Understanding Gita – 21

Second episode/adhyaya – Sankhya yoga


vedāvināśina nitya
ya enam ajam avyayam
katha sa purua pārtha
ka ghātayati hanti kam


vedain knowledge; avināśinamindestructible; nityamalways; yaone who; enamthis (soul); ajamunborn; avyayamimmutable; kathamhow; sahe; puruaperson; pārtha—O Pārtha (Arjuna); kamwhom; ghātayaticauses to hurt; hantikills; kamwhom.

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

How can a person who is in knowledge that this soul is avinashinam(indestructible), nityam(always), ajam(unborn), avyayam(immutable) cause to kill someone, or kill someone, O Partha!

Here by saying “causing to kill someone”, Krishna is referring to his role in the Kurukshethra war, as he is asking Arjuna to kill.

So a person in knowledge that the soul is indestructible, how can he kill someone or cause to kill anyone.

Two thoughts here –

  1. Then why is Krishna asking Arjuna to kill?
  1. I just finished watching TV series “Revenge ” on Netflix, where good people take revenge by killing bad people. So basically this good person should’ve known that the soul of the bad person cannot be destroyed. Then there’s no use killing them. It’s like you are angry with somebody and then you rip their dress. So then what dies with the body? what stays? if the soul is pure, then what happens to these bad tendencies?

Divya’s answer: Soul is pure. These bad tendencies are in the manas(mind) and they need sense organs to execute. When someone dies, manas along with its tendencies travel with the subtle body, and then depending upon their karma(which mostly will be bad) they are given a suitable body, where the situations will be such that there will be avenues to mend the bad tendencies.

By killing them you are cutting the connection between mind and the sense organs(body) and making them stop do more bad things which they would’ve done if they were alive.

But there is a twist. The person killing for revenge is killing with anger. It’s his ego which is playing in the background – “you hurt me, I’ll teach you a lesson”. But Krishna is asking Arjuna to kill with the wisdom, kill for dharma.

Swami Anubavanada(from youtube) says in his discourse that in the first chapter when Arjuna arrogantly asks Sri Krishna to take his chariot in front of people with whom he has to fight, Sri Krishna doesn’t take him in front of Duryodhana or Dushyasana. Arjuna came to the battle with vengeance. He would’ve gone ahead with the war.

But instead Sri Krishna took him in front of Arjuna’s dear ones(Bhishma, Drona). That’s when Arjuna lost his purpose to fight and got deluded, as he didn’t have any vengeance against them.

So Sri Krishna is converting Arjuna’s vengeance to wisdom.

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