taṁ tathā kṛpayāviṣṭam aśru-pūrṇākulekṣaṇam
viṣīdantam idaṁ vākyam uvāca madhusūdanaḥ
Sañjaya said: Seeing Arjuna overcome with compassion, his eyes full of tears and with a sad face, Bhagavān Vāsudeva spoke.
śrī bhagavān uvāca
kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam
anārya-juṣṭam asvargyam akīrti-karam arjuna
Bhagavāṇ said: O Arjuna, at this crucial time of war, how did such bewilderment arise which is worthy of an anārya (uncivilised man) and an obstacle in attaining Svarga?
klaibyaṁ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha naitattvayyupapadyate
kṣudraṁ hṛdaya-daurbalyaṁ tyaktvottiṣṭha parantapa
O Pārtha, son of Kuntī, do not resort to such an impotent nature – it does not become you. O Parantapa, abandon this petty weakness of heart. Stand and fight!
kathaṁ bhīṣmam ahaṁ saṅkhye droṇaṁ ca madhusūdana
iṣubhiḥ pratiyotsyāmi pūjārhāv ari-sūdana
Arjuna said: O conqueror of enemies! O Madhusūdana, How can I engage in war and shoot arrows at the revered Bhīṣma and my guru, Droṇa?
gurūn ahatvā hi mahānubhāvān
śreyo bhoktuṁ bhaikṣyam apīha loke
hatvārtha kāmāṁs tu gurūn ihaiva
bhuñjīya bhogān rudhira-pradigdhān
It would be preferable for me to maintain my life in this world by begging alms than by killing such venerable gurus. By killing such gurus, the desires and wealth that we enjoy will be stained with their blood.
na caitad vidmaḥ kataran no garīyo
yad vā jayema yadi vā no jayeyuḥ
yān eva hatvā na jijīviṣāmas
te’vasthitāḥ pramukhe dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ
As a result, I do not know whether victory and defeat is more dignified in this war; this is because we do not wish to live by killing the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, yet they are now standing in front of us.
pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ
yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaṁ brūhi tan me
śiṣyas te’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ
At this moment, my mind is bewildered in regards to my dharma, I am giving up my natural heroic tendency, and I am overwhelmed by weakness and guilt. I am asking You, please give me instructions on what is best for me. I am your disciple. I have taken refuge in You.
na hi prapaśyāmi mamāpanudyādh
yac chokam ucchoṣaṇam indriyāṇām
avāpya bhūmāv asapatnam ṛddhaṁ
rājyaṁ surāṇām api cādhipatyam
Even if I attain a peaceful and prosperous kingdom, or sovereignty over the Devas, I do not see any way out of this sorrow that is subduing my senses.
evam uktvā hṛṣīkeśaṁ guḍākeśaḥ parantapa
na yotsya iti govindam uktvā tūṣṇīṁ babhūva ha
Sañjaya said: Then, Arjuna, the vanquisher of enemies and conqueror of sleep, said to Hṛṣīkeśa, “Govinda, I will not fight,” and remained silent.
tam uvāca hṛṣīkeśaḥ prahasann iva bhārata
senayor ubhayor madhye viṣīdantam idaṁ vacaḥ
O Dhṛtarāṣṭra, then in the midst of both armies, Hṛṣīkeśa spoke to Pārtha.
śrī bhagavān uvāca
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
Bhagavān said: Arjuna, you are speaking like a jñānī, yet you are lamenting for something which is unworthy of grief. That is because those who are learned lament neither for the living or for the dead.
na tvevāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ na tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ
na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ sarve vayamataḥ param
The ātmā is indestructible, therefore there is no reason for lamentation. There are two ātmās—the Paramātmā and the jīvātmā. I am the Paramātmā, and you and all these kings are jīvātmās. It is not that Myself, you, and all these kings did not exist in the past; it is not that any of us will cease to exist after. In other words, we exist now, we existed before, and we shall exist in the future.
dehino’smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati
One who possesses a body must go through childhood, youth and old age in this form, yet the dehī (the ātmā within the body) exists unchanged. Just as when he gives up the physical body, the dehī’s existence is never destroyed. Rather, just as a child attains happiness and bliss when adolescence dawns, in the same way, upon giving up a body riddled with old age, the ātmā of a devotee of Bhagavān becomes glorious and blissful. Thus, when the body is finished, nobody – in other words, those persons who are dhīra (wise and sober) – laments.
