The Wisdom of Samkhya Yoga of the Bhagavadgita

Krishna Teaching

by Jayaram V

The Second chapter of the Bhagavadgita is known as Samkhya Yoga. It is considered by many to be the summary of the Bhagavadgita, since it contains most important ideas and concepts of the scripture. The Samkhya Yoga of the Bhagavadgita is different from the Samkhya Darshana of Hinduism in many respects. Some believe that the Samkhya Yoga of the Bhagavadgita is a theistic interpretation of the Samkhya School from the perspective of the Vedanta.

The following is a partial translation of the Samkhya Yoga. I wrote a loose commentary on the first 21 Verses several years ago, by jotting down my initial impressions and reflections. These commentaries are different from the commentary I wrote for my Complete Translation of the Bhagavadgita. Although I wrote the commentaries long time back and recently edited them, I wanted to keep them because I believe they are useful for study and contain some important ideas for contemplation and understanding.

I write commentaries as a contemplative practice, not to preach anyone. I publish them so that readers may use them as starting point to do their own inquiry. A commentary is always the subjective interpretation of an individual. Its contents depend upon his knowledge and state of mind. A devotee or a scholar seeks what he wants from a scripture, not necessarily what it actually contains, because human beings have a limitation in understanding and interpreting the meaning and significance of the knowledge which is found in a scripture.

One should not overlook that a commentary is still within the realm of human intellect. It is still part of the comentator's mental world. An understanding of a scripture is still an intellectual or spiritual exercise, rather than transcendental. It cannot be equated with any revelation or deeper spiritual experience. These writings should also be treated as such. They represent a point of view, a certain perspective or approach, an offering of little devotion in the sacrifice of knowledge.

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