Bhagavad Gita – Chapter II

Bhagavad Gita – Chapter Two:
Contents Of Gita Summarized

Text 1

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • sanjaya uvaca
  • tam tatha krpayavistam
  • asru-purnakuleksanam
  • visidantam idam vakyam
  • uvaca madhusudanah.

English Translation:

Sanjay said: Seeing Arjun full of compassion, his mind depressed, his eyes full of tears, Madhusudan, Krishna, spoke the following words.

Material compassion, lamentation tears are all signs of ignorance of the real self. Compassion for the eternal soul is self-realisation. The word ?Madhusudan? is significant in this verse. Lord Krishna killed the demon Madhu, and now Arjun wanted Krishna to kill the demon of misunderstanding that had overtaken
him in the discharge of his duty. No one knows where compassion
should be applied. Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is
senseless. A man fallen in the ocean of nescience cannot be saved
simply by rescuing his outward dress?the gross material body. One
who does not know this and laments for the outward dress is called a
sudra, or one who laments unnecessarily.

Arjun was a kshatriya, and
this conduct was not expected from him. Lord Krishna, however, can
dissipate the lamentation of the ignorant man, and for this purpose
the Bhagavad-Gita was sung by Him. This chapter instructs us in
self-realization by an analytical study of the material body and the
spirit soul, as explained by the supreme authority. Lord Sri Krishna.
This realization is possible when one works without attachment to
fruitive results and is situated in the fixed conception of the real self.

Text 2

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • sri-bhagavan uvaca
  • kutas tva kasmalam
  • idam visame samupasthitam
  • anarya-justam asvargyam
  • akirti-karam arjuna.

English Translation:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjun, how
have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a
man who knows the value of life. They lead not to higher planets but
to infamy.

Krishna and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are identical.
Therefore Lord Krishna is referred to as Bhagavan throughout the
Gita. Bhagavan is the ultimate in the Absolute Truth. Absolute
Truth is realized in three phases of understanding, namely Brahman,
or the impersonal all-pervasive spirit; Paramatma, or the localized
aspect of the Supreme within the heart of all living entities; and
Bhagavan, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. In
the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11) this conception of the Absolute
Truth is explained thus:

“The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding by
the knower of the Absolute Truth, and all of them are identical. Such
phases of the Absolute Truth are expressed as Brahman, Paramatma,
and Bhagavan.”

These three divine aspects can be explained by the example of the
sun, which also has three different aspects, namely the sunshine, the
sun’s surface and the sun planet itself. One who studies the sunshine
only is the preliminary student. One who understands the sun’s
surface is further advanced. And one who can enter into the sun
planet is the highest. Ordinary students who are satisfied by simply
understanding the sunshine?its universal pervasiveness and the
glaring effulgence of its impersonal nature?may be compared to
those who can realize only the Brahman feature of the Absolute

The student who has advanced still further can know the sun
disc, which is compared to knowledge of the Paramatma feature of
the Absolute Truth. And the student who can enter into the heart of
the sun planet is compared to those who realize the personal features
of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Therefore, the bhaktas, or the
transcendentalists who have realized the Bhagavan feature of the
Absolute Truth, are the topmost transcendentalists, although all
students who are engaged in the study of the Absolute Truth are
engaged in the same subject matter. The sunshine, the sun disc and
the inner affairs of the sun planet cannot be separated from one
another, and yet the students of the three different phases are not in
the same category.

The Sanskrit word bhagavan is explained by the great authority
Parasara Muni, the father of Vyasadeva. The Supreme Personality
who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all
knowledge and all renunciation is called Bhagavan. There are many
persons who are very rich, very powerful, very beautiful, very
famous, very learned, and very much detached, but no one can claim
that he possesses all riches, all strength, etc., entirely. Only Krishna can
claim this because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No
living entity, including Brahma, Lord Siva, or Narayana, can possess
opulences as fully as Krishna. Therefore it is concluded in the Brahma-
sarhhitd by Lord Brahma himself that Lord Krishna is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. No one is equal to or above Him. He is the
primeval Lord, or Bhagavan, known as Govinda, and He is the
supreme cause of all causes:

“There are many personalities possessing the qualities of Bhagavan,
but Krishna is the supreme because none can excel Him. He is the
Supreme Person, and His body is eternal, full of knowledge and
bliss. He is the primeval Lord Govinda and the cause of all causes.”
(Brahma-samhita 5.1)

In the Bhdgavatam also there is a list of many incarnations of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Krishna is described as the
original Personality of Godhead, from whom many, many incarnations and Personalities of Godhead expand:

“All the lists of the incarnations of Godhead submitted herewith are
either plenary expansions or parts of the plenary expansions of the
Supreme Godhead, but Krishna is the Supreme Personality of God-
head Himself.”

