Gita 2.26

atha cainam nitya-jatam

nityam va manyase mrtam

tathapi tvam maha-baho

nainam socitum arhasi


O mighty-armed, even if you suppose this soul as constantly undergoing birth and death, even then, you should not grieve over it.


By addressing Arjuna as ‘Mahabaho’ Krishna hints that you are physically very strong but also have to be mentally strong to overcome sorrow and confusion.

There is always a class of philosophers, who do not believe in the separate existence of the soul beyond the body. According to them, the body is a combination of physical elements, and at a certain stage the life symptoms develop by interaction of the physical and chemical elements. The science of anthropology is based on this philosophy. Even if Arjuna did not believe in the existence of the soul there would still have been no cause for lamentation because one who is born is bound to die, and one who dies, is bound to be reborn. None can escape this eternal rule.

Gita 2.27

jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyur

dhruvam janma mrtasya ca

tasmad apariharye ‘rthe

na tvam socitum arhasi


Death is sure of him who is born, and rebirth is assured of him who is dead. You should not, therefore, grieve over the inevitable.


One has to take birth according to one’s activities of life. And, after finishing one term of activities, one has to die to take birth for the next. In this way the cycle of birth and death is revolving, one after the other without liberation. This cycle of birth and death does not, however, support unnecessary murder, slaughter and war. But at the same time, violence and war are inevitable factors in human society for keeping law and order.  The Battle of Kurukshetra, being the will of the Supreme, was an inevitable event, and to fight for the right cause is the duty of a Kshatriya. Why should he be afraid of or aggrieved at the death of his relatives since he was discharging his proper duty? He did not deserve to break the law, thereby becoming subjected to the reactions of sinful acts, of which he was so afraid. By avoiding the discharge of his proper duty, he would not be able to stop the death of his relatives, and he would be degraded due to his selection of the wrong path of action.

Ignorance is the cause of all worries. And change is the only constant in this world and without change there would be no evolution and progress!  A man is grieved if a dear one dies or there is loss of money. Similarly we are grieved when we think about the future- what will happen? Changes in the world and in circumstances are inevitable. If circumstances don’t change, how will a person grow from boyhood to youth? How will an uneducated person become a scholar? How will a patient become healthy? How will a seed turn into a tree?

Gita 2.28

avyaktadini bhutani

vyakta-madhyani bharata

avyakta-nidhanany eva

tatra ka paridevana


O Bharata (Arjuna), all beings were imperceptible before they were born and will become so again when they are dead; they are perceptible only in the intermediate stage. Why then the lamentation?


What we perceive as life existed even before we took this particular form of human body. When a baby is born, for instance, we do not know what it was before its birth and how many births it has gone through and similarly when a man dies we do not know where he goes and how many more births he had to undergo. So what is visible to us of the whole universe and all beings in the universe is only a small portion compared to the whole existence as such. So Krishna says why should there be any grief over the loss of lives or entities in this world. No one knows when the creation started and when it is going to end. It is like a flowing stream in the dark out of which we see only a small portion that comes to light which again goes back to darkness. We do not know the beginning or the end

Our bodies were non-existent before birth and will remain non-existent after death, just like in a dream. During life they seem to exist but actually they are going into non-existence every moment. It is the principle that the thing which does not exist either before or after has no real existence in its mid-state also. Therefore, these bodies which were unmanifest in their origin and will be unmanifest in their end are unmanifest even now, though they seem visible. But the soul existed in the past, exists now and will also exist in future. So there is no point in lamenting for both these situation.

Gita 2.29

ascarya-vat pasyati kascid enam

ascarya-vad vadati tathaiva canyah

ascarya-vac cainam anyah srnoti

srutvapy enam veda na caiva kascit


Some look at the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.


Krishna explains that the self is incomprehensible. Some see it as something of a wonder; some speak of it as a wonder, others hear about it as something wonderful, but even after hearing about it no one understands. The rare ones who have experienced Atman or Brahman view it as a great wonder in the sense that it is something beyond perception, being beyond the comprehension of the sense organs.

The knowledge of the ‘self’ is not achieved through the senses and can only be known by the self itself. Therefore, the knowledge of self is said to be a marvel. When one sees with one’s eyes, there are three things necessary – the onlooker, the object to be seen and sight i.e., the power to see. But while knowing the self these three are not necessary. When we want to search for a thing in a dark room, we need eye-sight as well as light. But if there is light-lamp, there is no need for another lamp to see the lamp which is lit. Similarly, there is no need for other means to perceive the self. The self has its own light by which it can be lit and known.