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
āgamāpāyino’nityās tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
Mātrā means that the happiness and distress experienced when the senses come in contact with the sense-objects are like the appearance of winter and summer – they are temporary. O son of Kuntī, the dharma prescribed by the śāstra is that one should tolerate them all. Fighting is the natural dharma of a kṣatriya. If it is abandoned, then in time it can create great danger.
yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete puruṣaṁ puruṣarṣabha
sama-duḥkha-sukhaṁ dhīraṁ so’mṛtatvāya kalpate
O best of men, that person who is never afflicted by heat, cold etc., and considers happiness and distress as equal, such a dhīra is eternal – in other words, he is qualified to receive liberation.
nāsato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ
ubhayor api dṛṣṭo’ntas tv anayos tattva-darśibhiḥ
Lamentation, bewilderment etc. are not ātmā-dharma (the intrinsic qualities of the ātmā) and only take shelter in the material body. They have no existence in the eternal nature of the jīva. The inherent nature of the jīva can never be destroyed. Thus, the tattva-darśīs (those who have experienced reality) have analysed the difference between that which is sat (real) and that which is asat (temporary). Therefore, only the material bodies of Bhīṣma and the other jīvātmās can be destroyed.
avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam
vināśam avyayasyāsya na kaścit kartum arhati
As the ātmā, that indestructible jīva permeates the entire human body, and being extremely finite, he is smaller than the atom and nourishes the body just like a strong medicine. He has the capacity to pervade the whole body. Because he is able to travel to the higher planets (Svarga), the lower planets (Naraka), and amongst the various species, he is known as sarva-ga (‘one who goes everywhere’). He is imperishable and eternal. No one can destroy him.
antavanta ime dehā nityasyoktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ
anāśino’prameyasya tasmād yudhyasva bhārata
All these bodies are temporary, but the jīvātmā within these bodies cannot be destroyed. That jīvā or jīvātmā, due to its subtle nature, is immeasurable. Therefore, O Bhārata, do not abandon your natural dharma prescribed by śāstra. Fight!
ya enaṁ vetti hantāraṁ yaś cainaṁ manyate hatam
ubhau tau na vijānīto nāyaṁ hanti na hanyate
One who thinks that a jīva kills another jīva, or that a jīva can be killed by another jīva, knows nothing. The jīvātmā can neither kill anyone nor be killed by anyone. O my friend Arjuna, you are an ātmā, you are not the killer, and you cannot be killed. There is no need to fear that ignorant people will say that you killed your elders.
na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre
In regards to the jīvātmā, aja means that he is without birth. Nitya means that he is present at all times. The three phases of time, past, future and present, cannot destroy him. He has no birth or death, nor does he undergo continuous growth. He is the oldest, yet he is eternally youthful. He cannot be killed. He has no relation to this body which is subject to birth, death etc.
vedāvināśinaṁ nityaṁ ya enam ajam avyayam
kathaṁ sa puruṣaḥ pārtha kaṁ ghātayati hanti kam
O Pārtha, does a person who knows the jīva to be indestructible, eternal, unborn, and imperishable kill anyone? No. Does he instruct anyone to kill?
vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro’parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī
Just as men wear new clothes by giving up their worn-out clothes, so too the dehī also leaves the worn-out body and accepts a new form.
nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ
na cainaṁ kledayanty āpo na śoṣayati mārutaḥ
The jīvātmā cannot be cut by weapons, it cannot be burnt in fire, It cannot be moistened by water and it cannot be dried by air.
acchedyo’yam adāhyo’yam akledyo’śoṣya eva ca
nityaḥ sarva-gataḥ sthāṇur acalo’yaṁ sanātanaḥ
avyakto’yam acintyo’yam avikāryo’yam ucyate
tasmād evaṁ viditvainaṁ nānuśocitum arhasi
This jīvātmā cannot be cut, he cannot be burned, he cannot be moistened; he is nitya (eternal,) sarva-gata (omnipresent), sthānu (unchangeable) and acala (immovable), in other words, he is steady. He is sanātana – In other words, he is ever-existing. He is avyakta (unmanifest), acintya (inconceivable), and is said to be avikārya (unchangeable). He is called avyakta because he is extremely subtle. He is called acintya because he naturally pervades the body. Because he is unaffected by the six kinds of transformations, he is called avikārya. Being aware of these characteristics of the jīvātmā, you should give up your lamentation.
