Thousands of years ago, two friends had a conversation that was destined to be itched into the memory of the human race for eternity. The two friends became immortal through their words. The two friends were none other than the great warrior Arjun and Shri Krushna, and the conversation is Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. Tonight, when we are on the eve of the celebration of Shri Krushna Janmashtami, let’s look at a few shlokas from the Bhagavad Gita that are so powerful that they can propel a human life in the right direction.
Shlokas From Bhagavad Gita That Can Change Your Life
Shri Bhagavad Gita is the answer to all our questions as Sansaari (social beings). Arjun is each and every one of us in different stages of our lives, trying to do the right thing. As Arjun is fighting with his conscience, we also do the same while making life decisions. Chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita is the Sankhya Yoga. In Sankhya Yoga, Arjun accepts Shri Krushna as his Guru instead of just a friend. Lord Krushna explains to him the cause of grief, karma yoga (how to detach oneself from the fruits of one’s labor), and the qualities of sacchidanand.
Chapter 2, Verse 20
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूय: |
अजो नित्य: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे || 20||
The soul is neither born nor does it ever die; nor having once existed, does it ever cease to be. The soul is without birth, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.
We are not bodies that have souls, but we are souls that have taken up bodies. As we wear clothes and change them daily, we as souls wear bodies and change them from time to time. The soul can neither take birth nor can it be destroyed. It is not damaged by any sort of misery. It is the Aatma (soul) that merges with the Paramatma (the God or the Ultimate Aatma) when it attains moksha. The body is just a temporary abode of a soul, and it leaves it as is destined.
Chapter 2, Verse 56
दु:खेष्वनुद्विग्नमना: सुखेषु विगतस्पृह: |
वीतरागभयक्रोध: स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते || 56||
One whose mind remains undisturbed amidst misery, who does not crave for pleasure, and who is free from attachment, fear, and anger is called a sage of steady wisdom.
When a person dwells in the past, his memories will guide him rather than his wisdom. A person with a steady mind will not keep remembering his miseries but accepts them as a part of his density. A true sage doesn’t change himself with happiness or sadness. For him, everything is Hari Ichha (the will of Almighty).
Chapter 2, Verse 63
क्रोधाद्भवति सम्मोह: सम्मोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रम: |
स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति || 63||
Anger leads to clouding of judgment, which results in bewilderment of the memory. When the memory is bewildered, the intellect gets destroyed; and one is ruined when the intellect is destroyed.
Anger is the enemy of the mind and thus of the person. While a person is angry, he tends to forget the difference between right and wrong; he forgets the past and future. The only force that drives him is anger. A sthithpragnya purush (a man with a steady mind) like Shri Ram is a perfect human being who always thinks with reason. Shri Krushna explains the importance of keeping a steady mind in this shloka.
Chapter 2, Verse 70
समुद्रमाप: प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् |
तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे
स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी || 70||
Just as the ocean remains undisturbed by the incessant flow of waters from rivers merging into it, likewise the sage who is unmoved despite the flow of desirable objects all around him attains peace and not the person who strives to satisfy desires.
The ocean is known to hold millions of mysteries under its belly. Numerous rivers pour their waters incessantly into the ocean. Despite that, the ocean never differs; in other words, it never overflows. A sage (or an enlightened person) is like an ocean आपूर्यमाणमचलप्रतिष्ठं means “filled up to the brim.” As the ocean is not moved by any materials entering it, the sage is not moved by material possessions.
Chapter 2, Verse 71
विहाय कामान्य: सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति नि:स्पृह: |
निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: स शान्तिमधिगच्छति || 71||
That person, who gives up all material desires and lives free from a sense of greed, proprietorship, and egoism, attains perfect peace.
Shri Krushna explains to Arjun that the root of all sins is material desire. The moment you desire material happiness, you are entrapped into the never-ending cycle of birth and death. Ego and greed are the direct results of the desire for proprietorship. The only way to free oneself from this cycle is to free oneself from all the desires of the human body.
Final Words on Shlokas for Chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita
As depicted in Ramayana, Shri Ram’s life guides us about the way perfect human beings are expected to live their lives. However, we are just humans susceptible to sins of mind and soul. The world we live in is also not perfect. So, Lord Vishnu, in his eighth avatar as Shri Krushna, showed us all a way in which we can fulfill our duties and yet not stray from our path. The second chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita teaches us a million things; we just mentioned a minuscule part of it. Jai Shri Krushna!!