Gita 2.30

dehi nityam avadhyo ‘yam

dehe sarvasya bharata

tasmat sarvani bhutani

na tvam socitum arhasi


O Bharata, this soul residing in the bodies of all, can never be slain. Therefore, you should not grieve, for any being.


In describing the immortal soul in various ways, Lord Krishna establishes that the soul is immortal and the body is temporary. Therefore Arjuna as a Kshatriya should not abandon his duty out of fear that his grandfather and teacher–Bhishma and Drona–will die in the battle. Therefore, you should not grieve for all beings because the soul is indestructible, while the perishable body cannot remain the same even for a moment. This is everyone’s own experience also, that a body changes from boyhood to youth and then to old age. But, there is an unchangeable one that knows this change. That one is the soul.

Most managers are uncomfortable in terminating employees who are underperformers. While doing so, the manager is helping both the organization as well as the employee. The organization can replace the open position by a more suitable person; the terminated employee can look for another job where he has the opportunity to perform better. Generally no person is useless; it is just that he has been in a job that is not ideally suited for him to excel due to knowledge or skill deficit. However he may excel in a new job that meets his temperaments and skill sets and propels him to career growth which otherwise would have stunted if he continues in his previous job. Similarly the soul will find a better body that takes him to the path of salvation and ultimate realization only after leaving the current one. Hence we should not lament death.

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Gita 2.21

vedavinasinam nityam

ya enam ajam avyayam

katham sa purusah partha

kam ghatayati hanti kam


O Partha, how can a person who knows that the soul is indestructible, unborn, eternal and immutable, kill anyone or cause anyone to kill?


Possessing spiritual intelligence, knowing the soul to be eternal, understanding it to be birth-less and deathless and being of an inexhaustible nature, how is it possible for anyone to commit any act of destruction against the immortal soul. Thus it can be seen that ignorance of the eternal nature of the soul is the cause of all grief by not understanding that the soul is immortal and thinking that the eternal soul perishes when the physical body perishes. Comprehending that what happens to the immortal soul when the physical body ceases to function is factually the withdrawal from an old physical body to enter into a new physical body.

Even from a common man’s perspective, Krishna’s call to fight can be justified as follows. Although the Judge in a court of Law awards capital punishment to a person condemned for murder, he cannot be blamed because he orders violence to another person according to the codes of justice. In Manu-samhita, the law book for mankind, it is supported that a murderer should be condemned to death so that in his next life he will not have to suffer for the great sin he has committed. Therefore, the king’s punishment of hanging a murderer is actually beneficial. Similarly, when Krishna orders fighting, it must be concluded that violence is for supreme justice, and, as such, Arjuna should follow the instruction, knowing well that such violence, committed in the act of fighting for Krishna, is not violence at all because, at any rate, the man, or rather the soul, cannot be killed; so for the administration of justice, so-called violence is permitted. A surgical operation is not meant to kill the patient, but to cure him. Therefore the fighting to be executed by Arjuna at the instruction of Krishna is with full knowledge, so there is no possibility of sinful reaction.

Gita 2.22

vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya

navani grhnati naro ‘parani

tatha sarirani vihaya jirnany

anyani samyati navani dehi


As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.


Lord Krishna explains that just as there is no grief when one discards old worn out garments and there is joy at accepting new garments in the same way the embodied soul discarding old worn out bodies joyfully accepts new ones. So if preceptors like Bhishma were to lose their body in this war of righteousness then they would receive a new and better physical body in their next life and it would be beneficial for them and not unfavourable.

Another question that arises is that a man is happy by discarding old clothes and putting on new ones, whereas he feels grieved, while casting off an old body and getting into a new one. The reason is that a man by identifying himself with a body wants to live long and thinks of the death of the body, as his own death. Thus, he gets sad. The grief (sadness) is the result of the desire to live, not because of death. Also death is erroneously associated with a state of suffering. The fact is death is an ecstasy, for it removes the physical torture of disease and state of suffering and frees the soul of all pain springing from body identification. From joy people are born, for joy they live and in joy they melt at death.

God has granted liberty to living beings, to make proper use of their lives, but they misuse it and so they have to go through a cycle of birth and death. They can be free from this cycle, by making proper use of this liberty. It means that if they start working for the welfare of others, by renouncing their selfishness, they will be free from this cycle. A body is acquired for the purpose of exhausting a particular karma and when the result of that karma has been experienced, that body has served its purpose and becomes jirna. The residue of karma cannot be exhausted in that body and hence it is shed to acquire a different one suited for the purpose. So death is not something to be feared or grieved about at any age.

