This is the first step or Yatamana samgya, where we avoid any contact with such bad things. This will not make us abandon our passion in such things. Second step will be to remove such desires or vyatireka samgya. The third step Yetendriya samgya, where we control our mind. Even after controlling all the organs, mind will be difficult to control. It is like oil in a cup. If we throw out the oil, there will still be the greasy layer sticking to the cup surface. The last step is Vaseekara samgya. It is like rubbing the cup with powder to remove the greasy layer. So the steps are 1.Trying to control our sensual organs from objects. 2. Removing the desire from the organs. 3. Removing the small traces in the mind. 4. Total removal of such desires without any trace. 2.58 (note, we will be covering 58, 57, 56, 55 in reverse order) yada samharate ca-ayam kurmo ngan-Iva sarvasah: indriyani-indriya-arthebhya: tasya prajna pratisthita One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws its limbs within the shell, is to be understood as truly situated in knowledge. This is the first sloka explaning about the nature of a Gnaani. Control Senses! This is the first step or Yatamaana samgya Ayam - The Gnaani , Yada- When Samaharate - Controls , Indriyani - Senses , Indriyaa-Arthebhya - Sense Objects (objects of smell, taste, touch etc) Koormah - Tortoise, Anganiva - Parts of its body(head, limbs etc) Lord Krishna gives the analogy of a turtle which withdraws its limbs inside. Similarly when one is able to keep their senses from pursuing sensual objects of mundane pleasure by withdrawing the senses inside and who also consciously reflects upon the soul within, such a one is sthita-prajna situated in the perfect knowledge of transcendent meditation. Now, we will get a doubt immediately. How is it possible to do this? Do we have to close our eyes, not hear anything, keep away from everything etc.. This is not the case. Lord's implication in this sloka is that we have to reign in our senses and not let it stray. For e.g. In our eating habits, we have to discriminate on eating what is allowed and what is prohibited. Nammazhwar was the epitome of a true Gnaani, which Lord is explaning to Arjuna in this and the next three Slokas. A Gnaani Yogi controls his senses and focuses on his true self which is servitude to Paramatma. Nammazhwar meditated for 16 years without food, water etc, right from his birth. In response to a question by MaduraKavi Azhwar, If Jeevatma(Soul) which resides in Achit(This body) , attains Jnaana (realizes its true nature, which is true nature to Paramatma), where does it reside and what does it do? Nammazhwar's response was that , the jeevatma who realized his true nature, will constantly meditate on Paramatma and consider kaimkaryam to lord and his devotees as it's primary duty. Nammazhwar's glory is captured in this tanian: Vakula Bharanam Vandey Jagatah Bharanam Munim Ya Srutey Uttaram Bhagam Chakrey Dravida Bhashaya: (Meaning:Nammazhwar adorned Vakula Mala ; He is adorned as the jewel by this earth; He took birth in this world to expound the tattvam of upanishad in Tamil.) 2.57 yah sarvatraa-anabhi-sneha: tat tat praapya subha-asubham naa-abhinandati na-dvesti tasya prajna pratisthita Forming no attachments in any situation means to be indifferent, unconcerned in an aloof state or attitude. Auspicious is a situation that is pleasing and inauspicious is a situation that is displeasing. Lord Krishna is instructing not to be overjoyed by the pleasing nor despondent over the unpleasant. One who can successfully engage themselves thus is sthita-prajna situated in the perfect knowledge of transcendental consciousness. This is Vyatireka samgya, to divert our sensual organs from inferior objects to superior ones. The earlier&first step was to avoid or prevent our organs in touch with sensual objects. These words tasya pranja pratishthita will be repeated in many places. Pranjya is knowledge and pratishthita is established. This Gyana yogi s knowledge is established. He is also a Gyana yogi. Sneha meas desire. Abhisneha is excessive desire and anabhisneha is without excess desire. Such a person who is void of excess desire on all desirable objects, is neither happy for desirable objects nor unhappy on undesirable objects, he comes across. He does not get dejected nor curse for having got undesirable things. Similarly he is not happy if he gets desirable things. How is this possible? If there is a desirable thing in this world one should feel happy if one got it. After all we are made of senses and not inanimate or inert beings. If a child gets 98% his father should feel elated is natural. Similarly if the student scores 35% only, dejection is inevitable. Then why Sri Krishna is telling that both these expressions are to be avoided? In this world joy and sorrow are mixed. None can expect to have always victory. But we speak that in sports and games victory and defeat are common. On similar lines Sri Krishna tells us to know that joy and sorrow are common in life and we should be able to meet those equitably. One need not jump and hit the ceiling when happiness is there and at the same time need not get dejected and curse when sorrow things are encountered. Whereas a mature person has a different object as desirable and he is not worried about the common desirable things in life. For him God is desirable; soul is desirable. He is unattached to everything without a mental inclination towards anything totally indifferent to all sense objects. When exposed to sources of pleasure like mouth watering vegetable preperations, delicious nectarian fruit drinks, silky, fashionable clothes or luxurious homes such a one does not rejoice at receiving these things nor give praise to those who have bequeathed these things. Similarly when exposed to sources of unpleasantness like unpalatable food and drink, coarse unfashionable clothes and humble homes such a one does not show disdain and is indifferent to statements made by people to criticise him such as being called a pseudo yogi or a hypocrite. Thus the essence is such a one uses his words sparsely, praises no one and blames no one and because he possesses neither love nor hatred for any living being benefits all. Alwar imagines himself as a child and in front of him there are toys, ball and a parrot to play with. But he is devoted to Him. He names each of the playthings as Madhave, Kesava and Sridhara. Alwar is not interested in these toys are playful objects. At the same time like any ordinary child will get pleasure in play, Alwar gets in calling all these articles by their names he had christened, like Madhava, Kesava and Sridhara. While the sports articles may break or deform, but the names with which Alwar calls them will remain everlasting and so will give always happiness. Therefore, by diverting our thoughts on Him and get happiness in those thoughts, the worldly desirable and undesirable objects can never have any impact on us. Thus we divert our organs on God. These two steps thus train us to control our organs, which is an important step to control mind. This will be explained later. 2.56 duhkhesv anu-dvigna-manah: sukhesu vigata-sprhah vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah sthita-dhir munir ucyate This is "Ekeindriya Samgya" "One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from expectation, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind." We are seeing the various stages of Gyana yogi. The first step was the efforts. That Yatamana samgya was described like a tortoise withdrawing its feet and head into the shell from enemy attack, here the person withdraws the organs from contact with inferior desires. Next was Vyatireka samgya. Here the person assumes an impartial role of not joyful when desirable things occur nor brooding when sad things occur and observe detached mindset. Why does Sri Krishna ask Arjuna to be neutral and neither feel happy nor sorrow? It is seen practically that by having a neutral mind the work is done more efficient. By being emotionally attached to a work, it gets ruined. A surgeon takes an impartial view of the patient. In such situations emotion could spoil the work. This samgya is called EkeIndriya Samgya -> Ekam is One; INdriya is Senses; It is so called because controlling senses along is not enough, it's important to control Mind also which tries to provoke senses again. One who controls Mind which keeps senses in reign. This is Ekendriya samgya. Dhi is buddhi or intellect. Sthita dhi is well established knowledge. Person with such knowledge is praised by Sri Krishna as muni [munir ucyate]. Muni -> Manana Seelah Munih: One who is capable of controlling mind (which includes controlling senses) and directing the buddhi to concentrate on Atma is called Muni. Person capable of controlling mind and directing it at the atman is called muni. Just by sitting in forest in a particular posture does not make one a muni. Controlling and directing mind as one wants is muni. All other organs can even be controlled but it is too difficult to control mind. That is why this is called Yekendriya samgya. Yekendriya means the single organ i.e. mind as the leader of all organs. How to control mind? Sri Krishna tells the way: *duhkhesv anu-dvigna-manah: We should be having unperturbed mind at the CAUSE of sorrow (not just sorrow). (ud-dvigna-manah-> Pertrubed mind; anu-dvigna-manah -> Unperturbed mind) *sukhesu vigata-sprhah: Similarly we should have unexcited mind at the CAUSE of joy (not just joy). (Sprhaha: Intrested or excited ; vigata-sprhah: without being excited or intrested) Note: So, remember, to be ANU-DVIGNA-MANAH! for sorrows/cause of them and to be VIGATA-SPRAHA: for joys/cause of them, which is reverse of normal! In addition to the above two, Krishna says we should avoid raaga, bhaya and krodha. (vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah!) Swami Ramanuja in his Gita Bhashyam has explained these three (raaga, Bhaya, Krodha) very well: *Raaga is the expectation feeling one has about a joyous thing to happen in the future. If a father is elated at the prospect of his son going to score very high marks in the results that are going to be published next day, it is raaga. That is our interest in a joy that is going to happen. Sri Krishna says that one should abandon this raga that is the feeling of an expectation. Not merely happiness or the cause for such happiness but even the anticipation or prospect of that event have to be avoided. *Bhayam -fear. It is the feeling one gets when there is a prospect of a happy thing not happening or an unhappy thing is happening. When we feel happy of a joyous event in future we get raga. But if that event is not likely to happen? Then the mind gets perturbed and that is bhaya. Bhaya is not the undesirable thing coming to us or the desirable one leaving us. Today what we feel about the prospect of an unwelcome guest tomorrow is bhaya. This bhaya will transform into sorrow when actually the unwanted guest knocks at our door and we see him. So bhaya becomes the cause for sorrow and Sri Krishna advises that bhaya also should be avoided. In the next day results whether his son is going to score low marks, is