Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 3, Sloka 3, part 1

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 3

Sri Bhagawan uvacha:
Sri Bhagawan spoke thus:

LOKE’SMIN DVIVIDHA NISHTA PURA PROKTA MAYANGHA
JNANA YOG’ENA SANKHYANAAM KARMA YOG’ENA YOGINAAM.

In this world there is a two-fold path, O sinless Arjuna, the path of knowledge of the Sankhyans and the path of action of the Yogins.

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Anagaha: Sinless.
Sri Krishna addresses Arjuna as “sinless.” Why?

Arjuna was a kshatriya and had killed many in the past and was going to kill many in the present war. Killing of people was not a sin for a kshatriya. It was the duty of the kshatriya to “protect.”

The soldiers fighting for a country are supposed to be fighting for the country and follow the orders from the seniors. The sin for a wrong war falls on the leaders who call for the war. The ordinary soldier is fulfilling his role in the society by carrying out the duties of fighting.

Arjuna, one of the top few men in the war and a Pandava, younger brother of Yudhistira, was a righteous man and pure by nature. He decided to fight Duryodhana who was wicked.

“Sinless” refers to the mental purity of Arjuna.

Lok’esmin:
“In this world”:

“Loka” in this context refers to the variety of people in the world around. Every individual is conducting “actions” as part and parcel of his daily life. We all have been blessed with the power of reasoning capacity. The sloka refers to those who conduct actions using the intellectual capacity of reasoning.

Dvividha nishta:
“Two fold path”:

Sri Krishna refers to two broad categories of people who conduct actions. We should look upon actions here representing actions for attainment of “Liberation.”

In an ordinary sense, actions could fall under a number of categories. Here, we are expected to look at only such actions that fulfil the duties of birth in this world as humans.

Pura prokta:
“Has been said so in the past”:

By making this statement, Sri Krishna is referring to the ancient scholars and wise men who gave advice to mankind towards ways of achieving Liberation. Please note that the word “I said so” did not come from the lips of the Lord. We can say that He is hinting at His Eternal state.

This statement held good in the past, correct at the time of the war and would be true in the future millenniums to come.

***   will be continued   ***

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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