Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2 Vs 1-9

The Yoga of Knowledge 

Arjuna has reached a crisis point and appears to have given up. We are about to witness what the culmination of this will be and what happens next. What will Arjuna do? and what will his guru, Lord Krishna, have to say about it? …

Sanjaya spoke:
Seeing Arjuna depressed and overcome with sorrow, his eyes filled with tears and downcast, Lord Krishna spoke these words: 

We listen in as Samjaya relates events to the blind king, Dhritarashthra, using his power of divine sight.

Lord Krishna spoke:
Where is this faint-heartedness of yours coming from in this time of danger? It is dishonorable and unacceptable, and does not lead to heaven but to disgrace, Arjuna.

The word for ‘heaven’ refers to that celestial ‘world of light’ where we go between incarnations to await the next earthly body. Apparently, backing down will not get us there, but will engender criticism. 

Do not become a coward, it does not suit you. Abandon this cowardliness and stand up, Scorcher of the Foe!”

Scorcher of the Foe is an epitaph of Arjuna. By using it here, Krishna is reminding Arjuna of his purpose as a warrior.

Arjuna spoke:
O Slayer of Madhu, how can I kill Bhishma and Drona in battle? How can I fight with arrows against these two revered men, O Slayer of the Foe?

Slayer of Madhu and Slayer the Foe, are epitaphs of Krishna. Arjuna is coming back at Krishna by reminding Him that it was He who put down the enemy of ‘delight’ (Madhu), and yet has urged Arjuna to kill the sons of Dhritarashthra (desires)!

Bhishma* (continence and fidelity) and Drona (intellect and reason) are both highly venerated teachers whom Arjuna has always respected, yet they are fighting on the side of his enemy.

* Bhishma – ‘Terrible’. Fixity, the unwillingness to change.

I would rather live in this world as a beggar than slay these gurus out of desire for worldly gain. Anything we might enjoy would be smeared with blood.

Living as a beggar would be demeaning to a warrior.

Arjuna presses his case with this remark. By restating that this battle is for the purpose of gaining the throne, a ‘worldly’ ambition, he is implying that he and Krishna are above this kind of thing.

And we do not know whether it would it be better to conquer them, or they us. Having killed all these sons of Dhritarashthra standing here before us, we would not want to live.

Which is better? Defeating them (desires), or being defeated by them? Life would surely be intolerable without desire, for only through their fulfillment can there be any happiness. Or so Arjuna believes.

Self-reference: The enemy is the blind king, ‘ignorance’, and his sons represent ‘desires’. The ‘enemy’, the force that is hostile towards you, is ignorance and desires together.

With my own being overcome with depression, my mind is confused as to my duty, so I ask you, which would be better for certain? Tell me, your pupil. Correct me, your suppliant.

Now we see Arjuna doing a turn-about, and resorting to his guru for instruction. However…

I do not see what could possibly dispel this sorrow that dries up my senses, even if I were to obtain unrivaled and prosperous royal power,
 and the sovereignty of the gods.

Chapter one was entitled Arjuna’s Depression. Depression is a low energy state, and indeed Arjuna did end that chapter by sitting down on the seat of his chariot, throwing down both his bow and his arrows. Aside from all the biochemical and psychological implications, the bottom line is that Arjuna’s energy has hit bottom.

A low energy state means not only has one’s energy fallen, but there is less energy available, which is indicated in the verse as the drying up of the senses. Depression is a physical phenomena that affects the senses by making it difficult to take things in, think straight, and function normally. One way of countering depressed energy is to fulfill a desire—it feels good, and up you go (albeit temporarily). Hence Arjuna’s many mentions of his resistance to killing ‘desires’.

Thus having addressed the Master of the Senses [Krishna], Arjuna said, “I shall not fight,” and Having spoken to Krishna, he became silent.

And here we thought Arjuna was going to heed his guru’s instruction to “stand up and fight!”. We know what Lord Krishna has told Arjuna to do, but now we see that Arjuna will not to do it. Next week we will see what Krishna has to say about this capitulation.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma

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Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 1, Vs 45-47

First, open the door to your mind and walk away leaving the door open. Then read from your heart and listen from this source of inner wisdom. You can always go back to your mind and read it a again and try using logic and reason to understand, but it will always sell you short.Arjunas Despair

“Ah alas! We are resolved to do a great evil, being intent upon killing our own people out of desire for royalty and ease.

“I would feel easier if the armed Son’s of Dhritarashthra were to kill me in battle while I was unresisting and unarmed.”

Having thus spoken of the conflict, Arjuna sat down upon the seat of his chariot, throwing down both bow and arrow, with a heart overcome by sorrow.

In these few verses, we see Arjuna finally giving in to his despair and giving up. Convinced that the whole affair is unnecessary, destructive and wrong, he steps beyond simply emphasizing his position to Krishna, and says that he would rather die than continue—he would rather die at the hands of his enemy while unresisting and unarmed.

