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Chapter 2 - The Path Of Knowledge
Commentary by Sri Adi Sankaracharya, Translated by Swami Gambhirananda

Sanjaya said:

2.1 To him who had been thus filled with pity, whose eyes were filled with tears and showed distress, and who was sorrowing, Madhusudana uttered these words:

The Blessed Lord said:

2.2 O Arjuna, in this perilous place, whence has come to you this impurity entertained by unenlightened persons, which does not lead to heaven and which brings infamy?

2.3 O Partha, yield not to unmanliness. This does not befit you. O scorcher of foes, arise, giving up the petty weakness of the heart.

Arjuna said:

2.4 O Madhusudana, O destroyer of enemies, how can I fight with arrows in battle against Bhisma and Drona who are worthy of adoration?

2.5 Rather than killing the noble-minded elders, it is better in this world to live even on alms. But by killing the elders we shall only be enjoying here the pleasures of wealth and desireable things drenched in blood.

2.6 We do not know this as well as to which is the better for us, (and) whether we shall win, or whether they shall conquer us. Those very sons of Dhrtarastra, by killing whom we do not wish to live, stand in confrontation.

2.7 With my nature overpowered by weak commiseration, with a mind bewildered about duty, I supplicate You. Telll me for certain that which is better; I am Your disciple. Instruct me who have taken refuge in You.

2.8 Because, I do not see that which can, even after acquiring on this earth a prosperous kingdom free from enemies and even sovereignty over the gods, remove my sorrow (which is) blasting the senses.

Sanjaya said:

2.9 Having spoken thus to Hrsikesa (Krsna), Gudakesa (Arjuna), the afflictor of foes, verily became silent, telling Govinda, 'I shall not fight.' fight.'

2.10 O descendant of Bharata, to him who was sorrowing between the two armies, Hrsikesa, mocking as it were, said these words:

And here, the text commencing from 'But seeing the army of the Pandavas' (1.2) and ending with '(he) verily became silent, telling Him (Govinda), "I shall not fight"' is to be explained as revealing the cause of the origin of the defect in the from of sorrow, delusion, etc. [Delusion means want of discrimination. Etc. stands for the secondary manifestations of sorrow and delusion, as also ignorance which is the root cause of all these.] which are the sources of the cycles of births and deaths of creatures.

Thus indeed, Ajuna's own sorrow and delusion, cuased by the ideas of affection, parting, etc., originating from the erroneous belief, 'I belong to these; they belong to me', with regard to kingdom [See note under verse 8.-Tr.], elders, sons, comrades, well-wishers (1.26), kinsmen (1.37), relatives (1.34) and friends, have been shown by him with the words, 'How can I (fight)....in battle (against) Bhisma' (4), etc. It is verily because his discriminating insight was overwhelmed by sorrow and delusion that, even though he had become engaged in battle out of his own accord as a duty of the Ksatriyas, he desisted from that war and chose to undertake other's duties like living on alms etc. It is thus that in the case of all creatures whose minds come under the sway of the defects of sorrow, delusion, etc. there verily follows, as a matter of course, abandoning their own duties and resorting to prohibited ones. Even when they engage in their own duties their actions with speech, mind, body, etc., are certainly motivated by hankering for rewards, and are accompanied by egoism. [Egoism consists in thinking that one is the agent of some work and the enjoyer of its reward.]

Such being the case, the cycle of births and deaths-Characterized by passing through desireable and undesirable births, and meeting with happiness, sorrow, etc. [From virtuous deeds follow attainment of heaven and happiness. From unvirtuous, sinful deeds follow births as beasts and other lowly beings, and sorrow. From the performance of both virtuous and sinful deeds follows birth as a human being, with a mixture of happiness and sorrow.] from the accumulation of virtue and vice, continues unendingly. Thus, sorrow and delusion are therefore the sources of the cycles of births and deaths. And their cessation comes from nothing other than the knowledge of the Self which is preceded by the renunciation of all duties. Hence, wishing to impart that (knowledge of the Self) for favouring the whole world, Lord Vasudeva, making Arjuna the medium, said, 'You grieve for those who are not to be grieved for,' etc.

As to that some (opponents) [According to A.G. the opponent is the Vrttikara who, in the opinion of A. Mahadeva Sastri, is none other than Bodhayana referred to in Sankaracarya's commentary on B.S. 1.1.11-19.-Tr.] say: Certainly, Liberation cannot be attained merely from continuance in the knowledge of the Self which is preceded by renunciation of all duties and is independent of any other factor. What then? The well-ascertained conclusion of the whole of the Gita is that Liberation is attained through Knowledge associated with rites and duties like Agnihotra etc. prescribed in the Vedas and the Smrtis. And as an indication of this point of view they quote (the verses): 'On the other hand, if you will not fight this righteous (battle)' (33); 'Your right is for action (rites and duties) alone' (47); 'Therefore you undertake action (rites and duties) itself' (4.15), etc. Even this objection should not be raised that Vedic rites and duties lead to sin since they involve injury etc.'.

Objection: How?

Opponent: The duties of the Ksatriyas, charaterized by war, do not lead to sin when undertaken as one's duty, even though they are extremely cruel since they involve violence against elders, brothers, sons and others. And from the Lord's declaration that when they are not performed, 'then, forsaking your own duty and fame, you will incur sin' (33), it stands out as (His) clearly stated foregone conclusion that one's own duties prescribed in such texts as, '(One shall perform Agnihotra) as long as one lives' etc., and actions which involve crutely to animals etc. are not sinful.

Vedantin: That is wrong because of the assertion of the distinction between firm adherence (nistha) to Knowledge and to action, which are based on two (different) convictions (buddhi).

The nature of the Self, the supreme Reality, determined by the Lord in the text beginning with 'Those who are not to be grieved for' (11) and running to the end of the verse, 'Even considering your own duty' (31), is called Sankhya. Sankhya-buddhi [Sankhya is that correct (samyak) knowledge of the Vedas which reveals (khyayate) the reality of the Self, the supreme Goal. The Reality under discussion, which is related to this sankhya by way of having been revealed by it, is Sankhya.] (Conviction about the Reality) is the conviction with regard to That (supreme Reality) arising from the ascertainment of the meaning of the context [Ascertainment....of the context, i.e., of the meaning of the verses starting from, 'Never is this One born, and never does It die,' etc. (20).]-that the Self is not an agent because of the absence in It of the six kinds of changes, viz birth etc. [Birth, continuance, growth, transformation, decay and death.] Sankhyas are those men of Knowledge to whom that (conviction) becomes natural. Prior to the rise of this Conviction (Sankhya-buddhi), the ascertained [Ast. and A.G. omit this word 'ascertainment, nirupana'-Tr.] of the performance of the disciplines leading to Liberation-which is based on a discrimination between virtue and vice, [And adoration of God]. and which presupposes the Self's difference from the body etc. and Its agentship and enjoyership-is called Yoga. The conviction with regard to that (Yoga) is Yoga -buddhi. The performers of rites and duties, for whom this (conviction) is appropriate, are called yogis.

Accordingly, the two distinct Convictions have been pointed out by the Lord in the verse, 'This wisdom (buddhi) has been imparted to you from the standpoint of Self-realization (Sankhya). But listen to this (wisdom) from the standpoint of (Karma-) Yoga' (39). And of these two, the Lord will separately speak, with reference to the Sankhyas, of the firm adherence to the Yoga of Knowledge. [Here Yoga and Knowledge are identical. Yoga is that through which one gets connected, identified. with Brahman.] which is based on Sankya-buddhi, in, 'Two kinds of adherences were spoken of by Me in the form of the Vedas, in the days of yore.' [This portion is ascending to G1.Pr. and A.A.; Ast. omits this and quotes exactly the first line of 3.3. By saying, 'in the form of the Vedas', the Lord indicates that the Vedas, which are really the knowledge inherent in God and issue out of Him, are identical with Himself.-Tr.] similarly, in, 'through the Yoga of Action for the yogis' (3.3), He will separately speak of the firm adherence to the Yoga [Here also Karma and Yoga are identical, and lead to Liberation by bringing about purity of heart which is followed by steadfastness in Knowledge.] of Karma which is based on Yoga-buddhi (Conviction about Yoga). Thus, the two kinds of steadfastness-that based on the conviction about the nature of the Self, and that based on the conviction about rites and duties-have been distinctly spoken of by the Lord Himslef, who saw that the coexistence of Knowledge and rites and duties is not possible in the same person, they being based on the convictions of non-agentship and agentship, unity and diversity (respectively).

As is this teaching about the distinction (of the two adherences), just so has it been revealed in the Satapatha Brahmana: 'Desiring this world (the Self) alone monks and Brahmanas renounce their homes' (cf. Br. 4.4.22). After thus enjoining renunciation of all rites and duties, it is said in continuation, 'What shall we acheive through childeren, we who have attained this Self, this world (result).' [The earlier quotation implies an injuction (vidhi) for renunciation, and the second is an arthavada, or an emphasis on that injunction.

Arthavada: A sentence which usually recommends a vidhi, or precept, by stating the good arising from its proper observance, and the evils arising from its omission; and also by adducing historical instances in its support.-V.S.A] Again, there itself it is said that, before accepting a wife a man is in his natural state [The state of ignorance owing to non-realization of Reality. Such a person is a Brahmacarin, who goes to a teacher for studying the Vedas]. And (then) after his enquiries into rites and duties, [The Brahmacarin first studies the Vedas and then enquires into their meaning. Leaving his teacher's house after completing his course, he becomes a house holder.] 'he' for the attainment of the three worlds [This world, the world of manes and heaven.-Tr.] 'desired' (see Br. 1.4.17) as their means a son and the two kinds of wealth consists of rites and duties that lead to the world of manes, and the divine wealth of acquisition of vidya (meditation) which leads to heaven. In this way it is shown that rites and duties enjoined by the Vedas etc. are meant only for one who is unenlightened and is passessed of desire. And in the text, 'After renouncing they take to mendicancy' (see Br. 4.4.22), the injunction to renounce is only for one who desires the world that is the Self, and who is devoid of hankering (for anything else).

Now, if the intention of the Lord were the combination of Knowledge with Vedic rites and duties, then this utterance (of the Lord) (3.3) about the distinction would have been illogical. Nor would Arjuna's question, 'If it be Your opinion that wisdom (Knowledge) is superior to action (rites and duties)....,' etc. (3.1) be proper. If the Lord had not spoken earlier of the impossibility of the pursuit of Knowledge and rites and duties by the same person (at the same time), then how could Arjuna falsely impute to the Lord-by saying, 'If it be your opinion that wisdom is superior to action.....'-(of having spoken) what was not heard by him, viz the higher status of Knolwedge over rites and duties? Morevoer, if it be that the combination of Knowledge with rites and duties was spoken of for all, then it stands enjoined, ipso facto, on Arjuna as well. Therefore, if instruction had been given for practising both, then how could the question about 'either of the two' arise as in, 'Tell me for certain one of these (action and renunciation) by which I may attain the highest Good' (3.2)? Indeed, when a physician tells a patient who has come for a cure of his biliousness that he should take things which are sweet and soothing, there can arise no such request as, 'Tell me which one of these two is to be taken as a means to cure biliousness'! Again, if it be imagined that Arjuna put the question because of his noncomprehension of the distinct meaning of what the Lord had said, even then the Lord ought to have answered in accordance with the question: 'The combination of Knowledge with rites and duties was spoken of by Me. Why are you confused thus?' On the other hand, it was not proper to have answered, 'Two kinds of steadfastness were spoken of by Me it the days of yore,' in a way that was inconsistent and at variance with the question.

Nor even do all the statements about distinction etc. become logical if it were intended that Knowledge was to be combined with rites and duties enjoined by the Smrtis only. Besides, the accusation in the sentence, 'Why then do you urge me to horrible action' (3.1) becomes illogical on the part of Arjuna who knew that fighting was a Ksatriya's natural duty enjoined by the Smrtis. Therefore, it is not possible for anyone to show that in the scripture called the Gita there is any combination, even in the least, of Knowledge of the Self with rites and duties enjoined by the Srutis or the Smrtis. But in the case of a man who had engaged himself in rites and duties because of ignorance and defects like the attachment, and then got his mind purified through sacrifices, charities or austerities (see Br. 4.4.22), there arises the knowledge about the supreme Reality-that all this is but One, and Brahman is not an agent (of any action). With regard to him, although there is a cessation of rites and duties as also of the need for them, yet, what may, appear as his diligent continuance, just as before, in those rites and duties for setting an example before people-that is no action in which case it could have stood combined with Knowledge. Just as the actions of Lord Vasudeva, in the form of performance of the duty of a Ksatriya, do not get combined with Knowledge for the sake of achieving the human goal (Liberation), similar is the case with the man of Knowledge because of the absence of hankering for results and agentship. Indeed, a man who has realized the Truth does not thingk 'I am doing (this)' nor does he hanker after its result.

