Second discourse





*Arjuna's weakness condemned by the Lord



To him who was thus overcome with pity and afflicted, and whose eyes were full of tears and agitated the destroyer of Madhu spoke as follows:


The Lord said:


Whence in this perilous strait has come upon thee this weakness cherished by the unworthy, debarring from heaven and causing disgrace, O Arjuna?



Yield not to unmanliness, O son of Pritha. It does not become thee. Cast off this base weakness of heart and arise. O tormentor of foes.


*Arjuna seeks instruction from the Lord


Arjuna said:


O slayer of Madhu, how shall I assail in battle with arrows Bhishma and Drona, who are worthy of worship. O slayer of enemies.



Better indeed in this world to live even upon alms than to slay the teachers of high honor. But, were I to slay these teachers. I should only in this world enjoy the pleasures of wealth, delights stained with blood.



And we know not which is the better alternative for us; nor do we know whether we shall conquer them or they will conquer us. Even the sons of Dhritarashtra, after killing whom we do not wish to live, stand arrayed against us.



My heart contaminated by the taint of helplessness, my mind confounded about Dharma, I ask Thee: Tell me what is absolutely good. I am Thy pupil. Instruct me, who have sought Thy grace.



I do not indeed see what can dispel the grief which burns up my senses, even after attaining unrivalled and prosperous dominion on earth or even lordship over gods.


Sanjaya said:


Having spoken thus to Hrishikesa, Gudakesa, the tormenter of foes, said to Govinda, ''I will not fight,'' and verily remained silent.



To him who was grieving in the midst of the two armies, O descendant of Bharata, Hrishikesa, as if smiling, spoke these words:


*Self-knowledge alone eradicates misery

*The Self is immortal


The Lord said:


For those who deserve no grief thou hast grieved, and words of wisdom thou speakest. For the living and for the dead the wise grieve not.



Never did I not exist, nor thou, nor these rulers of men; and no one of us will ever hereafter cease to exist.



Just as in this body the embodied (Self) passes into childhood and youth and old age, so does He pass into another body. There the wise man is not distressed.


*Endurance is a condition of wisdom.


The Lord says:


The sense-contacts it is, O son of Kunti, which cause heat and cold, pleasure and pain; they come and go, they are impermanent. Them endure bravely, O descendant of Bharata.



That wise man whom, verily, these afflict not, O chief of men, to whom pleasure and pain are same, he for immortality is fit.


*The Real and the Unreal



Of the unreal no being there is; there is non-being of the real. The true abouth both is seen by the seers knowers of the Essence.


What, then, is that which is ever real ? Listen :—


But know that to be imperishable by which all this is prevaded. None can cause the destruction of That, the Inexhaustible.


What, then, is the unreal (asat), whose existence is not constant ? Listen :


These bodies of the embodied (Self) who is eternal, indestructible and unknowable, are said to have an end. Do fight, therefore, O descendant of Bharata.


*The Self is unconcerned in action



Whoever looks upon Him as the slayer, and whoever looks upon Him as the slain, both these know not aright. He slays not, nor is He slain.


*The Self is immutable



He is not born, nor does He ever die; after having been, He again ceases not to be; nor the reverse. Unborn, eternal, unchangeable and primeval, He is not slain when the body is slain.


*The enlightened man has to renounce works

*Works are meant for the unenlightened

*The enlightened should resort to Jnana-Yoga



Whoso knows Him as indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible,-How, O son of Pritha, and whom, does such a man cause to slay, and whom does he slay?


How the Self is immutable? 


Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on others which are new, so the embodied (Self) casts off worn-out bodies and enters others which are new.


Why is the Self quite changeless? The Lord says:


Him, weapons cut not; Him, fire burns not, and Him, water wets not: Him, wind dries not.



He cannot be cut, nor burnt, nor wetted, nor dried up. He is everlasting, all-pervading, stable, firm, and eternal.


*No room for grief



He, it is said, is unmanifest, unthinkable and unchangeable. Wherefore, knowing Him to be such, thou hadst better grieve not.


Granting that the Self is not everlasting, the Lord proceeds:

But even if thou thinkest of Him as ever being born and ever dying, even then, O mighty-armed, thou oughtst not to grieve thus.



To that which is born, death is indeed certain; and to that which is dead, birth is certain. Wherefore, about the unavoidable thing, thou oughtst not to grieve.



Beings have their beginning unseen, their middle seen, and their end unseen again. Why any lamentation regarding them?



One sees Him as a wonder; and so also another speaks of Him as a wonder; and as a wonder another hears of Him; and though hearing, none understands Him at all.



He, the embodied (Self) in every one's body, can never be killed, O descendant of Bharata. Wherefore thou oughtst not to grieve about any creature.


*A warrior should fight



Having regard to thine own duty also, thou oughtst not to waver. For, to a Kshatriya, there is nothing more wholesome than a lawful battle.


And why also should the battle be fought? The Lord says:


Happy Kshatriyas, O son of Pritha, find such a battle as this, come of itself, an open door to heaven.



Now if thou wouldst not fight this lawful battle, then, having abandoned thine own duty and fame, thou shalt incur sin.


Not only will you have given up your duty and fame, but also,


People, too, will recount thy everlasting infamy; and; to one who has been esteemed, infamy is more than death.




The great car-warriors will think thou hast withdrawn from the battle through fear; and, having been (hitherto) highly esteemed by them, thou wilt incur their contempt.



Thy enemies, too, scorning thy power, will talk many abusive words. What is more painful than that?



Killed, thou wilt reach heaven; victorious, thou wilt enjoy the earth. Wherefore, O son of Kunti, arise, resolved to fight.



