I Wish You ...

The Bhagavad Gita translated by Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Chapter Two

Sankhya Yoga

Sanjaya said:

1. To him who was thus overcome with pity and who was despondent, with eyes full of tears and agitated, Krishna or Madhusudana (the destroyer of Madhu), spoke these words.

The Blessed Lord said:

2. Whence is this perilous strait come upon you, this dejection which is unworyour of you, disgraceful, and which will close the gates of heaven upon you, O Arjuna?

3. Yield not to impotence, O Arjuna, son of Pritha! It does not befit you. Cast off this mean weakness of the heart. Stand up, O scorcher of foes!

Arjuna said:

4. How, O Madhusudana, shall I fight in battle with arrows against Bhishma and Drona, who are fit to be worshipped, O destroyer of enemies?

5. Better it is, indeed, in this world to accept alms than to slay the most noble teachers. But if I kill them, even in this world all my enjoyments of wealth and desires will be stained with (their) blood.

6. I can hardly tell which will be better: that we should conquer them or they should conquer us. Even the sons of Dhritarashtra, after slaying whom we do not wish to live, stand facing us.

7. My heart is overpowered by the taint of pity, my mind is confused as to duty. I ask Thee: tell me decisively what is good for me. I am Your disciple. Instruct me who has taken refuge in Thee.

8. I do not see that it would remove this sorrow that burns up my senses even if I should attain prosperous and unrivalled dominion on earth or lordship over the gods.

Sanjaya said:

9. Having spoken thus to Hrishikesa (Lord of the senses), Arjuna (the conqueror of sleep), the destroyer of foes, said to Krishna: "I will not fight," and became silent.

10. To him who was despondent in the midst of the two armies, Sri Krishna, as if smiling, O Bharata, spoke these words!

The Blessed Lord said:

11. You have grieved for those that should not be grieved for, yet you speak words of wisdom. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead.

12. Nor at any time indeed was I not, nor these rulers of men, nor verily shall we ever cease to be hereafter.

13. Just as in this body the embodied (soul) passes into childhood, youth and old age, so also does he pass into another body; the firm man does not grieve thereat.

14. The contacts of the senses with the objects, O son of Kunti, which cause heat and cold and pleasure and pain, have a beginning and an end; they are impermanent; endure them bravely, O Arjuna!

15. That firm man whom surely these afflict not, O chief among men, to whom pleasure and pain are the same, is fit for attaining immortality!

16. The unreal hath no being; there is no non-being of the Real; the truth about both has been seen by the knowers of the Truth (or the seers of the Essence).

17. Know That to be indestructible, by whom all this is pervaded. None can cause the destruction of That, the Imperishable.

18. These bodies of the embodied Self, which is eternal, indestructible and immeasurable, are said to have an end. Therefore, fight, O Arjuna!

19. He who takes the Self to be the slayer and he who thinks He is slain, neither of them knows; He slays not nor is He slain.

20. He is not born nor does He ever die; after having been, He again ceases not to be. Unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, He is not killed when the body is killed,

21. Whosoever knows Him to be indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible, how can that man slay, O Arjuna, or cause to be slain?

22. Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so also the embodied Self casts off worn-out bodies and enters others that are new.

23. Weapons cut It not, fire burns It not, water wets It not, wind dries It not.

24. This Self cannot be cut, burnt, wetted nor dried up. It is eternal, all-pervading, stable, ancient and immovable.

25. This (Self) is said to be unmanifested, unthinkable and unchangeable. Therefore, knowing This to be such, you should not grieve.

26. But, even if you think of It as being constantly born and dying, even then, O mighty-armed, you should not grieve!

27. For, certain is death for the born and certain is birth for the dead; therefore, over the inevitable you should not grieve.

28. Beings are unmanifested in their beginning, manifested in their middle state, O Arjuna, and unmanifested again in their end! What is there to grieve about?

29. One sees This (the Self) as a wonder; another speaks of It as a wonder; another hears of It as a wonder; yet, having heard, none understands It at all.

30. This, the Indweller in the body of everyone, is always indestructible, O Arjuna! Therefore, you should not grieve for any creature.

31. Further, having regard to your own duty, you should not waver, for there is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a righteous war.

32. Happy are the Kshatriyas, O Arjuna, who are called upon to fight in such a battle that comes of itself as an open door to heaven!

33. But, if you will not fight in this righteous war, then, having abandoned your duty and fame, you shall incur sin.

34. People, too, will recount your everlasting dishonour; and to one who has been honoured, dishonour is worse than death.

35. The great car-warriors will think that you have withdrawn from the battle through fear; and you will be lightly held by them who have thought much of you.

