atmaiva hy atmano bandhur
atmaiva ripur atmanah
"One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well."
Sri Krishna tells that we have to keep our mind pure. Atmana = by thought or by mind, atmanam = self [ jeevatman], uddharet = one should uplift or rescue [from the samsaram], atmana = by mind or thought, atmanam = self [jeevatman], na avasadayet = should not allow to slip [and fall back and remain in samsaram]. So, by thought or mind, one has to uplift oneself and with the same mind one should not allow oneself to slip away. We may wonder, how this is possible? After all mind is same. How it could do two contradictory things? We see friends and enemies as separate persons. Same person can not be both enemy and friend at the same time. So, here we have to add one small adjective to understand what Sri Krishna is talking about. A detached mind will uplift the self and a mind with attachment will push the self to fall down. So with a mind detached from worldly things, we can come out of samsaram. Arjuna gets a doubt. How one's own mind can be unfriendly to oneself? Arjuna saw all friends and relatives of him ready to help and he also found the enemies wanting to destroy him. Sri Krishna asks why Arjuna calls certain persons as friends and others as enemies? Arjuna tells that friends are doing good to him and others are doing bad for him. What good the friends are doing and what bad, the enemies are doing? Friends take care of him. They provide all comforts. Enemies do not care for him and they do not give him comforts. With a smile, Sri Krishna tells that Arjuna should interchange the attributes. He says that the friends Arjuna considered were actually doing bad for him and the enemies considered by him were doing good for him. So called friends by giving all comforts and agreeing with what all he does, actually immerse him further in samsaram. So, they are not doing good. Enemies as considered by Arjuna, on the contrary, make him to get detachment from the worldly matters and so they help him. This is conveyed in the second part of the Asloka. atmaiva hi= mind alone is, atmano = for the soul [jeevatman], bandhu = friend, atmanaiva = mind alone is, atmana = for the self, ripu = enemy. Here also we have to add the adjective to understand. A detached mind is friend and mind with attachment is enemy. We are part of the family and society. But we have to realize our role and do our duty without attachment. By attaching, we never train our mind on the Lord and so we can not escape from this birth-death cycle. Arjuna if he fought the war as a duty enjoined on him and to fight with detachment, then his mind helped him. If the same mind advised him to fight the war for mere kingdom and the regal pleasures, then the mind is enemy to him. Alwar says at many places that a detached mind is able to cling to the feet of the Lord.