Bhagavad Gita - Chapter Two:
Contents Of Gita Summarized

Text 31
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • sva-dharmam api
  • caveksya na vikampitum
  • arhasi dharmyad dhi
  • yuddhac chreyo
  • nyat ksatriyasya na
English Translation:
Considering your specific duty as a ksatriya, you should know that there is no better engagement for you than fighting on religious principles; and so there is no need for hesitation.

Out of the four orders of social administration, the second order, for the matter of good administration, is called ksatriya. Ksal means hurt. One who gives protection from harm is called ksatriya (trayate—to give protection). The ksatriyas are trained for killing in the forest. A kshatriya would go into the forest and challenge a tiger face to face and fight with the tiger with his sword. When the tiger was killed, it would be offered the royal order of cremation. This system has been followed even up to the present day by the ksatriya kings of Jaipur state. The ksatriyas are specially trained for challenging and killing because religious violence is sometimes a necessary factor. Therefore, kshatriyas are never meant for accepting directly the order of sannydsa, or renunciation. Nonviolence in politics may be a diplomacy, but it is never a factor or principle. In the religious law books it is stated:

"In the battlefield, a king or ksatriya, while fighting another king envious of him, is eligible for achieving heavenly planets after death, as the brahmanas also attain the heavenly planets by sacrificing animals in the sacrificial fire."

Therefore, killing on the battlefield on religious principles and killing animals in the sacrificial fire are not at all considered to be acts of violence, because everyone is benefited by the religious principles involved. The animal sacrificed gets a human life immediately without undergoing the gradual evolutionary process from one form to another, and the ksatriyas killed on the battlefield also attain the heavenly planets as do the brahmanas who attain them by offering sacrifice.

There are two kinds of sva-dharmas, specific duties. As long as one is not liberated, one has to perform the duties of his 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 varndsrama-dharma, or man's steppingstone for spiritual under- standing. Human civilization begins from the stage o{ 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 the orders of higher authorities serves to elevate one to a higher status of life.

Text 32

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • yadrcchaya copapannam
  • svarga-dvaram apavrtam
  • sukhinah ksatriyah
  • partha labhante yuddham idrsam.
English Translation:
0 Partha, happy are the kshatriyas to whom such fighting opportunities come unsought, opening for them the doors of the heavenly planets.

Purport: As supreme teacher of the world. Lord Krishna condemns the attitude of Arjun, who said, "I do not find any good in this fighting. It will cause perpetual habitation in hell." Such statements by Arjun were due to ignorance only. He wanted to become nonviolent in the discharge of his specific duty. For a kshatriya to be on the battlefield and to become nonviolent is the philosophy of fools. In the Pardsara-smrti, or religious codes made by Parasara, the great sage and father of Vyasadeva, it is stated:

"The kshatriya'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, Arjun 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.

Text 33

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • atha cet tvam imam
  • dharmyam sangramam
  • na karisyasi tatah
  • sva-dharmam kirtim ca hitva papam
English Translation:
If, however, you do not perform your religious duty of fighting, then you will certainly incur sins for neglecting your duties and thus lose your reputation as a fighter.

Arjun was a famous fighter, and he attained fame by fighting many great demigods, including even Lord Siva. After fighting and defeating Lord Siva in the dress of a hunter, Arjun pleased the lord and received as a reward a weapon called pdsupata-astra. Everyone knew that he was a great warrior. Even Dronacarya gave him benedictions and awarded him the special weapon by which he could kill even his teacher.

So he was credited with so many military certificates from many authorities, including his adopted father Indra, the heavenly king. But if he abandoned the battle, not only would he neglect his specific duty as a ksatriya, but he would lose all his fame and good name and thus prepare his royal road to hell. In other words, he would go to hell, not by fighting, but by withdrawing from battle.

Text 34
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • akirtim capi bhutani
  • kathayisyanti te vyayam
  • sambhavitasya cakirtir
  • maranad atiricyate.
English Translation:
People will always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonor is worse than death.

Both as friend and philosopher to Arjun, Lord Krishna now gives His final judgment regarding Arjun's refusal to fight. The Lord says, "Arjun, if you leave the battlefield before the battle even begins, people will call you a coward. And if you think that people may call you bad names but that you will save your life by fleeing the battlefield, then My advice is that you'd do better to die in the battle. For a respectable man like you, ill fame is worse than death. So, you should not flee for fear of your life; better to die in the battle. That will save you from the ill fame of misusing My friendship and from losing your prestige in society."

