Sanjaya said,–“Unto him thus possessed with pity, his eyes filled andoppressed with tears, and desponding, the slayer of Madhu said thesewords.”
The Holy One said,–“Whence, O Arjuna, hath come upon thee, at such acrisis, this despondency that is unbecoming a person of noble birth, thatshuts one out from heaven, and that is productive of infamy? Let noeffeminacy be thine, O son of Kunti. This suits thee not. Shaking offthis vile weakness of hearts, arise, O chastiser of foes.–”
Arjuna said,–“How, O slayer of Madhu, can I with arrows contend inbattle against Bhishma and Drona, deserving as they are. O slayer offoes, of worship? Without slaying (one’s) preceptors of great glory,it is well (for one), to live on even alms in this world. By slayingpreceptors, even if they are avaricious of wealth, I should only enjoypleasures that are bloodstained! We know not which of the two is ofgreater moment to us, viz., whether we should conquer them or they shouldconquer us. By slaying whom we would not like to live,–even they, thesons of Dhritarashtra, stand before (us). My nature affected by the taintof compassion, my mind unsettled about (my) duty, I ask thee. Tell mewhat is assuredly good (for me). I am thy disciple. O, instruct me, Iseek thy aid. I do not see (that) which would dispel that grief ofmine blasting my very senses, even if I obtain a prosperous kingdom onearth without a foe or the very sovereignty of the gods.'”
Sanjaya said,–Having said this unto Hrishikesa, that chastiser offoes-Gudakesa–(once more) addressed Govinda, saying,–‘I will notfight,’–and then remained silent. Unto him overcome by despondency,Hrishikesa, in the midst of the two armies, said.
“The Holy One said,–‘Thou mournest those that deserve not to be mourned.Thou speakest also the words of the (so-called) wise. Those, however,that are (really) wise, grieve neither for the dead nor for the living.It is not that, I or you or those rulers of men never were, or that allof us shall not hereafter be. Of an Embodied being, as childhood, youth,and, decrepitude are in this body, so (also) is the acquisition ofanother body. The man, who is wise, is never deluded in this. Thecontacts of the senses with their (respective) objects producing(sensations of) heat and cold, pleasure and pain, are not permanent,having (as they do) a beginning and an end. Do thou. O Bharata, endurethem. For the man whom these afflict not, O bull among men, who is thesame in pain and pleasure and who is firm in mind, is fit foremancipation. There is no (objective) existence of anything that isdistinct from the soul; nor non-existence of anything possessing thevirtues of the soul. This conclusion in respect of both these hath beenarrived at by those that know the truths (of things). Know that [thesoul] to be immortal by which all this [universe] is pervaded. No one cancompass the destruction of that which is imperishable. It hath been saidthat those bodies of the Embodied (soul) which is eternal, indestructibleand infinite, have an end. Do thou, therefore, fight, O Bharata. He whothinks it (the soul) to be the slayer and he who thinks it to be theslain, both of them know nothing; for it neither slays nor is slain. Itis never born, nor doth it ever die; nor, having existed, will it existno more. Unborn, unchangeable, eternal, and ancient, it is not slain uponthe body being perished. That man who knoweth it to be indestructible,unchangeable, without decay, how and whom can he slay or cause to beslain? As a man, casting off robes that are worn out, putteth on othersthat are new, so the Embodied (soul), casting off bodies that are wornout, entereth other bodies that are new. Weapons cleave it not, fireconsumeth it not; the waters do not drench it, nor doth the wind wasteit. It is incapable of being cut, burnt, drenched, or dried up. It isunchangeable, all-pervading, stable, firm, and eternal. It is said to beimperceivable, inconceivable and unchangeable. Therefore, knowing it tobe such, it behoveth thee not to mourn (for it). Then again even if thouregardest it as constantly born and constantly dead, it behoveth thee notyet, O mighty-armed one, to mourn (for it) thus. For, of one that isborn, death is certain; and of one that is dead, birth is certain.Therefore. it behoveth thee not to mourn in a matter that is unavoidable.All beings (before birth) were unmanifest. Only during an interval(between birth and death), O Bharata, are they manifest; and then again,when death comes, they become (once more) unmanifest. What grief then isthere in this? One looks upon it as a marvel; another speaks of it as amarvel. Yet even after having heard of it, no one apprehends it truly.The Embodied (soul), O Bharata, is ever indestructible in everyone’sbody. Therefore, it behoveth thee not to grieve for all (those)creatures. Casting thy eyes on the (prescribed) duties of thy order, itbehoveth thee not to waver, for there is nothing else that is better fora Kshatriya than a battle fought fairly. Arrived of itself and (likeunto) an open gate of heaven, happy are those Kshatriyas, O Partha, thatobtain such a fight. But if thou dost not fight such a just battle, thoushalt then incur sin by abandoning the duties of thy order and thy fame.People will then proclaim thy eternal infamy, and to one that is held inrespect, infamy is greater (as an evil) than death itself. All greatcar-warriors will regard thee as abstaining from battle from fear, andthou wilt be thought lightly by those that had (hitherto) esteemed theehighly. Thy enemies, decrying thy prowess, will say many words whichshould not be said. What can be more painful than that? Slain, thou wiltattain to heaven; or victorious, thou wilt enjoy the Earth. Therefore,arise, O son of Kunti, resolved for battle. Regarding pleasure and pain,gain and loss, victory and defeat, as equal, do battle for battle’s sakeand sin will not be thine. This knowledge, that hath