Then, treating alike pleasure and pain, gain and loss, success and defeat, prepare for the battle, and thus wilt thou not incur sin.


*Yoga, a safe course



This, which has been taught to thee, is wisdom concerning Sankhya. Now, listen to wisdom concerning Yoga, which possessing thou shalt cast off the bond of action.



There is no loss of effort here, there is no harm. Even a little of this devotion delivers one from great fear.


*Wisdom is one



Here, O son of Kuru, there is one thought of a resolute nature. Many-branched and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute.


*No wisdom possible for the worIdIy-minded.


42-44. No conviction of a resolute nature is formed in the mind of those who are attached to pleasures and power, and whose minds are drawn away by that flowery speech which the unwise-enamoured of Vedic utterances, declaring there is nothing else, full of desire, having svarga as their goal-utter, (a speech) which promises birth as the reward of actions and which abounds in specific acts for the attainment of pleasure and power, O son of Pritha.


*Advice to the Yogin 



The Vedas treat of the triad of the gunas. Be, O Arjuna, free from the triad of the gunas, free from pairs, free from acquisition and preservation, ever remaining in the Sattva (Goodness), and self-possessed.





What utility there is in a reservoir (as compared) with an all-spreading flood of water, the same (utility) there is in all Vedas for an enlightened Brahmana.



Thy concern is with action alone, never with results. Let not the fruit of action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be for inaction.


If a man should not perform works urged by a desire for their results, how then are they to be performed?

The reply follows:


Steadfast in devotion do thy works, O Dhananjaya-(Arjuna), casting off attachment, being the same in success and failure. Evenness is called Yoga.



Verily action is far inferior to devotion in wisdom (buddhi-yoga), O Dhananjaya-(Arjuna). In wisdom (buddhi) seek thou shelter. Wretched are they whose motive is the fruit.


*The merit of Wisdom.


Now, learn as to what result he attains who performs his own duty with evenness of mind:


He who is endued with wisdom casts off here both good deeds and bad deeds. Wherefore apply thyself to devotion. In regard to actions devotion is a power.


*Results of Karma- Yoga



For, men of wisdom cast off the fruit of action; possessed of knowledge (and) released from the bond of birth, they go to the place where there is no evil.



When thy mind shall cross beyond the mire of delusion, then wilt thou attain to a disgust of what is yet to be heard and what has been heard.



When thy mind, perplexed by what thou hast heard, shall stand firm and steady in the Self, then wilt thou attain Yoga.


*The characteristic attributes of a perfect Sage


Arjuna said:


What, O Kesava!, is the description of one of steady knowledge, who is constant in contemplation? How does one of steady knowledge speak, how sit, how move?


*Satisfaction in the 5elf


The Lord said:


When a man, satisfied in the Self alone by himself, completely casts off all the desires of the mind, then is he said to be one of steady knowledge.


*Equanimity in pleasure and pain



He whose heart is not distressed in calamities, from whom all longing for pleasures has departed, who is free from attacment, fear and wrath, he is called a sage, a man of steady knowledge.


*Absence of attachment, delight and aversion



Whoso, without attachment anywhere, on meeting with anything good or bad, neither exults nor hates, his knowledge becomes steady.


*Complete withdrawal of senses from objects




When he completely withdraws the senses from sense-objects, as the tortoise (withdraws) its limbs from all sides, his knowledge is steady.



Objects withdraw from an abstinent man, but not the taste. On seeing the Supreme, his taste, too, ceases.


*Unrestrained senses work mischief



The dangerous senses, O son of Kunti, forcibly carry away the mind of a wise man, even while striving (to control them).


*Devotion to the Lord




Restraining them all, a man should remain steadfast, intent on Me. His knowledge is steady whose senses are under control.


*Thought of sense -objects is the source of evil


Now the Lord proceeds to point out the source of all evil in the case of the unsuccessful:


When a man thinks of objects, attachment for them arises. From attachment arises desire; from desire arises wrath.



From wrath arises delusion; from delusion, failure of memory; from failure of memory, loss of conscience; from loss of conscience he is utterly ruined.


*Sense-control leads to peace and happiness


The contemplation of sense-objects has been described as the source of all evil. Now the means of deliverance (moksha) is described as follows: 


He attains peace, who, self-controlled, approaches objects with senses devoid of love and hatred and brought under his own control.



In peace there is an end of all miseries; for, the reason of the tranquil-minded soon becomes steady.


Tranquillity is thus extolled: 


There is no wisdom to the unsteady, and no meditation to the unsteady, and to the un-meditative no peace; to the peacless, how can there be happiness?


*5ense-restraint conduces to steady knowledge



For the mind which yields to the roving senses carries away his knowledge, as the wind (carries away) a ship on water.



Therefore, O mighty-armed, his knowledge is steady whose senses have been entirely restrained from sense-objects.


*The Universe, a mere dream to the sage



What is night to all beings, therein the self-controlled one is awake. Where all beings are awake, that is the night of the sage who sees.


*Subjugation of desire and personal self



He attains peace, into whom all desires enter as waters enter the ocean, which, filled from all sides, remains unaltered: but not he who desires objects.


Because it is so, therefore, 


That man attains peace, who, abandoning all desires, moves about without attachment, without selfishness, without vanity.


*Knowledge leads to Divine Felicity


This devotion to knowledge is extolled as follows:


This is the Brahmic state. O son of Pritha. Attaining to this, none is deluded. Remaining in this state even at the last period of life, one attains to the felicity of Brahman-(Brahma-Nirvana).




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