Gita 2.23

nainam chindanti sastrani

nainam dahati pavakah

na cainam kledayanty apo

na sosayati marutah


Weapons cannot cut the soul, nor can fire burn it, water cannot drench it, nor can wind make it dry.


Anything that is created by the four elements can be destroyed or modified. The four elements, earth, water, fire and air cannot destroy the self (Atma). ‘Sastra’ denotes the earth element, meaning the weapons, which is the grossest form of destruction. Anything that has a body has earth as its component and can be cut by the weapons. But the Atma has no body, it being subtler than the earth! Similarly the fire cannot burn anything subtler than it like air or space. Atman is subtler than both air and space. Water can wet only a thing which has space in between so that the water can enter into it. But the self being all pervading and without parts as the Upanishad says, water cannot wet it. For the same reason air cannot dry it. These four elements have no effect on the space which is subtler than them and hence the self which is subtler even than the ‘Akasa’, is not affected by the elements.

The basic principle is that no instrument can hit or destroy an element subtler than itself. Atma being subtler than the subtlest it cannot be changed by any other elements such as air, waters, fire or earth.

Gita 2.24

acchedyo ‘yam adahyo ‘yam

akledyo ‘sosya eva ca

nityah sarva-gatah sthanur

acalo ‘yam sanatanah


This soul is un-cleavable, incombustible and neither can be wetted nor dried. It is eternal, all-pervading, stable, constant and everlasting.


The soul is all pervading. There is no spot in space or period in time where it is not already and therefore the soul is also “achala’, immovable.

The world is transitory, while the soul is eternal. Matter is kaleidoscopic, while the soul is stable. All things and persons etc., of the world are movable, while the soul is immovable and all worldly objects, are subject to birth and decay, while the soul is everlasting. Weapons are powerless to inflict any injury by cutting or piercing, fire is powerless to burn, water is powerless to wet and air is powerless to dry the eternal soul. The soul is subtler than any substance and no substance can penetrate it.

Gita 2.25

avyakto ‘yam acintyo ‘yam

avikaryo ‘yam ucyate

tasmad evam viditvainam

nanusocitum arhasi


It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, immutable, and unchangeable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.


As described previously, the magnitude of the soul is so small for our material calculation that he cannot be seen even by the most powerful microscope; therefore, he is invisible. As far as the soul’s existence is concerned, no one can establish his existence experimentally beyond the proof of ‘sruti’, or Vedic wisdom. We have to accept this truth, because there is no other source of understanding the existence of the soul, although it is a fact by perception. There is no other source of understanding the identity of the father except by the authority of the mother. Similarly, there is no other source of understanding the soul except by studying the Vedas. In other words, the soul is inconceivable by human experimental knowledge. The soul is consciousness and conscious-that also is the statement of the Vedas, and we have to accept that. Unlike the bodily changes, there is no change in the soul. As eternally unchangeable, the soul remains atomic in comparison to the infinite Supreme Soul.

Verses 11 to 25 can be taken as a theme. These 15 verses explain the ways and means of overcoming sorrow. Sorrow comes due to ignorance and the only way to overcome the same is through knowledge and self-realization.


Once we understand the meaning of ‘Sathya’ and ‘Mithya’, the ‘real’ and the ‘unreal’, it becomes easy for us to understand the difference between body and the soul. That which was not in the past and which will not be in the future, but seemingly exists in the present is called ‘mithya’, the unreal. And the ‘real’ the ‘sathya’ is that which defies all changes and remains the same in all the periods of time: past, present and future.

Gita 2.16

nasato vidyate bhavo

nabhavo vidyate satah

ubhayor api drsto ‘ntas

tv anayos tattva-darsibhih


The unreal has no existence and the real, never ceases to be; the truth of both these has been perceived by seers of truth.


This body, neither existed in the past, before birth, nor will exist in the future after death, and is also perishing, at present. The ‘Atma’ (spirit or soul) remains constant. It existed, before the birth of the body, exists now, when the body is undergoing change and will exist, after the death of the body. Similarly, God also ever remains the same, while the world undergoes a change, every moment.

