Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 14

मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः ।
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ॥२-१४॥

matrashparshastu kaunteya shitoshnasukhaduhkhadaha
agampayino nityas tams titikshashva bharata ॥ 2-14 ॥



Lord Krishna advises Arjuna thus: O son of Kunti, you must learn to exercise control over senses and sense objects. Only then you shall firmly establish control over mind. Senses and its objects… all were temporal, fleeting! As long existed the body… senses and sense objects played their role! Death of body announced ceasing of work by sense organs and their objects!


Similar as cold and heat, happiness and sorrow were two sides of the same coin, we as human beings (the soul atman within) must not get perturbed by their engagements. We need to realize that mind can only be overpowered after controlling five senses forever. Seasonally… as we experienced both heat and cold (summer and winter season), we must maintain equipoise in all circumstances of life… in sorrow as in happiness.


Krishna further tells Arjuna to realize impermanence of physical body. All our senses and mind related to physical self and never our true inner self… our soul atman, the spirit within!


Krishna addresses Arjuna as Bharatvanshi (descendants of King Bharat, in whose memory Indian conglomerate got its name) only to highlight his kingly descendancy. From a Kshatriya, also a descendant of King Bharat… one does not expect such lowly behavior. Krishna advises Arjuna to rise above the material fold and recognize spirituality that lay within. Krishna advises Arjuna to enter battle of Mahabharata and defeat the enemy.


The Explanation

In bhagavad gita chapter 2 verse 14 Krishna addresses Arjuna as son of Kunti and descendant of King Bharat. Krishna was related to Kunti (mother of Arjuna) as her nephew. King Bharat was a great emperor of his times. By highlighting kingly lineage of Arjuna, Krishna wanted to prepare Arjuna to fight the battle of dharma (righteousness) against evil forces of adharma (lawlessness).


How could Arjuna remain aloof from evil workings of his enemies… the Kauravas! When Kauravas were prepared to fight battle of Mahabharata, how could Arjuna refrain from fighting the battle even if his enemy consisted of his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and guru Dronacharya! The fight was not between two clans. It was a fight to re-establish Dharma (righteousness). No matter what, Dharma had to be re-established at all costs.


Krishna reflects upon Arjuna the transient nature of physical self. The feelings of Moha (deep emotional attachment) that Arjuna carried towards Bhishma Pitamah and guru Dronacharya were whimsical, unsettled as they were purely based on senses and mind. The moment death of body occurs; all earthly ties are lost for ever. Krishna advises Arjuna to realize that he was a soul atman, the spirit within and not the manifest, physical human form.


As per Krishna, senses and related objects had their roots in ephemeral world! With the death of body… everything disappeared! What carried to next life was residual balance of karma. To improve present and future, Arjuna must fight this even battle of Dharma (righteousness). To make Arjuna realize shallowness of ephemeral world, Krishna advises Arjuna to overpower five senses and mind forever.


Krishna tells Arjuna not to associate his bodily self with soul atman, the spirit within… as both were distinct. As per Krishna the journey of life belongs to our soul atman… our true inner self, the spirit within! One reached our true inner self only by establishing absolute control over five senses and mind. To succeed in spiritual life, to reach god our establishing absolute control over five senses and mind was an absolute must.


To highlight impermanence of ephemeral life, Krishna tells Arjuna to give same weightage to both happiness and sorrow. When our soul atman, the spirit within never dies… why grieve over expected death of loved ones in the enemy camp. When nothing in physical manifest world was permanent… how could we associate self with something that was temporal, ephemeral! When Dharmaraja Krishna was with Pandavas… possibility of their losing this war of Dharma was nil!


In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 14 Krishna tells Arjuna in clear terms that it was out of ignorance he considered physical manifest life as permanent. As a soul atman, the spirit within it was his duty to fight the enemy and defeat them. He just could not associate self with feelings of grief towards his enemies as they resulted from workings of five senses and mind. Krishna knew well that unless Arjuna realized he was a soul atman, the spirit within… he would not agree to fight! By any means Krishna had to make Arjuna realize his folly.


Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 14 makes it amply clear that to undertake spiritual journey, to travel path of spirituality… to reach god in present life… our faith in our soul atman, the spirit within was an absolute must! Unless we were guided by our soul atman, the spirit within… we could never compete the spiritual journey! Our soul atman, the spirit within that lay in our heart was Lord Krishna in all its glory. One could hear the sweet small inner voice of our soul atman, the spirit within by following path of absolute truthfulness… always and ever!


Unless we believed in existence of soul atman, unless we were truthful in life… we could never understand teachings contained in Bhagavad Gita! To reach god in present life, to understand the hidden teachings contained in 700 shlokas verses of Bhagavad Gita… our reaching Lord Krishna was an absolute must. Without guidance of Lord Krishna… which existed in our heart as our soul atman, the spirit within… one could never expect reaching cosmic end of life.


In practical life if we wanted to travel path of Arjuna… we had to have a Lord Krishna as our mentor! This journey of inner self becomes possible by believing in existence of souls atmans… their permanence and impermanence of physical manifest self! We must also realize that to reach god in present life… our establishing absolute control over five senses and mind was something one could never do without. Lord Krishna guided Arjuna to fight battle of Dharma (righteousness) and in practical life we need assistance of our soul atman, the spirit within to overcome these temporal five senses and mind to reach god in present life.


Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – Sep 6, 2014
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