Again, as for instance, person hankering after such desirable things as heaven etc. may light up a fire for performing such rites as Agnihotra etc. which are the mans to attain desirable things; [The Ast. reading is: Agnihotradi-karma-laksana-dharma-anusthanaya, for the performance of duties in the form of acts like Agnihotra etc.-Tr.] then, while he is still engaged in the performance of Agnihotra etc. as the means for the desirable things, the desire may get destroyed when the rite is half-done. He may nevertheless continue the performance of those very Agnihotra etc.; but those performance of those very Agnihotra etc.; but those Agnihotra etc. cannot be held to be for this personal gain.

Accordingly does the Lord also show in various places that, 'even while perfroming actions,' he does not act, 'he does not become tainted' (5.7). As for the texts, '...as was performed earlier by the ancient ones' (4.15), 'For Janaka and others strove to attain Liberation through action itself' (3.20), they are to be understood analytically.

Objection: How so?

Vedantin: As to that, if Janaka and others of old remained engaged in activity even though they were knowers of Reality, they did so for preventing people from going astray, while remaining established in realization verily through the knowledge that 'the organs rest (act) on the objects of the organs' (3.28). The idea is this that, though the occasion for renunciation of activity did arise, they remained established in realization along with actions; they did not give up their rites and duties.

On the other hand, if they were not knowers of Reality, then the explanation should be this; Through the discipline of dedicating rites and duties to God, Janaka and others remained established in perfection (samsiddhi) either in the form of purification of mind or rise of Knowledge. This very idea [The idea that rites and duties become the cause of Knowledge through the purification of the mind.] will be expressed by the Lord in, '(the yogis) under-take action for the purification of oneself (i.e. of the heart, or the mind)' (5.11). After having said, 'A human being achieves success by adoring Him through his own duties' [By performing one's own duty as enjoined by scriptures and dedicating their results to God, one's mind becomes purified. Then, through Gods grace one becomes fit for steadfastness in Knowledge. From that steadfatness follows Liberation. Therefore rites and duites do not directly lead to Liberation. (See Common. under 5.12) (18.46), He will again speak of the steadfastness in Knowledge of a person who has attained success, in the text, '(Understand.....from Me....that process by which) one who has achieved success attains Brahman' (18.50).

So, the definite conclusion in the Gita is that Liberation is attained only from the knowledge of Reality, and not from its combination with action. And by pointing out in the relevant contexts the (aforesaid) distinction, we shall show how this conclusion stands.

That being so, Lord Vasudeva found that for Arjuna, whose mind was thus confused about what ought to be done [The ast. and A.A., have an additional word-mithyajnanavatah, meaning 'who had false ignorance'.-Tr.] and who was sunk in a great ocean of sorrow, there could be no rescue other than through the knowledge of the Self. And desiring to rescue Arjuna from that, He said, '(You grieve for) those who are not to be grieved for,' etc. by way of introducing the knowledge of the Self. [In this Gita there are three distinct parts, each part consisting of six chapters. These three parts deal with the three words of the great Upanisadic saying, 'Tattvamasi, thou art That', with a view to finding out their real meanings. The first six chapters are concerned with the word tvam (thou); the following six chapters determine the meaning of the word tat (that); and the last six reveal the essential identity of tvam and tat. The disciplines necessary for realization this identity are stated in the relevant places.]

The Blessed Lord said:

2.11 You grieve for whose who are not to be grieved for; and you speak words of wisdom! The learned do not grieve for the departed and those who have not departed.

Bhisma, Drona and others are not to be grieved for, because they are of noble character and are eternal in their real nature. With regard to them, asocyan, who are not to be grieved for; tvam, you; anvasocah, grieve, (thinking) 'They die because of me; without them what shall I do with dominion and enjoyment?'; ca, and; bhasase, you speak; prajnavadan, words of wisdom, words used by men of wisdom, of intelligence. The idea is, 'Like one mad, you show in yourself this foolishness and learning which are contradictory.'

Because, panditah, the learned, the knowers of the Self-panda means wisdon about the Self; those indeed who have this are panditah, one the authority of the Upanisadic text, '....the knowers of Brahman, having known all about scholarship,....' (Br. 3.5.1) ['Therefore the knowers of Brahman, having known all about scholorship, should try to live upon that strength which comes of Knowledge; having known all about this strength as well as scholorship, he becomes meditative; having known all about both meditativeness and its opposite, he becomes a knower of Brahman.']-; na anusocanti, do not grieve for; gatasun, the departed, whose life has become extinct; agatasun ca, and for those who have not departed, whose life has not left, the living. The ideas is, 'Your are sorrowing for those who are eternal in the real sense, and who are not to be grieved for. Hence your are a fool!.'

2.12 But certainly (it is) not (a fact) that I did not exist at any time; nor you, nor these rulers of men. And surely it is not that we all shall cease to exist after this.

Why are they not to be grieved for? Because they are eternal. How? Na tu eva, but certainly it is not (a fact); that jatu, at any time; aham, I ; na asam, did not exist; on the contrary, I did exist. The idea is that when the bodies were born or died in the past, I existed eternally. [Here Ast. adds ghatadisu viyadiva, like Space in pot etc.-Tr.] Similarly, na tvam, nor is it that you did not exist; but you surely existed. Ca, and so also; na ime, nor is it that these ; jana-adhipah, rulers of men, did not exist. On the other hand, they did exist. And similarly, na eva, it is surely not that; vayam, we; sarve, all; na bhavisyamah, shall cease to exist; atah param, after this, even after the destruction of this body. On the contrary, we shall exist. The meaning is that even in all the three times (past, present and future) we are eternal in our nature as the Self. The plural number (in we) is used following the diversity of the bodies, but not in the sense of the multiplicity of the Self.

2.13 As are boyhood, youth and decrepitude to an embodied being in this (present) body, similar is the acquisition of another body. This being so, an intelligent person does not get deluded.

As to that, to show how the Self is eternal, the Lord cites an illustration by saying,'...of the embodied,' etc. Yatha, as are, the manner in which; kaumaram, boyhood; yauvanam, youth, middle age; and jara, decrepitude, advance of age; dehinah, to an embodied being, to one who possesses a body (deha), to the Self possessing a body; asmin, in this, present; dehe, body-. These three states are mutually distinct. On these, when the first state gets destroyed the Self does not get destroyed; when the second state comes into being It is not born. What then? It is seen that the Self, which verily remains unchanged, acquires the second and third states. Tatha, similar, indeed; is Its, the unchanging Self's dehantarapraptih, acquisition of another body, a body different from the present one. This is the meaning. Tatra, this being so; dhirah, an intelligent person; na, does not; muhyati, get deluded.

2.14 But the contacts of the organs with the objects are the producers of cold and heat, happiness and sorrow. They have a beginning and an end, (and) are transient. Bear them, O descendant of Bharata.

'In the case of a man who knows that the Self is eternal, although there is no possibility of delusion concerning the destruction of the Self, still delusion, as of ordinary people, caused by the experience of cold, heat, happiness and sorrow is noticed in him. Delusion arises from being deprived of happiness, and sorrow arises from contact with pain etc.' apprehending this kind of a talk from Arjuna, the Lord said, 'But the contacts of the organs,' etc.

Matra-sparsah, the contacts of the organs with objects; are sita-usna-sukha-duhkha-dah, producers of cold, heat, happiness and sorrow. Matrah means those by which are marked off (measured up) sounds etc., i.e. the organs of hearing etc. The sparsah, contacts, of the organs with sound etc. are matra-sparsah. Or, sparsah means those which are contacted, i.e. objects, viz sound etc. Matra-sparsah, the organs and objects, are the producers of cold, heat, happiness and sorrow.

Cold sometimes produces pleasure, and sometimes pain. Similarly the nature of heat, too, is unpredictable. On the other hand, happiness and sorrow have definite natures since they do not change. Hence they are mentioned separately from cold and heat. Since they, the organs, the contacts, etc., agamapayinah, have a beginning and an end, are by nature subject to origination and destruction; therefore, they are anityah, transient. Hence, titiksasva, bear; tan, them-cold, heart, etc., i.e. do not be happy or sorry with regard to them.

2.15 O (Arjuna, who are) foremost among men, verily, the person whom these do not torment, the wise man to whom sorrow and happiness are the same-he is fit for Immortality.

What will happen to one who bears cold and heat? Listen: Verily, the person....,'etc.

(O Arjuna) hi, verily; yam purusam, the person whom; ete, these, cold and heat mentioned above; na, do not; vyathayanti, torment, do not perturb; dhiram, the wise man; sama-duhkha-sukham, to whom sorrow and happiness are the same, who is free from happiness and sorrow when subjected to pleasure and pain, because of his realization of the enternal Self; sah, he, who is established in the realization of the enternal Self, who forbears the opposites; kalpate, becomes fit; amrtattvaya, for Immortality, for the state of Immortality, i.e. for Liberation.

2.16 Of the unreal there is no being; the real has no nonexistence. But the nature of both these, indeed, has been realized by the seers of Truth.

Since 'the unreal has no being,' etc., for this reason also it is proper to bear cold, heat, etc. without becoming sorrowful or deluded. Asatah, of the unreal, of cold, heat, etc. together with their causes; na vidyate, there is no; bhavah, being, existence, reality; because heat, cold, etc. together with their causes are not substantially real when tested by means of proof. For they are changeful, and whatever is changeful is inconstant. As configurations like pot etc. are unreal since they are not perceived to be different from earth when tested by the eyes, so also are all changeful things unreal because they are not perceived to be different from their (material) causes, and also because they are not perceived before (their) origination and after destruction.

Objection: If it be that [Here Ast. has the additional words 'karyasya ghatadeh, the effect, viz pot etc. (and)'.-Tr.] such (material) causes as earth etc. as also their causes are unreal since they are not perceived differently from their causes, in that case, may it not be urged that owing to the nonexistence of those (causes) there will arise the contingency of everything becoming unreal [An entity cannot be said to be unreal merely because it is non-different from its cause. Were it to be asserted as being unreal, then the cause also should be unreal, because there is no entity which is not subject to the law of cuase and effect.]?

Vedantin: No, for in all cases there is the experience of two awarenesses, viz the awareness of reality, and the awareness of unreality. [In all cases of perception two awarenesses are involved: one is invariable, and the other is variable. Since the variable is imagined on the invariable, therefore it is proved that there is something which is the substratum of all imagination, and which is neither a cause nor an effect.] That in relation to which the awareness does not change is real; that in relation to which it changes is unreal. Thus, since the distinction between the real and the unreal is dependent on awareness, therefore in all cases (of empirical experiences) everyone has two kinds of awarenesses with regard to the same substratum: (As for instance, the experiences) 'The pot is real', 'The cloth is real', 'The elephant is real'-(which experiences) are not like (that of) 'A blue lotus'. [In the empirical experience, 'A blue lotus', there are two awarenesses concerned with two entities, viz the substance (lotus) and the quality (blueness). In the case of the experience, 'The pot is real', etc. the awarenesses are not concerned with substratum and qualities, but the awareness of pot,of cloth, etc. are superimposed on the awareness of 'reality', like that of 'water' in a mirage.] This is how it happens everywhere. [The coexistence of 'reality' and 'pot' etc. are valid only empirically-according to the non-dualists; whereas the coexistence of 'blueness' and 'lotus' is real according to the dualists.]

Of these two awareness, the awareness of pot etc. is inconstant; and thus has it been shown above. But the awareness of reality is not (inconstant). Therefore the object of the awareness of pot etc. is unreal because of inconstancy; but not so the object of the awareness of reality, because of its constancy.

Objection: If it be argued that, since the awareness of pot also changes when the pot is destroyed, therefore the awareness of the pot's reality is also changeful?

Vedantin: No, because in cloth etc. the awareness of reality is seen to persist. That awareness relates to the odjective (and not to the noun 'pot'). For this reason also it is not destroyed. [This last sentence has been cited in the f.n. of A.A.-Tr.]

Objection: If it be argued that like the awareness of reality, the awareness of a pot also persists in other pots?

Vedantin: No, because that (awareness of pot) is not present in (the awareness of) a cloth etc.

Objection: May it not be that even the awareness of reality is not present in relation to a pot that has been destroyed?

