Filognostic* understanding of the Bhagavad Gîtâ of Order
Sañjaya said: "Unto him [Arjuna], who was thus overwhelmed by compassion, having his eyes full of tears and lamenting, Madhusûdana [Krishna as the killer of Madhu] spoke the following words:
Sañjaya said: "Seeing his friend in pain and moved to desperation, the devil's despair spoke the following words: (Sanskrit & tradition)
The Supreme Lord said: 'Wherefrom came this impurity of lamentation at this hour of crisis? This practice of the uncivilized that does not lead to a better world, is the cause of infamy, o Arjuna.
The great soul said: 'This is really not the time to give it up Arjuna. This doesn't befit you at all. This is the way of losers who never make for a better world, it's a disgrace really! Arjuna, get yourself together! (Sanskrit & tradition)
Do not take to this impotence, o son of Prithâ, this pettiness and weakness of the heart never befitts you- give it up and stand up, o chastiser of the enemy!'
Do not give in to such a weakness of heart, it leads to nothing but madness, so stand and engage in the battle, get over your fear of death!' (Sanskrit & tradition)
Arjuna said:'How can I counterattack Bhîshma and Drona with arrows in the fight, o Madhusûdana - they are worthy of worship, o killer of the enemies!
Arjuna retorted: 'How can I launch an attack on Bhîshma and master Drona, they are honorable men of great standing! What would I then be o devil's despair? (Sanskrit & tradition)
Even begging in this life on the planet is certainly better than to kill those superior great souls, even though those teachers desire worldly gain - surely our enjoying the pleasures of life will be tainted with blood!
Wouldn't it be better to live for the rest of my life on charity than to bring those high and respectable gentlemen down, even though they, as leaders and teachers, want the kingdom of heaven on earth? I'm not going to get my hands dirty on matters like these, that's way beyond anything honorable! (Sanskrit & tradition)
Nor do we know which would be better for us: that we may conquer them or they may conquer us - certainly of those who do so by killing we would never want to live, all of us as we are positioned in front of the sons of Dritharâshthra.
And what if - their defeating us is as good as our defeating them. I wouldn't want to live to the victory of either of us, no way, in whatever position we would end up in relation to uncle Dhritarâshthra. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Being afflicted by the characteristics of miserliness and weakness, I ask You, confused in the heart about my duty, what would be all-good - please tell me that in confidence; instruct me as I am surrendered to You as Your disciple.
With my fear and fright, I ask you, confused within on what to do, what would be the ideal compromise to all of us? Confide it to me, instruct me on this and accept me as your pupil so to say. (Sanskrit & tradition)
I do not clearly see what would dispell the sadness drying up my senses in achieving [this way the] unrivaled prosperity of a kingdom on earth or even the supremacy of the godly.'
I'm at a loss in figuring out what to do, on how to proceed from here; how can I not be desperate and lame, wishing for an undisputed position on earth or even the supreme of a set of angel wings?' " (Sanskrit & tradition)
Sañjaya said: "Thus addressing Hrisîkes'a, Gudâkes'a [Arjuna as the master of curbing ignorance], the chastiser of the enemies said: ' I shall not fight'. After saying this to Govinda he then fell silent.
Secretary Sañjaya said: "Thus addressing the sense master, he who had proven himself stronger than sleep and used to be the terror of his opponents said: 'I give up, I won't engage', and next fell silent. (Sanskrit & tradition)
O decendent of Bharata, there between the armies of both parties Hrisîkes'a spoke smiling to the lamenting one the following words.
O descendant of Bharata, then, right there between the opposing armies of the family gathered for the battle, the sense master with a smile spoke the following words. (Sanskrit & tradition)
The Supreme Lord said:'You are lamenting about what is not worth the lamenting and you speak learned words as well - whether lives are lost or not, the wise never lament.
The master of happiness said: 'Don't be sad over that what doesn't deserve such an emotional commitment; with all your words so educated should you, whether you win or lose the battle, being a wise man, not be moved in any such way. (Sanskrit & tradition)
I never really did not exist whenever, nor did you; you nor any of all these kings - never shall also surely all of us not exist hereafter.
