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The original Sanskrit verses and
(word for word translated) of the
Mahābhārata, Bhīshma Parva ch. 23-40.

with comments taken from the writings of



 

 

 

 

'The Truth will verily Triumph'

 

1 2a 2b 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18a 18b

 

Chapter 2b (2.39-2.72)
The Yoga of Analytic Knowledge
'On the results of labor'
'Sānkhya Yoga'  

 

 

  

     " Listen to this chapter sung!  "
[slokas ch. 2a: 1 & 11, 20 to 25 & 27,
slokas ch. 2b: 47 to 52, 62 & 63, 66 to 68]

" Listen to this spoken chapter in Audio "

 

Verse 39.

eshā te 'bhihitā sānkhye
buddhir yoge tv imām śrinu
buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha
karma-bandham prahāsyasi

     The 39th sloka is a transitional verse, for after speaking of "eshā te 'bhihitā sānkhye" (All this I described to you was about the analytical study of the intelligence in yoga), Krishna says that He will go on to teach him the yogabuddhi or buddhiyoga and asked him to listen with care. - Gītā Vahini, p. 32

     Verse 40.

nehāhikrama-nāśo 'sti
pratyavāyo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt

     Of course, it is hard to effect this full surrender. But if man makes the slightest effort towards it, the Lord Himself will confer the courage to pursue it to the end. He will walk with him and help him as a friend; He will lead him as a guide; He will guard him from evil and temptation; He will be his staff and support. He has said, "svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt". (This course of action, if followed to a small extent, will save him from terrifying fear.) To follow dharma is itself a source of joy; it is the path least beset with hurdles. That is the Teaching of the Lord. - Gītā Vahini, p. 8

    Verse 41.

vyavasāyātmikā buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-śākhā hy anantāś ca
buddhayo 'vyavasāyinām

     In the Gītā, one can notice Krishna addressing Arjuna as "Kuru-nandana"! The usual meaning given by scholars to this appellation is "the scion of the Kuru clan" but it has a much more profound lesson to teach mankind. Kuru means "do" in Sanskrit, and Nandana means "he who takes delight in". So, it means Krishna is appreciating the transformation in Arjuna from inaction to action - Arjuna is the one who takes delight in having some work to do. He is the one who is sad and dejected if he has no work on hand. For most of you, Sunday is a holiday, which gives delight, but for Arjuna, the day that he can devote to God's work is indeed a holy day."Sanathana Sarathi, March 1979, pp. 57-8

 Verse 42.

yām imām pushpitām vācam
pravadanty avipascitah
veda-vāda-ratāh pārtha
nānyad astīti vādinah

 Verse 43.

kāmātmānah svarga-parā
janma-karma-phala-pradām
kriyā-viśesha-bahulām
bhogaiśvarya-gatim prati

 Verse 44.

bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānām
tayāpahrita-cetasām
vyavasāyātmikā buddhih
samādhau na vidhīyate

 Verse 45.

trai-gunya-vishayā vedā
nistraigunyo bhavārjuna
nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho
niryoga-kshema ātmavān

     The Gītā laid down that even the Vedas have to be transcended, whenever they seek to foster desires and cater to transient urges. It speaks in the same sloka that man must seek to become ātmavān, the possessor of ātmā and the Atmic strength. Note the word! ātmavān! The Gītā asks you to be not balavan (possessor of physical prowess), not dhanavan (possessor of a comfortable bank balance), but ātmavān (having the prowess arising out of the awareness that you are the Atman, which can withstand death and remain unaffected by fame or shame, grief or joy and all the buffetings of the dualities of the world). Another word in the same sloka is niryoga-kshema. Dwell for a while upon its meaning, too. It points the way to lasting happiness, never being concerned with the earning of happiness and the maintenance of happiness, just being oneself! Being established in the Atman, never worried about how to be happy (for the Atman is ever blissful), this is the prescription of the Gītā. Nirdvandvo (without paying attention to the dual throng of grief-joy, pain-pleasure, etc.), nitya-sattva-stho (ever fixed in the quality of equanimity), niryoga-kshema ātmavān - that is how the Gītā lays down the path of liberation." - Sathya Sai Speaks VII, pp. 451-2

 Verse 46.

yāvān artha udapāne
sarvatah samplutodake
tāvān sarveshu vedeshu
brāhmanasya vijānatah

 Verse 47.

