|This chapter describes the Philosophy of Sankhya and yoga.
Lord Krishna said, "O Arjuna ! how have you come under infatuation at this critical moment. It is undesirable for Aryans or great men to be lured by a passion towards degradation and infamy. You do speak as a wise but are sorry irrationally.
It is not that all those people including Me and you (soul, not body) did not exist in the past and that they would not exist in the future. As the stages of childhood, younghood and oldhood are natural for the embodied being, so also it keeps on getting other bodies. Universal Self that maintains itself in all bodies is Imperishable, Absolute, Eternal, Incorporal being, Unborn, Immortal, and Inactive in causing other's death. The individual soul (Aatma) that wears all bodies cannot be slain and is imperishable in every respect. As the worn out clothes are given up and new ones are worn, so the embodied soul enters into new bodies discarding old bodies. The non-conscious body (Jara sharira) is of four kinds viz. (i) gross ( Asthoola), (ii) subtle or astral (Sukshma), (iii) causal (Karana) and (iv) supra-causal (Mahakarana). These lie respectively in one another. In the common death, as we see in the world, dead body i.e. the gross or physical body alone is discarded. The subtle body remains still with the causal and supra-causal bodies. Just as we can see ourselves wrapped by physical or gross bodies while we live, exactly in the same manner, after death, subtle bodies are left over us. In rebirth the physical body again covers that subtle body. A perfect yogi gives up all the bodies. Hence their rebirth or transmigration donot take place.
The wise have settled this doctrine that what is not true or eternal cannot exist ever and that what is true or eternal cannot perish. The embodied soul is true, all pervasive, unmanifest, incomprehensible, pure (devoid of impurities), devoid of illusion, constant, immovable and eternal. The body is inevitable to decay. Death for those who have been born and birth for those who have died are inevitable. It is not proper to grieve at the inevitable. To fight for one's right is to perform one's duty. If you are killed in the battle, you will attain to heaven, on the other hand, if you win the battle, you gain ample fame here. Therefore, you must fight. Cold and heat, pleasure and pain there are the objects of senses, so bear them up. The wise one who is constant in both is worthy of liberation. Sin will have no effect upon you if you fight with equanimity of mind.
Having thus preached to Arjuna through the philosophy of Sankhya (Vedanta - spiritual knowledge), the Lord preached him again through the philosophy of Yoga such as follows -
The beginning of Yoga once made is never destroyed. Even a little practice of this yoga secures one from the Great Fear (Mahabhay - our rebirths in other beings than human) and its support breaks the shackles of action. The Yogi's mind becomes steadfast, still and firm in equanimity. The beings have only right to act and not to the harvest of it. Raise yourself above the three gunas (qualities as sata, raja, and tama) of prakriti (Nature) making yourself free from the desires for the objects of the three gunas, heaven, enjoyment of senses and the fruit of actions performed by you. Keep yourself detached to the duals like pains and pleasures etc. Remain ever firm in what is eternal and true. Be free from the cares of getting worldly objects and carrying them and be spiritually introvert. Practise to attain the equanimity of mind. Yoga is both the equanimity of mind as well the skill to perform an action. The karma (action) alone without having equanimity of mind is far less important. When the intellect, entangled in various contradictary interpretations of Vedas, gets still or stable in the 'Samaadhi' (i.e. metaphysical trance achieved at the climax of the practice of Yoga) or meditation, only then the equanimity of mind is reached. The stability of intellect or stablemindedness (Asthit prajnata) is acquired in the state where all the desires are left behind and the self is self-satisfied through self.
Having listened to this, Arjuna enquired of the Lord as to what are the marks of a stable-minded man? How does he speak, sit and walk?
Giving no reply as to the character of speaking, sitting, and walking of stable-minded man, the Lord referred in reply to the following marks of a stable-minded man. That he is a renunciant of desires, satisfied through and in his own self, unaffected by the pains and pleasures of this world, devoid of the impurities of mind and firm in stable-mindedness. As the tortoise draws its limbs in its hollow so a man of stable mind withdraws his senses from the sense-objects, that is, he concentrates the streams of consciousness flowing in the senses, to their centre. If one does not take meal and takes to fasting, the intensity of the senses for their objects will diminish but still the taste of the relishment and craze for the same persist. This is relieved of only when the supreme is realized. A growing taste for sense-objects gives birth to attachment for them and from attachment springs up desire, from desire ensues anger, from anger arises infatuation, from infatuation confusion of memory and this leads to the loss of reason. The man, having lost reason, is like a dead one. He is devoid of equanimity of mind, discrimination and devotion. No peace can come without devotion and how can there be happiness without peace? The man, whose taste for worldly enjoyments comes to an end, all desires die up and thus living free from attachment and egoism, attains peace. The spiritual practitioners keeping their senses under their control, take rest; while at that time, the worldly people remain engrossed in enjoying their sense-objects and when the worldly people sleep, the spiritual practitioners keep awake and practise yoga. After the attainment of this state, he is never again trapped by ignorance (Shackles of bondage). The attainment of the aforesaid state constitutes the Brahmic state or the state of liberation after the realization of God. He abandons his body keeping himself firmly established in this state even at the time of death and merges into the Supreme and attains Brahmic liberation (Brahma Nirvana).
This chapter instructs in brief: acquire the knowledge for self or Sankhya, first by hearing and contemplation and then do your worldly duties keeping yourself stable in such kind of knowledge. At the same time, abide with the practice of devotion followed by Yoga of Samaadhi and having attained the Supreme, the Brahmic state, life-liberated state, Ultimate Peace or Brahma Nirvana and becoming free from attachments, do your duties in the world.