atha cainaṁ nitya-jātaṁ nityaṁ vā manyase mṛtam
tathāpi tvaṁ mahā-bāho naivaṁ śocitum arhasi
O mighty-armed one, even if you consider that the jīva is eternally born and eternally dies, then there is still no reason to lament like this.
jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca
tasmād aparihārye’rthe na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi
When one is born, then after his activities are over, he must surely die, and when one dies, he must take birth again in order to experience the results of his actions. Thus, you should not grieve over your duty which is inevitable and cannot be abandoned.
avyaktādīni bhūtāni vyakta-madhyāni bhārata
avyakta-nidhanāny eva tatra kā paridevanā
O Bhārata, all the living entities are unmanifest before birth, and in the immediate time between birth and death they become manifest for some time, and again upon death, they again become unmanifest. Then what is the need to lament? Although this opinion is not accepted by sādhus, even if you accept this conclusion, you should still fight for the sake of protecting kṣatriya dharma.
āścarya-vat paśyati kaścid enam
āścarya-vad vadati tathaiva cānyaḥ
āścarya-vac caiman anyaḥ śṛṇoti
śrutvāpy enaṁ veda na caiva kaścit
Some people see the jīvātmā as amazing, some people describe it as amazing and some people hear knowledge about it as amazing, and some people do not understand it even after hearing about it. Due to this kind of bewilderment concerning the intrinsic nature of the jīvātmā, unnecessary elements such as jaḍavāda (materialism), anitya-caitanya-vāda (the concept of temporary consciousness) and kevalādvaita-vāda (exclusive impersonalism) have arisen.
dehī nityam avadhyo’yaṁ dehe sarvasya bhārata
tasmāt sarvāṇi bhūtāni na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi
In reality, the embodied jīvātmā exists eternally and cannot be killed, therefore, it is unnecessary for you to lament for any living entity.
sva-dharmam api cāvekṣya na vikampitum arhasi
dharmyād dhi yuddhāc chreyo’nyat kṣatriyasya na vidyate
If you observe your own svadharma (inherent nature), then you will no longer feel afraid. This is because there is no activity more meritorious for a kṣatriya than to fight a war of dharma. Liberated (mukta) or bound (baddha) – the inherent nature of the jīva is different in these two states of existence. In the liberated state, the jīva’s inherent nature is devoid of any mundane designations (upādhis). When the jīva is bound by matter, his inherent nature is connected to mundane designations to a certain extent. In the bound state, the jīva has various abnormalities. In such an inconsistent condition, his inherent nature accepts various forms which are essential. In this state, when a jīva is situated within a human body, if he follows his inherent nature by engaging in varṇāśrama-dharma, then that is beneficial. Therefore, another name for varṇāśrama-dharma is sva-dharma (inherent nature). What could be better than fighting for those persons who have attained the inherent nature of a kṣatriya?
yadṛcchayā copapannaṁ svarga-dvāra-mapāvṛtam
sukhinaḥ kṣatriyāḥ pārtha labhante yuddham īdṛśam
O Pārtha, happy are those kṣatriyas who fight in this battlefield, which is like an open gate to Svarga which they can enter at will.
atha cet tvam imaṁ dharmyaṁ saṅgrāmaṁ na kariṣyasi
tataḥ sva-dharmaṁ kīrtiṁ ca hitvā pāpam avāpsyasi
As a result, if you do not engage in this war of dharma, you will be deprived of your dharma and reputation, and you will incur pāpa.
akīrtiṁ cāpi bhūtāni kathayiṣyanti te’vyayām
sambhāvitasya cākīrtir maraṇād atiricyate
In that case, people will always speak of your infamy. Infamy for a well-established person is more painful than death.
bhayād raṇād uparataṁ maṁsyante tvāṁ mahā-rathāḥ
yeṣāṁ ca tvaṁ bahu-mato bhūtvā yāsyasi lāghavam
All the mahā-rathas that have glorified you will consider you to be inferior. They will think that you have fled the battle out of fear.
avācya-vādāṁś ca bahūn vadiṣyanti tavāhitāḥ
nindantas tava sāmarthyaṁ tato duḥkhataraṁ nu kim
Your enemies will speak harshly about you, condemning your ability; What could be more painful than this for you? What could be more distressful to you?
