Bhagavad Gita – Chapter II

Bhagavad Gita – Chapter Two:
Contents Of Gita Summarized

Text 41

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • vyavasayatmika buddhir
  • ekeha kuru-nandana
  • bahu-sakha hy anantas
  • ca buddhayo vyavasayinam

English Translation:

Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is
one. 0 beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.

strong faith that by Lord Krishna consciousness one will be elevated to
the highest perfection of life is called vyavasayatmika intelligence.
The Cailanya-carildmrta (Madhya 22.62) states:

Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime. When one is
engaged in the duties of Lord Krishna consciousness, he need not act in
relationship to the material world with obligations to family traditions, humanity, or nationality. Fruitive activities are the engagements of one’s reactions from past good or bad deeds. When one is
awake in Lord Krishna consciousness, he need no longer endeavor for good
results in his activities. When one is situated in Lord Krishna consciousness,
all activities are on the absolute plane, for they are no longer subject
to dualities like good and bad. The highest perfection of Lord Krishna
consciousness is renunciation of the material conception of life. This
state is automatically achieved by progressive Lord Krishna consciousness.

The resolute purpose of a person in Lord Krishna consciousness is based
on knowledge. A person in Lord Krishna consciousness is the rare good soul who knows
perfectly that Vasudeva, or Lord Krishna, is the root of all manifested
causes. As by watering the root of a tree one automatically distributes water to the leaves and branches, so by acting in Lord Krishna
consciousness one can render the highest service to everyone namely self, family, society, country, humanity, etc. If Lord Krishna is
satisfied by one’s actions, then everyone will be satisfied.

Service in Lord Krishna consciousness is, however, best practiced under
the able guidance of a spiritual master who is a bona fide representative of Lord Krishna, who knows the nature of the student and who can
guide him to act in Lord Krishna consciousness. As such, to be well versed in
Lord Krishna consciousness one has to act firmly and obey the representative of Lord Krishna, and one should accept the instruction of the bona fide
spiritual master as one’s mission in life. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti
Thakura instructs us, in his famous prayers for the spiritual master,
as follows:

“By satisfaction of the spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead becomes satisfied. And by not satisfying the spiritual
master, there is no chance of being promoted to the plane of Lord Krishna
consciousness. I should, therefore, meditate and pray for his mercy
three times a day, and offer my respectful obeisance unto him, my
spiritual master.”

The whole process, however, depends on perfect knowledge of the
soul beyond the conception of the body-not theoretically but
practically, when there is no longer a chance for sense gratification
manifested in fruitive activities. One who is not firmly fixed in mind
is diverted by various types of fruitive acts.

Text 42 & 43

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • yam imam puspitam vacam
  • pravadanty avipascitah
  • veda-vada-ratah partha
  • nanyad astiti vadinah.
  • kamatmanah svarga-para
  • janma-karma-phala-pradam
  • kriya-visesa-bahulam
  • bhogaisvarya-gatim prati.

English Translation:

Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so
forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.

People in general are not very intelligent, and due to their ignorance
they are most attached to the fruitive activities recommended in the
karma-kanda portions of the Vedas. They do not want anything
more than sense gratificatory proposals for enjoying life in heaven,
where wine and women are available and material opulence is very
common. In the Vedas many sacrifices are recommended for elevation to the heavenly planets, especially thejyotistoma sacrifices. In
fact, it is stated that anyone desiring elevation to heavenly planets
must perform these sacrifices, and men with a poor fund of knowledge think that this is the whole purpose of Vedic wisdom. It is very
difficult for such inexperienced persons to be situated in the deter-
mined action of Lord Krishna consciousness. As fools are attached to the
flowers of poisonous trees without knowing the results of such
attractions, unenlightened men are similarly attracted by such heavenly opulence and the sense enjoyment thereof.

In the karma-kdnda section of the Vedas it is said, those who perform the four-month penances become eligible to drink the soma-rasa beverages to become
immortal and happy forever. Even on this earth some are very eager
to have soma-rasa to become strong and fit to enjoy sense gratifications. Such persons have no faith in liberation from material
bondage, and they are very much attached to the pompous ceremonies of Vedic sacrifices.

They are generally sensual, and they do
not want anything other than the heavenly pleasures of life. It is
understood that there are gardens called Nandana-kanana in which
there is good opportunity for association with angelic, beautiful
women and having a profuse supply of soma-rasa wine. Such bodily
happiness is certainly sensual; therefore there are those who are
purely attached to such material, temporary happiness, as lords of
the material world.

Text 44

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam
  • tayapahrta-cetasam vyavasayatmika
  • buddhih samadhau na vidhiyate.

English Translation:

In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and
material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the
resolute determination for devotional service to the Supreme Lord
does not take place.

