Bhagavad Gita - Chapter Two:
Contents Of Gita Summarized

Text 21
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • vedavinasinam nityam ya
  • enam ajam avyayam
  • katham sa purusah partha
  • kam ghatayati hanti kam.
English Translation:
0 Partha, how can a person who knows that the soul is indestructible, eternal, unborn and immutable kill anyone or cause anyone to kill?

Everything has its proper utility, and a man who is situated in complete knowledge knows how and where to apply a thing for its proper utility. Similarly, violence also has its utility, and how to apply violence rests with the person in knowledge. Although the justice of the peace awards capital punishment to a person condemned for murder, the justice of the peace cannot be blamed, because he orders violence to another person according to the codes of justice. In Manu-samhita, the law book for mankind, it is sup- ported that a murderer should be condemned to death so that in his next life he will not have to suffer for the great sin he has committed.

Therefore, the king's punishment of hanging a murderer is actually beneficial. Similarly, when Krishna orders fighting, it must be concluded that violence is for supreme justice, and thus Arjun should follow the instruction, knowing well that such violence, committed in the act of fighting for Krishna, is not violence at all because, at any rate, the man, or rather the soul, cannot be killed; so for the administration of justice, so-called violence is permitted. A surgical operation is not meant to kill the patient, but to cure him. Therefore the fighting to be executed by Arjun at the instruction of Krishna is with full knowledge, so there is no possibility of sinful reaction.

Text 22

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • vasamsi jirnani yatha
  • vihaya navani grhnati
  • naro parani tatha
  • sarirani vihaya jirnany
  • anyani samyati navani dehi.
English Translation:
As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

Purport: Change of body by the atomic individual soul is an accepted fact. Even the modern scientists who do not believe in the existence of the soul, but at the same time cannot explain the source of energy from the heart, have to accept continuous changes of body which appear from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to youth and again from youth to old age. From old age, the change is transferred to an- other body. This has already been explained in a previous verse (2.13).

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 Upanishad, as well as the Svetdsvatara Upanishad, 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 (Krishna) 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. Krishna is the witnessing bird, and Arjun 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 Arjun agreed to do by voluntary surrender unto Krishna for instruction—the subordinate bird immediately becomes free from all lamentations. Both the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.2) and Svetasvatara Upanishad (4.7) con- firm this: "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." Arjun has now turned his face towards his eternal friend, Krishna, and is understanding the Bhagavad-Gita from Him. And thus, hearing from Krishna, he can understand the supreme glories of the Lord and be free from lamentation.

Arjun is advised herewith by the Lord not to lament for the bodily change of his old grandfather and his teacher. He should rather be happy to kill their bodies in the righteous fight so that they may be cleansed at once of all reactions from various bodily activi- ties. One who lays down his life on the sacrificial altar, or in the proper battlefield, is at once cleansed of bodily reactions and pro- moted to a higher status of life. So there was no cause for Arjun's lamentation.

Text 23

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • nainam chindanti sastrani
  • nainam dahati pavakah
  • na cainam kledayanty apo
  • na sosayati marutah.
English Translation:
The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned I fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.

All kinds of weapons—swords, flame weapons, rain weapons, tornado weapons, etc.—are unable to kill the spirit soul. It appears that there were many kinds of weapons made of earth, water, air, ether etc., in addition to the modern weapons of fire. Even the nuke, weapons of the modern age are classified as fire weapons, formerly there were other weapons made of all different types material elements. Firearms were counteracted by water weapon which are now unknown to modern science. Nor do modern scientists have knowledge of tornado weapons. Nonetheless, the soul a never be cut into pieces, nor annihilated by any number of weapon regardless of scientific devices.

The Mayavadi cannot explain how the individual soul came in existence simply by ignorance and consequently became covered I illusory energy. Nor was it ever possible to cut the individual soul from the original Supreme Soul; rather, the individual souls a eternally separated parts of the Supreme Soul. Because they a atomic individual souls eternally (sanatana), they are prone to I covered by the illusory energy, and thus they become separated fro the association of the Supreme Lord, just as the sparks of a fir although one in quality with the fire, are prone to be extinguish when out of the fire. In the Varaha Purdna, the living entities a described as separated parts and parcels of the Supreme. They a eternally so, according to the Bhagavad-Gita also. So, even aft being liberated from illusion, the living entity remains a separate identity, as is evident from the teachings of the Lord to Arjun Arjun became liberated by the knowledge received from Krishna, b he never became one with Krishna.

