Bhagavad-Gita Summary, Chapter II

[For the Disciple—A Guide]

"Devotion through Application of the Speculative Doctrine."

Krishna points out to Arjuna that his indecision will dishearten the army. If known, he would be viewed as dishonorable by all Kshatriyas. (Gita, p. 9)

Krishna then speaks of the immortality of the Ego in every man's heart. That cannot be destroyed at death but exists eternally. (Gita, pp. 11-12)

The One Spirit, being everywhere, is the essence of all beings. Deathless, it sustains all. It is the Inner Ruler of the body. Death comes only to the mortal part of man, and rebirth of the immortal Ego is the result of the universal law requiring continuity, and progress. That is the fulfillment of responsibilities accepted, and choices already made by all. (Gita, p. 12)

Each being has its own duties. These are not matters of pain or pleasure but of responsibility. Therefore, considerations of gain, loss, victory and defeat are not important, while duty, correctly performed, is. (Gita, pp. 13-4)

Those who are unwise argue, (motive) and use ideas imperfectly acquired from the Scriptures. The goals of the personal man are not those of the immortal man who seeks perfection in right living. Such a one has to free himself from worldly attachments that are pleasant or unpleasant. (Gita, pp. 15-6)

The motive for any action determines its worth. To perceive this, one has to become detached from passion and anxiety. Action is always necessary. Right action has to be known, and then chosen. Yoga, or union with the Spirit, enables a man to act skilfully because he applies wisdom. (Gita, p. 17)

Ignorance and delusion have to be understood, so that wisdom can assist. Meditation, and contemplation on the excellent and the divine, achieves this. This is the key of devotion to the spirit while living in a body. (Gita, p. 17)

Arjuna asks Krishna to describe how a wise man living in the world may practice spiritual knowledge though Krishna is before him. (Gita, p. 103)

Krishna surveys for Arjuna the higher qualities of Nature and Man: Fearlessness, dispassion, contentment with all events, self-restraint, devotion. (Gita, pp. 18-19)

In this description, Krishna shows Arjuna how the passionate lower self ensnares the mind and clouds its perception of truth. He states:

"He who attendeth to the inclinations of the senses, in them hath a concern; from this concern is created passion, from passion anger, from anger is produced delusion, from delusion, a loss of the memory, from the loss of memory loss of discrimination, and from loss of discrimination loss of all! But he who, free from attachment or repulsion for objects, experienceth them through the senses and organs, with his heart obedient to his will, attains to tranquility of thought." (Gita, p. 19)

Krishna advocates the control of heart emotion by a man's will. Through this exercise, tranquility in contemplation is obtained. This eliminates anxiety. Universal wisdom is available to the calm man. Reflection is then possible. Objects of sense are to be given an appropriate importance. Desire, greed, selfishness and pride are to be shunned. This is true dependence on the Supreme Spirit. (Gita, pp. 19-20)

to return to