Judge Not to See Clearly

Chapter II, Verse 55

Sri Nerode’s Translation:


Krishna said:

When a man completely casts away the desires (that shake his mental evenness) and finds soul-satisfaction in the contemplation of the soul, then is he said to be a man of steady wisdom.

Helpful Translation:

Wisdom unlocked by the absence of judgement “Sri Bhagavan” states:

One who has left behind all desires and has left behind the limitation-bound mind, is content with Consciousness alone. This person has steady intuitive Wisdom.


Devotion requires non-judgment. It’s impossible to simultaneously be completely devoted to a person (or even a concept) while also critical of the same. Krishna is noted as Sri Bhagavan, or the one who receives devotion.

Using the moniker for the “Lord of the Bhakti” or “Bhagavan” indicates that devotion is required to understand the following verses as well as to successfully apply the instruction given to the student who uses the Gita as a Sanskrit primer.

Sri Bhagavan starts by restating the previous verses regarding one who is anchored in wisdom. This person is nonattached – no desire for results. This person is indifferent – no desire for action. This person has single pointed concentration upon intuitive wisdom. In this verse, Krishna adds that an enlightened person “leaves the mind” or “enters the state of no-mind”.

Enlightenment may be detected by the ignorant when they observe a preponderance of qualities in an individual. The ignorant person who judges others, i.e. one who lacks devotion, is more likely to believe that a person’s external role determines their stage of enlightenment.

In all of his descriptions of an enlightened human, Krishna never mentions a specific role nor caste as a prerequisite of the most expanded states of consciousness. The enlightened person might be just as likely to collect trash as to preach from a pulpit.

For a sincere seeker of expanded awareness to identify helpful examples, he must be able to look beyond external roles labeled “desirable” or “undesirable”. The goal is to find the qualities that transcend labels and permeate actions.

Without judgement the seeker of an enlightened guide must be able to identify the qualities of enlightenment. In this verse Krishna begins to expound on these qualities. He states that one who lives in the moment with his mind given over to an ideal is an enlightened being.

Easter Eggs:

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

BhagavanAdorable One.

Bhagavan is the aspect of the Godhead that receives unselfish devotion (or bhakti).

Manogatan – “emerging from the mind”. The Buddha described the “no-mind” state as nirvana. In the deepest state of meditation the mind as an average human perceives it becomes dissolved, like sugar granules dissolve in one’s favorite drink.

ParthaSon of Pritha

Pritha is the birth name of Arjuna’s mother Kunti. (His “father” is Indra, the lord of heaven, Svargaloka, who has a thunderbolt, Vajra, in his hand.) Partha indicates the state of human consciousness that is innocent or naïve. Contrast with Kaunteya. The feminine origin of this moniker indicates it is related to the ida nadi.

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Ancient History

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