hato vā prāpsyasi svargaṁ jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm
tasmād uttiṣṭha kaunteya yuddhāya kṛtaniścayaḥ
O Son of Kuntī, if you are killed in battle you will gain Svarga and if you win, you will enjoy this world. Therefore, get up and fight with determination.
sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau
tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṁ pāpam avāpsyasi
Consider happiness and distress, profit and loss, victory and defeat as equal. if you fight, you will not have to incur pāpa.
eṣā te’bhihitā sāṅkhye buddhir yoge tv imāṁ śṛṇu
buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha karma-bandhaṁ prahāsyasi
Sāṅkhya, in other words, intelligence in connection with knowledge is being explained. Now listen about bhakti-yoga in connection with intelligence. O Pārtha, if you connect knowledge with bhakti you will be capable of destroying saṁsāra (the cycle of repeated birth and death). Later, it will become clear that buddhi-yoga (connecting with one’s intelligence) is of one type. When that buddhi-yoga is within the confines of activity, then it is called karma-yoga. When it transcends the limitations of action and is confined within the limits of knowledge, then it is known as jñāna-yoga or sāṅkhya-yoga. When they both surpass their limitations and touch bhakti, then that is called bhakti-yoga, or pure buddhi-yoga.
nehābhikrama-nāśo’sti pratyavāyo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt
There is no failure in the practice of bhakti-yoga, nor is there any diminution in engaging in it. One who engages in it even slightly is delivered from the greatest fear, which comes in the form of saṁsāra.
vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-śākhā hyanantāś ca buddhayo’vyavasāyinām
Bhakti-yoga is of two types – (1) direct bhakti-yoga consisting of śravaṇa, kīrtana etc. and (2) indirect bhakti-yoga in the form of selflessly offering one’s work to Śrī Kṛṣṇa (niṣkāma-karma). I am the objective of direct bhakti-yoga. Thus, intelligence in relation to this is vyavasāyātmikā or niścayātmikā (resolute determination). The intelligence of those who are without such resolute determination in Me is based upon karma-yoga; it is firmly fixed on many mundane things, many-branched and has unlimited imperceptible desires. They fear that their activities will be destroyed or reduced.
yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ pravadanty avipaścitaḥ
veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha nānyad astīti vādinaḥ
kāmātmānaḥ svarga-parā janma-karma-phala-pradām
kriyā-viśeṣa-bahulāṁ bhogaiśvarya-gatiṁ prati
Such irresolute persons are ignorant and always take pleasure in veda-vāda-rata, in other words, they are always engaged in semantics without knowing the principle meaning of the Vedas. They expect results from their activities, pray for the attainment of Svarga and desire to perform rituals that results in a good birth. They wish for the happiness found in opulence and are attached to hearing the delightful flowery words of the Vedas (which are consequently poisonous).
vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samādhau na vidhīyate
Those who are completely fixed in sense-enjoyment and the pleasures of wealth are ignorant fools whose intelligence never attains samādhi, in other words, devotion to Bhagavān.
traiguṇya-viṣayā vedā nistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna
nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho niryoga-kṣema ātmavān
There are two types of subjects in the śāstra—namely, uddiṣṭa-viṣaya and nirdiṣṭa-viṣaya. Uddiṣṭa-viṣaya refers to the ultimate goal of the śāstra. That subject which refers to the method of attaining that goal is called nirdiṣṭa-viṣaya. When the ultimate goal (uddiṣṭa) is to locate the Arundhatī star, one should first find a bigger star which is nearby – that is the method (nirdiṣṭa). The Vedas refer to the nirguṇa-tattva (that principle which is beyond matter) as the uddiṣṭa, but nirguṇa-tattva is not easily perceived, so first the nirdiṣṭa of saguṇa-tattva (that principle bound by matter) is given. This is why all the Vedas first identify the three modes of māyā – sattva, rajas and tama (goodness, passion, and ignorance) – as their primary topic.
