Srimad Bhagavadgita -Ramsukhdas 100

Srimad Bhagavadgita Sadhaka Sanjivani -Swami Ramsukhdas


Chapter 2

In the first half of this verse, there is mention of discarding of worn-out clothes, while in the second half, there is reference to casting off worn-out bodies.[1] So, how can the illustration of old clothes befit bodies, when bodies of even children and young men, die? The answer is, that end of age, means the worn-out bodies, whether they are of children, youngmen or old men.

In this verse, the Lord by using the terms, 'yatha (as) and 'tatha (so), has explained that as a man, discarding worn-out clothes, puts on new ones, so does an embodied soul, casting off worn-out bodies, acquire other bodies, which are new. Here, a doubt arises, that a man is free in casting off old clothes and putting on new ones, but he is not free to cast off an old body and enter into a new one. The answer is, that Lord Krsna does not mean to talk about freedom and dependence. His aim is to dispel the grief, arising from the separation of a body. One should not grieve, over the death of a body, because the soul remains unattached and unchanged. From this angle, this example is appropriate.

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. 'I may live'—this desire is latent, and he has to die, and that causes grief. But if he were to discriminate between the real and the unreal, he need not be sad, he rather rejoices. Thus, it is because of his ignorance, that he weeps. In his ignorance, he is like a child, who weeps, while his old clothes are taken away and he is made to put on new ones. To remove this ignorance, the Lord has used 'yatha (as) and 'tatha (so) words, by giving an illustration of clothes. Lord Krsna, has used the verb 'grhnati for putting on clothes and 'samyllti' (enter), for embodied soul, because people generally think out of ignorance, that man changes clothes, living at his own place while an embodied soul has to go and enter new bodies. So Lord Krsna, has used these two verbs, keeping the worldly point of view in mind.

Something Noteworthy

In the Gita in 'Yena sarvamidam tatam' (2/17), in 'Nityah sarvagatah sthanuh' (2/24) phrases, the soul has been described as all-pervading, eternal, omnipresent and constant, while in phrases such as 'Satnyati navani dehi' (2/22) and 'Sariram yadavapnoti (15/8), it is said that the soul migrates (enters) into another body. So, there seems to be a contrast, but in fact, there is none. For example, when a person grows from his babyhood to youth, he says that he has grown young. But the fact is, that he is the same, it is the body which has grown young. By identifying himself with the body, he grafts the change of his body upon himself. Therefore, in fact the soul does not migrate. But, because of Its identification with bodies, It seems to migrate. Now, a question arises, why this cycle of birth and death, has been going on from times, immemorial. From the view-point of the Discipline of Action, to reap the fruit of virtuous and evil actions, and from the view-point of the Discipline of Knowledge due to ignorance, and from the view-point of the Discipline of Devotion, due to disinclination for God, this cycle of birth anddeath goes on. The basic factor behind these three is, that 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. Moreover negligence in discrimination[2] is the root cause of birth and death. If we' attach importance to discrimination, we can be free from the shackles of birth and death. Similarly, disinclination for God, is the cause of birth and death, which can be eliminated by having an inclination for Him.



  1. If we perceive by applying our discrimination we come to know that the body is wearing out every moment and it reaches a stage when it completely dies. But we don't realize this fact because we don't pay attention to it. This is darkness or ignorance (lack of discrimination).
  2. Negligence in discrimination means that we don't act according to what we know. We know that it is wrong to tell a lie. But still we do an in order to achieve selfish ends. We know that it is wrong to give pain to others. But we derive sadistic pleasure in torturing others. Similarly we know that bodies are perishable but we have attachment and infatuation for them. This is known as an affront to our knowledge.

