Chapter II, Verse 3
Sri Nerode’s Translation:
Nay, Arjuna, do not yield to feebleness; it does not befit thee. Cast off this paltry faint-heartedness, wake, arise, thou, the conqueror of thy foes! (The seeker on the path may succumb to faint-heartedness, not knowing the inherent invincibility latent in his soul.)
The devotee who has not learned to concentrate surrenders to worldliness by default. The intellect succumbs to every thought passing through the ether. Learn to concentrate and reclaim your eternal and immortal nature.
This verse calls for the devotee to concentrate. The three most basic components of creation can be defined as Consciousness, Energy and Will Power. Without applying strong will power to one’s conscious energy, life will take the easiest route of manifestation. The “easiest route” is most often determined by one’s environment. It’s the devotee’s duty to focus his/her consciousness and to apply his/her will power to create helpful outcomes.
The undisciplined mind and consciousness without direction are like a leaky water bottle. Full of helpful ideas at the start but quickly losing value through negligence.
Yoga science offers many methods to develop concentration. “Dharana Darshan” by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati offers some of the highest techniques openly to the public.
However, the most natural way to develop concentration is to take interest in a topic of study or in an activity that challenges you to grow. Passive entertainments like movies, television and games are ways to avoid living. Activities like alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and unrestrained greed are destructive living. At best these develop a negative form of concentration by encouraging one’s personal conscious energy to follow the suggestions of one’s environment.
Fulfill the highest purpose in life and find true joy. Pursue healthy and helpful activities with one-pointed concentration. Engage the love of the heart and apply the skills of the intellect. Naturally, develop concentration by engaging, not by escaping. Nightly contemplation of one’s own experiences will speed the growth of concentration.
Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:
“Partha, or son of Pritha” – reference to Arjuna in his aspect of human weakness.
“Parantapa” – refers to the true Self which is forever unchanged, the aspect within each devotee that can burn the cover of ignorance.
See the more detailed explanation of Arjuna epithets.
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