The Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2

Reference: Course on The Bhagavad Gita

English Translation By Shri Purohit Swami.


Chapter 2

Sanjaya tells King Dhritarashtra what Lord Krishna said to Arjuna when Arjuna was overwhelmed with grief.


2.1 Sanjaya then told how the Lord Shri Krishna, seeing Arjuna overwhelmed with compassion, his eyes dimmed with flowing tears and full of despondency, consoled him:


2.2 The Lord said: My beloved friend! Why yield, just on the eve of battle, to this weakness which does no credit to those who call themselves Aryans, and only brings them infamy and bars against them the gates of heaven?

The first thing Krishna tells Arjuna is not to get into a weakened or enfeebled state.


2.3 O Arjuna! Why give way to unmanliness? O thou who art the terror of thine enemies! Shake off such shameful effeminacy, make ready to act!

The next thing he says is not to give way to impotence or cowardice.

NOTE: Up to this point Aryans had fought bravely against other races of India to conquer them. This was the first time they were encountering an enemy within their own race in the form of injustice and suppression.


2.4 Arjuna argued: My Lord! How can I, when the battle rages, send an arrow through Bheeshma and Drona, who should receive my reverence?


2.5 Rather would I content myself with a beggar’s crust that kill these teachers of mine, these precious noble souls! To slay these masters who are my benefactors would be to stain the sweetness of life’s pleasures with their blood.


2.6 Nor can I say whether it were better that they conquer me or for me to conquer them, since would no longer care to live if I killed these sons of Dhritarashtra, now preparing for fight.


2.7 My heart is oppressed with pity; and my mind confused as to what my duty is. Therefore, my Lord, tell me what is best for my spiritual welfare, for I am Thy disciple. Please direct me, I pray.


2.8 For should I attain the monarchy of the visible world, or over the invisible world, it would not drive away the anguish which is now paralyzing my senses.


2.9 Sanjaya continued: “Arjuna, the conqueror of all enemies, then told the Lord of All-Hearts that he would no fight, and became silent, O King! 

Arjuna then expresses the great dilemma he is beset by: “How can I kill my revered teachers who have been my benefactors all my life? How can I kill my own cousins who make up my klan? Won’t that go against all traditions and be a great sin?” Arjuna, therefore, decides not to fight.


2.10 Thereupon the Lord, with a gracious smile, addressed him who was so much depressed in the midst of the two armies.

Lord Krishna understood immediately that the wavering of Arjuna came from his emotional attachment to some of his opponents in this conflict. This attachment deluded Arjuna from seeing how these same individuals were supporting the unjust and cruel rule of the Kauravas.

श्री भगवानुवाच
अशोच्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे।
गतासूनगतासूंश्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः।।2.11।।

2.11 Lord Shri Krishna said: Why grieve for those for whom no grief is due, and yet profess wisdom? The wise grieve neither for the dead nor the living.

न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः।
न चैव न भविष्यामः सर्वे वयमतः परम्।।2.12।।

2.12 There was never a time when I was not, nor thou, nor these princes were not; there will never be a time when we shall cease to be.

To resolve Arjuna’s dilemma, Krishna starts by explaining the nature of self, and how it is expressed through the identity one has assumed. The actual self is atman that is a constant and never ceases to be. The identity is the temporary form that goes through a life cycle.

देहिनोऽस्मिन्यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा।
तथा देहान्तरप्राप्तिर्धीरस्तत्र न मुह्यति।।2.13।।

2.13 As the soul experiences in this body infancy, youth and old age, so finally it passes into another. The wise have no delusion about this.

The word “soul” is used here as the translation of देहिनः. This is jivatman, which is the awareness of the body-mind system. At the beginning of a life cycle, the body-mind system, and its awareness, comes from the genes supplied by both mother and father. This is a new and unique jivatman. This jivatman is aware of the stages of infancy, youth and old age.

During the lifecycle, the jivatman passes its blue print through its genes. These genes generate life cycles of new and unique jivatmans. At the end of a life cycle the jivatman (the body-mind system and its awareness) simply disintegrates. In short, a jivatman has the identity of the body-mind system. It is born and it dies.

Atman, on the other hand, is a broad view of general awareness that is represented by a universal viewpoint. The cyclic jivatmans contribute to the overall evolution of the atman. Unlike jivatman, the atman has no identity in terms of having a body-mind system. Therefore, atman is never born nor it ever dies. Atman evolves towards the state of Paramatman.

The idea of rebirth means that there is a connection among jivatmans of different life cycles. This connection comes through genes that carry the blue prints of body-mind systems.

मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः।
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत।।2.14।।

2.14 Those external relations which bring cold and heat, pain and happiness, they come and go; they are not permanent. Endure them bravely, O Prince!

This verse differentiates self from what it experiences. Sensations come from external sense organs, which are then interpreted. These sensations and feelings are not permanent. They come and go.

यं हि न व्यथयन्त्येते पुरुषं पुरुषर्षभ।
समदुःखसुखं धीरं सोऽमृतत्वाय कल्पते।।2.15।।

2.15 The hero whose soul is unmoved by circumstance, who accepts pleasure and pain with equanimity, only he is fit for immortality.

This verse introduces the static viewpoint that itself does not have any motion; but it views all possible motion without any distortion. This is an enlightened state that can continue forever.

नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सतः।
उभयोरपि दृष्टोऽन्तस्त्वनयोस्तत्त्वदर्शिभिः।।2.16।।

2.16 That which is not, shall never be; that which is, shall never cease to be. To the wise, these truths are self-evident.

We have the ability to discern the appearances that just come and go, and also the principles that are always applicable. This is the basis of wisdom. This verse is basically about objectivity. An objective person cannot be deceived. He can differentiate between what is there and what is not there. Objectivity is seeing things as they are. One can be objective not only about things that are physical, but also about things that are mental or spiritual.

अविनाशि तु तद्विद्धि येन सर्वमिदं ततम्।
विनाशमव्ययस्यास्य न कश्चित् कर्तुमर्हति।।2.17।।

2.17 The Spirit, which pervades all that we see, is imperishable. Nothing can destroy the Spirit.

That which pervades everything that we are aware of cannot be destroyed. Note that there is देहिनः (soul), which is the awareness of the individual identity (jivatman); but beyond the identity there is the principle of Spirit, or Self (Atman), that pervades everything. 

अन्तवन्त इमे देहा नित्यस्योक्ताः शरीरिणः।
अनाशिनोऽप्रमेयस्य तस्माद्युध्यस्व भारत।।2.18।।

2.18 The material bodies which this Eternal, Indestructible, Immeasurable Spirit inhabits are all finite. Therefore fight, O Valiant Man!

The material bodies, and the identities associated with them, are finite. But there is an eternal principle that inhabits and energizes us. Gita is telling us not to get introverted into some identity we are expected to be. Just be extroverted, be what you naturally are best at, and perform your duty.

य एनं वेत्ति हन्तारं यश्चैनं मन्यते हतम्।
उभौ तौ न विजानीतो नायं हन्ति न हन्यते।।2.19।।

2.19 He who thinks that the Spirit kills, and he who thinks of It as killed, are both ignorant. The Spirit kills not, nor is It killed.

Atman is the underlying energizing principle of Spirit. It neither kills nor is it killed.

न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि न्नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे।।2.20।।

2.20 It was not born; It will never die, nor once having been, can It cease to be. Unborn, Eternal, Ever-enduring, yet Most Ancient, the Spirit dies not when the body is dead.

This verse is not referring to the individual identity (soul). It is  referring to the spirit that energizes the identities. It seems to refer to the very self of the universe, which is the most ancient reality there is. This is the principle of Atman that takes on identities.

वेदाविनाशिनं नित्यं य एनमजमव्ययम्।
कथं स पुरुषः पार्थ कं घातयति हन्ति कम्।।2.21।।

2.21 He who knows the Spirit as Indestructible, Immortal, Unborn, Always-the-Same, how should he kill or cause to be killed?

Atman is the constant principle, identities are the fluctuations. Once you know Atman the fluctuations of identities reduce in significance.

वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही।।2.22।।

2.22 As a man discards his threadbare robes and puts on new, so the Spirit throws off Its worn-out bodies and takes fresh ones.

The above is a simile. Atman is not individual but an eternal principle. When you look at “atman” from an individual’s viewpoint, you end up looking at an identity. 

नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः।
न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः।।2.23।।

2.23 Weapons cleave It not, fire burns It not, water drenches It not, and wind dries It not.

Atman is not physical. It is never what you think you are as an individual, because that would be an identity.

