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The Philosophy of Life


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Chapter - 2
"The  Yoga  of   Knowledge

In this chapter, Arjuna asked the blessed Lord about the ways to get rid of his despondency. The Lord taught him the nature of the reality, oneís duty and the Yoga of action. But main emphasis in this chapter is on the Yoga of knowledge. As such the chapter is titled "The Yoga of Knowledge".

Sanjay Said

To him (Arjuna), who overwhelmed by pity was engulfed by sorrow, and whose eyes were full of tears, Krishna (Madhusudan) spoke these words.

Shri Bhagawan Said

How have you acquired this taint of spirit in this hour of difficulty? It is unworthy of aryans (noble persons), it does not lead to heaven; it causes infamy.
Do not be cowed down by this unmanliness, O Partha (Arjuna), for it does not behold you. Leave this weak heartedness and arise, O tormentor of the foes (Arjuna).

Arjuna Said

How can I attack Bhisma and Drona who are worthy of worship, O Madhusudan (Krishna), with arrows in the battle O Krishna.

It is preferable to live by begging in this world than to kill these honoured teachers. I will only not enjoy the pleasures in this world which is smeared with their blood. We also do not know what is right for us, whether we shall win or we shall lose to them. If we slay the sons of Dhritarshtra, we would not care to live, but they are standing before us in the battle formation.

I am suffering from the sentimentality; my mind is confused about my duty. I ask you, tell me, definitly, what is appropriate. I am your pupil, guide me, I am taking shelter in you.

I see no way to get rid of my sorrow, which is drying up my senses, even if I get prosperous and unbirdled kingdom on earth, or even become the ruler of the gods.

Sanjay Said

After addressing Krishna in these terms, the brave Gudakesha (Arjuna) said to Govinda (Krishna) "I will not fight" and became silent.

O Bharata (Dhritarashtra),Thus Krishna spoke with a smile to Arjuna, who was depressed in the battlefield before the two armies.

Shri Krishna bhagvan Said

You mourn for those whom you should not mourn for, and yet you speak like wisemen. Wisemen neither mourn the dead nor the living.

There was never a time when I was not present, or you were not present or these kings were not present. There will never come a time when we all shall cease to be there. The soul travels through childhood, young age and old age, in this body; and it acquires a different body. The wise is not disturbed by this.

O Son of Kunti (Arjuna)- sense organs coming in contact with objects cause heat and cold, pleasure and pain. These come and go and do not last for long, so learn to bear them, O Bharata (Arjuna).

Who is not swayed by these, O Arjuna, who remains the same in pleassure or pain, such man is wise and is fit to live an eternal life.

The illusion cannot come into the being, the truth cannot cease to be. The knowers of the reality have had the knowledge of the (true) nature of these two.

According to this knowledge-
That pervades all is not capable of being destroyed. This changeless being cannot be destroyed by any means, it is indestructible.

O Bharata (Arjuna) these bodies enveloping the indestructible and incomprehensible soul, come to an end. Therefore, fight you must.

Those who think that it kills those that it is killed, both fail to grasp the truth. It neither kills nor it is killed.

The Soul is never born, nor does it die, not having come to exist will it again cease to exist. It is unborn, eternal, permanent and ancient. It does not die when body dies.

Knowing that it is indestructible and eternal and unchanging, how can someone kill anyone, O Arjuna, or cause anyone to kill.

Like, a person changes worn-out garments and puts on new clothes, so does the soul changes the worn-out bodies and acquires that is new.

Weapons cannot cut throught this self, fire cannot burn it, water does not make it wet, nor the wind dries it.

It is uncleavable. It cannot be burnt, It can neither be wetted nor dried. It is everlasting and all pervasive unchanging and unmovable. It always remains the same.

(Soul) is unmanifest, unimaginable and immutable. Therefore, knowing this you should not grieve.

If you think that the soul is getting birth and dying regularly, even then, O Arjuna, you should not mourn.

Those who are born are certain to die-and birth is certain for the one who has died. Therefore, for what is inevitable you should not mourn. Those living, are unmanifest before their births and are manifest in the middle and are unmanifest after the end, O Arjuna, what is there to grieve for?

One looks at it amazed, another likewise speaks of it as marvel, another hears of it as a wonder, and even after hearing no one has known it.

The self that lives in the body of everyone, is eternal and can never be killed, O Arjuna. Therefore, you should not mourn for anyone.

Also your own duty demands that you should not hesitate, for Kshatriyas there is nothing more fruitful than a battle fought in the path of duty.

O Arjuna, such Kshatriyas are very satisfied who get such a good opportunity to join a war coming to them like an open door to heaven.

If you do not join this lawful battle, you shall fail in your duty and renown will not be gained and you will commit sin.

