krishna-arjuna

In previous chapters Krishna has explained how to develop control of the mind as an essential feature of yoga practice. Now he elaborates this theme with special attention to the yogī’s preparation for death. He also speaks about the destination of the successful yogī, having clarified for Arjuna (near the end of Chapter 6) that a yogī who has not perfected yoga practice has nothing to fear, since he or she will be able to resume practice in the next life.
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krishna-arjuna

This chapter turns to an elaboration on the nature of this transcendent person, bhagavān, whom Krishna identifies as himself. It is extremely rare for a human being to know this supreme being, but Krishna offers some ways one can appreciate his presence in the temporal world. First, he identifies all the physical and subtle “elements”—from earth to the sense of oneself being an independent doer (ahaṁkara)—as his “separate nature”. Krishna then identifies all living beings as constituting his “superior nature” (7.4-5).
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krishna-arjuna

This chapter in the Gītā also introduces specific practices for becoming successful in the practice of yoga—practices that echo other important aspects of the classical eightfold yoga system such as being properly seated for meditation (āsana) and practicing moderation in bodily activities, especially eating and sleeping. These practices can bring steadiness of mind, compared to an unflickering lamp screened from the wind (6.19).
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krishna-arjuna

Dhṛtaraṣṭra, father of the Kaurava brothers, was blind from birth. It is he to whom the Bhagavad-gītā is narrated by his secretary, Sañjaya. Sañjaya, quite the opposite of Dhṛtaraṣṭra, has been blessed with special powers of yoga vision by sage Vyāsa. Therefore, although he is not present on the battlefield, he can see all that happens there.
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krishna-arjuna

Arjuna’s distress drives him to request his dear friend (and cousin) Krishna to set aside the equality of status in their friendship and to assume the role of teacher, as his superior (2.7). Krishna accepts this role and, initially, chides Arjuna for sounding very learned but being ignorant of higher truth. He then proceeds to instruct him in the basic principle of spiritual analysis, namely, to distinguish between the temporal physical and mental body on the one side, and the atemporal, nonphysical and supermental self on the other side.
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krishna-arjuna

Krishna’s talk, in Chapter 2, of yoga as self-control and being equiposed amidst all circumstances, and his talk of the need for Arjuna to go forth and fight in the ensuing battle, leaves Arjuna confused. It seems to him that Krishna is giving contradictory advice. To clarify, Krishna explains the yoga of action. And the first point to understand about action is that action is unavoidable: no one can not act, even for a moment (3.5), since even so-called “inaction” is just another way of becoming implicated in the complex calculus of self-centered behavior resulting in continued bondage of the self.
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krishna-arjuna

In this chapter, Krishna builds on the two principles introduced in the previous two chapters—detached action and sacrifice—by focusing on a third principle, transcendent knowledge (jñāna), or knowledge of spirit. Krishna emphasizes the power of transcendent knowledge, comparing it to fire (an essential component of ritual sacrifice): fire has the power to “burn to ashes” all the effects of actions performed with attachment, due to ignorance. To engage one’s powers of discernment to understand the difference between spirit and matter, and to act accordingly, is the yoga of knowledge.
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krishna-arjuna

Since ancient times in India, there have been individuals and groups that place high value on renunciation (sannyāsa) as the basis for spiritual elevation. As a practice, this may take a variety of forms and degrees of extremity. In this chapter, Krishna corrects a misunderstanding about sannyāsa: not external lifestyle (such as endurance of extreme voluntary austerities), but rather, it is internal attitude and disposition, which constitutes real sannyāsa.
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