Vedantin: No, because the noun is absent (there). Since the awareness of reality corresponds to the adjective (i.e. it is used adjectivelly), therefore, when the noun is missing there is no possibility of its (that awareness) being an adjective. So, to what should it relate? But, again, the awareness of reality (does not cease) with the absence of an object.. [Even when a pot is absent and the awareness of reality does not arise with regare to it, the awareness of reality persists in the region where the pot had existed.

Some read nanu in place of na tu ('But, again'). In that case, the first portion (No,....since....adjective. So,....relate?) is a statement of the Vedantin, and the Objection starts from nanu punah sadbuddheh, etc. so, the next Objection will run thus: 'May it not be said that, when nouns like pot etc. are absent, the awareness of existence has no noun to qualify, and therefore it becomes impossible for it (the awareness of existence) to exist in the same substratum?'-Tr.]

Objection: May it not be said that, when nouns like pot etc. are absent, (the awareness of existence has no noun to qualify and therefore) it becomes impossible for it to exist in the same substratum? [The relationship of an adjective and a noun is seen between two real entities. Therefore, if the relationship between 'pot' and 'reality' be the same as between a noun and an adjective, then both of them will be real entities. So, the coexistence of reality with a non-pot does not stand to reason.]

Vedantin: No, because in such experiences as, 'This water exists', (which arises on seeing a mirage etc.) it is observed that there is a coexistence of two objects though one of them is non-existent.

Therefore, asatah, of the unreal, viz body etc. and the dualities (heat, cold, etc.), together with their causes; na vidyate, there is no; bhavah, being. And similarly, satah, of the real, of the Self; na vidyate, there is no; abhavah, nonexistence, because It is constant everywhere. This is what we have said.

Tu, but; antah, the nature, the conclusion (regarding the nature of the real and the unreal) that the Real is verily real, and the unreal is verily unreal; ubhayoh api, of both these indeed, of the Self and the non-Self, of the Real and the unreal, as explained above; drstah, has been realized thus; tattva-darsibhih, by the seers of Truth. Tat is a pronoun (Sarvanama, lit. name of all) which can be used with regard to all. And all is Brahman. And Its name is tat. The abstraction of tat is tattva, the true nature of Brahman. Those who are apt to realize this are tattva-darsinah, seers of Truth.

Therefore, you too, by adopting the vision of the men of realization and giving up sorrow and delusion, forbear the dualities, heat, cold, etc.-some of which are definite in their nature, and others inconstant-, mentally being convinced that this (phenomenal world) is changeful, verily unreal and appears falsely like water in a mirage. This is the idea.

What, again, is that reality which remains verily as the Real and surely for ever? This is being answered in, 'But know That', etc.

2.17 But know That to be indestructible by which all this is pervaded. None can bring about the destruction of this Immutable.

tu, But-this word is used for distinguishing (reality) from unreality; tat viddhi, know That; to be avinasi, indestructible, by nature not subject to destruction; what? (that) yena, by which, by which Brahman called Reality; sarvam, all; idam, this, the Universe together with space; is tatam, pervaded, as pot etc. are pervaded by space. Na kascit, none; arhati, can; kartum, bring about; vinasam, the destruction, disappearance, nonexistence; asya, of this avyayasya, of the Immutable, that which does not undergo growth and depletion. By Its very nature this Brahman called Reality does not suffer mutation, because, unlike bodies etc., It has no limbs; nor (does It suffer mutation) by (loss of something) belonging to It, because It has nothing that is Its own. Brahman surely does not suffer loss like Devadatta suffering from loss of wealth. Therefore no one can bring about the destruction of this immutable Brahman. No one, not even God Himself, can destroy his own Self, because the Self is Brahman. Besides, action with regard to one's Self is self-contradictory.

Which, again, is that 'unreal' that is said to change its own nature? This is being answered:

2.18 These destructible bodies are said to belong to the everlasting, indestructible, indeterminable, embodied One. Therefore, O descendant of Bharata, join the battle.

Ime, these; antavantah, destructible; dehah, bodies-as the idea of reality which continues with regard to water in a mirage, etc. gets eliminated when examined with the means of knowledge, and that is its end, so are these bodies and they have an end like bodies etc. in dream and magic-; uktah, are said, by discriminating people; to belong nityasya, to the everlasting; anasinah, the indestructible; aprameyasya, the indeterminable; sarirnah, embodied One, the Self. This is the meaning.

The two words 'everlasting' and 'indestructible' are not repetitive, because in common usage everlastingness and destructibility are of two kinds. As for instance, a body which is reduced to ashes and has disappeared is said to have been destoryed. (And) even while existing, when it becomes transfigured by being afflicted with diseases etc. it is said to be 'destroyed'. [Here the A.A. adds 'tatha dhana-nase-apyevam, similar is the case even with regard to loss of wealth.'-Tr.] That being so, by the two words 'everlasting' and 'indestructible' it is meant that It is not subject to both kinds of distruction. Otherwise, the everlastingness of the Self would be like that of the earth etc. Therefore, in order that this contingency may not arise, it is said, 'Of the everlasting, indestructible'.

Aprameyasya, of the indeterminable, means 'of that which cannot be determined by such means of knowledge as direct perception etc.'

Objection: Is it not that the Self is determined by the scriptures, and before that through direct perception etc.?

Vedantin: No, because the Self is self-evident. For, (only) when the Self stands predetermined as the knower, there is a search for a means of knolwedge by the knower. Indeed, it is not that without first determining oneself as, 'I am such', one takes up the task of determining an object of knowledge. For what is called the 'self' does not remain unknown to anyone. But the scripture is the final authority [when the Vedic text establishes Brahman as the innermost Self, all the distinctions such as knower, known and the means of knowledge become sublated. Thus it is reasonable that the Vedic text should be the final authority. Besides, its authority is derived from its being faultless in as much as it has not originated from any human being.]: By way of merely negating superimposition of qualities that do not belong to the Self, it attains authoritativeness with regard to the Self, but not by virtue of making some unknown thing known. There is an Upanisadic text in support of this: '....the Brahman that is immediate and direct, the Self that is within all' (Br. 3.4.1).

Since the Self is thus eternal and unchanging, tasmat, therefore; yudhyasva, you join the battle, i.e. do not desist from the war. Here there is no injunction to take up war as a duty, because be (Arjuna), though he was determined for war, remains silent as a result of being overpowered by sorrow and delusion. Therefore, all that is being done by the Lord is the removal of the obstruction to his duty. 'Therefore, join the battle' is only an approval, not an injunction.

The scripture Gita is intended for eradicating sorrow, delusion, etc. which are the cases of the cycle of births and deaths; it is not intended to enjoin action. As evidences of this idea the Lord cites two Vedic verses: [Ka. 1.2.19-20. There are slight verbal differences.-Tr.]

2.19 He who thinks of this One as the killer, and he who thinks of this One as the killed-both of them do not know. This One does not kill, nor is It killed.

But the ideas that you have, 'Bhisma and others are neing killed by me in war; I am surely their killer'-this idea of yours is false. How? Yah, he who; vetti, thinks; of enam, this One, the embodied One under consideration; as hantaram, the killer, the agent of the act of killing; ca, and; yah, he who, the other who; manyate, thinks; of enam, this One; as hatam, the killed-(who thinks) 'When the body is killed, I am myself killed; I become the object of the act of killing'; ubhau tau, both of them; owing to non-discrimination, na, do not; vijanitah, know the Self which is the subject of the consciousness of 'I'. The meaning is: On the killing of the body, he who thinks of the Self (-the content of the consciousness of 'I'-) [The Ast. omits this phrase from the precedig sentence and includes it in this place. The A.A. has this phrase in both the places.-Tr.] as 'I am the killer', and he who thinks, 'I have been killed', both of them are ignorant of the nature of the Self. For, ayam, this Self; owing to Its changelessness, na hanti, does not kill, does not become the agent of the act of killing; na hanyate, nor is It killed, i.e. It does not become the object (of the act of killing).

The second verse is to show how the Self is changeless:

2.20 Never is this One born, and never does It die; nor is it that having come to exist, It will again cease to be. This One is birthless, eternal, undecaying, ancient; It is not killed when the body is killed.

Na kadacit, never; is ayam, this One; jayate, born i.e. the Self has no change in the form of being born-to which matter is subject-; va, and (-va is used in the sense of and); na mriyate, It never dies. By this is denied the final change in the form of destruction. The word (na) kadacit), never, is connected with the denial of all kinds of changes thus-never, is It born never does It die, and so on. Since ayam, this Self; bhutva, having come to exist, having experienced the process of origination; na, will not; bhuyah, again; abhavita, cease to be thereafter, therefore It does not die. For, in common parlance, that which ceases to exist after coming into being is said to die. From the use of the word va, nor, and na, it is understood that, unlike the body, this Self does not again come into existence after having been non-existent. Therefore It is not born. For, the words, 'It is born', are used with regard to something which comes into existence after having been non-existent. The Self is not like this. Therfore It is not born.

Since this is so, therefore It is ajah, birthless; and since It does not die, therefore It is nityah, eternal. Although all changes become negated by the denial of the first and the last kinds of changes, still changes occuring in the middle [For the six kinds of changes see note under verse 2.10.-Tr.] should be denied with their own respective terms by which they are implied. Therefore the text says sasvatah, undecaying,. so that all the changes, viz youth etc., which have not been mentioned may become negated. The change in the form of decay is denied by the word sasvata, that which lasts for ever. In Its own nature It does not decay because It is free from parts. And again, since it is without qualities, there is no degeneration owing to the decay of any quality. Change in the form of growth, which is opposed to decay, is also denied by the word puranah, ancient. A thing that grows by the addition of some parts is said to increase and is also said to be new. But this Self was fresh even in the past due to Its partlessness. Thus It is puranah, i.e. It does not grow. So also, na hanyate, It is puranah, i.e. It does not grow. So also, na hanyate, It is not killed, It does not get transformed; even when sarire, the body; hanyamane, is killed, transformed. The verb 'to kill' has to be understood here in the sense of transformation, so that a tautology [This verse has already mentioned 'death' in the first line. If the verb han, to kill, is also taken in the sense of killing, then a tautology is unavoidable.-Tr.] may be avoided.

In this mantra the six kinds of transformations, the material changes seen in the world, are denied in the Self. The meaning of the sentence is that the Self is devoid of all kinds of changes. Since this is so, therefore 'both of them do not know'-this is how the present mantra is connected to the earlier mantra.

2.21 O Partha, he who knows this One as indestructible, eternal, birthless and undecaying, how and whom does that person kill, or whom does he cause to be killed! [This is not a question but only an emphatic denial.-Tr.]

In the mantra, 'He who thinks of this One as the killer,' having declared that (the Self) does not become the agent or the object of the actof killing, and then in the mantra, 'Never is this One born,' etc., having stated the reasons for (Its) changelessness, the Lord sums up the purport of what was declared above: He who knows this One as indestructible, etc.

Yah, he who; veda, knows-yah is to be thus connected with veda-; enam, this One, possessing the characteristics stated in the earlier mantra; as avinasinam, indestructible, devoid of the final change of state; nityam, eternal, devoid of transformation; ajam, birthless; and avyayam, undecaying; katham, how, in what way; (and kam, whom;) does sah, that man of realization; purusah, the person who is himself an authority [i.e. above all injunctions and prohibitions. See 18.16.17.-Tr.]; hanti, kill, undertake the act of killing; or how ghatayati, does he cause (others) to be killed, (how does he) instigate a killer! The intention is to deny both (the acts) by saying, 'In no way does he kill any one, nor does he cause anyone to be killed', because an interrogative sense is absurd (here). Since the implication of the reason [The reason for the denial of killing etc. is the changelessness of the Self, and this reason holds good with regard to all actions of the man of realization.-Tr.], viz the immutability of the Self, [The A.A. omits 'viz the immutability of the Self'.-Tr.] is common (with regard to all actions), therefore the negation of all kinds of actions in the case of a man of realization is what the Lord conveys as the only purport of this context. But the denial of (the act of) killing has been cited by way of an example.

Objection: By noticing what special reason for the impossibility of actions in the case of the man of realization does the Lord deny all actions (in his case) by saying, 'How can that person,' etc.?

Vedantin: Has not the immutability of the Self been already stated as the reason [Some readings omit this word.-Tr.] , the specific ground for the impossibility of all actions?

Objection: It is true that it has been stated; but that is not a specific ground, for the man of realization is different from the immutable Self. Indeed, may it not be argued that action does not become impossible for one who has known as unchanging stump of a tree?!

