Gita 2 :23 – Geeta group


II 2:23 II

nainam chindanti shastrani, nainam dahati pavakah
na cainam kledayanty apo, na sosayati marutah

“Weapons cannot cut the Atman, nor fire burn It, water cannot drench
It, nor can wind make It dry.”

The earth, water, fire, wind, space, mind, intellect and the ego
constitute the lower Prakriti (lower nature or inert matter) and the
Jivatma ( consciousness), the upper nature. (Ref: Gita 7/4-5). The
lower nature cannot access higher nature. How can the inert matter
reach consciousness? How can darkness access sun? Therefore, the
inert matter cannot cause any modification to the consciousness.

From Gita Prabodhani in Hindi pg. 33 by Swami Ramsukhdasji

Chapter 2, Verse 23 is as follows;

Na = not
Enam = This (the Self, the Aatman)
Chhindanti = cut
ShastraaNi = weapons
Na = not
Enam = This (the Self, the Aatman)
Dahati = burns
PaavakaH = fire
Na = not
Cha = and
Enam = This (the Self, the Aatman)
Kledayanti = wet
AapaH = water
Na = not
ShoShayati = dries
MaarutaH = wind

English translation:-

Weapons do not cleave the Atman and Fire does not burn It. Water
does not moisten It and Wind does not dry It up.

There are five basic elements responsible for the creation of the
entire Universe. There is a nice illustration of the same in the
verse 4 of chapter 7 in Shreemad Bhagawad Geeta, wherein Lord
Krishna declares, “Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect
and self-sense or ego – this is the eight fold division of my
Prakruti i.e. lower Nature, which is identified as `Maayaa Shaktee’
as the basis of the objective world.”

These five elements are responsible for offering specific knowledge
to a human being by the five sensory organs.

1. The grossest of all is the Earth. Earth offers sense of smell.
Lord Krishna has said, “PuNyaH GandhaH Pruthivyaam” i.e. I offer the
sweet smell to Earth.

2. The next subtler than Earth is Water. Water offers sense of taste
or flavour. Lord Krishna has said, “RasaH Aham Apsu” i.e. I offer
the sapidity to water. Water acts as base of all tastes. Water
itself has no taste; however, without water there can be no taste.

3. The next subtler than Water is Fire. Fire offers sense of vision.
Lord Krishna has said, “TejaH Asmi Vibhavasu” i.e. I am the
brilliance in the Fire.

4. The next subtler than Fire is Air / Wind. Air offers sense of
Touch. Lord Krishna has said, “PavanaH Pavataam Asmi’ i.e. I am the
wind of purifiers. A well ventilated room with a breeze of fresh air
is always conducive for good health and spirit.

5. The next subtler than Air is Space. Space offers sense of hearing
or rather grasping the electro-magnetic vibrations. Lord Krishna has
said, “ShabdaH Khe” i.e. I offer the sense of grasping electro-
magnetic vibrations represented by `Omkaara’ that pervade throughout
the entire Universe. Please note that the literal translation of
word `ShabdaH’ means sound. But sound needs a medium to travel
through. Therefore, the finer meaning that needs to be grasped is
about electro-magnetic radiations that can travel even in the vacuum
in the entire Universe.

We have known about some chemical elements such as gold, silver and
copper from antiquity, as these can all be discovered in nature in
native form and are relatively simple to mine with primitive tools.
However, the notion that there were a limited number of elements
from which everything was composed originated with the Greek
philosopher Empedocles. During 450 B.C., Empedocles proposed that
everything is made up of a mixture of one or more of four `roots’,
later renamed as `elements’ by the famous Greek philosopher Plato.
The four elements were earth, water, air, and fire. Please note that
there was no mention of the Space as the fifth element by Plato.
While the concept of four basic elements was thus introduced,
Empedocles’ and Plato’s ideas did not advance the understanding of
the chemical elements in the Mother Nature, till 19th century A.D.

In modern science, we typically consider the basic elements as those
listed in the Periodic table of chemical elements. The periodic
table that was first published in 1869, reflects the growth in the
basic understanding of chemical properties by the Russian chemist
Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev. While Mendeleev built upon earlier
discoveries by Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, the Russian scientist
is generally given sole credit for development of the actual
periodic table itself. The Periodic table is a visual representation
of the periodic law, which states that certain properties of
elements repeat periodically when arranged by their atomic number.
The table arranges elements into vertical columns (Groups) and
horizontal rows (Periods) to display these commonalities. There are
many more elements which are not listed in the Periodic table, as
they are unstable and appear for an immeasurably tiny fraction of
time in cosmic rays, which belong to a type of electro-magnetic
radiations. This is just to illustrate the point that, what we know
so far is still a tiny fraction of the superset that pervades the
entire Universe.

Coming back to the verse 23 in chapter 2, you will notice that there
is no mention of the fifth element called as `Aakaasha’ i.e. the
Space due to its actionless – ness. The actions of the Earth, water,
fire and air do not affect the Space. Similarly, the actions of the
Earth, water, fire and air do not affect the Aatman which is subtler
than the Space.

Weapons are made of various chemical elements found in the Earth,
but they cannot hurt the Aatman, the Supreme Self that resides in
every being and everything. Water cannot moisten It. Fire cannot
burn It. Wind cannot dry It. The Self is the core of every living
being, which enlivens the material layers of physical body, mind and
intellect. These layers are made up of the five gross elements
namely Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. The Self is subtler than
all these five elements. It transcends all these five elements.
Being the most subtle, all these five elements cannot destroy the
Self. The basic principle is that no instrument can destroy an
element subtler that the instrument itself.