O Arjuna, do not remain bound to the nirdiṣṭa-viṣaya, but accept that nirguṇa-tattva which is the uddiṣṭa-viṣaya, beyond the modes of nature. In some places in the Vedas, activities in the modes of passion and ignorance are recommended, in some places knowledge in the mode of goodness is recommended, and in some exceptional cases nirguṇa-bhakti is recommended. Free yourself from those dualities that are produced by the modes of nature such as honour, dishonour etc. Associate with those who are nitya-sattva, in other words, My devotees, and give up any inquiry related to the paths of jñāna, karma and mundane welfare. With the help of buddhi-yoga (the state of transcendental intelligence), attain that platform beyond the modes of nature.
yāvān artha udapāne sarvataḥ samplutodake
tāvān sarveṣu vedeṣu brāhmaṇasya vijānataḥ
Udapāna refers to a very small well, and sampluodaka refers to a very large reservoir of water. Activities such as bathing, washing clothes, etc. are done separately in a single well, but in a large body of water all activities can be performed nicely. The Veda–śāstra mentions which Devatā to worship in particular circumstances to attain a certain result. However, upon analysing all the Vedas it is concluded that I am the only Supreme Person full of six opulences (Bhagavān) and all results can be attained through My worship. Such an explanation has been concluded by those brāhmaṇas who are well-versed in the Vedas. Those that possess niścayātmika-buddhi (resolute intelligence) naturally take up the exclusive worship of Bhagavān.
karmaṇy evādhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadācana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo’stv akarmaṇi
Karma, akarma and vikarma – these are the three types of activity to be considered. Vikarma refers to impious deeds and akarma refers to not acting according to one’s natural prescribed duties – both of these are extremely inauspicious. You should have no desire to gravitate towards either of these. Even if you give up akarma and vikarma, you should engage in your activities carefully. There are three categories of activity, namely nitya-karma (regular activities), naimittika-karma (occasional activities) and kāmya-karma (activities performed for desired results). Amongst these, kāmya-karma produces inauspiciousness. Those who engage in kāmya-karma become bound to the results of their actions. Thus, for your benefit I am telling you, do not take shelter of kāmya-karma and become bound by its concomitant results. You have a right to perform your svadharma, but you have no right to enjoy the results of your actions. Those that practice bhakti–yoga should engage in nitya and naimittika activities in order to maintain their bodies.
yogasthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvā dhanañjaya
sidhhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṁ yoga ucyate
Give up the desire for results and become situated in bhakti-yoga while engaging in activities according to your svadharma. Equipoised intelligence in both the accomplishment of attaining the results of one’s actions and the failure in achieving such results is known as yoga.
dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma buddhi-yogād dhanañjaya
buddhau śaraṇam anviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ
Through buddhi-yoga, in other words, through niṣkāma-karma-yoga (the state of giving up the desire to enjoy the results of one’s work) you should cultivate bhakti and kāmya-karma will be driven far away. Those who desire the results of their activities are misers. Therefore, take refuge in buddhi-yoga.
buddhi-yukto jahātīha ubhe sukṛta duṣkṛte
tasmād yogāya yujyasva yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam
karma-jaṁ buddhi-yuktā hi phalaṁ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ
janma-bandha-vinirmuktāḥ padaṁ gacchanty anāmayam
Actions performed according to buddhi-yoga are talented. Thus with intelligence, in your worldly experience, remain far away from sukṛti – in other words, away from piety and impiety. Scholars endowed with intelligence give up the results born from their actions and are freed from the bondage of material birth. Therefore, you will attain freedom from misery, which is the highest condition according to the devotees.
yadā te moha-kalilaṁ buddhir vyatitariṣyati
tadā gantāsi nirvedaṁ śrotavyasya śrutasya ca
In this way, by practicing niṣkāma-karma and offering the results to the Supreme, when your mind completely abandons the forest of illusion, then you will become impartial towards all the śāstra that are to be heard and have been heard, and you will be inclined towards pure bhakti–sādhana.
śruti-vipratipannā te yadā sthāsyati niścalā
samādhāv acalā buddhis tadā yogam avāpsyasi
At that time, when your intelligence is no longer disturbed by the various explanations of the Vedas, then you will become fixed in natural samādhi and you will attain pure bhakti-yoga.
sthita-prajñasya kā bhāṣā samādhi-sthasya keśava
sthita-dhīḥ kiṁ prabhāṣeta kim āsīta vrajeta kim
Hearing all this, Arjuna Mahāśaya said: O Keśava, what are the symptoms of those persons whose intelligence is fixed? And when such persons who are jīvan–muktas (liberated in this same body) with unwavering consciousness and fixed in samādhi, what do they say in dealing with honour and dishonour, praise and insults, and affection and hatred? Also, how do they conduct themselves in relation to external objects? I wish to know all this.