Listen, yesterday I existed and so I will tomorrow, and so it is with you, and with all these important people here. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Of being embodied one knows the physical of boyhood, youth and old age - similarly does attaining to the beyond of the body never delude the sober ones.
In your lifetime you change from a child into a youngster and from a youngster into a grown man; but, honestly, did that make you a different person? (Sanskrit & tradition)
It is only sense perception, o son of Kuntî, like summer and winter, happiness and pain given, appear and disappear; none of them are permanent, just try to tolerate it, o descendant of the Bharata dynasty.
What the senses tell you, o son of aunt Kuntî, in the sense of pain and happiness, comes and goes like summer and winter. Such things don't last, just take it like a man, o son of the Kurus. (Sanskrit & tradition)
The person who is then never upset by all of this, o best among men, and is equal to and steady in distress and happiness, is considered fit for liberation.
He who's not upset in this, o best of them all, he who is equal and steady in distress and happiness, is the man fit for the job. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Never is there of falsehood [asat, the temporal form] any durability nor can one expect of the eternal [sat, the true, the soul] any cessation, thus stress the seers who concluded to the study of both.
So don't expect anything durable from outer appearances, nor think that the person you stay within will ever come to an end; and this is what the greatest scholars confirm in their studies on the subject. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Know that that by which the whole body is pervaded is imprerishabale and that no one is able to destroy it.
Just keep in mind that what there is in all states of your physical existence as a constant factor, that that self, cannot perish or be defeated by anybody. (Sanskrit & tradition)
All these material bodies are perishable while of the embodied soul it is said that it is never destroyed and immeasurable, therefore fight o descendant of Bharata.
All these material bodies are perishable, while the indestructible and immeasurable one that is embodied is called eternal; and therefore fight, o son of the noble line of Bharata. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Anyone who supposes that this [soul] is the killer and also anyone who thinks that it can be killed, will of either of both positions never be in knowledge; never does it kill or can it be killed.
Anyone who says that that self of yours can kill any essential self of someone else or can be killed by others, is in either position out of his wits; you can't really kill anyone, nor can anyone kill you really. (Sanskrit & tradition)
It is never born, nor does it ever die; never it came into existence nor will it cease to be - it will not take rebirth, it is unborn, eternal and permanent; it is the oldest and is never killed when the body is killed.
So, to be clear: actually you never began living nor will you ever stop living; you never took birth, nor will you ever really die. Just the same you don't reincarnate either in that sense; the soul as it is, is never born, is eternal and constant. It's in existence from the first day of creation and it never ends when the body ends. (Sanskrit & tradition)
One who knows that this [soul] is the indestructible, always existing, which is unborn and immutable - how can that person, o Pârtha, be the cause of killing or be killed?
Once you realize that that soul we talk about is indestructible and everlasting, without any change or birth, how then, o son of Prithâ, could you cause anyone's death or be killed yourself? (Sanskrit & tradition)
Just like giving up worn out garments and accepting new ones, does the embodied [soul] the same way give up old bodies and verily accept different new ones.
Wearing your body and the ego along with it like a garment, you can change them just as easily, and thus can you end a life and pick up a new one as you like. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Never can this soul be cut to pieces, be burnt by fire; nor can it drown in water or wither in the wind.
That what you really are cannot drop apart, fry, drown or wither away. (Sanskrit & tradition)
This unbreakable soul that cannot be burned, dissolve in water or dry up, is surely everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, unmovable and primordial.
You are unbreakable, you can't burn up or dissolve; you're everlasting, you reach wherever you want, you'll stay your same self always, nobody can touch you as such and you've always been that way, and that's that. (Sanskrit & tradition)
As one speaks like this of it as being invisible, inconceivable and stable, you should know very well that this soul never deserves lamentation.
Considering this real self of yours that can't be seen really, that can't even be conceived really, nor undergo any change really, you should know that it thus is nothing for you to worry or despair about. (Sanskrit & tradition)
If, however, you think of it as always taking birth or finding death, still, o mighty armed one, it never deserves lamentation.