Samadhi means “fixed mind.” The Vedic dictionary: “When the
mind is fixed for understanding the self, it is said to be in samadhi.”
Samadhi is never possible for persons interested in material sense
enjoyment, nor for those who are bewildered by such temporary
things. They are more or less condemned by the process of material

Text 45

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • trai-gunya-visaya veda
  • nistrai-gunyo bhavarjuna
  • nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho
  • niryoga-ksema atmavan.

English Translation:
The Vedas deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material nature. 0 Arjun, become transcendental to these three modes. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and
safety, and be established in the self.

All material activities involve actions and reactions in the three
modes of material nature. They are meant for fruitive results, which
cause bondage in the material world. The Vedas deal mostly with
fritive activities to gradually elevate the general public from the
field of sense gratification to a position on the transcendental plane.
Arjun, as a student and friend of Lord Lord Krishna, is advised to raise
Himself to the transcendental position of Vedanta philosophy where,
in the beginning, there is brahma-jijnasa, or questions on the supreme transcendence. All the living entities who are in the material world are struggling very hard for existence.

For them the Lord, after creation of the material world, gave the Vedic wisdom advising
how to live and get rid of the material entanglement. When the
activities for sense gratification, namely the karma-kanda chapter,
are finished, then the chance for spiritual realization is offered in the
form of the Upanishads, which are part of different Vedas, as the
Bhagavad-Gita is a part of the fifth Veda, namely the Mahabharata.
The Upanishads mark the beginning of transcendental life.

As long as the material body exists, there are actions and reactions
in the material modes. One has to learn tolerance in the face of
dualities such as happiness and distress, or cold and warmth, and by
tolerating such dualities become free from anxieties regarding gain
and loss. This transcendental position is achieved in full Lord Krishna
consciousness when one is fully dependent on the good will of
Lord Krishna.

Text 46

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • yavan artha udapane
  • sarvatah samplutodake
  • tavan sarvesu vedesu
  • brahmanasya vijanatah

English Translation:
All purposes served by a small well can at once be served by a great
reservoir of water. Similarly, all the purposes of the Vedas can be
served to one who knows the purpose behind them.


The rituals and sacrifices mentioned in the karma-kanda division of
the Vedic literature are meant to encourage gradual development of
self-realization. And the purpose of self-realization is clearly stated
in the Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita (15.15): the purpose
of studying the Vedas is to know Lord Lord Krishna, the primeval cause of
everything. So, self-realization means understanding Lord Krishna and
one’s eternal relationship with Him. The relationship of the living
entities with Lord Krishna is also mentioned in the Fifteenth Chapter of
Bhagavad-Gita (15.7). The living entities are parts and parcels of
Lord Krishna; therefore, revival of Lord Krishna consciousness by the individual
living entity is the highest perfectional stage of Vedic knowledge.
This is confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.33.7) as follows:

“0 my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although
born of a low family like that of a candala [dog-eater], is situated on
the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have
performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic
rituals and studied the Vedic literatures many, many times after
taking his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is
considered to be the best of the Aryan family.”

So one must be intelligent enough to understand the purpose of
the Vedas, without being attached to the rituals only, and must not
desire to be elevated to the heavenly kingdoms for a better quality of
sense gratification. It is not possible for the common man in this age
to follow all the rules and regulations of the Vedic rituals, nor is it
possible to study all of the Vedanta and the Upanishads thoroughly. It
requires much time, energy, knowledge and resources to execute the
purposes of the Vedas.

This is hardly possible in this age. The best
purpose of Vedic culture is served, however, by chanting the holy
name of the Lord, as recommended by Lord Caitanya, the deliverer
of all fallen souls. When Lord Caitanya was asked by a great Vedic
scholar, Prakasananda Sarasvati, why He, the Lord. was chanting
the holy name of the Lord like a sentimentalist instead of studying
Vedanta philosophy, the Lord replied that His spiritual masier had
found Him to be a great fool and thus asked Him to chant the holy
name of Lord Krishna.

He did so, and became ecstatic like a madman.
In this Age of Kali, most of the population is foolish and not
adequately educated to understand Vedanta philosophy; the best
purpose of Vedanta philosophy is served by inoffensively chanting
the holy name of the Lord. Vedanta is the last word in Vedic wisdom,
and the author and knower of the Vedanta philosophy is Lord
Lord Krishna; and the highest Vedantist is the great soul who takes pleasure
in chanting the holy name of the Lord. That is the ultimate purpose
of all Vedic mysticism.