अच्छेद्योऽयमदाह्योऽयमक्लेद्योऽशोष्य एव च।
नित्यः सर्वगतः स्थाणुरचलोऽयं सनातनः।।2.24।।

2.24 It is impenetrable; It can be neither drowned nor scorched nor dried. It is Eternal, All-pervading, Unchanging, Immovable and Most Ancient.

Atman is the most ancient potential that is engaged in myriads of ways and has been evolving forever. That is its nature.

तस्मादेवं विदित्वैनं नानुशोचितुमर्हसि।।2.25।।

2.25 It is named the Unmanifest, the Unthinkable, the immutable. Wherefore, knowing the Spirit as such, thou hast no cause to grieve.

Atman is the static viewpoint that is exterior to everything.

अथ चैनं नित्यजातं नित्यं वा मन्यसे मृतम्।
तथापि त्वं महाबाहो नैवं शोचितुमर्हसि।।2.26।।

2.26 Even if thou thinkest of It as constantly being born, constantly dying, even then, O Mighty Man, thou still hast no cause to grieve.

There is birth and death of identities only. Atman itself is constant.

जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च।
तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि।।2.27।।

2.27 For death is as sure for that which is born, as birth is for that which is dead. Therefore grieve not for what is inevitable.

Birth and death are inevitable. They are part of the life cycle.

अव्यक्तादीनि भूतानि व्यक्तमध्यानि भारत।
अव्यक्तनिधनान्येव तत्र का परिदेवना।।2.28।।

2.28 The end and the beginning of beings are unknown. We see only the intervening formations. Then what cause is there for grief?

What happens after death and before birth is unknown. We are aware only of the manifestations during the life cycle.

आश्चर्यवत्पश्यति कश्चिदेन माश्चर्यवद्वदति तथैव चान्यः।
आश्चर्यवच्चैनमन्यः श्रृणोति श्रुत्वाप्येनं वेद न चैव कश्चित्।।2.29।।

2.29 One hears of the Spirit with surprise, another thinks It marvelous, the third listens without comprehending. Thus, though many are told about It, scarcely is there one who knows It.

Everybody seems to have some idea of their identity but scarcely is there one who understands the underlying concept of atman.

देही नित्यमवध्योऽयं देहे सर्वस्य भारत।
तस्मात्सर्वाणि भूतानि न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि।।2.30।।

2.30 Be not anxious about these armies. The Spirit in man is imperishable.

Krishna concludes that “THAT which is embodied” is imperishable. The concept of ATMAN should not be associated with the identity or individuality of the person.

Krishna exhorts Arjuna to put attention on what is truly real and relevant and ignore all else. Sense objects, such as bodies, are perishable. The feelings from them are transitory and fleeting. These things are not relevant. On the other hand, the essence that pervades these sense objects never ceases to be. It is neither the cause nor effect of these sense objects. It is neither born nor can it be destroyed. It is beyond the transitory manifestations.

Krishna advises not to get attached to the transitory manifestations of sense objects and grieve for their loss, but to be established in the truly relevant essence beyond them.

Here we have the most critical teaching of the Bhagavad Gita. The word ATMAN is translated as “soul” but it should not be confused with the concept of soul in Semitic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). The soul in these religions is defined in personal terms. This is not the case with atman, which is a universal principle. Atman is the real essence whereas any personal characteristics are associated with the form. The form is transitory. It is important to understand what the real essence (atman) is.

स्वधर्ममपि चावेक्ष्य न विकम्पितुमर्हसि।
धर्म्याद्धि युद्धाछ्रेयोऽन्यत्क्षत्रियस्य न विद्यते।।2.31।।

2.31 Thou must look at thy duty. Nothing can be more welcome to a soldier than a righteous war. Therefore to waver in this resolve is unworthy, O Arjuna!

The natural duties go with individual nature. They are designed to resolve past karma (dissolve programming) and to evolve further (engage in creativity).

यदृच्छया चोपपन्नं स्वर्गद्वारमपावृतम्।
सुखिनः क्षत्रियाः पार्थ लभन्ते युद्धमीदृशम्।।2.32।।

2.32 Blessed are the soldiers who find their opportunity. This opportunity has opened for thee the gates of heaven.

The reference to “heaven” in this verse can be taken literally by some as an actual place somewhere, or it could be understood as the fulfillment of one’s lifelong goals that fills one with happiness. The interpretation shall depend on one’s Qualities (sattvic, rajasic or tamasic).

अथ चैत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं संग्रामं न करिष्यसि।
ततः स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि।।2.33।।

2.33 Refuse to fight in this righteous cause, and thou wilt be a traitor, lost to fame, incurring only sin.

There are adverse consequences when one neglects and does not perform one’s duties. धर्म (dharma) is the inherent nature of the identity’s beingness. The dharma of a Kshatriya is to fight for a righteous cause on the battlefield. Sin consists of acting against one’s inherent nature, or not acting according to it.

अकीर्तिं चापि भूतानि कथयिष्यन्ति तेऽव्ययाम्।
संभावितस्य चाकीर्तिर्मरणादतिरिच्यते।।2.34।।

2.34 Men will talk forever of thy disgrace; and to the noble, dishonor is worse than death.

There are social consequences when one does not perform one’s duty.

भयाद्रणादुपरतं मंस्यन्ते त्वां महारथाः।
येषां च त्वं बहुमतो भूत्वा यास्यसि लाघवम्।।2.35।।

2.35 Great generals will think that thou hast fled from the battlefield through cowardice; though once honored thou wilt seem despicable.

People especially speculate about celebrities when they do not perform their duty. This brings dishonor to them.

अवाच्यवादांश्च बहून् वदिष्यन्ति तवाहिताः।
निन्दन्तस्तव सामर्थ्यं ततो दुःखतरं नु किम्।।2.36।।

2.36 Thine enemies will spread scandal and mock at thy courage. Can anything be more humiliating?

You may have the noblest of reasons to abandon your expected duties, but you’ll fall into disgrace and will be thought less of. There is really no pain more unbearable and tormenting than that of slander thus incurred.

हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम्।
तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चयः।।2.37।।

2.37 If killed, thou shalt attain Heaven; if victorious, enjoy the kingdom of earth. Therefore arise, O Son of Kunti, and fight!

But if you simply perform your duties it is a win-win situation.

सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ।
ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि।।2.38।।

2.38 Look upon pleasure and pain, victory and defeat, with an equal eye. Make ready for the combat, and thou shalt commit no sin.

You face the situation and perform your duty with equanimity regardless of the outcome. You do not incur any sin when you do this.

Krishna reminds Arjuna that he is a Kshatriya, whose purpose  is to fight a righteous war. If a Kshatriya fails in this duty for any reason, his friends and foes alike would despise him. A Kshatriya must carry out his duty without any thought of pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat. That is the reality in this war. It is the most essential factor.

If we keep our attention on the reality of the situation that concerns us, and on the most essential factors therein, we shall then be able to overcome any seeming feeling of loss and wrongdoing.

एषा तेऽभिहिता सांख्ये बुद्धिर्योगे त्विमां श्रृणु।
बुद्ध्यायुक्तो यया पार्थ कर्मबन्धं प्रहास्यसि।।2.39।।

2.39 I have told thee the philosophy of Knowledge. Now listen and I will explain the philosophy of Action, by means of which, O Arjuna, thou shalt break through the bondage of all action.

This is the philosophy of knowledge, but there is a philosophy of action too with which you can break through the bondage due to action.

नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते।
स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात्।।2.40।।

2.40 On this Path, endeavor is never wasted, nor can it ever be repressed. Even a very little of its practice protects one from great danger

The discourse now switches from Jnana Yoga to Karma Yoga. Krishna explains to Arjuna that any action carried out selflessly does not affect the person because there is no self complicit in the situation. Thus there is no adverse result. 

व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनन्दन।
बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम्।।2.41।।

2.41 By its means, the straying intellect becomes steadied in the contemplation of one object only; whereas the minds of the irresolute stray into bypaths innumerable.

Karma Yoga steadies the straying intellect. It gets one out of his head and makes him focus on what is relevant.

यामिमां पुष्पितां वाचं प्रवदन्त्यविपश्चितः।
वेदवादरताः पार्थ नान्यदस्तीति वादिनः।।2.42।।

2.42 Only the ignorant speak in figurative language. It is they who extol the letter of the scriptures, saying, ‘There is nothing deeper than this.’

The ignorant worship their own literal interpretation of the scriptures.

कामात्मानः स्वर्गपरा जन्मकर्मफलप्रदाम्।
क्रियाविशेषबहुलां भोगैश्वर्यगतिं प्रति।।2.43।।

2.43 Consulting only their own desires, they construct their own heaven, devising arduous and complex rites to secure their own pleasure and their own power; and the only result is rebirth.

