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Let us now take up the second chapter of the Gita.

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    The second and eighteenth chapters of the Gita condense the entire teaching of the text and are considered very important. Both give the gist of the entire Gita.

    According to Mimamsa (a branch of Sanskrit grammar), the teacher should give the essence of the entire text in the beginning as well as at the conclusion, for good understanding. The second chapter containing 72 verses and the last chapter containing seventy eight verses, between them, condense the in-between 15 chapters.

    The second chapter is broadly classified into 4 portions:
    Arjuna Saranagathi – Arjuna surrenders at the feet of Krishna
    Karma Yoga – first stage of spiritual life
    Jnana yoga – second stage of spiritual life
    Liberation also known as mukthi

    The second chapter begins thus:
    Tham thathaakrupayaa(a)vishta – mashrupoorNaakulaekshaNam
    Visheedanthamidam vaakhyamuvaacha madhusoodana: 2.1

    To him who was sad and overwhelmed by compassion, as was said, and whose eyes were filled with tears and showed distress, Krishna (Madhsudana) spoke these words.

    To get the full benefit of Gita teachings, a person should have gone through the following three stages:. Otherwise the subject becomes only of academic interest ! He will not get the full benefit. Vyasacharya wants to illustrate that Arjuna has gone through the following stages before the Gita teaching begins.


    Samsara darsanam

    This is, discovering and accepting that one is suffering. Arjuna has already gone through this stage, as we saw in the first chapter. Treatmnt is necessary only when one discovers that he has a problem.


    Karpanya Bhava

    This means, realization of one’s helplessness. I know I have the problem of samsara (here, meaning, attachment). I do not know how to get out of this problem.


    Sharanagathi

    This is the third and final stage – surrendering at the feet of a guide, who knows how to lift me up from the problem of samsara.

    The process of personality reconstruction falls under two definite schemes:
    The intellect has to be re-educated with the right values of life
    The mind must be re-aligned to function without the particular sentiments, hungers, prejudices, passions which tend to mask the actual problem.
    Thus we see that the first scheme is taken up in the second chapter.

    Klaibham maa sma gama: paartha, naithathvapyupa padyathae
    Kshudram hrudayadaurbalyam, thyakthvoththishtaa paranthapa 2.3

    (Krishna says)
    Oh Arjuna ! Do not take to unmanliness this state does not befit you. Having given up this mean faint-heartedness, get up, Oh Arjuna.

    Now, in the next verses, we find Arjuna going through the second and third stages.
    Arjuna openly declares:
    Na chathadvidma: katharanno gariya:
    Yadvaa jayaema yadi vaa no jayeyu:
    Yaaneva hathvaa na jijeevishama:
    Thae(a)vasthithaa: pramukhae dhaarthraashtaa: 2.6

    Moreover we do not know which one of these two courses is better and whether we will conquer them or they will conquer us. Those very Kauravas, killing whom we will not even desire to live, are assembled in front.

    Arjuna tried all efforts to solve his problem of samsara, by himself and ultimately says

    Na chathadvidma:

    I do not know (whether to fight or not ).

    On one side, I should not fight killing Bheeshma, Drona and others who are not only my teachers, but are relatives as well. They are not ordinary teachers, but mahanubhavas. Therefore looking at them, I feel like withdrawing from the war.
    At the same time, another corner of my mind says that it is dharmayuddha and a kshathriya should not turn away from righteous war.
    Arjuna argued that whether it was wrong or right, the situation was such that he could not see that he would gain anything good from fighting.

    Finally Arjuna is humble enough and openly admits his helplessness thus:

    Karpanyadoshopahathasvabhava:
    Pruchchami thvaam dhama sammoda chethaa:
    SYachchreya: syaannischitham bruhi thamae
    Shishyastheham s(h)aadhi maam thvaam prapannam

    With my mind overpowered by helplessness and with my intellect completely deluded regarding righteousness, I ask You.
    Decidedly tell (me) that which is good for me. I am Your disciple. Teach me, who have taken refuge in you.

    In this shloka, we see Arjuna, accepting his helplessness and seeking advice from Krishna. An egoistic mind will not accept helplessness and will not bend. This verse shows Arjuna’s humility.
    He says
    Aham thae sishya: - I am Your disciple
    Shaadimaam prapanna thvaam - teach me, who have surrendered to you.
    This alone is called Prapatti or Sharanagathi. Here it is guru-sharanagati.

    Through this verse Vyasacharya conveys a very important spiritual idea.
    There are misconceptions about the role of a guru. There are many who say that a guru is not required. But our scriptures emphatically declare that a guru is essential.

    If someone tells you he is your student, you have to decide whether he deserves to be a sishya or not. It is the guru’s decision. Thus Arjuna left it in Krishna’s hands, as if saying
    “The ball is in your court now, Krishna. You do whatever you like . But I am your sishya”.
    Till now, Arjuna had not told Krishna this and so Krishna had not taught him so far.

    According to our scriptures, teaching is given only for the asking. The word Sishya means one who is qualified to be taught based on one’s capacity to understand. By using the word Sishya, Arjuna was stating that he was prepared to learn what Krishna had to teach. Though his compassion showed that he was mature, he had dharma-adharma confusion because of a certain lack of understanding. Arjuna realized that he must solve his problem more fundamentally. He could not but think of his sorrow which is a human problem. He had discerned sorrow in a situation where sorrow was not expected. He could not proceed with the battle because he felt that the outcome would not be favourable or one that he could be proud of.
    Under such circumstances, mind comes back to oneself. This is where culture comes in.

