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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 16

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 2 श्लोक 16

नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सतः।
उभयोरपि दृष्टोऽन्तस्त्वनयोस्तत्त्वदर्शिभिः।।2.16।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

2.16 Of the unreal there is no being; the real has no nonexistence. But the nature of both these, indeed, has been realized by the seers of Truth.

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

2.16 The unreal, that is, the body, can never come into being. The real, that is, the self, can never cease to be. The finale about these, the body and the self, which can be experienced, has been realised correctly by the seers of the Truth. As analyis ends in conclusion, the term finale is here used. The meaning is this: Non-existence (i.e., perishableness) is the real nature of the body which is in itself insentient. Existence (i.e., imperishableness) is the real nature of the self, which is sentient. [What follows is the justification of describing the body as unreal and as having never come into being.] Non-existence has, indeed, the nature of perishableness, and existence has the nature of imperishableness, as Bhagavan Parasara has said: O Brahmana, apart from conscious entity there does not exist any group of things anywhere and at any time. Thus have I taught you what is real existence - how conscious entity is real, and all else is unreal (V. P., 2.12.43 - 45). The Supreme Reality is considered as imperishable by the wise. There is no doubt that what can be obtained from a perishable substance is also perishable (Ibid., 2.14.24). That entity which even by a change in time cannot come to possess a difference through modification etc., is real. What is that entity, O King? (It is the self who retains Its knowledge) (Ibid., 2.13.100). It is said here also: These bodies ৷৷. are said to have an end (2.18) and Know That (the Atman) to be indestructible (2.17). It is seen from this that this (i.e., perishableness of the body and imperishableness of the self) is the reason for the designating the Atman as existence (Sattva) and body as non-existence (Asvattva). This verse has no reference to the doctrine of Satkaryavada (i.e., the theory that effects are present in the cause), as such a theory has no relevance here. Arjuna is deluded about the true nature of the body and the self; so what ought to be taught to him in order to remove his delusion, is discrimination between these two - what is alified by perishablenss and what, by imperishableness. This (declaration) is introduced in the following way: For the dead, or for the living (2.11). Again this poin is made clear immediately (by the words), Know that to be indestructible ৷৷. (2.17) and These bodies ৷৷. are said to have an end (2.18). How the imperishableness of the self is to be understood, Sri Krsna now teaches:

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 2.16

Naasato vidyate bhaavo naabhaavo vidyate satah; Ubhayorapi drishto’ntastwanayos tattwadarshibhih.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 2.16

na—no; asataḥ—of the temporary; vidyate—there is; bhāvaḥ—is; na—no; abhāvaḥ—cessation; vidyate—is; sataḥ—of the eternal; ubhayoḥ—of the two; api—also; dṛiṣhṭaḥ—observed; antaḥ—conclusion; tu—verily; anayoḥ—of these; tattva—of the truth; darśhibhiḥ—by the seers