End of Chapter One
The Despondency of Arjuna


The author (Vyasa) of the Mahabharata from which the Bhagavad Gita is taken, put his vast knowledge of yoga into an epic framework to make it more engaging and available to more of the population than would otherwise have been possible as a scripture for many in those times. Consequently, those who wish to accelerate their evolutionary journey now have this information in a form that illuminates yoga, the way of eternal Truth, Sanatana Dharma.

The story of the Mahabharata war is a story about your own evolutionary journey. This journey, normally long and slow, is now picking up its pace because you have put God in the driver’s seat—you have surrendered yourself to That, even if only for an hour or two a day—and God has taken you up on it: “You want to move forward with this? Then let’s get with the program. If I’m the one driving we’ll make way better time.” So off you go, and next thing you know you are questioning everything—God, Guru, Yoga, surrender, even your own experience.

This is understandable considering what you’re used to as compared to what you are up against now that things are picking up. But it is good to know about this beforehand, to know that this event, this despair, is expected in the normal course of your sadhana. With this knowledge you will be relieved of it earlier due to having known about it—forewarned is forearmed. And you will be relieved of the burden of questioning your own worth, your deservedness, and can choose not to be guided by your mind. But are you a warrior? Or are you going to play it safe and try to maintain the status quo?

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A Marvelous Mystery

I would call your attention to something rather marvelous about this chapter: You will have noticed that Arjuna is the predominant speaker, not Krishna. But everything Arjuna says pertains directly to yoga sadhana and the awakening and ascension of the evolutionary force, and even though Arjuna may be unaware of it, everything he says is true.

The essence of the characters of Arjuna and Krishna is Nara and Narayana. Arjuna is Nara, the ‘eternal spirit that pervades the universe’, who is always associated with Narayana, ‘son of the primeval man’, Krishna. Together they are the union of law, visible form, and harmlessness (dharma, murti, and ahimsa). Arjuna is you, and Krishna is your soul, that divine one who is just like you, and for whom you live, who reflects back to you, your true Self. We see this in the relationship of Arjuna as the disciple and Krishna as the guru. So you will find that in trying to understand the Gita, you can identify with both Arjuna and Krishna, for they are both you.

If all you ever do with the Bhagavad Gita is to tackle chapter one, you will have everything you need to know … if you can understand it. Arjuna doesn’t even understand it, and he’s the one speaking. He thinks he is telling Krishna why the war should not go on, but in doing so, and in giving his reasons, we learn the truth about yoga and how it unfolds. It is one of those beautifully drawn mysteries found in scripture that tells you that you already know everything, even though you may not realize it or understand what you know. Revealing this is what scriptures are for, and why they are worthy of our complete and loving attention.

In the remaining seventeen chapters, Krishna presents this knowledge in several different ways until Arjuna finally understands.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma

Happy Guru Purnima


Dadaji, Sri Bhagavan Lakulisha

Kripalu9Baupji, Swami Sri Kripalvanandaji

Jaya Gurudeva!

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The Song of God.  The ‘original’ Bhagavad Gita in plain English. Find a new light on Truth with this clear and simple translation by Durga Ma.

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Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 1, Vs 41-44

Ancient Mystical Writings – Download clear and simple translations in plain English from Durga Ma.

“Because of this [see previous verses], the family women are defiled. When the family women are defiled, caste becomes intermixed.

“The family women are defiled”

The word for ‘woman‘ here is stri, which means, ‘bearer of children’. There are other words for women, but women are mentioned specifically in this verse as the bearers of children. There is concern regarding the progeny of the male leaders of society who would lose control over the continuation of their line (‘family law’) if they were to lose control of the women. A woman knows who her children are, but a man can only know this if he controls the woman. This takes us back to the previous installment and the mention of “the destruction of family” causing the “family laws to be lost”. What would be lost is a clear male family line.

(Ladies: For an interesting interpretation of this, read this Translation and the Purport. Scroll down to page 83, and fasten your seat belts.)

“This intermixture is hell for the destroyers of the family and for the family as well, and indeed, the ancestors also fall, deprived of offerings of rice and water.

“By these wrongs of the family-destroyers, producing mixed caste, caste dharma disappears along with family dharma.

Dharma – laws, customs, traditions.

The word for caste means ‘race, species, kind, sort, character, nature, property, or quality’ and can be applied to people or things. Here it is referring to social classes into which the characteristics and abilities of people can be generally categorized, and which eventually became fixed and determined by birth, as was the case in the time of the Mahabharata war. The four castes are, Brahmin (God-people), Kshatriya (warriors and leaders), Vaishya (farmers, merchants, businessmen), and Shudra (servers).