fear today for the father. When the results confirm that low marks the bhaya becomes sorrow. But on the contrary if the results reveal very high marks, bhaya is converted to happiness. *Krodha is anger. If one has raga and is expecting a happy event in future, and if some persons or things obstruct that event from happening then the feeling of krodha or anger is on those obstructing. So, raga transforms to happiness. Feeling of anger on the persons obstructing one from attaining that happiness, is krodha. Passion is the extreme mental attachment to objects cherished with intense desire with the intention of never letting possession of these objects be discontinued. Fear is the pain caused from the approaching agony arising from separation from what is cherished. Anger is a specific mental attitude which appears in one who experiences separation at the time of loss of cherished objects. These three passion, fear and anger all arise due to the lack of discrimination regarding the eternal nature of the soul. By the gradual development of this discrimination one becomes free from these three impediments and by this discrimination when the introspective one's contemplation becomes mature they're known as sthitaprajna. So Arjuna is advised to abandon(Vita) these three raga, bhaya and krodha and a person who achieves this is muni. To achieve this, MIND HAS TO BE CONTROLLED. What if raga or bhaya is there? Let us see the example of student. When were his marks decided? Was it when he wrote the exam? Or, when the evaluator saw his answer papers? Or, when the results were published? But actually his result was decided when he put in his efforts preparing for the exams. His efforts only will reflect in the exam. What he writes only will be evaluated. And, what the evaluation is there will be published. But our expectation is on the publishing only. So a person who understands this and avoids these three qualities is praised as muni. There are three types of sorrow or pain: adyatmika or physical, adhidaivika or supernatural and adhibhautika or natural. Adyatmika is pain of the body and pain of the mind. The pain of the body is diseases and ailments attacking it such as fever, rheumatism, gout, etc. The pain of the mind is due to insult, jealousy, shame and the like. Adhidaivika is pain caused by drought, flooding, cyclones, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. Adhibhautika is pain caused from people, demons, animals, ghosts, etc. All these three are destined by fate and as such are not transitory and after experiencing them they fade into oblivion. The sthita-dhi-muni is always in Krsna consciousness, for he has exhausted all his business of creative speculation. He has surpassed the stage of mental speculations and has come to the conclusion that Lord Sri Krsna, or Vasudeva, is everything. He is called a muni fixed in mind. Such a fully Krsna conscious person is not at all disturbed by the onslaughts of the threefold miseries, for he accepts all miseries as the mercy of the Lord, thinking himself only worthy of more trouble due to his past misdeeds; and he sees that his miseries, by the grace of the Lord, are minimized to the lowest. Similarly, when he is happy he gives credit to the Lord, thinking himself unworthy of the happiness; he realizes that it is due only to the Lord's grace that he is in such a comfortable condition and able to render better service to the Lord. And, for the service of the Lord, he is always daring and active and is not influenced by attachment or aversion. Attachment means accepting things for one's own sense gratification, and detachment is the absence of such sensual attachment. But one fixed in Krsna consciousness has neither attachment nor detachment because his life is dedicated in the service of the Lord. Consequently he is not at all angry even when his attempts are unsuccessful. A Krsna conscious person is always steady in his determination. 2.55 praja-haati yada kaaman sarvaan partha mano-gataan atmany eva-atmana tustah: sthita-prajnas tadocyate " O Partha, when a man gives up all varieties of desire for sense gratification, which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind, thus purified, finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness." When a person is satisfied in himself with himself, i.e. when his mind depends on the self within himself; and being content with that, expels all the desires of the mind which are different from that state of mind --- then he is said to be a man of firm wisdom. This is the highest form of devotion of knowledge. Then, the lower state, not far below it, of one established in firm wisdom, is described in later slokas (56,57,58), which we had already studied. Now we will see the fourth step of Vaseekara samgya in the 55th sloka. The first step Yatamana samgya in 58th sloka was our efforts to withdraw from objects creating inferior desires. The second step Vyatireka samgya in 57th sloka explained diversion of our organs from those objects and remain detached. The third step was Yekendriya samgya in 56th sloka where we were told to train our mind also detached from pleasures and sorrow. Now we will see the fourth step of Vaseekara samgya in the 55th sloka. Here we will be told that we have to get rid of all traces of all attachments and hatred, and ensure a sparkling pure mind. In this Sloka, Krishna says a gyaani is praised as Stitha Prajna, when? (Stita Prajna Tado ucyateh). When? Yada (when), Sarvaan Kaaman (all desires) manoh-gataan (from the mind) prajahaati(removed or expelled) and Atmany eva atmana tustah (i.e atma is the only objective of the mind and is content). When all desires in mind are expelled and atman is made the objective of the mind and remains happy. That is when mind is no longer becomes happy or otherwise with ordinary pleasures and sorrow but becomes happy with atman only. This is a very difficult stage to attain. Normally the mind is happy with pleasures enjoyed through the organs. We listen to a good music or we see a beautiful figure and become happy. But atman is formless and does not make sound nor can be tasted nor smelt. Then how can one get happiness? We all know that all images or sounds or tastes or scent will fade away one day. But atman is eternal. It is a quintessence of gyana and ananda or happiness. So this has to be inculcated in our mind. Normally we take vegetables for nourishment; but when we are sick, same nourishment is given to the body by drips. So it is possible to experience all our happiness felt in life, by engaging the mind on atman. This happiness will be everlasting unlike the worldly pleasures. This can be understood from the story of Prahlada. He was tortured in many ways: by making serpents to bite, by making elephants to tramp over him, by throwing him tied to a stone in mid ocean, by surrounding him with fire, etc. All these were never even felt by Prahada. Because he had engaged his mind fully in Sri Krishna. By this he was detached from the worldly miseries and pleasures. This is Vaseekara samgya. All including the mind is under control. There will be no trace of any worldly miseries and pleasures. To achieve this level the gyana yogi had to understand atman is superior, practice Karma yoga and remove all blemish in the mind and start Gyana yoga and reach the ultimate stage in Gyana yoga. We can see Alwar also as an example. In the mannai irundu thuzhavi Thiruvaimozhi ten pasurams, he shows that happiness and sorrow are mixed in this world. We have to withdraw our mind from all these and understand atman, then understand the inner atman of our atman as Paramatman. Our mind should be trained to concentrate only on Him. He squeezes the mud below and says this mud belongs to Sri Vamana [an incarnation of Sri Narayana]. Though there was considerable time span between the Sri Vamana incarnation and Alwar s time, he sees God in all. While ordinary person will think of how to purchase the land where this mud was scooped out or what plant could be cultivated to earn money, Alwar thinks entirely different. When he sees burning fire he runs to embrace it as he sees the glowing figure of God. Because of this mentality the fire does not burn him. So we have to inculcate this habit in our mind. We see in karate and kungfu sports, persons are trained to break bricks with hands without being hurt or dipping the hands in fire without getting burnt. This is by practicing mind and organs to concentrate. Such practice can make us do anything. When mind is trained to see atman, he is admired as sthitaprajna. His intellect is set up firmly when nothing can disturb his mind. He can remain isolated without being affected by worldly affairs. This does not mean he will remain in solitude and be of no use to the society. He can do all the good works for the society without being influenced by others. By training mind to engage in atman we can perform all our duties efficiently. This will be perfected if the mind is further trained to engage in God, Who is the atman of all atman. We have seen all the four stages of Gyana yogi: Yatamana samgya, Vyatireka samgya, Yekendriya samgya and Vaseekara samgya. 2.59 visaya: vini-vartante nir-aaharasya dehinah rasa-varjam raso pyasya param drishtva nivartate The sense objects are the food of the senses. From the abstinent embodied being, i.e., from one who has withdrawn his senses from objects, these sense-objects, being rejected by him, turn away, but not the relish for them. Relish means hankering. The meaning is that the hankering for the sense-objects does not go away by abstinence alone. But even this hankering will go away, when one sees that the essential nature of the self is superior to the sense-objects and that the realisation of this self gives greater happiness than the enjoyment of sense-objects. Krishna explains how to get rid of even the small traces of desires in Slokas 59,60 and 61 , which all make one part. Sri Krishna says in 59th sloka, If we are able to visualize atman then all organs get disciplined, By comprehending atman in its true form, all other organs are controlled. It is interesting to note in the next 60th sloka. Arjuna asks what he should do to see atman and Sri Krishna replies that if Arjuna could control all organs, atman can be visualized. This normally will puzzle and confuse. One depending on other can never give a solution. But Sri Krishna removes the confusion in the 61st sloka. So we will have to see all these three slokas as one. Sensual objects of enjoyment are fuel for the senses. Lord Krishna states that the desire for these sensual objects departs when one starves them by restraining the senses from indulging in them. But although the action is restrained the craving remains subtly within the mind. Rasa is taste and raga is attachment. So the craving attachment for taste of sense objects remains present. However when the eternal nature of the soul is realised in all its glorious splendour and it is seen that it is infinitely more attractive than the most delightful sense object. At that time all desire for sense objects completely vanishes along with the residue of craving. nir-aaharasya dehinah: = Dehi is atman. Nir-Aharam means without