Vedantin: No, because of man of Knowledge is one with the Self. Enlightenment does not belong to the aggregate of body and senses. Therefore, as the last laternative, the knower is the Immutable and is the Self which is not a part of the aggregate. Thus, action being impossible for that man of Knowledge, the denial in, 'How can that person...,' etc. is reasonable. As on account of the lack of knowledge of the distinction between the Self and the modifications of the intellect, the Self, though verily immutable, is imagined through ignorance to be the perceiver of objects like sound etc. presented by the intellect etc., in this very way, the Self, which in reality is immutable, is said to be the 'knower' because of Its association with the knowledge of the distinction between the Self and non-Self, which (knowledge) is a modification of the intellect [By buddhi-vrtti, modification of the intellect, is meant the transformation of the internal organ into the form of an extension upto an object, along with its past impressions, the senses concerned, etc., like the extension of the light of a lamp illuminating an object. Consciousness reflected on this transformation and remaining indistinguishable from that transformation revealing the object, is called objective knowledge. Thereby, due to ignorance, the Self is imagined to be the perceiver because of Its connection with the vrtti, modification. (-A.G.)

The process is elsewhere described as follows:

The vrtti goes out through the sense-ortgan concerned, like the flash of a torchlight, and along with it goes the reflection of Consciousness. Both of them envelop the object, a pot for instance. The vrtti destroys the ignorance about the pot; and the reflection of Consciousness, becoming unified with only that portion of it which has been delimited by the pot, reveals the pot.

In the case of knowledge of Brahman, it is admitted that the vrtti in the form, 'I am Brahman', does reach Brahman and destroys ignorance about Brahman, but it is not admitted that Brahman is revealed like a 'pot', for Brahman is self-effulgent.-Tr.] and is unreal by nature. From the statement that action is impossible for man of realization it is understood that the conclusion of the Lord is that, actions enjoined by the scriptures are prescribed for the unenlightened.

Objection: Is not elightenment too enjoined for the ignorant? For, the injunction about enlightenment to one who has already achieved realization is useless, like grinding something that has already been ground! This being so, the distinction that rites and duties are enjoined for the unenlightened, and not for the enlightened one, does not stand to reason.

Vedantin: No. There can reasonable be a distinction between the existence or nonexistence of a thing to be performed. As after the knowledge of the meaning of the injunction for rites like Agnihotra etc. their performance becomes bligatory on the unenlightened one who thinks, 'Agnihotra etc. has to be performed by collecting various accessories; I am the agent, and this is my duty',-unlike this, nothing remains later on to be performed as a duty after knowing the meaning of the injunction about the nature of the Self from such texts as, 'Never is this One born,' etc. But apart from the rise of knowledge regarding the unity of the Self, his non-agency, etc., in the form, 'I am not the agent, I am not the enjoyer', etc., no other idea arises. Thus, this distinction can be maintained.

Again, for anyone who knows himself as, 'I am the agent', there will necessarily arise the idea, 'This is my duty.' In relation to that he becomes eligible. In this way duties are (enjoined) [Ast. adds 'sambhavanti, become possible'.-Tr.] for him. And according to the text, 'both of them do not know' (19), he is an unenlightened man. And the text, 'How can that person,' etc. concerns the enlightened person distinguished above, becuase of the negation of action (in this text).

Therefore, the enlightened person distinguished above, who has realized the immutable Self, and the seeker of Liberation are qualified only for renunciation of all rites and duties. Therefore, indeed, the Lord Narayana, making a distinction between the enlightened man of Knowledge and the unenlightened man of rites and duties, makes them take up the two kinds of adherences in the text, 'through the Yoga of Knowledge for the men of realization; through the Yoga of Action for the yogis' (3.3).

Similarly also, Vyasa said to his son, 'Now, there are these two paths,' etc. ['Now, there are these two paths on which the Vedas are based. They are thought of as the dharma characterized by engagement in duties, and that by renunciation of them' (Mbh. Sa. 241.6).-Tr.] So also (there is a Vedic text meaning): 'The path of rites and duties, indeed, is the earlier, and renunciation comes after that.' [Ast. says that this is not a quotation, but only gives the purport of Tai, Ar. 10.62.12.-Tr.] The Lord will show again and again this very division: 'The unenlightened man who is deluded by egoism thinks thus: "I am the doer"; but the one who is a knower of the facts (about the varieties of the gunas) thinks, "I do not act"' (cf. 3.27,28). So also there is the text, '(The embodied man of selfcontrol,) having given up all actions mentally, continues (happily in the town of nine gates)' (5.13) etc.

With regard to this some wiseacres say: In no person does arise the idea, 'I am the changeless, actionless Self, which is One and devoid of the six kinds of changes beginning with birth to which all things are subject', on the occurrence of which (idea alone) can renunciation of all actions be enjoined. That is not correct, because it will lead to the needlessness of such scriptural instructions as, 'Never is this One born,' etc. (20). They should be asked: As on the authority of scripural instructions there arises the knowledge of the existence of virtue and vice and the knowledge regarding an agent who gets associated with successive bodies, similarly, why should not there arise from the scriptures the knowledge of unchangeability, non-agentship, oneness, etc. of that very Self?

Objection: If it be said that this is due to Its being beyond the scope of any means (of knowledge)?

Vedantin: No, because the Sruti says, 'It is to be realized through the mind alone, (following the instruction of the teacher)' (Br. 4.4.19). The mind that is purified by the instructions of the scriptures and the teacher, control of the body and organs, etc. becomes the instrument for realizing the Self. Again, since there exist inference and scriptures for Its realization, it is mere bravado to say that Knowledge does not arise. And it has to be granted that when knowledge arises, it surely eliminates ignorance, its opposite. And that ignorance has been shown in, 'I am the killer', 'I am killed', and 'both of them do not know' (see 2.19). And here also it is shown that the idea of the Self being an agent, the object of an action, or an indirect agent, is the result of ignorance. Also, the Self being changeless, the fact that such agentship etc. are cuased by ignorance is a common factor in all actions without exception, because only that agent who is subject to change instigates someone else who is different from himself and can be acted on, saying, 'Do this.'

Thus, with a view to pointing out the absence of fitness for rites and duties in the case of an enlightened person, the Lord [Ast, adds vasudeva after 'Lord'.-Tr.] says, 'He who knows this One as indestructible,' 'how can that person,' etc.-thereby denying this direct and indirect agentship of an enlightened person in respect of all actions without exception. As regards the question, 'For what, again, is the man of enlightenment qualified?', the answer has already been give earlier in, 'through the Yoga of Knowledge for the men of realization' (3.3). Similarly, the Lord will also speak of renunication of all actions in, 'having given up all actions mentally,' etc.(5.13).

Objection: May it not be argued that from the expression, 'mentally', (it follows that) oral and bodily actions are not to be renounced?

Vedantin: No, because of the categoric expression, 'all actions'.

Objection: May it not be argued that 'all actions' relates only to those of the mind?

Vedantin: No, because all oral and bodily actions are preceded by those of the mind, for those actions are impossible in the absence of mental activity.

Objection: May it not be said that one has to mentally renounce all other activities except the mental functions which are the causes of scriptural rites and duties performed through speech and body?

Vedantin: No, because it has been specifically expressed: 'without doing or causing (others) to do anything at all' (5.13).

Objection: May it not be that this renunciation of all actions, as stated by the Lord, is with regard to a dying man, not one living?

Vedantin: No, because (in that case) the specific statement, 'The embodied man....continues happily in the town of nine gates' (ibid.) will become illogical since it is not possible for a dead person, who neither acts nor makes others act, [The words 'akurvatah akarayatah, (of him) who neither acts nor makes others act', have been taken as a part of the Commentator's arguement. But A.G. points out that they can also form a part of the next Objection. In that, case, the translation of the Objection will be this: Can it not be that the construction of the sentence (under discussion) is-Neither doing nor making others do, he rest by depositing (sannyasya, by renouncing) in the body', but not 'he rests in the body by renouncing...'?] to rest in that body after renouncing all actions.

Objection: Can it not be that the construction of the sentence (under discussion) is, '(he rests) by depositing (sannyasya, by renouncing) in the body', (but) not 'he rests in the body by renouncing...'?

Vedantin: No, because everywhere it is categorically asserted that the Self is changeless. Besides, the action of 'resting' requires a location, whereas renunciation is independent of this. The word nyasa preceded by sam here means 'renunciation', not 'depositing'. Therefore, according to this Scripture, viz the Gita, the man of realization is eligible for renunciation, alone, not for rites and duties. This we shall show in the relevant texts later on in the cotext of the knowledge of the Self.

And now we shall speak of the matter on hand: As to that, the indestructibility [Indestructibility suggests unchangeability as well.] of the Self, has been postulated. What is it like? That is being said in, 'As after rejecting wornout clothes,' etc.

2.22 As after rejecting wornout clothes a man takes up other new ones, likewise after rejecting wornout bodies the embodied one unites with other new ones.

Yatha, as in the world; vihaya, after rejecting jirnani, wornout; vasamsi, clothes; narah, a man grhnati, takes up; aparani, other; navani, new ones; tatha, likewise, in that very manner; vihaya, after rejecting; jirnani, wornout; sarirani, bodies; dehi, the embodied one, the Self which is surely unchanging like the man (in the example); samyati, unites with; anyani, other; navani, new ones. This is meaning.

2.23 Weapons do not cut It, fire does not burn It, water does not moisten It, and air does not dry It.

Why does It verily remain unchanged? This is being answered in, 'Weapons do not cut It,' etc. Sastrani, weapons; na, do not; chindanti, cut; enam, It, the embodied one under discussion. It being partless, weapons like sword etc. do not cut off Its limbs. So also, even pavakah, fire; na dahati enam, does not burn, does not reduce It to ashes. Ca, and similarly; apah, water; na enam kledayanti, does not moisten It. For water has the power of disintegrating a substance that has parts, by the process of moistening it. That is not possible in the case of the partless Self. Similarly, air destroys an oil substance by drying up the oil. Even marutah, air; na sosayati, does not dry; (enam, It,) one's own Self. [Ast. reads 'enam tu atmanam, but this Self', in place of enam svatmanam.-Tr.]

2.24 It cannot be cut, It cannot be burnt, cannot be moistened, and surely cannot be dried up. It is eternal, omnipresent, stationary, unmoving and changeless.

Since this is so, therefore ayam, It; acchedyah, cannot be cut. Since the other elements which are the causes of destruction of one ano ther are not capable of destroying this Self, therefore It is nityah, eternal. Being eternal, It is sarva-gatah, omnipresent. Being omnipresent, It is sthanuh, stationary, i.e. fixed like a stump. Being fixed, ayam, this Self; is acalah, unmoving. Therefore It is sanatanah, changeless, i.e. It is not produced from any cause, as a new thing.

It is not to be argued that 'these verses are repetive since eternality and changelessness of the Self have been stated in a single verse itself, "Never is this One born, and never does It die," etc. (20). Whatever has been said there (in verse 19) about the Self does not go beyond the meaning of this verse. Something is repeated with those very words, and something ideologically.' Since the object, viz the Self, is inscrutable, therefore Lord Vasudeva raises the topic again and again, and explains that very object in other words so that, somehow, the unmanifest Self may come within the comprehension of the intellect of the transmigrating persons and bring about a cessation of their cycles of births and deaths.

2.25 It is said that This is unmanifest; This is inconceivable; This is unchangeable. Therefore, having known This thus, you ougth not to grieve.

Moreover, ucyate, it is said that; ayam, This, the Self; is avyaktah, unmanifest, since, being beyond the ken of all the organs, It cannot be objectified. For this very reason, ayam, This; is acintyah, inconceivable. For anything that comes within the purview of the organs becomes the object of thought. But this Self is inconceivable becuase It is not an object of the organs. Hence, indeed, It is avikaryah, unchangeable. This Self does not change as milk does when mixed with curd, a curdling medium, etc. And It is chnageless owing to partlessness, for it is not seen that any non-composite thing is changeful. Not being subject to transformation, It is said to be changeless. Tasmat, therefore; vidivata, having known; enam, this one, the Self; evam, thus, as described; na arhasi, you ought not; anusocitum, to grieve, thinking, 'I am the slayer of these; these are killed by me.'

2.26 On the other hand, if you think this One is born continually or dies constantly, even then, O mighty-armed one, you ought not to grieve thus.

This (verse), 'On the other hand,' etc., is uttered assuming that the Self is transient. Atha ca, on the other hand, if (-conveys the sense of assumption-); following ordinary experience, manyase, you think; enam, this One, the Self under discussion; is nityajatam, born continually, becomes born with the birth of each of the numerous bodies; va, or; nityam, constantly; mrtam, dies, along with the death of each of these (bodies); tatha api, even then, even if the Self be of that nature; tvam, you; maha-baho, O mighty-armed one; na arhasi, ought not; socitum, to grieve; evam, thus, since that which is subject to birth will die, and that which is subject to death will be born; these two are inevitable.

