Bhagavad Gita – Chapter II

Bhagavad Gita – Chapter Two:
Contents Of Gita Summarized

Text 11

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • sri-bhagavan uvaca
  • asocyan anvasocas tvam
  • prajna-vadams ca
  • bhasase gatasun agatasums ca
  • nanusocanti panditah.

English Translation:

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: While speaking learned
words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who
are wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead.

The Lord at once took the position of the teacher and chastised the
student, calling him, indirectly, a fool. The Lord said, “You are
talking like a learned man, but you do not know that one who is
learned?one who knows what is body and what is soul?does not
lament for any stage of the body, neither in the living nor in the dead
condition.” As explained in later chapters, it will be clear that
knowledge means to know matter and spirit and the controller of
both. Arjun argued that religious principles should be given more
importance than politics or sociology, but he did not know that
knowledge of matter, soul and the Supreme is even more important
than religious formularies. And because he was lacking in that
knowledge, he should not have posed himself as a very learned man.
As he did not happen to be a very learned man, he was consequently
lamenting for something which was unworthy of lamentation. The
body is born and is destined to be vanquished today or tomorrow;
therefore the body is not as important as the soul. One who knows
this is actually learned, and for him there is no cause for lamentation, regardless of the condition of the material body.

Text 12

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • na tv evaham jatu nasam
  • na tvam neme janadhipah
  • na caiva na bhavisyamah
  • sarve vayam atah param

English Translation:

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.

In the Vedas?in the Kafha Upanisadsis well as in the Svetdsvatara
Upanisad?it is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the
maintainer of innumerable living entities, in terms of their different
situations according to individual work and reaction of work. That
Supreme Personality of Godhead is also, by His plenary portions,
alive in the heart of every living entity. Only saintly persons who can
see, within and without, the same Supreme Lord can actually attain
to perfect and eternal peace.

The same Vedic truth given to Arjun is given to all persons in the
world who pose themselves as very learned but factually have but a
poor fund of knowledge. The Lord says clearly that He Himself,
Arjun and all the kings who are assembled on the battlefield are
eternally individual beings and that the Lord is eternally the main-
tainer of the individual living entities both in their conditioned and
in their liberated situations. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is
the supreme individual person, and Arjun, the Lord’s eternal asso-
ciate, and all the kings assembled there are individual eternal per-
sons. It is not that they did not exist as individuals in the past, and it
is not that they will not remain eternal persons. Their individuality
existed in the past, and their individuality will continue in the future
without interruption. Therefore, there is no cause for lamentation
for anyone.

The Mayavadi theory that after liberation the individual soul,
separated by the covering of maya, or illusion, will merge into the
impersonal Brahman and lose its individual existence is not sup-
ported herein by Lord Krishna, the supreme authority. Nor is the
theory that we only think of individuality in the conditioned state
supported herein. Krishna clearly says herein that in the future also th&
individuality of the Lord and others, as it is confirmed in the
Upanishads, will continue eternally. This statement of Krishna’s is
authoritative because Krishna cannot be subject to illusion. If indi-
viduality were not a fact, then Krishna would not have stressed it so
much?even for the future. The Mayavadi may argue that the indi-
viduality spoken of by Krishna is not spiritual, but material. Even ac-
cepting the argument that the individuality is material, then how can
one distinguish Krishna’s individuality? Krishna affirms His indi-
viduality in the past and confirms His individuality in the future also.

He has confirmed His individuality in many ways, and impersonal
Brahman has been declared to be subordinate to Him. Krishna has
maintained spiritual individuality all along; if He is accepted as an
ordinary conditioned soul in individual consciousness, then His
Bhagavad-Gita has no value as authoritative scripture. A common
man with all the four defects of human frailty is unable to teach that
which is worth hearing. The Gild is above such literature. No mun-
dane book compares with the Bhagavad-Gita.

