This is the second half of Chapter Two “Contents of the Gita Sumarized”
Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Macmillan Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 2, Text & Purports 37-72
hato vā prāpsyasi svargaṁ
jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm
tasmād uttiṣṭha kaunteya
hataḥ—being killed; vā—either; prāpsyasi—you gain; svargam—the heavenly kingdom; jitvā—by conquering; vā—or; bhokṣyase—you enjoy; mahīm—the world; tasmāt—therefore; uttiṣṭha—get up; kaunteya—O son of Kuntī; yuddhāya—to fight; kṛta—determination; niścayaḥ—uncertainty.
O son of Kuntī, either you will be killed on the battlefield and attain the heavenly planets, or you will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom. Therefore get up and fight with determination.
Even though there was no certainty of victory for Arjuna’s side, he still had to fight; for, even being killed there, he could be elevated into the heavenly planets.
sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā
tato yuddhāya yujyasva
naivaṁ pāpam avāpsyasi
sukha—happiness; duḥkhe—in distress; same—in equanimity; kṛtvā—doing so; lābhālābhau—both in loss and profit; jayājayau—both in defeat and victory; tataḥ—thereafter; yuddhāya—for the sake of fighting; yujyasva—do fight; na—never; evam—in this way; pāpam—sinful reaction; avāpsyasi—you will gain.
Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat-and, by so doing, you shall never incur sin.
Lord Kṛṣṇa now directly says that Arjuna should fight for the sake of fighting because He desires the battle. There is no consideration of happiness or distress, profit or gain, victory or defeat in the activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That everything should be performed for the sake of Kṛṣṇa is transcendental consciousness; so there is no reaction to material activities. He who acts for his own sense gratification, either in goodness or in passion, is subject to the reaction, good or bad. But he who has completely surrendered himself in the activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is no longer obliged to anyone, nor is he a debtor to anyone, as one is in the ordinary course of activities. It is said:
na kiṅkaro nāyamṛṇī ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
“Anyone who has completely surrendered unto Kṛṣṇa, Mukunda, giving up all other duties, is no longer a debtor, nor is he obliged to anyone-not the demigods, nor the sages, nor the people in general, nor kinsmen, nor humanity, nor forefathers.” That is the indirect hint given by Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna in this verse, and the matter will be more clearly explained in the following verses.
eṣā te ‘bhihitā sāṅkhye
buddhir yoge tv imāṁ śṛṇu
buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha
eṣā—all these; te—unto you; abhihitā—described; śāṅkhye—by analytical study; buddhiḥ—intelligence; yoge—work without fruitive result; tu—but; imām-this; śṛṇu—just hear; buddhyā—by intelligence; yuktaḥ—dovetailed; yayā—by which; pārtha—O son of Pṛthā; karma-bandham—bondage of reaction; prahāsyasi—you can be released from.
Thus far I have declared to you the analytical knowledge of sāṅkhya philosophy. Now listen to the knowledge of yoga whereby one works without fruitive result. O son of Pṛthā, when you act by such intelligence, you can free yourself from the bondage of works.
According to the Nirukti, or the Vedic dictionary, saṅkhya means that which describes phenomena in detail, and saṅkhya refers to that philosophy which describes the real nature of the soul. And yoga involves controlling the senses. Arjuna’s proposal not to fight was based on sense gratification. Forgetting his prime duty, he wanted to cease fighting because he thought that by not killing his relatives and kinsmen he would be happier than by enjoying the kingdom by conquering his cousins and brothers, the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. In both ways, the basic principles were for sense gratification. Happiness derived from conquering them and happiness derived by seeing kinsmen alive are both on the basis of persona1 sense gratification, for there is a sacrifice of wisdom and duty. Kṛṣṇa, therefore, wanted to explain to Arjuna that by killing the body of his grandfather he would not be killing the soul proper, and He explained that all individual persons, including the Lord Himself, are eternal individuals; they were individuals in the past, they are individuals in the present, and they will continue to remain individuals in the future, because all of us are individual souls eternally, and we simply change our bodily dress in different manners. But, actually, we keep our individuality even after liberation from the bondage of material dress. An analytical study of the soul and the body has been very graphically explained by Lord Kṛṣṇa. And this descriptive knowledge of the soul and the body from different angles of vision has been described here as sāṅkhya, in terms of the Nirukti dictionary. This sāṅkhya has nothing to do with the sāṅkhya philosophy of the atheist Kapila. Long before the imposter Kapila’s sāṅkhya, the sāṅkhya philosophy was expounded in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by the true Lord Kapila, the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who explained it to His mother, Devahūti. It is clearly explained by Him that the Puruṣa, or the Supreme Lord, is active and that He creates by looking over the prakṛti. This is accepted in the Vedas and in the Gītā. The description in the Vedas indicates that the Lord glanced over the prakṛti, or nature, and impregnated it with atomic individuals souls. All these individuals are working in the material world for sense gratification, and under the spell of material energy they are thinking of being enjoyers. This mentality is dragged to the last point of liberation when the living entity wants to become one with the Lord. This is the last snare of māyā or sense gratificatory illusion, and it is only after many, many births of such sense gratificatory activities that a great soul surrenders unto Vāsudeva, Lord Kṛṣṇa, thereby fulfilling the search after the ultimate truth.
Arjuna has already accepted Kṛṣṇa as his spiritual master by surrendering himself unto Him: śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam. Consequently, Kṛṣṇa will now tell him about the working process in buddhi-yoga, or karma-yoga, or in other words, the practice of devotional service only for the sense gratification of the Lord. This buddhi-yoga is clearly explained in Chapter Ten, verse ten, as being direct communion with the Lord, who is sitting as Paramātmā in everyone’s heart. But such communion does not take place without devotional service. One who is therefore situated in devotional or transcendental loving service to the Lord, or, in other words, in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, attains to this stage of buddhi-yoga by the special grace of the Lord. The Lord says, therefore, that only to those who are always engaged in devotional service out of transcendental love does He award the pure knowledge of devotion in love. In that way the devotee can reach Him easily in the ever-blissful kingdom of God.
Thus the buddhi-yoga mentioned in this verse is the devotional service of the Lord, and the word sāṅkhya mentioned herein has nothing to do with the atheistic sāṅkhya-yoga enunciated by the impostor Kapila. One should not, therefore, misunderstand that the sāṅkhya-yoga mentioned herein has any connection with the atheistic sāṅkhya. Nor did that philosophy have any influence during that time; nor would Lord Kṛṣṇa care to mention such godless philosophical speculations. Real sāṅkhya philosophy is described by Lord Kapila in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but even that sāṅkhya has nothing to do with the current topics. Here, sāṅkhya means analytical description of the body and the soul. Lord Kṛṣṇa made an analytical description of the soul just to bring Arjuna to the point of buddhi-yoga, or bhakti-yoga. Therefore, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s sāṅkhya and Lord Kapila’s sāṅkhya, as described in the Bhāgavatam; are one and the same. They are all bhakti-yoga. He said, therefore, that only the less intelligent class of men make a distinction between sāṅkhya-yoga and bhakti-yoga.
Of course, atheistic sāṅkhya-yoga has nothing to do with bhakti-yoga, yet the unintelligent claim that the atheistic sāṅkhya-yoga is referred to in the Bhagavad-gītā.
