Meaning of the #Shlok
In this shloka, Krishna is stating a very high-level psychology. Arjuna, quoting the Vedas and scriptures is repeatedly telling Krishna, it is not just me who is saying so, even in all these scriptures it is written that killing your loved ones is a sin. On the other hand, Krishna is aware of the reality that by supporting himself with the scriptures, Arjuna actually wants to turn his back on the war; and this is not agreeable to Krishna. So, straight away expressing doubt over the scriptures itself, Krishna is telling Arjuna that if you want to speak the language of sin and virtue then listen very clearly, in reality, deeds are neither sinful nor pious. A deed is an act of the body, what does it have to do with sin or virtue? For sin-virtue are matters of the mind. So, if you don’t want to commit a sin really, then from your mind itself, forsake these ideas of victory-defeat and gain-loss that you’re thinking of. My dear! If you are fearful of committing a sin, then stop asking that what is the advantage or disadvantage of fighting a battle? And definitely don’t say that oh! Keshav – who is likely to emerge victorious in this battle? Whoever may benefit or whoever may be at a loss, whosoever wins or loses, how are you concerned with it? With your victory or escaping death, will the battle become pure?
Oh Arjuna, don’t try to confound me! Don’t shield your fears and attachments behind scriptures. If you want to be saved from sin then there is only one way out for you, that you consider the victory-defeat and gain-loss happening in the war as equal. Whatever may be the result of the war, let it be; you accept it wholeheartedly as Nature’s justice. It’s best for you to fight the war being least concerned of its result. I promise you in that case you shall not incur any sin. Oh dear, this is not only with respect to fighting in the battle… Whatever you do in life without caring about the result, I promise you that you will never incur any sin. But also remember that even if you do the greatest of the deeds by calculating victory-defeat and gain-loss, in the end you will incur sin. And I don’t need to tell you that from every sin only sorrow manifests. And you don’t need to look far for proof; just take a look at your present condition. This sorry state in which you are, is also because instead of fighting in the battle you are busy doing the math of gain-loss. And because you are perceiving loss in the current battle is why you are unhappy! If you would be seeing it as profitable, you would not even seek my knowledge or the scriptures’ wisdom, you would have attacked the Kauravas with gusto by now! Hence, the prime fact among all the arguments is only this – the calculation of gain-loss that is influencing your decision is itself sin.
– Deep Trivedi