Bhagavagd Gita - Session 2- Track 208

This chapter is called ‘Sankhyayoga’, and this particular verse refers to ‘Buddhiyoga’. As Sri Krishna says:

eṣā te ’bhihitā sāṅkhye buddhir yoge tvimāṁ śṛṇu |
buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha karmabandhaṁ prahāsyasi ||39||

All that I have told you is of the point of view of the Buddhiyoga of Sankhya. Now I shall tell you about that Buddhiyoga in another context.

What is Sankhya and what is Buddhiyoga is not explained because it is understood that in that time, when Sri Krishna spoke to Arjuna, this was very well known. Therefore it is not expounded here in fullness, although later on something of this will be expounded but immediately, it is not expounded here: therefore, for many people this chapter becomes quite difficult to understand.

In fact, this second chapter is one of the most difficult chapters. Many people believe that Sri Krishna speaks in a self contradictory manner: at one time He says, ‘do not look for the fruits of action’ and yet He Himself says that ‘for the sake of the fruits of action, you fight’ because it is not realised that Sri Krishna is a great teacher, who can deal with a pupil who has himself multiple states of consciousness at the same time. And He gives an answer which is appropriate to different states of consciousness. If it is not realised, if you do not count Sri Krishna as a teacher, who psychologically deals with the problems of the pupil, then it is likely to be misunderstood.

That is why, while you see the argument, you should see the thread of the argument. If you are considering the question from the point of view of the ‘fruits of action’, then it shows that this is the other consequence: ‘you will actually go to heaven or you will enjoy the kingdom, in both the cases the results will be wonderful, therefore you fight!’ This is in opposition to the consequences that Arjuna was seeing earlier. It is a kind of dialectic: if you argue on one plane, you argue on the same plane, and then you cancel the argument of the dialectic. But then, since this is not the ultimate truth, you go higher, and show that there is a higher truth. It is this higher truth, which can be seen by an intellect which is pure.

You cannot know the Self when you are in a state of sorrow, when you are in a state of duality. ‘Whatever knowledge’ Sri Krishna says, ‘I have given you the knowledge of the eternal Self, the knowledge of the immortal Self, knowing which you neither kill nor is anybody killed, that Knowledge is the result of Buddhiyoga’.

What is Buddhiyoga? For that, we must understand something of Sankhya, because it says, ‘what I have told you is Sankhya, what I have given you is Buddhiyoga’.

According to Sankhya there is a distinction between two principles, which are involved in creation: this creation is a play, a play of two elements. One of these elements is immutable, quiet, immobile; the other is mobile. Now, the Knowledge of the Self is a Knowledge of the immobile. That ‘immobile’ is also more than immobile, but at least it is immobile. The Buddhi which is our highest faculty according to Sankhya, has one special quality: its quality is to discriminate. According to Sankhya our knowledge apparatus consists of three elements: there is manas, there is ahaṁkāra, and there is buddhi.

Manas itself is involved in five senses: pāñca jñānendriya(s). By five senses we take cognition of the whole world. And there are pāñca karmendriya(s). Five senses of knowledge, and there are five senses of action: karmendriya(s) (hand, speech etc.). It is through ‘senses’ that we come to know; it is through ‘karmendriya(s)’, that we act, and both of them are controlled by Manas. But Manas itself is activated by Ahankara, by egoism, and beyond egoism there is a fine quality in us, and that is the power of discrimination: that is Buddhi.