They construct their own heaven that fulfills their desires and devise their own rites and rituals to reach that heaven. Such people remain mired in their concerns for the earthly survival life after life.

भोगैश्वर्यप्रसक्तानां तयापहृतचेतसाम्।
व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः समाधौ न विधीयते।।2.44।।

2.44 While their minds are absorbed with ideas of power and personal enjoyment, they cannot concentrate their discrimination on one point.

Karma yoga is for those who cannot concentrate their discrimination on one point.

त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा निस्त्रैगुण्यो भवार्जुन।
निर्द्वन्द्वो नित्यसत्त्वस्थो निर्योगक्षेम आत्मवान्।।2.45।।

2.45 The Vedic Scriptures tell of the three constituents of life – the Qualities. Rise above all of them, O Arjuna, above all the pairs of opposing sensations; be steady in truth, free from worldly anxieties and centered in the Self.

The three Qualities referred to are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. One must rise above them, and also above the pairs of opposing sensations. The Self referred to is the universal viewpoint. It is the broadest viewpoint possible. Thinking in personal terms of self is subjectivity. Thinking in universal terms is objectivity. 

यावानर्थ उदपाने सर्वतः संप्लुतोदके।
तावान्सर्वेषु वेदेषु ब्राह्मणस्य विजानतः।।2.46।।

2.46 As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose.

Vedas are useful to the extent that one acquires the universal viewpoint.

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि।।2.47।।

2.47 But thou hast only the right to work, but none to the fruit thereof. Let not then the fruit of thy action be thy motive; nor yet be thou enamored of inaction.

Karma Yoga is the solution to the desires that bind you and delude your thinking. You just focus on your actions without thinking of what you are going to get out of it. 

योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय।
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते।।2.48।।

2.48 Perform all thy actions with mind concentrated on the Divine, renouncing attachment and looking upon success and failure with an equal eye. Spirituality implies equanimity.

Having attention fixated on going to heaven is not spirituality. This is attachment to the fruits of your actions.

दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म बुद्धियोगाद्धनञ्जय।
बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ कृपणाः फलहेतवः।।2.49।।

2.49 Physical action is far inferior to an intellect concentrated on the Divine. Have recourse then to Pure Intelligence. It is only the petty-minded who work for reward.

To have the intellect concentrated on the Divine is to have equanimity of mind. To have the intellect focused on the fruits of action is petty mindedness.

बुद्धियुक्तो जहातीह उभे सुकृतदुष्कृते।
तस्माद्योगाय युज्यस्व योगः कर्मसु कौशलम्।।2.50।।

2.50 When a man attains to Pure Reason, he renounces in this world the results of good and evil alike. Cling thou to Right Action. Spirituality is the real art of living.

Do not focus on the results whether good or bad. Simply focus on the right action without worrying about the results. Discharge your duties to the best of your capability.

कर्मजं बुद्धियुक्ता हि फलं त्यक्त्वा मनीषिणः।
जन्मबन्धविनिर्मुक्ताः पदं गच्छन्त्यनामयम्।।2.51।।

2.51 The sages guided by Pure Intellect renounce the fruit of action; and, freed from the chains of rebirth, they reach the highest bliss.

Intellect is freed of all delusions by Karma Yoga. It then attains the highest bliss. 

यदा ते मोहकलिलं बुद्धिर्व्यतितरिष्यति।
तदा गन्तासि निर्वेदं श्रोतव्यस्य श्रुतस्य च।।2.52।।

2.52 When thy reason has crossed the entanglements of illusion, then shalt thou become indifferent both to the philosophies thou hast heard and to those thou mayest yet hear.

The intellect also becomes indifferent to all the different philosophies floating around.

श्रुतिविप्रतिपन्ना ते यदा स्थास्यति निश्चला।
समाधावचला बुद्धिस्तदा योगमवाप्स्यसि।।2.53।।

2.53 When the intellect, bewildered by the multiplicity of holy scripts, stands unperturbed in blissful contemplation of the Infinite, then hast thou attained Spirituality.

The intellect then stands unperturbed in blissful contemplation of the Infinite. This is the attainment of Self-realization.

There is more bold thinking presented here. Krishna declares that one needs to free oneself even from the wants of ‘spiritual gains’ promised in the Vedas, the highest scriptures of the time. There should be no desire to gain ‘merits’ by following the Vedas.  Such ‘attainments’ reduce in significance completely after one has attained self-realization.

The most relevant factor is the complete discharging of one’s duty. Let the results follow; but laying claim to any results, or making results to be one’s object, is not relevant. When actions are performed with this detachment, neither success nor failure concerns one. Such equilibrium in action is called Karma Yoga. With this yoga, one frees oneself from the pair of opposites, such as, good and evil, alike, and attains a blissful supreme state.

अर्जुन उवाच
स्थितप्रज्ञस्य का भाषा समाधिस्थस्य केशव।

स्थितधीः किं प्रभाषेत किमासीत व्रजेत किम्।।2.54।।

2.54 Arjuna asked: My Lord! How can we recognize the saint who has attained Pure Intellect, who has reached this state of Bliss, and whose mind is steady? how does he talk, how does he live, and how does he act?

This is an obvious question. How does it feel to have attained Pure Intellect?

श्री भगवानुवाच
प्रजहाति यदा कामान् सर्वान् पार्थ मनोगतान्।
आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्टः स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते।।2.55।।

2.55 Lord Shri Krishna replied: When a man has given up the desires of his heart and is satisfied with the Self alone, be sure that he has reached the highest state.

When one has become familiar with the objectivity of the universal viewpoint, he is no longer drawn toward the petty attachments of the narrower viewpoints.

दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः।
वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते।।2.56।।

2.56 The sage, whose mind is unruffled in suffering, whose desire is not roused by enjoyment, who is without attachment, anger or fear – take him to be one who stands at that lofty level.

यः सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभम्।
नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता।।2.57।।

2.57 He who wherever he goes is attached to no person and to no place by ties of flesh; who accepts good and evil alike, neither welcoming the one nor shrinking from the other – take him to be one who is merged in the Infinite.

यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वशः।
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता।।2.58।।

2.58 He who can withdraw his senses from the attraction of their objects, as the tortoise draws his limbs within its shell – take it that such a one has attained Perfection.

These verses describe the state of perfection for the mind. This is not mere intellectualization. This is the result of being able to see things as they are all the way through to the end. When you do that you are no longer disturbed or influenced by the sense objects and the suffering or enjoyment they cause; there is no anger or fear; there is no welcoming or shrinking. If there is any it soon settles down. Then you are simply there.

विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः।
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते।।2.59।।

2.59 The objects of sense turn from him who is abstemious. Even the relish for them is lost in him who has seen the Truth.

यततो ह्यपि कौन्तेय पुरुषस्य विपश्चितः।
इन्द्रियाणि प्रमाथीनि हरन्ति प्रसभं मनः।।2.60।।

2.60 O Arjuna! The mind of him, who is trying to conquer it, is forcibly carried away in spite of his efforts, by his tumultuous senses

तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य युक्त आसीत मत्परः।
वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता।।2.61।।

2.61 Restraining them all, let him meditate steadfastly on Me; for who thus conquers his senses achieves perfection.

When you focus on seeing things as they are, the sense-objects lose there hold on you. The more you try to conquer your mind the more it goes out of control. But the more you focus on the universal viewpoint and see things as they are, the easier it becomes to be in control.

ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते।
सङ्गात् संजायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते।।2.62।।

2.62 When a man dwells on the objects of sense, he creates an attraction for them; attraction develops into desire, and desire breeds anger.

क्रोधाद्भवति संमोहः संमोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः।
स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति।।2.63।।

2.63 Anger induces delusion; delusion, loss of memory; through loss of memory, reason is shattered; and loss of reason leads to destruction.

Mental decline and destruction starts with dwelling on sense-objects. There is a sequence that follows. Awareness of this sequence can help one reverse this decline.

रागद्वेषवियुक्तैस्तु विषयानिन्द्रियैश्चरन्।
आत्मवश्यैर्विधेयात्मा प्रसादमधिगच्छति।।2.64।।

2.64 But the self-controlled soul, who moves amongst sense objects, free from either attachment or repulsion, he wins eternal Peace.

प्रसादे सर्वदुःखानां हानिरस्योपजायते।
प्रसन्नचेतसो ह्याशु बुद्धिः पर्यवतिष्ठते।।2.65।।

2.65 Having attained Peace, he becomes free from misery; for when the mind gains peace, right discrimination follows.

When one becomes fully aware of the nature of sense-objects, their attraction and repulsion goes away and right discrimination follows. Here is a study of the nature of substance that forms this universe. This study has been fascinating.

