2:1: Sanjaya said: Madhusudana [Krishna] spoke these words unto [Arjuna] who was overcome with compassion and whose distressed eyes were filled with tears of lamentation:
2:2: The Blessed One said: O Arjuna, from whence does this despondency come upon you now that peril has come? It is disgraceful and unbecoming of an Aryan. If it continues you will certainly be debarred from the upper planetary systems such as Svargaloka.
2:3: Do not adopt this impotence, O son of Partha; it is not appropriate for you. Give up this petty weakness of heart, stand up, O Paramtapa [Arjuna].
2:4: Arjuna said: O Madhusudana, O slayer of enemies, how can I battle Bhishma and Drona with arrows and fight against those who are worthy of my worship?
2:5, 6: It is better to live on alms here, in this world, than to slay the noble gurus simply to enjoy wealth and desire when those enjoyable things would be tainted with their blood.
Nor do we know which is better for us, that we should conquer them or they should conquer us. Situated before us are the sons of Dhritarastra, whom, should we kill, we would not desire to live.
2:7: Due to my faulty and inferior nature my heart is confused concerning my [military] duty and religious obligations. I take refuge of You as Your disciple; please tell me decisively what is best for me.
2:8: Having obtained a prosperous and unrivaled kingdom on earth or even lordship over the devas, even that would not dispel my lamentation which is withering away my senses.
2:9: Sanjaya said: Having thus spoken to Hrishikesha [Krishna] Gudakesha [Arjuna], the terror of his foes, said to Govinda, "I will not fight," and fell silent.
2:10: O descendent of Bharata [Dhritarastra], in the midst of both armies Hrishikesha [Krishna], smiling as it were, said these words unto the lamenting [Arjuna]:
2:11: The Blessed One said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead.
2:12: Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings, nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.
2:13: As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul also passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.
2:14: O son of Kunti, sensory perceptions afflict one with cold, heat, pleasure and pain. They appear and disappear and are impermanent. Therefore endure them all O descendent of Bharata.
2:15: One who is never distressed, O best among men, and who remains unaltered [in the face of] suffering and pleasure and is patient, he is eligible for immortality.
2:16: Being does not come from the non-existent, nor does non-being arise from the eternal. This is the considered conclusion of those who see the truth.
2:17,18: Know you by Whom all this imperishable is pervaded. The destruction of this immutable is not possible for anyone.
All these bodies are perishable, but it is said of the eternal embodied soul that it is indestructible and immeasurable, therefore fight, O descendent of Bharata.
2:19: Anyone who considers the slayer or anyone who knows the slain and thinks him killer or killed lacks discernment. No one slays nor is anyone slain.
2:20: It [the immutable soul] is not born, It does not die, at no time did It come into being, nor will It come into being hereafter. It is unborn, eternal, permanent and ancient. It is not killed when the body is slain.
2:21: How can that person who knows the soul to be indestructible, eternal, unborn and immutable, O child of Partha, slay anyone or cause another to kill.
2:22: Just as a man casts off worn out clothing and accepts new ones, even so the embodied soul discards worn out bodies and enters into different ones.
2:23, 24: This soul cannot be severed by weapons, burnt by fire, wetted with water, nor dried by the wind.
It is unbreakable, unburnable, It cannot be wetted nor dried. It is eternal and all-pervading, equable, immovable and eternally constant.
2:25 - 28: The soul is said to be unmanifested; It is inconceivable and unchanging. Therefore, knowing the soul to be thus, you should not lament.
Moreover, if you determine the soul to be constantly born and eternally dying, even then, O mighty armed one, you ought not to lament.
For those born death is certain and for those dead birth is certain. For the sake of the inevitable you ought not lament.
All beings are unmanifested in the beginning, manifested in the middle, and again unmanifested in the end. O descendent of Bharata, where therein is cause for lamentation?
2:29: Some see the soul as amazing. Some speak of the soul as amazing, while others hear of it as amazing. Still, no one truly knows the soul.
2:30: One whose rampart is the material body is actually an eternal and indestructible soul encased within a material form. This is the situation of all living entities, O descendent of Bharata, therefore you do not deserve to lament.
2:31, 32: Considering your personal religious and moral duty, you ought not to vacillate in the face of this sacred obligation. Indeed, for a ksatriya [a warrior] nothing is better than war.
O child of Partha, happy is the ksatriya who obtains a battle such as this which comes of its own accord, for thereby the gates of heaven are caste wide open.
2:33 - 38: Therefore, if you will not perform your religious and moral duty of fighting as a matter of personal obligation, then your reputation as a warrior will be abandoned by the acquirement of guilt.
All beings will speak of your everlasting dishonor. For one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death.
The great chariot fighters will determine that you fled from the battle due to fear. You, who once relieved great honors, will be lightly esteemed by all.
With many disrespectful words your enemies will mock your competence. What could be more painful than that?
If slain you will gain the heavenly realms and if victorious you will enjoy the earthly kingdom.
