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Know also that He (That) which spread out 1 this All can never perish. No one is able to cause the destruction of this Eternal.2
These (bodies) are called the mortal bodies(f) of the eternal, imperishable, infinite, embodied (soul): wherefore fight, O son of Bharata!
He who deems this to be a slayer, and he who thinks that it can be slain, are both undiscerning: it slays not,
and it is not slain. 20 It is never born, and it never dies: it has never been
brought into being, nor shall it ever be brought hereafter. Unborn, undying, eternal, primeval (9), this is not slain when the body is slain.
How can that man, O son of Přithā! who knows it to be indestructible, eternal, unborn, and undying, cause any one to be slain, and how can he slay?
As a man, having cast off his old garments, takes others that are new, so the embodied (soul), having cast off the old bodies, enters into others that are Weapons cleave it not, nor does the fire burn it; the waters wet it not, nor do the winds dry it up.
matter is only an inferior part of the objectivity of matter, but it is the dual nature of the Godhead as nothing in comparison with the (see c. vii. 5). In the existent forms soul. Compare the language of of things it is only temporary, and Bossuet (Serm. sur la Mort) : "Tout will be absorbed again in the Divine être qui se mesure n'est rien, parnature froin which it issued. In ceque ce qui se mesure a son terme, the popular Vedāntist doctrine it et lorsqu'on est venu à ce terme un has no real existence. The Sup- dernier point detruit tout, comme reme Spirit includes in itself all si jamais il n'avait été.” being. There is no duality. Matter 1 Cf. Ps. civ. 2 : “Who stretch. is only the illusive form (māyā) in est out the heavens like a curtain.” which he has reiled his real nature ? The Supreme Brahma. The for a time, but it will disappear at gods are not eternal. They issued last. It is only as the reflection of from Brahma. “The Supreme Lord the moon in water. Our author, of life caused to issue the creation however, does not expressly deny of gods” (Manu i. 22).
This is impenetrable, incombustible, incapable of being moistened or dried up: it is undying, all-pervading, con
stant, immovable, and eternal. 25 This is declared to be invisible, incomprehensible, im
mutable: wherefore knowing it to be such, thou oughtest not to grieve for it.
And if thou thinkest it to be ever born and ever dying (with the body), even then it is not meet for thee to grieve for it, О mighty-armed !
For the death of what is born is certain, and certain (too) the birth of what has died; therefore it is not meet for thee to mourn over that which none can prevent.
In the primal state all things are unseen; in the middle state they are seen, O son of Bharata ! they become unseen again in the state of death. What cause of grief is there in this ?
One man looks on it (the soul) as a marvel; another speaks of it as a marvel, and another hears of it as a marvel, but there is not one who, by hearing of it,
understands it. 30 This embodied (soul) in the body of every one, O son of
Bharata! is ever indestructible, wherefore thou oughtest not to mourn for any living thing.
Regarding, too, thy proper duty, thou oughtest not to falter, for to a Kshatriya (warrior) nothing is better than a lawful fight.
Happy are the Kshatriyas, O son of Přithā! who obtain such a fight as this, offered freely to them as an open door to heaven.
But if thou wilt not undertake this lawful fight, then, by abandoning thy proper duty and thy honour, thou wilt be guilty of a crime.
Then men will proclaim thy eternal disgrace, and to a well-born man (1) disgrace is worse than death. 35
The car-borne men (the chiefs) will think that thou hast withdrawn from the battle through fear, and thou, who wast highly thought of by them, will be lightly esteemed.
Thy enemies will utter many disgraceful words (lit. that ought not to be said), deriding thy capacity (as a warrior): what can be more grievous than this ?
It slain, thou wilt attain to heaven, or thou wilt possess the earth if a conqueror: wherefore arise, O son of Kuntī ! resolved upon the fight.
Accounting pain and pleasure, gain and loss, victory and defeat as equal, gird thyself for the battle: thus thou wilt not bring sin upon thee.