Text 24
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • acchedyo yam adahyo
  • yam akledyo sosya
  • eva ca nityah
  • sarva-gatah sthanur
  • acalo yam sanatanah.
English Translation:
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.

All these qualifications of the atomic soul definitely prove that the individual soul is eternally the atomic particle of the spirit whole, and he remains the same atom eternally, without change. The theory of monism is very difficult to apply in this case, because the individual soul is never expected to become one homogeneously. After liberation from material contamination, the atomic soul may prefer to remain as a spiritual spark in the effulgent rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the intelligent souls enter into the spiritual planets to associate with the Personality of Godhead.

The word sarva-gata ("all-pervading") is significant because there is no doubt that living entities are all over God's creation. They live on the land, in the water, in the air, within the earth and even within fire. The belief that they are sterilized in fire is not acceptable, because it is clearly stated here that the soul cannot be burned" by fire. Therefore, there is no doubt that there are living entities also in the sun planet with suitable bodies to live there. If the sun globe is un- inhabited, then the word sarva-gata—"living everywhere"—becomes meaningless.

Text 25
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • avyakto yam acintyo
  • yam avikaryo yam
  • ucyate tasmad evam
  • viditvainam nanusocithm arhasi.
English Translation:
It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.

As described previously, the magnitude of the soul is so small for our material calculation that he cannot be seen even by the most powerful microscope; therefore, he is invisible. As far as the soul's existence is concerned, no one can establish his existence experimentally beyond the proof of sruti, or Vedic wisdom. We have to accept this truth, because there is no other source of understanding the existence of the soul, although it is a fact by perception.

There are many things we have to accept solely on grounds of superior authority. No one can deny the existence of his father, based upon the authority of his mother. There is no source of understanding the identity of the father except by the authority of the mother. Similarly, there is no source of understanding the soul except by studying the Vedas. In other words, the soul is inconceivable by human experimental knowledge. The soul is consciousness and conscious—that also is the statement of the Vedas, and we have to accept that. Unlike the bodily changes, there is no change in the soul. As eternally unchangeable, the soul remains atomic in comparison to the infinite Supreme Soul.

The Supreme Soul is infinite, and the atomic soul is infinitesimal. Therefore, the infinitesimal soul, being unchangeable, can never become equal to the infinite soul, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This concept is repeated in the Vedas in different ways just to confirm the stability of the conception of the soul. Repetition of something is necessary in order that we understand the matter thoroughly, without error.

Text 26
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • atha cainam nitya-jatam
  • nityam va manyase mrtam
  • tathapi tvam maha-baho
  • nainam socitum arhasi.
English Translation:
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, 0 mighty-armed.

There is always a class of philosophers, almost akin to the Buddhists, who do not believe in the separate existence of the soul beyond the body. When Lord Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-Gita, it appears that such philosophers existed, and they were known as the lokdyatikas and vaibhasikas. Such philosophers maintain that life symptoms take place at a certain mature condition of material combination. The modern material scientist and materialist philosophers also think similarly. According to them, the body is a combination of physical elements, and at a certain stage the life symptoms develop by interaction of the physical and chemical elements. The science of anthropology is based on this philosophy. Currently, many pseudo religions—now becoming fashionable in America—are also adhering to this philosophy, as well as to the nihilistic non devotional Buddhist sects.

Even if Arjun did not believe in the existence of the soul—as in the vaibhdsika philosophy—there would still have been no cause for lamentation. No one laments the loss of a certain bulk of chemicals and stops discharging his prescribed duty. On the other hand, in modern science and scientific warfare, so many tons of chemicals are wasted for achieving victory over the enemy. According to the vaibhdsika philosophy, the so-called soul or dtma vanishes along with the deterioration of the body. So, in any case, whether Arjun accepted the Vedic conclusion that there is an atomic soul or he did not believe in the existence of the soul, he had no reason to lament.

According to this theory, since there are so many living entities generating out of matter every moment, and so many of them are being vanquished every moment, there is no need to grieve for such incidents. If there were no rebirth for the soul, Arjun had no reason to be afraid of being affected by sinful reactions due to his killing hi& grandfather and teacher. But at the same time, Krishna sarcastically addressed Arjun as mahd-bahu, mighty-armed, because He, at least, did not accept the theory of the vaibhdsikas, which leaves aside the Vedic wisdom. As a ksatriya, Arjun belonged to the Vedic culture, and it behooved him to continue to follow its principles.

Text 27
Sanskrit working:

  • jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyur
  • dhruvam janma mrtasya
  • ca tasmad apariharye rthe
  • na tvam socitum arhasi.
English Translation:
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.