karmany evādhikāras te
mā phaleshu kadācana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
mā te sango 'stv akarmani


Sung recitation of verse 47

     The Lord has said in the Gītā, "refuse the fruit" (mā phaleshu), that is to say: the deed yields results, but the doer should not desire the result or do it with the result in view. If Krishna's intention was to say that the doer has no right for the fruit, He would have said, "It is fruitless" (na phaleshu), (na meaning no). So if you desist from karma, you will be transgressing the Lord's command. That will be a serious mistake. When man has a right for engaging in karma, he has the right also for the fruit; no one can deny this or refuse his right. But the doer can, out of his own free will and determination, refuse to be affected by the result, whether favorable or unfavorable. The Gītā shows the way: "Do and deny the consequence." The desire for the result of your action is a sign of rajoguna [the mode of passion]; the giving up of action since you cannot benefit by the fruit is a sign of tamoguna [mode of ignorance, also described as darkness and slowness]. To engage oneself in karma, to know that the result will follow, and yet not to be attached to it or getting concerned with it - that is the sign of sattvaguna [the mode of goodness, the quality of purity or goodness that renders a person true, honest, wise]. - Gītā Vahini, pp. 35-6

 Verse 48.

yoga-sthah kuru karmāni
sangam, tyaktvā dhana˝jaya
siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhūtvā
samatvam yoga ucyate

     "Samatvam yogam ucyate" (equanimity is the path to reach unity). This is what the Bhagavad Gītā declares. Not only the ultimate merger in the absolute, but even peace and security in the daily process of living, cannot be gained without cultivating this quality of "samatvam" or equanimity. The effort to gain equanimity is the hardest but the most beneficial of all sādhanas. It is a bastion against the ups and downs of fortune. Without it, life becomes an uncertain game, a constant struggle with fear, hope, anxiety and doubt. - Sanathana Sarathi, July 1978, p. 109

Verse 49.

dūrena hy avaram karma
buddhi-yogād dhana˝jaya
buddhau śaranam anviccha
kripanāh phala-hetavah

Verse 50.

buddhi-yukto jahātīha
ubhe sukrita-dushkrite
tasmād yogāya yujyasva
yogah karmasu kauśalam

     To identify and become aware of the ātmā, the eternal reality, detachment rooted in discrimination is indispensable. It is the very first step for success in this venture. A fixed mind free from agitation can alone practice detachment and win equanimity. Without equanimity the years of life are wasted. A person might be an emperor and have all that one could wish for, yet, if he has no equanimity, he would be a victim of anxiety. - Sanathana Sarathi, January 1980, p. 3

Verse 51.

karma-jam buddhi-yuktā hi
phalam tyaktvā manīshinah
janma-bandha-vinirmuktāh
padam gacchanty anāmayam

     When loss is incurred, men are miserable; but profit too brings misery in its train. The tax-gatherer's shadow haunts the profitmaker. The attitude must be, "Let what comes, come." One should have no elation or dejection. Welcome the fruit, whatever it is, as a gift from God. Do not bank on its quantity or quality, or plan what to do with it. Do your duty, sincerely and to the best of your ability. Let the result be what He wills. Success and failure are often unpredictable experiences; they follow man, alternately, without any clear reason. So, the sadhaka and the seeker of peace have to concentrate on doing their duty, doing what has to be done, and leave the rest to providence.- Sanathana Sarathi, July 1978, pp. 109-10

Verse 52.

yadā te moha-kalilam
buddhir vyatitarishyati
tadā gantāsi nirvedam
śrotavyasya śrutasya ca 

Verse 53.

śruti-vipratipannā te
yadā sthāsyati niścalā
samādhāv acalā buddhis
tadā yogam avāpsyasi

     Analyze every object and discover the cheapness and hollowness of each. Then, genuine vairāgya will be planted in your heart. So, utilize the priceless weapon, the perfect mirror, that God has given you - the buddhi - for the journey to God. An old adage announces that buddhi is shaped by one's actions. Buddhih karma anusarine. This is not quite correct. It has the buddhi on one side and the senses on the other and is drawn by both into action. When the manas or mind leans towards the senses and activates them, bondage results; if it leans towards the intelligence (which is illumined by the ātmā), liberation results. Sometimes, the buddhi is enticed by the fake delight the mind revels in, through the senses. Sādhana has to be used at this moment to turn it away from serfdom to the mind. It must be restored to its status of regulator and controller of the vagaries of the mind. - Sanathana Sarathi, January 1980, pp. 5-6