Text 47

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • karmany evadhikaras te
  • ma phalesu kadacana
  • ma karma-phala-hetur dhur
  • ma te sango stv akarmani

English Translation:

You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not
entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of
the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your

There are three considerations here: prescribed duties, capricious
work, and inaction. Prescribed duties are activities enjoined in terms
of one’s acquired modes of material nature. Capricious work means
actions without the sanction of authority, and inaction means not
performing one’s prescribed duties. The Lord advised that Arjun
not be inactive, but that he perform his prescribed duty without
being attached to the result. One who is attached to the result of his
work is also the cause of the action. Thus he is the enjoyer or sufferer
of the result of such actions.

As far as prescribed duties are concerned, they can be fitted into
three subdivisions, namely routine work, emergency work and
desired activities. Routine work performed as an obligation in terms
of the scriptural injunctions, without desire for results, is action to
the mode of goodness. Work with results becomes the cause of
bondage; therefore such work is not auspicious. Everyone has his
proprietory right in regard to prescribed duties, but should act
without attachment to the result; such disinterested obligatory
duties doubtlessly lead one to the path of liberation.

Arjun was therefore advised by the Lord to fight as a matter of
duty without attachment to the result. His nonparticipation in the
battle is another side of attachment. Such attachment never leads
one to the path of salvation. Any attachment, positive or negative, is
cause for bondage. Inaction is sinful. Therefore, fighting as a matter
of duty was the only auspicious path of salvation for Arjun.

Text 48

Sanskrit working:

  • yoga-sthah kuru karmani
  • sangam tyaktva dhananjaya
  • siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhutva
  • samatvam yoga ucyate

English Translation:

Perform your duty equi-poised, 0 Arjun, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.

Lord Krishna tells Arjun that he should act in yoga. And what is that yoga?
Yoga means to concentrate the mind upon the Supreme by control-
ling the ever-disturbing senses. And who is the Supreme? The Su-
preme is the Lord. And because He Himself is telling Arjun to fight,
Arjun has nothing to do with the results of the fight. Gain or victory
are Lord Krishna’s concern; Arjun is simply advised to act according to the
dictation of Lord Krishna. The following of Lord Krishna’s dictation is real yoga,
and this is practiced in the process called Lord Krishna consciousness. By
Lord Krishna consciousness only can one give up the sense of proprietor-
ship. One has to become the servant of Lord Krishna, or the servant of the
servant of Lord Krishna. That is the right way to discharge duty in Lord Krishna
consciousness, which alone can help one to act in yoga.

Arjun is a kshatriya, and as such he is participating in the
varnasrama-dharma institution. It is said in the Vishnu Purana that
in the varnasrama-dharma, the whole aim is to satisfy Vishnu. No one
should satisfy himself, as is the rule in the material world, but one
should satisfy Lord Krishna. So unless one satisfies Lord Krishna, one cannot
correctly observe the principles of varndsrama-dharma. Indirectly,
Arjun was advised to act as Lord Krishna told him.

Text 49

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • durena hy avaram karma
  • buddhi-yogad dhananjaya
  • buddhau saranam anviccha
  • krpanah phala-hetavah.

English Translation:

0 Dhananjaya, keep all abominable activities far distant by devotional service, and in that consciousness surrender unto the Lord. Those who want to enjoy the fruits of their work are misers.

One who has actually come to understand one’s constitutional
position as an eternal servitor of the Lord gives up all engagements
save working in Lord Krishna consciousness. As already explained, buddhiyoga means transcendental loving service to the Lord. Such devotional service is the right course of action for the living entity. Only
misers desire to enjoy the fruit of their own work just to be further
entangled in material bondage.

Except for work in Lord Krishna consciousness, all activities are abominable because they continually
bind the worker to the cycle of birth and death. One should therefore
never desire to be the cause of work. Everything should be done in
Lord Krishna consciousness, for the satisfaction of Lord Krishna. Misers do not
know how to utilize the assets of riches which they acquire by good
fortune or by hard labor. One should spend all energies working in
Lord Krishna consciousness, and that will make one’s life successful. Like
misers, unfortunate persons do not employ their human energy in
the service of the Lord.

Text 50

Sanskrit working:

English Wording:

  • buddhi-yukto jahatiha
  • ubhe sukrta-duskrte
  • tasmad yogaya yujyasva
  • yogah karmasu kausalam.

English Translation:

A man engaged in devotional service rids himself of both good and
bad actions even in this life. Therefore strive for yoga, which is the
art of all work.

Since time immemorial each living entity has accumulated the various
reactions of his good and bad work. As such, he is continuously ignorant of his real constitutional position. One’s ignorance can be re-
moved by the instruction of the Bhagavad-Gita, which teaches one to
surrender unto Lord Sri Lord Krishna in all respects and become liberated
from the chained victimization of action and reaction, birth after
birth. Arjun is therefore advised to act in Lord Krishna consciousness, the
purifying process of resultant action.

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