Besides your infamy will always be told and for one who has been a respected person, infamy is worse than death. The great warriors will think that you feared the battle, and they by whom you were highly regarded, will have low respect for you.  Many objectionable words will be said by your enemies, defaming you as a weakling. What could be more sorrowful?

If killed in the war, you shall go to heaven, or shall enjoy the earth after being victorious, therefore, arise O Arjuna, be ready for the battle. Taking pleasure and pain, loss or gain, victory or defeat alike, be ready for battle. No sin will be comitted by you in this.

This is the wisdom of the Sankhya given to you, O Arjuna. Now listen about this yoga. If you accept it the bondages of actions will go away.

In this path every effort is a gain nothing is lost and no impediments are there; even small amount of virtuousness saves from great fear. In this, O Arjuna the firmly held belief is one pointed, but the thoughts of the infirm minded are many headed and endless.

Those lacking in understanding, rejoice in the letters of the Veda, they claim that nothing else is there, their nature is covetous and they are keen on heaven, they proclaim these ornamental words, that result in the cycle of rebirth and they lay down rituals for obtaining pleasures and power.

Those in whom discernment of right from wrong is absent, those who love the enjoyment and power and whose minds are swayed by the words (of Veda) are not firmly grounded in the self. Three fold nature (satva, rajas and tamas) is the subject of Veda, but you be beyond these, be free from dual-nature (pairs of opposites), be well established in pure mind, do not care for acquisition and protection (of riches) and be entrenched in the self.

As is of little use a pond in the place flooded with water, so are the Vedas to brahmana who is wise. You have right to action only, never to its fruits, you should not have the fruits of your action as your goal, not let be there any desire for inaction.

Firm in yoga, do your work, O Arjuna, shunning attachment, with an even mind in success or failure, for this (evenness of mind) is called yoga. Compared to discipline of yoga, mere action is very inferior. O Arjuna, seek shelter in wisom. Beggarly are those who seek for the fruits of their actions.

One who is firmly established in the intellegence gets rid of both good and evil here. Therefore make efforts to attain the yoga. Yoga being skill in action. The wise by yoking their intelligence with the divine, forsaking the fruits of their actions and freed from the bondage of birth reach the state of blissfulness.

When your intelligence shall go beyond the mud of illusion, then you shall become unaffected by what has been heard or what is to be heard yet. When your mind, which is confused by Vedas, shall stand firm and stable in the divine, then you shall attain to yoga.

Arjuna Said

What are the signs of the man firmly established in wisdom, whose mind is steady in spirit- O Krishna? How the man of steady intelligence speaks, how does he sit and how does he walk?

Shri bhagvan Said

When a man frees his mind of all desires, O Arjuna, and when his spirit is satisfied in itself, than he is steady in intelligence. The one, whose mind is unperturbed amidst miseries and is empty of cravings amid pleasures, who is past passion, fear and anger, he is a man of wisdom. Who is free from affection for eveything, who becomes neither happy nor unhappy in the face of good or evil, his mind is settled in wisdom.

Who withdraws his senses from worldy pleasures as a tortoise draws his limbs within, his intelligence is steady in wisdom. The senses abandon the objects of desire but the cravings remain in the mind. Even the cravings of mind go away when the ultimate reality is seen. A man can make all efforts he may be very discerning, O Arjuna his senses wilfully carry his mind away (out of control).

After keeping all the senses under control, he should remain steady in the self, for the man whose senses are firmly reined-in his understanding is absolutely pure. When a manís mind is involved in the sense-objects, he gets attached to them. From attachment comes desire and desire leads to anger.

Anger gives rise to confusion, confusion causes loss of memory; and from loss of memory, the destruction of intelligence results and from the destruction of intelligence he is destroyed. But a man of steady mind, moving among the objects of senses, by keeping his senses under control, free from like and dislike, he attains the state of purity.

And in the pure spirit, all his sorrows come to end, the wisdom of such a man of pure spirit is soon settled in the self. For the unsteady, there is no wisdom nor for the unsteady is there the power of divine, and who is without power, there is no peace and happiness is not possible to one having no peace.

When the mind goes after unsteadied senses, the understanding is also lost like the wind carries off a boat on the waters.

Therefore, O Arjuna- whose senses are not involved with the objects of desires his mind is steady.

When it is night-time for all it is the time of wakefulness to the disciplined one, and when everyone is in waking period, for the seer it is night. Who, as the desires enter in him, remains steady; like when waters of rivers enter its tranquility, finds the peace and not he who grasp the desires. Leaving all desires and becoming free from cravings, one who lives free from egotism, he obtains the peace.

This is the ultimate state (brahmisthithi) O Arjuna, having reached these one is not confused again, remaining in that state till death, one attains the supreme bliss (brahmnirvana)

This is the end of the second chapter titled "The Yoga of Knowledge".

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