Meaning of Each Chapter of the Gita

गीताध्यायस्य निष्कर्षं ज्ञातुमिच्छन्ति ये जनाः

तैः सुखपूर्वकं ग्राह्यस्ततः   सारोऽत्र लिख्यते ॥

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, heavens-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 Arjun’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 sorrows-tensions are removed.

All the bodies that are seen, are going to perish, to die, but the one who lives in them (the in-dweller) 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 (in-dweller), 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 too every second they are getting separated only. The meaning is that situations have the nature of coming-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 (unbothered) in completion-incompletion of that activity and achievement-non-achievement in result, then, confusion cannot remain.


Third Chapter

Every human being,  learned or ignorant,  even if he is an incarnation of God should perform his duty promptly without having a desire for its fruit.  The reason is that the wheel of this Universe revolves only when everyone performs his duty.

Man does not attain actionlessness,  by abstaining from action, nor does he reach perfection,  by mere renunciation of actions. At the time of creation, Brahma, the creator said to mankind,   ‘by performing your duty, you should help and foster one another, thus by fostering one another, you will attain the highest good.’    He who does not follow the wheel, thus revolving, lives in vain. Though there is no duty to be performed for God in His manifest human form,  yet He performs His duty promptly, in the public interest, for the guidance of men i.e. He sets an example to them. The spiritually enlightened souls should also perform their duty promptly, in order to set an example for other persons.   While performing his duty, without expecting its fruit, if a person even dies, then too he attains salvation.

From book in hindi “Gita Darpan” by Swami Ramsukhdasji