02. The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

Sanjaya said: The Supreme Lord, Madhusudana, then spoke the following words unto griefstricken Arjuna, who was overwhelmed with compassion and whose sorrowful eyes were brimming with tears.
2:1 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

The Supreme Lord said: O Arjuna, why has such illusion overcome you at this critical moment? This is unbefitting a noble man (Aryan). It is an obstacle to the attainment of heaven, and a destroyer of good name and fame.
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O son of Kunti, give up this cowardice, for it does not become you. O great hero, cast off this petty weakness of heart, and arise for battle!
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Arjuna said: O Madhusudana, killer of the enemy, how can I counterattack, shooting arrows at my grandsire Bhisma and teacher Drona, who are worthy of my worship?
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It is better to live in this world by begging, without taking the lives of our great, noble elders and teachers. Otherwise, by killing them we shall only live in this world to enjoy their wealth and properties tainted with their blood.
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We cannot understand which will be better for us victory or defeat because those sons of Dhrtarastra, whom if we killed we should not care to live, now stand before us on the battlefront.
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Now I am bewildered. What is my real duty? Overwhelmed by apprehension for the fall of our dynasty, I am begging You to please tell me clearly which course of action is most beneficial for me. I am Your surrendered disciple. Kindly instruct me.
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Even if we obtain an unrivaled, expanding empire on Earth and supremacy over the kingdom of heaven, I cannot find anything to allay this sadness which is leaving me senseless.
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Sanjaya said: In this way, the chastiser of the enemy, the intensely alert Arjuna, addressed Krsna who is the Lord of the senses of all beings. Then he declared, "Govinda, I will not fight", and fell silent.
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O Bharata, thereafter Sri Hrsikesa, in the midst of both armies, smilingly addressed the griefstricken Arjuna as follows:
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The Lord said: O Arjuna, you are mourning for that which is unworthy of grief, and yet speaking words of wisdom. But the wise lament neither for the living nor the dead.
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Never was there a time when I, you, or all these kings did not exist. As we are at present, so have we been in the past, and shall continue to be in the future.
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As the embodied living being gradually passes in this body from childhood to youth to old age, so also that soul attains yet another boy at death. The learned are not deluded by such a transformation.
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O son of Kunti, only the engagement of the senses with their objects gives rise to the sensations for cold, heat, pleasure, and pain. But these effects are temporary they come and go. Therefore, O Bharata, you are to endure them.
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O noblest of men, a person of steady intelligence, equipoised in pleasure and pain, undisturbed by sensual experiences, is certainly eligible for liberation.
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Of the changeable, such as the body, there is no everlasting existence; of the everlasting soul, there is no transformation or destruction. Seers of the truth have thus distinguished and analyzed the nature of both eternal reality and temporary illusion.
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Know that the soul who pervades the entire body is imperishable. He is unchangeable and everlasting, and no one can destroy him.
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Only these physical bodies of the eternal, indestructible, and immeasurable soul are subject to destruction. Therefore, fight, O Bharata, and do not give up your natural religious principles.
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Those who think that the living being is a slayer, and those who think that he is slain, are both ignorant of the true nature of the soul - the soul neither slays nor is slain.
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The soul is never born and he never dies, nor does he repeatedly come into being and undergo expansion, because he is unborn and eternal. He is inexhaustible ever-youthful yet ancient. Although the body is subject to birth and death, the soul is never de
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O Partha, how can a person who knows the soul to be constant, indestructible, birthless, and inexhaustible, kill anyone or cause anyone to be killed?
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As a person accepts new dress, rejecting that which is old and worn, so also the soul continues to accept a new body, giving up the old and useless one.
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Weapons cannot pierce the soul, and fire cannot burn him. He can neither be moistened with water, nor dried by the air.
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The soul is indivisible and cannot be burned, moistened, or dried up. He is everlasting, constant, unchangeable, and everexistent. Nothing can obstruct his passage. This soul is imperceptible, inconceivable, and unaffected by the sixfold mutations (birth
2:24 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