food or starving. Enjoying the objects of the senses is known as ahara. Restricting the objects of the senses is known as niraharasya. What is food for atman? When atman is in a body, enjoyment by various organs is all food for atman. Taste is food for tongue but pleases atman. Music is food for ears but pleases atman. So if we have to starve atman, it means we have to prevent various organs in their desires. Visaya: vini-vartante = Visaya: all the objects for sense gratification (Roopa, Sparasha, Sabhda, Rasa:, Gandham) , Vini-varatante: Refraining Rasa-varjam = Rasam here means trace of desire. We can prevent various organs their food like listening for ears, scent for nose, etc. But the small trace of such desire lingers on. When one declines to enjoy sense objects with the objects of the senses the physical experience ceases; yet the residue desire for sense objects still remains and the craving for them actually has not departed.How to get rid of this trace? Param drishtva - Seeing the ultimate(param) tattvam i.e our Self (sat-cit- Ananda); Nivartate, raso'apyasya - even this trace of desire(raso apyasya) is removed. By concentrating on the eternal and quintessence of happiness atman, and a glimpse of it will drive away this small trace also. After getting atman darshan, the small trace of desires lingering in the mind also is got rid off. When atman is in a body, if all desirable objects like tasty food, good music, etc, are removed it starves the organs and we do not indulge in such pleasures. But in the mind traces of these desires will be sticking. Many people have developed a custom of not eating or drinking certain type of food or drinks, but when such persons are in a company of friends who eat or drink such articles, there could be compulsions or curiosity to taste. By yielding to such temptation we may spoil our health. So it is better to avoid such events altogether and resist temptations. But even then mind will not get controlled. This can be suppressed only if we are able to have atman darshanam. The process of restriction from sense enjoyment by rules and regulations is something like restricting a diseased person from certain types of eatables. The patient, however, neither likes such restrictions nor loses his taste for eatables. Similarly, sense restriction by some spiritual process like astanga-yoga, in the matter of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, etc., is recommended for less intelligent persons who have no better knowledge. But one who has tasted the beauty of the Supreme Lord Krsna, in the course of his advancement in Krsna consciousness, no longer has a taste for dead material things. Therefore, restrictions are there for the less intelligent neophytes in the spiritual advancement of life, but such restrictions are only good if one actually has a taste for Krsna consciousness. When one is actually Krsna conscious, he automatically loses his taste for pale things. 2.60 yata-to-hyapi kaunteya purushasya vipascitah indriyaani pramaathini haranti prasabham manah "The senses are so strong and impetuous, O Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the mind even of a man of discrimination who is endeavoring to control them." In the 59th sloka we saw that if atman darshan is available then all the organs and mind get controlled and there will not be a trace of desire for inferior pleasures. Nirahara, that is starving will prevent the organs from seeking such cheap pleasures but mind will still remain uncontrolled. If we can see the param or atman, then even this mind also gets controlled. So Arjuna queries as to what should be done to see atman or have atman darshan. Here we should understand that atman couldn t be seen with our eyes as we see materialistic objects. Here it means feeling the atman. Its magnificence can be felt. In response, Krishna mentions in this sloka the following. If organs could be controlled atman darshan will be achieved. As told in the last lecture this is a peculiar situation. This is called anyonya asraya dosham or inter dependent fallacy. It is like asking location of A and in reply it is told it is by the side of B. where is B located and reply is it is by the side of A. this will create confusion. Here also it appears like that. In the previous sloka Sri Krishna told that if atman darshan is acquired, the organs get controlled. But here He says that controlling organs could enable one to achieve atman darshan. purushasya vipascitah : Vipaschita means one who can differentiate and understand or rational thinking. He is said to have viveka gyana. One who distinguishes that the body is perishable and atman is eternal. He tries to control organs and concentrates his mind on the atman. Purusha here indicates atman. yata-to-hyapi : Yati is effort and api means EVEN. So, even a person who tries to take efforts in Gyana yoga, is the meaning of first part. So, Krishna is referring to not an ordinary person, but somebody who is accomplished in viveka gynana, knows the difference between Atma and Body, pursues sincerely Gyaana Yoga. The second part of the sloka says that , even for such sincere people, the senses are difficult to overcome. For him also the organs and mind will not get controlled. indriyaani pramaathini : Senses are very strong , turbulent (pramaathini). The strength of the senses are our desires. That is the strength of seeking pleasure or desire. This desire is in the mind and the organs exhibit this as strength. haranti prasabham manah : The organs compel(haranti) mind and drag it in their way. This desire becomes ammunition for organs and so they are able to forcibly (prasabham) take in their direction. Like a hurricane uprooting large trees the desire in the organs uproot the mind. In Thiruvaimozhi [7.1.1] Alwar says that he has five tenants in his house. But they are all enemies. That is in his body [house] the five organs are occupying as tenants and are forcing him in their way. In emma veetu thiran poem, he complains to God that He is partial and rescues an elephant Gajendra but not the Alwar. God told that it was an animal and was suffering for the past 1000 years seizeed by a crocodile, so He had to rescue. Alwar replies that then it is all the more he deserves immediate rescue. Compared to the big elephant he is a weaker being. The elephant was suffering only for 1000 years while the Alwar has been suffering for thousands of births. One crocodile grabbed the elephant while five crocodiles in the form of organs have seized the Alwar. So organs are a great menace to all including the Nithyasuris who are doing intimate service to the Lord at Vaikuntam. We see persons doing very noble service to the Lord in temples. But they are not free from the power of senses. We are daily witnessing the fights for position and greed for money in such persons involved in sacred assignments also. This is the domination of senses in persons. The organs function very well in youth time, but the mind is uncontrollable. When the person becomes old his mind is some what controlled but now the organs do not function properly. Sense organs are so strong that they dictate even learned persons. One situated in spiritual intelligence with discrimination and powers of observation trying their level best to keep the mind from gravitating towards the senses and withdrawing their mind repeatedly away from objects of the senses and directing it internally within is a form of meditation. But the senses are so strong that they forcibly invade the mind, disrupt this meditation and forcibly overpower the mind and indulge it in contemplating sense gratification and bodily attachment. How is it possible that the senses can carry away ones mind while they are intently striving? It is because the senses are so restless and turbulent that they totally disregarding all ones efforts in discrimination, besieging the mind they direct it towards sensual objects that will gratify these self-same senses by engaging the mind in sense contemplation.So to control them it is necessary to have atman darshan. Sri Krishna says controlling the organs is difficult even for viveka gyana persons. We should see the subtle difference Sri Krishna is making. He did not say control the organs to get atman darshan. But He says even for rational thinking people, controlling sense organs is difficult! It gives an impression that there is a negative thinking by Sri Krishna that controlling organs is not possible and so atman darshan is never possible. But actually, He drives home the great effort required to bring the organs in control. Also when we see the next 61st sloka then the real import of this sloka will be clear.

2.61 tani sarvani samyamya yukta aasita mat-parah vaseh hi yasye-indriyani tasya prajna pratisthita " For one who restrains his senses, keeping them under a little control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, his intellect gets firmly established." In 59th sloka it was told that by visualizing atman, senses are controlled. In the 60th sloka however, it was told that control of senses would enable atman darshan. Arjuna was confused and he did not know which one to precede which? He requested Sri Krishna to solve this riddle. Sri Krishna replies that unless organs are controlled the atman cannot be perceived; there is no doubt on this. But He would suggest an easier way to control the organs. Then he could perceive atman. We also desire to see and hear good things only. But the organs are not disciplined. This is because of the ever-remaining rajo and tamo qualities in our mind. Our mind has the mixture of satva, rajo and tamo qualities. When satva quality is prominent our organs are well disciplined. When the rajo and tamo qualities are exalted, our organs also seek cheap pleasures. So it is important to cultivate our habits to reduce rajo and tamo qualities. This is explained in 61st sloka: *Tasya-that atma gyani s, prajna- intellect, pratisthita- gets firmly founded or established. *Tani sarvani- all the sense organs, samyamya- at least somewhat controlled, *mat parah- direct them on Me and yukta asita- remain resolved. (Mat-parah is the punch word here!.. implies be a sincere devotee of Lord. Focus the senses towards him!). *Vaseh hi - are brought under control yasya indiryaani - whose senses So instead of allowing the organs to wander as they like, direct them with a small effort, on Sri Krishna. Vedas say that all the best tastes are all inherited in Him, all the fragrance of the world are all lodged in Him, and He is the repository of all the auspicious things in this world. The things we see or hear continuously affect us. If a song is played frequently, we automatically start humming it. If that song is good then we inherit that goodness; but if it is a bad song then we go in that way. Since mind follows what is frequently seen or heard, we should try to see or hear superior sources. Superior entities will influence superior results in us. On the contrary if we go after inferior matters, the influence on us also will be inferior. Why do we go to temples and sacred Kshetrams? These are all embodiment of satva qualities. The Lord s image is supposed to be suddha satva mayam. Our