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Conversation 2. Sankhya Yoga

Bhagavad Gita/Conversation 2. Sankhya Yoga

Conversation 2.
Sankhya Yoga

Sanjaya said:

2:1. To him, who was overwhelmed with sorrow and despair, whose eyes were flowing with tears, Madhusudana said:

2:2. Whence has come over you, in this crucial moment, such shameful, unbecoming to an Aryan despair, which blocks the gate to paradise, O Arjuna?

2:3. Do not yield to feebleness, O Partha! Cast off this miserable faint-heartedness, O Parantapa, and arise!

Arjuna said:

2:4. O Madhusudana! How can I attack with arrows Bhishma and Drona — they who deserve the deepest reverence, O Conqueror of enemies?

2:5. Verily, it is better to live on alms as a beggar than to kill these great gurus! If I kill these highly esteemed gurus, then all my food will be stained with their blood!

2:6. I do not know what is better — to be conquered or to conquer them who stand against us — the sons of Dhritarashtra. Having killed them, we will not wish to live!

2:7. My heart is full of sorrow, my mind is perplexed — I am confused about my duty. I beseech You: tell me certainly — what is better? I am Your disciple and ask You: please, instruct me.

2:8. The sorrow is shivering my senses, and I know nothing that can dispel it: neither attainment of the highest power on the Earth nor even lordship over the gods!

Sanjaya said:

2:9. Having said this to Hrishikesha, Gudakesha, the destroyer of enemies, uttered: “Govinda, I will not fight,” and became silent.

2:10. Stationed in between the two armies, Hrishikesha, with a smile, told despondent Arjuna:

2:11. You are mourning for that which should not be mourned for, though you have said the words of wisdom. But the wise bemoans neither the living nor the dead!

2:12. For, verily, never there was a time when I or you or these kings did not exist; and, verily, we will not cease to exist in the future.

2:13. Just as a soul dwelling in a body goes through childhood, maturity, and old age, so it leaves one body and enters another. The strong one does not grieve about this.

2:14. The contact with matter, O Kaunteya, produces feelings of heat and cold, of pleasure and pain. These feelings are transient: they come and go. Endure them with fortitude, O Bharata!

2:15. The one who is unmoved by them, O greatest of men, who remains sober and unfaltering in joy and in trouble — such one is able to attain Immortality.

2:16. Know that the transient, impermanent has no true existence, and the eternal, imperishable never ceases to exist! This is discerned by those who have perceived the essence of things and see the truth.

2:17. Know that no one can destroy Him Who pervades the entire universe! No one can bring Him to death! That Eternal and Imperishable is beyond the control of anyone!

2:18. Only the body of an embodied soul is perishable, but the soul itself is eternal and indestructible. Fight, therefore, O Bharata!

2:19. They who think that they can kill and they who think that they can be killed are mistaken! Man can neither kill nor can be killed!

2:20. Man neither appears, nor disappears; having once come into being, man never ceases to be. Man, an immortal soul, does not perish when the body is destroyed!

2:21. The one who knows that man is an imperishable, eternal, unborn, and immortal soul — how can such one kill or be killed?

2:22. As one throws off worn-out clothes and puts on others that are new — so a soul throws off worn-out bodies and enters new ones.

2:23. Weapons cannot cut a soul, fire cannot burn it, water cannot wet it, nor can wind wither it.

2:24. Nothing can cut, burn, wet, or wither a soul — non-cuttable, non-flammable, non-wettable, non-dryable.

2:25. A soul — non-incarnate — is said to be unmanifest, formless, and imperishable. Therefore, knowing this, you should not grieve!

2:26. Even if you thought that a soul gets born and dies again and again, even then, O mighty-armed, you should not grieve!

2:27. Verily, death is predestinated for the born one, and birth is unavoidable for the one who has died. Do not grieve over what is inevitable!

2:28. All beings are unmanifest before the material manifestation, and unmanifest after. They are manifest only in the middle, O Bharata! What is the reason to grieve, then?

2:29. Some think about soul as a wonder, others speak of it as a wonder, and there are those who having come to know about it cannot understand what it means.

2:30. The incarnate can never be killed, O Bharata! Therefore, do not mourn any killed creature!

2:31. And thinking of your own dharma, you should not waver, O Arjuna! Verily, for a kshatriya there is nothing more desirable than a righteous war!

2:32. Lucky are those kshatriyas, O Bharata, to whose lot falls such a battle; it is like an open gate to Heaven!

2:33. But if you withdraw now from this righteous battle, refusing your dharma and your honor, then you will incur sin.

2:34. All people will know about your eternal disgrace. And for the glorious one, disgrace is worse than death!

2:35. The great warriors on chariots will think that fear made you flee from the battlefield. And you, whom they esteemed so much, will be despised by them.

2:36. Your enemies will say many mean words slandering your valor. What is more painful?

2:37. Killed — you will go to paradise; winner — you will enjoy the Earth. Arise therefore, O Kaunteya, and be ready to fight!