One has to take birth according to one's activities of life. And after finishing one term of activities, one has to die to take birth for the next. In this way one is going through one cycle of birth and death after another without liberation. This cycle of birth and death does not, however, support unnecessary murder, slaughter and war. But at the same time, violence and war are inevitable factors in human society for keeping law and order.

The Battle of Kuruksetra, being the will of the Supreme, was an inevitable event, and to fight for the right cause is the duty of a ksatriya. Why should he be afraid of or aggrieved at the death of his relatives since he was discharging his proper duty? He did not deserve to break the law, thereby becoming subjected to the reactions of sinful acts, of which he was so afraid. By avoiding the discharge of his proper duty, he would not be able to stop the death of his relatives, and he would be degraded due to his selection of the wrong path of action.

Text 28
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • avyaktadini bhutani vyakta-madhyani
  • bharata avyakta-nidhanany
  • eva tatra ka paridevana.
English Translation:
All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?

Accepting that there are two classes of philosophers, one believing in the existence of the 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 this 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 nonmanifestation 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 01 in 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 that these material bodies are perishable in due course of time vut that the soul is eternal (nityasyoktah saririnah), then we must remember always that the body is like a dress; therefore why lament the changing of a dress? The material body has no factual existence in relation to the eternal soul. It is something like a dream. In a dream we may think of flying in the sky, or sitting on a chariot as a king, but when we wake up we can see that we are neither in the sky nor seated on the chariot. The Vedic wisdom encourages self-realization on the basis of the nonexistence of the material body. Therefore, in either case, whether one believes in the existence of the soul or one does not believe in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation for loss of the body.

Text 29
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • ascarya-vat pasyati kascid
  • enam ascarya-vad vadati
  • tathaiva canyah ascarya-vac
  • cainam anyah srnoti
  • srutvapy enam veda na caiva kascit.
English Translation:
Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.

The fact that the atomic soul is within the body of a gigantic animal, in the body of a gigantic banyan tree, and also in the microbic germs, millions and billions of which occupy only an inch of space, is certainly very amazing. Men with a poor fund of knowl- edge and men who are not austere cannot understand the wonders of the individual atomic spark of spirit, even though it is explained by the greatest authority of knowledge, who imparted lessons even to Brahma, the first living being in the universe. Owing to a gross material conception of things, most men in this age cannot imagine how such a small particle can become both so great and so small. So men look at the soul proper as wonderful either by constitution or by description. Illusioned by the material energy, people are so engrossed in subject matters for sense gratification that they have very little time to understand the question of self-understanding, even though it is a fact that without this self-understanding all activities result in ultimate defeat in the struggle for existence. Perhaps they have no idea that one must think of the soul, and thus make a solution to the material miseries.

Some people who are inclined to hear about the soul may be attending lectures, in good association, but sometimes, owing to ignorance, they are misguided by acceptance of the Supersoul and the atomic soul as one without distinction of magnitude. It is very difficult to find a man who perfectly understands the position of the Supersoul, the atomic soul, their respective functions and relation- ships and all other major and minor details. And it is still more difficult to find a man who has actually derived full benefit from knowledge of the soul, and who is able to describe the position of the soul in different aspects. But if, somehow or other, one is able to understand the subject matter of the soul, .then one's life is successful.

The easiest process for understanding the subject matter of self, however, is to accept the statements of the Bhagavad-Gita spoken by the greatest authority. Lord Krishna, without being deviated by other theories. But it also requires a great deal of penance and sacrifice, either in this life or in the previous ones, before one is able to accept Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna can, however, be known as such by the causeless mercy of the pure devotee and by no other way.

Text 30

Sanskrit working:

English wording:

  • dehi nityam avadhyo
  • yam dehe sarvasya
  • bharata tasmat sarvani
  • bhutani na tvam socitum arhasi.
English Translation:
0 descendant of Bharat, he who dwells in the body can never be slain. Therefore you need not grieve for any living being.

The Lord now concludes the chapter of instruction on the immutable spirit soul. In describing the immortal soul in various ways, Lord Krishna establishes that the soul is immortal and the body is temporary. Therefore Arjun as a ksatriya should not abandon his duty out of fear that his grandfather and teacher—Bhisma and Drona—will die in the battle. On the authority of Sri Krishna, one has to believe that there is a soul different from the material body, not that there is no such thing as soul, or that living symptoms develop at a certain stage of material maturity resulting from the interaction of chemicals. 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.

| Links |, All Rights Reserved