Chapter II, Verse 25
Sri Nerode’s Translation:
Unmanifested, unthinkable, unchangeable, this is Soul. Knowing it, so, how can thou grieve?
The blind mind and limited intellect cannot conceive of the soul because it does not have material form. No need for anyone to worry about that which cannot be understood.
The contrast described in verse 25 is between the blind mind and intellectual understanding as compared to Intuition and Wisdom.
Brother Anandamoy, a monastic in the Self-Realization Fellowship order, was giving a talk about the difficulties every individual faces in life. Speaking about a personal problem he said, “It bothered me for weeks. I couldn’t sleep. It was so bad, that today I don’t even remember what the issue was.”
The audience burst out laughing.
Attachment is blinding. Attachment creates forgetfulness. When individual consciousness becomes attached to a body, it is blind to the truth and forgetful of its own nature.
Krishna has been describing the nature of consciousness in relation to the body in a very high sense. Krishna has been openly stating the truth about individual consciousness. Consciousness is eternal, complete and perceives all experiences in the same manner. Consciousness is not impacted by a single body, nor by any of the material elements.
In this verse Krishna summarizes Consciousness: It is within all matter but is not manifest; it is all thoughts yet is unthinkable; it is all change, yet never changes. Krishna finds these concepts to be self-apparent and asks Arjuna, “How can you grieve over an illusion?”
The expression on Arjuna’s face indicates that he has not followed Krishna’s line of reasoning and the concepts are not apparent to him. In the next verse, Krishna tries another course of explanation to help Arjuna expand his limited perception.
Throughout the Bhagavad Gita discourse, between Krishna and Arjuna, Krishna states the highest wisdom from a state of pure consciousness. Once he gives the ideal, he then proceeds to “dumb down” the information in order to appeal to the limited intellectual capacity of an average human. For the most part, Arjuna agrees or shudders when he understands. When he does not understand, he might also ask clarifying questions.
In this verse, it is implied that Krishna realizes Arjuna does not comprehend the concept of the unmanifest Consciousness remaining present in a material universe. At this point, Arjuna likely agrees with the French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes who said, “I think (intellectually); therefore I am.” Krishna however would disagree. Only Consciousness allows one to think.
Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:
For the student striving to apply the Sanskrit tool, it is necessary to understand how something comes from “nothing”. Verses 11 through 25 discuss how to create an illusion by modifying various attachments.
Download a PDF copy of this post.