Meaning of Each Chapter of the Gita – Chapter 1 and 2

First Chapter

It is only due to delusion and attachment that a person becomes derelict in his duties, by getting stuck in the dilemma of ‘what should I do and what should I not do’ ? If he doesn’t come under the control of delusion, then he cannot become derelict of his duties. People having faith in God, religion, heaven, ­paradise etc. often are in turmoil, dilemma that if we don’t do activities received in the form of duty, then surely our downfall will take place; if we only engage in worldly activities, then our spiritual progress will not take place; by engaging in worldly dealings, spiritual dealings will not take place properly and by engaging in spiritual dealings, worldly dealings will not happen properly; if we will leave family, then we will commit sin, and if we will stay within the family, then our spiritual progress will not take place; etc. ­etc. It means that we want our spiritual well­-being, but due to sense of mine­-ness (attachment) and desire for worldly pleasures, we cannot leave the attachment for the world. This similar dilemma takes place in Arjuna’s mind as well, that if I fight, then due to the destruction of my kith and kin, there will be obstruction in my spiritual well­-being; and if I do not fight then due to straying away from my duty, there will be obstruction in my spiritual well-­being.

Second Chapter

If man follows anyone of the two approaches with perseverance – 1) giving due consideration to one’s conscience (power of discrimination, ‘vivek’ and 2) fulfillment of one’s duty, then sorrow, ­tension will go away. All the bodies that are seen, are going to perish, to die, but the one who lives in them (the in­dweller) never dies. Like body leaves childhood to take on adulthood and leaves adulthood to take on old­ age, same way the one who lives in the body, leaves one body and takes another body. Like man leaves old clothes and wears new clothes, same way, the one who lives in the body (in­dweller), leaves the clothes, like one body and wears another. All favourable – ­unfavourable situations that come, they were not there earlier and will not remain later also and in ­between also every second they are getting separated only. The meaning is that situations have the nature of coming­ and going, their nature is not of permanency. If in this manner there is clear power of discrimination (vivek), then panic, sorrow, ­tension cannot remain. Whatever duty ­activity is received, fulfilling that duty in compliance with scriptures, by being equanimous (calm and composed) in completion or non-completion of that activity and achievement or ­non­achievement in result, then, confusion cannot remain.

‒ From the book in Hindi ‘Gita­Darpan’ by Swami Ramsukhdasji