Verse 54.

arjuna uvāca
sthita-praj˝asya kā bhāshā
samādhi-sthasya keśava
sthita-dhīh kim prabhāsheta
kim āsīta vrajeta kim

     Krishna taught Arjuna the nature and characteristics of the sthitapraj˝a [stable in transcendence; established in wisdom., balance], when Arjuna questioned him. Arjuna prayed "O Keśava" and when that apellation was used, Krishna smiled. For He knew then that Arjuna had understood His splendor. Do you ask how? Well, what does Keśava mean? It means, "He who is Brahmā, Vishnu, śiva, and Trimurti". Through Krishna's grace, Arjuna had reached that stage of realization. - Gītā Vahini, pp. 36-7
* Keśava: (killer of Keśi): name of Krishna as the killer of the demon Keśi who as a mad horse threatened Gokula, see in SB 10:37. Also: He with the fine black hair.

Verse 55.

śrī bhagavān uvāca
prajahāti yadā kāmān
sarvān pārtha mano-gatān
ātmany evātmanā tushthah
sthita-praj˝as tadocyate

    When Arjuna prayed that Keśava must tell him the true characteristics of a sthitapraj˝a, He replied, "Pārtha! He will be free from all desire. He will be stable in the knowledge and awareness of the ātmā only." - Gītā Vahini, p. 37

     Action of work relates to the world. The world, in turn, is related to God. So Krishna propounded that all actions must be performed with the intention of pleasing God. This type of action is a characteristic feature of a sthitapraj˝a or a person who has mental equipoise. A sthitapraj˝a performs his action, firmly established in the ātmā. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 31

Verse 56.

duhkheshv anudvigna-manāh
sukheshu vigata-sprihah
vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhah
sthita-dhīr munir ucyate

Verse 57.

yah sarvatrānabhisnehas
tat tat prāpya śubhāśubham
nābhinandati na dveshthi
tasya praj˝a pratishthhitā

     It is well known that sins bring grief as a retribution and meritorious deeds bring joy as a reward. So advice is given to avoid sins and perform meritorious deeds. But the sthitapraj˝a knows neither the pain of grief nor the thrill of joy. He is not repulsed by one or attracted by the other. He will not retreat before pain or turn toward pleasure. Only those who are ignorant of the ātmā will exult or droop when stricken with joy or grief. - Gītā Vahini, p. 38

     Krishna explained to Arjuna that a sthitapraj˝a has an even mind that is neither elated by joy nor dejected by sorrow. The sthitapraj˝a dwells always in the spirit without giving way to grief, lust, fear or delusion. His vision beholds the spirit everywhere. Krishna pointed out that Arjuna would be able to realize His true nature when he became a sthitapraj˝a. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 31

Verse 58.

yadā samharate cāyam
kūrmo 'ngānīva sarvaśah
indriyānīndriyārthebhyas
tasya praj˝a pratishthhitā

     The primary quality of a sthitapraj˝a is the control of the senses. It is not easy to repress the senses or assume mastery over them. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 31

Verse 59.

vishayā vinivartante
nirāhārasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso 'py asya
param drishthvā nivartate

     Now, there are two processes in this: To give up all the promptings of desire in the mind is the negative process; to implant joy, everpresent joy therein, is the positive aspect. The negative process is to remove all the seedlings of wrong and evil from the mind; the positive process is to grow, in the field cleansed thus, the crop of attachment to God! The cultivation of the crop you need is positive; the plucking of the weeds is the negative stage. The pleasures the senses draw from the objective world are weeds; the crop is attachment to God. The mind is a bundle of wishes, and unless these wishes are removed by their roots, there is no hope of destroying the mind, which is a great obstacle in the path of spiritual progress. When the yarn that comprises the cloth is taken out, one by one, what remains of the cloth? Nothing. The mind is made of the warp and woof of wishes. And when mind vanishes, the sthitapraj˝a is made. - Gītā Vahini, p. 37

Verse 60.

yatato hy api kaunteya
purushasya vipaścitah
indriyāni pramāthīni
haranti prasabham manah

