[Advaita-l] A doubt in BG chapters 2 & 3

Raghavendra N Kalyan kalyan7429 at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jun 24 03:14:38 CDT 2004

I have a doubt in BG chapters 2 and 3.

In 3.1 Arjuna asks Krishna that if buddhi (knowledge) is superior to action why is he urging him to perform action. Here buddhi can mean jNAna as can be inferred from Krishna’s reply. That also appears to be Sankara’s interpretation. This means that Krishna must have spoken of the superiority of knowledge (in the sense of jNAna) somewhere in chapter 2. But I am unable to understand where. The apparent verse seems to be 2.49, where the inferiority of karma vis-à-vis buddhi is mentioned. But here buddhi means “actions undertaken with equanimity of mind” as pointed out by Sankara, which also follows due to 2.39. Moreover, in 2.49, Krishna asks Arjuna to take recourse to buddhi (not karma or action) and so also, the verse(s) in question cannot be this one as Arjuna himself says in 3.1 –  “Why are you asking me to perform action?” So the question is this – If not in 2.49, where in chapter 2 does Krishna mention the superiority of knowledge over action? And moreover what does Arjuna mean
 by karma in 3.1? Is it action with a desire for rewards or otherwise? If it is the former, then isn’t Arjuna’s question already answered in chapter 2? If it is the latter, then 2.49 cannot be the verse(s) in question since 2.49 speaks of superiority over “action with desire for rewards”. 

I appreciate help. Thank you.



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