The Gita: Srimad Bhagwadgita: श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता : Chapter 2:11-2:13

|| प्रातः स्मरणीय प्रथम गुरु पं. श्री मुरलीधर जी मिश्र ||

I, Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath sa-shaktikaayai bow down at the lotus feet of my first Guru, my revered father Pandit Shri Murli Dhar ji Mishra,  Vidya Guru Kaul Shiromani Shri Shivanand Nath ji, Yoga Guru Paramhamsa Shri Balendu Giri ji Maharaj, Tantra Guru Shri Shri Anta Devji Maharaj, Vama Guru Shri Kaleshwaranand Ji Maharaj and all the compassionate Masters, divine souls of Gurumandala..  I pray for their love, support and guidance always..


श्रीभगवानुवाच ।

Shri Bhagavan uvaacha|

The Lord said

अशोच्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे ।
गतासूनगतासूंश्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः ॥ २-११॥

ashochyaan-anvashochas-tvam prajnaa-vaadaansh-cha bhaashase 
gataasoona-agataasoons-cha na-anushochanti panditaah || 2-11||

While you speak the words of wisdom, you are mourning for that which is not worthy of grief. The wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead.

न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः ।
न चैव न भविष्यामः सर्वे वयमतः परम् ॥ २-१२॥

na tvevaaham jaatu naasam na tvam neme janaadhipaah
na chaiva na bhavishyaamah sarve vayam-atah param || 2-12||

There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings. Nor in any time of future shall any of us cease to exist.

देहिनोऽस्मिन्यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा ।
तथा देहान्तरप्राप्तिर्धीरस्तत्र न मुह्यति ॥ २-१३॥

dehino-asmin-yathaa dehe kaumaram yauvanam jaraa
tathaa dehaantara-praptih-dheerah-tatra na muhyati ||2-13||

As the embodied soul continuously passes from childhood to youth to old age, in the same way, at the time of death, the soul passes into another body. The wise man is not deluded by this (death, the last transit).


Lets consider revisiting last verse –

तमुवाच हृषीकेश: प्रहसन्निव भारत |
सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये विषीदन्तमिदं वच: || 10||

Sanjay, the seer tells King Dhtitarashra (father of Kauravas) that when Arjuna became silent; Krishna, in the midst of both the armies started saying following with a genuine smile on his face. Smile has a meaning here.. it means that even in this situation, in the battlefield Krishna was far from despair, He seems to have to complaints rather he was perfectly happy with it. Such equanimous attitude is exhibited by someone with knowledge in every situations. We have seen such behaviour in all our Gurus. I vividly recollect how our VamaGuru, who was immobile and bed-ridden but still how joyous and full of smiles he was even in those times. I remember, how immediately after initiating me in a mantra (the mantra was about reviving health of someone) he ordered me not to take sankalpa of reviving his health. Even in that kind of condition h could laugh on his condition and attributed that to his karma. Similar was the situation in case of my revered father Pandit Shri Murli Dhar Mishr ji when despite our repeated pleadings he did not submit the request for restoration of his health to Mother Divine. Masters are mysterious and they teach us more through their spontaneous actions. A common trend I have seen, they seem to be least worried in the matter of mortal body.

They show that with incomplete understanding, we find faults with the situations we are in—we have grudges and complaints about them. We want not only to avoid but sometimes feel like running away from them. We hold people and situations responsible for our misery. But the enlightened souls demonstrate through their actions that the world as created and run by God is perfect in every aspect. It is for a purpose that good and bad situations come to us.  This drama called life is arranged and played out only for our spiritual evolution.. Masters understand this secret and are never disturbed in difficult circumstances and face life with joy, serenity, tranquility. They have wisdom to discriminate between what should be changed and what needs to be accepted!

The Supreme Lord, having listened to Arjuna’s inner conflict and thereafter accepting his surrender as disciple is about to say his first words as Guru. In the battlefield the last time Krishna spoke to Arjuna it was a different relationship between them and therefore you can clearly see the contrast in his expressions. The first time when Krishna uttered few words it was from the perspective of a friend, the kshatriya King. In this capacity he talked about Arjuna’s worldly position and how his actions weren’t praiseworthy (anaarya-jushtam). How it was unmanly (klaibyam) of him to even consider running away from a battlefield. Krishna’s expressions were also different if you notice. He expresses disbelief and began only in ‘questioning’ tone, asking Arjuna, his cousin-friend how come such unexpected behaviour had befallen upon him. The second sentence then spoken by Krishna does look like command but if you understand it in perspective, he simply commands him to stand up (that means to drop the unmanly behaviour).

Now situation has changed!
Krishna is no more just a friend, he has assumed the position of Guru by virtue of Arjuna’s pleading and surrender. It is so beautiful to see how the tone, the context and the positioning of Krishna’s words change herefrom. The first expression of Krishna from the position of a Guru is a smile. His expressions are not of questioning but straightforward observation rooted in reality and he says to Arjuna “While you speak the words of wisdom, you are mourning for that which is not worthy of grief”. This is first beautiful shift, where a master is seen assuming the position of authority where he does not need to sugarcoat, care for the ego of disciple and thus you see the Krishna, a Master who has no hitch in calling spade a spade!