In this verse, Arjuna is saying that the loss of family dharma (‘family laws’) would cause confusion about an individual’s caste. Because the caste system has become fixed and is determined by birth, this system would no longer be reliable with the destruction of controlled family lines based on male lineage.

“Men whose family laws have been obliterated, O Agitator of Men [Krishna], dwell indefinitely in hell, thus we have heard repeatedly.

We are to understand that this situation would be an unending hell for a man whose male family line has been destroyed. Another translation of this verse is, “Thus men whose family lines have been destroyed always live in hell, subordinate to women (literally, ‘one who waits on a child’, mothers).”

Maintaing ‘family laws’ has been a means of keeping society righteous, prosperous, and spiritually and morally virtuous. However, it is assumed that this can only happen in a patriarchy, but, much to Arjuna’s distress, here we have Krishna urging a war that will end all this.


Once again, unaware of the significant departure from the norm that this war represents for him, Arjuna resorts to what he has been taught. What he has been taught was valid and adequate when he learned it in the past, but he doesn’t realize that it is not sufficient for what he is up against now. What he sees as he looks upon the two opposing forces, is the destruction of those he holds dear, and the destruction of the proper order of things, a destruction that he believes will bring only suffering.

To understand these verses as they pertain to surrender yoga sadhana, we must begin to think beyond the concepts of ‘family’, hereditary ‘caste’, and ‘ancestors’ in the usual way. Considering the similarity of these, this statement from the previous installment reminds us of their place in understanding yoga: “…at another level ‘family’ (including caste and ancestors) brings to mind a genetic pool. DNA is one way of looking at the evolutionary force (kundalini) in its physical form, so we might assume that this ‘war’ will affect some transformative change (‘destruction’) within ‘the family law of the human body’ (DNA).”

We are being told that once the evolutionary force that Arjuna is about to deal with gets its way, things are going to change. As a result of this, there will be a new order, and the body is going to go through some interesting changes to get there.

Jaya Bhagavan,
Durga Ma

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 38-40

Ancient Mystical Writings – Clear and simple translations in plain English from Durga Ma.

Arjuna continues speaking to Krishna:

“Even if they, those whose thoughts are seduced by greed, do not perceive the harm caused by the destruction of family and the crime of treachery to friend,

“Why should we not know to turn back from this evil, this wrong caused by the destruction of family, O Agitator of Men?

“With the destruction of family, family law is lost; when established family law is lost, lawlessness overpowers all of society.


“The wrong caused by the destruction of family” and “family law is lost”

The Sanskrit word for ‘family‘ means a number of things from ‘herd, troop, flock, or swarm’, to ‘race, family, community, tribe, or school’.

The first meaning of the word for ‘destruction‘ is ‘dominion’. The second meaning is ‘abiding’ or ‘dwelling’ in an undisturbed residence, especially a secret one. The third meaning is ‘loss, diminution, destruction, or end’. 

The word for ‘wrong‘  means ‘deficiency, disease, impurity, harm, or detrimental effect’.

“The crime of treachery to friend”

The word for ‘crime‘ literally means ‘that which causes to fall’.


In the previous installment, we noted that the participants in the war are all related to each other. If the purpose of the war is kingship and the power and pleasures that go with it, there seems to be no point in continuing because everyone will lose everything, even their lives, so who would benefit? But what if this isn’t really a story about a war, but a story about you that is based on a historical event to make it more significant to you? … but now it is a few thousand years later, and here you are living in a different body, in a different time, in a different culture, and this scripture, and the epic of which it is a part, seems strange and confusing…

What is the significance of everyone involved in the war being related?

Every one of us, whether we are ‘enlightened’ or not, are exactly the same as everyone else in what it is that we really are. How could anyone be more closely related than this? And everyone of us is within you and is a star in the sky all at once. God, you, us, is all there is. There is nothing else. 

But what about the Father-In-Heaven God? Is that a myth? No, nor is Divine Mother a myth. God has no limitations, so God can and will be, whatever we need It, Him, Her, to be.

If these statements seem to contradict each other, be reminded that scriptures are full of contradictions and require that we engage in whatever battle we must in order to understand these paradoxes. 

It is not I but the Father in Heaven that does these things.
I and my Father are one.
— Jesus

Know for certain that the true Self and Guru are truly one.
Know for certain that God and Guru are truly one … and for this reason a wise person will seek the Guru who is meant for them.
— The Guru Gita 

Bringing this idea a little closer home, consider that all these relatives, being all there is (it’s your dream, so you’re everyone and everything in it), are what makes up your own body, i.e., as cells in the physical sense, chakras in an energetic sense. The common choice of the word ‘family’ in various translations makes sense because of the reasons given, but at another level it brings to mind a genetic pool. DNA is one way of looking at the evolutionary force (kundalini) in its physical form, so we might assume that this ‘war’ will affect some transformative change (‘destruction’) within ‘the family law of the human body’ (DNA).