One should therefore understand that buddhi-yoga means to work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in the full bliss and knowledge of devotional service. One who works for the satisfaction of the Lord only, however difficult such work may be, is working under the principles of buddhi-yoga and finds himself always in transcendental bliss. By such transcendental engagement, one achieves all transcendental qualities automatically, by the grace of the Lord, and thus his liberation is complete in itself, without his making extraneous endeavors to acquire knowledge. There is much difference between work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and work for fruitive results, especially in the matter of sense gratification for achieving results in terms of family or material happiness. Buddhi-yoga is therefore the transcendental quality of the work that we perform.
pratyavāyo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt
na—there is not; iha—in this world; abhikrama—endeavoring; nāśaḥ—loss; asti—there is; pratyavāyaḥ—diminution; na—never; vidyate—there is; svalpam—little; api—although; asya—of this; dharmasya—of this occupation; trāyate—releases; mahataḥ—of very great; bhayāt—from danger.
In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.
Activity in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Kṛṣṇa without expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material plane has to be completed, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Kṛṣṇa consciousness has a permanent effect, even though not finished. The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Kṛṣṇa consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent; whereas, in material activity, without a hundred percent success, there is no profit. Ajāmila performed his duty in some percentage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but the result he enjoyed at the end was a hundred percent, by the grace of the Lord. There is a nice verse in this connection in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ harer
bhajan na pakko ‘tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vābhadram abhūd amuṣya kiṁ
ko vārtha āpto ‘bhajatāṁ sva-dharmataḥ
“If someone gives up self-gratificatory pursuits and works in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and then falls down on account of not completing his work, what loss is there on his part? And, what can one gain if one performs his material activities perfectly?” (Bhāg. 1.5.17) Or, as the Christians say, “What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world yet suffers the loss of his eternal soul?”
Material activities and their results end with the body. But work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness carries the person again to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even after the loss of the body. At least one is sure to have a chance in the next life of being born again as a human being, either in the family of a great cultured brāhmaṇa or in a rich aristocratic family that will give one a further chance for elevation. That is the unique quality of work done in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
bahu-śākhā hy anantāś ca
vyavasāyātmikā—resolute Kṛṣṇa consciousness; buddhiḥ—intelligence; ekā—only one; iha—in this world; kuru-nandana—O beloved child of the Kurus; bahu-śākhāḥ—various branches; hi—indeed; anantāḥ—unlimited; ca—also; buddhayaḥ—intelligence; avyavasāyinām—of those who are not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.
A strong faith in Kṛṣṇa consciousness that one should be elevated to the highest perfection of life is called vyavasāyātmikā intelligence. The Caitanya-caritāmṛta states:
‘śraddhā’-śabde viśvāsa kahe sudṛḍha niścaya
kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya
Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime. When one is engaged in the duties of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he need not act in relationship to the material world with obligations to family traditions, humanity, or nationality. Fruitive activities are the engagements of one’s reactions from past good or bad deeds. When one is awake in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he need no longer endeavor for good results in his activities. When one is situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all activities are on the absolute plane, for they are no longer subject to dualities like good and bad. The highest perfection of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is renunciation of the material conception of life. This state is automatically achieved by progressive Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The resolute purpose of a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is based on knowledge (“Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ”) by which one comes to know perfectly that Vāsudeva, or Kṛṣṇa, is the root of all manifested causes. As water on the root of a tree is automatically distributed to the leaves and branches, in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one can render the highest service to everyone-namely self, family, society, country, humanity, etc. If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied by one’s actions, then everyone will be satisfied.
Service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is, however, best practiced under the able guidance of a spiritual master who is a bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa, who knows the nature of the student and who can guide him to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As such, to be well-versed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness one has to act firmly and obey the representative of Kṛṣṇa, and one should accept the instruction of the bona fide spiritual master as one’s mission in life. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākur instructs us, in his famous prayers for the spiritual master, as follows:
yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo
yasyāprasādānna gatiḥ kuto ‘pi
dhyāyaṁ stuvaṁs tasya yaśas tri-sandhyaṁ
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam.
“By satisfaction of the spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes satisfied. And by not satisfying the spiritual master, there is no chance of being promoted to the plane of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I should, therefore, meditate and pray for his mercy three times a day, and offer my respectful obeisances unto him, my spiritual master.”
The whole process, however, depends on perfect knowledge of the soul beyond the conception of the body-not theoretically but practically, when there is no longer chance for sense gratification manifested in fruitive activities. One who is not firmly fixed in mind is diverted by various types of fruitive acts.
yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ
nānyad astīti vādinaḥ
yām imām—all these; puṣpitām—flowery; vācam—words; pravadanti—say; avipaścitaḥ—men with a poor fund of knowledge; veda-vāda-ratāḥ—supposed followers of the Vedas; pārtha—O son of Pṛthā; na—never; anyat—anything else; asti—there is; iti—this; vādinaḥ—advocates; kāma-ātmānaḥ—desirous of sense gratification; svarga-parāḥ—aiming to achieve heavenly planets; janma-karma-phala-pradām—resulting in fruitive action, good birth, etc.; kriyā-viśeṣa—pompous ceremonies; bahulām—various; bhoga—sense enjoyment; aiśvarya—opulence; gatim—progress; prati—towards.
Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.
People in general are not very intelligent, and due to their ignorance they are most attached to the fruitive activities recommended in the karma-kāṇḍa portions of the Vedas. They do not want anything more than sense gratificatory proposals for enjoying life in heaven, where wine and women are available and material opulence is very common. In the Vedas many sacrifices are recommended for elevation to the heavenly planets, especially the jyotiṣṭoma sacrifices. In fact, it is stated that anyone desiring elevation to heavenly planets must perform these sacrifices, and men with a poor fund of knowledge think that this is the whole purpose of Vedic wisdom. It is very difficult for such inexperienced persons to be situated in the determined action of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As fools are attached to the flowers of poisonous trees without knowing the results of such attractions, similarly unenlightened men are attracted by such heavenly opulence and the sense enjoyment thereof.
In the karma-kāṇḍa section of the Vedas it is said that those who perform the four monthly penances become eligible to drink the somarasa beverages to become immortal and happy forever. Even on this earth some are very eager to have somarasa to become strong and fit to enjoy sense gratifications. Such persons have no faith in liberation from material bondage, and they are very much attached to the pompous ceremonies of Vedic sacrifices. They are generally sensual, and they do not want anything other than the heavenly pleasures of life. It is understood that there are gardens called nandana-kānana in which there is good opportunity for association with angelic, beautiful women and having a profuse supply of somarasa wine. Such bodily happiness is certainly sensual; therefore there are those who are purely attached to material, temporary happiness, as lords of the material world.
samādhau na vidhīyate
bhoga—material enjoyment; aiśvarya—opulence; prasaktānām—those who are so attached; tayā—by such things; apahṛta-cetasām—bewildered in mind; vyavasāyātmikā—fixed determination; buddhiḥ—devotional service of the Lord; samādhau—in the controlled mind; na—never; vidhīyate—does take place.
In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination of devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take place.