     When man is entangled until the moment of death in stilling the clamor of the senses and catering to the needs of this illusory world, how can he thrill with the ecstasy of the awareness of his own atmic core? From the monarch in the palace to the beggar in the streets, all are caught up in the game of extracting pleasure from the outer world. - Sanathana Sarathi, January 1980, p. 5

Verse 61.

tāni sarvāni samyamya
yukta āsīta mat-parah
vaśe hi yasyendriyāni
tasya praj˝a pratishthhitā

     Man becomes a victim of ignorance, darkness, and lust if he gives unrestricted freedom to his senses. So Krishna made it clear from the beginning that controlling the senses is essential for a sthitapraj˝a. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 32

     The upward path, the higher stage, that is for the sthitapraj˝a. Of these two masteries, if the mind is subdued, that alone is enough; it is not necessary then to conquer the external senses. If the mind has no attachment with objects, the senses have nothing to cling on to; they perish by inaction; love and hate are both starved out of existence. The bonds with the objective world are cut, though the senses may yet be affected by it. For him who has been blessed by an awareness of the ātmā how can anything worldly bring grief or joy? - Gītā Vahini, p. 39

Verse 62.

dhyāyato vishayān pumsah
sangas teshūpajāyate
sangāt sa˝jāyate kāmah
kāmāt krodho 'bhijāyate

Verse 63.

krodhād bhavati sammohah
sammohāt smriti-vibhramah
smriti-bhramśād buddhi-nāśo
buddhi-nāśāt pranaśyati

     So the first thing to be conquered is kama, the demon of desire. For this, it is unnecessary to wage a huge war. It is also unnecessary to use pleasing words to persuade the desire to disappear. Desires will not disappear for fear of the one or for favor of the other. Desires are objective; they belong to the category of the "seen". With the conviction that "I am the see-er only, not the seen", sthitapraj˝a releases himself from attachment. By this means he conquers desire. You must watch the working of the mind, from outside it; you must not get involved in it. That is the meaning of this discipline. 

     The faculty of the mind is as a strong current of electricity. It has to be watched from a distance and not contacted or touched. Touch it, you are reduced to ashes. So too, contact and attachment give the chance for the mind to ruin you. The farther you are from it, the better. By skillful methods, you have to make the best use of it for your own welfare. 

     The bliss that the sthitapraj˝a is immersed in does not arise from external objects; he has no need of them either. Ananda is in every one as part of his very nature. Those with pure consciousness find the highest bliss in the realization of their own reality, the ātmā. That joy is swasam-paadyam (self-earned, so to say). It is known only to the individual; it is self-evident. - Gītā Vahini, p. 37-8

Verse 64.

rāga-dvesha-vimuktais tu
vishayān indriyaiś caran
ātma-vaśyair vidheyātmā
prasādam adhigacchati

Verse 65.

prasāde sarva-duhkhānām
hānir asyopajāyate
prasanna-cetaso hy āśu
buddhih paryavatishthhate

     Control of the senses is absolutely essential for every individual. Look at this paper. It is now in its normal form. If it is rolled up and kept for some time in that state, it cannot regain its original form. When we want to bring it to its original and natural state, we must roll it in the reverse direction. So, from our childhood, knowingly or unknowingly, we roll our mind with the pull of sensory and worldly desires. If we roll it up in the reverse direction, in the direction of the ātmā, it will regain its original form. So we shall be able to gain control over the senses when we turn the vision inward since it had been all along focussed on external phenomena. Letting bygones be bygones, we should put in the necessary effort to restore the sacred nature of our mind by cultivating the inward vision. Whatever work we undertake, whatever thoughts we entertain, whatever scenes we may visualize, we must make an endeavor from today to turn them Godward - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, p. 33

Verse 66.

nāsti buddhir ayuktasya
na cāyuktasya bhāvanā
na cābhāvayatah śāntir
aśāntasya kutah sukham

Verse 67.

indriyānām hi caratām
yan mano 'nuvidhīyate
tad asya harati praj˝ām
vāyur nāvam ivāmbhasi

     So along with the mastery of the senses, one must establish mastery of the mind also. This is the sign of the sthitapraj˝a. If this double mastery is absent, he is a gatha-praj˝a, not a sthitapraj˝a (a no-wisdom individual, and not a steady-wisdom individual). Where does he go? To perdition and nowhere else. - Gītā Vahini, p. 39

Verse 68.

tasmād yasya mahā-bāho
nigrihītāni sarvaśah
indriyānīndriyārthebhyas
tasya praj˝a pratishthhitā

