The Bhagavad Gita – Capsule 2

The Bhagavad Gita in Capsules – Chapter 2

The book “The Prasthānatraya – An Introduction” by Revered Swami Harshananda, President of Ramakrishna Math, Bengaluru was published in 2001. The Swami has bestowed on us a summary of the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita of Lord Krishna. I bow my head in reverence and in praise of Swamiji and pray for his blessings in my taking the liberty of retyping the summary from the book and posting it in my blog.

This is the Summary of the second chapter, Sankhya Yoga


Srīkrishna at first tries to rouse Arjuna from this stupor by strongly admonishing him for his psychological collapse at a critical moment, his un-Āryan and unmanly behaviour which does not befit a great warrior like him and urges him to bestir himself to action.

Even such strong words fail to awaken him. He continues to sermonize on the evils of the war that involves the slaughter of even the respected ones, conveys his decision to retire, but in all humility, seeks his guidance.

Then realizing that Arjuna’s confusion and delusion have gone too deep to be dispelled by cursory replies. Srīkrishna starts his immortal spiritual discourse aimed at curing his malady from the root itself by giving him a correct perspective of the whole picture, in fact, an entire philosophy of love.

Arjuna is really sorrowing for those who should not be sorrowed for. All the people including those assembled in the battlefield are, in reality, immortal souls. Death or deterioration belongs only to the body and not to the soul or the spirit.

Even supposing it is accepted that one is born with the body and dies with its death, there is no use lamenting it, since it is inevitable. Being a ksatriya warrior on whose shoulders is cast the responsibility of defending dharma or righteousness, it is his sacred duty to fight and win, or, die for the cause on the battlefield. For a man like him, celebrated for valour, death is preferable to ignominity which will surely accrue to him if he withdraws from the battle now.

It is action motivated by selfishness that binds a man whereas when the same is performed without an eye to its fruits and with equanimity, it liberates.This is the ‘buddhi’ or ‘yoga’ or ‘buddhi-yoga’.

Then at Arjuna’s request, Srīkrishna describes the characteristics of the sthitaprajna or the man of steady spiritual wisdom as a model for Arjuna’s emulation. The sthitaprajna has abandoned all desires, and is ever contented in his own Self. He is unmoved by pleasure and pain. He is free from attachment, fear or anger. He has absolute mastery over his senses. He is ever awake to the Highest Truth and is indifferent towards the world. He is well-established in the state of Brahman, even at the last moment of his life.


Courtesy: Swami Harshananda  (emphases, if any, are mine. – nytanaya)

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