Sriram Subramanian
Jan 20 · 2 min read

Bhagavad Gita — Week 2 Reflections

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Last week we discussed select verses from Chapter 2 (2:15–2:21), where Lord Krishna continues to explain the ultimate truth through a series of negations. Here are the verses

2:15–2:21

yam hi na vyathayanty ete
purusam purusarsabha
sama-duhkha-sukham dhiram
so ‘mrtatvaya kalpate

nasato vidyate bhavo
nabhavo vidyate satah
ubhayor api drsto ‘ntas
tv anayos tattva-darsibhih

avinasi tu tad viddhi
yena sarvam idam tatam
vinasam avyayasyasya
na kascit kartum arhati

antavanta ime deha
nityasyoktah saririnah
anasino ‘prameyasya
tasmad yudhyasva bharata

ya enam vetti hantaram
yas cainam manyate hatam
ubhau tau na vijanito
nayam hanti na hanyate

na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah sasvato ‘yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarire

vedavinasinam nityam
ya enam ajam avyayam
katham sa purusah partha
kam ghatayati hanti kam

Context

Lord Krishna lifts the discussion from the task at hand (battle) to the bigger picture (the ultimate reality) and appears to be making the connection between the two.

One of the questions I have difficulty often is ‘why bother’. This is not arising from resignation to fatalism, but appears to be arising from an in-experiential understanding of the ultimate truth of all are the same. Bhagavad Gita, and particularly this chapter appears to be addressing this.

Impressions

I am impressed by the use of negations that Lord Krishna employs to explain the one that cannot be explained using limited tools, particularly 2:16, 2:20, and 2:21. This also makes me wonder if the Lord is trying to remove any preconceived notions Arjuna (and the seeker) may have about the ultimate truth so that Arjuna (and the seeker) can start from a clean slate. I can also relate to how frameworks are limited to contexts. For example, the Newtonian model is limited to the physical world, but not to the sub-atomic world.

Questions

Again, the pertinent question of why bother exists. I am also not yet able to reconcile the widely accepted social constructs of family/ relationships/ friendships versus universal belonging. Looking forward to finding answers…

Sriram Subramanian

a fellow Student of Yoga

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