said: Seeing Arjuna full of compassion, his mind depressed, his eyes full
of tears, Madhusudana, Krishna, spoke the following words.
Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities
come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the value
of life. They lead not to higher planets but to infamy.
O son of Prtha,
do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give
up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy.
O killer of enemies, O killer of Madhu, how can I counterattack with arrows
in battle men like Bhisma and Drona, who are worthy of my worship?
It would be
better to live in this world by begging than to live at the cost of the
lives of great souls who are my teachers. Even though desiring worldly
gain, they are superiors. If they are killed, everything we enjoy will
be tainted with blood.
Nor do we
know which is better -- conquering them or being conquered by them. If
we killed the sons of Dhrtarastra, we should not care to live. Yet they
are now standing before us on the battlefield.
Now I am confused
about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness.
In this condition I am asking You to tell me for certain what is best for
me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct
I can find
no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will
not be able to dispel it even if I win a prosperous, unrivaled kingdom
on earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven.
Having spoken thus, Arjuna, chastiser of enemies, told Krishna, "Govinda,
I shall not fight," and fell silent.
of Bharata, at that time Krishna, smiling, in the midst of both the armies,
spoke the following words to the grief-stricken Arjuna.
Personality of Godhead said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning
for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for
the living nor for the dead.
there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in
the future shall any of us cease to be.
As the embodied
soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age,
the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is
not bewildered by such a change.
O son of Kunti,
the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance
in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and
summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and
one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
O best among
men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress
and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.
are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent [the material
body] there is no endurance and of the eternal [the soul] there is no change.
This they have concluded by studying the nature of both.
pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is
able to destroy that imperishable soul.
body of the indestructible, immeasurable and eternal living entity is sure
to come to an end; therefore, fight, O descendant of Bharata.
who thinks the living entity the slayer nor he who thinks it slain is in
knowledge, for the self slays not nor is slain.
For the soul
there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being,
does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal,
ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.
how can a person who knows that the soul is indestructible, eternal, unborn
and immutable kill anyone or cause anyone to kill?
As a person
puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new
material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.
The soul can
never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened
by water, nor withered by the wind.
soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried.
He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally
It is said
that the soul is invisible, inconceivable and immutable. Knowing this,
you should not grieve for the body.
you think that the soul [or the symptoms of life] is always born and dies
forever, you still have no reason to lament, O mighty-armed.
One who has
taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth
again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should
beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state,
and unmanifest again when annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?
on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of
him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand
him at all.
of Bharata, he who dwells in the body can never be slain. Therefore you
need not grieve for any living being.
your specific duty as a ksatriya, you should know that there is no better
engagement for you than fighting on religious principles; and so there
is no need for hesitation.
happy are the ksatriyas to whom such fighting opportunities come unsought,
opening for them the doors of the heavenly planets.
you do not perform your religious duty of fighting, then you will certainly
incur sins for neglecting your duties and thus lose your reputation as
always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonor is
worse than death.
generals who have highly esteemed your name and fame will think that you
have left the battlefield out of fear only, and thus they will consider
will describe you in many unkind words and scorn your ability. What could
be more painful for you?
O son of Kunti,
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 with
determination and fight.
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.
Thus far I
have described this knowledge to you through analytical study. Now listen
as I explain it in terms of working without fruitive results. O son of
Prtha, when you act in such knowledge you can free yourself from the bondage
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.
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.
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.
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 for devotional
service to the Supreme Lord does not take place.
deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material nature. O Arjuna,
become transcendental to these three modes. Be free from all dualities
and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the self.
served by a small well can at once be served by a great reservoir of water.
Similarly, all the purposes of the Vedas can be served to one who knows
the purpose behind them.
You have a
right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the
fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your
activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.
duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure.
Such equanimity is called yoga.
keep all abominable activities far distant by devotional service, and in
that consciousness surrender unto the Lord. Those who want to enjoy the
fruits of their work are misers.
A man engaged
in devotional service rids himself of both good and bad actions even in
this life. Therefore strive for yoga, which is the art of all work.
By thus engaging
in devotional service to the Lord, great sages or devotees free themselves
from the results of work in the material world. In this way they become
free from the cycle of birth and death and attain the state beyond all
miseries [by going back to Godhead].
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.
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.
O Krishna, 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?
Personality of Godhead said: O Partha, when a man gives up all varieties
of desire for sense gratification, which arise from mental concoction,
and when his mind, thus purified, finds satisfaction in the self alone,
then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness.
One who is
not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when
there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is
called a sage of steady mind.
In the material
world, one who is unaffected by whatever good or evil he may obtain, neither
praising it nor despising it, is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge.
One who is
able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws its
limbs within the shell, is firmly fixed in perfect consciousness.
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.
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.
One who restrains
his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness
upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence.
the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from
such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.
complete 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.
But a person
free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through
regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.
For one thus
satisfied [in Krishna consciousness], the threefold miseries of material
existence exist no longer; in such satisfied consciousness, one's intelligence
is soon well established.
One who is
not connected with the Supreme [in Krishna consciousness] can have neither
transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no
possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?
As a boat
on the water is swept away by a strong wind, even one of the roaming senses
on which the mind focuses can carry away a man's intelligence.
O mighty-armed, one whose senses are restrained from their objects is certainly
of steady intelligence.
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.
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.
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.
That is the
way of the spiritual and godly life, after attaining which a man is not
bewildered. If one is thus situated even at the hour of death, one can
enter into the kingdom of God.
Back to Top