2.27 For death of anyone born is certain, and of the dead (re-) birth is a certainly. Therefore you ought not to grieve over an inevitable fact.

This being so, 'death of anyone born', etc. Hi, for; mrtyuh, death; jatasya, of anyone born; dhruvah, is certain; is without exception; ca, and mrtasya, of the dead; janmah, (re-) birth; is dhruvam, a certainly. Tasmat, therefore, this fact, viz birth and death, is inevitable. With regard to that (fact), apariharye, over an enevitable; arthe, fact; tvam, you; na arhasi, ought not; socitum, to grieve.

2.28 O descendant of Bharata, all beings remain unmanifest in the beginning;; they become manifest in the middle. After death they certainly become unmanifest. What lamentation can there be with regard to them?

It is not reasonable to grieve even for beings which are constituted by bodies and organs, since 'all beings remain unmanifest' etc. (Bharata, O descendant of Bharata;) bhutani, all beings, avyaktaduni, remain unmainfest in the beginning. Those beings, viz sons, friends, and others, constituted by bodies and organs, [Another reading is karya-karana-sanghata, aggregates formed by material elements acting as causes and effects.-Tr.] who before their origination have unmanifestedness (avyakta), invisibility, nonperception, as their beginning (adi) are avyaktaadini. Ca, and; after origination, before death, they become vyakta-madhyani, manifest in the middle. Again, they eva, certainly; become avyakta-nidhanani, unmanifest after death. Those which have unmanifestness (avyakta), invisibility, as their death (nidhana) are avyakta-nidhanani. The idea is that even after death they verily attain unmanifestedness. Accordingly has it been said: 'They emerged from invisibility, and have gone back to invisibility. They are not yours, nor are you theirs. What is this fruitless lamentation!' (Mbh. St. 2.13). Ka, what; paridevana, lamentation, or what prattle, can there be; tatra, with regard to them, i.e. with regard to beings which are objects of delusion, which are invisible, (become) visible, (and then) get destroyed!

2.29 Someone visualizes It as a wonder; and similarly indeed, someone else talks of It as a wonder; and someone else hears of It as a wonder. And some one else, indeed, does not realize It even after hearing about It.

'This Self under discussion is inscrutable. Why should I blame you alone regarding a thing that is a source of delusion to all!' How is this Self inscrutable? [It may be argued that the Self is the object of egoism. The answer is: Although the individualized Self is the object of egoism, the absolute Self is not.] This is being answered in, 'Someone visualizes It as a wonder,' etc.

Kascit, someone; pasyati, visualizes; enam, It, the Self; ascaryavat, as a wonder, as though It were a wonder-a wonder is something not seen before, something strange, something seen all on a sudden; what is comparable to that is ascarya-vat; ca, and; tatha, similarly; eva, indeed; kascit, someone; anyah, else; vadati, talks of It as a wonder. And someone else srnoti, hears of It as a wonder. And someone, indeed, na, does not; veda, realize It; api, even; srutva, after hearing, seeing and speaking about It.

Or, (the meaning is) he who sees the Self is like a wonder. He who speaks of It and the who hears of It is indeed rare among many thousands. Therefore, the idea is that the Self is difficult to understand.

Now, in the course of concluding the topic under discussion, [viz the needlessness of sorrow and delusion,from the point of view of the nature of things.] He says, 'O descendant of Bharata, this embodied Self', etc.

2.30 O descendant of Bharata, this embodied Self existing in everyone's body can never be killed. Therefore you ought not to grieve for all (these) beings.

Because of being partless and eternal, ayam, this dehi, embodied Self; nityam avadhyah, can never be killed, under any condition. That being so, although existing sarvasya dehe, in all bodies, in trees etc., this One cannot be killed on account of Its being allpervasive. Since the indewelling One cannot be killed although the body of everyone of the living beings be killed, tasmat, therefore; tvam, you; na arhasi, ought not; socitum, to grieve; for sarvani bhutani, all (these) beings, for Bhisma and others.

Here [i.e. in the earlier verse.] it has been said that, from the standpoint of the supreme Reality, there is no occasion for sorrow or delusion. (This is so) not merely from the standpoint of the supreme Reality, but-

2.31 Even considering your own duty you should not waver, since there is nothing else better for a Ksatriya than a righteous battle.

Api, even; aveksya, considering; svadharmam, your own duty, the duty of a Ksatriya, viz battle-considering even that-; na arhasi, you ought not; vikampitum, to waver, to deviate from the natural duty of the Ksatriya, i.e. from what is natural to yourself. And hi, since that battle is not devoid of righteousness, (but) is supremely righteous-it being conducive to virtue and meant for protection of subjects through conquest of the earth-; therefore, na vidyate, there is nothing; anyat, else; sreyah, better; ksatriyasya, for a ksatriya; than that dharmyat, righteous; yuddhat, battle.

2.32 O son of Partha, happy are the Ksatriyas who come across this kind of a battle, which presents itself unsought for and which is an open gate to heaven.

Why, again, does that battle become a duty? This is being answered (as follows) [A specific rule is more authoritative than a general rule. Non-violence is a general rule enjoined by the scriptures, but the duty of fighting is a specific rule for a Ksatriya.]: Partha, O son of Prtha; are not those Ksatiryas sukhinah, happy [Happy in this world as also in the other.] who labhante, come across; a yuddham, battle; idrsam, of this kind; upapannam, which presents itself; yadrcchaya, unsought for; and which is an apavrtam, open; svarga-dvaram, gate to heaven? [Rites and duties like sacrifices etc. yield their results after the lapse of some time. But the Ksatriyas go to heaven immediatley after dying in battle, because, unlike the minds of others, their minds remaind fully engaged in their immediate duty.]

2.33 On the other hand, if you will not fight this righteous battle, then, forsaking your own duty and fame, you will incur sin.

Atha, on the other hand; cet, if; tvam, you; na karisyasi, will not fight; even imam, this; dharmyam, righteous; samgramam, battle, which has presented itself as a duty, which is not opposed to righteousness, and which is enjoined (by the scriptures); tatah, then, because of not undertaking that; hitva, forsaking; sva-dharmam, your own duty; ca, and; kritim, fame, earned from encountering Mahadeva (Lord Siva) and others; avapsyasi, you will incur; only papam, sin.

2.34 People also will speak of your unending infamy. And to an honoured person infamy is worse than death.

Not only will there be the giving up of your duty and fame, but bhutani, people; ca api, also; kathayisyanti, will speak; te, of your; avyayam, unending, perpetual; akrtim, infamy. Ca, and; sambhavitasya, to an honoured person, to a person honoured with such epithets as 'virtuous', 'heroic', etc.; akirtih, infamy; atiricyate, is worse than; maranat, death. The meaning is that, to an honoured person death is perferable to infamy.

2.35 The great chariot-riders will think of you as having desisted from the fight out of fear; and you will into disgrace before them to whom you had been estimable.

Moreover, maharathah, the great chariot-riders, Duryodhana and others; mamsyante, will think; tvam, of you; as uparatam, having desisted; ranat, from the fight; not out of compassion, but bhayat, out of fear of Karna and others; ca, and ; yasyasi laghavam, you will again fall into disgrace before them, before Duryodhana and others; yesam, to whom; tvam, you; bahumato bhutva, had been estimable as endowed with many qualities.

2.36 And your enemies will speak many indecent words while denigrating your might. What can be more painful than that?

Ca, and besieds; tava, your; ahitah, enemies; vadisyanti, will speak; bahun, many, various kinds of; avacya-vadan, indecent words, unutterable words; nindantah, while denigrating, scorning; tava, your; samarthyam, might earned from battles against Nivatakavaca and others. Therefore, kim nu, what can be; duhkhataram, more painful; tatah, than that, than the sorrow arising from being scorned? That is to say, there is no greater pain than it.

2.37 Either by being killed you will attain heaven, or by winning you will enjoy the earth. Therefore, O Arjuna, rise up with determination for fighting.

Again, by undertaking the fight with Karna and others, va, either; hatah, by being killed; prapsyasi, you will attain; svargam, heaven; or jitva, by winning over Karna and other heroes; bhoksyase, you will enjoy; mahim, the earth. The purport is that in either case you surely stand to gain. Since this is so, Kaunteya, O son of Kunti; tasmat, therefore; uttistha, rise up; krta-niscayah, with determination; yuddhaya, for fighting, i.e. with the determination, 'I shall either defeat the enemies or shall die.'

2.38 Treating happiness and sorrow, gain and loss, and conquest and defeat with equanimity, then engage in battle. Thus you will not incur sin.

As regards that, listen to this advice for you then you are engaged in battle considering it to be your duty: Krtva, treating; sukha-duhkhe, happiness and sorrow; same, with equanimity, i.e. without having likes and dislikes; so also treating labha-alabhau, gain and loss; jaya-ajayau, conquest and defeat, as the same; tatah, then; yuddhaya yujyasva, engage in battle. Evam, thus by undertaking the fight; na avapsyasi, you will not incur; papam, sin. This advice is incidental. [The context here is that of the philosophy of the supreme Reality. If fighting is enjoined in that context, it will amount to accepting combination of Knowledge and actions. To avoid this contingency the Commentator says, 'incidental'. That is to say, although the context is of the supreme Reality, the advice to fight is incidental. It is not an injunction to combine Knowledge with actions, since fighting is here the natural duty of Arjuna as a Ksatriya.].

The generally accepted argument for the removal of sorrow and delusion has been stated in the verses beginning with, 'Even considering your own duty' (31), etc., but this has not been presented by accepting that as the real intention (of the Lord).

The real context here (in 2.12 etc.), however, is of the realization of the supreme Reality. Now, in order to show the distinction between the (two) topics dealt with in this scripture, the Lord concludes that topic which has been presented above (in 2.20 etc.), by saying, 'This (wisdom) has been imparted,' etc. For, if the distinction between the topics of the scripute be shown here, then the instruction relating to the two kinds of adherences- as stated later on in, 'through the Yoga of Knowledge for the men of realization; through the Yoga of Action for the yogis' (3.3)-will proceed again smoothly, and the hearer also will easily comprehend it by keeping in view the distinction between the topics. Hence the Lord says:

2.39 O Partha, this wisdom has been imparted to you from the standpoint of Self-realization. But listen to this (wisdom) from the standpoint of Yoga, endowed with which wisdom you will get rid of the bondage of action.

Partha, O son of Prtha (Arjuna); esa, this; buddhih, wisdom, the Knowledge which directly removes the defect (viz ignorance) that is responsible for sorrow, delusion, etc. [Mundane existence consists of attraction and repulsion, agentship and enjoyership, etc. These are the defects, and they arise from ignorance about one's Self. Enlightenment is the independent and sole cause that removes this ignorance.] constituting mundane existence; abhihita, has been imparted; te, to you; sankhye, from the standpoint of Self-realization, with regard to the discriminating knowledge of the supreme Reality. Tu, but; srnu, listen; imam, to this wisdom which will be imparted presently; yoge, from the spandpoint of Yoga, from the standpoint of the means of attaining it (Knowledge)-i.e., in the context of Karma-yoga, the performance of rites and duties with detachment after destroying the pairs of opposites, for the sake of adoring God, as also in the context of the practice of spiritual absorption.

As as inducement, He (the Lord) praises that wisdom: Yuktah, endowed; yaya, with which; buddhya, wisdom concerning Yoga; O Partha, prahasyasi, you will get rid of; karma-bandham, the bondage of action-action is itself the bondage described as righteousness and unrighteousness; you will get rid of that bondage by the attainment of Knowledge through God's grace. This is the idea.

2.40 Here there is no waste of an attempt; nor is there (any) harm. Even a little of this righteousness saves (one) from great fear.

Moreover, iha, here, in the path to Liberation, viz the Yoga of Action (rites and duties); na, there is no; abhikrama-nasah, waste of an attempt, of a beginning, unlike as in agriculture etc. The meaning is that the result of any attempt in the case of Yoga is not uncertain. Besides, unlike as in medical care, na vidyate, nor is there, nor does there arises; any pratyavayah, harm. But, svalpam api, even a little; asya, of this; dharmasya, righteousness in the form of Yoga (of Action); when pracised, trayate, saves (one); mahato bhayat, from great fear, of mundance existence characterized by death, birth, etc.

2.41 O scion of the Kuru dynasty, in this there is a single, one-pointed conviction. The thoughts of the irresolute ones have many branches indeed, and are innumerable.

