Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2 (Part-1) Saankhya Yogah- Yoga Of Knowledge

In  the 1st Chapter we have seen that Arjuna asked Krishna to place the  chariot in the midst of the two armies. Krishna having placed the chariot  between the two armies particularly in front of Bhishma and Drona, asked Arjuna  to behold the Kurus. Having seen the kinsmen, Arjuna was filled with compassion  and sadness and threw away his arms and sank into the seat of the chariot. His  personality was destroyed by his overwhelming emotions erupting at the sight of  his near and dear ones on the battlefront.

The 2nd Chapter begins with Sanjaya telling  Dhritarashtra about the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna when the latter  continues to remain under the spell of melancholy and dejection. Arjuna, with a  false sense of renunciation, argues that he would rather live on alms than slay  the noble elders like Bhishma and Drona and that even an undisputed sovereignty  over all the worlds would not drive away his grief. Arguing thus, he expressed  his unwillingness to fight and became silent completely burnt out.

This is one of the longest Chapters in the Gita.

The  Text


sanjaya  uvaacha
tam  tathaa kripayaavishtam ashrupoornaakulekshanam
visheedantam  idam vaakyam uvaacha madhusoodanah  // 2.1  //

Sanjaya  said
To  him who was thus overwhelmed with pity and sorrow and whose eyes were dimmed  with tears, Madhusudana (Krishna) spoke these words.

The  second chapter starts with a brief reference to the sad mental condition of  Arjuna. His pity was not compassion but a form of self-indulgence. It is the  shrinking of the nerves from an act which compels him to hurt his own people.  Arjuna recoils from this task in a mood of self-pity. His teacher, Sri Krishna,  therefore rebukes him especially because the fact that he had to fight against  his own people was known to him even before entering the battlefield.

sri  bhagavaan uvaacha
kutastwaa  kashmalam idam vishame samupasthitam
anaaryajushtam  aswargyam akeertikaram arjuna // 2.2 //

Sri  Bhagavan said
O  Arjuna, at this moment of crisis, wherefrom have you got this weakness, un-Aryan  like, disgraceful and which is not conducive to the attainment of heaven?

The  Lord is called Bhagavan because He possesses six ‘bhagas’ or divine  traits viz. wealth, virtue, glory, greatness, knowledge and dispassion.  Krishna, who was silent all along, started speaking.

During  His very first utterance in these verses the core of the message of Gita was  delivered with a tremendous force. Sri Krishna addresses him as Arjuna which  means pure in heart, implying that despite this quality he became faint-hearted  instead of showing valor and zeal. It is quite unbecoming of him. Krishna was  surprised about this change in Arjuna.

The  term `Arya' refers to a highly evolved and cultured man who scrupulously  adheres to Dharma.  Arjuna, in whom  manliness was in full all along, suddenly sunk into un-manliness at the moment  of a crisis.  The Lord rouses him from  this set-back.  Sri Krishna classified  Arjuna`s mind as confused. Consequently all the utterances of such confused  Arjuna would be meaningless and devoid of discrimination. Hence he is termed  un-Aryan.

Kirti  or fame attends on the one given to laudable life on earth.  But Arjuna's way was entirely to the  contrary. For him who was wavering in facing a decisive moment there would be  nothing but disgrace, neither this world nor the next for such confused and  dejected minds.

The  message of Krishna is that the goal of life or success cannot be attained by  the weak.  To be firm in body, mind and  character is born of strength.  This  world and the next are for the strong.  Strength  brings forth right conduct and straightforwardness leading to enjoyment of this  world and reaching Godhood.  All divine  traits have their source in strength.   Strength is life; weakness is death.

The  three words used by the Lord are ‘anaryajushtam’, ‘asvargyam’ and ‘akirtikaram’.  They mean respectively three types of persons. 1. Thoughtful whose aim is to  Bliss. 2. Virtuous whose aim is to achieve heaven by performing honest actions  and 3. Ordinary who want name and fame in this world. Arjuna is indicted that  he belongs to none of these because of his affliction.

klaibyam  maa sma gamah paartha naitattwayyupapadyate
kshudram  hridaya daurbalyam tyaktwottishtha parantapa   //2.3//

O  Partha (Son of Pritha, Kunti), yield not to unmanliness.  It does not befit you.  Cast off this petty faint-heartedness and  arise, O Paranthapa (scorcherer of foes - Arjuna).

The  man, who fails to face a critical situation, speaking and acting irrelevantly,  is denounced as unmanly.  But Arjuna was  not really made of that stuff.  He was a  vanquisher of his foes.  The Lord seems  to have deliberately used the strongest language to make him get out of his  stupor and to goad him to perform his primary duty to wage war for which he  came fully prepared.

The  use of the words ‘Partha’ and ‘Kaunteya’ with reference to Arjuna is with a  purpose. These words mean the son of Pritha, Kunti who is Krishna’s father’s  sister. Krishna thus attempts to show his nearness to him and thereby convey  something special to him for his welfare.

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