From today the chapter II will be taken up. This is also from the same Sri Krupasamudra Perumal temple Sirupuliyur. In this temple the Lord in smaller image is appearing, unlike in Srirangam or Thiruvananthapuram or Thiruvattaru where the images are bigger. But this in no way is smaller in fame or name. That is why Thirumangai Alwar praises the Lord in the 10 hymns. The elders of this place are planning to renew the gopuram [tower] of this temple and with prayers for a successful renovation of the temple we move on to Chapter II of Gita.
Before we take up the actual Gita slokas, let us see the essence of the 2nd Chapter condensed by the great Acharya Sri Alavandar in his Gitartha Sangraham:
nity¯atm¯asangakarmeh¯agocar¯a s¯a ˙nkhyayogadh¯ıh.
dvit¯ıye sthitadh¯ılaksa prokta tanmoha santaye. 6
“The second chapter in removing the worry in Arjuna has its objectives of eternalness of Atman [soul] and the detached performance of one’s assigned duties [karma]”. In this chapter it is emphasized that the soul or Atman is everlasting or nithyam. While body in which the soul is there is perishable, atman does not perish. To realize this atman one requires wisdom or budhhi as the usual sensual organs like eyes, ears, mouth, etc cannot perceive it. In Sanskrit sankya means wisdom or budhhi and so the atman or soul is called Saankyam. This chapter, because it details about the eternalness of atman, is called Saankya yoga and the previous chapter was called Arjuna vishada yoga. By understanding the Atman’s permanency and by performing one’s duty with detachment to the results one gets the wisdom about the Atman or one gets Gyana. This is an important step. If one gets proper perception of Atman, one will not be able to differentiate between various persons as all differences such as old or young, male or female,short or tall, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, etc. are related to body only. Understanding all souls or Atmas or equal is called Atman Saakshthkaram. This “seeing” or Atman darisanam is very important in the next step of Gyana yoga. How the baffled Arjuna is related to this realization of soul is all the second chapter. Arjuna thinks that in the war he is going to kill his grand father and teacher and others and Sri Krishna is going to tell how Arjuna cannot destroy the soul, by diagnosing his problem in thinking, and suggesting proper remedy.