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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 2, Verse 21

Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized
Verse: 21
vedavinasinam nityam
ya enam ajam avyayam
katham sa purushah partha
kam ghatayati hanti kam

O Partha, how can a person who knows that the soul is indestructible, eternal, unborn and immutable kill anyone or cause anyone to kill?

The essential characteristics of the soul are again repeated here and will be presented through various adjectives in the next set of verses. Krishna uses these techniques of emphasis through repetition through out the Gita, where in He will repeat an important point several times to make sure it is understood.

Krishna uses the phrase "a person who knows," to imply that Arjuna that should act on the platform of jnana or knowledge. With the understanding that the soul or the self is different from the body, a cultured person will perform his prescribed duty. One who acts on the platform that "I am this body," will be in illusion and not be situated properly. Srila Prabhupada explains that while violence as a rule is condemned, if it is executed as part of the duty it becomes glorious. A judge sentencing a criminal to die, a surgeon cutting a body to cure or a soldier defending his country – all are examples of where violence is required and glorious.

Arjuna may think that "granted the soul does not die – but these men in the battle derive happiness from their bodies. Thus it would be wrong to improperly deprive them of their bodies." Krishna anticipating this argument addresses it in the next verse.

Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.


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