śrī bhagavān uvāca
prajahāti yadā kāmān sarvān pārtha mano-gatān
ātmany evātmanā tuṣṭaḥ sthita-prajñas tadocyate
Bhagavān replied: O Pārtha, when the jīva renounces all desires that are produced from the mind, and becomes satisfied by perceiving the ānanda–svarūpa (inherent bliss) of the ātmā, then he is said to be sthita–prajña (fixed in consciousness).
duḥkheṣv anudvigna-manāḥ sukheṣu vigata-spṛhaḥ
vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhaḥ sthita-dhīr munir ucyate
Although physical, mental and social tribulations may be present, his mind is not disturbed, even when these things produce happiness. He has no desire and he is free from mundane attraction, fear and anger. He is sthita–dhī or sthita–prajña.
yaḥ sarvatrānabhisnehas tat tat prāpya śubhāśubham
nābhinandati na dveṣṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā
He who is fixed in consciousness, he is without attraction for material things and harbours neither love or hatred in regards to attaining that which is auspicious or inauspicious. As long as the physical body exists, gain or loss in relation to matter is inevitable. However, that person who is sthita–prajña does not feel attachment or hatred in gain or loss because his consciousness remains firmly fixed in samādhi.
yadā saṁharate cāyaṁ kūrmo’ṅgānīva sarvaśaḥ
indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyas tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā
The senses want to roam freely after the external sense-objects, but all the senses of a man who is sthita–prajña are subjugated by his intelligence and the words of the śāstra. They cannot wander independently – they only act in accordance with the directions of the intelligence. Just as all the limbs of a tortoise are withdrawn voluntarily, so too, all the senses of one who is sthita–prajña are sometimes withdrawn and sometimes active in accordance with the dictates of the intelligence.
viṣayā vinivartante nirāhārasya dehinaḥ
rasa-varjaṁ raso’pyasya paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate
The concept that detachment from sense-objects can be achieved by the embodied jīva through fasting is meant for extremely foolish people. Aṣṭāṅga–yoga is the practice of detaching oneself from sense-objects through yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma and pratyāhāra and this type of process is meant for such people. However, this process does not apply to those persons who are sthita–prajña. Persons who are sthita–prajña are charmed by seeing the beauty of the Supreme and they abandon any attraction to petty material sense-objects. Although there is a process for extremely foolish persons to control the senses through fasting, there is no eternal auspiciousness for the jīva beyond the rāga–mārga (the path of spontaneous bhakti). By developing attachment for a superior thing, one naturally rejects something which is inferior.
yatato hy api kaunteya puruṣasya vipaścitaḥ
indriyāṇi pramāthīni haranti prasabhaṁ manaḥ
This is because those who follow vidhi–mārga (the path of śāstrika rule sand regulations) and endeavour to rid the mind of material attachments, fall down from time to time because the agitated senses cast the mind back into the midst of sense-objects. There is no danger of such a fall down on the path of rāga.
tāni sarvāṇi saṁyamya yukta āsīta mat-paraḥ
vaśe hi yasyendriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā
Thus, in relation to yukta–vairāgya (using all things in relation to the Absolute), those who are established on the path of yoga engage in the highest type of bhakti and control their senses. Therefore, they are firmly situated in consciousness.
dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ saṅgas teṣūpajāyate
saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ kāmāt krodho’bhijāyate
On the other hand, consider the anarthas on the path of vidhi when engaged in phalgu–vairāgya (false renunciation). At the time when one attempts to practice renunciation, when meditating upon sense-objects, then gradually a desire to associate with those sense-objects is born. From that association, desire arises, and from that desire, anger appears.
krodhād bhavati sammohaḥ sammohāt-smṛti-vibhramaḥ
smṛti-bhraṁśād buddhi-nāśo buddhi-nāśāt praṇaśyati
From anger comes bewilderment, and from bewilderment loss of memory manifests. From loss of memory, one’s intelligence is destroyed, and when intelligence is destroyed then everything is lost. Such results occur in many ways while on the path of vidhi, engaged in phalgu–vairāgya. Therefore, this type of engagement is fraught with obstacles.
rāga-dveṣa-vimuktais tu viṣayān indriyaiś caran
ātma-vaśyair vidheyātmā prasādam adhigacchati
Those who engage in yukta-vairāgya are sthita–prajña and they renounce attachment and hatred. Their senses are controlled by the ātmā, and even if they their senses are applied to the material sense-objects, such a person who is vidheyātma (one who is submissive to the Supreme), in other words, independent, attains a peaceful mind.