So, the final judgment of the Lord was for Arjun to die in the battle and not withdraw.

Text 35
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • bhayad ranad uparatam
  • mamsyante tvam maha-rathah
  • yesam ca tvam
  • bahu-mato bhutva yasyasi
English Translation:
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 insignificant.

Lord Krishna continued to give His verdict to Arjun: "Do not think that the great generals like Duryodhana, Kama, and other contem- poraries will think that you have left the battlefield out of compassion for your brothers and grandfather. They will think that you have left out of fear for your life. And thus their high estimation of your personality will go to hell."

Text 36
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • avacya-vadams ca bahun
  • vadisyanti tavahitah
  • nindantas tava samarthyam
  • tato duhkhataram nu kim.
English Translation:
Your enemies will describe you in many unkind words and scorn your ability. What could be more painful for you?

Lord Krishna was astonished in the beginning at Arjun's uncalled-for plea for compassion, and He described his compassion as befitting the non-Aryans. Now in so many words. He has proved His state- ments against Arjun's so-called compassion.

Text 37
Sanskrit working:

  • hato va prapsyasi svargam
  • jitva va bhoksyase mahim
  • tasmad uttistha kaunteya
  • yuddhaya krta-niscayah.
English Translation:
0 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 with determination and fight

Even though there was no certainty of victory for Arjun's side, he still had to fight; for, even being killed there, he could be elevated into the heavenly planets.

Text 38
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • sukha-duhkhe same krtva
  • labhalabhau jayajayau
  • tato yuddhaya yujyasva
  • naivam papam avapsyasi
English Translation:
Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat-and by so doing you shall never incur sin.

Lord Krishna now directly says that Arjun should fight for the sake of fighting because He desires the battle. There is no consideration of happiness or distress, profit or gain, victory or defeat in the activities of Krishna consciousness. That everything should be performed for the sake of Krishna is transcendental consciousness; so there is no reaction to material activities.

He who acts for his own sense gratification, either in goodness or in passion, is subject to the reaction, good or bad. But he who has completely surrendered himself in the activities of Krishna consciousness is no longer obliged to anyone, nor is he a debtor to anyone, as one is in the ordinary course of activities. It is said:

"Anyone who has completely surrendered unto Krishna, Mukunda, giving up all other duties, is no longer a debtor, nor is he obliged to anyone-not the demigods, nor the sages, nor the people in general, nor kinsmen, nor humanity, nor forefathers." That is the indirect hint given by Krishna to Arjun in this verse, and the matter will be more clearly explained in the following verses.

Text 39
Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • esa te bhihita sankhye
  • buddhir yoge tv imam
  • srnu buddhya yukto
  • yaya partha karma-bandham prahasyasi.
English Translation:
Thus far I have described this knowledge to you through analytical study. Now listen as I explain it in terms of working without fruitive results. 0 son of Prtha, when you act in such knowledge you can free yourself from the bondage of works.

According to the Nirukti, or the Vedic dictionary, sankhyd means that which describes things in detail, and sdnkhya refers to that philosophy which describes the real nature of the soul. And yoga involves controlling the senses. Arjun's proposal not to fight was based on sense gratification. Forgetting his prime duty, he wanted to cease fighting, because he thought that by not killing his relatives and kinsmen he would be happier than by enjoying the kingdom after conquering his cousins and brothers, the sons of Dhrtarastra. In both ways, the basic principles were for sense gratification. Hap- piness derived from conquering them and happiness derived by seeing kinsmen alive are both on the basis of personal sense gratification, even at a sacrifice of wisdom and duty. Krishna, therefore, wanted to explain to Arjun that by killing the body of his grand- father he would not be killing the soul proper, and He explained that all individual persons, including the Lord Himself, are eternal individuals; they were individuals in the past, they are individuals in the present, and they will continue to remain individuals in the future, because all of us are individual souls eternally. We simply change our bodily dress in different manners, but actually we keep our individuality even after liberation from the bondage of material dress. An analytical study of the soul and the body has been very graphically explained by Lord Krishna. And this descriptive knowledge of the soul and the body from different angles of vision has been described here as Sankhya, in terms of the Nirukti dictionary.

