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Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of self-help

By BS Murthy

<< Back to chapter 1

Chapter -2: All about Life 

This character defining chapter of the Gita comprising 72 slokas, known as saankhya yoga, Realization through Knowledge, is regarded by  many,  as the peerless part of the great epic.

Arjunaís dilemma, meanwhile, turns into grief, as the horrific prospect of slaying Bhishma, his revered granduncle, and Drona, his venerated guru, sinks into his consciousness. Bogged down by sentiment, Arjuna appeals to Lord Krishna for guidance. The Lordís response starting with the epoch making eleventh sloka, ĎAverring as knowing/ Worried over trivia! /Reckon never wise / Dead and alive both.í is indeed the curtain raiser to the grand discourse.

It is apparent that the sentiment of causing death and destruction plagues Arjuna. Thus, Lord Krishna brings the very issue to the fore to dispel the unwarranted fear of death by stressing upon the transmigratory nature of the indwelling spirit of all beings. Then the Lord proceeds to enlighten Arjuna  about his duty to fight as a warrior besides touching upon the infamy of surrender. To enable Arjuna overcome the predicament of attachment, Lord Krishna elaborates upon the precepts and practices of detached action, besides its spiritual and philosophical connotations. As a way of caution, the Lord  finally explains to Arjuna how his sensual nature hinders man to act in true detachment.This chapter, indeed, is the spectrum supreme of the kaleidoscope of wisdom that Bhagvad Gita is.

1     

Thus spoke Sanjaya:

In pity Krishna

Addressed Arjuna,

Bogged in sorrow 

With tears profuse.

2            

Thus spoke the Lord:

Oh, what affliction

At this juncture!

Wholly un-Aryan 

Unholy as well!!

3     

Mind-set impotent that unnerves

Strengthen thou for fight on hand. 

4            

Thus spoke Arjuna:

Adore as I, how dare I 

Make Bhishma ín Dron target?

5     

Better I go with begging bowl

Than earn disgrace slaying them,

What doth glitter have sceptre 

In the bloodstained hands of mine?

6     

Those us oppose

We hate hurting,

What use war

Who victors are?

7      .

About my duty Iím in doubt

Tell me kindly what is right.

8     

Beset by doubts, 

Saddled by grief

Would I be joyous

Were I the king?    

9     

Thus spoke Sanjaya:

Bent to rescind

Arjun had no more to speak.

10

Make I privy O my Lord

Speaks as Krishna to Arjun

Stood who there in confusion.

11   

Thus spoke the Lord:

Averring as knowing

Worried over trivia!

Reckon never wise

Dead and alive both.

12   

You and Me   

As well these,

Have had past

Future as well.

13   

Wise all realize

Embodies selfsame spirit in one

From birth to death, in every birth.       

14   

Sensual feelings, grief ín joy

Transient are like, heat and cold.

15

Weigh who pain ín pleasure equal

Such are those on path freedom. 

16   

Whatís not real, itís never been

And thatís true, itís ever there 

Thatís how wise all came to see. 

17                   

Spirit in lay us All-Pervading 

Given that not to destruction,

What sense doth it make to think

Thatís immutable gets destroyed!

18                 

Perish all bodies, Spirit not therein

Know this truth, and take up arms. 

19   

With no slayer, nor one slain       

Whoso feels that he might kill

It's in delusion that he harps.

20   

Unbound being ever unborn

Ageless since itís endless too 

Goes on Spirit, beyond life-span. 

21   

Spirit as entity hath no birth

How can thou kill whatís not born!

22   

Change as men fade if clothes

So doth Spirit as frames are worn.  

23   

Hurts no weapon the Spirit in thee

Nor scathe elements, wind, water ín fire.

24   

Unalterable ín Eternal 

Immovable but pervades all

Permanent ín so Everlasting       

Spirit thus none can ever destruct.

25   

Can sans form Spirit get bound?

Get right answer thou wonít burn.

26   

Prima facie if thou feel

Subject Spirit is to rebirths 

Why grieve over end of frame?

27   

Dies as one

For like rebirth,

Why feel sad

Of whatís cyclic.  

28   

Isnít thy lament over that

Un-manifested to start with

Gets manifested just as guest 

And bids adieu in due course.

