Samkhya – Right Understanding : 4.

The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita:

Now, the second chapter and the third chapter have some sort of relationship from the point of view of the theme discussed. It is merely pointed out in the second chapter that right understanding is necessary, and only an introductory remark is made as to what samkhya means, so far as the second chapter goes. 

Right from the beginning till the end of the second chapter, the word samkhya is used in many, many places, suggesting that samkhya is the knowledge of the harmony that is there among all things – samatva – the equanimous, organisational, cooperative feature operating between one and another, thus cementing all particularities or individuals into a sort of cosmic organisation or universal society. This is the suggestion of the second chapter when it says: Samatvam yoga uchyate – Equanimity is yoga, balance is yoga, harmony is yoga, cooperation is yoga - not competition, not battle, not war, not exploitation, not animosity, not hatred. Also, a very subtle and potent, meaningful word is used in the very same chapter, connecting this principle of harmony or equanimity operating in all creation with the duties of man in the world, when it says: Yogah karmasu kaushalam – Yoga is expertness in action. This is a very pithy statement; no commentary is given here. 

We are not told as to what this expertness means, though we may impliedly take it to mean that harmony or balance of attitude should be the pre-condition of any kind of adventure or project in life. Every activity should be conditioned by a poised nature of the mind. You should not enter into activity of any kind with disturbed emotions or an axe to grind; there should be no selfishness. The words 'samatva' and 'kaushala', used in the second chapter of the Gita, exhaust, perhaps, what the Gita intends to tell us. But they are so difficult to understand because the word used is very subtle in its connotation, though we can extract lot of meaning from it by going into the context in which it is used. The necessity for maintaining a balanced attitude in mind, in our general attitude, while we perform works expertly, arises because of the fact of our location in this universe, which will devolve automatically from your knowledge of the very nature of our individuality in the light of the cosmological process described.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued ... 

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