नास्ति बुद्धिरयुक्तस्य न चायुक्तस्य भावना।
न चाभावयतः शान्तिरशान्तस्य कुतः सुखम्।।2.66।।

2.66 Right discrimination is not for him who cannot concentrate. Without concentration, there cannot be meditation; he who cannot meditate must not expect peace; and without peace, how can anyone expect happiness?

इन्द्रियाणां हि चरतां यन्मनोऽनुविधीयते।
तदस्य हरति प्रज्ञां वायुर्नावमिवाम्भसि।।2.67।।

2.67 As a ship at sea is tossed by the tempest, so the reason is carried away by the mind when preyed upon by straying senses.

तस्माद्यस्य महाबाहो निगृहीतानि सर्वशः।
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता।।2.68।।

2.68 Therefore, O Might-in-Arms, he who keeps his senses detached from their objects – take it that his reason is purified.

Here the caution is against dwelling constantly on sense-objects instead of contemplating on the deeper meaning of existence. The whole idea is to look at the larger picture to stabilize oneself, than to just dwell on the sense objects.

या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी।
यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुनेः।।2.69।।

2.69 The saint is awake when the world sleeps, and he ignores that for which the world lives.

आपूर्यमाणमचलप्रतिष्ठं समुद्रमापः प्रविशन्ति यद्वत्।
तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी।।2.70।।

2.70 He attains Peace, into whom desires flow as rivers into the ocean, which though brimming with water remains ever the same; not he whom desire carries away.

The awake person has very different goals than those stuck in the identity immersed in worldly desires. A man of wisdom is aware of the sense-objects around him but he does not react to them, and, certainly, does not run after them.

विहाय कामान्यः सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति निःस्पृहः।
निर्ममो निरहंकारः स शांतिमधिगच्छति।।2.71।।

2.71 He attains Peace who, giving up desire, moves through the world without aspiration, possessing nothing which he can call his own, and free from pride.

एषा ब्राह्मी स्थितिः पार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति।
स्थित्वाऽस्यामन्तकालेऽपि ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृच्छति।।2.72।।

2.72 O Arjuna! This is the state of the Self, the Supreme Spirit, to which if a man once attain, it shall never be taken from him. Even at the time of leaving the body, he will remain firmly enthroned there, and will become one with the Eternal.

The sense of ‘mine’, the ‘ego’, and the longing for sense-objects comes from being fixated on the narrow viewpoint of one’s identity (Jivatman). In the absence of that fixation one becomes aware of the universal viewpoint. This universal viewpoint remains even at the time of leaving the body.

Krishna explains how one gets established in such wisdom in a stable manner. One sits in meditation and focuses on what is relevant, such as, breathing. There is no effort to control anything else, not even how one breathes. Then let those things that are irrelevant swirl around and settle down on their own accord.

It is putting attention on what is irrelevant, which leads one into ruin. A person established in wisdom realizes this. He is focused in the essentials, which are beyond any desire, sense of ego, or thirst for life. Thus, he overcomes delusion. He is completely at peace even at the hour of his death.



Sanjaya tells King Dhritarashtra what Lord Krishna said to Arjuna when Arjuna was overwhelmed with grief. The first thing Krishna tells Arjuna is not to get into a weakened or enfeebled state. The next thing he says is not to give way to impotence or cowardice. Up to this point Aryans had fought bravely against other races of India to conquer them. This was the first time they were encountering an enemy within their own race in the form of injustice and suppression.

Arjuna then expresses the great dilemma he is beset by: “How can I kill my revered teachers who have been my benefactors all my life? How can I kill my own cousins who make up my klan? Won’t that go against all traditions and be a great sin?” Arjuna, therefore, decides not to fight.  Krishna understood immediately that the wavering of Arjuna came from his emotional attachment to some of his opponents in this conflict. This attachment deluded Arjuna from seeing how these same individuals were supporting the unjust and cruel rule of the Kauravas. 

To resolve Arjuna’s dilemma, Krishna starts by explaining the nature of self, and how it is expressed through the identity one has assumed. One must carry out the natural purpose associated with that identity to achieve complete harmony of self. The identity exists merely to serve the self. It changes from one life to the next. 


Final Comments

Self consists of Atman and Jivatman. The jivatman (soul) is an extension of the body-mind system—it identifies the person; whereas, Atman is the general awareness with the potential of continually evolving. Atman has no identity; but it is embodied as jivatman in each life cycle. This jivatman consists of a finite body, memory, mental machinery and awareness. Jivatman comes into being upon birth and it disintegrates upon death. The atman as general awareness continues through life cycles after life cycles. 

Each jivatman is evolving, and this contributes to the evolution of Atman. Jivatman provides the natural way to resolve anomalies. Sense objects, such as bodies, are perishable. The feelings from them are transitory and fleeting. The productive activity is the resolution of situations without any thought of pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat.

Gita is telling us to use the natural abilities of jivatman to resolve anomalies in its sphere of action. Action without selfish interest in the outcome keeps you extroverted. Any fixation on the outcome, such as, going to heaven, or having a better life in the next birth simply introverts you and makes you miserable. Of course, better life follows automatically  as you resolve anomalies.

Mental decline and destruction starts with dwelling on sense-objects without understanding their nature. The sense of ‘mine’, and the ‘ego’, comes from not understanding the nature of jivatman. You understand the nature of these things as you meditate deeply. 


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  • larry  On August 19, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Beautiful. Much more could be said about this prose. But the silence that followings the reading of it, will take care of that, individually. I trust (& am sure).


  • vinaire  On December 4, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    I really love this wisdom:

    “Krishna then explains how one gets established in such wisdom in a stable manner. One sits in meditation and focuses on what is relevant, such as, breathing. There is no effort to control anything else, not even how one breathes. Then let those things that are irrelevant swirl around and settle down on their own accord.

    It is putting attention on what is irrelevant, which leads one into ruin. A person established in wisdom realizes this. He is focused in the essentials, which are beyond any desire, sense of ego, or thirst for life. Thus, he overcomes delusion. He is completely at peace even at the hour of his death.”


    • Chris Thompson  On December 6, 2012 at 7:06 AM

      My success and any harmony does seem to come to me in this way.

      So then do we have another scale? One with mindfulness at one end and something like ambition at the other end?


  • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Here is note from my schoolmate RK DIXIT:

    “I have penned my understanding .You may correct. I went through your blog -in bits -I found it very interesting. I will keep reading and raising questions for clarification.”


    Chapter 2 essentially defines the following –

    1-Soul is indestructible and can not be subdivided .It was in past ,it is in present and it shall continue in future .Enters from one body to another .

    2-Body is destructible .

    3-One is supposed to follow his swadharm –(his allotted duties ).As soon as one is born ,his swadharm is decided .Duty towards nation ,duty towards society ,duty towards family and duty towards mankind as such all are fixed as soon as one takes birth .

    In short one is supposed to follow his Dharm .The Body should be used in service of Dharm .One must distinguish between soul and body so as to perform his duties not fearing the loss of body since it is destructible any way and soul is not destructible by any means .

    Further Soul is part of supersoul –(atma and parmatma ).And soul should not identify itself with body but rather use it to connect it and merge with Parmatma.-great permanent blissful God –Parmanand How ? By performance of his allotted duties . But reigning of Body is rather difficult .So further it has been detailed how to control body .

    To achieve the above one is supposed reign in intellect ,mind and body -gynendriya and karmendriya .

    Various techniques are detailed to achieve the goal .

    Now my doubts are –

    1-How one can visualize that He is complete bliss –Parmanand ? Once you achieve the position of ultimate bliss will you be able to recognize it since you shall not have anything for comparison ? and no identity of your own .I will love to see and realize Almighty instead of getting merged with him .

    2-If soul is part of God ,why it behaves irrationally associating itself with body .

    3-Rightly pointed out that concept of God created after Universe was formed to answer lot of questions .One has to put full stop somewhere to flight of imagination .

    -I think our Rishis were very wise guys .To create peace, harmony ,love and affection for progress of mankind ,they devised beautiful theories to put full stop somewhere to flight of our imagination.

    -Theory of rebirth specially propounded to explain the disparities in the society .

    -Rishi Vayas was very smart .He said everything through God .Nobody can challenge .

    Ultimately let me say –I am great believer in GOD .



    • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Hi RK,

      I don’t think I can answer all your questions in one go, so I shall take one point at a time,

      (1) In my opinion, body and soul are not two separate systems.

      More accurately, physical and spiritual seem to be two different aspects of a larger system. Physical and spiritual are not independent of each other as considered in Christianity. The idea that God created the universe is very simplistic. It does not provide an accurate picture.