bodies are a mixture of the five elements. But the Lord s image is aprakrutham or eternal. It consists of only satva quality. By constantly worshiping His image, our organs do not wander and get disciplined. Even though we can worship God in our own houses, in temples we get the AMBIENCE OF SANCTITY and our minds will have more of satva quality and the rajo and tamo qualities fade away. This is what Sri Krishna is telling. By directing the organs on Him we pacify the mind and His supreme qualities affect and influence our mind. So he whose organs have come under the influence of God, his intellect gets properly founded. That is why nama snkeertan singing His names- or listening to His stories or talking in praise of Him or going to temples and involving in sacred activities there, are all efforts to place our organs in His service. This will with His blessings, enable us to control the organs. Disciplining organs will pave the way for atman darshan. We can also follow this simple and easier method. Because the uncontrolled senses are the cause of all disturbance, one with spiritual intelligence seeking transcendence should make their first priority to control ones senses. If one were to question how is it possible to control the restless senses which are turbulent by nature. Lord Krishna reveals that by devotion of mind and heart unto the Supreme Lord one will surely be able to control the senses. Lord Krishna is present within the heart of all living entities. As Hrisikesa the lord of the senses he is the ultimate object of all meditation. Without meditating on Lord Krishna it is not possible to master the senses. This is absolutely sure and thus the aspirant who follows these instructions has success and none other. When our minds have been evolved to realising Lord Krishna as the supreme absolute reality all impurities are eradicated and the mind is purified and clear, free from all desires. Now at this stage for the first time the mind is free from all desires. The mind along with the senses completely under control is then capable of achieving cognition of the eternal soul. In the Vishnu Purana XI.VII.LXXIV beginning yatha adniruddhata-sikhah it is written that as a blazing fire fanned by blowing wind burns up dry wood; in the same way Lord Krishna enthroned in the heart burns up all paap of those who link their individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness in soul cognition. Spiritual intelligence is confirmed in those whose senses are under control. But it must be noted that unless devotion has developed for the Supreme Lord Krishna, whosoever attempts to master the senses by their own might and self effort are all destined to failure. The great sage Durvasa Muni picked a quarrel with Maharaja Ambarisa, and Durvasa Muni unnecessarily became angry out of pride and therefore could not check his senses. On the other hand, the king, although not as powerful a yogi as the sage, but a devotee of the Lord, silently tolerated all the sage's injustices and thereby emerged victorious. The king was able to control his senses because he was a true devotee of the Lord and engaged all his senses in the service of the Lord. The word mat-parah is most significant in this connection. How one can become a mat-parah is described in the life of Maharaja Ambarisa. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, a great scholar and acarya in the line of the mat-parah, remarks: "mad-bhakti-prabhavena sarvendriya -vijaya-purvika svatma-drstih sulabheti bhavah." "The senses can be completely controlled only by the strength of devotional service to Krsna." So in conclusion one cannot be in transcendent meditation without controlling the senses. And that controlling the senses is not possible without devotion to Lord Krishna. Thus devotion to Lord Krishna can be seen as the essential ingredient assuring all success. 2.62 & 2.63 dhyaayato visayan pumsah sangas tesu-upajayate sangaat sanjaayate kamah kaamat krodho bhijayate krodhaad bhavati sammohah: sammohaat smriti-vibhramah smriti-bhramsaad buddhi-naso buddhi-naasat pranasyati "While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises uncontrollably." "From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the birth cycle." Sri Krishna describes the GRADUAL deterioration if one does not concentrate on Him and allow the mind and intellect to wander. If the atman does not direct the intellect on Him, then we think only of the materialistic pleasures. NOTE: a person, whose attachment to sense-objects is expelled but whose mind is not focussed on the Lord, even though that person controls the senses, contemplation on sense-objects is unavoidable on account of the impressions of paap from time immemorial. He details this in gradual steps: *Dhyaayatoh Visaayam Pumsah: The mind starts wandering and contemplating on cheap and inferior matters i.e objects of senses (sparsham, roopam, gandham , sabdham, rasam) *Sangas tesu upajaayateh: Next, this will induce i.e develop (upaajayateh) attachment(sangam) in them. It will slowly sprout. *Sangaat Sanjaayateh Kamah: From that attachment (sangaat) sprouts(sanjaayateh) a desires (kaamah) in all the organs. This tiny spark of desire then grows into a flame, that is Kama or lust. This develops into a craving to appease that passion. What is called 'desire' is the further stage of attachment. After reaching that stage, it is not possible for a man to stay without experiencing the sense-objects. *Kaamat Krodha: AbhiJayate: When the sought desire is not fulfilled, krodhaanger and hatred, engulfs the mind. This will be not just on the desired objects and on those who are considered as impediments. Sri Krishna says that the krodha is not simply developing but becomes indiscriminate and uncontrollable anger. This anger is not restricted only on those preventing the desire to be achieved, but on all those related to them, their friends and supporters. This is not exaggerating, nor could happen only to ordinary persons. Sri Rama also was enslavened by this feeling, Valmiki says. When Sri Rama came to know that Sri Sita was abducted by Ravana his anger knew no bounds. He declares that before dawn, if Sri Sita were not returned back, He would destroy Ravana, his relatives and others. Sri Rama was passionately in love with Sri Sita, and so this passion was converted to anger when She was missing. This grew in such a magnitude that He declared He would destroy Ravana and his relatives. In fact, not only those, Sri Rama says, He would destroy all gods, humans, etc. Because anger is very difficult to control. It is said that a person caught in anger, will not even hesitate to murder his teacher. *Krodhaad Bhavati Sam Mohah: Once anger steps in, the person would lose his balance and sense of discrimination as what should be done and what should not be done. That is he would lose his rational behaviour and would be senseless. Mohah: delusion.. Sam Mohah: Extreme delusion. *sammohat smriti-vibhramah: This delusion leads to memory (smriti) loss (vibhramah). That is we FORGET the purpose of trying to controlling the sense organs for Atma-darsanam. *smriti-bhramsad buddhi-naso : This loss of memory about trying to controlling the senses makes one loss of intellect or buddhi nasam. That is the buddhi to have atman darshan is lost. *buddhi-nasat pranasyati : This results in disappearance of atman swaroopam or the basic knowledge about atman. So, the person indulges in Kama and krodha and is destined for rebirths. To summarize: Lord Krishna is explaining that one whose cravings for sensual objects linger, the effort to overcome the senses without focusing the mind on the Supreme Lord is futile. This is due to the fact that without the Supreme Lords grace the residue of past sensual activities and the pleasure or frustration derived therefrom will delude the mind to pursue sense objects. This debilitating effect creates a magnetic attraction where the desire for sense objects becomes more and more extreme. From this extreme desire springs kama lust. Lust is the next stage of desire. Lust is that which one feels when they thinks that they cannot exist without their desire being gratified. From lust springs krodha anger. Krodha is that frustrated outraged one feels against that which stands in the way of obtaining the gratification of ones senses. From krodha arises sammoha bewilderment and delusion which is the mental condition where one is no longer cognisant of what action should be performed and what action should not be performed. One will foolishly do anything in this condition. Thereafter comes dementia causing loss in memory of the process one began in order to constrain the senses and control the mind. From dementia comes loss of will power, one no longer has the drive and incentive to cultivate themselves towards obtaining spiritual realisation of the eternal soul. When this happens then one perishes their spiritual opportunity being drowned again and again in samsara the endless cycle of birth and death in the material existence. So we should devote all our mind and activities at the service of Lord to ensure our mind does not go astray due to sense objects and material gratification. The senses require real engagements, and if they are not engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, they will certainly seek engagement in the service of materialism. In the material world everyone, including Lord Siva and Lord Brahma--to say nothing of other demigods in the heavenly planets--is subjected to the influence of sense objects, and the only method to get out of this puzzle of material existence is to become Krsna conscious. One who is not, therefore, in Krsna consciousness, however powerful he may be in controlling the senses by artificial repression, is sure ultimately to fail, for the slightest thought of sense pleasure will agitate him to gratify his desires. 