This verse may be considered as the best definition of `Energy’ in
the Vedanta philosophy. The Energy cannot be destroyed. One can
convert Energy in one form to another form, while maintaining the
sum total of the Energy in the Universe to be a constant. This is
indeed the law of Conservation of Energy.

“The Aatman remains unaffected by mundane things. Pleasure and Pain,
Virtue and Vice etc. such dual states do not have any sway on the
Aatman. However, these dual states certainly affect a person
identified with a physical body, mind and intellect. As an example,
smoke generated while cooking daily food, tarnishes the walls and
the ceiling of the kitchen, but not the Space within the kitchen
room.”- Swami Ramakrishna.

In the obituary section of every newspaper, this verse is often
repeated. This is just to remind all of us, the remaining living
human beings that this is not the end of all and be of all. On the
contrary, it is just the beginning of a new form of life. In the
verse 34 of chapter 10, Lord Krishna has said, “I am the all-
devouring death and the birth of all future beings.” Therefore, in a
sense it is a `Bon Voyage’ to the departed soul from all of us.

Thanks & Best Regards,

Shrikant Joshi.
Dear Mike and GT Moderators,

Thank you for raising the question, “How Bhagawan Krishna can study
Vedas etc?”

Please note that Rama and Krishna were the personifications of the
Supreme being in the form of extra-ordinary human beings.They lead a
life as any other human being would have normally lead.

Lord Rama went to the Gurukul of Vasishtha and Krishna went to the
Gurukul of Sandipani. If they had known all the knowledge in this
Universe then they had no reason to attend the best contemporay
Universities in ancient India. In those Universities, they did study
Vedas, Upanishads etc.under the guidance of their respective Gurus.

Lord Rama excelled in marshal arts and sciences, while Lord Krishna
excelled in diplomacy and modern management techniques. Lord Krishna
did fight wars, but they were limited to killing maternal uncle Kamsa
and cousin Shishupal etc. As the Aatman does not physically
participate in any day to day activities but induces a living being
to initiate good or bad action; similarly Lord Krishna did not
participate in the royal epic battle of Mahaabhaarata but he inspired
Arjuna to fight.

Long after the royal battle of Mahaabhaarata was successfully won,
one fine evening Arjuna requested Lord Krishna to repeat and recite
in toto the Shreemad Bhagawad Geeta once again and Lord Krishna
expressed his inability to do so. He had answered to Arjuna, that he
was unable to enter that Supreme Transcendental State once again. In
that sense, he had limitations of space, time and causations.

I hope it illustrates the point that Lord Krishna spent those 13
years in perfecting his knowledge of ancient scriptures and came up
with his unique blend of interpretations of them, much beyond the
original scriptures, some of which are listed below;

1. “ManaH ShashthaaNi IndriyaaNi” i.e. the mind is the sixth sense

2. “VayuH Gandhaan Eva Aashayaat” i.e. as if wind takes away the
scents from the sources.

3. “Yantraarudhaani Maayayaa’ i.e. as if driven by a machine.

Thanks & Best Regards,
Shrikant Joshi


-Shree Hari-

As Shri Krishna was fully aware of all his previous incarnations.
Also refering to B.G. 11:
There in the body of the God
Of gods the son of Pandu saw
The universe resting in One
With its manifold divisions. (13)

I have trouble equating the pasted statement with the above:

‘…On the contrary, Lord Krishna studied in
details all the Vedas and Upanishads and formulated the
impeccable, immaculate theoretical basis for the eventual epic

I just picked out verse 13 for its simply magnificence, the whole of
Chapter 11 is totally inspiring.

Also refer to chapter 10:

I am the Self abiding in
The heart of all beings; I am
The beginning, the middle, and
Also the end of all beings. (20)

I am Vishnu of Adityas;
The Sun among luminaries;
I am Marichi of Maruts;
Among the stars I am the Moon. (21)

Of Vedas, the Sama Veda;
I am Indra among the gods;
Of the senses I am the mind;
Intelligence in all beings. (22) .

Why would Bhagwan study?

With Respect and Divine Love,

Mike (Keenor).
Dear Sadhak,
I agree with Sadhak Mikeji, Lord Krishna, the Knower of ALL, would
not spend His 13 years just reading scriptures . Infact all Knowlege
imerged from Him, He is the Source,He completed His formal
education and grasped all kalaye in just 64 days.
Sadhna Karigar
Ram Ram

About dhavalrajgeera

Physician who is providing free service to the needy since 1971. Rajendra M. Trivedi, M.D. who is Yoga East Medical Advisor Graduated in 1968 from B. J. Medical College, Amadavad, India. Post Graduate training in Neurological Surgery from Charles University in Czechoslovakia. 1969 - 71. and received Czechoslovakian Government Scholarship. Completed training at the Cambridge Hospital and Harvard University in Psychiatry. Rajendra M. trivedi is an Attending Psychiatrist at Baldpate Hospital. He is the Medical Director of CCA and Pain Center in Stoneham, MA where he has been serving the community since 1971 as a Physician. OTHER AFFILIATIONS: Lifer of APA - American Psychiatrist Association Senior Physician and Volunteer with Massachusetts Medical Society and a Deligate of the Middlesex District. Patron member of AAPI - American Association of PHYSICIANS OF INDIA. LIFE MEMBER OF IMANE - Indian Medical Association of New England. Member of the Board of Advisors "SAHELI, Boston,MA. Dr. Trivedi is working closely with the Perkin's School for the Blind. Dr. Trivedi is a Life member and Honorary Volunteer for the Fund Raising Contact for North America of BPA - Blind People Association of Amadavad, India. Dr.Trivedi is the Medical Advisor for Yoga East since 1993. He is a Physician who started Health Screening and Consultation At Shri Dwarkami Clinic in Billerica, MA.

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