Samādhi means “fixed mind.” The Vedic dictionary, the Nirukti, says, samyag ādhīyate ‘sminn ātmatattva-yāthātmyam: “When the mind is fixed for understanding the self, it is called samādhi. “Samādhi is never possible for persons interested in material sense enjoyment, nor for those who are bewildered by such temporary things. They are more or less condemned by the process of material energy.
traiguṇya—pertaining to the three modes of material nature; viṣayāḥ—on the subject matter; vedāḥ—Vedic literatures; nistraiguṇyaḥ—in a pure state of spiritual existence; bhava—be; arjuna-O Arjuna; nirdvandvaḥ—free from the pains of opposites; nitya-sattva-sthaḥ—ever remaining in sattva (goodness); niryoga-kṣemaḥ—free from (the thought of) acquisition and preservation; ātmavān—established in the Self.
The Vedas mainly deal with the subject of the three modes of material nature. Rise above these modes, O Arjuna. Be transcendental to all of them. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the Self.
All material activities involve actions and reactions in the three modes of material nature. They are meant for fruitive results, which cause bondage in the material world. The Vedas deal mostly with fruitive activities to gradually elevate the general public from the field of sense gratification to a position on the transcendental plane. Arjuna, as a student and friend of Lord Kṛṣṇa, is advised to raise himself to the transcendental position of Vedānta philosophy where, in the beginning, there is brahma-jijñāsā, or questions on the Supreme Transcendence. All the living entities who are in the material world are struggling very hard for existence. For them the Lord, after creation of the material world, gave the Vedic wisdom advising how to live and get rid of the material entanglement. When the activities for sense gratification, namely the karma-kāṇḍa chapter, are finished, then the chance for spiritual realization is offered in the form of the Upaniṣads, which are part of different Vedas, as the Bhagavad-gītā is a part of the fifth Veda, namely the Mahābhārata. The Upaniṣads mark the beginning of transcendental life.
As long as the material body exists, there are actions and reactions in the material modes. One has to learn tolerance in the face of dualities such as happiness and distress, or cold and warmth, and by tolerating such dualities become free from anxieties regarding gain and loss. This transcendental position is achieved in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness when one is fully dependant on the good will of Kṛṣṇa
yāvān artha udapāne
tāvān sarveṣu vedeṣu
yāvān—all that; arthaḥ—is meant; udapāne—in a well of water; sarvataḥ—in all respects; sampluta-udake—in a great reservoir of water; tāvān—similarly; sarveṣu—in all; vedeṣu—Vedic literatures; brāhmaṇasya—of the man who knows the Supreme Brahman; vijānataḥ—of one who is in complete knowledge.
All purposes that are served by the small pond can at once be served by the great reservoirs of water. Similarly, all the purposes of the Vedas can be served to one who knows the purpose behind them.
The rituals and sacrifices mentioned in the karma-kāṇḍa division of the Vedic literature are to encourage gradual development of self-realization. And the purpose of self-realization is clearly stated in the Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15): the purpose of studying the Vedas is to know Lord Kṛṣṇa, the primeval cause of everything. So, self-realization means understanding Kṛṣṇa and one’s eternal relationship with Him. The relationship of the living entities with Kṛṣṇa is also mentioned in the Fifteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā. The living entities are parts and parcels of Kṛṣṇa; therefore, revival of Kṛṣṇa consciousness by the individual living entity is the highest perfectional stage of Vedic knowledge. This is confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.33.7) as follows:
aho bata śvapaco’to garīyān
yaj-jihvāgre vartate nāma tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuḥ sasnur āryā
brahmānūcur nāma gṛṇanti ye te.
“O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a cāṇḍāla [dog eater], is situated on the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic rituals and studied the Vedic literatures many, many times after taking his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Āryan family.” So one must be intelligent enough to understand the purpose of the Vedas, without being attached to the rituals only, and must not desire to be elevated to the heavenly kingdoms for a better quality of sense gratification. It is not possible for the common man in this age to follow all the rules and regulations of the Vedic rituals and the injunctions of the Vedāntas and the Upaniṣads. It requires much time, energy, knowledge and resources to execute the purposes of the Vedas. This is hardly possible in this age. The best purpose of Vedic culture is served, however, by chanting the holy name of the Lord, as recommended by Lord Caitanya, the deliverer of all fallen souls. When Lord Caitanya was asked by a great Vedic scholar, Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, why He, the Lord, was chanting the holy name of the Lord like a sentimentalist instead of studying Vedānta philosophy, the Lord replied that His spiritual master found Him to be a great fool, and thus he asked Him to chant the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He did so, and became ecstatic like a madman. In this age of Kali, most of the population is foolish and not adequately educated to understand Vedānta philosophy; the best purpose of Vedānta philosophy is served by inoffensively chanting the holy name of the Lord. Vedānta is the last word in Vedic wisdom, and the author and knower of the Vedānta philosophy is Lord Kṛṣṇa; and the highest Vedantist is the great soul who takes pleasure in chanting the holy name of the Lord. That is the ultimate purpose of all Vedic mysticism.
karmaṇy evādhikāras te
mā phaleṣu kadācana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
mā te saṅgo ‘stv akarmaṇi
karmaṇi—prescribed duties; eva—certainly; adhikāraḥ—right; te-of you; mā—never; phaleṣu—in the fruits; kadācana—at any time; mā—never; karma-phala—in the result of the work; hetuḥ—cause; bhūḥ—become; mā—never; te—of you; saṅgaḥ—attachment; astu—be there; akarmaṇi—in not doing.
You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.
There are three considerations here: prescribed duties, capricious work, and inaction. Prescribed duties refer to activities performed while one is in the modes of material nature. Capricious work means actions without the sanction of authority, and inaction means not performing one’s prescribed duties. The Lord advised that Arjuna not be inactive, but that he perform his prescribed duty without being attached to the result. One who is attached to the result of his work is also the cause of the action. Thus he is the enjoyer or sufferer of the result of such actions.
As far as prescribed duties are concerned, they can be fitted into three subdivisions, namely routine work, emergency work and desired activities. Routine work, in terms of the scriptural injunctions, is done without desire for results. As one has to do it, obligatory work is action in the mode of goodness. Work with results becomes the cause of bondage; therefore such work is not auspicious. Everyone has his proprietory right in regard to prescribed duties, but should act without attachment to the result; such disinterested obligatory duties doubtlessly lead one to the path of liberation.
Arjuna was therefore advised by the Lord to fight as a matter of duty without attachment to the result. His nonparticipation in the battle is another side of attachment. Such attachment never leads one to the path of salvation. Any attachment, positive or negative, is cause for bondage. Inaction is sinful. Therefore, fighting as a matter of duty was the only auspicious path of salvation for Arjuna.
yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi
saṅgaṁ tyaktvā dhanañjaya
siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā
samatvaṁ yoga ucyate
yoga-sthaḥ—steadfast in yoga; kuru—perform; karmāṇi—your duty; saṅgam—attachment; tyaktvā—having abandoned; dhanañjaya—O Dhanañjaya; siddhi-asiddhyoḥ—in success and failure; samaḥ—the same; bhūtvā—having become; samatvam—evenness of mind; yogaḥ-yoga; ucyate—is called.
Be steadfast in yoga, O Arjuna. Perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such evenness of mind is called yoga.
Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna that he should act in yoga. And what is that yoga? Yoga means to concentrate the mind upon the Supreme by controlling the ever-disturbing senses. And who is the Supreme? The Supreme is the Lord. And because He Himself is telling Arjuna to fight, Arjuna has nothing to do with the results of the fight. Gain or victory are Kṛṣṇa’s concern; Arjuna is simply advised to act according to the dictation of Kṛṣṇa. The following of Kṛṣṇa’s dictation is real yoga, and this is practiced in the process called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By Kṛṣṇa consciousness only can one give up the sense of proprietorship. One has to become the servant of Kṛṣṇa, or the servant of the servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is the right way to discharge duty in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which alone can help one to act in yoga.
Arjuna is a kṣatriya, and as such he is participating in the varṇāśrama-dharma institution. It is said in the Viṣṇu Puraṇa that in the varṇāśrama-dharma, the whole aim is to satisfy Viṣṇu. No one should satisfy himself, as is the rule in the material world, but one should satisfy Kṛṣṇa. So, unless one satisfies Kṛṣṇa, one cannot correctly observe the principles of varṇāśrama-dharma. Indirectly, Arjuna was advised to act as Kṛṣṇa told him.
dūreṇa hy avaraṁ karma
buddhau śaraṇam anviccha
dūreṇa—by discarding it at a long distance; hi—certainly; avaram—abominable; karma—activities; buddhi-yogāt—on the strength of Kṛṣṇa consciousness; dhanañjaya—O conqueror of wealth; buddhau—in such consciousness; śaraṇam—full surrender; anviccha—desire; kṛpaṇāḥ—the misers; phala-hetavaḥ—those desiring fruitive action.
O Dhanañjaya, rid yourself of all fruitive activities by devotional service, and surrender fully to that consciousness. Those who want to enjoy the fruits of their work are misers.
One who has actually come to understand one’s constitutional position as the eternal servitor of the Lord gives up all engagements save working in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As already explained, buddhi-yoga means transcendental loving service to the Lord. Such devotional service is the right course of action for the living entity. Only misers desire to enjoy the fruit of their own work just to be further entangled in material bondage. Except for work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all activities are abominable because they continually bind the worker to the cycle of birth and death. One should therefore never desire to be the cause of work. Everything should be done in Kṛṣṇa consciousness for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. Misers do not know how to utilize the assets of riches which they acquire by good fortune or by hard labor. One should spend all energies working in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that will make one’s life successful. Like the misers, unfortunate persons do not employ their human energy in the service of the Lord.
tasmād yogāya yujyasva
yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam
buddhi-yuktaḥ—one who is engaged in devotional service; jahāti—can get rid of; iha—in this life; ubhe—in both; sukṛta-duṣkṛte—in good and bad results; tasmāt—therefore; yogāya—for the sake of devotional service; yujyasva—be so engaged; yogaḥ—Kṛṣṇa consciousness; karmasu—in all activities; kauśalam—art.
A man engaged in devotional service rids himself of both good and bad actions even in this life. Therefore strive for yoga, O Arjuna, which is the art of all work.
Since time immemorial each living entity has accumulated the various reactions of his good and bad work, As such, he is continuously ignorant of his real constitutional position. One’s ignorance can be removed by the instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā which teaches one to surrender unto Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in all respects and become liberated from the chained victimization of action and reaction, birth after birth. Arjuna is therefore advised to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the purifying process of resultant action.
karma-jaṁ buddhi-yuktā hi
phalaṁ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ
padaṁ gacchanty anāmayam
karma-jam—because of fruitive activities; buddhi-yuktāḥ—being done in devotional service; hi—certainly; phalam—results; tyaktvā—giving up; manīṣiṇaḥ—devotees who are great sages; janma-bandha—the bondage of birth and death; vinirmuktāḥ—liberated souls; padam—position; gacchanti—reach; anāmayam—without miseries.
The wise, engaged in devotional service, take refuge in the Lord, and free themselves from the cycle of birth and death by renouncing the fruits of action in the material world. In this way they can attain that state beyond all miseries.
The liberated living entities seek that place where there are no material miseries. The Bhāgavatam says:
samāśritā ye padapallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhāvambudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
paraṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām
“For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Mukunda or the giver of mukti, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoofprint. Param padam, or the place where there are no material miseries, or Vaikuṇṭha, is his goal, not the place where there is danger in every step of life.”
Owing to ignorance, one does not know that this material world is a miserable place where there are dangers at every step. Out of ignorance only, less intelligent persons try to adjust to the situation by fruitive activities, thinking that resultant actions will make them happy. They do not know that no kind of material body anywhere within the universe can give life without miseries. The miseries of life, namely birth, death, old age and diseases, are present everywhere within the material world. But one who understands his real constitutional position as the eternal servitor of the Lord, and thus knows the position of the Personality of Godhead, engages himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Consequently he becomes qualified to enter into the Vaikuṇṭha planets, where there is neither material, miserable life, nor the influence of time and death. To know one’s constitutional position means to know also the sublime position of the Lord. One who wrongly thinks that the living entity’s position and the Lord’s position are on the same level is to be understood to be in darkness and therefore unable to engage himself in the devotional service of the Lord. He becomes a lord himself and thus paves the way for the repetition of birth and death. But one who, understanding that his position is to serve, transfers himself to the service of the Lord, at once becomes eligible for Vaikuṇṭhaloka. Service for the cause of the Lord is called karma-yoga or buddhi-yoga, or in plain words, devotional service to the Lord.
yadā te moha-kalilaṁ
tadā gantāsi nirvedaṁ
śrotavyasya śrutasya ca
yadā—when; te—your; moha—illusory; kalilam—dense forest; buddhiḥ—transcendental service with intelligence; vyatitariṣyati—surpasses; tadā—at that time; gantāsi—you shall go; nirvedam—callousness; śrotavyasya—all that is to be heard; śrutasya—all that is already heard; ca—also.
When your intelligence has passed out of the dense forest of delusion, you shall become indifferent to all that has been heard and all that is to be heard.
There are many good examples in the lives of the great devotees of the Lord of those who became indifferent to the rituals of the Vedas simply by devotional service to the Lord. When a person factually understands Kṛṣṇa and his relationship with Kṛṣṇa, he naturally becomes completely indifferent to the rituals of fruitive activities, even though an experienced brāhmaṇa. Śrī Mādhavendra Purī, a great devotee and ācārya in the line of the devotees, says:
sandhyā-vandana bhadram astu bhavato bhoḥ snāna tubhyaṁ namo
bho devāḥ pitaraś ca tarpaṇa-vidhau nāhaṁ kṣamaḥ kṣamyatām
yatra kvāpi niṣadya yādava-kulottamasya kaṁsa-dviṣaḥ
smāraṁ smāram aghaṁ harāmi tad alaṁ manye kim anyena me.
“O Lord, in my prayers three times a day, all glory to You. Bathing, I offer my obeisances unto You. O demigods! O forefathers! Please excuse me for my inability to offer you my respects. Now wherever I sit, I can remember the great descendant of the Yadu dynasty [Kṛṣṇa], the enemy of Kaṁsa, and thereby I can free myself from all sinful bondage. I think this is sufficient for me.”
