Gita series – part 6. Bhagavad Gita Chapter II. Verse– 1:
Chapter II of Bhagavad Gita is called “Sankhya Yoga”. This chapter on knowledge consists of 72 verses and deals with the teachings of Krishna’s explanation on “atma” and “karma”. The Lord deliberates more on self realization in this chapter. In chapter I, Arjuna sought refuge in Krishna by pouring out his mind to the God. By doing so, Arjuna firmly establishes his contact with the God. When a clarification is needed from God, we have to establish commune with Him, by pouring out our mind (heart and soul) to Him (meaning total surrender). If you are not able to find a solution for an issue, leave it to God and make sincere prayers. You will certainly get an answer from Him. But it depends upon your ability to establish commune with Him. In this chapter the God answers the prayers of His devotee (who is with the God in body, mind and soul). Lord Krishna addresses his devotee thus: “Arjuna! Why are you overcome by dejection (delusion, depression) at this inappropriate moment and what is the reason for it? This is not the attitude of learned men. Neither it leads you to the Heavens nor such actions give you fame”. The Lord addresses the crux of the issue directly and with firm authority.
First He talks about the situation in which Arjuna is placed. Arjuna is in the midst of the battle field and on both sides of his chariot, warriors of both sides in full alert to plunge into action. The conches were blown and drums were beaten by both the sides to announce the commencement of the war. Krishna says that the battle field is an inappropriate place to give vent to one’s emotional feelings. This opening statement of Krishna indicates that specific actions are to be performed only in the specified places. To cite an example, in a meditation hall where pin drop silence is to be observed, one should not engage in chat. A school campus cannot be utilized for political meetings. There are established procedures laid down by the learned. If one acts contrary to the established procedures, then he has to face the evil consequences. The consequences are classified into two categories. One is during this life and another is after death. That is why Krishna says ‘neither it leads you to the Heavens (meaning after death) nor such actions give you fame (during this life). Therefore performing any inappropriate action is considered as a great sin by the Lord.
Let us take one more example. It is the responsibility of everyone to take care of the aged parents during their old age. If this is not done and parents are allowed to suffer physically, mentally and financially then such an act is considered as inappropriate by the Lord. If you look at this statement of Krishna, possibly he talks about one’s duties also. Krishna is going to teach on the intricacies of karma elaborately, but He makes a small beginning in this verse. The all-knowing God Himself is perplexed on witnessing such irrelevant actions of a learned man like Arjuna. That is why Krishna chides Arjuna for his despondency. The basic reason for Arjuna’s despondency is attachment. Krishna does not approve such attachments which leads to shirking away from entrusted responsibilities.