When one accepts
Krishna as an ordinary man, the Gita loses all importance. The
Mayavadi argues that the plurality mentioned in this verse is con-
ventional and that it refers to the body. But previous to this verse
such a bodily conception is already condemned. After condemning
the bodily conception of the living entities, how was it possible for
Krishna to place a conventional proposition on the body again?
Therefore, individuality is maintained on spiritual grounds and is
thus confirmed by greats like Sri Ramanuja and others. It is
clearly mentioned in many places in the Gita that this spiritual
individuality is understood by those who are devotees of the Lord.
Those who are envious of Krishna as the Supreme Personality of
Godhead have no bona fide access to the great literature. The
nondevotee’s approach to the teachings of the Gita is something like
that of a bee licking on a bottle of honey.

One cannot have a taste of
honey unless one opens the bottle. Similarly, the mysticism of the
Bhagavad-Gita can be understood only by devotees, and no one else
can taste it, as it is stated in the Fourth Chapter of the book. Nor can
the Gita be touched by persons who envy the very existence of the
Lord. Therefore, the Mayavadi explanation of the Gita is a most
misleading presentation of the whole truth. Lord Caitanya has
forbidden us to read commentations made by the Mayavadis and
warns that one who takes to such an understanding of the Mayavadi
philosophy loses all power to understand the real mystery of the
Gita. If individuality refers to the empirical universe, then there is no
need of teaching by the Lord. The plurality of the individual soul
and of the Lord is an eternal fact, and it is confirmed by the Vedas as
above mentioned.

Text 13

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • dehino smin yatha dehe
  • kaumaram yauvanam jara
  • tatha dehantara-praptir
  • dhiras tatra na muhyati.

English Translation:
As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boy-
hood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body
at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.


Since every living entity is an individual soul, each is changing his
body every moment, manifesting sometimes as a child, sometimes as
a youth, and sometimes as an old man. Yet the same spirit soul is
there and does not undergo any change. This individual soul finally
changes the body at death and transmigrates to another body; and
since it is sure to have another body in the next birth?either
material or spiritual?there was no cause for lamentation by Arjun
on account of death, neither for Bhisma nor for Drona, for whom he
was so much concerned. Rather, he should rejoice for their changing
bodies from old to new ones, thereby rejuvenating their energy. Such
changes of body account for varieties of enjoyment or suffering,
according to one’s work in life. So Bhisma and Drona, being noble
souls, were surely going to have spiritual bodies in the next life, or at
least life in heavenly bodies for superior enjoyment of material
existence. So, in either case, there was no cause of lamentation.

Any man who has perfect knowledge of the constitution of the
individual soul, the Supersoul, and nature?both material and
spiritual?is called a dhira, or a most sober man. Such a man is never
deluded by the change of bodies.

The Mayavadi theory of oneness of the spirit soul cannot be
entertained, on the ground that the spirit soul cannot be cut into
pieces as a fragmental portion. Such cutting into different individual
souls would make the Supreme cleavable or changeable, against the
principle of the Supreme SouPs being unchangeable. As confirmed
in the Gita, the fragmental portions of the Supreme exist eternally
(sanatoria) and are called ksara; that is, they have a tendency to fall
down into material nature. These fragmental portions are eternally
so, and even after liberation the individual soul remains the same?

But once liberated, he lives an eternal life in bliss and
knowledge with the Personality of Godhead. The theory of reflec-
tion can be applied to the Supersoul, who is present in each and
every individual body and is known as the Paramatma. He is differ-
ent from the individual living entity. When the sky is reflected in
water, the reflections represent both the sun and the moon and the
stars also. The stars can be compared to the living entities and the
sun or the moon to the Supreme Lord. The individual fragmental
spirit soul is represented by Arjun, and the Supreme Soul is the
Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna.

They are not on the same level, as
it will be apparent in the beginning of the Fourth Chapter. If Arjun
is on the same level with Krishna, and Krishna is not superior to Arjun,
then their relationship of instructor and instructed becomes mean-
ingless. If both of them are deluded by the illusory energy (mayo),
then there is no need of one being the instructor and the other the
instructed. Such instruction would be useless because, in the
clutches of may a, no one can be an authoritative instructor. Under
the circumstances, it is admitted that Lord Krishna is the Supreme
Lord, superior in position to the living entity, Arjun, who is a
forgotten soul deluded by maya.

