Chapter 2

Sankhya Yoga

The second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is "Sankhya Yoga". This is the most important chapter of the Bhagavad Gita as Lord Krishna condenses the teachings of the entire Gita in this chapter. This chapter is the essence of the entire Gita. "Sankhya Yoga" can be categorized into 4 main topics - 1. Arjuna completely surrenders himself to Lord Krishna and accepts his position as a disciple and Krishna as his Guru. He requests Krishna to guide him on how to dismiss his sorrow. 2. Explanation of the main cause of all grief, which is ignorance of the true nature of Self. 3. Karma Yoga - the discipline of selfless action without being attached to its fruits. 4. Description of a Perfect Man - One whose mind is steady and one-pointed.

Verse 1
Sanjaya said: To him, who was thus overcome with pity, despondent, with eyes full of tears and agitated, Madhusudana (the destroyer of Madhu) or Krishna spoke these words.
Verse 2
The Blessed Lord said, "From whence has this perilous strait come upon you, this dejection which is unworthy of you, disgraceful, and which will close the gates of heaven upon you, O Arjuna?"
Verse 3
Do not yield to impotence, O Arjuna, son of Pritha. It does not befit you. Cast off this mean weakness of the heart! Stand up, O conqueror of foes!
Verse 4
Arjuna said, "O Madhusudana, how can I fight in battle with arrows against Bhishma and Drona, who are worthy of being worshipped, O destroyer of enemies?"
Verse 5
Better it is, indeed, in this world to accept alms than to slay the most noble teachers. But if I were to kill them, even in this world, all my enjoyments of wealth and fulfilled desires would be stained with their blood.
Verse 6
I can hardly tell which would be better, that we should conquer them or that they should conquer us. Even the sons of Dhritarashtra, whom we do not wish to slay, stand facing us.
Verse 7
My heart is overpowered by the taint of pity; my mind is confused as to my duty. I ask Thee: Tell me decisively what is good for me. I am Thy disciple; instruct me, who has taken refuge in Thee.
Verse 8
I do not see that this sorrow that burns up my senses would be removed, even if I were to attain prosperous and unrivaled dominion on earth or lordship over the gods.
Verse 9
Sanjaya said: Having spoken thus to Hrishikesha, the Lord of the senses, Arjuna, the conqueror of sleep and destroyer of foes, said, "I will not fight," and became silent.
Verse 10
To him who was despondent in the midst of the two armies, Krishna, smiling, O Bharata, spoke these words.
Verse 11
The Blessed Lord said, "You have grieved for those who should not be grieved for; yet, you speak words of wisdom. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead."
Verse 12
Nor, at any time, was I not, nor thou, nor these rulers of men; nor, verily, shall we ever cease to be hereafter.
Verse 13
Just as the embodied soul passes through childhood, youth, and old age in this body, so too does it pass into another body; the steadfast one does not grieve over this.
Verse 14
The contact of the senses with the objects, O son of Kunti, which causes heat and cold, pleasure and pain, has a beginning and an end; they are impermanent; endure them bravely, O Arjuna.
Verse 15
That firm man, whom surely these afflictions do not, O chief among men, to whom pleasure and pain are the same, is fit for attaining immortality.
Verse 16
The unreal has no being; there is no non-being of the real; the truth about both has been seen by the knowers of the truth (or the seers of the essence).
Verse 17
Know that to be indestructible, by which all this is pervaded. No one can cause the destruction of that, the Imperishable.
Verse 18
These bodies of the embodied Self, which are eternal, indestructible, and immeasurable, are said to have an end. Therefore, fight, O Arjuna.
Verse 19
He who takes the Self to be the slayer and he who thinks it is slain, neither of them knows. It does not slay, nor is it slain.
Verse 20
It is not born, nor does it ever die; after having been, it again does not cease to be; unborn, eternal, changeless, and ancient, it is not killed when the body is killed.
Verse 21
Whoever knows it to be indestructible, eternal, unborn, and inexhaustible, how can that person slay, O Arjuna, or cause to be slain?
Verse 22
Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so too the embodied Self casts off worn-out bodies and enters others that are new.
Verse 23
Weapons cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot wet it, wind cannot dry it.
Verse 24
This Self cannot be cut, burned, wetted, nor dried up; it is eternal, all-pervasive, stable, immovable, and ancient.
Verse 25
This Self is said to be unmanifested, unthinkable, and unchangeable. Therefore, knowing this to be so, you should not grieve.
Verse 26
But even if thou thinkest of It as constantly being born and constantly dying, even then, O mighty-armed one, thou shouldst not grieve.
Verse 27
For the born, death is certain, and for the dead, birth is certain; therefore, you should not grieve over the inevitable.
Verse 28
Beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their middle state, O Arjuna, and unmanifest again in their end. What is there to grieve about?
Verse 29
One sees this (the Self) as a wonder; another speaks of it as a wonder; another hears of it as a wonder; yet, having heard, none understands it at all.
Verse 30
This indweller in the body of everyone is ever indestructible, O Arjuna; therefore, you should not grieve for any creature.
Verse 31
Further, having regard to your duty, you should not waver, for there is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a righteous war.
Verse 32
Happy are the Kshatriyas, O Arjuna! who are called to fight in such a battle that comes of its own accord as an open door to heaven.
Verse 33
But if you will not fight this righteous war, then having abandoned your own duty and reputation, you will incur sin.
Verse 34
People will also recount your everlasting dishonor; and for one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death.
Verse 35