Related Articles

Srimad Bhagavadgita Sadhaka Sanjivani -Swami Ramsukhdas
Verse No. Topic Page No.
First Chapter
1-11 Description of the names of the chief great-charioteers of the Pandava and the Kaurava army 1
12-19 Description of the sound of conch of the two armies 16
20-27 Survey of the army by Arjuna 28
28-47 Arjuna is filled with deep sorrow and unmanliness; he recounts the evil consequences of the destruction of the race and family traditions and Sanjaya describes Arjuna's condition that he is overwhelmed with grief 40
Metres used in the first chapter 51
Second Chapter
1-10 Sanjaya describes the dialogue between Lord Krsna and Arjuna mentioning Arjuna's sorrow and unmanliness 52
11-30 Description of Samkhya Yoga (Discipline of Knowledge) 68
31-38 Propriety of fighting a righteous war for a Ksatriya (member of the warrior class) 118
39-5 Description of the Discipline of Action 129
54-72 Description of the marks etc., of the stable in mind 159
Metres used in second chapter 192
Third Chapter
1-8 Necessity of the performance of duty, being free from attachment from the view-point of the Discipline of Knowledge and Action 193
9-19 Necessity of the performance of duty for the sake of sacrifice and for maintaining the tradition of the cycle of creation 213
20-29 Necessity of the performance of duty to set examples for others 242
30-35 Inspiration for the performance of one's own duty, being free from attachment and aversion 262
36-43 Inspiration to kill desire, the root of sins 287
Metres used in the third chapter 309
Fourth Chapter
1-15 Tradition of the Discipline of Action and divine character of births and actions of God 310
16-32 Description about the reality of actions and different forms of sacrifices 359
33-42 Glory of the Disciplines of Knowledge and Action and inspiration to follow them 395
Words, letters and uvaca (said) in the fourth chapter 415
Fifth Chapter
1-6 Identity of the Disciplines of Knowledge and Action and glory of the Discipline of Action 416
7-12 Description of the Disciplines of Action and Knowledge 435
13-26 The Discipline of Knowledge with its fruit 454
27-29 Description of Meditation and Devotion Words, letters and uvaca (said) in the fifth chapter 487
Metres used in the fifth chapter 492
Sixth Chapter
1-4 The Discipline of Action and marks of the man who has attained to Yoga (equanimity) 493
5-9 Inspiration for redeeming the self; and the marks of the God-realized soul 507
10-15 Description of posture and meditation on God (with attributes and form) with its fruit 524
16-23 Description of riles and meditation on God with its fruit 534
24-28 Description of meditation on God who is attributeless and formless with its fruit 554
29-3 Experience of those who meditate on God Who is endowed with attributes and Who is attributeless 566
33-36 Subject of mind-control 577
37-47 Destiny of the man who has fallen from Yoga; and glory of the man of exclusive devotion 588
Metres used in the sixth chapter 614
Seventh Chapter
1-7 The Lord promises to describe His integral being and explains that all beings are born by the union of the two—higher and lower Natures while He is the root cause of all of them 615
8-12 God's manifestations in the form of cause 648
13-19 Description of those who take refuge in God and those who don't take refuge in Him 666
20-23 Description of the worship of other gods with its fruit 711
24-30 Condemnation of those who don't know God's influence and glories and eulogy of His devotees; and description of His integral being 721
Metres used in the seventh chapter 755
Eighth Chapter
1-7 Arjuna puts seven questions, the Lord answers them and exhorts him to think of Him at all times 756
8-16 Description of worship of God Who is with attributes and formless; attributeless and formless; and with attributes and form with fruit 780
17-22 Description of the duration of cosmic day and night and the glory of God and devotion 801
23-28 Description of Bright and Dark paths and glory of the Yogi who knows them 816
Metres used in the eighth chapter 829
Ninth Chapter
1-6 Description of Vijnana (Realization) with its glory 830
7-10 Description of New Creation and Final Dissolution 855