2.64 raga-dvesa-vimuktais tu visaayan indriyais caran atma-vasyair vidheyatma prasadam adhigacchati "But a person free from all attachment and aversion is able to control his senses and skips materialistic lures and controls mind resulting in pure mind by the mercy of the Lord." Previously in verse 61 Lord Krishna has declared that who ever meditates exclusively on Him as the Lord of all, being the soul within all hearts, then by this all impurities are eradicated and the mind becomes clear, expunging all desires. Here he says that the senses become destitute and barren of all cravings and aversions when they are mastered by the mind in this manner. Rejecting all desires for sensual objects with a mind firmly under control, one achieves lucidity of mind along with inner purity and blissfulness. Like Alwar, if we can devote our SPEECH, ACTIONS, THOUGHTS in Him, we would have controlled our organs. In the last two slokas 62 and 63- we saw how by not devoting ourselves in him, we tumble down and plunge to the bottom. What greatness one achieves by such devotion to the Lord? Here He explains how gradually the atman is climbing in steps to reach pinnacle. By thinking of Him, the rajo and tamo qualities in our mind are cleared and the mind is purified. Only satva quality would dominate in us. By doing Aradhana [Pooja] and consuming only that food offered to Him, rajo and tamo gunas get reduced and satva qualities flourish. * Raaga-Dvesha vimuktais tu : The first step reached by devotion to God, is we are relieved of raga and dvesha. By concentrating our thoughts in Him, by singing His names, by hearing his names, by performing Aradhana and by consuming only the food offered to Him, satva qualities thrive and the other two qualities fade. This will get rid of raaga and dvesha. As told earlier, raaga is the desire to acquire or expecting some pleasing incidence. Dvesha is hatred or enemity. Both these are housed in us. We do not like even good things rendered by those we hate and accept bad things from our dear ones. This is because of rajo and tamo gunas. If we have uprightness in our mind then we will accept good things irrespective of who did that. With raga and dvesha removed, all are our dear ones and all actions are impartially looked into. *Atma vasyair , Indriyai: visayaan caran : This will result in the control of sense organs and they will not be after the pleasures arising from smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch. If organs are to be disciplined we should be rid off likes and dislikes. By disciplining the organs, we stay away from the five sensual pleasures and their sources. *Atma Vasyair Vidhey- Atma : After this atman, here it means mind, is in our control. *Prasadam adigachhati - Prasadam means serene and pure mind here, which will help focus on Atma Darasanam. Recapitulating, devoting ourselves to God and by proper food, rajo and tamo gunas are driven away and satva guna thrives. Raga and dvesha are destroyed. Sense organs are disciplined. Sensual and cheap pleasures are cast away. Mind gets controlled. Then we get prasadam. Prasadam means here serene and pure mind. This will take us near atman darshan. Contaminated mind is unable to properly perceive atman. While 62nd and 63rd slokas explained how one plunges to degradation, 64th sloka details how the atman is uplifted. We can clear our doubts from Vedas, if we have that capacity to learn them. We can control our organs by deep meditation and yoga. These are possible for a few capable persons. But for ordinary people like us, devotion or bhakthi is the recourse. Thondaradipodi Alwar says he gets all doubts cleared by seeing God, Lord Sri Ranganatha. By looking at His feet, he knew he was His attendant. By looking at His abhaya hastha, he realizes He would protect him. By looking at his crown he recognized that He was his ruler. Therefore it is necessary for us to dedicate ourselves to Him and serve Him. God s image is made of satva guna only. So by looking at that image the satva guna in us grows. While in temple also, it is not correct to close the eyes while in front of God. It is already explained that one may externally control the senses by some artificial process, but unless the senses are engaged in the transcendental service of the Lord, there is every chance of a fall. Although the person in full Krsna consciousness may apparently be on the sensual plane, because of his being Krsna conscious, he has no attachment to sensual activities. The Krsna conscious person is concerned only with the satisfaction of Krsna, and nothing else 2.65 prasaade sarva-duhkhanam haanir asyo:upajaayate prasanna-cetasO hy-asu buddhih parya-avatisthate "For a person with such enlightened mind, all miseries are removed;only for enlightened person the intllect [gyana] get well established immediately." When the mind of this person gets serene, he gets rid of all sorrows originating from contact with matter. Because, in respect of the peson whose mind is serene, i.e., is free from the evil which is antagonistic to the vision of the self, the Buddhi, having the pure self for its object, becomes established immediately. Thus, when the mind is serene, the loss of all sorrow surely arises. In the 62nd and 63rd slokas Krishna showed how by not engaging us in God s service we fall from grace down the steps and get destroyed. The 64th sloka however told us that by serving and singing in praise of Him, we can climb up steps to reach higher echelon. In last 64th sloka he had told , prasadam adhigacchati-[ the atman] gets purified or serene mind. In this sloka (65) he continues, * Asya "Prasade" i.e such a person who obtained serene mind, for him, * sarva dukhani- all sorrows and miseries, *hanir-loss or removal, *upajayate- happens. That is, for the atman gyani, after acquiring purified mind, all his miseries get removed. This is the last step. If God were to enquire as to what we want, we would promptly say all our miseries should be removed. Here Sri Krishna indicates the miseries of samsaram [the birth due to paap and punya karma]. Arjuna gets a doubt here. What is the relation between serene mind and the miseries of samsaram? Sri Krishna replies in the second half of the sloka. *Prasanna cetasa the enlightened one [one who has acquired serene mind], *hi- only, (for the one who has acquired serene mind) *asu- immediately, *buddhi- knowledge or intellect *avatisthate firmly established or installed, *pary-avatisthate- well established. So enlightened person gets intellect well founded. This we had earlier mentioned as stithaprajna. The one who understands atman properly and fully and is about to perceive atman or get atman darshan. It is also called atman sakshatkaram, when he will perceive all atman are identical jaati, atman is the quintessence of knowledge and bliss. For this our buddhi has to be well founded. Enlightenment or serene mind is essential for this. Atman darshan will lead to bhakthi yoga. To remove all our miseries, we have to have devotion or bhakthi. Since atman darshan is a pre-requisite for devotion, enlightenment is necessary. We can visualize this also in steps. 1.Enlightenment or purity of mind 2.Atman darshan 3.Bhakthi yoga 4. Removal of all miseries. In the first part of the sloka, He combined directly steps 1 and 4 and said enlightenment would remove all miseries. This skipping of 2 and 3 was clarified to Arjuna in the second half of the sloka. If we now see the 64th and 65th slokas together we can build the entire stairway: 1.Meditating on God 2.Lessening of rajo/tamo guna and increase of satva guna 3.Discarding likes and dislikes or elimination of raga/dvesha 4.Control of senses 5.Stay away from materialistic desires 6.Control of Mind. 7.Mind is purified or enlightenment. (Prasadam Gacchati) 8.Atman darshan. 9.Bhakti yoga. 10.Elimination of all miseries. If we take efforts to put us on the first step of meditating on God, all other steps would follow suit and we can reach the ultimate step. So we don't need to feel worried or overwhelmed on how we can remember all this steps and details. We just need to take the first step of meditating constantly on the Lord, reciting his names and serving his devotees. This is like we stand in the line in Tirumala. Automatically, the line moves and takes us near the Lord to have darshan and get His blessings. So by singing His names and serving His devotees we can gradually reach the Bhakthi yoga. This is what Alwar also says that by devoting ourselves to Him, all our miseries get destroyed and we reach eternal happiness.

2.66 naasti buddhir ayuktasya na ca ayuktasya bhaavana na ca-bhaavayatah shantir asaantasya kutah sukham "One who is not devoted in the Supreme [in Krishna consciousness] can not have atman darshan without which a steady mind on atman is not possible, and so there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?" In him who does not focus his mind on Me but is engaged only in the control of senses by his own exertion, the Buddhi or the right disposition that is concerned with the pure self never arises. Therefore he fails in the practice of meditation on the self. In one who cannot think of the pure self, there arises the desire for sense objects; in him serenity does not arise. How can eternal and unsurpassed bliss be generated in him who is not serene but is attached to sense-objects? [The idea is that without the aid of devotion to God, the effort to control the senses by one's will power alone will end in failure.] Sri Krsna speaks again of the calamity that befalls one who does not practise the control of the senses in the way prescribed above: By devoting ourselves in Him, we can get atman darshan. This has been already told in the previous slokas. We have to always remember that in order to get our organs and mind disciplined, we have to devote ourselves in Him. Control of mind results in serene mind. Purified mind will get us atman darshan. From the 55th sloka, Sri Krishna is telling how by controlling organs one becomes a gyana yogi. The easiest way to achieve this is to worship his graceful form. In this slokam, he explains what all will not accrue if specific things are not done and finally, sukham i.e. Moksham will not be there. * Ayuktasya naasti Buddhir: Yuktam, is surrendering our organs in Him. For the one who does not think or meditate on Him i.e Ayuktasya, there is no possibility of the intellect or buddhi getting cleaned and getting Atma Darshanam. By devoting one s organs, mind and intellect only, one would acquire atman darshan. Atman is so minute it is not that easy to visualize it. Impure minds can never get atman darshan. To purify mind, we have to devote our organs in Him. Ayuktam means the one who does not devote oneself in God. Such a person would never get atman darshan. What if one does not get it? *na ca ayuktasya Bhavana : If that were not there the bhavana or the thoughts on atman would not be there. That is the deep meditation will not be possible. A proper understanding of atman will only result in meditating on atman. Then we will waste all our time only in the routine things, which we are thinking all the time. Alwar asks how are we spending our 24 hours at our disposal. We reply, we have innumerous things to plan and think and enjoy, but we are wondering what Alwar is doing? Alwar all the time is seeing the same Lord and nothing else. So we think the Alwar does not have variety. Because of this they do not see the normal things, which we see. Day in and day out they are seeing the same images and the same festivals. Whereas we see so many places, eat variety of foods and listen to variety of music, drama, etc. It therefore appears that we have much more things to see and enjoy while Alwars do not have this advantage. But actually, even though they see only one Object, It's the one which is enabling us to see so many. So, if we also could see him, then there will not be any necessity to see anything else. So meditation on Him and atman is very much necessary. A person without atman darshan can never meditate on atman. *na ca abhavayatah shantir : He explains what will happen to one who does not meditate. Here the word shanti is mentioned. Normally this means peace. But can peace bring shanthi? If we go to an isolated place where the surroundings are all peaceful, can our mind be peaceful? But a yogi, even amidst the noises in our towns would be peaceful in his meditation. So surroundings do not contribute to shanti. We are seeing that some persons sleep only if some noise is