Body Cloth- The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2
Krishna encourages Arjun to fight, saying that since our bodies are first those of children, then adults and then of old people, he should not feel bad about taking up arms. Our bodies are transient, the cycle of life and death continues- we get new bodies when our current lives end.
Just like sensations- heat, cold, pleasure and pain, come and go, so do our bodies. Krishna then expands this concept to maya. What we think is real, exists only for a short time- it’s actually maya. Our souls are timeless and so can’t be destroyed, so Arjun should not weaken.
Like we discard old clothes for new, so do we slip in new bodies from our old ones. Since we are born in bodies, these have to die someday, so why mourn their passing? The cycle continues for them.
Rather than waste your energies mourning the dead, focus on bypassing this cycle and gun for immortality. As a warrior, Arjun’s duty is to fight and he should do his duty. Krishna urges Arjun to be focused, not waste time in talk.
Instead of swinging between the extremes of pleasure and pain or getting attached to material things, be your own anchor. Krishna then bounces back to the concept of duty, linking it to karma. Do your duty without getting attached to the consequences, good or bad.
Yoga will help you do that. Treat success and failure the same way. Yogis have the best shot at getting freedom from the cycle of birth and death. Arjun then asks about yogis. Krishna answers that yogis ignore desires. They can detach their senses from sensual things.
So it follows that since their senses are not feeding on material things, temptations go. The senses gallop away with your mind. Yogis can think about Krishna, since they can mediate. We all meditate, but most of us do it on the wrong things- indulgences. Then when we don’t get them we feel frustrated.
Yogis have no I.
Feeling is part of being human
How then O Krishna can you say
We should deny ourselves?
This body causes me grief
I don’t like how fat it is
So I like the way you think, K
Sign me up to be a yogi.
I remember when my body was thinner
I was the same though
There’s something to what you say, K.
I discard clothes all the time
As my body changes
I’m going to try to change my mind now, K.
I’ll tell you how this mental diet,
This way of life, goes, K.
Anytime I find my mind wavering
I know you’re there, K.