2:38. Regarding alike joy and sorrow, success and failure, victory and defeat, — enter this battle! Thus you will avoid sin!

2:39. What I have declared to you is the teachings of Sankhya about consciousness. Now listen how you can know this through Buddhi Yoga*. By means of buddhi, O Partha, you can break the bondage of karma!

2:40. On the Path of this Yoga there is no loss. Even a little advancement on this Path saves one from great danger.

2:41. The will of the resolute is firmly directed towards this purpose. The impulses of irresolute one branch endlessly, O joy of the Kurus!

2:42. O Partha, the unwise who hold to the letter of the Vedas* utter flowery words declaring that beyond that there is nothing else*.

2:43. They are full of desires, their highest purpose is paradise, their concern is a good reincarnation, all their actions and rituals are aimed only at getting pleasure and power.

2:44. Those who are attached to pleasure and power, who are bound by this — are not capable for resolute determination aimed at Samadhi!

2:45. The Vedas teach about the three gunas. Transcend these gunas, O Arjuna! Be free from the duality*, always live in harmony, seeking not worldly possessions, remaining ever established in the Atman!

2:46. To the one who has cognized Brahman the Vedas are as useful as a pond in a flooded area.

2:47. Regard only the work and not the reward for it. Let your motive for actions be not the profits from them! Yet, do not indulge in indolence!

2:48. Renouncing the attachment to the reward for your actions, become even-minded in success and failure, O Dhananjaya! Such equanimity is characteristic of Yoga.

2:49. Ceaselessly casting away all vain activity with the help of Buddhi Yoga, learn to control yourself as a consciousness. Miserable are those who act only for the sake of getting a reward for their deeds!

2:50. They who work with the consciousness are not subjected any more to good or bad karmic consequences of their activity. Therefore, devote yourself to Yoga! Yoga is the art of action!

2:51. The wise devoted to work with the consciousness free themselves from the law of karma and from the necessity to incarnate again. They attain full liberation from suffering!

2:52. When you as a consciousness become free from the net of illusion, then you will be indifferent to the things you have heard and those yet to be heard*.

2:53. When you transcend the charm of the Vedas and become established in the peace of Samadhi, then you will attain Yoga.

Arjuna said:

2:54. What is the mark of man whose thoughts are calmed and who is established in Samadhi, O Keshava? How does such a person talk, walk, and sit?

Lord Krishna said:

2:55. The one who has renounced all sensual cravings and, having gone deeply into the Atman, found satisfaction in the Atman, becomes steadfast in wisdom.

2:56. The one whose mind is calm amidst sorrows, unmoved amidst pleasures, fear, and anger — the one who is steadfast in this is called muni.

2:57. The one who is attached to nothing earthly, who facing pleasant and unpleasant things neither rejoices nor recoils — such one is established in the true knowledge.

2:58. Taking the indriyas off the earthly objects, like a tortoise withdrawing its limbs and head into its shell, such one attains the true understanding.

2:59. The one who walks the Path of detachment becomes free from the objects of the senses, but not from the taste for the objects. But even the taste for them vanishes in the one who has cognized the Supreme!

2:60. O Kaunteya! Agitated indriyas can distract the mind even of a wise person, who tries to control them.

2:61. Having tamed the indriyas, this person should enter into harmony and have Me as the Highest Goal. Only the one who controls the indriyas has the true understanding.

2:62. But if one comes back in the mind to the earthly objects, then inevitably an attachment to them arises. This attachment leads to the desire to possess these objects, and the impossibility to satisfy this desire produces anger.

2:63. Because of anger the perception gets completely distorted. The distortion of perception causes the loss of memory*. And the loss of memory leads to the loss of the energy of the consciousness. By losing the energy of the consciousness, man degrades.

2:64. But the one who has conquered the indriyas, renounced attractions and distractions, and established oneself in the Atman attains the inner purity!

2:65. When the inner purity is attained, all sorrows disappear and the consciousness strengthens*.

2:66. The non-resolute cannot be of a developed consciousness, they have neither happiness nor peace. And without them — is bliss possible?

2:67. The reason of a person who yields to the pressure of passions gets carried away like a ship carried away by the storm!

2:68. Therefore, O mighty-armed one, the one whose indriyas are completely taken away from the earthly objects has the true understanding.

2:69. What is night for all beings for the wise muni is the time for staying awake. And when others are awake, the night for the wise muni comes*.

2:70. If man stays unmoved by sensual desires as an ocean is unmoved by the rivers that flow into it — such man attains calm. And those who follow their desires can never find calm.

2:71. The one who has renounced the desires to such an extent and goes forward free from passions, selfishness, and the feeling of “I” — such one attains calm!

2:72. This is the state of Brahman, O Partha! The one who has attained it is never deluded. And the one who achieves this state even at the moment of death attains the Nirvana of Brahman.

Thus in the Upanishads of the blessed Bhagavad Gita, the Science of Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga, says the second conversation between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, entitled:

Sankhya Yoga.

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