there. Absence of such sound may make them sleepless. Actually, if we see the correct interpretation of shanti it is desireless. A contented life with satisfaction with what one possesses, one may have shanti. This shanti would be there only if we could think of atman. Desire less will result in shanti. Happiness accumulates with desires being lesser and lesser. This happiness will be lost as desires increase. Persons earning small wages with honest labor are able to sleep peacefully. But persons earning in crores daily, do not have this happiness. Desire or Trishna (thirsting for sense-objects) is the enemy of peace. There cannot be an iota or tinge of happiness for a man who is thirsting for sensual objects. The mind will be ever restless, and will be hankering for the objects. Only when this thirsting dies, does man enjoy peace. Disturbance is due to want of an ultimate goal, and when one is certain that Krsna is the enjoyer, proprietor and friend of everyone and everything, then one can, with a steady mind, bring about peace. *asantasya kutah sukham : That lack of desire lessness (Shantih:) will not get one sukham, which means Moksham here. In this sloka four stages of Ashtanga yoga are mentioned. We have heard of Patanjali s Yoga Shastra. This is called, Ashtanga yoga and has eight stages. They are: 1.Yamam. controlling of organs and mind 2.Niyamam. controlling of organs and mind 3.Asanam. sitting in the proper posture 4.Pranayamam. breathing properly using one nostril for inhaling and the other for exhaling 5.Pratyaharam. diverting the mind from all other matters and concentrating on the atman 6.Dyanam. deep meditation of atman 7.Dharanai. desire less in all others and remain detached 8.Samadhi. meditating on God Out of these eight, the latter four Pratyaharam, Dyanam, Dharanai and Samadhi are mentioned in the 66th sloka. First line says that devoting in God one could have atman darshan and this is Pratyaharam. In the next line He said that atman darshan will enable meditating on atman and this is Dyanam. Thinking and meditating on atman would enable one to get rid off desires in other things and that is Dharanai. In the last line he said, one could get Moksham and that is Samadhi. On our own we are unable to control organs. Why do we visit temples often? By having such darshan, our paaps are dissipated, rajo/tamo gunas get diminished, likes and dislikes are removed, organs and mind get controlled. This would make us desire less and we get shanti. We therefore worship Sri Mayakoothan and get shanti. 2.67 indriyaanam hi caratam yan mano anuvidhiyate tad asya harati prajnam vaayur navam ivammbhasi "As a strong wind sweeps away a boat on the water, the wandering senses are followed by the mind; such a mind carries away a man s intelligence." Unless all of the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, even one of them engaged in sense gratification can deviate the devotee from the path of transcendental advancement. As mentioned in the life of Maharaja Ambarisa, all of the senses must be engaged in Krsna consciousness, for that is the correct technique for controlling the mind. That mind, which is allowed by a person to be submissive to, i.e., allowed to go after the senses which go on operating, i.e., experiencing sense-objects, such a mind loses its inclination towards the pure self. The meaning is that it gets inclined towards sense-objects. Just as a contrary wind forcibly carries away a ship moving on the waters, in the name manner wisdom also is carried away from such a mind. [The idea is that the pursuit of sense pleasures dulls one's spiritual inclination, and the mind ultimately succumbs to them unresisting.] *Indiryaanam hi carataam: - Our senses (eyes, ear, taste etc) keep pursuing and running (carataam) behind their respective (touch, hearing, smell, taste etc) sense experiences. Our organs want to enjoy sensual experiences. Eyes want to see attractive scenes. Ears want to listen to good sounds. Mouth wants to eat tasty foods, and so on. These, that is, vision, hearing, taste, scent and feeling are all matters of interest for the organs. This is what Sri Krishna tells that every organ is interested in seeking the experience, which will please. So the materials in the world attract the senses and they run after them. *Yan Manah: anu vidhiyate: - While doing so, the senses drag the mind also along with them. The matters of the world create various desires like taste, vision, etc. The organs go after them to experience those desires. Mind follows the organs. *tad - For such a person, whose mind is being dragged by the senses behind sense experiences *Asya prajnam harati - Tad, that mind, will forcibly divert (divert) the intellect (prajna) engaged in atman perception of asya, this atman that is trying to control mind. So, even though this atman had decided its mind to perceive atman, the same mind is after the organs, which are attracted by the materialistic pleasures. So there is no mind to think of atman. Mind is present but it is engaged in pursuit of other pleasures along with the organs. Mind has the capacity to think about only one at a time. But are we not thinking of so many things at the same time? Yes, then it is called a confused mind. When mind is engaged in one thought, it is clear but when it thinks many, it is confusion.So when a mind is trying to perceive atman and at that time if its attention is diverted by the organs, then there will not be this mind to think of atman. When this happens we will not have resolute knowledge. This is what Sri Krishna tells. The buddhi to understand atman is carried away by the mind and the organs. If Sri Mayakoothan abducts our mind it would be welcome, but when the senses carry away the mind disaster befalls. *Vaayur navam ivam-ambhasi : Sri Krishna illustrates this by an example. Just as the wind(vaayu) blowing opposite to the direction in which a boat(naavam) is sailing will divert the boat. Here we have to regard the mind as boat, which is sailing towards atman and the winds are the organs, which divert the sailing. The method to stop this diversion is to prevent the winds blowing in the opposite direction. Since this capacity is not with us to prevent such a wind, we will have to seek asylum at the feet of Him, Who has the capacity to prevent the wind from blowing in the opposite direction. He is mightier than the wind, the Sun, the fire, the planets, this Universe and He is Sriman Narayana. By devoting ourselves to Him, our mind and senses would all get controlled. The boat also would reach its destination. Therefore, surrendering our organs in His service is the best way to control and discipline our mind and organs. Thirumangai Alwar imagining himself as a girl is being invited by her girl friends to witness the dancing Lord. This Juggler performs the dance and the girl [Alwar] is attracted. The performance was over and the performer and all spectators leave. But the girl [Alwar] remains in the auditorium. When asked by her friends as to why she is not getting up and start for home, the Alwar in his imaginary girl form says that to get up and start for home, her mind should be there. It is no longer there, as it has gone along with the Juggler. When mind is not there, no one is there to order the organs to prepare to get up. The message here is that by devoting our mind and organs in His pranks and beauty, we escape our mind and organs from engaging them in the worldly desires. Similar is the experience of Nammalwar. He says that after seeing Him, the eyes follow the Lord. We think of the mortals who are all having innumerous shortfalls. Whereas His qualities do not have any deficiency, He does not have any blemish. In every sense He cannot be faulted. So by devoting in such a perfect and blemish less Him, our organs and mind will get controlled. So when we see this great pond, we should remember Him and His astonishing pranks and thereby our mind and organs will get fixed in Him and get controlled. 2.68 tasmAd yasya maha-bahO nigr-hItani sarvasah indriyaani indriya_arthebhya: tasya prajna pratisthita Therefore, in the way described above i.e he whose mind is focussed on Me the auspicious object for meditation, and whose senses are thereby restrained from sense-objects in everyway, in his mind alone wisdom is firmly set. *Tasmad - therefore. The mind that goes after the senses. With that condition we can never have atman darshan. Only by disciplining the mind we can get all advantages. By thinking about God, the mind gets controlled. So we cannot expect to control the mind on our own, but only with His help. Therefore, *asya- that atman which is trying to control the mind and organs, which are dragged by materialistic desires, can control the mind with His help only. *Indiryaani - the senses of that atman *Indriya-arthebhya: - the objects of the sense enjoyment *sarvasah nigrhitaani - is curbed down. *tasya prajna pratishtita - In such an atman the intellect or buddhi gets well established and he qualifies to do gyana yoga. Such a person who can curb his senses and control his mind from getting driven by senses (by the help of devoting to the lord), will realize the true nature of the soul. Here we may have a doubt. To get atman darshan shouldn't we just concentrate on the atman only, rather than devote ourselves in God? Devoting our mind on our own atman is not that superior. Also, atman does not have a form or qualities to imbibe or worship. Mind will find it very difficult to concentrate on a formless and blank entity. Whereas God has many attributes and forms and temples. This makes it easier for the mind to devote. Why so many forms for God and why so many temples and Avatars? Because our tastes differ and to satisfy every taste so many forms, temples, etc. have been arranged by our elders. God also takes so many Avatars to satisfy the varied tastes of devotees. Absorbed by the beauty of the Lord here, Alwar says that one by one all his senses were lost to Him and the mind also surrendered to him. We also by involving us in this enchanting beauty of the Lord can control the organs and mind and have atman darshan. As enemies are curbed by superior force, similarly, the senses, can be curbed not by any human endeavor, but only by keeping them engaged in the service of the Lord. One who has understood this, is called sadhaka, or a suitable candidate for liberation. The Lotus flower blossoms when Sun rises and closes its petals when the Sun sets or when the Moon is shining. The Discus has the brilliance of innumerous Suns and so the Lotus like eyes open as a lotus flower blossoms. The Conch, on the other hand is white like a moon and so seeing that, the eyes close, as a Lotus flower would do. So, it appears the eyes of the Lord open wide and close alternately and Alwar is mesmerized by this beauty and so mentions this as he sees the Sri Sudarsana and the Panchajanya. We can also visualize this in our memory and thereby we can involve our senses in this magnificent vision and get our senses controlled. Our mind need not wander on various persons as to what harm they did or what abuses were hurled at us. By visiting temples and after return, memorizing the brilliant image of the