The great chariot-warriors will think that you have withdrawn from the battle out of fear, and you will be held in low esteem by those who have held you in high regard.
Verse 36
Your enemies, scoffing at your power, will speak many abusive words—what could be more painful than this?
Verse 37
Slain, you will obtain heaven; victorious, you will enjoy the earth; therefore, stand up, O son of Kunti, resolved to fight.
Verse 38
Having made pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat equal, engage in battle for the sake of battle; thus, you shall not incur sin.
Verse 39
This, which has been taught to you, is wisdom concerning Sankhya. Now listen to wisdom concerning Yoga, endowed with which, O Arjuna, you shall cast off the bonds of action.
Verse 40
In this, there is no loss of effort, nor is there any harm produced, nor any transgression. Even a little of this knowledge protects one from great fear.
Verse 41
Here, O joy of the Kurus, there is only one single-pointed determination; many-branched and endless are the thoughts of the indecisive.
Verse 42
The unwise, taking pleasure in the eulogizing words of the Vedas, utter flowery speech, saying, "There is nothing else," O Arjuna.
Verse 43
Full of desires, with heaven as their goal, (they speak words that are directed to ends) leading to new births as the result of their works, and prescribe various methods abounding in specific actions, for the attainment of pleasure and power.
Verse 44
For those who are attached to pleasure and power, whose minds are drawn away by such teachings, their determinate reason is not formed which is steadily bent on meditation and Samadhi (superconscious state).
Verse 45
The Vedas deal with the three attributes; be thou above these three attributes. O Arjuna, free yourself from the pairs of opposites and ever remain in the quality of Sattva, freed from acquisition and preservation, and be established in the Self.
Verse 46
To the Brahmana who has known the Self, all the Vedas are of as much use as a reservoir of water would be in a place where there is a flood.
Verse 47
Your right is only to work, but not to its results; do not let the results of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction.
Verse 48
Perform action, O Arjuna, being steadfast in Yoga, abandoning attachment and balanced in success and failure; evenness of mind is called Yoga.
Verse 49
Far lower than the Yoga of wisdom is action, O Arjuna. Seek thou refuge in wisdom; wretched are those whose motive is the fruit.
Verse 50
Endowed with wisdom and evenness of mind, one casts off in this life both good and evil deeds; therefore, devote yourself to Yoga; Yoga is skill in action.
Verse 51
The wise, possessing knowledge, having abandoned the fruits of their actions, and being freed from the bonds of birth, go to the place which is beyond all evil.
Verse 52
When your intellect passes beyond the mire of delusion, then you will attain indifference to what has been heard and what has yet to be heard.
Verse 53
When your intellect, which is perplexed by the Vedic texts you have read, stands immovable and steady in the Self, then you will attain Self-realization.
Verse 54
Arjuna said, "O Krishna, what is the description of one who has steady wisdom and is merged in the superconscious state? How does one of steady wisdom speak, how do they sit, and how do they walk?"
Verse 55
The Blessed Lord said, "When a man completely casts off, O Arjuna, all the desires of the mind and is satisfied in the Self by the Self, then he is said to be one of steady wisdom."
Verse 56
He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not long for pleasures, and is free from attachment, fear, and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.
Verse 57
He who is everywhere without attachment, upon encountering anything good or bad, neither rejoices nor hastens; his wisdom is firm.
Verse 58
When, like the tortoise which withdraws all its limbs on all sides, he withdraws his senses from the sense-objects, then his wisdom becomes steady.
Verse 59
The objects of the senses turn away from the abstinent man, leaving the longing behind; but his longing also turns away upon seeing the Supreme.
Verse 60
The turbulent senses, O Arjuna, can violently carry away the mind of a wise person, even though they are striving to control them.
Verse 61
Having restrained them all, he should sit steadfast, intent on Me; his wisdom is steady whose senses are under control.
Verse 62
When one thinks of objects, attachment to them arises; from attachment, desire is born; from desire, anger arises.
Verse 63
Anger leads to delusion, which causes loss of memory; this, in turn, leads to the destruction of discrimination, resulting in destruction.
Verse 64
But the self-controlled man, moving among objects with the senses restrained and free from attraction and repulsion, attains peace.
Verse 65
In that peace, all pains are destroyed; for the intellect of the tranquil-minded soon becomes steady.
Verse 66
There is no knowledge of the Self for the unsteady, and no meditation is possible for the unsteady, and no peace for the unmeditative, and how can there be happiness for one who has no peace?
Verse 67
For the mind, which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination, as the wind carries away a boat on the waters.
Verse 68
Therefore, O mighty-armed Arjuna, his knowledge is steady whose senses are completely restrained from sense objects.
Verse 69
That which is night to all beings, in that the self-controlled man is awake; when all beings are awake, that is night for the sage who sees.
Verse 70
He attains peace into whom all desires enter, just as waters enter the ocean which, filled from all sides, remains unmoved; but not the man who is full of desires.
Verse 71
That person attains peace who, abandoning all desires, moves about without longing, without the sense of ownership, and without egoism.
Verse 72
O son of Pritha, this is the eternal state, the Brahmic seat. Attaining this, one is not deluded. Being established in it, one attains oneness with Brahman even at the end of life.