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delusion, thou wilt attain to a disdain of what has been revealed, or shall be revealed hereafter.1

When thy mind, distracted (aforetime) by śruti (the Vedas), shall stand unshaken, in meditation fixed, thou wilt then attain to yoga.

ARJUNA spoke. What is the mark (I), Keśava! of one who is fixed in knowledge, and who is constant in meditation ? How may he speak who is steadfast in thought, how may he rest or move ?


When one casts off all desires whose seat is in the 55

heart, O son of Přithā! content with himself in himself, he is said to be steadfast in knowledge.

He whose heart is not distressed in adversity, in whom

1 A bold defiance of the estab. seeking a knowledge of duty, śruti lished religion, i.e., the religion of . is the supreme authority” (ii. 13). the Vedas. Sruti, lit.“ hearing," Sruti therefore answers to “revelais the name of all books given by tion," and smsiti to “tradition," in divine revelation, and these are the the language of Western nations. mantras and the brāhmaṇas (hymns The Hindū commentators ignore and expositions) of the four Vedas. this allusion to śruti as

“ revelaSmriti (recollection or memory) is tion,” and interpret it in the primi. the name given to those ancient tive sense of “hearing,” i.e., of writings from which duty, divine means of obtaining the objects of and social, might be learned. In the senses (Sankara). Śridhara the Institutes of Manu we are told says, “Hearing what is not according that " śruti is the Veda, and smțiti to the Vedas.” the book of duty or law (dharma- By knowledge is meant spiri. śāstra); these in all cases are not to tual knowledge, the knowledge of be questioned, for froin these duty the supreme Brahma, and of union has been made manifest” (ii. 10). with him (yoga) by meditation. It is stated, however, expressly, that The word sthitaprajna means one they are not of equal authority, for who is both steadfast and wise in it is added : “To those who are divine things.


all joy in prosperity is lost, from whom passion, fear, and wrath have passed away, is called a muni 1 (recluse), fixed in meditation.

He who is without affection on every side, who has neither delight nor aversion in good or evil fortune of any kind, of this man the knowledge is fixed.

When one withdraws his senses from sense-objects, as a tortoise draws in its limbs in every part, the knowledge of this man is fixed.

Sensuous objects withdraw from an abstinent man : 2 even savour withdraws when it beholds his complete

abandonment of savour. 60

Yet the tumultuous senses of a wise man, even though he resists, 0 son of Kuntī! bear away the heart by force.

When he has subdued them all, he may rest in devotion, intent on Me, for the knowledge of him whose senses are under control is fixed.

When a man meditates on the objects of sense, then attachment to them arises : desire springs from attachment; from desire wrath (vehement emotion) proceeds.

From wrath comes confusion; from confusion, wandering of memory; 3 from this wandering comes destruction of the intellect, and by this destruction the man is lost.

But he who meets sense-objects with senses free from

1 An anchoret devoted to the 3 The loss of memory implies for. practice of yoga (mystic devotion). getfulness of right and wrong; from

2 From the habit of self-control, this comes folly or delusion, by even desire will cease at last ; figu. which the man acts with an evil ratively expressed by the retreat of waywardness, and incurs thereby a sensible object, as if practically it future punishment in Naraka (hell). was no longer present.

desire or aversion and is self-controlled, he, being well

ordered in soul, attains to peace.1 65

In (the possession of) peace, then freedom from all distress is produced in him; for the mind of him whose thoughts are peaceful soon becomes steadfast.

Neither intelligence nor right condition (m) belongs to the undevout man; there is no tranquillity for him who is not well-conditioned (or well-ordered,) and how can there be happiness for him who is not tranquil ?

For the heart of the man who obeys the roving senses carries away his knowledge as the wind (drives) ships at


Wherefore, O mighty-armed ! the knowledge of the man whose senses are wholly withheld from the objects of sense is confirmed.

That which is the night of all (other) beings is the time when the self-restrained man? is awake, and when other beings are awake, that is the night of a discerning

recluse (muni). 70 He attains to peace into whom all desires enter as

rivers enter into the ocean, which is ever filled, and (yet) remains within its bounds; not the man who cherishes desires.

1 Cf. Plato in the "Phædo”(sec. 75): follows reason as her guide, and is “ The soul of a real lover of wisdom employed in the contemplation of would not reason as they (mankind what is true and divine." in general) do ; would not think ? The self-restrained, possessing that philosophy must set him free, spiritual knowledge, see clearly and that when he has done this, where worldly men are in darkness : he may again give himself over to worldly desires and interests are pleasures and pains, and thus undo foreign to him : they are covered what she has done, weaving her with the darkness of night to him, web to unravel it again, after the but to the worldly these are things fashion of Penelope. His soul at that are seen as in the light of tains a calm repose from passion, day.

The man who, having abandoned all desires, goes onward without attachments, free from selfishness and vanity, attains to peace.

This is the Brahma state, O son of Prithā ! he who has obtained it is troubled no more. He who retains it till the hour of death passes on to nirvāṇa (absorption) in Brahma.

i The state or condition of the is, of its own nature, the region of knowledge of Brahma, according to the Divine, the Immortal, and the Sridhara. Sankara’s gloss is “dwell. Wise." ing in the form of Brahma,” i.e., his Nirvāṇa, lit. “blown out ;” the being or nature.

complete absorption of the soul in ? Cf. the “Phædo” (sec. 68): “If it the Supreme Spirit, of which it is (the soul) take its departure in a a part, according to the Vedāntist state of purity, not carrying with it school. It is thus explained in the any clinging impurities of the body; Bșihadarāṇyaka (Sans. Lit., p. 24). impurities which during life it never “It is with us, when we enter into willingly shared in, but always the Divine Spirit, as if a lump of avoided ; gathering itself into itself, salt was thrown into the sea ; it and making this separation from becomes dissolved into the water the body its aim and study, . .. (from which it was produced), and well then, so prepared, the soul de. is not to be taken out again.” parts to that invisible region which

Thus the Bhagavad Gītā, Reading the Second, whose title is


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(a) Vishame. “In rerum discrimine” (Lassen); “in matters of difficulty” (Thomson); "dans la bataille” (Burnouf); "in this fearful place” (Telang). Vishama, from vi, a prefix of negation, and sama, equal, means (1) inequality or unevenness of ground ; (2) difficulty, trouble. The locative case of the noun gives some support to Telang's version, but the reference is not to the place itself, but to the circumstances connected with it. We may translate the word, “in this difficult state of affairs” or “emergency." Srīdhara explains vishame by sangrame sankate (in the closed battle).

(6) Kārpanyadoshopahataswabhāras. “Miseratione et formi- . dine culpæ fracta indole" (Lassen, followed by Thomson and others). Telang's version is, "My heart too, by the taint of helplessness tarnished,” taking the compound as a tat-purusha form. But upahata means "wounded” or “destroyed,” not “tarnished,” and kārpanya is poverty or misery. Helplessness implies no guilt (dosha), but Arjuna's grief might be wrong, as he was of the warrior (Kshatriya) caste. On the other hand, nothing is said of the fear of wrong, but of wrong simply. The very nature (swabhāva) of Arjuna was wounded by pity for his relatives and the sin of this fratri

cidal war.

(c) Mātrāsparsas. “ Elementorum contactus” (Lassen); “contacts of the senses" (Telang and the Hindú scholiasts). Mātra (matter) is the object of the senses, not the senses themselves.

(d) Kalpate, “doth merit immortality)” (Telang). The word means “is fitted for." Sridhara interprets it by yogyobhavati (is fitted or suitable for). Lassen excellently, "ad immortalitatem conformatur.”

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