Kuru-nandana, O scion of the Kuru dynasty; iha, is this path to Liberation; there is only eka, a single; vyavasayatmika, one-pointed; buddhih, conviction, which has been spoken of in the Yoga of Knowledge and which has the characteristics going to be spoken of in (Karma-) yoga. It is resolute by nature and annuls the numerous branches of the other opposite thoughts, since it originates from the right source of knowledge. [The right source of knowledge, viz the Vedic texts, which are above criticism.] Those again, which are the other buddhayah, thoughts; they are bahu-sakhah, possessed of numerous branches, i.e. possessed of numerous variations. Owing to the influence of their many branches the worldly state becomes endless, limitless, unceasing, ever-growing and extensive. [Endless, because it does not cease till the rixe of full enlightenment; limitless, because the worldly state, which is an effect, springs from an unreal source.] But even the worldly state ceases with the cessation of the infinite branches of thoughts, under the influence of discriminating wisdom arising from the valid source of knowledge. (And those thoughts are) hi, indeed; anantah, innumerable under every branch. Whose thoughts? Avyavasayinam, of the irresolute ones, i.e. of those who are devoid of discriminating wisdom arising from the right source of knowledge.

2.42-43 O son of Prtha, those undiscerning people who utter this flowery talk-which promises birth as a result of rites and duties, and is full of various special rites meant for the attainment of enjoyment and affluence-, they remain engrossed in the utterances of the Vedas and declare that nothing else exists; their minds are full of desires and they have heaven as the goal.

Partha, O son of Prtha; those devoid of one-pointed conviction, who pravadanti, utter; imam, this; yam puspitam vacam, flowery talk, which is going to be stated, which is beautiful like a tree in bloom, pleasant to hear, and appears to be (meaningful) sentences [Sentences that can be called really meaningful are only those that reveal the self.-Tr.];-who are they? they are-avipascitah, people who are undiscerning, of poor intellect, i.e. non-discriminating; veda-vada-ratah, who remain engrossed in the utterances of the Vedas, in the Vedic sentences which reveal many panegyrics, fruits of action and their means; and vadinah, who declare, are apt tosay; iti, that; na anyat, nothing else [God, Liberation, etc.]; asti, exists, apart from the rites and duties conducive to such results as attainment of heaven etc.

And they are kamatmanah, have their minds full of desires, i.e. they are swayed by desires, they are, by nature, full of desires; (and) svarga-parah, have heaven as the goal. Those who accept heaven (svarga) as the supreme (para) human goal, to whom heaven is the highest, are svarga-parah. They utter that speech (-this is supplied to construct the sentence-) which janma-karma-phala-pradam, promises birth as a result of rites and duties. The result (phala) of rites and duties (karma) is karma-phala. Birth (janma) itself is the karma-phala. That (speech) which promises this is janma-karma-phala-prada. (This speech) is kriya-visesa-bahulam, full of various special rites; bhoga-aisvarya-gatim-prati, for the attainment of enjoyment and affluence. Special (visesa) rites (kriya) are kriya-visesah. The speech that is full (bahula) of these, the speech by which that is full (bahula) of these, the speech by which these, viz objects such as heaven, animals and sons, are revealed plentifully, is kriya-visesa-bahula. Bhoga, enjoyment, and aisvarya, affluence, are bhoga-aisvarya. Their attainment (gatih) is bhoga-aisvarya-gatih. (They utter a speech) that is full of the specialized rites, prati, meant for that (attainment). The fools who utter that speech move in the cycle of transmigration. This is the idea.

2.43 One-pointed conviction does not become established in the minds of those who delight in enjoyment and affluence, and whose intellects are carried away by that (speech).

And vyavasayatmika, one-pointed; buddhih, conviction, with regard to Knowledge or Yoga; na vidhiyate, does not become established, i.e. does not arise; samadhau, in the minds-the word samadhi being derived in the sese of that into which everthing is gathered together for the enjoyment of a person-; bhoga-aisvarya-prasaktanam, of those who delight in enjoyment and wealth, of those who have the hankering that only enjoyment as also wealth is to be sought for, of those who identify themselves with these; and apahrta-cetasam, of those whose intellects are carried away, whose discriminating judgement becomes covered; taya, by that speech which is full of various special rites.

2.45 O Arjuna, the Vedas [Meaning only the portion dealing with rites and duties (karma-kanda).] have the three qualities as their object. You become free from worldliness, free from the pairs of duality, ever-poised in the quality of sattva, without (desire for) acquisition and protection, and self-collect.

To those who are thus devoid of discriminating wisdom, who indulge in pleasure, [Here Ast. adds 'yat phalam tad aha, what result accrues, that the Lord states:'-Tr.] O Arjuna, vedah, the Vedas; traigunya-visayah, have the three qualities as their object, have the three gunas, [Traigunya means the collection of the three qualities, viz sattva (purity), rajas (energy) and tamas (darkness); i.e. the collection of virtuous, vicious and mixed activities, as also their results. In this derivative sense traigunya means the worldly life.] i.e. the worldly life, as the object to be revealed. But you bhava, become; nistraigunyah, free from the three qualities, i.e. be free from desires. [There is a seeming conflict between the advices to be free from the three qualities and to be ever-poised in the quality of sattva. Hence, the Commentator takes the phrase nistraigunya to mean niskama, free from desires.] (Be) nirdvandvah, free from the pairs of duality-by the word dvandva, duality, are meant the conflicting pairs [Of heat and cold, etc.] which are the causes of happiness and sorrow; you become free from them. [From heat, cold, etc. That is, forbear them.]

You become nitya-sattvasthah, ever-poised in the quality of sattva; (and) so also niryoga-ksemah, without (desire for) acquisition and protection. Yoga means acquisition of what one has not, and ksema means the protection of what one has. For one who as 'acquisition and protection' foremost in his mind, it is difficult to seek Liberation. Hence, you be free from acquisition and protection. And also be atmavan, self-collected, vigilant. This is the advice given to you while you are engaged in your own duty. [And not from the point of view of seeking Liberation.]

2.46 A Brahmana with realization has that much utility in all the Vedas as a man has in a well when there is a flood all around.

If there be no need for the infinite results of all the rites and duties mentioned in the Vedas, then why should they be performed as a dedication to God? Listen to the answer being given:

In the world, yavan, whatever; arthah, utility, use, like bathing, drinking, etc.; one has udapane, in a well, pond and other numerous limited reservoirs; all that, indeed, is achieved, i.e. all those needs are fulfilled to that very extent; sampluhtodake, when there is a flood; sarvatah, all arount. In a similar manner, whatever utility, result of action, there is sarvesu, in all; the vedesu, Vedas, i.e. in the rites and duties mentioned in the Vedas; all that utility is achieved, i.e. gets fulfilled; tavan, to that very extent; in that result of realization which comes brahmanasya, to a Brahmana, a sannyasin; vijanatah, who knows the Reality that is the supreme Goal-that result being comparable to the flood all around. For there is the Upanisadic text, '...so all virtuous deeds performed by people get included in this one...who knows what he (Raikva) knows....' (Ch. 4.1.4). The Lord also will say, 'all actions in their totality culminate in Knowledge' (4.33). [The Commentators quotation from the Ch. relates to meditation on the qualified Brahman. Lest it be concluded that the present verse relates to knowledge of the qualified Brahman only, he quotes again from the Gita toshow that the conclusion holds good in the case of knowledge of the absolute Brahman as well.]

Therefore, before one attains the fitness for steadfastness in Knowledge, rites and duties, even though they have (limited) utility as that of a well, pond, etc., have to be undertaken by one who is fit for rites and duties.

2.47 Your right is for action alone, never for the results. Do not become the agent of the results of action. May you not have any inclination for inaction.

Te, your; adhikarah, right; is karmani eva, for action alone, not for steadfastness in Knowledge. Even there, when you are engaged in action, you have ma kadacana, never, i.e. under no condition whatever; a right phalesu, for the results of action-may you not have a hankering for the results of action. Whenever you have a hankering for the fruits of action, you will become the agent of acquiring the results of action. Ma, do not; thus bhuh, become; karma-phalahetuh, the agent of acquiring the results of action. For when one engages in action by being impelled by thirst for the results of action, then he does become the cause for the production of the results of action. Ma, may you not; astu, have; sangah, an inclination; akarmani, for inaction, thinking, 'If the results of work be not desired, what is the need of work which involves pain?'

2.48 By being established in Yoga, O Dhananjaya (Arjuna), undertake actions, casting off attachment and remaining equipoised in success and failure. Equanimity is called Yoga.

If action is not to be undertaken by one who is under the impulsion of the fruits of action, how then are they to be undertaken? This is being stated: Yogasthah, by becoming established in Yoga; O Dhanajaya, kuru, undertake; karmani, actions, for the sake of God alone; even there, tyaktva, casting off; sangam, attachment, in the form, 'God will be pleased with me.' ['Undertake work for pleasing God, but not for propitiating Him to become favourable towards yourself.']

Undertake actions bhutva, remaining; samah, equipoised; siddhi-asidhyoh, in success and failure-even in the success characterized by the attainment of Knowledge that arises from the purification of the mind when one performs actions without hankering for the results, and in the failure that arises from its opposite. [Ignorance, arising from the impurity of the mind.] What is that Yoga with regard to being established in which it is said, 'undertake'? This indeed is that: the samatvam, equanimity in success and failure; ucyate, is called; yogah, Yoga.

2.49 O Dhananjaya, indeed, action is quite inferior to the yoga of wisdom. Take resort to wisdom. Those who thirst for rewards are pitiable.

Then again, O Dhananjaya, as against action performed with equanimity of mind for adoring God, karma, action undertaken by one longing for the results; is, hi, indeed; durena, quite, by far; avaram, inferior, very remote; buddhi-yogat, from the yoga of wisdom, from actions undertaken with equanimity of mind, because it (the former) is the cause of birth, death, etc. Since this is so, therefore, saranam anviccha, take resort to, seek shelter; buddhau, under wisdom, which relates to Yoga, or to the Conviction about Reality that arises from its (the former's) maturity and which is the cause of (achieving) fearlessness. The meaning is that you should resort to the knowledge of the supreme Goal, because those who under take inferior actions, phala-hetavah, who thirst for rewards, who are impelled by results; are krpanah, pitiable, according to the Sruti, 'He, O Gargi, who departs from this world without knowing this Immutable, is pitiable' (Br. 3.8.10). [See note under 2.7.-Tr.]

2.50 Possessed of wisdom, one rejects here both virtue and vice. Therefore devote yourself to (Karma-) yoga. Yoga is skilfulness in action.

Listen to the result that one possessed of the wisdom of equanimity attains by performing one's own duties: Buddhi-yuktah, possessed of wisdom, possessed of the wisdom of equanimity; since one jahati, rejects; iha, here, in this world; ubhe, both; sukrta-duskrte, virtue and vice (righteousness and unrighteousness), through the purification of the mind and acquisition of Knowledge; tasmat, therefore; yujyasva, devote yourself; yogaya, to (Karma-) yoga, the wisdom of equanimity. For Yoga is kausalam, skilfulness; karmasu, in action. Skilfulness means the attitude of the skilful, the wisdom of equanimity with regard to one's success and failure while engaged in actions (karma)-called one's own duties (sva-dharma)-with the mind dedicated to God.

That indeed is skilfulness which, through equanimity, makes actions that by their very nature bind give up their nature! Therefore, be you devoted to the wisdom of equanimity.

2.51 Because, those who are devoted to wisdom, (they) becoming men of Enlightenment by giving up the fruits produced by actions, reach the state beyond evils by having become freed from the bondage of birth.

The words 'phalam tyaktva, by giving up the fruits' are connected with the remote word 'karmajam, produced by actions'.

Hi, because; [Because, when actions are performed with an attitude of equanimity, it leads to becoming freed from sin etc. Therefore, by stages, it becomes the cause of Liberation as well.] buddhi-yuktah, those who are devoted to wisdom, who are imbued with the wisdom of equanimity; (they) becoming manisinah, men of Enlightenment; tyaktva, by giving up; phalam, the fruit, the acquisition of desirable and undesriable bodies; [Desirable: the bodies of gods and others; undesirable: the bodies of animals etc.] karmajam, produced by actions; gacchanti, reach; padam, the state, the supreme state of Visnu, called Liberation; anamayam, beyond evils, i.e. beyond all evils; by having become janma-bandha-vinirmuktah, freed from the bondage of birth-birth (janma) itself is a bondage (bandha); becoming freed from that-, even while living.