This Sankhya has nothing to do with Sankhya philosophy of the atheist Kapila. Long before the imposter Kapila's Sankhya, the Sankhya philosophy was expounded in the Srimad- Bhagavatam by the true Lord Kapila, the incarnation of Lord Krishna, who explained it to His mother, Devahuti. It is clearly explained by Him that the purusa, or the Supreme Lord, is active and that He creates by looking over the prakrti. This is accepted in the Vedas and in the Gita. The description in the Vedas indicates that the Lord glanced over the prakrti, or nature, and impregnated it with atomic indi- vidual souls. All these individuals are working in the material world for sense gratification, and under the spell of material energy they are thinking of being enjoyers. This mentality is dragged to the last point of liberation when the living entity wants to become one with the Lord. This is the last snare of mayd, or sense gratificatory illusion, and it is only after many, many births of such sense gratifi- catory activities that a great soul surrenders unto Vasudeva, Lord Krishna, thereby fulfilling the search after the ultimate truth.

Arjun has already accepted Krishna as his spiritual master by surrendering himself unto Him: sisyas te 'ham sddhi mdm tvdm prapannam. Consequently, Krishna will now tell him about the work- ing process in buddhi-yoga, or karma-yoga, or in other words, the practice of devotional service only for the sense gratification of the Lord. This buddhi-yoga is clearly explained in Chapter Ten, verse ten, as being direct communion with the Lord, who is sitting as Paramatma in everyone's heart. But such communion does not take place without devotional service. One who is therefore situated in devotional or transcendental loving service to the Lord, or, in other words, in Krishna consciousness, attains to this stage of buddhi-yoga by the special grace of the Lord. The Lord says, therefore, that only to those who are always engaged in devotional service out of tran- scendental love does He award the pure knowledge of devotion in love. In that way the devotee can reach Him easily in the ever-blissful kingdom of God.

Thus the buddhi-yoga mentioned in this verse is the devotional service of the Lord, and the word Sankhya mentioned herein has nothing to do with the atheistic sankhya-yoga enunciated by the impostor Kapila. One should not, therefore, misunderstand that the sankhya-yoga mentioned herein has any connection with the atheistic Sankhya. Nor did that philosophy have any influence during that time; nor would Lord Krishna care to mention such godless philosophical speculations. Real Sankhya philosophy is described by Lord Kapila in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, but even that Sankhya has nothing to do with the current topics. Here, Sankhya means analytical description of the body and the soul. Lord Krishna made an analytical description of the soul just to bring Arjun to the point of buddhi-yoga, or bhakti-yoga. Therefore, Lord Krishna's Sankhya and Lord Kapila's Sankhya, as described in the Bhagavatam, are one and the same. They are all bhakti-yoga. Lord Krishna said, therefore, that only the less intelligent class of men make a distinction between sankhya-yoga and bhakti-yoga.

Of course, atheistic sankhya-yoga has nothing to do with bhakti- yoga, yet the unintelligent claim that the atheistic sankhya-yoga is referred to in the Bhagavad-gita.

One should therefore understand that buddhi-yoga means to work in Krishna consciousness, in the full bliss and knowledge of devotional service. One who works for the satisfaction of the Lord only, however difficult such work may be, is working under the principles ofbuddhi-yoga and finds himself always in transcendental bliss. By such transcendental engagement, one achieves all transcendental understanding automatically, by the grace of the Lord, and thus his liberation is complete in itself, without his making extraneous endeavors to acquire knowledge. There is much differ- ence between work in Krishna consciousness and work for fruitive results, especially in the matter of sense gratification for achieving results in terms of family or material happiness. Buddhi-yoga is therefore the transcendental quality of the work that we perform.

Text 40

Sanskrit working:

English wording:

  • nehabhikrama-naso sti
  • pratyavayo na vidyate
  • sv-alpam apy asya
  • dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat.
English Translation:
In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

Activity in Krishna consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Krishna without expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material plane has to be completed, other- wise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Krishna consciousness has a permanent effect, even though not finished. The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Krishna consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Krishna consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent, whereas in material activity without a hundred percent success there is no profit. Ajamila performed his duty in some percentage of Krishna consciousness, but the result he enjoyed at the end was a hundred percent, by the grace of the Lord. There is a nice verse in this connection in Snmad- Bhagavatam:

"If someone gives up his occupational duties and works in Krishna consciousness and then falls down on account of not completing his work, what loss is there on his part? And what can one gain if one performs his material activities perfectly?" Or, as the Christians say, "What profit is a man if he gain the whole world yet suffers the loss of his eternal soul?"

Material activities and their results end with the body. But work in Krishna consciousness carries a person again to Krishna consciousness, even after the loss of the body. At least one is sure to have a chance in the next life of being born again as a human being, either in the family of a great cultured brdhmana or in a rich aristocratic family that will give one a further chance for elevation. That is the unique quality of work done in Krishna consciousness.

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