Chapter 2 - The Yoga of Knowledge
Said Sanjaya," Seeing Arjuna thus filled
with compassion, his tearful eyes and melancholic mood,
Madhusudhana spoke these words."
The Supreme Lord said, " From where did
these impure thoughts came to you at this critical juncture,
thoughts of a disrespectful man, that cause infamy and disqualify
one from heavenly life?
"O Chastiser of Enemies, do not succumb to
cowardliness. It does not suit you. Give up the lowly weakness of
your heart and stand up."
Arjuna said, " O
Madhusudhana, how can I
fight against persons like Bhishma and Drona, countering them with
arrows, when they are fit for worship?
"It is better to lead the life of a beggar
in this world than to kill these great souls who are my teachers
and superiors. If we kill them we have to live and enjoy the rest
of our lives with blood stained hands.
"Nor do we know what is good for us,
whether to conquer them or be conquered by them. Certainly by
killing the sons of Dhritarashtra, we would not wish to live. Yet
they are all now standing there in front of us in the battle
"Afflicted with the impurity of meekness
and confused in my heart as to my duty (dharma), I am beseeching
you to tell me clearly what is in my interest. I am now your
disciple. Please do instruct me and help me as I have now
surrendered to you.
"Even if I have sovereignty over an
unrivalled and prosperous kingdom of the divinities in heaven, I
do not think I will be able to drive away my grief that is now
drying up my senses, ."
Sanjaya said, "Thus expressing (his grief)
to Krishna, Arjuna said to Him,' I will not fight,' and became
"O Dhritarashtra, at that time, amidst the
battle filed, with a gentle smile, Krishna spoke the following
words to the grief stricken Arjuna."
The supreme Lord said, "You are grieving
for that which is not to be grieved for. Yet you are speaking like
a great scholar. A true scholar would not worry about life that
has ended or not ended.
"There was never a time when I did not
exist, nor you, nor all these kings. Nor will we ever cease to
exist in future.
"Just as the embodied soul passes from
childhood to youth to old age, it also passes from one body to
another. The undaunted person therefore is not deluded.
"Heat and cold, pleasure and pain arise
merely because of the contact of the senses with the sense
objects. They are fleeting. Therefore O Arjuna, try to tolerate
"O chief among men, that person is
eligible for immortality who is not troubled by the sense and who
is equal in both happiness and sorrow.
"Asat (unreality) knows nothing about
existence while Sat (reality) of non-existence. The seers who had
the vision of both concluded thus about the two.
"Know that which is pervading all this as
indestructible. No one is capable of destroying it.
"This physical body is perishable. But the
embodied soul is described as indestructible, eternal and
immeasurable. Therefore do fight O Bharata.
"Neither the one who thinks it kills nor
the one who thinks it is killed do not know the truth. This
neither kills nor gets killed.
"The soul is never born nor does it die at any time. It has neither past nor future. It is unborn, ever existing, permanent and ancient. When the body is slain neither it is killed not it kills.
"O Partha, he who knows that the soul is indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible, how can he injure or kill any one?
"Just as a man discards worn out clothes and puts on new clothes, the soul discards worn out bodies and
wears new ones.
"The soul cannot be pierced by weapons,
burnt by fire, moistened by water or dried by wind.
"The soul is impenetrable, incombustible,
unchangeable, , certainly ever existing, all-pervading, fixed,
immovable, and ever continuing.
"It is said that the soul is unmanifest,
incognizible,and immutable. Knowing this about the soul you should
"Even if you think that the soul is
subject to birth and death, then also there is no cause for worry,
O mighty armed.
"It is a fact that that which is born is
certain to die and that the one which has died is bound to take
birth. There do not worry about doing an unavoidable.
"All created beings were unmanifest in the
beginning, manifest themselves in the middle and become unmanifest
again when they die in the end. If this is so then where is the
need for lamentation?
"Some behold the soul with amazement, some
speak of it with amazement. Some hear of it with amazement, yet
some even after hearing about it know it not.
"The soul that exists in the body of
everyone cannot be slaughtered. Therefore you need not have to
lament over the death of any living being.
"Besides considering your duty as a
warrior also, you should not dither since for the sake of your
duty as a warrior there is no better engagement for you than
"Happy indeed are those warriors, who
reach unexpectedly the wide open portal of heaven unsought by
getting an opportunity like this to fight. Therefore O Partha,
take advantage of this situation and fight.
"Besides, if you do not fight this
righteous war and perform your prescribed duty as a warrior, you
will lose your reputation as a famous warrior and incur sin.
"People will narrate forever stories of
your infamy. For a respectable man infamy is worse than death.
"The great charioteers, who hold you in
great esteem, would say that you ran away from the battle field
out of fear. Thus your reputation will go down.
"Your enemies will blame your abilities
using many unkind words. What could be more painful than this?