Therefore, O son of Kunti, arise and battle with a resolved spirit.
Esteeming happiness and sorrow, gain and loss, victory and defeat as equals, engage in the battle and you will acquire no guilt.
2:39: All this is described in sankhya - the yoga system which consists of taking refuge of wisdom in order to renounce the fruits of one's deeds - but hear this through your intelligence, joined with which, O child of Partha, you will be released from the bondage of action and reaction.
2:40, 41: In this effort there is no loss or reversal. Even the slight performance of this duty releases one from the greatest fear.
Have single-pointed resolution of your intelligence, O beloved of the Kurus, for indeed the intelligence of those without this resolution is many branched.
2:42 - 44: Flowery words are spoken in the Vedas for the unwise, who delight in study and debate, O son of Partha; they say there is nothing else.
They are full of desire and have the heavenly realms as their highest goal, thus they perform peculiar actions in order to produce fruits of good birth, pleasure and power.
Those who cling to pleasure and power have deluded minds, their intellects are not resolved for spiritual contemplation and trance.
2:45, 46: The Vedas describe the three qualities of material nature. O Arjuna, be untouched by these. Be devoid of duality, abide in eternal goodness, be free from the concept of acquisition and preservation and be established in the Self.
As the use of a full well is negligible when the land is flooded all around, in the same way, the Vedic literatures are not required by a qualified brahmana who knows the truth.
2:47, 48: You certainly have the right to perform [worthy] actions, but not to the fruits thereof at anytime. Seek not the results of your actions. If you are not attached, they will be as inaction.
Fixed [established] in [karma] yoga, (thereby becoming) equipoised, perform your actions, giving up, O Dhananjaya (O Conqueror of Wealth), attachment to success and failure. This equanimity is called yoga.
2:49: Keep all inferior action far away, O Dhananjaya. With intelligence surrender to (or take refuge in) the Yoga of devotion. The wretched desire the fruits of their actions.
2:50: One who is fixed in devotion can get rid of, in this life, both good and bad reactions. Therefore, for the sake of union [with devotion], engage devotion in all activities, for your well being.
2:51: With the intelligence yoked, abandoning the fruits born of action, the wise ones are liberated from the bondage of repeated births and attain that platform which is free from all disease.
2:52, 53: When your intellect, which is full of illusion, crosses beyond, then will you achieve equanimity for all that has been and will be heard.
When you are no longer bewildered by the Vedic texts, when your intellect remains fixed in spiritual consciousness, then you will attain self-realization.
2:54: Arjuna said: Please describe how one who is thus steadfast in wisdom, who is established in meditative trance, O Keshava, and whose intelligence is steady, speaks, sits and walks.
2:55: The Blessed One said: When all types of desire and mental concoctions are cast off by the soul, O child of Partha, then is the soul said to be satisfied and steady in wisdom.
2:56: One whose mind is unagitated by misery and happiness, who has no desire, is free from attachment, fear and anger and who is steadfast in thought is called a muni (sage).
2:57: One who is everywhere without attachment, who neither praises the good nor despises the bad, such a one is fixed in the insight which leads to liberation.
2:58: When the senses are withdrawn from sense objects as a tortoise withdraws into his shell, one is fixed in the insight leading to liberation.
2:59: By practicing abstinence the embodied living entity may turn away from the objects of the senses, but only by experiencing the Highest does the taste for sense enjoyment leave.
2:60, 61: O child of Kunti, while striving with the senses even the learned are tortured and forcefully carried away by the mind.
Having restrained all these [senses], one who intently abides in Me, whose senses are kept completely under control, such a one is fixed in the insight leading to liberation.
2:62, 63: When pondering the objects of the senses, attachment to them develops, from that attachment desire is produced and from desire anger arises.
From anger comes delusion, from delusion loss of memory occurs, from the loss of memory the intelligence is ruined and when the intelligence is ruined one perishes.
2:64, 65: Free from attraction and repulsion for the objects of the senses, self-controlled and self-governed, God's mercy is attained.
With that mercy all lamentations are destroyed and a peaceful mind is produced; with this the intelligence soon becomes established.
2:66 - 68: For those who are unyoked there is no intelligence. Among the unyoked there is neither direct perception nor non-perception. Devoid of peace, where is happiness?
The intelligence of one whose mind is engaged in the senses wanders about aimlessly like a wind driven boat on the water.
Therefore, O mighty armed one, one whose senses are restrained from sense objects has the intelligence fixed.
2:69: What is night for all living entities is the time of awakening for the self-controlled. The time of awakening for all living entities is likewise night for the all-knowing sage.
2:70 - 72: As the ocean is always being filled yet remains motionless, so too one attains peace unto whom all desires enter [but do not move], not one who craves desires.
Abandoning all material desires a person lives free from longings, ownership and false ego; thereby peace is attained.
O child of Partha, once this sacred state is achieved one is no longer bewildered. Being thus situated, even at the end of life the kingdom of God is attained.
Go to: ChapterThree.
Go to Notes and References.
Go to: Cover Page.
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