      To me “Parmatma – atman – mind – body – matter” seem to form a sort of spectrum. There are no hard lines that separate one aspect from another. Let me know what you think.

      More later.



      • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        [From my schoolmate PRAVIN GUPTA]

        Hi Vinay and RK,

        A way to explain the concept is:

        Life has two components – ethereal (spirit) and temporal (material) .

        The ethereal component of the life is unchangeable by its very nature. (Anything which changes is liable to degrade).
        As a result, no transactions are possible in the ethereal component. So there can be no feelings or emotions, as
        that implies a change of state.

        Thus all transactions can only occur in the physical form, which can change, and thus is liable to degrade.
        Knowledge in our temporal arena also changes, while in the ethereal arena it is boundless and infinite, and does not change.
        So, once we leave our temporal life, we automatically become a part of the divine, which is unchangeable.

        As per the above, temporal and ethereal are two distinct states and do not form a continuum. However, temporal needs
        ethereal to exist, but not the other way around.



        • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:57 PM


          How do you reconcile what you wrote with the following?

          “The Absolute Truth is that there is nothing absolute in the world, that everything is relative, conditioned and impermanent, and that there is no unchanging, everlasting, absolute substance like Self, Soul, or Ātman within or without.” ~ Buddha

          I call it the theory of relativity in the field of spirit. It seems to make the least amount of assumptions.



      • Chris Thompson  On April 4, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        Vinaire: To me “Parmatma – atman – mind – body – matter” seem to form a sort of spectrum. There are no hard lines that separate one aspect from another. Let me know what you think.

        Chris: I think that’s some good looking.


    • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      My statement that “Parmatma – atman – mind – body – matter” seems to form a sort of spectrum may have been confusing. Let me clarify it as follows:

      “Ice – water – water vapor” represent three different aspects of the same substance. This is a sort of spectrum or gradient scale. All three of these forms may co-exist.

      Similarly, “body – mind – soul” seem to represent three different aspects of some fundamental reality. This is also a sort of spectrum or gradient scale. All three of them may co-exist. Parmatman may represent a still higher aspect, and matter may represent a still lower aspect.

      Please do ask me questions if I am still not making sense.



      • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        [From my schoolmate SP Singh.]

        Difficult to understand the comperision.

        Ice can be converted to water, water to water vapour, but body can not be converted to mind and mind can not be converted to soul.

        Some better way of explaning is called for.



        • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM


          To answer your question, the analogy is only in the way of “forms” and underlying “substance”.

          “H2O” has the forms of “ice – water – and water vapor”

          One may say the some fundamental reality has the forms of “body – mind – soul”.

          I do not think that body can be converted into mind, or mind can be converted to soul. So, that part of the analogy does not hold. I am sure that one can come up with a better analogy.



        • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 6:48 PM


          Maybe the following is a better analogy:

          “Volume – pressure – temperature” are three aspects of the gaseous state of matter. They appear to be independent of each other, but they are related.

          Similarly, “Body – mind – spirit” are three aspects of being. They appear to be independent of each other, but they are related.



        • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 12:36 AM

          Nice surprise!


        • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 5:24 AM

          I have very little knowledge of religion, but I think that GOD OR PARMATMAN and soul/atma is creation of we humans to explan the happenings which can not be explained otherwise.Else there will not be different GODs for different societies.




          You spoke in the true IIT spirit. One must start with a fresh set of eyes to see what is truly there.

          In the area of religion there are lot of fixed ideas and most people think that they know all about religion. But the actual understanding exists only at very few places. Most religious rituals were initially designed to reach that understanding, but those rituals themselves have become compromised with ignorance.

          The two concepts most difficult to understand are Paramatman and Atman. They are very different from the concepts of God and soul in the western religions.

          You are right that humans have attached lot of significance to these two concepts. The Vedic process “neti, neti” leads one to the correct realization. See



        • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 8:43 AM

          Vinaire: “The two concepts most difficult to understand are Parmatman and Atman. They are very different from the concepts of God and soul in the western religions.”

          Chris: We should be careful when concluding what is hard and what is easy to understand. Possibly “easy to understand” concepts yet hold more surprises?


    • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM


      In this Chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna is expounding on the nature of Atman. It needs to be understood from the the outset that Atman is incorrectly translated in English as soul. The two concepts are as different as a “doughnut hole” is different from “doughnut.”

      Let’s imagine a “doughnut” that is made up of considerations (thoughts, ideas, assumptions, expectations, suppositions, conjectures, speculations, etc.). Basically, we are looking at a “doughnut” made up of thought material. This is the concept of SOUL in western religions.

      Now let’s look at the “doughnut hole.” This hole is defined by the doughnut. If the doughnut is gone, the hole is gone too. But that hole has no substance. There is nothing there. This is the true concept of ATMAN in eastern religions. When there are no thoughts or considerations, there is no atman either, because, at that point, atman has merged with parmatman.

      Parmatman is Nothingness, which cannot be described because there is nothing there to describe. On the other hand, the God of western religions is something or someone, and the soul cannot merge into that God.

      Atman is manifested again when considerations come about. Where do the considerations come from is unknowable. We use the word “parmataman” as a place holder for the source. Whatever significance we attach to parmataman will be those that are generated by us.

      Now your interpretation of Bhagavad Gita’s Chapter 2 is that “Soul is indestructible and can not be subdivided. It was in past, it is in present and it shall continue in future. Enters from one body to another.” Do you understand why is that so? It is because atman is not made up of any substance… not even thought.


      The above interpretation is consistent with Hinduism and Buddhism.



      • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 5:27 AM

        Vinay, excellent way to explain it.



        Dear Vinay,
        You have explained it very well. Thanks

        R S Agarwal


  • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Here is another communication from my schoolmate RK DIXIT:

    “Dear Vinay ,Pravin and friends , Find attached here with my confused thinking .


    Confused Mind – RKDIXIT 4/4/2013

    So many observation of life require some sort of plausible explanation .And our Rishis did a great job trying to put a theory .(Newton observed apple falling and put up a gravitational theory-like wise ).In fact in Hindu religion ,there is freedom to put up different theories –stir your mind ,agitate it ,do not agree to something till it is logically proved –open mind .Even Charvak Philosophy –eat ,drink and merry –nothing beyond this world –(drink Ghee even if you have to take loan-enjoy life ).The philosophy is accepted by few .They are also Hindus who do not believe in God .

    Some observations-

    1-Why inequality at birth? Some born rich others poor .

    2-What happens after death?

    3-What is it which comes out and makes us like fused bulbs?

    4-Why some suffer less and some more than others by way of illness?

    5-Why there is no equitable division of fruits of life?

    6-Some strongly feel that they did not get enough in return of their hard work. Why?

    7-Can we succeed in demystifying the mystery of existence of Universe?

    8-Nature and so many species –wonders unexplained?

    So on and so forth .

    Theories –
    1-Major assumption in all theories is establishing of GOD –supreme authority –otherwise there shall be no stopping of question –Who ultimately did it ?Buck has to stop somewhere. Arjun questions Krishan in Gita –How I should believe that YOU are God ?Krishan showed his Virat Swarup to convince him .It was quite scary .Arjun requested Krishan to come back to HIS original form which was easy to comprehend .You have to individually realize or believe what Arjun said .

    So many questions arise-picking holes in the theory .Why He has to play the game ?No specific reason .

    Anyway human mind has a limit to think .God has been conceived as unlimited ,infinite so here ends the discussion .

    2-Gita propounds Rebirth Theory . In fact it is already there in Upanishads –Only Gita tries to give a refresher course. There are again assumptions.

    Soul and Body separate identity .One is Continuous and other gets terminated .One can not be destroyed where as other is perishable .So if one can not be destroyed-the soul –it has to part of God who is only big non perishable thing in universe .But question remains why He plays the game of creating small small souls out of HIM .And then asking the soul to get detached from Body and try to catch hold of HIM –great hide and seek game .If soul is part of God ,it has to be pure .Why it gets involved in Maya Jal and gets corrupted ?No clear cut answer .

    3-Gita gives us theory of Reincarnation of God .So from time to time He gets into human form to take care of all evils of the World .To purify it .Here is a catch .First place why He allows things to go bad and out of hand and then comes for corrective action .Then why there is need for Him to come to this World –He can always operate remote control .

    4-Gita clearly says –You reap what you sow .God does not oversee all our activities .He is too busy .He has perfected automatic computerized system of reward and punishment .No questions asked. .

    Well ,I have drifted along in sea of confusion .

    Ultimately ,I want to at peace –Hari Om Tat Sat .




    • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Hi RK,

      I am giving some clarifications. We can have a detailed discussion when you are back.



      1-Why inequality at birth? Some born rich others poor .

