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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 19

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 2 श्लोक 19

य एनं वेत्ति हन्तारं यश्चैनं मन्यते हतम्।
उभौ तौ न विजानीतो नायं हन्ति न हन्यते।।2.19।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

2.19 He who thinks of this One as the killer, and he who thinks of this One as the killed both of them do not know. This One does not kill, nor is It killed.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

2.19 He who takes the Self to be the slayer and he who thinks It is slain, neither of them ï1knowsï1. It slays not, nor is It slain.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

2.19. Whosoever views This to be the slayer and whosoever believes This to be the slain, both these do not understand : This does not slay, nor is This slain.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

2.19 यः he who? एनम् this (Self)? वेत्ति knows? हन्तारम् slayer? यः he who? च and? एनम् this? मन्यते thinks? हतम् slain? उभौ both? तौ those? न not? विजानीतः know? न not? अयम् this? हन्ति slays? न not? हन्यते is slain.Commentary -- The Self is nondoer (Akarta) and as It is immutable? It is neither the agent nor the object of the act of slaying. He who thinks I slay or I am slain with the body or the Ahamkara (ego)? he does not really comprehend the true nature of the Self. The Self is indestructible. It exists in the three periods of time. It is Sat (Existence). When the body is destroyed? the Self is not destroyed. The body has to undergo change in any case. It is inevitable. But the Self is not at all affected by it. Verses 19? 20? 21? 23 and 24 speak of the immortality of the Self or Atman. (Cf.XVIII.17)

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

2.19 But the ideas that you have, Bhisma and others are neing killed by me in war; I am surely their killer this idea of yours is false. How? Yah, he who; vetti, thinks; of enam, this One, the embodied One under consideration; as hantaram, the killer, the agent of the act of killing; ca, and; yah, he who, the other who; manyate, thinks; of enam, this One; as hatam, the killed (who thinks) When the body is killed, I am myself killed; I become the object of the act of killing; ubhau tau, both of them; owing to non-discrimination, na, do not; vijanitah, know the Self which is the subject of the consciousness of I. The meaning is: On the killing of the body, he who thinks of the Self ( the content of the consciousness of I ) [The Ast. omits this phrase from the precedig sentence and includes it in this place. The A.A. has this phrase in both the places.-Tr.] as I am the killer, and he who thinks, I have been killed, both of them are ignorant of the nature of the Self. For, ayam, this Self; owing to Its changelessness, na hanti, does not kill, does not become the agent of the act of killing; na hanyate, nor is It killed, i.e. It does not become the object (of the act of killing). The second verse is to show how the Self is changeless:

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

2.19 Ya enam etc. Whosoever veiws This i.e., the Self and the body, to be the slayer and the slain, ignorance is in him. That is why he is in bondage. The same [point the Lord] clarifies -

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

2.19 With regard to This viz., the self, whose nature has been described above, he who thinks of It as the slayer, i.e., as the cause of slaying, and he who thinks This (self) as slain by some cause or other - both of them do not know. As this self is eternal for the reasons mentioned above, no possible cause of destruction can slay It and for the same reason, It cannot be slain. Though the root han (to slay) has the self for its object, it signifies causing the separation of the body from the self and not destruction of the self. Scriptural texts like You shall not cause injury to beings and The Brahmana shall not be killed? (K. Sm. 8.2) indicate unsanctioned actions, causing separation of the body from the self. [In the above otes, slaughter in an ethical sense is referred to, while the text refers to killing or separating the self from the body in a metaphsyical sense. This is made explicit in the following verse].

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

“O friend Arjuna! You, a soul as well, are neither the performer of killing nor the object of killing.” That is expressed in this verse. He who thinks the jiva (enam) is the killer, that Arjuna is the killer of Bhisma and others, and he who thinks that the jiva is killed, that Arjuna is killed by Bhisma, are both ignorant. Therefore, what is your fear of infamy from the words of ignorant people who say that Arjuna killed his guru?

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Thus it can be clearly demonstrated that the grief that would arise due to the death of Bhishma and other exalted superiors has been negated. Also Arjunas statement in chapter one, verse thirty-five of not wanting to slay them has been proven equally groundless as well by the Supreme Lords explanation of the Ultimate Truth revealing that the eternal soul does not slay anything and the eternal soul cannot be slain by anything. The reason for this is given in the next verse.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

In the minds of living entities identifying themselves only as their physical bodies, or as their species, planet, or country as the case may be; the declaration that one who thinks that one can be factually slain or one who thinks that one can factually slay are both deluded, poses bewilderment. What can be factually slain is the physical body but not the embodied soul. The living entity becomes alive only by the energising facility of the Supreme Lord by the activation of the soul. Thus the Supreme Lord is always to be worshipped and glorified. Now begins the summation. If the statement one who thinks the living entity is able to kill another living entity independently on their own would be considered then the statement of the Supreme Lord in chapter 11, verse 34 kill those whom have already been killed by Me would be contradictory. The word hantaram being applicable to the soul is applicable to the Supreme Lord as well.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Whoever speculates that it is possible by any means to kill the soul and whoever speculates that anyone can be instrumental in killing the soul is factually deficient in actual knowledge. The soul being of an eternal nature can never be destroyed by anything nor can the soul ever destroy anything. The root word hanti meaning to slay connotes an act which connects with the soul; but the action of killing indicates that there is a separation of the soul from the body. Thus the Vedic injunctions: na himsyad bhutani meaning no creature shall be harmed and brahmano na hantavyah that no brahmana shall ever be killed specifically emphasises that it is an act of acute and heinous unrighteousness to cause the separation of any soul from its embodied state unnaturally which happens at the time of death.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Whoever speculates that it is possible by any means to kill the soul and whoever speculates that anyone can be instrumental in killing the soul is factually deficient in actual knowledge. The soul being of an eternal nature can never be destroyed by anything nor can the soul ever destroy anything. The root word hanti meaning to slay connotes an act which connects with the soul; but the action of killing indicates that there is a separation of the soul from the body. Thus the Vedic injunctions: na himsyad bhutani meaning no creature shall be harmed and brahmano na hantavyah that no brahmana shall ever be killed specifically emphasises that it is an act of acute and heinous unrighteousness to cause the separation of any soul from its embodied state unnaturally which happens at the time of death.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 2.19

Ya enam vetti hantaaram yashchainam manyate hatam; Ubhau tau na vijaaneeto naayam hanti na hanyate.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 2.19

yaḥ—one who; enam—this; vetti—knows; hantāram—the slayer; yaḥ—one who; cha—and; enam—this; manyate—thinks; hatam—slain; ubhau—both; tau—they; na—not; vijānītaḥ—in knowledge; na—neither; ayam—this; hanti—slays; na—nor; hanyate—is killed