said: Lord Krishna spoke these words to Arjuna whose eyes were tearful
and downcast, and who was overwhelmed with compassion and despair.
Krishna said: How has the dejection come to you at this juncture?
This is not fit for a person of noble mind and deeds. It is disgraceful,
and it does not lead one to heaven, O Arjuna.
not become a coward, O Arjuna, because it does not befit you. Shake
off this trivial weakness of your heart and get up for the battle,
CONTINUES HIS REASONING
said: How shall I strike my grandfather, my guru, and all other
relatives, who are worthy of my respect, with arrows in battle,
would be better, indeed, to live on alms in this world than to slay
these noble personalities, because by killing them I would enjoy
wealth and pleasures stained with their blood.
do not know which alternative ¾ to fight or to quit ¾
is better for us. Further, we do not know whether we shall conquer
them or they will conquer us. We should not even wish to live after
killing our cousin brothers, who are standing in front of us.
senses are overcome by the weakness of pity, and my mind is confused
about duty (Dharma). Please tell me what is better for me. I am
Your disciple, and I take refuge in You.
do not perceive that gaining an unrivaled and prosperous kingdom
on this earth, or even lordship over all the celestial controllers
will remove the sorrow that is drying up my senses.
said: O King, after speaking like this to Lord Krishna, the mighty
Arjuna said to Krishna: I shall not fight, and became silent.
King, Lord Krishna, as if smiling, spoke these words to the distressed
Arjuna in the midst of the two armies.
TEACHINGS OF THE GITA BEGIN WITH THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF SPIRIT
THE PHYSICAL BODY
Krishna said: You grieve for those who are not worthy of grief,
and yet speak words of wisdom. The wise grieves neither for the
living nor for the dead.
was never a time when these monarchs, you, or I did not exist; nor
shall we ever cease to exist in the future.
as the soul acquires a childhood body, a youth body, and an old
age body during this life; similarly, the soul acquires another
body after death. This should not delude the wise.
contacts of the senses with the sense objects give rise to the feelings
of heat and cold, and pain and pleasure. They are transitory and
impermanent. Therefore, one should learn to endure them.
a calm person ¾ who is not afflicted by these sense objects,
and is steady in pain and pleasure ¾ becomes fit for salvation.
SPIRIT IS ETERNAL, BODY IS TRANSITORY
invisible Spirit (Atma, Atman) is eternal, and the visible physical
body, is transitory. The reality of these two is indeed certainly
seen by the seers of truth.
Spirit by whom this entire universe is pervaded is indestructible.
No one can destroy the imperishable Spirit.
physical bodies of the eternal, immutable, and incomprehensible
Spirit are perishable. Therefore fight, O Arjuna.
one who thinks that the Spirit is a slayer, and the one who thinks
the Spirit is slain, both are ignorant. Because the Spirit neither
slays nor is slain.
Spirit is neither born nor does it die at any time. It does not
come into being, or cease to exist. It is unborn, eternal, permanent,
and primeval. The Spirit is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.
Arjuna, how can a person who knows that the Spirit is indestructible,
eternal, unborn, and immutable, kill anyone or causes anyone to
AND TRANSMIGRATION OF SOUL
as a person puts on new garments after discarding the old ones;
similarly, the living entity or the individual soul acquires new
bodies after casting away the old bodies.
do not cut this Spirit, fire does not burn it, water does not make
it wet, and the wind does not make it dry. The Spirit cannot be
cut, burned, wetted, or dried. It is eternal, all pervading, unchanging,
immovable, and primeval.
Spirit is said to be unexplainable, incomprehensible, and unchanging.
Knowing the Spirit as such you should not grieve.
if you think that the physical body takes birth and dies perpetually,
even then, O Arjuna, you should not grieve like this. Because death
is certain for the one who is born, and birth is certain for the
one who dies. Therefore, you should not lament over the inevitable.
beings are unmanifest, or invisible to our physical eyes before
birth and after death. They manifest between the birth and the death
only. What is there to grieve about?
INDESTRUCTIBLE SPIRIT TRANSCENDS MIND AND SPEECH
look upon this Spirit as a wonder, another describes it as wonderful,
and others hear of it as a wonder. Even after hearing about it very
few people know what the Spirit is.
Arjuna, the Spirit that dwells in the body of all beings is eternally
indestructible. Therefore, you should not mourn for anybody.
KRISHNA REMINDS ARJUNA OF HIS DUTY AS A WARRIOR
also your duty as a warrior you should not waver like this. Because
there is nothing more auspicious for a warrior than a righteous
the fortunate warriors, O Arjuna, get such an opportunity for an
unsought war that is like an open door to heaven.
you will not fight this righteous war, then you will fail in your
duty, lose your reputation, and incur sin.
will talk about your disgrace forever. To the honored, dishonor
is worse than death.
great warriors will think that you have retreated from the battle
out of fear. Those who have greatly esteemed you will lose respect
enemies will speak many unmentionable words and scorn your ability.
What could be more painful to you than this?
will go to heaven if killed on the line of duty, or you will enjoy
the kingdom on the earth if victorious. Therefore, get up with a
determination to fight, O Arjuna.
pleasure and pain, gain and loss, and victory and defeat alike,
engage yourself in your duty. By doing your duty this way you will
not incur sin.