Most of our problems arise because we imagine something to be real when it is not. We identify ourselves with our body, mind, and intellect while the real ‘I’ is different from all these. This can be verified through a simple exercise by trying to answer the question ‘who am I’? The obvious answer would be ‘I am so and so’. But that is only your name. You may say that I am father of so and so or husband of so and so. But it is only your relationship. Even when you say I am a professor or I am an intellectual, it only denotes your professional and intellectual status. So, who are you in reality? We commonly speak about our body as when we say “My body aches all over”. This proves that you are not your body. Similarly when we use expressions like “My mind is upset” or “My intellect has failed to grasp this” it is obvious that we are separate from our mind and intellect. That the real self must be something different from our body, mind, and intellect we are able to perceive with no difficulty at all. But there is another ‘I’ which we have to reckon with, and that is our ego, which is the consciousness that I am. Even this is absent when we are in deep sleep because we are not aware of ourselves then. But there is some entity that is aware of our existence even at that stage which makes us say that we had a sound sleep. This is the real ‘I’ which is even different from our ego.

The rule in the material existence is that every action has its corresponding and equal reaction, thus it is seen that by unrighteous actions there is no happiness and by righteous actions there can be no unhappiness. The words referring to ‘sat bhavah’ are all connected to happiness and the words connected to ‘asat bhava’ are those which are connected to sorrow. For the change to take place, a changeless substratum is necessary. For the motion picture to be seen a stationary screen is a must.

Gita 2.17

avinasi tu tad viddhi

yena sarvam idam tatam

vinasam avyayasyasya

na kascit kartum arhati


Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul.


This verse more clearly explains the real nature of the soul, which is spread all over the body. Anyone can understand what is spread all over the body: it is consciousness. Everyone is conscious of the pains and pleasures of the body in part or as a whole. This spreading of consciousness is limited within one’s own body. The pains and pleasures of one body are unknown to another. Therefore, each and every body is the embodiment of an individual soul, and the symptom of the soul’s presence is perceived as individual consciousness. Any layman can understand that our body minus consciousness is a dead body, and this consciousness cannot be revived in the body by any means of material administration. Therefore, consciousness is not due to any amount of material combination, but to the spirit soul. This atomic soul is floating in the five kinds of air [prana, apana, vyana, samana and udana], is situated within the heart, and spreads its influence all over the body of the embodied living entities.

Gita 2.18

antavanta ime deha

nityasyoktah saririnah

anasino ‘prameyasya

tasmad yudhyasva bharata


These bodies acquired by the imperishable, indefinable and eternal soul, are perishable. Therefore, O Arjuna, fight


The physical body is subject to pleasure and pain, old age and disease. Although the eternal soul is embodied within the physical body; its position is not compromised or affected by the modifications of the physical body. It is therefore ‘aprameyasya’ or immeasurable, existing always in the same condition, complete within itself.

The material body is perishable by nature. It may perish immediately, or it may do so after a hundred years. It is a question of time only. There is no chance of maintaining it indefinitely. As mentioned in the previous verse, the Atma is so small that no one can have any idea how to measure its dimension. So from both viewpoints there is no cause of lamentation because the living entity can neither be killed as he is, nor can the material body, which cannot be saved for any length of time, be permanently protected.

It might be questioned that if the soul is eternal due to the impossibility of ever being destroyed then why is it that feelings of remorse arise at the demise of family members and loved ones. To clarify this Lord Krishna states that only the physical body is subject to destruction.

It shows that every human being, without any distinction of caste, creed, colour or stage of life, can freely follow either the Discipline of Action, or Discipline of Knowledge, for his salvation. But, in practical life, a duty should be ‘discharged, according to one’s Varna (caste) and ashrama (stage of life), by following the ordinance of scriptures. Therefore, here while discussing the real and the unreal according to the discipline of Knowledge Lord Krishna, orders Arjuna to fight or in other words he advises Arjuna to discharge his duty even if he follows discipline of knowledge. The words “fight, O son of India” means that it is a religious call to every Indian to discard his defeatist mentality and face wholeheartedly and sincerely the situation in every field of his life and activities at every given moment of existence. This is certainly not a call for war or violence.

Gita 2.19

ya enam vetti hantaram

yas cainam manyate hatam

ubhau tau na vijanito

nayam hanti na hanyate


Both of them are ignorant, one who holds the soul as the slayer and the other who considers it, as slain; for the soul, neither slays, nor is slain.


One who considers the soul as slayer is ignorant because the soul does not act. But by identifying’ with the body, it accepts itself as a doer. As an artisan, however clever he may be, cannot work without tools, similarly, the soul without body cannot do anything. One, who holds the soul as slain, is also ignorant. As the soul is never the slayer, so it is never killed, because the soul always remains unaffected and unchanged. Only the perishable and changeable can be slain.