The second sentence is even a bigger jolt and transforms the quality of whole conversation. Instead of noble (one is so called noble in social view, objective view) ones, He is heard describing the behaviour of wisemen, the gyaanis, the realized ones (whose nobility is unto themselves). Arjuna is anxious only on the point of death but Krishna says “The wise lament neither for the living, nor for the dead”. It is such a deliberate generalization of the things that is bound to give an impetus to Arjuna’s mind only to internalize and self-reflect rather than focusing on anything elsewhere thus moving off the battlefield. The first job of a teacher is to force upon the disciple a new paradigm, a new outlook. For this some Masters prefer using shock treatment, especially in the Zen tradition. Here, in next few sentences Krishna will be seen gradually but steeply elevating the level of discourse from somewhat material and psychological level to the pure spiritual level. Such is the desired ability of every Master; Krishna, what to talk of  him who is the Greatest of Masters of all the times – the keeper of 64 Kalaas!

I had said in the beginning itself in my commentary of Gita that I shall prefer to treat this text as a real dialogue (though at telepathic level) between Krishna and Arjuna without injecting any theological lexicons or projected ideological imagery but since in the course Gita has already started flowing in such a way that it touches the territory of Guru-Disciple relationship, I find it apt to extend the above understanding to the level of spiritual practices (as that happen to be the major context in Guru-Disciple conversations). It so happens in the very beginning of disciple’s spiritual journey where (s)he finds himself baffled and confused and it feels to her/him that by walking this path of ‘self-discovery’ (s)he will be moving away from the loved ones. That it will be immoral and cuel to treat his relatives, friends and family with dispassion. Many people fear this phase of dispassion and solitude will make things worse. That they may lose their relationships and they site flawed and skewed reasons just as Arjuna was without considering the ultimate good. The Master then has to assure the disciple that he upon reaching ultimate destination (upon having arrived as we call it) shall not only become free from the bondage but also serve his/her people wisely, offering best care possible and unconditional love. A teacher or Guru through his/her own unique ways will ensure that hogwash a disciple presents is busted and a new light dawns upon him/her.

In the light of above facts now try understanding the next few sentences of Krishna – the Guru, that will make Arjuna gradually drift from the outer to inner, away from the hustle bustle of battlefield. His ways are so magical that even the reader of these expressions (verses) will eventually forget whether this conversation is about a war and is happening in a battlefield where bloodthirsty warriors (18 akshauhini = 3,936,600 soldiers) are raring to go and fight unto death or win. Such is the skill, grace and power of a true Master. He is capable of transporting disciple’s attention and consciousness to altogether new & unimaginable heights.

To stop the flawed flow of thoughts of Arjuna – the disciple, at the very outset Krishna powerfully communicates to him how his actions and words were contradicting. And in the second sentence he instills the possibility of becoming enlightened or wise by invoking reference to Pandaa (पण्डा ). The root sanskrit word of panditaah – meaning the learned ones is pandaa. Pandaa is the power of discriminative intellect. Those who possess such discrimination are considered wise and called Pandaa (पण्डा) or Pandita (पण्डित) and the wise ones do not lament for this material mortal body. And giving all considerations to the ignorance of disciple (Arjuna), fully anticipating the questions floating in the mind of his, the Supreme Lord furthers his discourse readily giving out the reason for ‘Why the wise or enlightened one’s do not lament for the body?’ in his next sentence.

Master says “Certainly, never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. (2-12)”. This declaration of a Supreme Lord is unverifiable and you may wonder how come Arjuna accepted this statement of Krishna. Keep in mind that such is the authority of a Master that whatever words he speaks they are deemed to be true. The sheer force of conviction gained through experience is capable of sweeping the darkness of doubting intellect. There’s a popular expression “मन्त्रमूलम् गुरुवाक्यम् (mantra moolam guruvaakyam)” meaning the words spoken by a Master are Mantras in themselves.

What is mantra? मननात् त्रायते इति मन्त्रः, Mananat trayate iti mantrah.  The sound that liberates the mind is mantra.  Guru’s words liberates the mind. From what? Ignorance or Avidya. The words of a Master work on the disciple like a miraculous potion enabling him to open his inner eyes see through the blinding darkness of ignorance.
अज्ञानतिमिरान्धस्य ज्ञानाञ्जन शलाकया । चक्षुरुन्मीलितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ॥ Krishna’s words are piercing through the cloudy thinking of Arjuna sparking some light therein making him see the reality. In fact in this verse the Supreme Lord (whom we call Vishnu, Shiva or Brahmn) through the Krishna is declaring the truth of eternal existence not for Himself but everyone. Later in chapter 15 he will further explain why jeevas (individuals) are also eternal like Him by quoting – ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूत: सनातन: |15-7|

Lord further says.. “As the embodied soul continuously passes from childhood to youth to old age, in the same way, at the time of death, the soul passes into another body. The wise man is not deluded by this. (2-13)”. Here Krishna is speaking of two things – One (Self) that is eternal, unchanging and the other (non-self) that keeps changing. It means that this world (being a thing other than self) is always changing. A very popular way of elaborating this verse is; At experiential level there are two (rather three if we consider the means of experience as well) entities – The Experience & Experiencer. Experience keeps changing and the Experiencer always remains full, complete, untouched and untainted.

Arjuna is listening and absorbing the divine words that are laden with the nectar of wisdom. He is ready to take up a journey of transformation. Are you?


-Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath

Ach. Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath is master of SriVidya, 
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2 Responses to The Gita: Srimad Bhagwadgita: श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता : Chapter 2:11-2:13

  1. Too good acharya … thank you .

  2. Alpna says:

    Each word seems to alleviate the darkness inside…🙏

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