The Vedic rites and rituals are imperative for neophytes: comprehending all kinds of prayer three times a day, taking a bath early in the morning, offering respects to the forefathers, etc. But, when one is fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and is engaged in His transcendental loving service, one becomes indifferent to all these regulative principles because he has already attained perfection. If one can reach the platform of understanding by service to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, he has no longer to execute different types of penances and sacrifices as recommended in revealed scriptures. And, similarly, if one has not understood that the purpose of the Vedas is to reach Kṛṣṇa and simply engages in the rituals, etc., then he is uselessly wasting time in such engagements. Persons in Kṛṣṇa consciousness transcend the limit of śabda-brahma, or the range of the Vedas and Upaniṣads.
yadā sthāsyati niścalā
samādhāv acalā buddhis
tadā yogam avāpsyasi
śruti—Vedic revelation; vipratipannā—without being influenced by the fruitive results of the Vedas; te—your; yadā—when; sthāsyati—remains; niścalā—unmoved; samādhau—in transcendental consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness; acalā—unflinching; buddhiḥ—intelligence; tadā—at that time; yogam—self-realization; avāpsyasi—you will achieve.
When your mind is no longer disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas, and when it remains fixed in the trance of self-realization, then you will have attained the Divine consciousness.
To say that one is in samādhi is to say that one has fully realized Kṛṣṇa consciousness; that is, one in full samādhi has realized Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. The highest perfection of self-realization is to understand that one is eternally the servitor of Kṛṣṇa and that one’s only business is to discharge one’s duties in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person, or unflinching devotee of the Lord, should not be disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas nor be engaged in fruitive activities for promotion to the heavenly kingdom. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one comes directly into communion with Kṛṣṇa, and thus all directions from Kṛṣṇa may be understood in that transcendental state. One is sure to achieve results by such activities and attain conclusive knowledge. One has only to carry out the orders of Kṛṣṇa or His representative, the spiritual master.
sthita-prajñasya kā bhāṣā
sthita-dhīḥ kiṁ prabhāṣeta
kim āsīta vrajeta kim
arjuna uvāca—Arjuna said; sthita-prajñasya—of one who is situated in fixed Kṛṣṇa consciousness; kā—what; bhāṣā—language; samādhi-sthasya—of one situated in trance; keśava—O Kṛṣṇa; sthita-dhīḥ—one fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; kim—what; prabhāṣeta—speak; kim—how; āsīta—does remain; vrajeta—walk; kim—how.
Arjuna said: What are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is thus merged in Transcendence? How does he speak, and what is his language? How does he sit, and how does he walk?
As there are symptoms for each and every man, in terms of his particular situation, similarly one who is Kṛṣṇa conscious has his particular nature-talking, walking, thinking, feeling, etc. As a rich man has his symptoms by which he is known as a rich man, as a diseased man has his symptoms, by which he is known as diseased, or as a learned man has his symptoms, so a man in transcendental consciousness of Kṛṣṇa has specific symptoms in various dealings. One can know his specific symptoms from the Bhagavad-gītā. Most important is how the man in Kṛṣṇa consciousness speaks, for speech is the most important quality of any man. It is said that a fool is undiscovered as long as he does not speak, and certainly a well-dressed fool cannot be identified unless he speaks, but as soon as he speaks, he reveals himself at once. The immediate symptom of a Kṛṣṇa conscious man is that he speaks only of Kṛṣṇa and of matters relating to Him. Other symptoms then automatically follow, as stated below.
prajahāti yadā kāmān
sarvān pārtha mano-gatān
ātmany evātmanā tuṣṭaḥ
śrī bhagavān uvāca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; prajahāti—gives up; yadā—when; kāmān—desires for sense gratification; sarvān—of all varieties; pārtha—O son of Pṛthā; manaḥ-gatān—of mental concoction; ātmani—in the pure state of the soul; eva—certainly; ātmanā—by the purified mind; tuṣṭaḥ—satisfied; sthita-prajñaḥ—transcendentally situated; tadā—at that time; ucyate—is said.
The Blessed Lord said: O Pārtha, when a man gives up all varieties of sense desire which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness.
The Bhāgavatam affirms that any person who is fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or devotional service of the Lord, has all the good qualities of the great sages, whereas a person who is not so transcendentally situated has no good qualifications, because he is sure to be taking refuge in his own mental concoctions. Consequently, it is rightly said herein that one has to give up all kinds of sense desire manufactured by mental concoction. Artificially, such sense desires cannot be stopped. But if one is engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then, automatically, sense desires subside without extraneous efforts. Therefore, one has to engage himself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness without hesitation, for this devotional service will instantly help one on to the platform of transcendental consciousness. The highly developed soul always remains satisfied in himself by realizing himself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord. Such a transcendentally situated person has no sense desires resulting from petty materialism; rather, he remains always happy in his natural position of eternally serving the Supreme Lord.
sthita-dhīr munir ucyate
duḥkheṣu—in the threefold miseries; anudvigna-manāḥ—without being agitated in mind; sukheṣu—in happiness; vigata-spṛhaḥ—without being too interested; vīta—free from; rāga—attachment; bhaya—fear; krodhaḥ—anger; sthita-dhīḥ—one who is steady; muniḥ—sage; ucyate—is called.
One who is not disturbed in spite of the threefold miseries, who is not elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.
The word muni means one who can agitate his mind in various ways for mental speculation without coming to a factual conclusion. It is said that every muni has a different angle of vision, and unless a muni differs from other munis, he cannot be called a muni in the strict sense of the term. Nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na binnam. But a sthita-dhī-muni as mentioned herein by the Lord, is different from an ordinary muni The sthita-dhī-muni is always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for he has exhausted all his business of creative speculation. He has surpassed the stage of mental speculations and has come to the conclusion that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, or Vāsudeva, is everything. He is called a muni fixed in mind. Such a fully Kṛṣṇa conscious person is not at all disturbed by the onslaughts of the threefold miseries, for he accepts all miseries as the mercy of the Lord, thinking himself only worthy of more trouble due to his past misdeeds; and he sees that his miseries, by the grace of the Lord, are minimized to the lowest. Similarly, when he is happy he gives credit to the Lord, thinking himself unworthy of the happiness; he realizes that it is due only to the Lord’s grace that he is in such a comfortable condition and able to render better service to the Lord. And, for the service of the Lord, he is always daring and active and is not influenced by attachment or aversion. Attachment means accepting things for one’s own sense gratification, and detachment is the absence of such sensual attachment. But one fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness has neither attachment nor detachment because his life is dedicated in the service of the Lord. Consequently he is not at all angry even when his attempts are unsuccessful. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person is always steady in his determination.
tat tat prāpya śubhāśubham
nābhinandati na dveṣṭi
tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā
yaḥ—one who; sarvatra—everywhere; anabhisnehaḥ—without affection; tat—that; tat—that; prāpya—achieving; śubha—good; aśubham—evil; na—never; abhinandati—prays; na—never; dveṣṭi—envies; tasya—his; prajñā—perfect knowledge; pratiṣṭhita—fixed.
He who is without attachment, who does not rejoice when he obtains good, nor lament when he obtains evil, is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge.