And even if you'd reincarnate and die again, o man of power, never worry about it. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Death is a certain fact for the one who is born and also is birth certain for the ones who died; they are matters unavoidable that therefore do not deserve your lamentation.
He who dies will certainly be born again, just as the one born will die again of course; such irrevocable facts do not deserve any worry, that you should know. (Sanskrit & tradition)
In the beginning all are unmanifest, they are manifest in the middle, and in the end, o descendant of Bharata, they are all gone, therefore why complain when it is all like that?
Each and every one is, o descendant Bharata, to begin with a nobody, then he or she is known and then he or she is forgotten again, so why worry when it's all like this? (Sanskrit & tradition)
Some see it as amazing, some speak of it as amazing and others surely come to know about it as being amazing, while still others, even having heard about this soul, certainly never come to understand it.
This soul is by some seen as amazing, some speak about it as amazing, and some know it as amazing, while still others never come to understand what this real self all means. (Sanskrit & tradition)
This soul, the eternal owner of the body of everyone, cannot be killed and therefore, o descendant of Bharata, you should not grieve for any living being.
This soul, this owner of each his body, never perishes, o son of the dynasty, and thus you shouldn't be troubled about anybody. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Also, indeed in considering your own duties you should not hesitate to fight for the sake of the religion, as for a ruler truly there is no better engagement than that.
And, concerning your duties in the debate, I must say that you must always stand your ground to serve God, your actual quality, virtue and righteousness, in the first place, that is the very best thing a ruler can do. (Sanskrit & tradition)
O son of Prithâ, happy are the rulers who do achieve to the war that came on its own accord, as to them the gates of heaven are opened wide.
O son of aunt Prithâ, praise yourself happy as a ruler to find opposition in battle, for that offers you the opportunity to excel and make yourselves known. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Therefore you should do this fighting as a religious duty - not acting according to your own nature, you will lose your reputation and fall in sin.
So defend your interest as if it concerned God Himself, for if you fail to serve your own nature with Him you'll be nothing but a profiteer without any self-respect. (Sanskrit & tradition)
About your infamy people will always be speaking as for a respectable man infamy is worse than death.
Not engaging you'll lose your reputation and to an honorable man that is something far worse than death. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Ceasing out of fear leaving the battlefield, the great generals who are also holding you in great estimation, will consider you as someone lower in value.
Your comrades in the battlefield, all thinking highly of you, will write you off as a looser, if you back-off now out of fear. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Many of your enemies wil speak unkind words of you deriding your ability. What of course, is there more painful than that?
They'll gossip and deride your ability, and you know how painful that is. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Either, being killed, you will attain the heavenly kingdom, or, conquering, you will enjoy the world; therefore get up, o son of Kuntî, and fight with the certainty of determination
Consider it this way; you either lose with honor, or you win the battle adding to your repute; so, stand and be sure in this choice, o son of Kuntî! (Sanskrit & tradition)
Equanimous in happiness and distress, gain and loss, victory and defeat; thereafter engaging for the sake of fighting this way you will never incur any sin.
Whether the outcome is to be happy or unhappy, whether it is to your advantage or disadvantage, whether you win or lose, you'll never be making a wrong move if you engage in this fight being equanimous with this in mind!' (Sanskrit & tradition)
Versions consulted:- A Song of Fortune One - A modern Gîtâ - the modern version of filognosy (also in mp3-audio).
- A Song of Fortune - A Classical Gîtâ - the classical version of filognosy.
- The Bhagavad Gîta-as-it-is by Swami Bhaktivedânta Prabhupâda (PDF-download).
- The Bhagavad Gîtâ-as-it-is: online (version 1.0).
- The Bhagavad Gita As It Is By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (pdf-download).
- The Bhagavad Gita by the Bhagavad Gita Trust.
- Bhagavad Gita by Sanderson Beck.
- Bhagavad Gita by Ramanad Prasad (American Gita society).
- Srimad Bhagavad-gita - The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute (from the Vaishnav' S'rî Caitanya Saraswath math).
Sanskrit dictionary: (Monier-Williams' 'Sanskrit-English Dictionary').
copyright of this translation: Anand
The filognostic translations are of the same author.