Therefore, Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead,
the Absolute Truth, the source of both the Supersoul and the impersonal Brahman.

In the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Arjun’s
lamentation for his kinsmen is certainly unbecoming, and therefore
Krishna expressed His surprise with the word kutah, “wherefrom.”
Such impurities were never expected from a person belonging to the
civilized class of men known as Aryans. The word Aryan is applicable to persons who know the value of life and have a civilization based on spiritual realization. Persons who are led by the material
conception of life do not know that the aim of life is realization of the
Absolute Truth, Vishnu, or Bhagavan, and they are captivated by the
external features of the material world, and therefore they do not
know what liberation is.

Persons who have no knowledge of
liberation from material bondage are called non-Aryans. Although
Arjun was a ksatriya, he was deviating from his prescribed duties
by declining to fight. This act of cowardice is described as befitting
the non-Aryans. Such deviation from duty does not help one in the
progress of spiritual life, nor does it even give one the opportunity to
become famous in this world. Lord Krishna did not approve of the
so-called compassion of Arjun for his kinsmen.

Text 3

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

    • klaibyam ma sma gamah
    • partha naitat tvayy
    • upapadyate ksudram
    • hrdaya-daurbalyam
    • tyaktvottistha parantapa.

English Translation:
0 son of Prtha, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not
become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, 0
chastiser of the enemy.


Arjun was addressed as the son of Prtha, who happened to be the
sister of Krishna’s father Vasudeva. Therefore Arjun had a blood
relationship with Krishna. If the son of a ksatriya declines to fight he
is a ksatriya in name only, and if the son of a brahmana acts
impiously, he is a brahmana in name only. Such ksatriyas and
brahmanas are unworthy sons of their fathers; therefore, Krishna did
not want Arjun to become an unworthy son of a ksatriya. Arjun
was the most intimate friend of Krishna, and Krishna was directly
guiding him on the chariot; but in spite of all these credits, if Arjun
abandoned the battle he would be committing an infamous act.

Therefore Krishna said that such an attitude in Arjun did not fit his
personality. Arjun might argue that he would give up the battle on
the grounds of his magnanimous attitude for the most respectable
Bhisma and his relatives, but Krishna considered that sort of magna-
nimity mere weakness of heart. Such false magnanimity was not
approved by any authority. Therefore, such magnanimity or so-
called nonviolence should be given up by persons like Arjun under
the direct guidance of Krishna.

Text 4

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • arjuna uvaca
  • katham bhismam aham
  • sankhye dronam ca
  • madhusudana isubhih
  • pratiyotsyami pujarhav ari-sudana.

English Translation:
Arjun said: 0 killer of enemies, 0 killer of Madhu, how can I
counterattack with arrows in battle men like Bhisma and Drona,
who are worthy of my worship?

Respectable superiors like Bhisma the grandfather and Dronacarya
the teacher are always worship able. Even if they attack, they should
not be counterattacked. It is general etiquette that superiors are not
to be offered even a verbal fight. Even if they are sometimes harsh in
behavior, they should not be harshly treated. Then, how is it possible
for Arjun to counterattack them? Would Krishna ever attack His
own grandfather, Ugrasena, or His teacher, Sandipani Muni? These
were some of the arguments offered by Arjun to Krishna.

Text 5

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • gurun ahatva hi mahanubhavan
  • sreyo bhoktum bhaiksyam
  • apiha loke hatvartha-kamams
  • tu gurun ihaiva bhunjiya
  • bhogan rudhira-pradigdhan.

English Translation:
It would be better to live in this world by begging than live at the
cost of the lives of great souls who are my teachers. Even though
desiring worldly gain, they are superiors. If they are killed, every-
thing we enjoy will be tainted with blood.


According to scriptural codes, a teacher who engages in an abominable action and has lost his sense of discrimination is fit to be
abandoned. Bhisma and Drona were obliged to take the side of
Duryodhana because of his financial assistance, although they
should not have accepted such a position simply on financial considerations. Under the circumstances, they have lost the respectability
of teachers. But Arjun thinks that nevertheless they remain his
superiors, and therefore to enjoy material profits after killing them
would mean to enjoy spoils tainted with blood.

Text 6

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • na caitad vidmah
  • kataran no gariyo
  • yad va jayema yadi
  • va no jayeyuh yan eva
  • hatva na jijivisamas
  • te vasthitah pramukhe
  • dhartarastrah.

English Translation:

Nor do we know which is better-conquering them or being conquered by them. If we killed the sons of Dhrtarashtra. We should not care to live. Yet they are now standing before us on the battlefield.