This doctrine has been declared to thee according to the Sānkhya (system); hear now the Yoga (teaching). When thou, by means of this teaching, hast become devout (yukta), thou wilt cast off the bonds of works.1
· This expression, “bonds of ac- of such gain or loss : the aim of the tion” (or “bonds of works "), often true Yogin is to rise above all such recurs in the poem, and must be vicissitudes and to gain by a mystic well understood in order to gain a union (yoga) with the supreme correct knowledge of the nature and Brahmă in devout meditation a aims of this system philosophy. final absorption (nirrāņa) into his Every action that is wrought for
The Yogin is then born some purpose connected with self, no more, and is for ever emancipated though it be the hope of gaining from any contact with matter, which heaven, is followed by the necessary is the source of all evil and of all result of a good or evil state in an- pain. Hence arises the opposition other body. This result is called in the spiritualist Yogin to all outthe bond of action, or that to which ward forms, even such as are exthe work necessarily binds the doer. pressed or enjoined in the Vedas. All works are exposed to the danger He becomes superior to them all in
40 In this (system) there is no waste of effort, in it no loss?
is found. Even a little of this pious exercise delivers from great fear.
This doctrine (), which is of a constant nature, is one, O son of Kuru! but many-branched and endless are the doctrines of the inconstant.
A flowery kind of language is spoken by the unwise, who delight in Veda-words, O son of Přithā! saying, “There is nothing but this !”
Whose souls are full of lust, who regard heaven as the highest good, offering birth as the fruit of works, and practising many varied rites for the attaining of pleasures and power.
The doctrine of these men who are devoted to pleasures and power, and whose minds are carried away by these (words), having effort as its essence, is not formed for
The Vedas have the three guņas 3 as their object. Be thou free from the three guņas, Arjuna! be free from the pairs of opposites,' ever fixed on truth, without anxious care (j) and self-possessed.
his mature state ; they are then com. % An attack on the prevailing pletely useless to him, though they Vedāntist ritual, which the Vedas may be of some use to those who underlay. This offered one of the are in a lower condition (vi. 3, 12; heavens of the gods as a reward ; ii. 46). Like the Quietists in the the reward of pure devotion (yogu) Church of Rome, he is above the is absorption into the supreme hope of reward, though it should be Brahma. that of the highest heaven. This 3 The three Modes, or Qualities, reward, too, would be only teinpo- as they are usually called, are the rary, for all the seven heavens, and constituent eleinents of Prakriti or the gods who inhabit and rule over primal matter. From them all the them, will pass away at the end of labours, the pleasures and pains of a kalpa, to be produced again when our present life are produced (see another kalpa begins (viii. 37). Introd. p. 12). The meaning of the
1 In worldly pursuits there may passage is, that Arjuna should be be failure in attempting to gain free from all the influences of matter, what we desire, and if gained it whether good or evil, for the best may be lost, but there is neither results that come from it are com. failure nor loss in devotion.
As many as are the uses of a reservoir, whose waters flow in on every side, so many are there in all the Vedas for a discerning Brāhman.2
Let the work itself be thy charge, but never the fruit (of works); let not the fruit of works be thy motive, yet be not inclined to inaction.
Do thy works, steadfast in devotion, renouncing attachment (k), O subduer of wealth! be still the same in success and failure. Evenness of mind is called devotion (yoga).
For work is far inferior to mental devotion, O subduer of wealth! Seek for refuge in the mind. Miserable
are they whose motive is the fruit (of works). 50
He who has become mentally devout abandons both good and evil deeds: therefore apply thyself to devotion (yoga). Yoga is success in works (the work in which there is always success).
For the wise, devout in mind, renouncing the fruit that is born of works, freed from the bondage of birth, go to the seat where diseases is not.
When thy mind shall pass over the tangled path of
1 Lit. "not affected by pairs” would shock too much the feelings (dwandwās), i.e., by opposites, such of his fellow-Brahmans if the poet as pleasure and pain, health and were to deny that there was any use sickness, &c. Cf. Vishnu Purāņa in the Vedas and other sacred books, 1, 6, 18: “ As sin increased, these but their use was far inferior to that 'creatures (mankind) were afflicted of yoga (mental devotion). with suffering arising out of the pairs
3 “ The seat where there is no (of susceptibilities to pleasure and disease ” is the Supreme Brahmă. pain).” (S. T. i. 62.)
The expression seems to indicate ? A reservation, probably from that the Hindūs were then comthe spirit of compromise which is paratively a feeble race, subject to evident throughout the poem.
It many kinds of disease,