prasāde sarva-duḥkhānāṁ hānir asyopajāyate
prasanna-cetaso hy āśu buddhiḥ paryavatiṣṭhate
When one attains a peaceful mind, in other words, when bhakti is present, all miseries are removed. The intelligence of the devotees always remains steady and fixed upon their desired aspiration.
nāsti buddhir ayuktasya na cāyuktasya bhāvanā
na cābhāvayataḥ śāntir aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham
Just see – those who do not meditate upon the supreme rasa, how can they attain peace from an inferior rasa? How can someone bereft of any peace achieve the highest type of bliss? Therefore, it is not possible for those persons whose intelligence is restless to meditate upon Bhagavān and become aware of the supreme rasa.
indriyāṇāṁ hi caratāṁ yan mano’nuvidhīyate
tad asya harati prajñāṁ vāyur nāvam ivāmbhasi
Just as an unfavourable wind makes a boat go astray, so also when the mind of a restless person wanders towards the senses, it becomes obedient to them and he is robbed of his intelligence.
tasmād yasya mahā-bāho nigṛhītāni sarvaśaḥ
indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyas tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā
Therefore, O mighty-armed one, you should know that those whose senses are restrained from the sense-objects through the yoga of yukta–vairāgya are said to have firm intelligence.
yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī
yasyāṁ jāgrati bhūtāni sā niśā paśyato muneḥ
O Arjuna, there are two types of intelligence – ātma-pravaṇā (that which is inclined towards the ātmā) and viṣaya–pravaṇā (that which is inclined toward matter). An intellect which is ātma-pravaṇā is like nightime for all entities, namely those ordinary jīvas who are charmed by matter. Because they are asleep at night, all jīvas who are enamoured by matter cannot obtain the knowledge they require. However, one who is sthita–prajña remains awake at night and directly experiences the bliss of being fixed in ātma–buddhi (the transcendental intelligence of the self). Those jīvas who are charmed by matter, who possess viṣaya–pravaṇā, remain awake in order to directly experience misery and bewilderment by being firmly established amongst sense-objects. However, that is night time in relation to the muni who is a sthita–prajña. He perceives all those sense-objects, that give happiness and distress to worldly people, with indifference and only acknowledges them when they are necessary to be accepted.
samudram āpaḥ praviśanti yadvat
tadvat kāmā yaṁ praviśanti sarve
sa śāntim āpnoti na kāma-kāmī
A sense enjoyer can never achieve peace. Just as water from different places cannot disturb the ocean when entering it, similarly, even if all desires enter a muni who is sthita–prajña, agitation cannot manifest within him. Therefore he attains peace.
vihāya kāmān yaḥ sarvān pumāṁś carati niḥspṛhaḥ
nirmamo nirahaṅkāraḥ sa śāntim adhigacchati
One achieves peace when he renounces all desires, becomes indifferent towards all the objects of the senses, and roams around without false ego, devoid of any conception of possessiveness.
eṣā brāhmī sthitiḥ pārtha naināṁ prāpya vimuhyati
sthitvāsyām anta-kāle’pi brahma-nirvāṇam ṛcchati
This type of position is known as brāhmī–sthita (situated in transcendence). O Pārtha, one who achieves this status is never bewildered. At the end of his life, if one attains such a position like the king Khaṭvaṅga, then such a person achieves brahma–nirvāṇa. He attains the status of brahma–prāpikā (achieving Brahman). He is said to be brahma-sthiti (situated in Brahman). By achieving Brahman, one is liberated from matter, which is called brahma–nirvāṇa. That reality which is the opposite of matter is called brahma. By being situated in this reality, one attains aprākṛta–rasa (divine mellows).
iti śrī-mahābhārate śata-sāhasryāṁ saṁhitāyāṁ
śrīmad-bhagavad-gītāsūpaniṣatsu brahma-vidyāyāṁ yoga-śāstre śrī kṛṣṇārjuna-saṁvāde
sāṅkhya-yogaḥ nāma dvitiyo’dhyāyaḥ
Thus ends Chapter Two entitled Sāṅkhya Yoga from the conversation between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna in the Upaniṣad known as Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, the yoga-śāstra of divine knowledge, from the Bhīṣma-parva of Mahābhārata, the literature revealed by Vyāsa in one hundred thousand verses.
Thus ends the translation and commentary of the second chapter.