Arjun did not know whether he should fight and risk unnecessary
violence, although fighting is the duty of the kshatriyas, or whether he
should refrain and live by begging. If he did not conquer the enemy,
begging would be his only means of subsistence. Nor was there
certainty of victory, because either side might emerge victorious.
Even if victory awaited them (and their cause was justified), still, if
the sons of Dhrtarastra died in battle, it would be very difficult to live
in their absence. Under the circumstances, that would be another
kind of defeat for them. All these considerations by Arjun
definitely proved that not only was he a great devotee of the Lord but
he was also highly enlightened and had complete control over his
mind and senses.

His desire to live by begging, although he was born
in the royal household, is another sign of detachment. He was truly
virtuous, as these qualities, combined with his faith in the words of
instruction of Sri Krishna (his spiritual master), indicate. It is concluded that Arjun was quite fit for liberation. Unless the senses are
controlled, there is no chance of elevation to the platform of knowledge, and without knowledge and devotion there is no chance of
liberation. Arjun was competent in all these attributes, over and
above his enormous attributes in his material relationships.

Text 7

Sanskrit working:

  • karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah
  • prcchami tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah
  • yac chreyah syan niscitam
  • bruhi tan me sisyas te
  • ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam.

English Translation:

Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure
because of miserly weakness. In this condition I am asking You to
tell me for certain what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a
soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.

By nature’s own way the complete system of material activities is a
source of perplexity for everyone. In every step there is perplexity,
and therefore it behooves one to approach, a bona fide spiritual
master who can give one proper guidance for executing the purpose
of life. All Vedic literatures advise us to approach a bona fide spiritual master to get free from the perplexities of life, which
happen without our desire.

They are like a forest fire that somehow
blazes without being set by anyone. Similarly, the world situation is
such that perplexities of life automatically appear, without our
wanting such confusion. No one wants fire, and yet it takes place,
and we become perplexed. The Vedic wisdom therefore advises that
in order to solve the perplexities of life and to understand the science
of the solution, one must approach a spiritual master who is in the
disciples succession. A person with a bona fide spiritual master is
supposed to know everything. One should not, therefore, remain in
material perplexities but should approach a spiritual master. This is
the purport of this verse.

Who is the man in material perplexities? It is he who does not
understand the problems of life. In the Brhad-dranyaka Upanisad
(3.8.10) the perplexed man is described as follows: “He is a miserly
man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and who
thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without understanding
the science of self-realization.” This human form of life is a most
valuable asset for the living entity who can utilize it for solving the
problems of life; therefore, one who does not utilize this opportunity
properly is a miser. On the other hand, there is the brahmana, or he
who is intelligent enough to utilize this body to solve all the problems of life.

The krpanas, or miserly persons, waste their time in being overly
affectionate for family, society, country, etc., in the material conception of life. One is often attached to family life, namely to wife,
children and other members, on the basis of “skin disease.” The
krpana thinks that he is able to protect his family members from
death; or the krpana thinks that his family or society can save him
from the verge of death. Such family attachment can be found even
in the lower animals, who take care of children also.

Being intelligent, Arjun could understand that his affection for family members
and his wish to protect them from death were the causes of his
perplexities. Although he could understand that his duty to fight was
awaiting him, still, on account of miserly weakness, he could not
discharge the duties. He is therefore asking Lord Krishna, the supreme
spiritual master, to make a definite solution. He offers himself to
Krishna as a disciple. He wants to stop friendly talks. Talks between
the master and the disciple are serious, and now Arjun wants to talk
very seriously before the recognized spiritual master. Krishna is there-
fore the original spiritual master of the science of Bhagavad-Gita,
and Arjun is the first disciple for understanding the Gild. How
Arjun understands the Bhagavad-Gita is stated in the Gita itself.
And yet foolish mundane scholars explain that one need not submit
to Krishna as a person, but to “the unborn within Krishna.” There is no
difference between Krishna’s within and without. And one who has no
sense of this understanding is the greatest fool in trying to under-
stand Bhagavad-Gita.

Text 8

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • na hi prapasyami mamapanudyad
  • yac chokam ucchosanam indriyanam
  • avapya bhumav asapatnam
  • rddham rajyam suranam api cadhipatvam.