      God has a definite purpose for the whole creation. Everything in His creation has a specific purpose. Hence, there is a difference to suit the purpose and fulfill its execution for each individual.

      2-What happens after death?

      Based on the completion of the assigned task given to each individual, he is assigned a new task or sent back to complete the unfinished task of the previous life.

      3-What is it which comes out and makes us like fused bulbs?

      Do not understand.

      4-Why some suffer less and some more than others by way of illness?

      What we call suffering are the obstacles that we need to cross for fulfilling the purpose. As the purpose is different so also the obstacles are different.

      5-Why there is no equitable division of fruits of life?

      What we call fruits are not the result of our actions alone. They are provided to us as tools for achieving the purpose. We are not supposed to enjoy the fruits but use them to achieve the purpose.

      6-Some strongly feel that they did not get enough in return of their hard work. Why?

      No one is allowed to judge. The only judge is the Supreme Being. The judgment is based on how much of the specified purpose one has fulfilled/achieved. God does not punish. He will send you again to complete the unfinished task.


    • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      Wow! RK!

      You have really unloaded yourself this time. Again, I shall take up only one small point for starters.

      Religion is there only because death is there. Religion seems to have started out as an explanation of the human condition that seemed to start with birth and end with death. Here is my current understanding.

      At death, the body disintegrates into its particles, and the identity that was the body is dissolved. Similarly, the observing and thinking part of the person (the living soul) also disintegrates into its particles (considerations), and the identity that was the person is also dissolved.

      However, the particles remain and they can recombine into another “body plus living soul” combination. There is infinity of such recombination.

      What are the ultimate laws underlying this disintegration and reintegration, I don’t know the details at the moment. But this seems to be going on forever like complex cycles of some eternal wave according to Hinduism.


      As far as God is concerned, my understanding is as follows:

      The desire to know the unknowable produces visualization or thought. That thought manifests itself, and can be known. Thus, one seems to overcome one’s uneasiness about the unknowable to some degree; even though the unknowable still remains unknowable.

      Thus, one uses the term God for unknowable, and says,

      God is unknowable.

      This is fine; but then someone comes along and asserts, “God is a Being, and we are created in his image.” He then projects human attributes into God to a superlative degree. This action makes one feel more comfortable about unknowable; even though the unknowable still remains unknowable.

      “God is a personal being” is a speculative thought. The unknowable still remains unknowable.

      There is an intense desire to know how this universe came about. The universe is manifested alright, but how it got manifested is an unknowable that makes one uncomfortable. So another thought is produced, “God created the universe.”

      “God created the universe” is a speculative thought also. The unknowable still remains unknowable.

      These two thoughts form the basis of Semitic religions, such as, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and other religions derived from them.

      A religion is essentially a system of thought created to help a society organize itself for extended survival. A belief in the two thoughts about God as above has produced a culture in the west that is quite different historically from the culture in the east.

      The Vedic religions of the east, such as, Hinduism and Buddhism do not entertain beliefs based on the two thoughts about God described above. The terms likeBrahman and Nirvana are used for the unknowable, they are not associated with the idea of a personal being.

      This essay simply points out that terms like YHVH, GOD, ALLAH, BRAMHAN, NIRVANA, etc., are labels for the unknowable. Some of these labels have further significances attached to them. These labels and significances are thoughts, which, by their very nature, are speculations about the unknowable. These thoughts become reality to those who believe in them.

      Attaching such significances to the unknowable and acting on them, unfortunately, has contributed to deadly conflicts in the past and also in the present. There is nothing wrong with the belief in YHVH, GOD, or ALLAH as long as we understand that the true significance underlying such belief is unknowable by its very nature.

      May the understanding of ”God as unknowable” help bring about cessation of conflicts around the world!

      That is my hope.



      • vinaire  On April 4, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        [From my old classmate NN Goyal]

        Very interesting dialogue, an eye opener for me

        N N Goyal


      • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 12:20 AM

        Vinaire: There is infinity of such recombination.

        Chris: And I think an infinity of expansion; infinity of potential processes and processing; and possibly an infinity of the raw material of space into which the states of matter can disburse.


    • Chris Thompson  On April 4, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      RKDIXIT: Theories – 1-Major assumption in all theories is establishing of GOD

      Chris: For me, there are many assumptions going on, including that there is any free will with which to establish God.


      • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        The biggest assumptions are about the name and form of God.



        • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 5:42 PM

          Vinaire: “The biggest assumptions are about the name and form of God.”

          Chris: I think the biggest assumptions assume that we “think up” these concepts. The concepts arrive out of an unknown.


        • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 7:50 PM

          Ah! that unknown is a delicious bait!



    • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 12:00 AM

      “So many questions arise-picking holes in the theory .Why He has to play the game ?No specific reason .”

      Chris: And so we have more assumptions, such as that there is a game being played. And if there is one, then who is playing, and what would be our part, correct?


    • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 12:05 AM

      1-Why inequality at birth? Some born rich others poor .

      Chris: For these questions about inequality, fairness, etc., I find it a frustrating exercise to apply “will” to these results. I find peace toward randomity when studying simple mathematical rules such as described in NKS – NEW KIND OF SCIENCE.


      • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        I agree. “Will” is the wrong concept to apply here. Randomness is more like it.



        • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 5:43 PM

          Vinay: “. . . Randomness is more like it.”

          Chris: Next we have to be careful what we assume about randomness.


        • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 7:51 PM

          Oh! yes. Be very careful. 🙂



        • Chris Thompson  On April 5, 2013 at 9:00 PM

          LOL! Not that kind of careful! — Mindful.


    • grannydeepsea  On September 12, 2014 at 12:53 AM

      Allow me to agitate with a poem. In it, God takes human form. I posted it on Marty’s site for someone who liked my Russian Voodoo Dolls poem. Then I saw this when I came to visit your blog. Have a lovely evening vinaire and rkdixit.

      For Scout144Infantry (the asteroid is too long)

      by GrannyDeepSea

      Two armies on a battlefield
      The field above in heaven
      Where Andromeda and Milky Way
      Are destined to collide
      One fine warrior called Ari
      By his questions Earthbound driven
      Leaves the millions of companions
      Firmly stationed by his side
      His star body still in heaven
      Krisna beckoning at his side
      From the war he must not hide.

      Ari felt good in the human form
      His body made for babies
      And for losers of the battle
      On the Kuruksetra field
      Why not bypass all the fighting
      Watching deaths of kindred starlights
      Why not stay here with the babies
      Blessed Krisna would not yield
      Get yourself back to the battle
      Where your fate is firmly sealed
      To the heavenly battlefield.

      Ari took the opportunity
      With Krisna there beside him
      To ask questions he had pondered
      In his alter ego state
      Since it rarely ever happens
      That He takes a human body
      Krisna looked at Ari face to face
      And started to relate
      All the answers to his questions
      Both preparing to debate
      Ari’s future heavenly fate.

      Krisna feeling somewhat trapped
      Inside the body He was fixed in
      Nevertheless took pause to ponder
      The sensations of His form
      Human bodies with their perks
      Provide a temporary respite
      From the oneness He’s so used to
      Separation’s not His norm
      Chatting here with good son Ari
      Feeling comfortably warm
      Human bodies have their charm.

      Ari begged again to know
      The reason why he was required
      To engage his friends in battle
      When he could be living here
      His superior mind could offer
      Precious insights to the babies
      Separated from the battle
      Thus protected from the fear
      And the consequence of warfare
      Krisna whispered in his ear
      You will bring the battle here.

      Krisna knew of all the problems
      That a star outside of body
      Living here upon a planet
      Could quite possibly engage
      Thus aware He stated firmly
      To the warrior soul residing
      In the body made for babies
      There beside Him in the cage
      Understanding the desire
      And His son’s ensuing rage
      At being ordered to the stage.

      Ari then began to question
      Krisna’s former whispered comment
      And the consequence of bringing battle
      To this hallowed place
      Disbelieving his companion
      Was against his better judgment
      Yet he couldn’t see how he
      Could thus ensnare the human race
      How could any join in battle
      In this garden of a place
      Krisna answered in His grace.

      You cannot yet comprehend
      The complications of existence
      Seeking only here the freedom
      You’re not used to as a star
      Life on Earth holds hidden battles
      Long left sleeping since creation
      To awaken those sad spirits
      Is like poking at a scar
      In the box they call Pandora
      Leave them resting as they are
      Ari, get back to your star.

      Twasn’t Ari who then opened up
      The scar left since creation
      There was someone there beside them
      Waking up because they came
      How could two such perfect beings
      Come to wallow here in Hades
      Thus awakening individuals
      I do not care to name
      We were sleeping here quite soundly
      Til the two of you here came
      Now you’ve got yourselves to blame.