There is always some upheaval in the material world which may be good or evil. One who is not agitated by such material upheavals, who is unaffected by good and evil, is to be understood to be fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As long as one is in the material world there is always the possibility of good and evil because this world is full of duality. But one who is fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not affected by good and evil because he is simply concerned with Kṛṣṇa, who is all good absolute. Such consciousness in Kṛṣṇa situates one in a perfect transcendental position called, technically, samādhi.
yadā saṁharate cāyaṁ
kūrmo ‘ṅgānīva sarvaśaḥ
tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā
yadā—when; saṁharate—winds up; ca—also; ayam—all these; kūrmaḥ—tortoise; aṅgāni—limbs; iva—like; sarvaśaḥ—altogether; indriyāni—senses; indriya-arthebhyaḥ—from the sense objects; tasya—his; prajñā—consciousness; pratiṣṭhitā—fixed up.
One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws his limbs within the shell, is to be understood as truly situated in knowledge.
The test of a yogī, devotee, or self-realized soul is that he is able to control the senses according to his plan. Most people, however, are servants of the senses and are thus directed by the dictation of the senses. That is the answer to the question as to how the yogī is situated. The senses are compared to venomous serpents. They want to act very loosely and without restriction. The yogī, or the devotee, must be very strong to control the serpents-like a snake charmer. He never allows them to act independantly. There are many injunctions in the revealed scriptures; some of them are do-not’s, and some of them are do’s. Unless one is able to follow the do’s and the do-not’s, restricting oneself from sense enjoyment, it is not possible to be firmly fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The best example, set herein, is the tortoise. The tortoise can at any moment wind up his senses and exhibit them again at any time for particular purposes. Similarly, the senses of the Kṛṣṇa conscious persons are used only for some particular purpose in the service of the Lord and are withdrawn otherwise. Keeping the senses always in the service of the Lord is the example set by the analogy of the tortoise, who keeps the senses within.
rasa-varjaṁ raso ‘py asya
paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate
viṣayāḥ—objects for sense enjoyment; vinivartante—are practiced to be refrained from; nirāhārasya—by negative restrictions; dehinaḥ—for the embodied; rasa-varjam—giving up the taste; rasaḥ—sense of enjoyment; api—although there is; asya—his; param—far superior things; dṛṣṭvā—by experiencing; nivartate—ceases from.
The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.
Unless one is transcendentally situated, it is not possible to cease from sense enjoyment. The process of restriction from sense enjoyment by rules and regulations is something like restricting a diseased person from certain types of eatables. The patient, however, neither likes such restrictions, nor loses his taste for eatables. Similarly, sense restriction by some spiritual process like aṣṭāṅga-yoga, in the matter of yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, dharaṇā, dhyāna, etc., is recommended for less intelligent persons who have no better knowledge. But one who has tasted the beauty of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, in the course of his advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, no longer has a taste for dead material things. Therefore, restrictions are there for the less intelligent neophytes in the spiritual advancement of life, but such restrictions are only good if one actually has a taste for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When one is actually Kṛṣṇa conscious, he automatically loses his taste for pale things.
yatato hy api kaunteya
haranti prasabhaṁ manaḥ
yatataḥ—while endeavoring; hi—certainly; api—in spite of; kaunteya—O son of Kuntī; puruṣasya—of the man; vipaścitaḥ—full of discriminating knowledge; indriyāṇi—the senses; pramāthīni—stimulated; haranti—throws forcefully; prasabhaṁ—by force; manaḥ—the mind.
The senses are so strong and impetuous, O Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the mind even of a man of discrimination who is endeavoring to control them.
There are many learned sages, philosophers and transcendentalists who try to conquer the senses, but in spite of their endeavors, even the greatest of them sometimes fall victim to material sense enjoyment due to the agitated mind. Even Viśvāmitra, a great sage and perfect yogī, was misled by Menakā into sex enjoyment, although the yogī was endeavoring for sense control with severe types of penance and yoga practice. And,of course, there are so many similar instances in the history of the world. Therefore, it is very difficult to control the mind and the senses without being fully Kṛṣṇa conscious. Without engaging the mind in Kṛṣṇa, one cannot cease such material engagements. A practical example is given by Śrī Yāmunācārya, a great saint and devotee, who says: “Since my mind has been engaged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and I have been enjoying an ever new transcendental humor, whenever I think of sex life with a woman, my face at once turns from it, and I spit at the thought.”
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is such a transcendentally nice thing that automatically material enjoyment becomes distasteful. It is as if a hungry man had satisfied his hunger by a sufficient quantity of nutritious eatables. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa also conquered a great yogī, Durvāsā Muni, simply because his mind was engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
tāni sarvāṇi saṁyamya
yukta āsīta mat-paraḥ
vaśe hi yasyendriyāṇi
tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā
tāni—those senses; sarvāṇi—all; saṁyamya—keeping under control; yuktaḥ—being engaged; āsīta—being so situated; mat-paraḥ—in relationship with Me; vaśe—in full subjugation; hi—certainly; yasya—one whose; indriyāṇi—senses; tasya—his; prajñā—consciousness; pratiṣṭhitā—fixed.
One who restrains his senses and fixes his consciousness upon Me is known as a man of steady intelligence.
That the highest conception of yoga perfection is Kṛṣṇa consciousness is clearly explained in this verse. And, unless one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, it is not at all possible to control the senses. As cited above, the great sage Durvāsā Muni picked a quarrel with Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, and Durvāsā Muni unnecessarily became angry out of pride and therefore could not check his senses. On the other hand, the King, although not as powerful a yogī as the sage, but a devotee of the Lord, silently tolerated all the sage’s injustices and thereby emerged victorious. The King was able to control his senses because of the following qualifications, as mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor
karau harer mandira-mārjanādiṣu
ghrāṇaṁ ca tat-pāda-saroja-saurabhe
śrīmat-tulasyā rasanāṁ tad-arpite
pādau hareḥ kṣetra-padānusarpaṇe
kāmaṁ ca dāsye na tu kāma-kāmyayā
“King Ambarīṣa fixed his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, engaged his words in describing the abode of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the temple of the Lord, his ears in hearing the pastimes of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the form of the Lord, his body in touching the body of the devotee, his nostrils in smelling the flavor of the flowers offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, his tongue in tasting the tulasī leaves offered to Him, his legs in traveling to the holy place where His temple is situated, his head in offering obeisances unto the Lord, and his desires in fulfilling the desires of the Lord … and all these qualifications made him fit to become a mat-paraḥ devotee of the Lord.” (Bhāg. 9.4.18-20)
The word mat-paraḥ is most significant in this connection. How one can become a mat-paraḥ is described in the life of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, a great scholar and ācārya in the line of the mat-paraḥ, remarks: “mad-bhakti-prabhāvena sarvendriya-vijaya-pūrvikā svātma dṛṣṭiḥ sulabheti bhāvaḥ.” “The senses can be completely controlled only by the strength of devotional service to Kṛṣṇa.” Also the example of fire is sometimes given: “As the small flames within burn everything within the room, similarly Lord Viṣṇu, situated in the heart of the yogī, burns up all kinds of impurities.” The Yoga-sūtra also prescribes meditation on Viṣṇu, and not meditation on the void. The so-called yogīs who meditate on something which is not the Viṣṇu form simply waste their time in a vain search after some phantasmagoria. We have to be Kṛṣṇa conscious-devoted to the Personality of Godhead. This is the aim of the real yoga.
dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ
saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ
kāmāt krodho ‘bhijāyate
dhyayataḥ—while contemplating; viṣayān—sense objects; puṁsaḥ—of the person; saṅgaḥ—attachment; teṣu—in the sense objects; upajāyate—develops; saṅgāt—attachment; sañjāyate—develops; kāmaḥ—desire; kāmāt—from desire; krodhaḥ—anger; abhijāyate—becomes manifest.