29   

Seen in wonder, spoken in awe

Spirit none knows that lies in him.

30   

Dies not Spirit as die beings

What for man then tends to grieve!

31   

Being a warrior dharma thine

That thee fight with all thy might.

32    .

For martyrs of unsought wars

Ever open are heavenly gates.                          

33       

If thee back out from duty

Imperil thou thy own dharma   

And that earns thee infamy. 

34   

What for lead a dishonoured life

Why leave legend dubious behind!

35   

Amiss be taken thine intent

Treat thee coward thy friends ín foes.

36   

Count on thou thy detractors 

Besmirch they thy character,

Damned be thine obituary 

By their campaign of slander.

37   

If slain, heaven; alive, itís reign 

Resolve to fight with right intent.

38   

Shed thy sentiment, guilt unhinge 

Eye not gain as wage thou war.

39   

It's this knowledge that liberates

And helps thee act, with no restraint. 

40   

Goes not waste

Effort thine ever,

Zeal for action

Frees from fear.

41

In their resolve

Succeed firm, 

Mind as wavers

Lose infirm.

42       

Unwise use all enticing

Flowery language to further

Rituals Vedic in their scores

Not the knowledge of Vedas.   

43   

Eyeing heaven with mind mundane 

Go for ceremonies such in hope

Of having best of both the worlds.

44   

Pursue if thou wants with zeal

Instincts then would spin thy mind.

45   

Aspects three of life, reveal Vedas four

Transcend thou dualities, in them as inherent.

46

Well-waters draw Veda-dependent

Banks on reservoir dwell all realized.

47   

Hold as patent on thy work 

Reckon thou not on royalty

With no way to ceasing work

Never mind outcome but go on. 

 

48   

Itís but yoga 

If thou strive

Wants without 

Emotions bereft. 

49   

Work well greedy with motive

Work wise not with result in mind.

50   

Wise not sentiment bring to work  

That's hallmark of art of work.  

51   

Freed from bonds with mind even

Act wise regardless ever composed.

52   

Clears if reason oneís illusion 

Bothers he not to what's over

Or for what might lie in store.

53   

Stands as firm mind thy clear

Steer thou clear of path rituals.   

54   

Thus spoke Arjuna:

How to spot the yogi true  

Were he there ever in the crowd?

55    .

Thus spoke the Lord:

Blessed are strong with blissful self

Helps them that slight all that tempts. 

56   

Oblivious of misfortune 

Not the one to crave for fun

Sways not ever by his feelings 

Stays thus yogi ever even.

57   

Unfettered by attachment 

Compliments to indifferent

Adversity by unshaken

Wisdom thus is personified.

58   

Stimuli those of organs sensory

Tortoise like wise draw into shell.

59   

Senses reined

Who so abstains,

Sans he longing

Turns he godly.

60   

Senses as may tend them rash

Wise as well stray, from right path.

61   

Rein in senses, hone thine effort 

Rely on Supreme, thatís true wisdom. 

62       

Leans man on 

Lends what charm,

Brings that want

And thatís fault.

63

Despair is what clouds reason                   

Brings that ruin through deeds mindless.

64   

Yield to senses sans craving

Cap as thou thy wants dubious.

65   

Calm that offsets woes of life 

And that equable makes thy mind. 

66   

Lacks mind focus as it strays

Robs that peace ín joy thereby.  

67

As in seas sans boat rudder

So course sensual man loses.

68   

With tight leash on their senses 

Wise with ease lead poised lives.

69   

Ignoring all ignorant crave

Wise take note what folks not note. 

70   

Subdues as sea, rivers it holds

Wise keep cool while wants taming. 

71   

Freed of ego ín wants as well

Blessed are wise who lack longing.

72   

State itís that of true being

With no tenseness of  being,

Life ever in that mode being

Makes what one with All-being.

 

Ends thus:

All about Life,

The Second Chapter 

Of Bhagvad-Gita

Treatise of self-help.

 (cont...)

<< Back to chapter 1

Introduction  Chapter 1   Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4   

Chapter 5    Chapter 6  Chapter 7  Chapter 8    Chapter 9  

Chapter 10 Chapter 11   Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 

Chapter 15  Chapter 16  Chapter 17  Chapter 18

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