Continuing with the idea of the previous sloka, Krishna here says that being immortal and indestructible, the self can neither be killed nor kill anyone and those who think so are ignorant. What is killed and gets killed are only the body and not the self. It is said that the self cannot kill anyone because there is no action for the self and all actions pertain to the body, mind and intellect. This truth will be elaborated later in the Gita.

Just as the dying hero in a movie has not really been dead, so the soul of a man playing a role in the cosmic motion picture of life is ever living.

Gita 2.20

na jayate mriyate va kadacin

nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah

ajo nityah sasvato ‘yam purano

na hanyate hanyamane sarire


The self is never born and never dies. Having been in existence it never ceases to be. It is unborn, eternal, ever existing and ancient and it is not killed when the body gets killed.


Here in these verses Lord Krishna has made such a distinction between the body and the soul, as is rarely found anywhere else in the Gita.

The body constituted of elements, undergoes six kinds of modifications – to be born, to exist, to change, to grow, to decay and to perish. But, the soul remains unaffected by, these changes. The soul, unlike a body is never born, it is eternal. The soul never dies. Only that which is born dies. The soul remains unaffected by all kinds of changes.

The understanding that the eternal soul is never slain is being confirmed by its freedom from the six changes of material existence being: birth, existence, growth, modification, decay and death which are controlling all living entities high and low in the material existence. The Supreme Lord by declaring the eternal soul is not born confirms the absence of any birth and by declaring the eternal soul does not die confirms the absence of any destruction. With the 2 words ‘ajah’ meaning unborn and ‘nityah’ meaning eternal, it is made clear that the 2 modifications of birth and death are not applicable in regards to the soul.


Verse 11 of Chapter 2 is essentially the beginning of “Bhagavad Gita”. Chapter 1 and first 10 verses of Chapter 2 are used to build the background for the Gita. Verse 11 is the introduction and gives the essence of things that follows. It says ‘sorrow arises out of misunderstanding and self-realisation is the only way to overcome sorrow.

Gita 2.11

sri-bhagavan uvaca

asocyan anvasocas tvam

prajna-vadams ca bhasase

gatasun agatasums ca

nanusocanti panditah


Arjuna, you grieve for those who should not be grieved at, yet speak as if a man of wisdom. The wise grieve, neither for the living, nor for the dead.


Here Lord Krishna responds to Arjuna’s statement in chapter 1, verse 32 which states, ‘What use is kingdom, fabulous wealth, enjoyments or even living’. It is only Arjuna’s delusion that he grieves thinking that without relatives there is no purpose of ruling the kingdom or in living.

Discrimination between the real and the unreal is called Panda (wisdom), and one who has developed discrimination, is known as ‘Pandita’ (wise). Such wise men do not grieve, because they can discriminate between the real and the unreal, the imperishable self (soul) and the perishable body. The body ever perishes, therefore it is not to be grieved, while the self never perishes, and therefore it is also not to be grieved. One is grieved only because of lack of wisdom and discrimination. Whatever be the circumstances, in the form of birth or death, profit or loss etc., a man finds himself in, are the result of his karma, his previous actions. It is sheer ignorance to feel happy or sad in those, favourable or unfavourable circumstances, because these are transient.

The theory of reincarnation is not a Hindu concept alone. Most religions and people across the world do believe in rebirth or reincarnation. There are many research papers and books written by eminent doctors of the west to scientifically prove the theory of reincarnation. A book by Dr Ian Stevenson called ‘Twenty Cases suggestive of reincarnation’ written after 40 years of research and the book titled ‘many lives  many masters’ by Dr Brian Weiss are some of the most prominent ones.

Speaking like wise and behaving like ignorant is not a problem with Arjuna alone; we all suffer from that disease. We all know that drinking alcohol, smoking, overeating and not exercising are all not good for health. Yet how many of us follow the good practices even though we all care about our health? Dedication and hard work is essential for our success in any sphere of life, whether it is in our personal life or professional life, yet how many of us go that extra mile to guarantee success? Most of us look for a chance to skip work and relax or gossip in our offices!


na tv evaham jatu nasam

na tvam neme janadhipah

na caiva na bhavisyamah

sarve vayam atah param


In fact, there was never a time when I or you or these kings, were non-existent. Nor is it, right that we shall cease to be in future.