While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.
One who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious is subjected to material desires while contemplating the objects of senses. The senses require real engagements, and if they are not engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, they will certainly seek engagement in the service of materialism. In the material world everyone, including Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā-to say nothing of other demigods in the heavenly planets-is subjected to the influence of sense objects, and the only method to get out of this puzzle of material existence is to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Lord Śiva was deep in meditation, but when Pārvatī agitated him for sense pleasure, he agreed to the proposal, and as a result Kārtikeya was born. When Haridāsa Ṭhākur was a young devotee of the Lord, he was similarly allured by the incarnation of Māyā Devī, but Haridāsa easily passed the test because of his unalloyed devotion to Lord Kṛṣṇa. As illustrated in the above-mentioned verse of Śrī Yāmunācārya, a sincere devotee of the Lord shuns all material sense enjoyment due to his higher taste for spiritual enjoyment in the association of the Lord. That is the secret of success. One who is not, therefore, in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however powerful he may be in controlling the senses by artificial repression, is sure ultimately to fail, for the slightest thought of sense pleasure will agitate him to gratify his desires.
krodhād bhavati sammohaḥ
krodhāt—from anger; bhavati—takes place; saṁmohaḥ—perfect illusion; saṁmohāt—from illusion; smṛti—of memory; vibhramaḥ—bewilderment; smṛti-bhraṁśāt—after bewilderment of memory; buddhi-nāśaḥ—loss of intelligence; buddhi-nāśāt—and from loss of intelligence; praṇaśyati—falls down.
From anger, delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material pool.
By development of Kṛṣṇa consciousness one can know that everything has its use in the service of the Lord. Those who are without knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness artificially try to avoid material objects, and as a result, although they desire liberation from material bondage, they do not attain to the perfect stage of renunciation. On the other hand, a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness knows how to use everything in the service of the Lord; therefore he does not become a victim of material consciousness. For example, for an impersonalist, the Lord, or the Absolute, being impersonal, cannot eat. Whereas an impersonalist tries to avoid good eatables, a devotee knows that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme enjoyer and that He eats all that is offered to Him in devotion. So, after offering good eatables to the Lord, the devotee takes the remnants, called prasādam. Thus everything becomes spiritualized and there is no danger of a downfall. The devotee takes prasādam in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, whereas the nondevotee rejects it as material. The impersonalist, therefore, cannot enjoy life due to his artificial renunciation; and for this reason, a slight agitation of the mind pulls him down again into the pool of material existence. It is said that such a soul, even though rising up to the point of liberation, falls down again due to his not having support in devotional service.
viṣayān indriyaiś caran
rāga—attachment; dveṣa—detachment; vimuktaiḥ—by one who has been free from such things; tu—but; viṣayān—sense objects; indriyaiḥ—by the senses; caran—acting; ātma-vaśyaiḥ—one who has control over; vidheyātmā—one who follows regulated freedom; prasādam—the mercy of the Lord; adhigacchati—attains.
One who can control his senses by practicing the regulated principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord and thus become free from all attachment and aversion.
It is already explained that one may externally control the senses by some artificial process, but unless the senses are engaged in the transcendental service of the Lord, there is every chance of a fall. Although the person in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness may apparently be on the sensual plane, because of his being Kṛṣṇa conscious, he has no attachment to sensual activities. The Kṛṣṇa conscious person is concerned only with the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa, and nothing else. Therefore he is transcendental to all attachment. If Kṛṣṇa wants, the devotee can do anything which is ordinarily undesirable; and if Kṛṣṇa does not want, he shall not do that which he would have ordinarily done for his own satisfaction. Therefore to act or not to act is within his control because he acts only under the direction of Kṛṣṇa. This consciousness is the causeless mercy of the Lord, which the devotee can achieve in spite of his being attached to the sensual platform.
prasanna-cetaso hy āśu
prasāde—on achievement of the causeless mercy of the Lord; sarva—all; duḥkhānām—material miseries; hāniḥ—destruction; asya—his; upajāyate—takes place; prasanna-cetasaḥ—of the happy-minded; hi—certainly; āśu—very soon; buddhiḥ—intelligence; pari—sufficiently; avatiṣṭhate—established.
For one who is so situated in the Divine consciousness, the threefold miseries of material existence exist no longer; in such a happy state, one’s intelligence soon becomes steady.
nāsti buddhir ayuktasya
na cāyuktasya bhāvanā
na cābhāvayataḥ śāntir
aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham
na asti—there cannot be; buddhiḥ—transcendental intelligence; ayuktasya—of one who is not connected (with Kṛṣṇa consciousness); na—neither; ca—and; ayuktasya—of one devoid of Kṛṣṇa consciousness; bhāvanā—mind fixed in happiness; na—neither; ca—and; abhāvayataḥ—one who is not fixed; śāntiḥ—peace; aśāntasya—of the unpeaceful; kutaḥ—where is; sukham—happiness.
One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?
Unless one is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no possibility of peace. So it is confirmed in the Fifth Chapter (5.29) that when one understands that Kṛṣṇa is the only enjoyer of all the good results of sacrifice and penance, and that He is the proprietor of all universal manifestations, that He is the real friend of all living entities, then only can one have real peace. Therefore, if one is not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there cannot be a final goal for the mind. Disturbance is due to want of an ultimate goal, and when one is certain that Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer, proprietor and friend of everyone and everything, then one can, with a steady mind, bring about peace. Therefore, one who is engaged without a relationship with Kṛṣṇa is certainly always in distress and is without peace, however much one may make a show of peace and spiritual advancement in life. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a self-manifested peaceful condition which can be achieved only in relationship with Kṛṣṇa.
indriyāṇāṁ hi caratāṁ
yan mano ‘nuvidhīyate
tad asya harati prajñāṁ
vāyur nāvam ivāmbhasi
indriyāṇām—of the senses; hi—certainly; caratām—while herding over; yat—that; manaḥ—mind; anuvidhīyate—becomes constantly engaged; tat—that; asya—his; harati—takes away; prajñām—intelligence; vāyuḥ—wind; nāvam—a boat; iva—like; ambhasi—on the water.
As a boat on the water is swept away by a strong wind, even one of the senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man’s intelligence.
Unless all of the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, even one of them engaged in sense gratification can deviate the devotee from the path of transcendental advancement. As mentioned in the life of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, all of the senses must be engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for that is the correct technique for controlling the mind.
tasmād yasya mahā-bāho
tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā
tasmāt—therefore; yasya—of one’s; mahā-bāho—O mighty-armed one; nigṛhītāni—so curbed down; sarvaśaḥ—all around; indriyāṇi—the senses; indriya-arthebhyaḥ—for the sake of sense objects; tasya—his; prajñā—intelligence; pratiṣṭhitā—fixed.
Therefore, O mighty-armed, one whose senses are restrained from their objects is certainly of steady intelligence.
