Death is an Illusion

Chapter II, Verse 11

Sri Nerode’s Translation:



Krishna said:

Thou art mourning for these who should not be mourned, yet words of wisdom flow from thy lips. The wise grieve neither for those that are alive nor for those that pass beyond the veil.


Helpful Translation:

Absolute consciousness speaking with compassion tells the devotee yogi that justifying ignorance is the same as giving up. The wise know that birth and death are illusory even as the attachment to mourning is temporary.



On the surface this verse introduces the concept of immortality and the futility of mourning. The casual reader who studies the concepts intellectually will begin to understand the connection between human emotions and human experiences.

Western society doesn’t understand the potential depth behind the meaning of “sacred.” Eastern society has hidden the meaning of sacred behind physical rituals and displays of emotions based in attachment. The meditating yogi who studies the Gita must subtly experience the concepts crudely expressed in words.

In the Sanskrit “Krishna said” is actually the final line in verse 10. Krishna is called Sri Bhagavan, because this section must be approached with a sacred level of devotion. In all translations that break the Bhagavad Gita down verse by verse “Sri Bhagavan said” is included in verse 11.

Vyasa, the author, included this statement at the end of verse 10 for two reasons. First, in case any reader misunderstood “smiles” as “derides” (see the commentary on the previous verse 10 for an explanation), the aspect of the Godhead that receives the unconditional devotion of Arjuna is not the aspect that would deride or mock Arjuna. So, “Bhagavan” at the end of the poetic meter that shows Krishna correcting Arjuna with a “smile”, clarifies the nature of Krishna’s instruction. Second, using Krishna’s Sri Bhagavan epithet indicates a deepening of the meanings of the following phrases. The casual reader might feel the upcoming verses are repetitive and virtually indistinguishable from each other. However, each verse is designed with a specific intention.

The 43 verses, from verse 11 through verse 53, are particularly sacred. When properly understood, each verse gives the Sanskrit user the keys to the creation, nurturing, healing and destruction of self-conscious creatures, like humans. The yogi-Sanskrit master who understands and applies the concepts in these verses correctly controls life in the bodies of humankind.

Easter Eggs:

Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:

Prajnavadams – Above Sri Nerode translates this Sanskrit as “words of wisdom”. However, the meaning is closer to “false words that sound like wisdom”. Using the Bhagavad Gita as a Sanskrit primer, this is the beginning of clarifying the difference between Sanskrit as a human language of communication and Sanskrit as a tool to create instantaneous changes in the causal, subtle/astral, and physical realms.

Bhagavan – “Blessed Lord” or “Almighty Lord” – Krishna speaking in absolute terms about Truth as the aspect of the Godhead that receives unselfish devotion.

The Sanskrit here and in the following verses must be primarily enlivened by channels associated with the pingala nadi.

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Ancient History

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