Bhagavad Gita Chapter II - Verse 68 & Verse 69 Print E-mail

Verse 68



He calls Arjuna 'Mahabaho', meaning 'mighty-armed one' because he was a warrior of exceptional valour and bravery. He had won many battles and had emerged victorious. He was a man of the world. He had the skill and expertise to conquer the world. Krsna suggests, `Unless you conquer the inner kingdom external victories are meaningless'. Arjuna, who was so well qualified to tackle external challenges, failed in the conquest of his inner self. It is more difficult to overcome inner weaknesses than to conquer outer challenges. When you try to control your own faults you realise how difficult it is and then you desist from being judgmental with others. Today you are unforgiving of others' mistakes because you do not recognise your own shortcomings.


Like Arjuna, you are well qualified to conquer the challenges that are outside of you. But you lack the knowledge and expertise to conquer your inner self. Unless you do this, you cannot succeed in life. If you do not fortify yourself with this knowledge, sooner or later you will be in Arjuna’s condition. Therefore Krsna recommends that along with worldly conquest, put in a little effort in strengthening your inner personality.


A perfect Person is one whose senses are completely restrained from sense objects. All the senses have to be controlled. Most of us usually have a weakness for one or two senses. A person who has a weakness for food may be disciplined in other areas. Another may be disciplined in eating but has no control over his speech. Perfection means control of all senses. It is no use filling water in a tank if there are leaks. One weakness is enough to drain out all your inner resources. Therefore you should have an overall perspective and safeguard yourself in all areas.


The human being is the only species that not only enjoys the world as it is, but also has the capacity to enhance the enjoyment. Science and technology have taken great strides in beautifying the world. Yet in this magnificent world which offers improved enjoyment, the human being's happiness has shrunk so much that one needs anti- depressants. In spite of having a beautiful world around us we are not able to enjoy it. The Bhagavad Gita restores that enjoyment, offers us permanent happiness.


Verse 69



In this verse he makes an astounding statement. In the Gita such statements are made as a prelude to an important verse.


The world being the same, the realised Person's experience is the opposite of the common man's. You experience finitude and get crushed by the wheels of change. Everything in the world perishes. In the same world, a realised Person sees Infinity. He sees the changeless substratum on which the changing phenomena are taking place. His focus is on the Imperishable. These are two completely opposite experiences, like day and night. Night signifies ignorance. You are unaware of Infinity but very much awake to the finite things of the world. Because of your identification with the body, mind and intellect which are limited, you experience limitation.


The sun above is immaculate, immeasurable. Wherever there is a reflecting medium a reflected sun is created. The mirrored sun assumes the properties of the reflecting medium and loses its original qualities. When the sun is reflected in a drop of rain it becomes minuscule. When reflected in a frozen lake, it is cold. This is exactly what happens to us. We are that infinite, all pervading force `Atman’. But wherever there is a body, mind and intellect, a reflected self appears. That reflected self loses its Infinity and takes on the properties of the body, mind and intellect. This is what causes all the problems. We see limitations, we see finitude. A realised Person sees a completely different world.


This concept applies even in the relative sense. What is day to a spiritual person is night to a sensual person. The contemplative one goes to bed early and wakes up early. The sensual one is awake through the night and sleeps only in the morning. A spiritual person has a positive attitude in life, a sensualist is negative and agitated. An introverted person is an optimist because even though he sees his weaknesses, he also sees a way out of them. An extroverted person is a pessimist, seeing only the negatives in life. A spiritual person is invariably a giver, a materialist is a taker.



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