Text 14

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • matra-sparsas tu kaunteya
  • sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah
  • agamapayino nityas tams
  • titiksasva bharata.

English Translation:
0 son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and
distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appear-
ance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise
from sense perception, 0 scion of Bharata, and one must learn to
tolerate them without being disturbed.

In the proper discharge of duty, one has to learn to tolerate non-permanent appearances and disappearances of happiness and distress.
According to Vedic injunction, one has to take his bath early in the
morning even during the month of Magha (January-February). It is
very cold at that time, but in spite of that a man who abides by the
religious principles does not hesitate to take his bath. Similarly, a
woman does not hesitate to cook in the kitchen in the months of May
and June, the hottest part of the summer season. One has to execute
his duty in spite of climatic inconveniences. Similarly, to fight is the
religious principle of the ksatriyas, and although one has to fight
with some friend or relative, one should not deviate from his pre-
scribed duty. One has to follow the prescribed rules and regulations
of religious principles in order to rise up to the platform of knowledge, because by knowledge and devotion only can one liberate
himself from the clutches of maya (illusion).

The two different names of address given to Arjun 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 responsi-
bility in the matter of proper discharge of duties; therefore, he
cannot avoid fighting.

Text 15

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • yam hi na vyathayanti ete
  • purusam purusarsabha
  • sama-duhkha-sukham
  • dhiram so mrtatvaya kalpate.

English Translation:
0 best among men [Arjun], the person who is not disturbed by
happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for


Anyone who is steady in his determination for the advanced stage of
spiritual realization and can equally tolerate the onslaughts of dis-
tress and happiness is certainly a person eligible for liberation. In the
varnasrama institution, the fourth stage of life, namely the re-
nounced order {sannyasa}, is a painstaking situation. But one who is
serious about making his life perfect surely adopts the sannydsa
order of life in spite of all difficulties. The difficulties usually arise
from having to sever family relationships, to give up the connection
of wife and children.

But if anyone is able to tolerate such difficulties,
surely his path to spiritual realization is complete. Similarly, in
Arjun’s discharge of duties as a ksatriya, he is advised to persevere,
even if it is difficult to fight with his family members or similarly
beloved persons. Lord Caitanya took sannyasa at the age of twenty-
four, and His dependents, young wife as well as old mother, had no
one else to look after them. Yet for a higher cause He took sannyasa
and was steady in the discharge of higher duties. That is the way of
achieving liberation from material bondage.

Text 16

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • nasato vidyate bhavo nabhavo
  • vidyate satah ubhayor api
  • drsto ntas tv anavos tattva-darsibhih.

English Translation:

Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the non-existent [the material body] there is no endurance and of the eternal [the soul] there is no change. This they have concluded by studying the nature of both.

There is no endurance of the changing body. That the body is
changing every moment by the actions and reactions of the different
cells is admitted by modern medical science; and thus growth and
old age are taking place in the body. But the spirit soul exists
permanently, remaining the same despite all changes of the body and
the mind. That is the difference between matter and spirit. By nature,
the body is ever changing, and the soul is eternal. This conclusion is
established by all classes of seers of the truth, both impersonalist and
personalist. In the Visnu Purana{l. 12.38) it is stated that Visnu and
His abodes all have self-illuminated spiritual existence (jyotimsi
visnur bhuvanani visnuh). The words existent and nonexistent refer
only to spirit and matter. That is the version of all seers of truth.

This is the beginning of the instruction by the Lord to the living
entities who are bewildered by the influence of ignorance. Removal
of ignorance involves the reestablishment of the eternal relationship
between the worshiper and the worshipable and the consequent
understanding of the difference between the part-and-parcel living
entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can under-
stand the nature of the Supreme by thorough study of oneself, the
difference between oneself and the Supreme being understood as the
relationship between the part and the whole. In the Vedanta-sutras,
as well as in the Srimad-Bhdgavatam, the Supreme has been
accepted as the origin of all emanations.

