Understanding Gita – 29

Second episode/adhyaya – Sankhya yoga


hato vā prāpsyasi svarga
jitvā vā bhokyase mahīm
tasmād uttiṣṭha kaunteya
yuddhāya kta-niścaya


hatabeing killed; either; prāpsyasiyou gain; svargamthe heavenly kingdom; jitvāby conquering; or; bhokyaseyou enjoy; mahīmthe world; tasmāttherefore; uttiṣṭhaget up; kaunteya—O son of Kuntī; yuddhāyato fight; ktadetermination; niścayauncertainty.

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

If you are killed, you will gain swarga(heaven), if you win you will enjoy the kingdom. Therefore get up, O son of Kunti, fight with determination!

Till now Sri Krishna was trying to convince Arjuna by telling him all the materialistic aspects of what would happen if he doesn’t wage this war. Instead of facing all the infamy, mockery, losing respect and incurring sin, think what is the worst that can happen. You might lose. If you lose and get killed you will directly go to swarga. If you win and live you will enjoy the kingdom. So Sri Krishna is asking him to fight with determination.

Many times when you are prepared for the worst, you overcome the fear of losing. When you are okay with losing, you will find that inner determination to proceed with confidence, not caring whether you win or lose. So Sri Krishna is explaining him the worst case and the best case scenario and asking him to proceed with determination.


sukha-dukhe same ktvā
lābhālābhau jayājayau
tato yuddhāya yujyasva

naiva pāpam avāpsyasi


sukhahappiness; dukhein distress; same—in equanimity; ktvādoing so; lābhālābhauboth in loss and profit; jayājayauboth in defeat and victory; tatathereafter; yuddhāyafor the sake of fighting; yujyasvado fight; nanever; evamin this way; pāpamsinful reaction; avāpsyasi—you will gain.

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

Be equanimous in sukha-dukha(happiness-distress), labha-alabha(profit-loss), jaya-ajaya(victory-defeat). Thereafter fight for the sake of fighting, in this way you will not incur sin.

In the first chapter Arjuna tells Sri Krishna that he might incur sin by killing these men. This verse could be thought of as an answer to that question. Here Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, whatever you are doing, do for the sake of it, not bothering whether you will be happy or sad, whether you will gain or lose, whether you win or lose. Doing this way, you will never incur sin. 

Oftentimes we are lost in what others think, or how will we be rewarded or appreciated, before doing any work. I find this particularly truthful w.r.t homemaking(cooking). I want people to appreciate when I take the efforts to do something which I am not keen on doing in the first place.

When you do anything keeping the end result in mind, if you don’t get what you expected, then you will feel dejected. Then comes the question, why should I be the only one doing it, and you slack at whatever you are doing. 

Instead if you do something for the sake of doing, like when you are cooking, do it for the sake of cooking, keeping in mind that we need to eat, so we need to cook, and not for appreciation, then you don’t care if somebody appreciates or criticizes your cooking. 

Any work done with the equanimity of mind(without bothering about the end result) will never incur sin. You will not be further entangled in that karma, but rather liberated. 

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