As enemies are curbed by superior force, similarly, the senses can be curbed not by any human endeavor, but only by keeping them engaged in the service of the Lord. One who has understood this-that only by Kṛṣṇa consciousness is one really established in intelligence and that one should practice this art under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master-is called sādhaka, or a suitable candidate for liberation.
yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ
tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī
yasyāṁ jāgrati bhūtāni
sā niśā paśyato muneḥ
yā—what; niśā—is night; sarva—all; bhūtānām—of living entities; tasyām—in that; jāgarti—wakeful; saṁyamī—the self-controlled; yasyām—in which; jāgrati—awake; bhūtāni—all beings; sā—that is; niśā—night; paśyataḥ—for the introspective; muneḥ—sage.
What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.
There are two classes of intelligent men. The one is intelligent in material activities for sense gratification, and the other is introspective and awake to the cultivation of self-realization. Activities of the introspective sage, or thoughtful man, are night for persons materially absorbed. Materialistic persons remain asleep in such a night due to their ignorance of self-realization. The introspective sage remains alert in the “night” of the materialistic men. The sage feels transcendental pleasure in the gradual advancement of spiritual culture, whereas the man in materialistic activities, being asleep to self-realization, dreams of varieties of sense pleasure, feeling sometimes happy and sometimes distressed in his sleeping condition. The introspective man is always indifferent to materialistic happiness and distress. He goes on with his self-realization activities undisturbed by material reaction.
samudram āpaḥ praviśanti yadvat
tadvat kāmā yaṁ praviśanti sarve
sa śāntim āpnoti na kāma-kāmī
āpūryamāṇam—always filled; acala-pratiṣṭham—steadily situated; samudram—the ocean; āpaḥ—water; praviśanti—enter; yadvat—as; tadvat—so; kāmāḥ—desires; yam—unto one; praviśanti—enter; sarve—all; saḥ—that person; śāntim—peace; āpnoti—achieves; na—not; kāma-kāmī—one who desires to fulfill desires.
A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires-that enter like rivers into the ocean which is ever being filled but is always still-can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.
Although the vast ocean is always filled with water, it is always, especially during the rainy season, being filled with much more water. But the ocean remains the same-steady; it is not agitated, nor does it cross beyond the limit of its brink. That is also true of a person fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As long as one has the material body, the demands of the body for sense gratification will continue. The devotee, however, is not disturbed by such desires because of his fullness. A Kṛṣṇa conscious man is not in need of anything because the Lord fulfills all his material necessities. Therefore he is like the ocean-always full in himself. Desires may come to him like the waters of the rivers that flow into the ocean, but he is steady in his activities, and he is not even slightly disturbed by desires for sense gratification. That is the proof of a Kṛṣṇa conscious man-one who has lost all inclinations for material sense gratification, although the desires are present. Because he remains satisfied in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, he can remain steady, like the ocean, and therefore enjoy full peace. Others, however, who fulfill desires even up to the limit of liberation, what to speak of material success, never attain peace. The fruitive workers, the salvationists, and also the yogīs who are after mystic powers, are all unhappy because of unfulfilled desires. But the person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is happy in the service of the Lord, and he has no desires to be fulfilled. In fact, he does not even desire liberation from the so-called material bondage. The devotees of Kṛṣṇa have no material desires, and therefore they are in perfect peace.
vihāya kāmān yaḥ sarvān
pumāṁś carati niḥspṛhaḥ
sa śāntim adhigacchati
vihāya—after giving up; kāmān—all material desires for sense gratification; yaḥ—the person; sarvān—all; pumān—a person; carati—lives; nihṣpṛhaḥ —desireless; nirmamaḥ—without a sense of proprietorship; nirahaṅkāraḥ—without false ego; saḥ—all; śāntim—perfect peace; adhigacchati—attains.
A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego-he alone can attain real peace.
To become desireless means not to desire anything for sense gratification. In other words, desire for becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious is actually desirelessness. To understand one’s actual position as the eternal servitor of Kṛṣṇa, without falsely claiming this material body to be oneself and without falsely claiming proprietorship over anything in the world, is the perfect stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who is situated in this perfect stage knows that because Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor of everything, therefore everything must be used for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna did not want to fight for his own sense satisfaction, but when he became fully Kṛṣṇa conscious he fought because Kṛṣṇa wanted him to fight. For himself there was no desire to fight, but for Kṛṣṇa the same Arjuna fought to his best ability. Desire for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa is really desirelessness; it is not an artificial attempt to abolish desires. The living entity cannot be desireless or senseless, but he does have to change the quality of the desires. A materially desireless person certainly knows that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa (īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam), and therefore he does not falsely claim proprietorship over anything. This transcendental knowledge is based on self-realization-namely, knowing perfectly well that every living entity is the eternal part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa in spiritual identity. and therefore the eternal position of the living entity is never on the level of Kṛṣṇa or greater than Him. This understanding of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the basic principle of real peace.
eṣā brāhmī sthitiḥ pārtha
naināṁ prāpya vimuhyati
sthitvāsyām anta-kāle ‘pi
eṣā—this; brāhmī—spiritual; sthitiḥ—situation; pārtha—O son of Pṛthā; na—never; enām—this; prāpya—achieving; vimuhyati—bewilders; sthitvā—being so situated; asyām—being so; anta-kāle—at the end of life; api—also; brahma-nirvāṇam—spiritual (kingdom of God); ṛcchati—attains.
That is the way of the spiritual and godly life, after attaining which a man is not bewildered. Being so situated, even at the hour of death, one can enter into the kingdom of God.
One can attain Kṛṣṇa consciousness or divine life at once, within a second-or one may not attain such a state of life even after millions of births. It is only a matter of understanding and accepting the fact. Khaṭvāṅga Mahārāja attained this state of life just a few minutes before his death, by surrendering unto Kṛṣṇa. Nirvāṇa means ending the process of materialistic life. According to Buddhist philosophy, there is only void after the completion of this material life, but Bhagavad-gītā teaches differently. Actual life begins after the completion of this material life. For the gross materialist it is sufficient to know that one has to end this materialistic way of life, but for persons who are spiritually advanced, there is another life after this materialistic life. Before ending this life, if one fortunately becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, he at once attains the stage of Brahma-nirvāṇa. There is no difference between the kingdom of God and the devotional service of the Lord. Since both of them are on the absolute plane, to be engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord is to have attained the spiritual kingdom. In the material world there are activities of sense gratification, whereas in the spiritual world there are activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Attainment of Kṛṣṇa consciousness even during this life is immediate attainment of Brahman, and one who is situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness has certainly already entered into the kingdom of God.
Brahman is just the opposite of matter. Therefore brāhmī sthitiḥ means “not on the platform of material activities.” Devotional service of the Lord is accepted in the Bhagavad-gītā as the liberated stage. Therefore, brāhmī-sthitiḥ is liberation from material bondage.
Śrīla Bhaktivinode Ṭhākur has summarized this Second Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā as being the contents for the whole text. In the Bhagavad-gītā, the subject matters are karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. In the Second Chapter karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga have been clearly discussed, and a glimpse of bhakti-yoga has also been given, as the contents for the complete text.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Second Chapter of the Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā in the matter of its Contents.