      Krisna tingling all over
      In His body made for sensing
      Knew exactly whom they’d wakened
      And the price they’d have to pay
      From the war before creation
      Before Time was ever thought of
      From the Chaos that required Creation
      To keep it at bay
      They’d awakened ancient minions
      Krisna knew He’d have to stay
      Here remaining to this day.

      All the suffering and sadness
      That you witness all around you
      Every conflict ever thought
      To be decided by a war
      Has resulted from the time
      Big Brother Ari came from heaven
      Breaching long forgotten walls
      As if he’d opened up the door
      Of the box known as Pandora
      To this day his soul is sore
      Having instigated war.

      We can stop the current madness
      We do not have to accept it
      It’s not easy, but the things worth doing
      Very rarely are
      We can realize the problem
      Has resulted from a brother
      Who originally came here
      To escape the hell of war
      Let’s awaken to the God within
      And change the way we are
      Once again, we’ll mend the scar.


      • vinaire  On September 12, 2014 at 6:27 AM

        Beautiful poem, Granny. Thank you so much.


  • vinaire  On April 5, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    From my schoolmate Hemendra Mathur:

    Hi Vinay,

    I am a little bit perplexed by your explanation.

    1. When there is not thought … etc. , do I take it to mean after death?
    2. If so and if after death Atman invariably merges with Paramatman then why do we worry about Re-birth and having to go thru this mortal life again and again. People go thru so much penance and tapas in order to get out of this cycle of birth and rebirth.

    Please tell me if I am completely out of tune with your thought process.




    How are you? Long time no see. Last I remember you is in Boston back in 1969-70.

    Those are good questions. The problem may be explained in terms of mental conditioning or attachment.

    There are always going to be thoughts. The only difference is whether one is identifying oneself with those thoughts or not. A person can be very rich and give two hoots about it. Another person can have a bloated ego because he has some wealth.

    So, the “doughnut” analogy has its limitations. “No thought” should be interpreted as “no mental conditioning” or “no attachment.” A person can live like the “doughnut” or the “doughnut hole,” while he or she is alive.

    After death, the body may disintegrate into atoms and molecules. At the same time the soul may disintegrate into bits and pieces of “programs” or “attachments.” One may refer to them as mental particles consisting of “programming” or “conditioning.” Re-birth involves coming together of physical and mental particles from previous bodies and souls to generate a new body and soul. The whole purpose of penance and tapas is to get rid of mental conditioning or attachments.

    No, you are not out of tune with my thought process at all. Your questions simply show that more exacting work needs to be done in this area.



  • vinaire  On April 7, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    This is a response to RK DIXIT:

    (1) The identity of soul is destructible, but the particles of soul does not seem to be. The particles of soul are made up of thoughts and conditioning.

    (2) The identity of body is destructible, but the particles of body does not seem to be. The particles of body are made up of atoms and molecules.

    (3) The fundamental DHARMA is detaching oneself from all conditioning factors and helping others detach themselves from conditioning factors too so they can live a healthy and happy life.

    (4) Beyond that, SWADHARMA is to play one’s role in the family, society, nation and the world. Swadharma is decided by ones physical and mental makeup.

    (5) The ultimate criterion seem to be health, happiness and harmony for all. This is achieved by spotting and resolving inconsistencies wherever they exist. This requires mindfulness.

    (6) One should simply do what one needs to do per the criterion above without expecting favorable results or fearing unfavorable consequences.

    (7) The ideas of soul/atman or God/parmatman are necessary only to sort out inconsistencies. Such ideas are no longer necessary when inconsistencies have been sorted out.


    1-How one can visualize that He is complete bliss –Parmanand ? Once you achieve the position of ultimate bliss will you be able to recognize it since you shall not have anything for comparison ? and no identity of your own .I will love to see and realize Almighty instead of getting merged with him .

    In my opinion, Almighty is not something out there. It only exists in your vision and in the satisfaction that you achieve in resolving inconsistencies and carrying out your dharma to the best of your abilities.


    2-If soul is part of God ,why it behaves irrationally associating itself with body .

    In my opinion, God is what we visualize as perfection. Soul is what we think of ourselves. These things are not separate from us. If there is irrationality then we need to understand and resolve it.


    3-Rightly pointed out that concept of God created after Universe was formed to answer lot of questions .One has to put full stop somewhere to flight of imagination

    In my opinion, it is our conjecture that this universe was created. It is our conjecture that God created this universe. Resolution of mystery comes when we decide to see things as they are without speculations and conjectures.


    Knowledge is more important than the source of knowledge. The Rishis knew this and they have remained forever in the background. Knowledge is never absolute. There must always be progress.



    • grannydeepsea  On September 13, 2014 at 2:05 AM

      Regarding Doubt 2:
      The soul that has a physical Heavenly Body takes a body to do a physical task. Those souls are ‘more experienced’ souls. They have been living in heaven for 15 billion years. They are like teenagers.

      The souls that lost their physical Heavenly Body when it crashed into this planet capable of sustaining life are much younger souls. We are like little fairy souls. We got trapped in a fairy circle and we can’t leave. We no longer have heavenly bodies – they fizzled in the atmosphere as we arrived.

      We climbed the ladder of evolution until we reached human. Now our brains are aware, questioning and able to conceive of a Creator. When does a child become old enough to notice that ‘Mother Earth’ is ill and needs attention? When are we old enough to realize that if Earth does need something done, we’re the only ones capable of doing it?

      So, most souls on Earth are very young. Then there are the humans that contain Star Souls – Stars that have living Heavenly Bodies made of plasma, with living Planets circling them as I write this. The came here to do a physical task, so they took human bodies – the aware beings.

      They should have done their task and left. But they got stuck here. In myths and legends, when you go to ‘the land of the dead’ you are forbidden to eat or drink something or there will be negative consequences.

      This is the land of the dead – the dead asteroids. This is our home. We are like little kids. We are by nature, good. But something went wrong on Earth.

      Turns out, this planet is harboring a gigantic sad/angry/tortured spirit that is supposed to be asleep. This being has a living dream going on and we are in it. This living dream is supposed to be keeping the gigantic spirit occupied AND learning, as it metamorphoses into a spirit compatible with heavenly existence.

      We have inadvertently awakened the gigantic spirit, and he is in a state of dramatizing tantrum. We breached his dream when we ate meat, thus allowing him physical access to our bodies. If our minds are not capable of resisting, we end up doing very evil things to one another. And very sadly, it is also true that those capable of resisting DOING evil tasks, are unaware that they are affected when they eat the meat, as well. They are apathetic to the suffering of those they should be helping.

      We should not be allowing human trafficking and pedophilia to destroy lives, and yet the practice is affecting millions of victims.

      We are in big trouble.

      I think it’s time we wake up Dad and get some input on how to handle these things.

      Would you also please read this post below – I posted it on Marty’s blog but got no comments. I feel it is of great importance and that these truths are currently being used against us.

      Thanks Vinaire 🙂

      I don’t think this is actually off topic because it has to do with what a standard of Scientology might look like. So many people are currently doing things they don’t want to do and they don’t know why. This not only explains why, but the cure is the same as in Dianetics. Just knowing it enables the cure. If anyone knows Kirsty Ally’s contact info, send her this link. She will never be fat again. It is set to read for free, just click preview.

      I am very interested in the reactive mind because I wrote this book before I read Dianetics.

      I used to weigh over 350 lbs. I was a yo-yo dieter. It’s almost always the case that when a yo-yo dieter loses the weight, they gain it all back, plus a little more. That was true for me, and I lost and gained over 100 lbs 3 times.

      I saw a talk show with several very fat women who all said the same thing – diets don’t work, because they always gained it all back plus more. Think about that for a second. Regaining over 100 lbs. Why didn’t any of us stop in the middle?

      I might be able to believe that my life was ‘empty’ and I was trying to ‘fill it with food’, but what about Oprah Winfrey and Kirsty Ally and Jessica Simpson and Janet Jackson? They don’t have empty lives, and they have the ability to check into a high priced spa, and yet, they always gain it all back, plus more.

      I knew this was something else. This is not a lack of will power, because I can fast for a month – my slender friends can’t fast for a day. My will power is very powerful. So it was not my lack of will power keeping me fat.

      One day when I was in the midst of regaining 100 lbs., yet again, I was looking at a donut. I actually felt like I was going to die if I didn’t eat that donut. Seriously! And that was the key that led to the truth. See, I don’t like the way I feel after I eat a donut. They taste alright, but they would leave me feeling heavy and tired. I preferred m&ms – by the pound per day – or a ½ gallon of ice cream at one sitting.