English Translation:

I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my
senses. I will not be able to dispel it even if I win a prosperous,
unrivaled kingdom on earth with sovereignty like the demigods in


Although Arjun was putting forward so many arguments based on
knowledge of the principles of religion and moral codes, it appears
that he was unable to solve his real problem without the help of the
spiritual master. Lord Sri Krishna. He could understand that his
so-called knowledge was useless in driving away his problems, which
were drying up his whole existence; and it was impossible for him to
solve such perplexities without the help of a spiritual master like
Lord Krishna. Academic knowledge, scholarship, high position, etc.,
are all useless in solving the problems of life; help can be given only
by a spiritual master like Krishna. Therefore, the conclusion is that a
spiritual master who is one hundred percent Krishna conscious is the
bona fide spiritual master, for he can solve the problems of life. Lord
Caitanya said that one who is master in the science of Krishna con-
sciousness, regardless of his social position, is the real spiritual

“It does not matter whether a person is a vipra [learned scholar in
Vedic wisdom] or is born in a lower family, or is in the renounced
order of life-if he is master in the science of Krishna, he is the perfect
and bona fide spiritual master.” (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya
8.128) So without being a master in the science of Krishna con-
sciousness, no one is a bona fide spiritual master. It is also said in
Vedic literature:

“A scholarly brahmana, expert in all subjects of Vedic knowledge, is
unfit to become a spiritual master without being a Vaisnava, or
expert in the science of Krishna consciousness. But a person born in a
family of a lower caste can become a spiritual master if he is a
Vaisnava, or Krishna conscious.” {Padma Purana)

The problems of material existence-birth, old age, disease and
death-cannot be counteracted by accumulation of wealth and
economic development. In many parts of the world there are states
which are replete with all facilities of life, which are full of wealth and
economically developed, yet the problems of material existence are
still present. They are seeking peace in different ways, but they can
achieve real happiness only if they consult Krishna, or the Bhagavad-Gita
gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam-which constitute the science of
Krishna-through the bona fide representative of Krishna, the man in
Krishna consciousness.

If economic development and material comforts could drive away
one’s lamentations for family, social, national or international
inebriates, then Arjun would not have said that even an unrivaled
kingdom on earth or supremacy like that of the demigods in the
heavenly planets would be unable to drive away his lamentations. He
sought, therefore, refuge in Krishna consciousness, and that is the
right path for peace and harmony. Economic development or supremacy over the world can be finished at any moment by the cataclysms of material nature. Even elevation into a higher planetary
situation, as men are now seeking on the moon planet, can also be
finished at one stroke. The Bhagavad-Gita confirms this: “When the results of pious activities are
finished, one falls down again from the peak of happiness to the
lowest status of life.” Many politicians of the world have fallen down
in that way. Such downfalls only constitute more causes for

Therefore, if we want to curb lamentation for good, then we have
to take shelter of Krishna, as Arjun is seeking to do. So Arjun asked
Krishna to solve his problem definitely, and that is the way of Krishna

Text 9

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • sanjay uvaca
  • evam uktva hrsikesam
  • gudakesah parantapah na
  • yotsya iti govindam
  • uktva tusnim babhuva ha.

English Translation:

Sanjay said: Having spoken thus, Arjun, chastiser of enemies, told
Krishna, “Govinda, I shall not fight,” and fell silent.

Dhrtarastra must have been very glad to understand that Arjun
was not going to fight and was instead leaving the battlefield for the
begging profession. But Sanjay disappointed him again in relating
that Arjun was competent to kill his enemies (parantapah).
Although Arjun was, for the time being, overwhelmed with false
grief due to family affection, he surrendered unto Krishna, the su-
preme spiritual master, as a disciple. This indicated that he would
soon be free from the false lamentation resulting from family affec-
tion and would be enlightened with perfect knowledge of self-
realization, or Krishna consciousness, and would then surely fight.
Thus Dhrtarastra’s joy would be frustrated, since Arjun would be
enlightened by Krishna and would fight to the end.

Text 10

Sanskrit working:

English wording:

  • tam uvaca hrsikesah
  • prahasann iva bharata
  • senayor ubhayor madhye
  • visidantam idam vacah.

English Translation:
0 descendant of Bharata, at that time Krishna, smiling, in the midst of
both the armies, spoke the following words to the grief-stricken


The talk was going on between intimate friends, namely the
Hrsikesa and the Gudakesa. As friends, both of them were on the
same level, but one of them voluntarily became a student of the
other. Krishna was smiling because a friend had chosen to become a
disciple. As Lord of all. He is always in the superior position as the
master of everyone, and yet the Lord agrees to be a friend, a son, or a
lover for a devotee who wants Him in such a role. But when He was
accepted as the master. He at once assumed the role and talked with
the disciple like the master-with gravity, as it is required. It appears
that the talk between the master and the disciple was openly
exchanged in the presence of both armies so that all were benefited.
So the talks of Bhagavad-Gita are not for any particular person,
society, or community, but they are for all, and friends or enemies
are equally entitled to hear them.

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