Lord our time would be spent better. This will cultivate the satva quality in us and the mind gets disciplined. RECAP of 2.55-2.68 Slokas: If we can also like Alwar treat our mind as the abode of the Lord, then our mind will not go after the organs or worldly matters. In the ordinary streets one may throw garbage and unwanted things. But once it is his sannidhi, we tend to maintain the sanctity and cleanliness. Similarly, if we make our mind the residence of ordinary mortals, then all sorts of things would accumulate. But if we regard it as the street for His procession, then we would maintain sanctity and keep it clear of cheap and unwanted things. We have to regard the mind as His residence and carefully maintain it. This is the most important aspect in the 2nd Chapter of Gita. From 55th sloka to 68th sloka the Lord explained the need for control of the organs. In the four slokas 55th, 56th, 57th and 58th- four samgyas or stages were mentioned. They are Vaseekara samgya, Yekendriya samgya, Vyatireka samgya and Yatamana samgya. In the 59th sloka he mentioned that by getting atman darshan, the sense organs get controlled. In the 60th sloka he told that by controlling organs, atman darshan would be realized. When Arjuna was confused in seeming contradiction of 59th and 60th slokas, he told him in the 61st sloka that to control the organs, he should submit the senses in Him only. In the 62nd and 63rd slokas he made it clear how the atman, which does not think of God goes in bad surroundings and tumbles down to the bottom. In the next four slokas 64th, 65th, 66th and 67th - He explained once again how the person who devotes himself in Him, gradually rises up and how the people with wandering mind descend. In the 68th sloka, he told that therefore, by devoting unto Him and by withdrawing the senses from worldly matters, one starts Gyana yoga and reach supreme status. In the following three slokas of 69th, 70th and 71st, Sri Krishna tells what all advantages accrue to that person who had atman darshan. The higher stages are explained in the three slokas in descending order, as was done in 55,56,57 and 58 slokas. In the 55th sloka Vaseekara samgya was told as the highest stage. Here in the 69th sloka He is going to tell the highest reward for the Gyani. The 56th sloka dealt with the lower level stage Yekendriya samgya. Here in 70th sloka the middle reward will be explained. In the 57th and 58th slokas the next lower stages were explained. In the 71st sloka the early rewards are mentioned. 2.69 : ya nisa sarva-bhutanam tasyaam jaagarti samyami yasyaam jaagrati bhutani sa nisaah pasyato muneh "What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage." We will now see the 69th sloka carefully. Sri Krishna explains with some examples. We already witness that when it is daytime for us, it is night in North America and vice versa. Similarly, for birds like crows, visibility is there in daytime. But for nocturnal birds like owls, nighttime is visible clearly. So we can say the day of crows is night for owls and the day of owls is night for crows. Citing this Sri Krishna says that the day for a person, who has controlled the senses, is night for the undisciplined person whose mind wanders on worldly matters. That is the night for the ordinary person is day for the Atma gyani. *Sarva bhuthanam- all ordinary beings, that is those who have not disciplined the senses, for them [Atman darshan] is * ya nisa- nisa means night. For the ordinary beings, what is night. Here night means for those persons atman chintana or perception of atman is night. Just as we say in our conversation that if we do not understand anything, we say it is all Greek and Latin. So atman darshan is not understandable for ordinary person and so he regards it as night. Here night signifies ignorance or darkness. *tasyam - in that same atma darsana *jaagrati samyami- those who have control over the senses, are jagrati (awake ) f That is what is night or darkness for the ordinary persons, is bright daylight awakening for the person who has controlled his senses and so he is active. *yasyam jaagrati Bhutani- But, the ordinary persons(bhutaani) i.e those who have not controlled their senses, are all awake(jaagrati), in worldly matters(yasyaam) i.e enjoy the senses (shabda, sparsa, roopa, raasa, gandham) *mune-the person who has controlled his senses, *Sa nisa pasyato : for the one who has controlled his senses, the sense enjoyment is like night (i.e not affected and doesn't indulge and is not aware of it). That is we are all active as in daylight in worldly matters and enjoy the inferior desires. But he, who has had atman darshan and controlled his senses, finds darkness in such worldly matters. Sri Krishna desires that we should all raise to this level of person who controls his senses. This is the HIGHEST LEVEL. There are two classes of intelligent men. The one is intelligent in material activities for sense gratification, and the other is introspective and awake to the cultivation of self-realization. Activities of the introspective sage, or thoughtful man, are night for persons materially absorbed. Materialistic persons remain asleep in such a night due to their ignorance of self-realization. The introspective sage remains alert in the "night" of the materialistic men. The sage feels transcendental pleasure in the gradual advancement of spiritual culture, whereas the man in materialistic activities, being asleep to self-realization, dreams of varieties of sense pleasure, feeling sometimes happy and sometimes distressed in his sleeping condition. The introspective man is always indifferent to materialistic happiness and distress. He goes on with his self-realization activities undisturbed by material reaction. 2.70 aapurya-maanam acala-pratishtham samudram apah: pravishanti yadvat tadvat kaama_yam pravishanti sarve sa shantim apnoti na kaama-kaami "A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still can alone achieve Moksham, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires." In the 69th sloka Sri Krishna explained how the night for ordinary people who do not have a control over their senses, is daylight for persons who have atman darshan. When ordinary people are awake, that is they are active in the worldly pleasures, it is night for atman gyani. This is the highest state for such enlightened persons. Here the person does not see those worldly matters. But in the 70th sloka, Sri Krishna tells of an enlightened person, who comes into contact with such worldly matters and is not influenced or affected by them. This is a lower state than the person mentioned in the last 69th sloka. Child devotee Prahlada was tortured by his father in many ways. Serpents were directed to bite Prahlada. But he saw the serpent as the bed of Sriman Narayana and so nothing happened to him; he was rolled down a hill and he saw Govardan, which was lifted by the Lord to protect the cowherds. He was given poison to drink and prahlada saw the blue hue of the Lord and so poison had no effect on him. He was drowned in the ocean and he saw it as the abode of the Lord and so he was saved. This devotion is a very superior state and what Sri Krishna mentions is of persons like us. The difference is that when they see a serpent or poison they do not show fear or run away but look at it indifferently. The snake or poison may kill these persons but they take it in their strides, as they are aware that body is perishable while their atman is eternal. In the earlier case the poison or snake never came in the sight of those persons; but here, though they come into contact with these they have no impact on these persons. Sri Krishna explains this with an example in the 70th sloka. In the ocean all river waters mingle. With that inflow, the level of the ocean does not rise. Similarly, when the rivers are dry and when there is no inflow, the level of the ocean does not fall. It remains constant -acala. Tadvat- similarly, all worldly desires and miseries even when attack, the person, who has atman darshan, he does not change and remains unaffected. Such a person attains the supreme status of shantim or Moksham. Whereas Kama yami, the ordinary persons who are after worldly matter, will never reach this position. *Aapurya maanam - (Sea which is) always filled with water *Acala pratishtam - "Cala" is changing; Acala is unchanging; i.e Sea doesn't get impacted whether the river water flows into it and does not flow into it. *Samudram - Sea *Apah: pravishanti - water(apah:), pravishanti(flowing) into sea, * yadavat - just like (sea) *tadvat - Similarly (like sea, into which waters from river flowing, doesn't affect it or change it) *Yam - to whom (that person) *pravishanti sarve - flowing of desires due to sense objects *sa shantim apnoti - he is the one who gets the fruit of Atma darshanam *na kaama-kaami - not for one who is agitated by desires and affected by sense objects The river waters enter into the sea which is full by itself and is thus the same, i.e., unchanging in shape. The sea exhibits no special increase or decrease, whether the waters or rivers enter it or not. Even so do all objects of desire, i.e., objects of sense perception like sound etc., enter into a self-controlled one, i.e., they produce only sensorial impressions but no reaction from him. Such a person will attain peace. The meaning is that he alone attains to peace, who by reason of the contentment coming from the vision of the self, feels no disturbance when objects of sense like sound, etc., come within the ken of the senses or when they do not come. This is not the case with one who runs after desires. Whoever is agitated by sound and other objects, never attains to peace. As long as one has the material body, the demands of the body for sense gratification will continue. The devotee, however, is not disturbed by such desires because of his fullness. A Krsna conscious man is not in need of anything because the Lord fulfills all his material necessities. Therefore he is like the ocean--always full in himself. Desires may come to him like the waters of the rivers that flow into the ocean, but he is steady in his activities, and he is not even slightly disturbed by desires for sense gratification. That is the proof of a Krsna conscious man--one who has lost all inclinations for material sense gratification, although the desires are present. Because he remains satisfied in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, he can remain steady, like the ocean, and therefore enjoy full peace. Others, however, who fulfill desires even up to the limit of liberation, what to speak of material success, never attain peace. The fruitive workers, the salvationists, and also the yogis who are after mystic powers, are all unhappy because of unfulfilled desires. But the person in Krsna consciousness is happy in the service of the Lord, and he has no desires to be fulfilled. In fact, he does not even desire liberation from the so-called material bondage. The devotees of Krsna have no material desires, and therefore they are in perfect peace.