     The sthitapraj˝a will ever be engaged in manana, or contemplation and rumination. He is called muni [wise or self-realized soul. e.g. Nārada Muni, SB 1:5, 23-31]. His intellect is steady, because the senses do not harry it. One point has to be understood here. Conquest of the senses is essential for sādhana; but that is not all. As long as the objective world continues to attract the mind, one cannot claim complete success. That is why Krishna says, "Arjuna! Establish mastery over the senses; then you need have no fear, for they become serpents with the fangs removed." But there is still danger from thoughts and impulses that draw you outwards. Desire has no limit; it can never be satiated. - Gītā Vahini, pp. 38-9

Verse 69.

yā niśā sarva-bhūtānām
tasyām jāgarti samyamī
yasyām jāgrati bhūtāni
sā niśā paśyato muneh

     The indriyas or senses have to be fully destroyed. That is the hall-mark of a sthitapraj˝a. So when all beings are experiencing night, the sthitapraj˝a would keep himself awake. When all beings are awake, the sthitapraj˝a would be asleep. The literal meaning of this is that what is night for one is day for the other. It would mean that the sthitapraj˝a is a person who sleeps during the day and keeps awake at night. 

     The inner meaning of this statement is very profound. Ordinary men are vigilant in affairs that concern the senses that arise out of this world. Wakefulness for them is the care they bestow on worldly pursuits. But the sthitapraj˝a is unconcerned with these very things; he is, so to say, asleep. What does sleep mean? It means the happiness resulting from inactivity of the senses. And vigilance? It means yielding to the senses, and catering to them. When ordinary men are pursuing the senses and their demands, the sthitapraj˝a is asleep. This can also be put in other words; forget the atmasthithi and you relapse into dehasthithi, from the ātmā consciousness stage you fall into the body-consciousness stage. 

     This is what happens to the ordinary man; he sleeps in the ātmā stage and wakes into the deha-sthithi. The sthitapraj˝a's case is different. He sleeps in the deha consciousness and wakes in the awareness of the ātmā. He will not awake, even by mistake, in the sensory world, the world where the ordinary man is most vigilant! This is the inner meaning. It is far from the literal meaning, which, if taken as true, would entitle thieves, watchmen, and others to the name of sthitapraj˝a for all those keep awake at night and sleep during the day! Only those who have given up traces of desire and become mere instruments can achieve santhi. - Gītā Vahini, pp. 40-1
Indriyas: the senses, karmendriyas en j˝ānendriyas: the working and knowing senses. The ten senses are the organs of the hearing, touching, seeing, tasting and smelling, (for perception) with the mouth, the hands, the legs, the genitals and the excretion organs as the tenth (for acting). Sometimes the mind is added as the eleventh sense. 

Verse 70.

āpāryamānam acala-pratishthham
samudram āpah praviśanti yadvat
tadvat kāmā yam praviśanti sarve
sa śāntim āpnoti na kāma-kāmī

Verse 71.

vihāya kāmān yah sarvān
pumāmś carati nihsprihah
nirmamo nirahankārah
sa śāntim adhigacchati

     As a consequence of pride in one's own strength and power, a person might injure thousands, but the pride will injure that person most, for pride, or egoism, is like a devil that possesses a man, a devil that is difficult to exorcise. Man cannot claim to be man until this ego that prompts him to ruin others is destroyed by sādhana. The Gītā directs that man has to be "nirmamo nirahankārah". The divine in him can manifest only when the dark forces of "Mine" and "I" are rendered ineffective. To overpower the ego is a well-nigh impossible task. We have heard of the six internal foes that haunt man every moment of his life. But, the sense of "I" and "Mine" are far more deep-rooted. People have conquered the six foes: lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and hatred. Indeed, there are plenty who have achieved this victory. But rare indeed is the hero who has demolished his ego and escaped from its nefarious urge. - Sanathana Sarathi, 1978, p. 243 

Verse 72.

eshā brāhmī sthitih pārtha
nainām prāpya vimuhyati
sthitvāsyām anta-kāle 'pi
brahma-nirvānam ricchati

     Brahman is the basis, the substance, the prime mover and the "enjoyer" of the universe. Krishna exhorted Arjuna to comprehend the omnipresence and essence of Brahman, the Godhead. - Summer Showers in Brindavan 1979, pp. 24-5

    

      

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