A Song of Fortune
- A Classical Gîtâ -




     

Chapter 2a

     

Getting the mind together

   
(1) Sañjaya said: "Seeing his friend in pain and moved to desperation, the devil's despair spoke the following words:

(2)
The great soul said: 'This is really not the time to give it up Arjuna. This doesn't befit you at all. This is the way of losers who never make for a better world, it's a disgrace really! Arjuna, get yourself together! (3) Do not give in to such a weakness of heart, it leads to nothing but madness, so stand and engage in the battle, get over your fear of death!'

(4)
Arjuna retorted: 'How can I launch an attack on Bhîshma and master Drona, they are honorable men of great standing! What would I then be oh devil's despair? (5) Wouldn't it be better to live for the rest of my life on charity than to bring those high and respectable gentlemen down, even though they, as leaders and teachers, want the kingdom of heaven on earth? I'm not going to get my hands dirty on matters like these, that's way beyond anything honorable! (6) And what if - their defeating us is as good as our defeating them. I wouldn't want to live to the victory of either of us, no way, in whatever position we would end up in relation to uncle Dhritarâshthra. (7) With my fear and fright, I ask you, confused within on what to do, what would be the ideal compromise to all of us? Confide it to me, instruct me on this and accept me as your pupil so to say. (8) I'm at a loss in figuring out what to do, on how to proceed from here; how can I not be desperate and lame, wishing for an undisputed position on earth or even the supreme of a set of angel wings?' "

(9)
Secretary Sañjaya said: "Thus addressing the sense master, he who had proven himself stronger than sleep and used to be the terror of his opponents said: 'I give up, I won't engage', and next fell silent. (10) Oh descendant of Bharata, then, right there between the opposing armies of the family gathered for the battle, the sense master with a smile spoke the following words.

(11)
The master of happiness said: 'Don't be sad over that what doesn't deserve such an emotional commitment; with all your words so educated you should, whether you win or lose the battle, being a wise man, not be moved in any such way. (12) Listen, yesterday I existed and so I will tomorrow, and so it is with you, and with all these important people here. (13) In your lifetime you change from a child into a youngster and from a youngster into a grown man; but, honestly, did that make you a different person? (14) What the senses tell you, oh son of aunt Kuntî, in the sense of pain and happiness, comes and goes like summer and winter. Such things don't last, just take it like a man, oh son of the Kurus. (15) He who's not upset in this, oh best of them all, he who is equal and steady in distress and happiness, is the man fit for the job.

(16)
So don't expect anything durable from outer appearances, nor think that the person you stay within will ever come to an end; and this is what the greatest scholars confirm in their studies on the subject. (17) Just keep in mind that what there is in all states of your physical existence as a constant factor, that that self, cannot perish or be defeated by anybody. (18) All these material bodies are perishable, while the indestructible and immeasurable one that is embodied is called eternal; and therefore fight, oh son of the noble line of Bharata. (19) Anyone who says that that self of yours can kill any essential self of someone else or can be killed by others, is in either position out of his wits; you can't really kill anyone, nor can anyone kill you really. (20) So, to be clear: actually you never began living nor will you ever stop living; you never took birth, nor will you ever really die. Just the same you don't reincarnate either in that sense; the soul as it is, is never born, is eternal and constant. It's in existence from the first day of creation and it never ends when the body ends. (21) Once you realize that that soul we talk about is indestructible and everlasting, without any change or birth, how then, oh son of Prithâ, could you cause anyone's death or be killed yourself? (22) Wearing your body and the ego along with it like a garment, you can change them just as easily, and thus you can end a life and pick up a new one as you like. (23) That what you really are cannot drop apart, fry, drown or wither away. (24) You are unbreakable, you can't burn up or dissolve; you're everlasting, you reach wherever you want, you'll stay your same self always, nobody can touch you as such and you've always been that way, and that's that.

(25)
Considering this real self of yours that can't be seen really, that can't even be conceived really, nor undergo any change really, you should know that it thus is nothing for you to worry or despair about. (26) And even if you'd reincarnate and die again, oh man of power, never worry about it. (27) He who dies will certainly be born again, just as the one born will die again of course; such irrevocable facts do not deserve any worry, that you should know. (28) Each and every one is, oh descendant of Bharata, to begin with a nobody, then he or she is known and then he or she is forgotten again, so why worry when it's all like this? (29) This soul is by some seen as amazing, some speak about it as amazing, and some know it as amazing, while still others never come to understand what this real self all means. (30) This soul, this owner of each his body, never perishes, oh son of the dynasty, and thus you shouldn't be troubled about anybody.

(31)
And, concerning your duties in the battle, I must say that you must always stand your ground to serve God, your actual quality, virtue and righteousness, in the first place, that is the very best thing a ruler can do. (32) Oh son of aunt Prithâ, praise yourself as a ruler happy to find opposition in battle, for that offers you the opportunity to excel and make yourself known. (33) So defend your interest as if it concerned God Himself, for if you fail to serve your own nature with Him you'll be nothing but a profiteer without any self-respect. (34) Not engaging you'll lose your reputation and to an honorable man that is something far worse than death. (35) Your comrades in the battlefield, all thinking highly of you, will write you off as a looser, if you back-off now out of fear. (36) They'll gossip and deride your ability, and you know how painful that is. (37) Consider it this way; you either lose with honor, or you win the battle adding to your repute; so, stand and be sure in this choice, oh son of Kuntî! (38) Whether the outcome is to be happy or unhappy, whether it is to your advantage or disadvantage, whether you win or lose, you'll never be making a wrong move if you engage in this fight being equanimous with this in mind!'
 






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