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Chapter 2

Sānkhya Yog
In this chapter, Arjun reiterates his utter inability to cope with the situation he finds himself in, and refuses to perform his duty in the impending battle. He then formally asks Shree Krishna to be his spiritual teacher, and beseeches Him for guidance on the proper path of action in the situation he finds himself in. The Supreme Lord begins imparting him divine knowledge by teaching him about the immortal nature of the self, which is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. It merely changes bodies from lifetime to lifetime, just as a person puts on new garments and discards the old ones. Shree Krishna then moves on to the topic of social responsibilities. He reminds Arjun of his duty as a warrior, which is to fight for upholding righteousness. He explains that the performance of one’s social duty is a virtuous act that will open to him the stairway to the celestial abodes, while dereliction of duty will only bring him humiliation and infamy.

Having motivated Arjun from the mundane level, Shree Krishna moves deeper into the science of work. He asks Arjun to work without attachment to the fruits of his actions. He terms the science of working without desire for rewards as buddhi-yog, or yog of the intellect. The intellect must be used to restrain the mental yearning for the rewards of work. By acting in such consciousness, bondage-creating karmas will be transformed into bondage-breaking karmas, and Arjun will attain the state beyond sorrows.

Arjun enquires about the symptoms of those who are situated in divine consciousness. In response, Shree Krishna describes how persons situated in transcendence are free from attachment, fear, and anger; they are equipoised and undisturbed in all situations; their senses are subdued; and their minds are ever absorbed in God. He also gives a step-by-step explanation of how the afflictions of the mind—lust, anger, greed, etc.—develop, and how they may be eradicated.
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