Published on February 23, 2014
BHAGAVAD GITA Commentary by Sant Jnaneswar PROF. T. K. G. NAMBOODHIRI Thiruvalla, Kerala, India
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI JNANESWARI • Jnaneswari is the commentary on Bhagavad Gita written by Saint Jnaneswar, who lived in Maharashtra in the 13th Century AD. • This very popular & simple commentary was written in Marathi by Saint Jnaneswar when he was only 15 years of age. • The complete English translation of this commentary is available at http://www.bvbpune.org/contents1.html T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI CHAPTER 2 SAMKHYA YOGA T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.2 Lord Krishna starts his advise to Arjuna with this verse: Arjuna, at this time your behaviour is completely unfitting. You have become completely weak & despicable by your feelings of kindness. Has the wind ever been frightened by clouds? Has fire been subdued by firewood? Has salt dissolved water? Has the frog eaten the snake? Your behaviour is as illogical as these. Does kindness have any role on a battlefield? Your illogical thinking is unsuitable & destructive of your reputation. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.3 Arjuna, do not lose your manliness. At this time of war, how did you get this petty weakness of mind? Didn’t you know before that you have to fight with your relatives & friends? Then why is this kindness towards them rising in your mind now? Throw off this petty faint-heartedness, & rise to fight. (According to Swami Vivekananda, this verse contains the essential message of Gita) T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.4 to 2.8 Hearing the admonition by Shri Krishna, Arjuna talks: How will I fight the venerable Bhishma & Drona? I do not wish to enjoy worldly pleasures tainted by their blood. Instead of killing these great teachers, I am willing to live a beggar’s life in this world. Kauravas are all my brothers. I do not know whether it will be better for me to kill them or be killed by them. I am confused & I do not see what is right or wrong. You are my friend & teacher. Kindly advise me to do the right thing. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.9 & 2.10 Sanjaya tells Dritharashtra: After telling these words, Arjuna declared that he will not fight. Then he lowered his head and remained silent. Sri Krishna looked at Arjuna, sitting stoically in the middle of the two armies with contempt & pity. As a doctor administering the last untried medicine to the dying patient trying to save him, Krishna started talking to Arjuna with a sympathetic smile. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse-2.11 Sri Krishna tells Arjuna: You are grieving over people who do not deserve to be grieved upon. Then talk like a learned man. Those with knowledge never grieve over the dead or the living. You are talking like a blind person gone mad. Do you believe that you are the reason for the existence of this world? Do you control the birth & death of these people? Do you think that Kauravas will die only if you kill them? Under the eternal laws of time people are born & they die after a while. Wise people do not grieve over such natural processes. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse-2.12 I, you & all the kings & people here were never un-present, & will never be so in the future. We are all eternal. Birth & death are illusions in our mind generated by ignorance. All of us are manifestations of Brahma, which is supreme & permanent. When waves appear in water due to wind, is there anything new? When the waves subside, & the water is calm, has anything been lost? T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.13 Just as the soul experiences childhood, adolescence & old age in this body, it also leaves this body, at death & takes a new one. Wise people do not worry about these changes. The soul is imperishable & capable of taking any number of bodies & enjoying the world through them. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.14 When our sense organs come in contact with outside objects, we feel heat, cold, pleasure, pain, etc. They all come & go & are not permanent. We have to resolutely tolerate them. Sensual feelings are like mirages or dreams & we should not get attached to them closely. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.15 Only one who is not entangled in sensual pleasures can treat pleasure & pain equally. He escapes re-birth. Such a person with equanimity & discrimination becomes eligible for the eternal status beyond birth & death. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.16 The unreal has no existence & the real never becomes non-existent. Wise people consider the Omnipotent & Omnipresent Brahman to be the only real thing. All others are unreal & so impermanent. Just like the swan who drinks only the milk from a mixture of milk & water, the wise concentrate only on the soul & neglect all the world. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.17 By what this universe is filled, that is unchangeable & cannot be destroyed. All the world is a manifestation of Brahman which has no name, no colour & no qualities. It exists everywhere, is beyond time & space, and birth & death. None can destroy it. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.18 & 2.19 The everlasting, indestructible & incomprehensible soul existing in each body owns the perishable body. The soul never kills anybody or is ever slain by anybody. People identifying with their bodies think that they can kill somebody or that they will be killed by somebody. This is because of ignorance about the reality of the soul. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.20 The soul is never born nor is it ever dead. It will never be nonexistent. Unborn, everlasting, permanent & existing even before the body was born, the soul is not destroyed when the body dies. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.21 If one realizes that the soul is indestructible, permanent, unborn & never diminishing, how could he kill anybody, or be instrumental in killing somebody? If we strike our shadow with a weapon, will it hurt us? If we break a pot containing water, the reflection of the Sun in that water will vanish, but will this affect the Sun? Similarly, when we kill somebody, we do not destroy that person’s soul. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.22 & 2.23 Just like we discard old & torn clothes & wear new ones, our soul discards the old body & reincarnate in a new body after death. The soul which is unborn, permanent, pure, & ever present, cannot be cut by a sword, wetted by flood waters, burnt by fire, or dried by a storm. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.24 & 2.25 The soul cannot be cut, burnt, wetted or dried. It is everlasting, everpresent, firm & unchangeable. This soul cannot be perceived through our senses. Without a form but it is existing in all forms. It cannot be thought about by our mind, but is permanent. It is beyond all boundaries we set, but internally controls everything. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.26 & 2.27 Even if you think that the soul dies & is born, you have nothing to grieve about. Birth, life, & death are continuous processes like a flowing river. No living thing can escape these changes. All born beings must die, & all dead must necessarily be reborn. Birth & death are certain like Sun rise & Sun set. There is no point in worrying about these unavoidable, time-bound processes. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.28 Before manifestation all beings remain unseen, & after death, they again become unseen. They become visible only between birth & death . So why should you weep at the death of relatives? Just as the things we see in dreams are unreal, the body seen between birth & death is also unreal. Why grieve about such unreal things? Always think about the Soul which is permanent & indestructible so that you escape from ignorance of this world. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.29 Some see the soul as a wonderful thing, some describe soul as a wonderful thing & some hears about soul as a wonderful thing. But none understands the soul correctly. Some renounce all worldly pleasures & attain permanent peace through self-realization. Just as a river flowing into the sea merges & becomes one with the sea, the mind of a Yogi merges & becomes one with the Soul & gets liberated from rebirth. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.30 The soul, existing within the bodies of all living beings, is indestructible. So you need not worry about the death of any being. That which permeates the whole universe is the soul existing in all bodies & everywhere & is beyond destruction. That soul makes everything happen by its desire. Your sorrow will vanish once you realize this truth. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.31 Now if you look at the situation on the basis of your natural duty, there is nothing more appropriate for you than to fight this war. As a prince, your duty is to fight your enemies. At this time it is inappropriate for you to show kindness & compassion to your foes. If you do not do your duty, you will only land in sorrow & all will accuse you of cowardice. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.32 This war is a rare opening for you to enter the heaven. Only very lucky kings get such an opportunity. It is like the rare chance of finding a diamond on the road when you are walking. So you must utilize this rare occasion to do your princely duty of fighting against unrighteousness. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.33-2.37 If you do not fight this righteous war, you will be discarding your natural duty & good name. It will make you notorious. Losing respect & good name is worse than death. Great warriors will feel that you got frightened and ran away. Your enemies will talk very badly about you. If you fight & die in the battlefield, you will attain heaven,, but if you win the war, you will enjoy all worldly pleasures as a great king. In either case victory is yours. So get up and fight this war. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.38 Considering pleasure & pain, gain & loss, and victory & defeat equally, you get ready for the war. Undue enjoyment in success, & unwanted sorrow in defeat should be avoided. Do not think about gain or loss as a result of your activities. Develop a strong mind to bear the consequences of your dutiful actions. Then such actions will not bind you or make you a sinner. So fight in this fashion. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.39 Arjuna, all my advices up to now were based on the path of knowledge. Now let me tell you about the principle of unselfish work. Once you gain this knowledge, you will become free from the bindings of work. Doing your duty without any desire for its fruits makes you unfettered. It is like the wearing of a steel armour to protect you from sharp arrows from the enemy, & it will surely make you victorious. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.40 The practice of selfless work, done as offering to God, is perennial. It does not have a beginning or an end. Even if incomplete, no sin accrues. A little bit of this practice protects one from all difficulties. Karma yoga does not deprive one from worldly enjoyments, but it liberates him in the end. All work must be done without any desire for its fruits. Selfless work is beyond the 3 Gunas & it does not lead to virtue or sin. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.41 In this world, a determined intellect is singular & concentrated. But undetermined intellect is multidirectional & lacks concentration. Like a small lamp drives away darkness from a large area, a learned mind removes ignorance from many people. Getting a righteous & discriminatory intellect is a very difficult task. Only a determined intellect can lead one to the realization of the self & the resultant state of bliss. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.42-2.44 These 3 verses talk about the non-liberating religious rites described in the Vedas. Just as a flowering plant without any fruits, all the Vedic rites meant for gaining sensual pleasures in heaven, do not yield any lasting bliss gained by self-realization. These people infatuated by Vedic rites, forget the Supreme being, who is the destination of all worship, & they dream of heavenly pleasures. Their actions are as useless as adding poison to carefully prepared sweets. They waste their precious lives in silly pursuits to satisfy their senses. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.45 The Vedas deal with the 3 Gunas produced by nature. Arjuna, You go beyond these Gunas & win over your senses. Do not get entangled in dualities like pleasure/ pain, happiness/ sorrow etc. Never think of worldly things as yours. Vedic rites, meant for gaining heavenly pleasures, are causes of transient pleasures & sorrows. Do not get enamoured in these & think always of the bliss obtained through self-realization. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.46 When the whole area is flooded, how useful are wells & ponds? One who has realized the Self finds all the Vedas just like the wells & ponds only. You should take only those portions of the Vedas which lead you to permanent peace. With Sunrise we may see many paths, but we select only those which lead us to our destination. Even if there is plenty of water around us, we take only that much we require. Similarly, wise people adopt only those parts of Vedas which lead them to the Supreme Truth. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.47 Arjuna, you have the right to do your duty, but never think that you can claim the fruits of your work. You should never cease doing your duty. Never do your work hankering after its result. Do righteous work without any attachment & never allow yourself to be lazy. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.48 Arjuna, do your duty, concentrating on the Self, with equanimity of success & failure, & without hankering after the fruits of work. If your work is successful, do not be overjoyed & if unsuccessful or incomplete, do not be grieved. Do all your work as offering to God, then you will surely succeed. Equanimity in success & failure is considered to be the highest form of Yoga. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.49 Work done with its results in mind is far inferior to that done with concentrated mind & no desire for its fruits. So do all your work without any desire for its fruits & for gaining true knowledge. Pitiable are those who engage in work just for its results. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.50 One, who treats pleasure & pain equally, gets rid of virtue & sin in this world itself. Work with selfish motives will have to be done initially, which then leads to selfless work. So you strive for detached work, which enables you to gain knowledge. While equanimity in success & failure is considered the essence of Yoga, skill in work is considered Yoga. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.51-2.53 Wise men, equanimous in pleasure & pain, are not bounded by the work they do. Hence they escape from the painful cycle of birth & death. When your intellect is cleared of ignorance about yourself, you get disinterested in Vedic knowledge you already acquired & yet to hear. When your mind & intellect get concentrated on the Ultimate Truth, you attain permanent peace & tranquillity. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.54 After hearing these, Arjuna asks Sri Krishna about the person whose mind & intellect are firmly anchored in Truth. How does he look like? How does he talk & walk? Who is such a person? What are his identifying characteristics? How does he attain this state of steady wisdom? T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.55 In the next several verses, Bhagawan defines a man of steady wisdom. Arjuna, one who has discarded all desires, & remains happy with himself is of steady wisdom. Man’s desire for sensual pleasures blocks his ability to find happiness within. One who discards sensual pleasures completely, attains peace & happiness from within. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.56-2.58 A man of stable wisdom does not get perturbed in various types of difficulties & sorrows, nor does run after worldly pleasures, & is freed from desire & anger. He is completely free of attachment to body, wealth, etc. &is not overjoyed by success or depressed by failure, & treats everybody equally. He is capable of stopping all sensual pleasures at will, just as a tortoise withdraws all his organs into its shell at the sign of danger. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.59 & 2.60 One who discards all sensual objects may be able to keep his senses under control, but his desire for sensual pleasures still remains. This is like cutting the leaves & branches of a tree, but keep watering the trunk, so that the tree grows again. Only through the realization of the Self, the desires are eliminated. Even a discriminating Yogi, who keeps his senses always under control & meditates for selfrealization, may be thrown off his path & dragged to sensual pleasures by his sensual desires. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.61 One should keep his senses under control & discard all sensual desires, & meditate on Self thinking that Self-realization is the final destination. Then senses will not deceive his mind. Even if there is no external contacts with sense objects, a tiny desire for sensual pleasure is sufficient to detract a Yogi. Just as a drop of poison is sufficient to kill a person, a small desire is sufficient to destroy the discriminatory power of a person. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.62 & 2.63 One who constantly contemplates on sensual pleasures gets attracted towards them. From attraction comes desire & unfulfilled desires lead to anger. Anger generates indiscrimination & loss of memory. Just as darkness obliterates light after sunset, the loss of memory destroys his intellect, which makes him a walking dead-body. As a spark is sufficient to burn all the firewood & surroundings, a flash of sensual attraction leads to complete destruction of a person. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.64 One who has control over his mind can enjoy worldly pleasures through strictly controlled senses & he never loses his peace of mind. When one discards all sensual desires, anger & hate vanishes & then sensual enjoyments do not disturb his mind. Sun illuminates pure as well as impure objects in the world, but is not affected by the impurity in the object. Can water drown water or fire burn fire? Similarly, sensual objects cannot distract one who has mastered his senses & mind. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.65 When you have peace of mind all your sorrows vanish because you are able to attain a stable intellect easily. When your mind is established in joy, no worldly sorrow can enter it. How can fear enter a person’s mind when he is established in the supreme power? Just as a lamp’s flame remains steady when it is in a windless place, the subtle mind of a Yogi remains fixed in the inner soul. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.66 & 2.67 One unable to control his senses can never realize his true Self. He comes under the influence of sensual pleasures. He will never be interested to realize his self. He will attain neither peace of mind nor happiness. As a roasted seed can never germinate, he can never experience joy. A mind immersed in sensual pleasures distracts & misdirects the intellect, just like a ship pulled astray by strong winds. A Yogi entertaining even a fleeting desire for sensual pleasures may thus stray from his goal. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.68 O ! The Powerful, one whose senses are completely under control & separated from sense objects, his wisdom is stable. One, like the tortoise which pulls in or pushes out its limbs out of the shell at will, keeps his senses under control & uses it at will, is a man of perfection & of stable mind & intellect. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.69 Here, the attitudes of the wise & the ignorant are contrasted as day & night. Day for the ignorant is night for the wise & vice-versa. The practice of Contemplating on the self, the activity of the wise, is like dark night to ordinary people. In what ignorant people & other living beings are awake & engaged, the worldly life of sensual contacts, the wise people remain uninterested & sleepy. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 2.70 The sea, filled with water, remains undisturbed when myriads of rivers empty their waters into it. It does not overflow or flood the land on its coast. Similarly, a man of stable wisdom remains undisturbed by all the sensual objects surrounding him. He remains at peace within him, & all the desires entering him vanish as the rivers entering the sea. He remains unaffected by sensual desires, just like the sun’s brightness remaining unaffected by a small lamp. T K G Namboodhiri
BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 2.71 & 2.72 Whosoever walks around with complete lack of desires, disinterested in all things & devoid of ego, he enjoys permanent peace. One who is established in the Self is beyond all desires & interests in worldly matters. If one is able to reach this state even if only at the time of his death, he will merge with Brahman- The Consciousness, & escapes from the cycle of birth & death. T K G Namboodhiri
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