Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 28

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 28

AVYAKTADEENI BHOOTANI VYAKTA MADHYANI BHARATA
AVYAKTA NIDHANANYEVA TATRA KAA PARIDEVANA

O Arjuna, beings are of unknown origin, known middle and of unknown end. Why then lament for it?

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Sri Krishna is reiterating the fact that we all had a past and have a future.
We do not remember the past,
are all immersed in the present and
are ignorant of the future.

“Vyakta” means “manifest.”
“Avyakta” means “unmanifest.”

The sense organs keep us in touch with the world around. The life revolves round the impulses received from the world around by these sense organs. Their effect is so overpowering that we cannot have recollection of the past births.

Manifest means that which can be seen with the physical eyes and understood using the faculty of the other sense organs.

It is therefore to be understood that we have no idea of the past births we have undergone.
The mind which is a storehouse of thought imprints also cannot recollect the past births. This is so because of the process known as “forgetting.”

If there was no faculty of forgetting, we will all be mad people running around the streets.
The Lord says later on in the sacred text that the power of memory and forgetfulness are both his blessings to the mankind.

We do not have any recollection of our past and we do not know our future. What births we had in the past and what births we are going to go through in future is not known and cannot be known.

What we need to have is the faith in the statement that we have to undergo innumerable births and deaths to purify our minds contaminated with attachments to the physical world around.

Finally the Lord says “why then lament for it?”

As it is an inevitable occurrence and we have no control over the process, lamenting is not going to be of any benefit.
The word “lamenting” is to be used to mean “grief” that reduces the efficiency of the present actions.
Indirectly we are asked to get on with our day to day duties and fulfil our obligation to the society.

We can understand this by comparison to the bubbles. The bubbles that come from the waves are temporary phenomenon.
They were in unmanifest form in the waters of the waves.
They have a short life span.
The bubbles burst and the water content joins the water in the waves.

They were not recognised in the waves before they manifest and would not be recognised in the waves after they burst. Bubbles keep on coming and going with the force of the waves in the ocean.

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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