beencommunicated to thee is (taught) in the Sankhya (system). Listen now tothat (inculcated) in Yoga (system). Possessed of that knowledge, thou, OPartha, wilt cast off the bonds of action. In this (the Yoga system)there is no waste of even the first attempt. There are no impediments.Even a little of this (form of) piety delivers from great fear. Herein this path, O son of Kuru, there is only one state of mind, consistingin firm devotion (to one object, viz., securing emancipation). The mindsof those, however, that are not firmly devoted (to this), aremany-branched (un-settled) and attached to endless pursuits. That flowerytalk which, they that are ignorant, they that delight in the words of theVedas, they, O Partha, that say that there is nothing else, they whoseminds are attached to worldly pleasures, they that regard (a) heaven (ofpleasures and enjoyments) as the highest object of acquisition,–utterand promises birth as the fruit of action and concerns itself withmultifarious rites of specific characters for the attainment of pleasuresand power,–delude their hearts and the minds of these men who areattached to pleasures and power cannot be directed to contemplation (ofthe divine being) regarding it as the sole means of emancipation.The Vedas are concerned with three qualities, (viz., religion, profit,and pleasure). Be thou, O Arjuna, free from them, unaffected by pairs ofcontraries (such as pleasure and pain, heat and cold, etc.), everadhering to patience without anxiety for new acquisitions or protectionof those already acquired, and self-possessed, whatever objects areserved by a tank or well, may all be served by a vast sheet of waterextending all around; so whatever objects may be served by all the Vedas,may all be had by a Brahmana having knowledge (of self or Brahma).Thy concern is with work only, but not with the fruit (of work). Let notthe fruit be thy motive for work; nor let thy inclination be forinaction. Staying in devotion, apply thyself to work, casting offattachment (to it), O Dhananjaya, and being the same in success orunsuccess. This equanimity is called Yoga (devotion). Work (with desireof fruit) is far inferior to devotion, O Dhananjaya. Seek thou theprotection of devotion. They that work for the sake of fruit aremiserable. He also that hath devotion throws off, even in this world,both good actions and bad actions. Therefore, apply thyself to devotion.Devotion is only cleverness in action. The wise, possessed of devotion,cast off the fruit born of action, and freed from the obligation of(repeated) birth, attain to that region where there is no unhappiness.When thy mind shall have crossed the maze of delusion, then shalt thouattain to an indifference as regards the hearable and the heard.When thy mind, distracted (now) by what thou hast heard (about the meansof acquiring the diverse objects of life), will be firmly and immovablyfixed on contemplation, then wilt thou attain to devotion.’
“Arjuna said,–What, O Kesava, are the indications of one whose mind isfixed on contemplation? How should one of steady mind speak, how sit, howmove?”
“The Holy One said,–‘When one casts off all the desires of his heart andis pleased within (his) self with self, then is one said to be of steadymind. He whose mind is not agitated amid calamities, whose craving forpleasure is gone, who is freed from attachment (to worldly objects), fearand wrath, is said to be a Muni of steady mind. His is steadiness of mindwho is without affection everywhere, and who feeleth no exultation and noaversion on obtaining diverse objects that are agreeable anddisagreeable. When one withdraws his senses from the objects of (those)senses as the tortoise its limbs from all sides, even his is steadinessof mind. Objects of senses fall back from an abstinent person, but not sothe passion (for those objects). Even the passion recedes from one whohas beheld the Supreme (being). The agitating senses, O son ofKunti, forcibly draw away the mind of even a wise man striving hard tokeep himself aloof from them. Restraining them all, one should stay incontemplation, making me his sole refuge. For his is steadiness of mindwhose senses are under control. Thinking of the objects of sense, aperson’s attachment is begotten towards them. From attachment springethwrath; from wrath ariseth want of discrimination; from want ofdiscrimination, loss of memory; from loss of memory, loss ofunderstanding; and from loss of understanding (he) is utterly ruined. Butthe self-restrained man, enjoying objects (of sense) with senses freedfrom attachment and aversion under his own control, attaineth to peace(of mind). On peace (of mind) being attained, the annihilation of all hismiseries taketh place, since the mind of him whose heart is peaceful soonbecometh steady. He who is not self-restrained hath no contemplation(of self). He who hath no contemplation hath no peace (of mind).Whence can there be happiness for him who hath no peace (of mind)? Forthe heart that follows in the wake of the sense moving (among theirobjects) destroys his understanding like the wind destroying a boat inthe waters. Therefore, O thou of mighty arms, his is steadiness ofmind whose senses are restrained on all sides from the objects of sense.The restrained man is awake when it is night for all creatures; and whenother creatures are awake that is night to a discerning Muni. Heinto whom all objects of desire enter, even as the waters enter the oceanwhich (though) constantly replenished still maintains its water-markunchanged–(he) obtains peace (of mind) and not one that longeth forobjects of desire. That man who moveth about, giving up all objects ofdesire, who is free from craving (for enjoyments) and who hath noaffection and no pride, attaineth to peace (of mind). This, O Partha, isthe divine state. Attaining to it, one is never deluded. Abiding in itone obtains, on death, absorption into the Supreme Self.’