Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 19

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 19

YA ENAM VETTI HANTARAM YASCHAINAM MANYATE HATAM
UBHOU TOU NA VIJANEETO NAAYAM HANTI AN HANYATE

He who thinks that the Self is the slayer or who thinks that Self is slain,
both of these do not know the truth. Self, atman does not slay nor is slain.

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1) He who thinks that the Self is slayer:

Let us not forget that the Self is only a witness to all our thoughts and actions.

The Self is also known as “Sakshi” which means “a witness.”

From the time we were first born into the world to the present birth, we have accumulated a number of thought imprints in our mind.

It is due to the contact of our sense organs with the various forms of life around.

The Lord has given the freedom for each individual to learn from the results of his thoughts and actions.

All through the processes of births and deaths, the “Self” is the constant factor, “The physical body” is the changing factor.

Depending upon the type of vasanas, the form we take varies.

In the context of the battle of Kurukshetra, where Arjuna is the warrior and facing other warriors, a number of soldiers will get killed by the actions of the warriors.

The Lord is reiterating the fact that the “Atman” is not the slayer of any soldiers.

To murder somebody and say that the Lord inside me made me commit the act of murder is not correct.

The act of committing the offence solely falls on the individual physical body and not to the Atman.

The Atman only gave the body the life and an opportunity to exhaust the vasanas.

2) He who thinks that the Self is slain:

Let us not forget that the death is only to the physical body and not of the “Atman” inside. The warriors who kill the soldiers on the battlefield are only killing the physical body.

The subtle bodies of the soldiers, depending upon their vasanas, will have to take new forms of life and come into this world.

The soldiers who die on the battlefield, do not get “Liberated.”

The innumerable people who die daily on this earth do not attain “Moksha.”

“Mano nasha” and “Vasana kshaya” are the prerequisites for “Moksha.”

Until and unless we clear all the existing vasanas and do not accumulate new vasanas, we are not eligible for “Liberation.”

Thus says the Lord to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK.
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at “snath@btinternet.com“.

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