Pradyumna: Translation: "The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead (BG 2.11)."
Prabhupāda: "The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living or the dead." This Kṛṣṇa philosophy, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is to teach people to understand what is the constitutional position of the living entity. Here it is said that one who is learned, he does not lament either for the living or for the dead body. (aside:) They should be removed from the front range. They should be removed, they should go backwards. (pause) The present civilization is based on the bodily concept of life: "I am this body." "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am black," "I am white," and so on. The whole civilization is going on on this bodily concept of life. Although there is advancement of learning, many universities and educational institutions, but nowhere this subject matter is discussed or taught, "What I am." Rather, they're still more misled by giving them education that "You are born in this land. You must feel for your nation, you must act for your nation," or the so-called nationality is taught. But nobody is taught actually what he is.
The same position was for Arjuna, Arjuna in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. There was a fight. That is the history of greater India, Mahābhārata. It is called Mahābhārata. This Bhagavad-gītā is part of Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata means greater India or greater planet. So in that history of greater India, there is a, there was a fight between two cousin-brothers, the Pāṇḍavas and the Kurus. The Pāṇḍavas and Kurus, they belonged to the same family known as Kuru dynasty, and at that time, 5,000 years ago, the Kuru dynasty was ruling all over the world. Now, what we know as Bhārata-varṣa is a fraction only. Formerly, this planet was known as Bhārata-varṣa. Before that, from thousands of years ago, this planet was known as Ilāvṛta-varṣa. But there was a great emperor whose name was Bharata. After his name, this planet was known as Bhārata-varṣa. But gradually, in due course of time, people became disintegrated from one unit. Just like we have got experience in India, say, 20 years or 25 years ago, there was no Pakistan. But some way or other, there is another division of Pakistan. So actually, long, long years ago there was no division of this planet. The planet is one, and the king was also one, and the culture was also one. The culture was Vedic culture, and the king was one. As I told you that the Kuru dynasty kings, they ruled over the world. It was monarchy. So there was a fight between two cousin brothers of the same family, and that is the theme of this Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā was spoken in the battlefield. In the battlefield, we have got very little time. This Bhagavad-gītā was spoken when the two parties met on the battlefield. And Arjuna, after seeing the other party, that the other party, all of them belonged to his family, all family members, because it was fight between cousin brothers, so he became compassionate. Compassionately, he said to Kṛṣṇa, "My dear Kṛṣṇa, I don't wish to fight. Let my cousin brothers enjoy the kingdom. I cannot kill them in this fight." This is the subject matter of Bhagavad-gītā. But Kṛṣṇa induced him that "You are a kṣatriya. It is your duty to fight. Why you are deviating from your duty?"
According to Vedic system, there are four classes of men in the society. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). Human society must be divided into four classes of men. Just like in our body, there are four different departments: the brain department, the hand department, the belly department, and the leg department. You require all these. If the body is to be maintained, then you must maintain properly your head, your arms, your belly, and leg. The cooperation. You have heard many times the caste system of India: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. This is not artificial. It is natural. In any society you go, not only in India, in any other country, these four classes of men are there. Intelligent class of men, administrator class of men, productive class of men, and laborer class of men. You call it by different names, but there must be such division. As I told you, there are divisions in my own body—the brain department, the arms department, the belly department, and the leg department. So all the kings, they belong to the arms department for protection of the people. So formerly, the kṣatriyas..., kṣatriya means one who gives protection to the citizens from being harmed by other enemies. That is called kṣatriya.
So our point is that Kṛṣṇa informs Arjuna that "Why you are deviating from your duty? Do you think that your brother or your uncle or your grandfather on the other side, they will be dead after fighting? No. That is not the fact." The point is that Kṛṣṇa wanted to teach Arjuna that this body is different from the person. Just like every one of us, we are different from the shirt and coat. Similarly, we living entities, soul, is different from the gross body and the subtle body. This is the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā. People do not understand it. Generally, people understand that he is this body. That is condemned in the śāstras.
- yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
- sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
- yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
- janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
- (SB 10.84.13)
Go means cow, and khara means ass. Anyone who is living on the bodily concept of life, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke... The bodily concept of life is meant for the animals. The dog does not know that he's not this body, he's pure soul. But a man, if he's educated, he can understand that he's not this body, he is different from this body.