      I couldn’t go to my doctor and explain that I was going to die if I didn’t eat a donut, because I weighed over 200 lbs. So I began to meditate on this, and hit upon the question ‘is there anything that would die by not eating that donut?’ Viola! There are many animals that must gain weight every year or die. Bears and whales are seasonal weight gainers. That realization led to this question: How does a bear know that she has gained enough weight to make it through the winter? Answer: She refills all existing fat cells, then makes one new one. Then her body is free to stop gaining and she goes into hibernation mode.

      Trouble with this is, I’m not a bear. So, there must be something going on with my brain that confused me with a bear.

      So I hypothesized that stress was causing some part of my brain to make me regain every pound and make one new one. Trouble is, there are lots of stressed out people who are not fat. But wait – could their brains be making them do things they don’t want to do?

      So I looked around and noticed that other people were doing compulsive things. So, imagine that when we get stressed out, our brain does a ‘system check’ to see ‘what kind of animal we are’ and then causes us to ‘do things we don’t really want to do’ in order to SURVIVE THE STRESS OF WINTER OR OTHER STRESS.

      Sure enough, there are gatherers (aka hoarders) who keep buying things they don’t need. I call them squirrels.

      There are vacationers that are always planning their next vacation. I call them birds because they are migrating.

      There are runners often running to the point of injury. I call them herders because they run in packs.

      Then there are the scariest ones – the predators – the ‘big cats’. They must attack and kill to survive. These are the stressed out people hitting their spouses or children – and if they don’t have spouses or children, they will attack random strangers.

      As I continued to meditate and observe, I noticed that the fat kid in walmart is screaming for ice cream while the skinny kid in walmart is screaming for a toy and the poor kid in walmart is torturing his little sister.

      The theory seemed valid and these stress related compulsions appear to begin early in life.

      Then I learned something that proved my case. There is a part of our brain called the R Complex. It is the ‘reptilian brain’. It is called the reptilian brain, because it is the only brain the reptiles have. The human brain has evolved to be much more complex, but deep inside of our brain is the R Complex. It is in charge of survival – fight, flight or freeze.

      So, when we get stressed out, the R Complex takes over and makes us do things we wouldn’t rationally do – with the idea that it is enabling us to survive.

      This realization is all it took – now my weight is in my control, not in the control of my over-stressed R Complex. I weigh 152. Just knowing the truth enables me to not regain all the weight even when I do get stressed out. Even with my R Complex being in control of powerful brain chemicals to prompt me to eat, I’m able to say no way.

      I’m guessing the people at this particular website can see why I was so impressed by L Ron Hubbard’s book, right?

      The strangest part of all this is where I learned about the R Complex. It was at a sales training seminar that my work sent me to. It appears that the 1% know about the R Complex. They were training us to know that when a person picks up the phone, their R Complex is on ‘high alert’. In order for us to make a sale, we have to bring that person into another section of their brain. The way to do this is to make them remember something. Memories are supposedly not part of the R Complex. Once we get them to remember something, we are talking to the person, not their R Complex. There are a few more steps that lead to getting the credit card. But I felt quite sure that the R Complex was the culprit in charge of stress related compulsive behaviors including yo-yo dieting.

      And now, I’m wondering if the R Complex is the seat of the reactive mind and the engrams that Dianetics is concerned with.

      Because the R Complex is the first part of our brains that grow, I have a new theory I’m working on. See, I think that our personal thetan is with us from zygote until death. The reason Dianetics tech finds very early prenatal engrams is because our personal thetan begins acquiring knowledge at zygote. It stores those early thoughts in the only place available – the R Complex. As the brain continues to grow, it eventually gets its memory section and then our thetan can store memories there. But in the cases L Ron wrote about, where we are ‘unconscious’, those might be the times that our R Complex takes control and therefore, things get stored there, even though we have a memory section.

      I look forward to any and all opinions.



      • vinaire  On September 13, 2014 at 7:45 AM

        (1) Soul always have a physical form. It is a conjecture that “soul takes a body.” There is no permanent “soul unit” that moves from body to body. There may be spiritual elements having the form of atoms and molecules, which disintegrate from a person upon death and then come together in new persons at birth.

        (2) There is no separate “physical Heavenly Body” that takes a body. It is just disintegrated elements coming together to form a body. You really have quite an imagination. 🙂

        (3) Is there a Creator, or is it just our projection backwards? Who or what created the Creator? Couldn’t thing just appear from non awareness into awareness?

        (4) Ill or well are just assignment of values to how inconsistent or consistent things are. See Inconsistency in KHTK.

        (5) ‘I’ or SELF is simply a combination of spiritual elements, just like an object is a combination of molecules.

        (6) Underlying all desires is the “desire to know.”


        Regarding your post to Marty:

        (7) What SELF seems to be doing is simply a vector sum of all the motions it is composed of.

        (8) The cure lies in sorting out all the inconsistencies, one by one, for each SELF. (NOTE: An inconsistency is something that fixates or disperses one’s attention.)

        (9) The Reactive Mind is simply the sum total of all inconsistencies.

        (10) Looks like the inconsistency you have been struggling with has to do with body weight and its relationship to health. For the time being you seem to have your weight under control, and you are pleased about it. (By the way, I would love to see your before and after pictures if you are on Facebook.)

        (11) You seem to have found your explanation in the core of the Reactive Mind (R Complex to fight, flight or freeze), and realizing what it does. That is wonderful.

        (12) Your attention seem to be on understanding the R Complex more fully. This goes back to the fundamental “desire to know.”

        I shall be willing to get into discussion with you if you can adhere to mindfulness per The 12 Aspects of Mindfulness



  • dasarathidasankannan  On December 14, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Dear Sir, I am Srinivasan Kannan from Bangalore. I seek your permission to use the picture depicting the verse in Gita “dEhinosmin yatha dEhE” for my book. please advise, thanks


  • vinaire  On December 14, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    Dear Srinivasan, Most pictures used on this blog are picked from a Google search. Only few are mine. This particular picture is not mine. So you do not need my permission.



  • Sam Ayers  On January 29, 2020 at 2:47 AM

    This ancient writing of the “peaceful” eastern religions seems to be a justification of killing during a righteous war, because one cannot terminate a soul, anyway.

    This is me in my retirement, as I demonstrated to you before I was invited to the Mindfulness Approach:

    He, who gives up all desires, and moves free from the sense of mine, egoism, and thirst for necessities of life, attains peace. (II-71)

    O Partha, such is the state of the God-Realized soul. Having attained this state, he overcomes delusion. Being established in this state even at the death hour, he attains Brahmic Bliss (Identification with the Absolute State). (II-72)


  • vinaire  On January 29, 2020 at 9:20 AM

    On the subject of reincarnation, it is energy and matter that continues and not necessarily their combination. This is the Law of conservation of energy and matter.

    So, when a body dies, the body’s atoms and molecules continue. They are reused in a new combination at the time of birth to generate a new body.

    Similarly, when a person dies, the person’s thought energy continues. They particles of thought energy are reused in a new combination at the time of birth to generate a new person.This was pointed out by Gautama Buddha.

    There is no permanent “soul” in terms of identity just like there is no permanent body. The idea of “soul” as an “identity” has been very much misunderstood. This was pointed out by Gautama Buddha.


  • vinaire  On August 29, 2020 at 7:53 AM

    Here is my take away from Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2:

    (1) Focus on the essentials. That is the dharma.
    (2) The body is impermanent, not the basic essence. Focus on that essence.
    (3) The sense-objects influence you, but they are all transitory and fleeting. Bear them patiently.
    (4) Essential reality is that which is imperishable. Let that reality guide you in performing your duty.
    (5) Do not be distracted by what is perishable and unreal.
    (6) Dharma is the essentials. It must be supported. There is no sin in doing so.
    (7) Nor are you bound when you act with focus on dharma.
    (8) You are not distracted by desires for pleasures and power.
    (9) You are not confused by all the pairs of opposing sensations and anxieties.
    (10) You are not attached to the results to be drawn into desiring.
    (11) You are not bothered by any of the conflicting doctrines.
    (12) Established in wisdom you are in a blissful state.
    (13) You are stable in your mind and thoughts.
    (14) You are completely in control of yourself and your reason.
    (15) There are no longer any sorrows and delusions.


  • vinaire  On August 12, 2021 at 9:56 AM

    The theory of Karma is not just a matter of belief that one may choose to have or not have. Karma is carried as the limitation exerted by genetic programming. But it is not just your genetic programming. It is the genetic programming also of those around you. This genetic programming becomes a part of the environment and it affects you and others. This is karma.

    It is an error to limit karma to just one’s immediate actions, just as it is an error to limit self to the idea of “soul,” or to the extension of the identity of the body-mind system.

    We are converting spacious religious beliefs to precision science slowly but surely.


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