Such emanations are
experienced by superior and inferior natural sequences. The living
entities belong to the superior nature, as it will be revealed in the
Seventh Chapter. Although there is no difference between the energy
and the energetic, the energetic is accepted as the Supreme, and
energy or nature is accepted as the subordinate. The living entities,
therefore, are always subordinate to the Supreme Lord, as in the
case of the master and the servant, or the teacher and the taught.
Such clear knowledge is impossible to understand under the spell of
ignorance, and to drive away such ignorance the Lord teaches the
Bhagavad-Gita for the enlightenment of all living entities for all time.

Text 17

Sanskrit working:

  • avinasi tu tad viddhi
  • yena sarvam idam tatam
  • vinasam avyayasyasya na
  • kascit kartum arhati.

English Translation:

That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.

This verse more clearly explains the real nature of the soul, which is
spread all over the body. Anyone can understand what is spread all
over the body: it is consciousness. Everyone is conscious of the pains
and pleasures of the body in part or as a whole. This spreading of
consciousness is limited within one’s own body. The pains and
pleasures of one body are unknown to another. Therefore, each and
every body is the embodiment of an individual soul, and the symptom of the soul’s presence is perceived as individual consciousness,
This soul is described as one ten-thousandth part of the upper
portion of the hair point in size. The Svetdsvatara Upanishad (5-9)
confirms this.

“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.”

“There are innumerable particles of spiritual atoms, which are measured as one ten-thousandth of the upper portion of the hair.”

Therefore, the individual particle of spirit soul is a spiritual atom
smaller than the material atoms, and such atoms are innumerable.
This very small spiritual spark is the basic principle of the material
body, and the influence of such a spiritual spark is spread all over the
body as the influence of the active principle of some medicine
spreads throughout the body. This current of the spirit soul is felt all
over the body as consciousness, and that is the proof of the presence
of the soul. Any layman can understand that the material body
minus consciousness is a dead body, and this consciousness cannot
be revived in the body by any means of material administration.
Therefore, consciousness is not due to any amount of material
combination, but to the spirit soul. In the Mundaka Upanisad
(3.1.9) the measurement of the atomic spirit soul is further

“The soul is atomic in size and can be perceived by perfect intelligence. This atomic soul is floating in the five kinds of air (prdna,
apdna, vydna, samdna and uddnd), 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.”

The hatha-yoga system is meant for controlling the five kinds of
air encircling the pure soul by different kinds of sitting postures?
not for any material profit, but for liberation of the minute soul from
the entanglement of the material atmosphere.

So the constitution of the atomic soul is admitted in all Vedic
literatures, and it is also actually felt in the practical experience of
any sane man. Only the insane man can think of this atomic soul as
all-pervading visnu-tattva.

The influence of the atomic soul can be spread all over a particular
body. According to the Mundaka Upanisad, this atomic soul is
situated in the heart of every living entity, and because the measure-
ment of the atomic soul is beyond the power of appreciation of the
material scientists, some of them assert foolishly that there is no
soul. The individual atomic soul is definitely there in the heart along
with the Supersoul, and thus all the energies of bodily movement are
emanating from this part of the body. The corpuscles which carry
the oxygen from the lungs gather energy from the soul. When the
soul passes away from this position, the activity of the blood-
generating fusion ceases. Medical science accepts the importance of
the red corpuscles, but it cannot ascertain that the source of the
energy is the soul. Medical science, however, does admit that the
heart is the seat of all energies of the body.

Such atomic particles of the spirit whole are compared to the
sunshine molecules. In the sunshine there are innumerable radiant
molecules. Similarly, the fragmental parts of the Supreme Lord are
atomic sparks of the rays of the Supreme Lord, called by the name
prabha, or superior energy. So whether one follows Vedic knowl-
edge or modern science, one cannot deny the existence of the spirit
soul in the body, and the science of the soul is explicitly described in
the Bhagavad-Gita by the Personality of Godhead Himself.

Text 18

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • antavanta ime deha nityasyoktah
  • saririnah anasino prameyasya
  • tasmad yudhyasva bharata.

English Translation:

The material body of the indestructible, immeasurable and eternal
living entity is sure to come to an end; therefore, fight, 0 descendant
of Bharata.

