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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 13

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 2 श्लोक 13

देहिनोऽस्मिन्यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा।
तथा देहान्तरप्राप्तिर्धीरस्तत्र न मुह्यति।।2.13।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

2.13 As are boyhood, youth and decrepitude to an embodied being in this (present) body, similar is the acisition of another body. This being so, an intelligent person does not get deluded.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

2.13 Just as in this body the embodied (soul) passes into childhood, youth and old age, so also does it pass into another body; the firm man does not grieve thereat.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

2.13. Just as the boyhood, youth and old age come to the embodied Soul in this body, in the same manner is the attaining of another body; the wise man is not deluded at that.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

2.13 देहिनः of the embodied (soul)? अस्मिन् in this? यथा as? देहे in body? कौमारम् childhood? यौवनम् youth? जरा old age? तथा so also? देहान्तरप्राप्तिः the attaining of another body? धीरः the firm? तत्र thereat? न not? मुह्यति grieves.Commentary -- Just as there is no interruption in the passing of childhood into youth and youth into old age in this body? so also there is no interruption by death in the continuity of the ego. The Self is not dead at the termination of the stage? viz.? childhood. It is certainly not born again at the beginning of the second stage? viz.? youth. Just as the Self passes unchanged from childhood to youth and from yourth to old age? so also the Self passes unchanged from one body into,another. Therefore? the wise man is not at all distressed about it.

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

2.13 As to that, to show how the Self is eternal, the Lord cites an illustration by saying,৷৷.of the embodied, etc. Yatha, as are, the manner in which; kaumaram, boyhood; yauvanam, youth, middle age; and jara, decrepitude, advance of age; dehinah, to an embodied being, to one who possesses a body (deha), to the Self possessing a body; asmin, in this, present; dehe, body . These three states are mutually distinct. On these, when the first state gets destroyed the Self does not get destroyed; when the second state comes into being It is not born. What then? It is seen that the Self, which verily remains unchanged, acires the second and third states. Tatha, similar, indeed; is Its, the unchanging Selfs dehantarapraptih, acisition of another body, a body different from the present one. This is the meaning. Tatra, this being so; dhirah, an intelligent person; na, does not; muhyati, get deluded.

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

2.12-13 Na hi etc. Dehinah etc Never indeed did I not exist, but I did exist [always]. Likewise are you and these kings. If there can be lamentability for one, on attaining change in physical form then why is one not lamented over when one attains the youth from the boyhood ? He, who is wise, does not lament. But, wisdom is easily attainable for him whose concern is not even for this [present] body. Therefore you must seek wisdom.

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

2.13 As the self is eternal, one does not grieve, thinking that the self is lost, when an embodied self living in a body gives up the state of childhood and attains youth and other states. Similarly, the wise men, knowing that the self is eternal, do not grieve, when the self attains a body different from the present body. Hence the selves, being eternal, are not fit objects for grief. This much has to be done here; the eternal selves because of Their being subject ot beginningless Karma become endowed with bodies suited to Their Karmas. To get rid of this bondage (of bodies), embodied beings perform duties like war appropriate to their stations in life with the help of the same bodies in an attitude of detachment from the fruits as prescribed by the scripture. Even to such aspirants, contacts with sense-objects give pleasure and pain, arising from cold, heat and such other things. But these experiences are to be endured till the acts enjoined in the scriptures come to an end. The Lord explains the significance immediately afterwards:

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

“One’s body becomes the object of affection as it is related to the soul (which is most dear to the self.) By relation with that body, one’s sons,   brothers or other relatives become objects of affection. And by relationship to them, even their sons also become objects of affection. So when their bodies perish, there will certainly be lamentation.” In answer to this, he speaks this verse. “In the body belonging to the jiva (dehinah) one attains stages such as boyhood. After boyhood is destroyed one attains youth. When youth is destroyed one attains old age. In the same manner, one attains another body. Just as (yatha) one does not lament for the destruction of the objects of affection in the form of boyhood and youth of the body which are related to the soul, so (tatha) one should also not lament for the destruction of the object of affection, the body, which is also related to the soul.” “But with the destruction of youth and attaining old age one does lament.” “With the destruction of boyhood and attainment of youth one rejoices. With the destruction of worn out bodies of Bhisma and Drona, they will attain new bodies and will also become joyful.” Another meaning is: Just as in one body one attains various states such as boyhood, the one jiva attains various bodies life after life.

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

It may be argued that although it is certainly true that the Supreme Lord Krishna is not ever subject to birth and death being transcendental to the material manifestation what about the individual living entities who everyday are dying and being born. This is what is being answered in this verse. Even as the embodied living entity in the very same lifetime, possesses different physical bodies during different stages of life such as infancy, youth and old age; but always keeping the consciousness that one is the same individual despite these modifications presented in the form of the body. So it can be understood that on the destruction of the physical body the eternal soul is embodied in another physical body only due to the impressions one has accumulated in their subtle body and that the subtle body is real is observed at the birth of an infant who begins to suck the mothers breast immediately owing to past life impressions. The eternal soul does not perish when the physical body perishes; therefore the spiritually intelligent are not deluded by the birth or destruction of the body knowing that the eternal soul is not subject to birth or death.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