Or:-Since it (buddhi) has been mentioned as the direct cause of the elimination of righteousness and unrighteousness, and so on, therefore what has been presented (in the three verses) beginning with, 'O Dhananjaya,....to the yoga of wisdom' (49), is enlightenment itself, which consists in the realization of the supreme Goal, which is comparable to a flood all around, and which arises from the purification of the mind as a result of Karma-yoga. [In the first portion of the Commentary buddhi has been taken to mean samattva buddhi (wisdom of equanimity); the alternative meaning of buddhi has been taken as 'enlightenment'. So, action is to be performed by taking the help of the 'wisdom about the supreme Reality' which has been chosen as one's Goal.]

2.52 When your mind will go beyond the turbidity of delusion, then you will acquire dispassion for what has to be heard and what has been heard.

When is attained that wisdom which arises from the-purification of the mind brought about by the pursuit of (karma-) yoga? This is being stated: Yada, when, [Yada: when maturity of discrimination is attained.] at the time when; te, your; buddhih, mind; vyatitarisyati, will go beyond, cross over; moha-kalilam, the turbidity of delusion, the dirt in the form of delusion, in the form of non-discrimination, which, after confounding one's understanding about the distinction between the Self and the not-Self, impels the mind towards objects-that is to say, when your mind will attain the state of purity; tada, then, [Tada: then, when the mind, becoming purified, leads to the rise of discrimination, which in turn matures into detachment.] at that time; gantasi, you will acquire; nirvedam, despassion; for srotavyasya, what has to be heard; ca, and; srutasya, what has been heard. The idea implied is that, at that time what has to be heard and what has been heard [What has to be heard....has been heard, i.e. the scriptures other than those relating to Self-knowledge. When discrimination referred to above gets matured, then the fruitlessness of all things other than Self-knowledge becomes apparent.] becomes fruitless.

2.53 When your mind that has become bewildered by hearing [S. takes the word sruti in the sense of the Vedas.-Tr.] will become unshakable and steadfast in the Self, then you will attain Yoga that arises from discrimination.

If it be asked, 'By becoming possessed of the wisdom arising from the discrimination about the Self after overcoming the turbidity of delusion, when shall I attain the yoga of the supreme Reality which is the fruit that results from Karma-yoga?', then listen to that; Yada, when at the time when; te, your; buddhih, mind; that has become sruti-vi-pratipanna, bewildered, tossed about, by hearing (the Vedas) that reveal the diverse ends, means, and (their) relationship, i.e. are filled with divergent ideas; sthasyati, will become; niscala, unshakable, free from the trubulence in the form of distractions; and acala, steadfast, that is to say, free from doubt even in that (unshakable) state; samadhau, in samadhi, that is to say, in the Self-samadhi being derived in the sense of that in which the mind is fixed; tada, then, at that time; avapsyasi, you will attain; yogam, Yoga, the enlightenment, Self-absorption, that arises from discrimination.

Having got an occasion for inquiry, Arjuna, with a view to knowing the characteristics of one who has the realization of the Self, [By the word samadhi is meant the enlightenment arising from discrimination, which has been spoken of in the commentary on the previous verse. The steadfastness which the monks have in that enlightenment is called steadfastness in Knowledge. Or the phrase may mean, 'the enlightenment achieved through meditation on the Self', i.e. the realization of the supreme Goal.] asked:

Arjuna said:

2.54 O kesava, what is the description of a man of steady wisdom who is Self-absorbed? How does the man of steady wisdom speak? How does he sit? How does he move about?

O Kesava, ka, what; is the bhasa, description, the language (for the description)- how is he described by others-; sthita-prajnasya, of a man of steady wisdom, of one whose realization, 'I am the supreme Brahman', remains steady; samadhi-sthasya, of one who is Self-absorbed? Or kim, how; does the sthitadhih, dhih, man of steady wisdom; himself probhaseta, speak? How does he asita, sit? How does he vrajeta, move about? That is to say, of what kind is his sitting or moving?

Through this verse Arjuna asks for a description of the man of steady wisdom.

The Blessed Lord said:

2.55 O Partha, when one fully renounces all the desires that have entered the mind, and remains satisfied in the Self alone by the Self, then he is called a man of steady wisdom.

In the verses beginning from, 'When one fully renounces...', and ending with the completion the Chapter, instruction about the characteristics of the man of steady wisdom and the disciplines (he had to pass through) is being given both for the one who has, indeed, applied himself to steadfastness in the Yoga of Knowledge after having renounced rites and duties from the very beginning [Even while he is in the stage of celibacy.], and for the one who has (applied himself to this after having passed) through the path of Karma-yoga. For in all the scriptures without exception, dealing, with spirituality, whatever are the characteristics of the man of realization are themselves presented as the disciplines for an aspirant, because these (characteristics) are the result of effort. And those that are the disciplines requiring effort, they become the characteristics (of the man of realization). [There are two kinds of sannyasa-vidvat (renunciation that naturally follows Realization), and vividisa, formal renunciation for undertaking the disciplines which lead to that Realization. According to A.G. the characteristics presented in this and the following verses describe not only the vidvat-sannyasin, but are also meant as disciplines for the vividisa-sannyasin.-Tr.]

O Partha, yada, when, at the time when; prajahati, one fully renounces; sarvan, all; the kaman, desires, varieties of desires; manogatan, that have entered the mind, entered into the heart-.

If all desires are renounced while the need for maintaining the body persists, then, in the absence of anything to bring satisfaction, there may arise the possibility of one's behaving like lunatics or drunkards. [A lunatic is one who has lost his power of discrimination, and a drunkard is one who has that power but ignores it.] Hence it is said: Tustah, remains satisfied; atmani eva, in the Self alone, in the very nature of the inmost Self; atmana, by the Self which is his own-indifferent to external gains, and satiated with everything else on account of having attained the nector of realization of the supreme Goal; tada, then; ucyate, he is called; sthita-prajnah, a man of steady wisdom, a man of realization, one whose wisdom, arising from the discrimination between the Self and the not-Self, is stable.

The idea is that the man of steady wisdom is a monk, who has renounced the desire for progeny, wealth and the worlds, and who delights in the Self and disports in the Self.

2.56 That monk is called a man of steady wisdom when his mind is unperturbed in sorrow, he is free from longing for delights, and has gone beyond attachment, fear and anger.

Moreover, that munih, monk [Sankaracarya identifies the monk with the man of realization.] ucyate, is then called; sthita-dhih, a man of steady wisdom; when anudvignamanah, his mind is unperturbed; duhkhesu, in sorrow-when his mind remains unperturbed by the sorrows that may come on the physical or other planes [Fever, headache, etc. are physical (adhyatmika) sorrows; sorrows caused by tigers, snakes, etc. are environmental (adhibhautika) sorrows; those caused by cyclones, floods, etc. are super-natural (adhidaivika). Similarly, delights also may be experienced on the three planes.]-; so also, when he is vigata-sprhah, free from longing; sukhesu, for delights-when he, unlike fire which flares up when fed with fuel etc., has no longing for delights when they come to him-; and vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah, has gone beyond attachment, fear and anger.

2.57 The wisdom of that person remains established who has not attachment for anything anywhere, who neither welcomes nor rejects anything whatever good or bad when he comes across it.

Further, prajna, the wisdom; tasya, of that person, fo that sannyasin; pratisthita, remains established; yah, who; anabhi-snehah, has no attachment for; sarvatra, anything anywhere, even for body, life, etc.; who na abhinanadati, neither welcomes; na dvesti, nor rejects; tat tat, anything whatever; subha-asubham, good or bad; propya, when he comes across it, i.e. who does not rejoice on meeting with the good, nor reject the bad on meeting with it. Of such a person, who is thus free from elation or dejection, the wisdom arising from discrimination remains established.

2.58 And when this one fully withdraws the senses from the objects of the senses, as a tortoise wholly (withdraws) the limbs, then his wisdom remains established.

And besides, yada, when; ayam, this one, the sannyasin practising steadfastness in Knowledge; samharate, fully withdraws; ['Fully' suggests absolute firmness in withdrawal, and 'withdraws' suggests full control over the organs] indriyani, the senses; indriya-arthebhyah, from all the objects of the senses; iva, as; kurmah, a tortoise; sarvasah, wholly (with-draws); angani, its limbs, from all sides out of fear;- when the man engaged in steadfastness to Knowledge withdraws thus, then tasya, his; prajna, wisdom; pratisthita, remains established-(the meaning of this portion has already been explained).

As to that, [That is , so far as the phenomenal world is concerned.] the organs of a sick person, too, cease to be active when the refrains from sense-objects; they get fully withdrawn like the limbs of a tortoise. but not so the hankering for those objects. How that (hankering) gets completely withdrawn is being stated:

2.59 The objects recede from an abstinent man, with the exception of the taste (for them). Even the taste of this person falls away after realization the Absolute.

Although visayah, the objects, (i.e.) the organs, figuratively implied and expressed by the word 'objects', or, the objects themselves; vinivartante, recede; niraharasya dehinah, from an abstinent man, from an embodied being, even from a fool who engages in painful austerity and abstains from objects; (still, they do so) rasavarjam, with the exception of the taste (for them), with the exception of the hankering that one has for objects. The word rasa is well known as referring to the sense of taste (hankering), as in such expressions as, 'sva-rasena pravrttah, induced by his own taste (i.e. willingly)', 'rasikah, a man of tastes', 'rasajnah, a connoisseur (of tastes)', etc. Api, even that; rasah, taste of the nature of subtle attachment; asya, of this person, of the sannyasin; nivartate, falls away, i.e. his objective perception becomes seedless; when drstva, after attaining; param, the Absolute, the Reality which is the supreme Goal, Brahman, he continues in life with the realization, 'I verily am That (Brahman).'

In the absence of full realization there can be no eradication of the 'hankering'. The idea conveyed is that, one should therefore stabilize one's wisdom which is characterized by full realization. [If it be held that attachment cannot be eliminated without the knowledge of Brahman, and at the same time that the knowledge of Brahman cannot arise until attachment is eradicated, then we get involved in a vicious circle. In answer it is said that gross attachments are eliminated through discrimination which restrains the senses from being overpowered by objects. And the full Knowledge arising thereof eliminates the subtle inclinations as well. Hence there is no vicious circle involved.]

Since the organs have to be first brought under his own control by one who desires to establish firmly the wisdom which is characterized by full realization, therefore the Lord speaks of the evil that arises from not keeping them under control:

2.60 For, O son of Kunti, the turbulent organs violently snatch away the mind of an intelligent person, even while he is striving diligently.

Hi, for; kaunteya, O son of Kunti; pramathini, the turbulent; indriyani, organs; prasabham, violently; haranti, snatch away; manah, the mind; vipascitah, of an intelligent; purusasya, person; api, even; yatatah, while he is striving diligently [Repeatedly being mindful of the evils that arise from sense-objects.]-(or,) the words purusasya vipascitah (of an intelligent person) are to be connected with the remote word api (even). [The Commentator says that api may be construed either with yatatah or with vipascitah purusasya.-Tr.] Indeed, the organs confound a person who is inclined towards objects, and after confounding him, violently carry away his mind endowed with discriminating knoweldge, even when he is aware of this.

Since this is so, therefore,

2.61 Controlling all of them, one should remain concentrated on Me as the supreme. For, the wisdom of one whose organs are under control becomes steadfast.

Samyamya, controlling, having subdued; sarvani, all; tani, of them; asita, one should remain; yuktah, concentrated; mat-parah, on Me as the supreme-he to whom I, Vasudeva, the inmost Self of all, am the supreme (parah) is mat-parah. The idea is, he should remain (concentrated) thinking, 'I am not different from Him.'

Hi, for; the prajna, wisdom; tasya, of one, of the sannyasin remaining thus concentrated; yasya, whose; indriyani, organs; are vase, under control, by dint of practice; [The organs come under control either by constantly thinking of oneself as non-different from the Self, or by constantly being mindful of the evils that result from objects.] pratisthita, becomes steadfast.

Now, then, is being stated this [This:what is described in the following two verses, and is also a matter of common experience.] root, cause of all the evils that beset one who is the verge of being overwhelmed:

2.62 In the case of a person who dwells on objects, there arises attachment for them. From attachment grows hankering, from hankering springs anger.

2.63 From anger follows delusion; from delusion, failure of memory; from failure of memory, the loss of understanding; from the loss of understanding, he perishes.

Pumsah, in the case of a person; dhyayatah, who dwells on, thinks of; visayan, the objects, the specialities [Specialities: The charms imagined in them.] of the objects such as sound etc.; upajayate, there arises; sangah, attachment, fondness, love; tesu, for them, for those objects. Sangat, from attachment, from love; sanjayate, grows; kamah, hankering, thirst. When that is obstructed from any quarter, kamat, from hankering; abhijayate, springs; krodhah, anger. Krodhat, from anger; bhavati, follows; sammohah, delusion, absence of discrimination with regard to what should or should not be done. For, an angry man, becoming deluded, abuses even a teacher.