Lord Krishna has talked about the past and the future, by saying that there was never a time, when they were non-existent, nor they will cease to be. But, He has not talked about the present, because they are clearly seen at present through the bodies. In their present existence, there is no trace of doubt. But if we think seriously, we come to know that we (the soul) exist at present, but the bodies are kaleidoscopic. Therefore we should realize that the soul is different from the bodies, because we have our existence, at present as we had in the past and we will have, in future, while the bodies are perishable. The anxiety about living and dying comes only through identifying yourself with the body. Death is not the end of you but it is only a change of circumstance.


dehino ‘smin yatha dehe

kaumaram yauvanam jara

tatha dehantara-praptir

dhiras tatra na muhyati


Just as boyhood, youth and old age, changes in this physical body do not affect the soul likewise is the change to another body. Wise man never gets disturbed about this.


Since every living entity is an individual soul, each is changing his body every moment, manifesting sometimes as a child, sometimes as a youth, and sometimes as an old man. Yet the same spirit soul is there and does not undergo any change. This verse confirms that the soul is distinct from the body but by it being distinct does not make it independent. Only when the physical body is seen changing through infancy, childhood, youth etc. can this separate distinctness be perceived and thus confirmed until the soul giving up its present body acquires a new body and in some rare cases a living entity can recollect their past lives.

As, one does not grieve for the body when it passes through babyhood, youth and old age; similarly one should not grieve, when the soul passes on, to another body. As babyhood, youth and old age are different stages of physical body, so attaining another body after death, is a stage, for the subtle and causal body. The body neither existed before birth nor will exist after death and at present also it is dying every moment. In fact the process of its death begins as soon as it comes to the womb. At the death of boyhood, youth ensues, at the death of youth, old age ensues and at the death of the old age, the embodied self passes on to another body. The body undergoes all these states.


matra-sparsas tu kaunteya


agamapayino ‘nityas

tams titiksasva bharata


O son of Kunti, bodily sense-objects, which give rise to the feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain etc., are transitory and fleeting, therefore, Arjuna bear these patiently viz., remain unaffected by them or ignore them


The qualities of sound, feeling, colour, taste and smell with their corresponding faculties known as the senses are called ‘matras’ because they manifest from the basic fundamental elements of water, fire, earth, air and ether. And ‘sparsas’ means contact with them. Thus ‘matra-sparsas’ is the interaction of the senses with sense objects that produces the feelings and sensation of cold and hot, hard and soft, bitter and sweet, pleasure or pain, etc. Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna to tolerate them with courage while fulfilling ones duties to completion. As these external experiences come and go they should not be regarded as impediments to discharging one’s responsibilities by men of courage. In the proper discharge of duty, one has to learn to tolerate temporary appearances and disappearances of happiness and distress. According to Vedic injunction, one has to take his bath early in the morning even during winter. It is very cold at that time, but in spite of that a man who abides by the religious principles does not hesitate to take his bath. Similarly, a woman does not hesitate to cook in the kitchen in the months of May and June, the hottest part of the summer season. One has to execute his duty in spite of climatic inconveniences. Similarly, to fight is the religious principle of the Kshatriyas, and although one has to fight with some friend or relative, one should not deviate from his prescribed duty.

As an individual, we have different functions and responsibilities in this society. We are son/daughter, father/mother, brother/sister, friend, colleague, subordinate/boss, citizen, etc. and must fulfil each and every functional responsibilities irrespective of the situation or circumstances. 

Gita 2.15

yam hi na vyathayanty ete

purusam purusarsabha

sama-duhkha-sukham dhiram

so ‘mrtatvaya kalpate


O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.


Anyone who is steady in his determination for the advanced stage of spiritual realization and can equally tolerate the onslaughts of distress and happiness is certainly a person eligible for liberation. Similarly, in Arjuna’s discharge of duties as a Kshatriya, he is advised to persevere, even if it is difficult to fight with his family members or similarly beloved persons

A resolute person remains alike in pleasure and pain. To a man of steady wisdom, the sense-objects do not give pain. Pleasure, ensuing from the contact of sense-objects, is perturbing. Similarly, pain arising from their separation is also disconcerting. He who has an eye for equanimity cannot be happy or sad by these objects. Such a person knows what favourable and unfavourable circumstances are, but he remains unaffected by them. They do not leave any impression, on his mind.

Generally we do not ignore the pleasures and pains in our life. However when we are fired by a sentiment of love or hatred, or an idea or ideology, we readily ignore the comforts and pleasures of our life or body. Martyrs and revolutionaries of this world would face physical persecution, even death, with pleasure for the fulfilment of their ideology.