This verse confirms that the soul is distinct from the body but by it being distinct does not make it independent. Only when the physical body is seen changing through infancy, childhood, youth etc. can this separate distinctness be perceived and thus confirmed until the soul giving up its present body acquires a new body and in some rare cases a living entity can recollect their past lives. The physical body is obviously not what has the experience of childhood, youth, etc as is evidenced when the body is dead. The body is just the container and when the soul has departed. The body has no further identification with the soul leading itself to experience that it is a human being or tiger or worm or whatever physical form it possessed as the case may be. But due to the fact that the soul remains within the physical body during deep sleep similar to the ego centered mind; it is possible to perceive the existence of the soul as an independent consciousness whereas the body is merely like a wooden box. This is verified by direct experience from the transcendental authority of the Vedas. It cannot be conceived by any mental or intellectual genius because it is beyond the scope of materialism. Nor can the Vedas reflect any vestige of human intellect or human endeavour within them because they come exclusively from the divine revelations of Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa avatara an authorised incarnation of the Supreme Lord confirmed by name in the Vedic scripture known as Srimad Bhagavatam or Bhagavat Purana Without understanding that there is a transcendental source to the eternal Vedas, the establishment of statements regarding righteousness cannot be applicable for all eternity and if they are not accepted for all time then there would have been no reason for them to exist and they would not have been the basic foundation for the instruction of righteousness. Without the universality of these premises the denial of what is not truth would not have been possible. There would then have been no connection to eternality from any established source. Therefore the principles found in the eternal Vedas constitute what is real. Otherwise without superior guidance from an eternal source nothing in this life can be accepted as absolute evidence. Things that we have heard would have no relevance as they would have nothing to reference it to. Otherwise one would have no thoughts or response to this that you are now reading. It would appear as a figment of the imagination. It would then be a cause of misery unless one was due to self-realisation an exception to this. If activities are judged with reference to righteousness or unrighteousness then facades of being unaware are not valid and intention is automatically exposed. The transcendental statements found in the Vedas are eternal being established beyond the purview of time, hence the Vedas are self-evident and are to be known as absolute giving perfect knowledge of the Ultimate Truth. By the authority of the Vedas the wise are never deluded. Otherwise why would there be any sorrow thinking that the destruction of the physical body is the destruction of the soul. The soul cannot be destroyed. The soul is eternal thus the statement not that you were not. Not even by the destruction of the physical body. Hence the statement dehinah meaning the soul being the occupier of the deha which is the body. Even with the physical body changing its form as from infancy to childhood to youth etc. or being pitiful on account of old age etc. With the deterioration and demise of the body certainly comes the acceptance of another new body. Now begins the summation. The Supreme Lord Krishna to illustrate that there is no possibility of His having a physical body uses the word dehinah as an adjective to describe the plight of all embodied beings by stating: with the transmigration from one body to another. Therefore perceiving it as just a further modification of the body coming after old age there is no justification for sorrow.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Ramanuja. Bhagavad-Gita: chapter 2, verse 14 The qualities of sound, feeling, colour, taste and smell with their corresponding faculties known as the senses are called matras because they manifest from the basic fundamental elements of water, fire, earth, air and ether. Contact of the senses with these matras cause such physical perceptions of duality as cold and hot, hard and soft, bitter and sweet that are experienced as pleasure or pain. The use of cold and heat in this verse is symbolised as the summation of all external experiences. The Supreme Lord instructs Arjuna to tolerate them with courage while fulfilling ones duties to completion. As these external experiences come and go they should not be regarded as impediments to discharging ones responsibilities by men of courage. Also they are anitya or temporary, meaning that for whoever has achieved the termination of their karma as in the case of one who has attained mukti or liberation, the dualities of physical sensations are not able to disturb or distract. Are these experiences of the duality of physical sensations causing the perception of pleasure and pain of any value? It will be discoursed in the next verse.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Ramanuja. Bhagavad-Gita: chapter 2, verse 14 The qualities of sound, feeling, colour, taste and smell with their corresponding faculties known as the senses are called matras because they manifest from the basic fundamental elements of water, fire, earth, air and ether. Contact of the senses with these matras cause such physical perceptions of duality as cold and hot, hard and soft, bitter and sweet that are experienced as pleasure or pain. The use of cold and heat in this verse is symbolised as the summation of all external experiences. The Supreme Lord instructs Arjuna to tolerate them with courage while fulfilling ones duties to completion. As these external experiences come and go they should not be regarded as impediments to discharging ones responsibilities by men of courage. Also they are anitya or temporary, meaning that for whoever has achieved the termination of their karma as in the case of one who has attained mukti or liberation, the dualities of physical sensations are not able to disturb or distract. Are these experiences of the duality of physical sensations causing the perception of pleasure and pain of any value? It will be discoursed in the next verse.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 2.13

Dehino’smin yathaa dehe kaumaaram yauvanam jaraa; Tathaa dehaantara praaptir dheeras tatra na muhyati.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 2.13

dehinaḥ—of the embodied; asmin—in this; yathā—as; dehe—in the body; kaumāram—childhood; yauvanam—youth; jarā—old age; tathā—similarly; deha-antara—another body; prāptiḥ—achieves; dhīraḥ—the wise; tatra—thereupon; na muhyati—are not deluded