The Bhagavad Gita : Chapter TWO.[compiled by Kamini Khanna. Mombasa, Kenya. Africa]
The essence of the Bhagavad Gita unfolds in the second chapter. This chapter is called Sankhya Yoga (Yoga of Knowledge). Facing an army of relatives to combat, Arjuna is overwhelmed with sorrow and shows faint – heartedness at the thought of slaying his very own noble elders. After giving Arjuna a patient hearing, Lord Krishna shakes Arjuna out of his apathy. He analyses his problem and chides him, “You talk like the intellectual, but in reality you are confused and sorrowful. You do not recognize yourself as you really are. How has this infatuation overtaken you at this hour? It is shunned by noble souls; neither will it bring heaven, nor fame to you. Yield not to unmanliness. If you will not wage such a righteous war, then you are abandoning your duty.”
After this mental shake up, the Lord begins the teachings of the Gita. He councils Arjuna by telling him, that the wise man does not lament over the dead or the living. Just as boyhood, youth and old age are attributed to the soul through this body; even so it attains another body. Thus the wise man does not get deluded about this.
The soul is never born nor dies. It is unborn, eternal, everlasting and primeval; even though the body is slain, the soul is not. As a man discarding worn out clothes takes other new ones, likewise the embodied soul, casting off worn out souls enters into others, which are new. Weapons cannot cut it nor burn it; water cannot drench it nor wind make it dry.
Bhagavan propels Arjuna to perform his duties, while staying indifferent to success or failure; not thinking of the fruit of action – once in the field of activity and relinquishing attachment. He who gives up all desires and moves free from attachment, egoism and thirst for enjoyment, attains peace. Such is the state of a God – Realized soul; having reached this state, he overcomes delusion. And established in this state, even at the last moment, he attains Brahmic Bliss. This chapter is a direct introduction to the Atman (Soul) and eloquently describes the state of a Sthitaprajna. (An Enlightened Person) We must attain this state not after death, but here and now, in this very life.
This state can be achieved by freeing our minds from desires and becoming absorbed in the Atma. To realize this, we have only to recognize ourselves as we are. We don’t have to go anywhere. We don’t have to get or accumulate anything. We don’t have to ‘become’ Brahman. We ‘are’ Brahman. We are Jivan Mukta. We must drop what we are not, to become established in what we are. We have to understand this alone and know that the goal of life is to get established in Brahman.
Chapter 2 is like Bhagavan’s Pada, the Lord’s feet on which He stands. It represents our Goal. It is the culmination of all spiritual practice. Bhagavan’s feet are the path and the goal in a beautiful confluence.
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