And, O best of warriors, even if you think that the soul is perpetually subject to birth and death, you still have no reason to lament. For one who is born, death is certain, and for one who dies, he must be reborn to undergo the reactions of his past ac
2:26 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

O Bharata, when all living entities are unmanifest before birth, manifest between birth and death, and again unmanifest at death, why lament for them? (This conclusion is not corroborated by saintly authorities; but if it is accepted for the sake of argu
2:28 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

Some see the soul as astonishing, some describe him as astonishing, some hear of him as astonishing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.
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O Bharata, the soul dwelling within the bodies of all living beings is eternal and cannot be slain. Therefore, you should not lament for anybody.
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Moreover, considering your svadharma, you have no reason to waver, since no action is more beneficial for a ksatriya than fighting for religious justice.
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O Partha, such a battle, present of its own accord like the open gates of heaven, can be gained only by the most fortunate warriors.
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In fact, if you choose not to engage in this war of religious justice, your religious principles will be lost, fame will desert you, and sin will overcome you.
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People will speak of your infamy for all time to come, and for the renowned, infamy is worse than death.
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Those great warriors who have highly honored you will ridicule you, considering that you were afraid to fight.
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Your enemies will scorn your abilities with many insulting words. What could be more painful?
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O Kaunteya, if you are killed, you will attain heaven, and if you are victorious, you will enjoy the Earth. Therefore, being confident of your success, arise for battle!
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Knowing pleasure and pain, gain and loss, and victory and defeat to be one and the same - fight. You will be unaffected by sin.
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I have just explained to you the wisdom of the conception of reality. Now hear of the conception of devotional service, or bhakti-yoga. O Partha, by buddhi-yoga, engaging your intelligence in devotion, you will be able to completely cut the bondage of ac
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Even a small beginning in this devotional service cannot go in vain, nor can any loss be suffered. The most insignificant practice of such devotional service saves one from the all-devouring fear of repeated birth and death in this world.
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O descendant of the Kuru dynasty, intelligence engaged in exclusive devotion unto Me is one-pointed and firmly situated in Me, since I am its only goal. But the intelligence of those who avoid exclusive devotion to Me is splayed and characterized by endl
2:41 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

O Partha, those lascivious and ignorant persons who have no knowledge that the chief purpose of the Vedas is the attainment of the Supreme Truth, are always concerned with interpretations of its indirect, trivial aspects. They say "There is nothing worth
2:42 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

O Arjuna, when defining nondevotional paths based on action and knowledge, the Vedas deal with the three modes of material nature. Foolish men, whose intelligence is covered by exploitation and renunciation, engage themselves in the cultivation of action
2:45 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

All the purposes served by several tiny ponds can at once be served better by a large lake. Similarly, the results obtained by worshiping various demigods through respective Vedic prayers may at once be surpassed by exclusive devotion unto Me. Such devot
2:46 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

I shall now describe niskama karma-yoga the path of selfless action. You have a right to perform your natural prescribed duties, but your are not entitled to any fruits of that action. You should neither act with desire to enjoy the fruits of your work,
2:47 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

O Dhananjaya, after giving up desire for the fruits of action, situate yourself on the path of devotion (bhakti-yoga). Equally disposed to success and failure, carry out the duties prescribed according to your nature. To remain equipoised in either succe
2:48 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

O Dhananjaya, fruitive action is extremly abominable in comparison to buddhi-yoga, or equilibrium in selfless action. Those who crave the fruits of their actions are misers - they are impoverished, being full of desires. Therefore, take shelter of the in
2:49 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

A person who is not motivated by desire to enjoy the fruits of his actions rids himself of both good and bad deeds within this very life. Engage, therefore, in the path of selfless action, since such buddhi-yoga, or equilibrium in selfless action, is cer
2:50 | The Constitution of the Soul : Sankhya-yoga

Wise men of steady intelligence liberate themselves from the bondage of birth by renouncing the fruits born of action. Thus, they enter into that state of divine tranquillity which is attainable only by the devotees.
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Srimad Bhagavad Gita