11-15 Condemnation of those who don't know God's glory; mention of those who embrace a demoniac, devilish and deluding nature and description of the worship of those devotees who embrace the divine nature 866
16-19 Description of God's glories in the form of effect and cause 879
20-25 Worship with and without an interested motive with fruit 887
26-34 Offering of objects and actions to God, the fruit of this offering; Description of those who are eligible for devotion and description of devotion 903
Metres used in the ninth chapter 950
Tenth Chapter
1-7 Mention of the glory and Yoga of the Lord and the reward of knowing them 952
8-11 Devotion to God and its fruit; and the glory of God's grace 972
12-18 Arjuna eulogizes the Lord and prays to Him to describe His Yoga and glories 986
19-42 Description of the Lord's glories and Yoga by Him 997
Metres used in the tenth chapter 1039
Eleventh Chapter
1-8 Arjuna requests the Lord to reveal His Cosmic Form; the Lord confers divine vision on him 1041
9-14 Sanjaya describes the Cosmic Form to Dhrtarastra 1061
15-31 Arjuna beholds the Cosmic Form and eulogizes it 1070
32-35 The Lord introduces His most terrible form and orders Arjuna to fight 1100
36-46 Arjuna eulogizes the Lord in His Cosmic Form and offers prayer to Him 1110
47-50 The Lord explains that the Cosmic Form is very rare indeed and consoles Arjuna who is terrified 1129
51-55 The Lord glorifies His four-armed form and the means by which it can be seen 1139
Metres used in the eleventh chapter 1150
Twelfth Chapter
1-12 The Lord pronounces His verdict who is superior the worshippers of God with attributes or without attributes; and mentions four spiritual paths which lead to God-realization 1153
13-20 Thirty-nine marks of the devotees who have realized God 1211
Metres used in the twelfth chapter 1244
Thirteenth Chapter
1-18 Discussion of Ksetra (body), Ksetrajna (soul), knowledge and worth-knowing (God) with devotion 1247
19-34 Discussion on Nature and soul 1307
Metres used in the thirteenth chapter 1350
Fourteenth Chapter
1-4 Glory of knowledge and emanation of creation from the union of Nature and soul 1351
5-18 Description of the three modes of Nature (of goodness, of passion and of ignorance) 1360
19-27 Means of God-realization; and marks of the man who has transcended the three modes of Nature 1399
Metres used in the fourteenth chapter 1422
Fifteenth Chapter
1-6 Description of the tree of creation; and surrender the self to God, having cut asunder this tree, and the Abode of God 1424
7-11 Reality about the soul (self) and description of those who know it and those who don't know it 1457
12-15 Description of the glory of God 1492
16-20 Description of Ksara (perishable, the mundane), Aksara, the imperishable (soul) and the Supreme Soul (God) and conclusion of the chapter 1510
Metres used in the fifteenth chapter 1526
Sixteenth Chapter
1-5 Description of divine and demoniac traits with their fruits 1530
6-8 Mention of the outlook of the people who embrace the demoniac nature, having a disinclination for virtuous actions 1572
9-16 Impure conduct and ambitions with fruit of the men embracing the demoniac nature 1583
17-20 Evil nature of the people possessing a demoniac disposition and their evil effect 1602
21-24 Inspiration to act according to the ordinance of the scriptures, by being free from desire, anger and greed which are the roots of all demoniac traits 1613
Metres used in the sixteenth chapter 1623
Seventeenth Chapter
1-6 Description of three kinds of faith and the people who possess a demoniac nature 1626
7-10 Description of tastes of food of the three types of persons of the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance 1641
11-22 Three kinds of sacrifice, austerity and charity 1654
23-28 Explanation of the sacred appellations Om, Tat and Sat; and description of the 'Asap (unreal or naught) action 1684
Metres used in the seventeenth chapter 1698
Eighteenth Chapter
1-12 Description of different views on renunciation; and the Discipline of Action 1703
13-40 Description of the Discipline of Knowledge 1754
41-48 Description of the Discipline of Action with devotion 1834
49-55 Description of the Discipline of Knowledge 1877
56-66 Description of devotion to God 1898
67-78 Glory of the Gita 1978
Metres used in the eighteenth chapter 2025