Things work a certain way (‘law’) with the ‘family’ that makes up a human body; there is a close relationship between everything of which the body consists and how it all functions as a unit. All of this begins to go through changes once the ‘war’ begins. Under normal circumstances, these changes are unnoticeable as they unfold slowly over many lifetimes, but the Mahabharata war is about the accelerated evolution of the individual who dares to allow the evolutionary force, kundalini, to awaken and become ascendent. This is not normal and is very much noticeable to the individual concerned, and with its advent, “family law is lost”—the old rules no longer apply. A new law is in the making, a new world order is being established within the world of the body for the purpose of replicating the perfect template held by the closest ‘relative’. Using this template, evolution is attempting to cheat death and bring about the divine, immortal body at the end of the current lifetime.

This puts a new perspective on concepts like destruction, dominion, and who or what dwells within an undisturbed hidden place. 

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 32-37

The Song of God.  The ‘original’ Bhagavad Gita in plain English. Find a new light on Truth with this clear and simple translation by Durga Ma.

Arjuna speaks to Krishna:

Krishna and Arjuna

Krishna and Arjuna

“O Chief of Cowherds [Krishna was a cowboy in his youth], I have no desire to win this war for the sake of kingship and happiness. What to us is kingly power and the pleasures it brings?

In these verses we see how Arjuna has begun to view this war. He assumes that it is all about having rulership of a kingdom, and having the power and the perks that go with it—pleasure and enjoyment.

“Those for whose sake we desire these things—kingship, pleasure and enjoyment—they are all here ready to do battle, willingly abandoning their lives and riches:

“Teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers in law, grandsons, brothers in law, thus kinsmen.

We read this list before in the previous issue, but now Arjuna is now getting a reality check on who is on this roster. He is coming to realize that the major players on both sides are descended from the same ancestors—everyone is related to everyone else, and every reason they have for getting into this war in the first place is going to leave no one to enjoy the spoils. They are going to kill each other.

“I have no desire to kill them for a kingdom, even though they are bent on killing us, Slayer of Madhu*, not even for the sovereignty of the three worlds.

* Slayer of Madhu – An epitaph of Krishna who is an incarnation of Vishnu, the Sustainer, who killed the demon Madhu (‘destroyer of delight’).

“For the Sovereignty of the Three Worlds”

Arjuna uses this statement to emphasize his opposition to the war, for most would willingly fight for this alone, but Arjuna says no, “not even for the sovereignty of the three worlds”. What is the significance of the ‘three worlds’, and why would anyone covet rulership over them?

The sovereignty of the three worlds refers to rulership, or control, of the body, the emotions and the mind. I think we would agree that most people would see this as a desirable goal worth fighting for, but Arjuna is saying that not even for this will he go forward with this terrible war. This is how affected he is by the realization of who and what he is up against.

Three Worlds

The three worlds are earth, sky and heaven, the worlds of humans, ancestors and gods.

The earth is the body. The sky, or atmosphere, is emotions. Heaven is mind-no-mind.

In the body, the earth is below the diaphragm, the sky is above the diaphragm, and heaven is above the third eye.

The body is the physical plane, the earth. The feelings are the atmosphere, the astral, or emotional body, which permeates and extends beyond the physical body. Mind-no-mind is heaven, the etheric, or causal body that permeates the head and brain.

These are some of the different ways the concept of the ‘three worlds’ is thought of.

“What joy would there be for us in striking down the sons of Dhritarashthra, Krishna? Misfortune would surely cling to us by having killed them.

“Therefore we are not justified in killing the sons of Dhritarashthra, our own kinsmen, O Janardana*. How, having killed our own people, can we be happy?

* Janardana – ‘Agitator of Men’, an epitaph of Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu, the divine sustainer, maintainer and protector of life. Arjuna is throwing it in Krishna’s face in this verse—Krishna is the Sustainer of Life, yet he is urging a war.


In a very short time, Arjuna has talked himself out of going forward with the war against his enemies. He cannot justify it. He sees it in terms of his own history, what he knows, and what he has been taught, and it just doesn’t add up. He sees it as logically wrong—remember Drona (‘reasoning’)? He was Arjuna’s teacher, but he is fighting on the side of Arjuna’s enemies.

You will recall that the “sons of Dhritarashthra”, the “enemies”, represent the desires of the mind. Arjuna has begun to doubt the wisdom of doing away with them. After all, if there are no desires to fulfill, whence comes happiness?


The enemy armies outnumber Arjuna’s, and Krishna’s army is among them. But Arjuna has chosen to have Krishna drive his chariot over having the use of His armies—Arjuna has put God in the driver’s seat.

Durga Ma

The Song of God.  The ‘original’ Bhagavad Gita in plain English. Find a new light on Truth with this clear and simple translation by Durga Ma.

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