2.71 vihaaya kaaman yah sarvaan pumaams_carati nihsprhah nirmamo nir_ahankarah: sa shantim adhigacchati "A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego he alone can attain Moksham" What are desired, they are called the objects of desire. These are sound and other sense-objects. The person, who wants peace must abandon all senseobjects such as sound, touch etc. He should have no longing for them. He should be without the sense of 'mineness' regarding them, as that sense arises from the misconception that the body, which is really non-self, is the self. He who lives in this way attains to peace after seeing the self. As mentioned earlier, 69th 70th and 71st slokas describe different stages of a gyani who had atman darshan. The 69th sloka mentions the highest stage and 70th sloka mentions one in a slightly lower level. The person mentioned in 69th sloka does not see any of the worldly matters. This is same as Vaseekara samgya. For the person in 70th sloka, the worldly matters are all felt and seen. But he is immune to them and these worldly matters inflict no changes on him. Now we have to see the 71st sloka. Here the person is at his initial stage taking efforts for atman darshan. The person mentioned here starts his efforts. We can listen to the levels in 69th and 70th slokas but very difficult to achieve. But the 71st sloka is intended for ordinary persons like us. From this level he upgrades himself to the level mentioned in 70th sloka and then further uplifts him to the level indicated in 69th sloka. *Yah: puman- that Jeevatman or person, *vihaya sarvaan Kaman- discarding all sensual pleasures (sparsha, roopa, gandha, shabdha, rasa) *nisprahah- should abandon all desires. To do this he should be , *nirmamao- not claiming possession or the feeling my . *nirahankaara - Also he should have the feeling of nirahankara or not imagining body as soul or atman. *sa shantim adhigacchati - Such a person would lose interest in material pleasures and would attain Moksham or eternal bliss. Shantim means desire less, not involving in materialistic pleasures and brahma prapti or reaching the God. Here Sri Krishna tells what one has to do to get that peace and eternal bliss. First step is nirahankaraha. Next is nirmamaha. Next is nishprahaha. Next is vihaya Kaman and finally atman darshan. To have atman darshan, we have to follow the four steps. We have to first destroy ahankaram. Normally this is commonly used to indicate pride. We should know why this comes. When someone does not do what we want, we abuse him and start finding faults with every action of him. This happens because we think atman and body are same. Aham is self or soul and we assume it is body, it is called, ahankaram. The soul is not man or tree or an animal. The bodies of all these do not have the intellect or gyana. But Atman has intellect. Without understanding the basic difference between soul and body, we start assuming atman is body then we are said to have ahankaram. What is the advantage in differentiating atman from body? When it is exam time, we are to study all night without sleeping. But we feel I am getting sleep or I feel sleepy . But actually, it is the body, which requires rest and sleep. Atman never gets tired and so does not need rest. If this correct perception is there during exam time then we can throw off that laziness and sleep and study. But by going the way the body requires, one would feel asleep and may not be able to study. A sprinter, when reaching the winning pole never thinks of the aching legs but thinks only of victory. At this point the sprinter looks at atman as different from body. This is a great advantage to progress. Next, we should discard the mamakaram or assuming propreitorship. In this world nothing is ours and we carry nothing when departing from this world. But once we think something as ours, then we tend to protect it. The only thing, which can be claimed as ours, is gyana or knowledge and it will be enough if we can protect that. All others, which we claim as belonging to us, are all body, related only. The minute atman does not need any clothes or decorations. So avoiding mamakaram will drive away our desire to possess. Next is nishpraha, or discarding desires on materials. As long as water is there in a well, more water would spring. But if we dry the well totally, then no water would spring. So if we discard the materials then they will also leave us. This would lead to vihaya Kaman that is driving away the desires. This will result in atman darshan. To become desireless means not to desire anything for sense gratification. In other words, desire for becoming Krsna conscious is actually desirelessness. To understand one's actual position as the eternal servitor of Krsna, without falsely claiming this material body to be oneself and without falsely claiming proprietorship over anything in the world, is the perfect stage of Krsna consciousness. One who is situated in this perfect stage knows that because Krsna is the proprietor of everything, therefore everything must be used for the satisfaction of Krsna. The living entity cannot be desireless or senseless, but he does have to change the quality of the desires. A materially desireless person certainly knows that everything belongs to Krsna (isavasyam idam sarvam), and therefore he does not falsely claim proprietorship over anything. This transcendental knowledge is based on self-realization--namely, knowing perfectly well that every living entity is the eternal part and parcel of Krsna in spiritual identity, and therefore the eternal position of the living entity is never on the level of Krsna or greater than Him. 2.72 esa braahmi sthitih partha nainam praapya vimuhyati sthitva-asyam anta-kale pi brahma-nirvaanam rcchati "This will reach bramham, oh! Partha, after which there is no bewilderment. This should be practiced at least in the final phase of life and attain the pure happiness of bramham." *Esa sthithi this state (which state is Krishna referring to here? the state in the previous sloka? the state described in the whole of second chapter?. Selfless Karma yogam , which is done without attachment or desire for fruit is being referred to as here as Esa Stithi. Here we should interpret to indicate the essence of 2nd Chapter Karma Yoga. It was started that Arjuna should realize the eternity of atman and should uphold his dharma of protecting his people and fight. It is not just Karma yoga but asanga Karma yoga. That is unattached, without the feeling I did or mine and without a desire in the result.) *braahmi- that which will get us brahma . (which state is being referred to here? It can be considered as SriVaikuntam or Atma Saaksatkaaram or Atma darsanam i.e makes us realize the true nature of our self i.e jeevatma. Please note from 2nd sloka to 6th chapter, Krishna is detailing the true nature of Jeevatma and from 7th to 9th chapter he is referring to ways to reach Paramaatma. So any reference to Brahman in 2nd to 6th chapter, should be considered as referring to Jeevatma) *yenaam praapya - Whoever attains this state *na vimuhyati - will never get confused about his true state and neither will he grieve. Earlier we have seen that atman darshan would banish all miseries and worries. *asyam- in this Karma yoga, *anta kalepi- at least in the final years or phase of life of a person (even if we missed the boat of performing in early stages) *Sthitvaa - Situated (i.e perform) in this state (i.e performing karma yoga) *nirvaanam- unalloyed by miseries and so pure happiness, *rcchati- reaches the state , *brahmam- state of realizing the atman darshan or Moksham. With this Sri Krishna concludes this chapter. He advises Arjuna to stay in asanga Karma yoga that would get him atman sakshatkaram. Once that state is reached, there is no room for confusion or worries. Normally, this realization should have come up in youth time. Even if the person has become old, let him not think that Karma yoga is impossible to practice. Even in the final phase of life, Karma yoga can be practiced and attain the eternal bliss. So we have to understand from this sloka that even if we did not realize the merits of Karma yoga all these years, it is not late to start even in the final phase of life. We can involve ourselves, even at the ripe old age, in selfless service to others, society, country or world. We should dedicate such activities as service to God. Any work we do as long as it is not self-centered and without ego and it is within the accepted boundaries of shastra, can be regarded as Karma yoga. We should get that yearning for Karma yoga at least in our old age and try to reach a little of the stitha prajna state mentiond by Sri Krishna. We should try earnestly. By practicing if we are able to achieve something it would give us that happiness. Our elders have toiled to make these methods available for us and so we should try to practice them. Karma yoga is not to be performed in a secluded jungle leaving all our near and dear ones. In fact it was Arjuna who said he would go to forests and do meditation and it was Sri Krishna who prevented him from that and asked him to practice Karma yoga in his routine work. So our daily life is our playground and in that only we have to overcome all our challenges by practicing Karma yoga. Sri Krishna is always there to help us and we need not bother about victory or defeat in our endeavors. If we view life as an ocean of distress only, we will only get mental depression. Some regard life as challenge. The difficulty here is that since it is taken as challenge, there will be always the urge to be victorious. This will develop egoism and all our works will be self-centered. But we have to regard life as an opportunity and practice Karma yoga incessantly and do good for all and this universe. This is the essence of the 2nd Chapter. This state of performing disinterested work which is preceded by the knowledge of the eternal self and which is characterised by firm wisdom, is the Brahmi-state, which secures the attainment of the Brahman (the self). After attaining such a state, he will not be deluded, i.e., he will not get again the mortal coil. Reaching this state even during the last years of life, he wins the blissful Brahman (the self) i.e., which is full of beatitude. The meaning is that he attains the self which is constituted of nothing but bliss. Thus in the second chapter, the Lord wanted to remove the delusion of Arjuna, who did not know the real nature of the self and also did not realize that the activity named 'war' (here an ordained duty) is a means for attaining the nature of Sankhya or the self. Arjuna was under the delusion that the body is itself the self, and dominated by that delusion, had retreated from battle. He was therefore taught the knowledge called 'Sankhya' or the understanding of the self, and Yoga or what is called the path of practical work without attachment. These together have as their objective the attainment of steady wisdom (Sthitaprajnata) This has been explained in the following verse by Sri Yamunacarya: Sankhya and Yoga, which comprehend within their scope the understanding of the eternal self and the practical way of disinterested action respectively, were imparted in order to remove Arjuna's delusion. Through them the state of firm wisdom can be reached.