Sammohat, from delusion; (comes) smrti-vibhramah, failure of memory originating from the impressions acquired from the instructions of the scriptures and teachers. When there is an occasion for memory to rise, it does not occur. Smrti-bhramsat, from that failure of memory; (results) buddhi-nasah, loss of understanding. The unfitness of the mind to discriminate between what should or should not be done is called loss of understanding. Buddhi-nasat, from the loss of understanding; pranasyati, he perishes. Indeed, a man continues tobe himself so long as his mind remains fit to distinguish between what he ought to and ought not do. When it becomes unfit, a man is verily ruined. Therefore, when his internal organ, his understanding, is destroyed, a man is ruined, i.e. he becomes unfit for the human Goal.

Thinking of objects has been said to be the root of all evils. After that, this which is the cause of Liberation is being now stated: [If even the memory of objects be a source of evil, then their enjoyment is more so. Hence, a sannyasin seeking Liberation cannot avoid this evil, since he has to move about for food which is necessary for the maintenance of his body. The present verse is an answer to this apprehension.]

2.64 But by perceiving objects with the organs that are free from attraction and repulsion, and are under his own control, the self-controlled man attains serenity.

Certainly the functions of the organs are naturally preceded by attraction and repulsion. This being so, caran, by perceiving; visayan, objects, which are unavoidable; indriyaih, with the organs such as ears etc.; raga-dvesa-viyuktaih, that are free from those attraction and repulsion; and are atma-vasyaih, under his own control; vidheya-atma, [A.G. takes atma-vasyaih in the sense of '(with the organs) under the control of the mind'. He then argues that it the mind be not under control, there can be no real control, over the organs. Hence the text uses the second expression, 'vidheyatma, whose mind can be subdued at will'. Here atma is used in the sense of the mind, according to the Commentator himself.] the self-controlled man, whose mind can be subdued at will, a seeker after Liberation; adhigacchati, attains; prasadam, serenity, self-poise.

What happens when there is serenity? This is being answered:

2.65 When there is serenity, there follows eradication of all his sorrows, because the wisdom of one who has a serene mind soon becomes firmly established.

Prasade, when there is serenity; upajayate, there follows; hanih, eradication; asya sarva-duhkhanam, of all his, the sannyasin's, sorrow on the physical and other planes. Moreover, (this is so) hi, because; buddhih, the wisdom; prasanna-cetasah, of one who has a serene mind, of one whose mind is poised in the Self; asu, soon; pari-avatisthate, becomes firmly established; remains steady (avatisthate) totally (pari), like the sky, i.e. it becomes unmoving in its very nature as the Self.

The meaning of the sentence is this: Since a person with such a poised mind and well-established wisdom attains fulfilment, therefore a man of concentration [A man who is free whom slavery to objects of the senses.] ought to deal with the indispensable and scripturally non-forbidden objects through his senses that are free from love and hatred.

That same serenity is being eulogized:

2.66 For the unsteady there is no wisdom, and there is no meditation for the unsteady man. And for an unmeditative man there is no peace. How can there be happiness for one without peace?

Ayuktasya, for the unsteady, for one who does not have a concentrated mind; na asti, there is no, i.e. there does not arise; buddhih, wisdom, with regard to the nature of the Self; ca, and; there is no bhavana, meditation, earnest longing [Longing to have a continuous remembrance of the knowledge of Brahman which arises in the mind from hearing the great Upanisadic sayings (maha-vakyas).] for the knowledge of the Self; ayuktasya, for an unsteady man. And similarly, abhavayatah, for an unmeditative man, who does not ardently desire the knowledge of the Self; there is no santih, peace, restraint of the senses. Kutah, how can there be; sukham, happiness; asantasya, for one without peace? That indeed is happiness which consists in the freedom of the senses from the thirst for enjoyment of objects; not the thirst for objects-that is misery to be sure.

The implication is that, so long as thirst persists, there is no possibility of even an iota of happiness!

It is being stated why a man without concentration does not possess wisdom:

2.67 For, the mind which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, that (mind) carries away his wisdom like the mind (diverting) a boat on the waters.

Hi, for; yat manah, the mind which; anu-vidhiyate, follows in the wake of; caratam, the wandering; indriyani, senses that are tending towards their respective objects; tat, that, the mind engaged in thinking [Perceiving objects like sound etc. in their respective varieties.] of the objects of the senses; harati, carries away, destroys; asya, his, the sannyasin's; prajnam, wisdom born from the discrimination between the Self and the not-Self. How? Iva, like; vayuh, the wind; diverting a navam, boat; ambhasi, on the waters. As wind, by diverting a boat on the waters from its intended course, drives it along a wrong course, similarly the mind, by diverting the wisdom from the pursuit of the Self, makes it engage in objects.

After having stated variously the reasons for the idea conveyed through the verse, 'For, O son of Kunti,' etc. (60), and having established that very idea, the Lord concludes thus:

2.68 Therefore, O mighty-armed one, this wisdom becomes established whose organs in all their varieties are withdrawn from their objects.

Since the evils arising from the activities of the organs have been described, tasmat, therefore; mahabaho, O mighty-armed one; tasya, his, the sannyasin's; prajna, wisdom; pratisthita, becomes established; yasya, whose; indriyani, organs; sarvasah, in all their varieties, differentiated as mind etc.; nigrhitani, are withdrawn; indriya-arthebhyah, from their objects such as sound etc.

In the case of a man of steady wisdom in whom has arisen discriminating knowledge, those which are these ordinary and Vedic dealings cease on the eradication of ignorance, they being effects of ignorance. And ignorance ceases because it is opposed to Knowledge. For clarifying this idea, the Lord says:

2.69 The self-restrained man keeps awake during that which is night for all creatures. That during which creatures keep awake, it is night to the seeing sage.

ya, that which; sarva-bhutanam, for all creatures; is nisa, night-which being darkness (tamah) by nature, obliterates distinctions among all things; what is that? that is the Reality which is the supreme Goal, accessible to the man of steady wisdom. As that which verily appears as day to the nocturnal creatures is night for others, similarly the Reality wich is the supreme Goal appears to be night, as it were, to all unenlightened beings who are comparable to the nocturnal creatures, because It is beyond the range of vision of those who are devoid of that wisdom.

Samyami, the self-restrained man, whose organs are under control, i.e. the yogi [The man of realization.] who has arisen from the sleep of ignorance; jagarti, keeps awake; tasyam, in that (night) characterized as the Reality, the supreme Goal. That night of ignorance, characterized by the distinctions of subjects and objects, yasyam in which; bhutani, the creatures, who are really asleep; are said to be jagrati, keeping awake, in which night they are like dreamers in sleep; sa nisa, it is night; pasyatah, to the seeing; muneh, sage, who perceives the Reality that is the supreme Goal, because that (night) is ignorance by nature.

Therefore, rites and duties are enjoined only during the state of ignorance, not in the state of enlightenment. For, when Knowledge dawns, ignorance becomes eradicated like the darkness of night after sun-rise. [It may be argued that even after illumination the phenomenal world, though it is known to be false, will continue to be perceived because of the persistence of past impressions; therefore there is scope for the validity of the scriptural injunctions even in the case of an illumined soul. The answer is that there will be no scope for the injunctions, because the man of realization will then have no ardent leaning towards this differentiated phenomenal world which makes an injunction relevant.] Before the rise of Knowledge, ignorance, accepted as a valid means of knowledge and presenting itself in the different forms of actions, means and results, becomes the cause of all rites and duties. It cannot reasonably become the source of rites and duties (after Realization) when it is understood as an invalid means of knowledge. For an agent becomes engaged in actions when he has the idea, 'Actions have been enjoined as a duty for me by the Vedas, which are a valid means of knowledge'; but not when he understands that 'all this is mere ignorance, like the night'.

Again, the man to whom has come the Knowledge that all these differences in their totality are mere ignorance like the night, to that man who has realized the Self, there is eligibility only for renouncing all actions, not for engaging in actions. In accordance with this the Lord will show in the verse, 'Those who have their intellect absorbed in That, whose Self is That' (5.17) etc., that he has competence only for steadfastness in Knowledge.

Objection: May it not be argued that, there will be no reason for being engaged even in that (steadfastness in Knowledge) if there be no valid means of knowledge [Vedic injunctions.] to impel one to that. [Because, without an injunction nobody would engage in a duty, much less in steadfastness to Knowledge.]

Answer: No, since 'knowledge of the Self' relates to one's own Self. Indeed, by the very fact that It is the Self, and since the validity of all the means of knowledge culminates in It, [The validity of all the means of knowledge holds good only so long as the knowledge of the Self has not arisen.] therefore the Self does not depend on an injunction to impel It towards Itself. [Does the injunction relate to the knowledge of the Self. or to the Self Itself? The first alternative is untenable because a valid means of knowledge reveals its objects even without an injunction. The second alternative also is untenable because the Self is self-revealing, whereas an injunction is possible in the case of something yet to be achieved. And one's own Self is not an object of that kind.] Surely, after the realization of the true nature of the Self, there is no scope again for any means to, or end of, knowledge. The last valid means of (Self-) knowledge eradicates the possibility of the Self's becoming a perceiver. And even as it eradicates, it loses its own authoritativeness, in the same way as the means of knowledge which is valid in dream becomes unauthoritative during the waking state. In the world, too, after the preception of an abject, the valid means of that perception is not seen to be a cause impelling the knower (to any action with regard to that object).

Hence, it is established that, for an knower of the Self, there remains no eligibility for rites and duties.

The attainment of Liberation is only for the sannyasin [Liberation is attained only by one who, after acquiring an intellectual knowledge of the Self in a general way, is endowed with discrimination and detachment, has arisen above all desires, has become a monk in the primary sense, and has directly realized the Self by going through the process of sravana (understanding of Upanisadic texts about the Self), etc.], the man of enlightenment, who has renounced all desires and is a man of steady wisdom; but not for him who has not renounced and is desirious of the objects (of the senses). Such being the case, with a view to establishing this with the help of an illustration, the Lord says:

2.70 That man attains peace into whom all desires enter in the same way as the waters flow into a sea that remains unchanged (even) when being filled up from all sides. Not so one who is desirous of objects.

Sah, that man; apnoti, attains; santim, peace Liberation; yam, into whom, into which person; sarve, all; kamah, desires, all forms of wishes; pravisanti, enter, from all directions, like waters entering into a sea, without overwhelming him even in the presence of objects; they vanish in the Self, they do not bring It under their own influence, tadvat, in the same way; yadvat, as; apah, waters, coming from all sides; pravisanti, flow into; samudram, a sea; that remains acala-pratistham, unchanged, that continues to be its own self, without any change; apuryamanam, (even) when filled up from all sides with water.

Na, not so the other; who is kama-kami, desirous of objects. Kama means objects which are sought after. He who is given to desire them is kama-kami. The idea implied is that he never attains (peace).

Since this is so, therefore.

2.71 That man attains peace who, after rejecting all desires, moves about free from hankering, without the idea of ('me' and) 'mine', and devoid of pride.

Sah puman, that man who has become thus, the sannyasin, the man of steady wisdom, the knower of Brahman; adhi-gacchati, attains; santim, peace, called Nirvana, consisting in the cessation of all the sorrows of mundane existence, i.e. he becomes one with Brahman; yah, who; vihaya, after rejecting; sarvan, all; kaman, desires, without a trace, fully; carati, moves about, i.e. wanders about, making efforts only for maintaining the body; nihsprhah, free from hankering, becoming free from any longing even for the maintenance of the body; nirmamah, without the idea of ('me' and) 'mine', without the deeprooted idea of 'mine' even when accepting something needed merely for the upkeep of the body; and nir-ahankarah, devoid of pride, i.e. free from self esteem owing to learning etc.

This steadfastness in Knowledge, which is such, is being praised:

2.72 O Partha, this is the state of being established in Brahman. One does not become deluded after attaining this. One attains identification with Brahman by being established in this state even in the closing years of one's life.

O Partha, esa, this, the aforesaid; is brahmisthitih, the state of being established in Brahman, i.e. continuing (in life) in indentification with Brahman, after renouncing all actions.

Na vimuhyati, one does not become deluded; prapya, after attaining ; enam, this Rcchati, one attains; brahma-nirvanam, identification with Brahman, Liberation; sthitva, by being established; asyam, in this, in the state of Brahman-hood as described; api, even; anta-kale, in the closing years of one's life. What need it be said that, one who remains established only in Brahman during the whole life, after having espoused monasticism even from the stage of celibacy, attains indetification with Brahman!