Then he will speak of the body. The distinction between the eternal and the body is the substance of between this verse n°16 (II) and verse n° 61(II); what is the relationship between that which “is”, and the body? Therefore in Verse 61 he speaks of the body, in what condition endriyāṇi saṁyamya, all the senses have to be controlled, and mat-paraḥ, āsīta mat-paraḥ, you become united with me, and become “my minded”: completely mat-paraḥ. There is still a lot to be learnt; but the first proposition is this. You might say, when Sri Krishna starts this argument, this is the first “dong”.
If you compare the Bhagavad Gita, with an orchestra of music: imagine a Beethoven is playing his musical piece, and there will be first, a tremendous one stroke, when hundred instruments will immediately burst into a sound, and going to quietude. This is “that” sentence. This the first “dong”, in which hundred vibrations are vibrating, powerfully; and all that Sri Krishna wants to say, is basically contained in this sentence. That is why the importance of this sentence, the first “dong” of the argument of the Bhagavad Gita. If this sentence is taken out of the Gita, the whole structure will be finished. That’s why I refer to this.
As a result of this statement, certain minor statements, which are expository. And these minor statements, if you come to the 20th verse…I am only taking those sentences, which are of great importance, and as a student of the Bhagavad Gita, you should have a good mastery, so that you are really entrenched in the Bhagavad Gita. I am taking those key sentences of the Bhagavad Gita. The 20th verse in this chapter is also extremely important; it is expository of that sentence:
na jāyate mriyate vā kadācit nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ |
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ’yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre ||20|| (II)
What does it mean? “The Self, (that-which-is-eternal, that-which-really-exists), is never born, nor does it ever die; having once born before, will It not be born in the future. The Self is unborn, eternal, imperishable and ageless. Though the body is slain, the Self is not killed.”
You can see the distinction He begins to make between the “that-which-is”, and the body: the body can be born, the body can be thrown out, the body can die. There is a distinction between “that-which-is”, and the body. Next one:
vedāvināśinaṁ nityaṁ ya enam ajam avyayam |
kathaṁ sa puruṣaḥ pārtha kaṁ ghātayati hanti kam ||21|| (II)
“O son of Pritha! If one knows that the Self is indestructible, immutable, unborn, eternal, how can a person kill anyone, or cause anyone to be killed?”
Your entire argument was: “I am going to kill Drona and Bhishma and Kripacharya and others”, but if you are really established in the Self, which always remains eternal, your basic argument vanishes. You will see death and the killing in a different light altogether, you will not argue, “I am killing”, or “he is killed”. This argument will not arise once you know this: there will be killing, there will be destruction, but you will have a different vision of it. You will find what the position of killing is or not killing in this world; then you will come to the right conclusion.
Comment: (Referring to II, 16) What does Krishna mean by the “non-existent” because everything as such that there is nothing?
That’s right. That is why “non-existent” is “non-existent”, unthinkable, you can’t even think of it.
Comment: Because you just clarified between the ‘phenomena’ and the ‘existent’, and the “non-existent” is just “non-existent” altogether?
Altogether: it is not ‘phenomenon’. Phenomenon is a great proposition. What is a phenomenon? Does it exist? Does it not exist? What is phenomenon? It is a very important question.
In fact all Karma Yoga is nothing but mastery over phenomenon. You cannot be a Karmayogi unless you have mastery over phenomenon. Mere mastery over the eternal is only Jnanayogi: therefore, many Jnanis are not powerful actors in the world. They have hold on the eternal; they don’t have the hold on the transient, on that which is phenomenon. Therefore, Karmayogi is necessary. Merely being a Jnani, you cannot control the world. All that is foundation, you should start with it, but it is not enough.
A Purnajnani is not one who only knows the eternal: Purnajnani is one who knows both the eternal and the phenomenal. That is why when you come to the 7th chapter “Jnana” is fully expounded in chapters’ n° 7, 8, 9, 10. What is “Jnana”? And there, Sri Krishna will explain the relationship between the ‘eternal’ and the ‘phenomenal’. It is “there”, that we come to know, Sri Krishna will say in the 7th chapter: “I will give you without remainder (aśeṣena)…when I will have told you this; nothing remains further to be known”. Here he doesn’t say this; here he is only making a foundational statement. In the 7th chapter when he will say to Arjuna what is full Jnana, jñāna vijñāne nasaḥ, not only jñāna: jñāna vijñāne nasaḥ: “I shall tell you Knowledge, with all the phenomenal knowledge: the knowledge of the eternal, and the knowledge of the phenomenal, having known which, nothing will remain more to be known.” Such a tremendous statement in the 7th chapter!