    Dayanada Swami says that without culture one becomes a hobo (wanderer).
    In Arjuna’s case his culture, upbringing, commitment to dharma had paid off in this particular coming back to himself saying “ I do not think even a victory and a heavenly kingdom could remove this sorrow within me”.

    Thus Arjuna surrendered to Krishna so that Krishna could do what was to be done. In asking that Krishna teach him, there was a prayer, a surrender in Arjuna that calmed the storm within him.

    Not only had Arjuna handed over his horses and chariot to Krishna, but also his life. Having found the possibility of a solution to his problem in the form of Krishna’s teaching, he became silent. The storm in his mind had blown over. Although it was not enlightened, his mind became silent with hope.

    Love,
    Chithra.
    :
     
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  2. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    hi chitra mam,

    engrossing second chapter:thumbsup..total surrender gives hopes....it is true that gita is of academic interest..until the three stages..after the surrender..every word has a meaning and message to each of us..

    When Things that happen, or beyond my control, and i know i cant do anything i believe in total surrender at his feet...as u said hoping for a solution.....or a direction to a solution.....

    Waiting for more...
     
  3. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Shanthi,
    Thanks for the first feedback.
    We never realise the intensity of any problem, until we go through it. Offering opinions, partaking the tension of others etc has its own limitations.
    Generally many people think that Gita teaches only detachment !
    Surrender with utmost belief is the ultimate and most important. It is meaningless if we surrender with even a trace of doubt because then, it will not work !
    Love,
    Chithra.




     
  4. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Chith

    You have explained clearly how Arjuna completely surrenders his life to Krishna and how it helps to calm his mind. I was very happy to see the starting of the second chapter. Waiting to see how Krishna helps Arjuna to overcome this truama.

    Love
    vidhi
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidhi,
    Thanks for the FB.
    I have just given an introduction now ! The teaching starts with the 11th verse in this chapter.
    Before we proceed to that, I plan to post on the importance of a Guru in our lives. As the topic becomes more & more "technical", I hope you will all stay tuned !
    Love,
    Chithra.


     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2007
  6. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    Thanks so much for this thread. Every thread of yours is unique. I am glad you started clearly outlining the four broad sections; I was thrilled to note the order starting with saranagadhi and then spiritual stages then mukthi. who else but a guru can outline in such simple and basic terms. Ofcourse it starts with saranagadhi. without total surrender there really is no next step. but have you noticed how difficult or dare I say impossible it is to totally surrender. I am fortunate that the seeds to such topics was sown at a very young age by my late paternal grandmother who took me to ALL the katha kalashebam , i mean kathais, like Kribunanda variar, and so many many more others. I used to listen even then and still cannot forget those days . I might have been the only kid there too!! so I was able to appreciate your classification, then the sloka then the meaning of that sloka. You have mentioned that a person should have gone thru the following 3 stages. Without which it is impossible to get the
    grasp of the Gita or its meanings or its interpretations;
    In Samsara darsanam : Even when we know we are suffering, we think we can solve it or treat it or something that we can do ourselves so its important to discover and accept that one is suffering; Passing this stage we would ofcourse move to karpanya bhava where we will realise our helplessness. And then the natural course of events leading to sharanagati;
    Your lines clearly sums up this topic with...
    Having found the possibility of a solution to his problem in the form of Krishna’s teaching, he became silent.
    The storm in his mind had blown over.
    These I think are the natural sequences when we accept saranagadhi.
    Thank you so much for writing this here and sharing with us. Thanks.
     
  7. madhu11

    madhu11 Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Mrs. C,

    Your explanation on the second chapter is superb as usual. Waiting to see how Krishna helps Arjuna to overcome this truama in your next one and also about importance of Guru. But I may not be able to read when you post it, because my family and I are going to hyderabad tomorrow on vacation. So, I have to catch up on your posts when I come back home. Thank you.
    take care,
    Madhu
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  8. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    This is going great Chithra !:clap

    You write so well. I am straining to learn...learn the philosophy behind Gita. Even if I can grasp a tiny fraction of it, I shall consider myself blessed.
    As of now...I am a beginner...and...Aham thae Sishya !! :)

    Every time I read the dialog between Arjuna and Krishna, I always think...what's for Arjuna...with the Lord Himself as his guide, guru and sarathy, where is his problem ! One blessed and lucky guy !

    L, Kamla
     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC,
    I am extremely happy with your F B - you have read it in detail & tried to understand the entire post.
    We always know the suffering we undergo & the helplessness associated with it very often. But we need to shed our ego, before we plan sharnagathi. It is easly said than done. Very often it happens out of desparation because we reach "the tether's end".
    Well, Krishna was physically present to offer advice to Arjuna; but Gita is here to offer to us the advice in Krishna's words.
    You rightly said that some habits are planted as seeds, right from our young age.
    I thank you very much, AC.
    Love
    To
    Chitra
    From
    Chithra.


     
  10. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Madhu,
    Thanks for joining us. Next post will be about the role of a guru in our life & then we will go on to "the seed verse" of Gita ! Then the important teaching starts.
    In the meanwhile, for Navvarathri, I plan to post on Durga, Lakshmi, Sarasvathi & Lalitha. Let me see how it is going to be received.
    Have an enjoyable holiday in Hyderabad. Incase you plan to touch Chennai, please P M me - I would love to meet you.
    Love,
    Chithra.



     

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