The material body is perishable by nature. It may perish immediately, or it may do so after a hundred years. It is a question of time
only. There is no chance of maintaining it indefinitely. But the spirit
soul is so minute that it cannot even be seen by an enemy, to say
nothing of being killed. As mentioned in the previous verse, it is so
small that no one can have any idea how to measure its dimension.
So from both viewpoints there is no cause of lamentation, because
the living entity as he is cannot be killed nor can the material body be
saved for any length of time or permanently protected.

The minute
particle of the whole spirit acquires this material body according to
his work, and therefore observance of religious principles should be
utilized. In the Vedanta-sutras the living entity is qualified as light
because he is part and parcel of the supreme light. As sunlight
maintains the entire universe, so the light of the soul maintains this
material body. As soon as the spirit soul is out of this material body,
the body begins to decompose; therefore it is the spirit soul which
maintains this body. The body itself is unimportant. Arjun was
advised to fight and not sacrifice the cause of religion for material,
bodily considerations.

Text 19

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • ya enam vetti hantaram
  • yas cainam manyate
  • hatam ubhau tau na
  • vijanito nayam hanti na hanyate.

English Translation:

Neither he who thinks the living entity the slayer nor he who thinks it
slain is in knowledge, for the self slays not nor is slain.

When an embodied living entity is hurt by fatal weapons, it is to be
known that the living entity within the body is not killed. The spirit
soul is so small that it is impossible to kill him by any material
weapon, as will be evident from subsequent verses. Nor is the living
entity killable, because of his spiritual constitution. What is killed,
or is supposed to be killed, is the body only. This, however, does not
at all encourage killing of the body. The Vedic injunction is: never commit violence to anyone. Nor does
understanding that the living entity is not killed encourage animal
slaughter. Killing the body of anyone without authority is abominable and is punishable by the law of the state as well as by the law of
the Lord. Arjun, however, is being engaged in killing for the
principle of religion, and not whimsically.

Text 20

Sanskrit working:

English wording:

  • na jayate mriyate va
  • kadacin nayam bhutva
  • bhavita va na bhuyah ajo
  • nityah sasvato yam purano
  • na haryate hanyamane sarire.

English Translation:
For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not
come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into
being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not
slain when the body is slain.


Qualitatively, the small atomic fragmental part of the Supreme
Spirit is one with the Supreme. He undergoes no changes like the
body. Sometimes the soul is called the steady, or kuta-stha. The
body is subject to six kinds of transformations. It takes its birth from
the womb of the mother’s body, remains for some time, grows,
produces some effects, gradually dwindles, and at last vanishes into

The soul, however, does not go through such changes. The
soul is not born, but, because he takes on a material body, the body
takes its birth. The soul does not take birth there, and the soul does
not die. Anything which has birth also has death. And because the
soul has no birth, he therefore has no past, present or future. He is
eternal, ever-existing, and primeval?that is, there is no trace in
history of his coming into being. Under the impression of the body,
we seek the history of birth, etc., of the soul. The soul does not at any
time become old, as the body does. The so-called old man, therefore^
feels himself to be in the same spirit as in his childhood or youth. The
changes of the body do not affect the soul. The soul does not
deteriorate like a tree, nor anything material. The soul has no
by-product either. The by-products of the body, namely children,
are also different individual souls; and, owing to the body, they
appear as children of a particular man. The body develops because
of the soul’s presence, but the soul has neither offshoots nor change.
Therefore, the soul is free from the six changes of the body.

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 under-
stand 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 Krishna. But
Krishna is not like the forgetful soul. If so, Krishna’s teachings of
Bhagavad-Gita would be useless.

There are two kinds of souls?namely the minute particle soul
(anu-atma} and the Supersoul {vibhu-dtma). This is also confirmed
in the Kafha Upanisad (1.2.20).

Both the Supersoul [Paramatma] and the atomic soul jivdtma are
situated on the same tree of the body within the same heart of the
living being, and only one who has become free from all material
desires as well as lamentations can, by the grace of the Supreme,
understand the glories of the soul.” Krishna is the fountainhead of the
Supersoul also, as it will be disclosed in the following chapters, and
Arjun is the atomic soul, forgetful of his real nature; therefore he re-
quires to be enlightened by Krishna, or by His bona fide representative
(the spiritual master).

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