It is said by some that the Geeta is completed in the second chapter itself. But the chapter can be accepted as a conclusion only if all the implications of action (karm) get elucidated by a mere naming of the process. In this chapter Sri Krishn has told Arjun to listen to him on the Way of Selfless Action, for by knowing it he will be liberated from the shackles of material life. He has the right only to act, but he has no right to the fruits of his action. At the same time he ought not to lose dedication to action. He must always be prepared to act. By the performance of such action he secures the most exalted knowledge of the Self and of God, and achieves ultimate peace. All this Sri Krishn has said, but not what action is.
In fact, the section popularly known as “The Yog or Way of Discrimination” is not a chapter; it is but a contrivance of reviewers rather than a creation of the poet of the Geeta. There is nothing surprising in this, because we can at best interpret a work only according to our own understanding.In this “chapter”, as we have seen, by expounding the merits of action, and by indicating the precautions to be observed in the performance of action as well as the characteristic marks of the sage who has gained direct knowledge of the Self and God through perception.Sri Krishn has aroused Arjun’s curiosity and also answered some of his queries. The Self is immutable and eternal. Arjun is exhorted to know it in order to learn reality. There are two ways of acquiring this knowledge, the Way of Discrimination or Knowledge and the Way of Selfless Action. Performance of the required action after a careful review of one’s capacity and self-determination is the Way of Knowledge, whereas applying oneself to the same task with loving dependence on the worshipped God is the Way of Selfless Action, also known as the Way of Pious Devotion (Bhakti Marg).
Goswami Tulsidas has portrayed the two ways, both leading to ultimate liberation, thus: “I have two sons. The elder son is a man of discrimination. But the younger one is a mere boy, devoted to me like a faithful servant and desirous only of rendering me service and homage. The latter thus relies on me, whereas the former depends upon his own prowess. Both of them have, however, to struggle and fight against the same enemies, namely, passion and anger.”
Sri Krishn says in the same way that he has two kinds of devotees.There is first the follower of the Way of Knowledge(gyanmargi). Secondly, there is the follower of the Way of Devotion (bhaktimargi). The man of devotion or doer of selfless action finds refuge in God and proceeds on his chosen path with total dependence on his grace. Possessed of confidence in his own strength, on the contrary, the man of discrimination goes along his way after making a proper evaluation of his own ability, as well as of the profit and loss in the enterprise.But the two have a common goal and the same enemies. Not only the man of discrimination, but also the man of devotion has to overcome the same adversaries, namely, anger, desire, and other impieties. Both of them have to renounce desire; and the action, too, that has to be performed under both the disciplines is one and the same.
Thus concludes the Second Chapter, in the Upanishad of the Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, on the Knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, the Science of Yog, and the Dialogue between Krishn and Arjun, entitled:
“Karm – Jigyasa” or “Curiosity About Action.”
Thus concludes Swami Adgadanand’s exposition of the Second Chapter of the Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta in*”Yatharth Geeta”.*
Main Source: www.yatharthgeeta.com