OF KARMA-YOGA, THE SELFLESS SERVICE
science of transcendental knowledge has been imparted to you, O
Arjuna. Now listen to the science of selfless service (Seva), endowed
with which you will free yourself from all Karmic bondage, or sin.
effort is ever lost in selfless service, and there is no adverse
effect. Even a little practice of the discipline of selfless service
protects one from the great fear of repeated birth and death.
selfless worker has resolute determination for God-realization,
but the desires of the one who works to enjoy the fruits of work
VEDAS DEAL WITH BOTH MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL ASPECTS OF LIFE
misguided ones who delight in the melodious chanting of the Veda
¾ without understanding the real purpose of the Vedas ¾
think, O Arjuna, as if there is nothing else in the Vedas except
the rituals for the sole purpose of obtaining heavenly enjoyment.
are dominated by material desires, and consider the attainment of
heaven as the highest goal of life. They engage in specific rites
for the sake of prosperity and enjoyment. Rebirth is the result
of their action.
resolute determination of Self-realization is not formed in the
minds of those who are attached to pleasure and power, and whose
judgment is obscured by ritualistic activities.
portion of the Vedas deals with three modes — goodness, passion,
and ignorance — of material Nature. Become free from pairs
of opposites, be ever balanced and unconcerned with the thoughts
of acquisition and preservation. Rise above these three modes, and
be Self-conscious, O Arjuna.
a Self-realized person the Vedas are as useful as a small reservoir
of water when the water of a huge lake becomes available.
AND PRACTICE OF KARMA-YOGA
have control over doing your respective duty only, but no control
or claim over the results. The fruits of work should not be your
motive, and you should never be inactive.
your duty to the best of your ability, O Arjuna, with your mind
attached to the Lord, abandoning worry and selfish attachment to
the results, and remaining calm in both success and failure. The
selfless service is a yogic practice that brings peace and equanimity
done with selfish motives is inferior by far to the selfless service.
Therefore be a selfless worker, O Arjuna. Those who work only to
enjoy the fruits of their labor are verily unhappy, because one
has no control over the results.
Karma-yogi or the selfless person becomes free from both vice and
virtue in this life itself. Therefore, strive for selfless service.
Working to the best of one’s abilities without becoming selfishly
attached to the fruits of work is called Karma-yoga or Seva.
are freed from the bondage of rebirth due to renouncing the selfish
attachment to the fruits of all work, and attain blissful divine
state of salvation or Nirvana.
your intellect will completely pierce the veil of confusion, then
you will become indifferent to what has been heard and what is to
be heard from the scriptures.
your intellect, that is confused by the conflicting opinions and
the ritualistic doctrine of the Vedas, shall stay steady and firm
on concentration of the Supreme Being, then you shall attain union
with the Supreme in trance.
said: O Krishna, what are the marks of an enlightened person whose
intellect is steady? What does a person of steady intellect think
and talk about? How does such a person behave with others, and live
in this world?
OF A SELF-REALIZED PERSON
Krishna said: When one is completely free from all desires of the
mind and is satisfied with the Supreme Being by the joy of Supreme
Being, then one is called an enlightened person, O Arjuna.
person whose mind is unperturbed by sorrow, who does not crave pleasures,
and who is completely free from attachment, fear, and anger, is
called an enlightened sage of steady intellect.
mind and intellect of a person become steady who is not attached
to anything, who is neither elated by getting desired results, nor
perturbed by undesired results.
one can completely withdraw the senses from the sense objects as
a tortoise withdraws its limbs into the shell for protection from
calamity, then the intellect of such a person is considered steady.
desire for sensual pleasures fades away if one abstains from sense
enjoyment, but the craving for sense enjoyment remains in a very
subtle form. This subtle craving also completely disappears from
the one who knows the Supreme Being.
OF UNRESTRAINED SENSES
senses, O Arjuna, forcibly carry away the mind of even a wise person
striving for perfection.
should fix one’s mind on God with loving contemplation after
bringing the senses under control. One’s intellect becomes
steady when one’s senses are under complete control.
develops attachment to sense objects by thinking about sense objects.
Desire for sense objects comes from attachment to sense objects,
and anger comes from unfulfilled desires.
or wild idea arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion.
Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down
from the right path when reasoning is destroyed.
OF PEACE AND HAPPINESS THROUGH SENSE CONTROL AND KNOWLEDGE
disciplined person, enjoying sense objects with senses that are
under control and free from attachments and aversions, attains tranquillity.
sorrows are destroyed upon attainment of tranquillity. The intellect
of such a tranquil person soon becomes completely steady and united
with the Supreme.
is neither Self-knowledge, nor Self-perception to those who are
not united with the Supreme. Without Self-perception there is no
peace, and without peace there can be no happiness.
the mind, when controlled by the roving senses, steals away the
intellect as a storm takes away a boat on the sea from its destination
¾ the spiritual shore of peace and happiness.
O Arjuna, one’s intellect becomes steady whose senses are
completely withdrawn from the sense objects.
yogi, the person of self-restraint, remains wakeful when it is night
for all others. It is night for the yogi who sees when all others
attains peace, within whose mind all desires dissipate without creating
any mental disturbance, as river waters enter the full ocean without
creating any disturbance. One who desires material objects is never
who abandons all desires, and becomes free from longing and the
feeling of 'I' and 'my', attains peace.
Arjuna, this is the superconscious state of mind. Attaining this
state, one is no longer deluded. Gaining this state, even at the
end of one’s life, a person becomes one with the Absolute.