36. Your enemies also, cavilling at your power, will speak many abusive words. What is more painful than this!

37. Slain, you will obtain heaven; victorious, you will enjoy the earth; therefore, stand up, O son of Kunti, resolved to fight!

38. Having made pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat the same, engage in battle for the sake of battle; thus you shall not incur sin.

39. This which has been taught to you, is wisdom concerning Sankhya. Now listen to wisdom concerning Yoga, endowed with which, OArjuna, you shall cast off the bonds of action!

40. In this there is no loss of effort, nor is there any harm (the production of contrary results or transgression). Even a little of this knowledge (even a little practice of this Yoga) protects one from great fear.

41. Here, O joy of the Kurus, there is a single one-pointed determination! Many-branched and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute.

42. Flowery speech is uttered by the unwise, who take pleasure in the eulogising words of the Vedas, O Arjuna, saying: "There is nothing else!"

43. Full of desires, having heaven as their goal, they utter speech which promises birth as the reward of one's actions, and prescribe various specific actions for the attainment of pleasure and power.

44. For those who are much attached to pleasure and to power, whose minds are drawn away by such teaching, that determinate faculty is not manifest that is steadily bent on meditation and Samadhi (the state of Superconsciousness).

45. The Vedas deal with the three attributes (of Nature); be above these three attributes, O Arjuna! Free yourself from the pairs of opposites and ever remain in the quality of Sattwa (goodness), freed from the thought of acquisition and preservation, and be established in the Self.

46. To the Brahmana who has known the Self, all the Vedas are of as much use as is a reservoir of water in a place where there is a flood.

47. Your right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let not the fruits of actions be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction.

48. Perform action, O Arjuna, being steadfast in Yoga, abandoning attachment and balanced in success and failure! Evenness of mind is called Yoga.

49. Far lower than the Yoga of wisdom is action, O Arjuna! Seek refuge in wisdom; wretched are they whose motive is the fruit.

50. Endowed with wisdom (evenness of mind), one casts off in this life both good and evil deeds; therefore, devote yourself to Yoga; Yoga is skill in action.

51. The wise, possessed of knowledge, having abandoned the fruits of their actions, and being freed from the fetters of birth, go to the place which is beyond all evil.

52. When your intellect crosses beyond the mire of delusion, then you shall attain to indifference as to what has been heard and what has yet to be heard.

53. When your intellect, perplexed by what you have heard, shall stand immovable and steady in the Self, then you shall attain Self-realisation.

Arjuna said:

54. What, O Krishna, is the description of him who has steady wisdom and is merged in the Superconscious State? How does one of steady wisdom speak? How does he sit? How does he walk?

The Blessed Lord said:

55. When a man completely casts off, O Arjuna, all the desires of the mind and is satisfied in the Self by the Self, then is he said to be one of steady wisdom!

56. He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after pleasures, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.

57. He who is everywhere without attachment, on meeting with anything good or bad, who neither rejoices nor hates, his wisdom is fixed.

58. When, like the tortoise which withdraws its limbs on all sides, he withdraws his senses from the sense-objects, then his wisdom becomes steady.

59. The objects of the senses turn away from the abstinent man, leaving the longing (behind); but his longing also turns away on seeing the Supreme.

60. The turbulent senses, O Arjuna, do violently carry away the mind of a wise man though he be striving (to control them)!

61. Having restrained them all he should sit steadfast, intent on Me; his wisdom is steady whose senses are under control.

62. When a man thinks of the objects, attachment to them arises; from attachment desire is born; from desire anger arises.

63. From anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from the destruction of discrimination he perishes.

64. But the self-controlled man, moving amongst objects with the senses under restraint, and free from attraction and repulsion, attains to peace.

65. In that peace all pains are destroyed, for the intellect of the tranquil-minded soon becomes steady.

66. There is no knowledge of the Self to the unsteady, and to the unsteady no meditation is possible; and to the un-meditative there can be no peace; and to the man who has no peace, how can there be happiness?

67. For the mind which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination as the wind (carries away) a boat on the waters.

68. Therefore, O mighty-armed Arjuna, his knowledge is steady whose senses are completely restrained from sense-objects!

69. That which is night to all beings, then the self-controlled man is awake; when all beings are awake, that is night for the sage who sees.

70. He attains peace into whom all desires enter as waters enter the ocean, which, filled from all sides, remains unmoved; but not the man who is full of desires.

71. The man attains peace, who, abandoning all desires, moves about without longing, without the sense of mine and without egoism.

72. This is the Brahmic seat (eternal state), O son of Pritha! Attaining to this, none is deluded. Being established therein, even at the end of life one attains to oneness with Brahman. Hari Om Tat Sat

Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the second discourse entitled: "The Sankhya Yoga"

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