Chapter 2 Verse 31 – Samkhya Yoga

Sloka

Krodhaad bhavati sammohah sammohaat smriti vibhramah;
Smritibhramshaad buddhinaasho buddhinaashaat pranashyati.

Translation

From anger comes delusion; from delusion the loss of memory;
from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from the destruction of discrimination he perishes.

Interpretation

Continuing the previous shloka, where He says that the reason for anger is desire, Lord Krishna further goes deeper into the causes and repercussions of anger. He says that when a person loses control on his mind, he gets angry and that leads to loss of memory.

Loss of memory is nothing but his inability to see things like they are. When a person loses the capacity of seeing things as they are, his ability to discriminate between good and bad gets destroyed. And when that happens he will get perished and disappears from the world.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

Can you perish from this World before your body perishes? This is the question you get when you finish reading the interpretation of this shloka. The answer to this question is YES. You can perish from this world before your body perishes. First ask what are you? You are not just your body. When you interact with people on a daily basis its not just your body that is involved. You are known for their actions not your appearance. Long after your body perishes with your death, you will still be alive because of your actions.

Its been more than 30 years since the famous playback singer Kishore Kumar is dead. But he is alive in millions of hearts through his songs. Its been more than 20 years since NT Rama Rao passed away. But ask an Telugu person he remembers and idolises NTR. That’s how a man remains alive, even after his death.

But the point is, can a man be dead before he is dead. That is what Krishna says in this verse. When you get angry and in that anger you lose the balance of mind and perform actions that are destructive, you would be hated in such a way that nobody remembers you or talks to you even if you are alive. It usually happens when you lose respect on a person and stop treating him with respect.

For example, if the person whom you see as an idol suddenly comes across as a cheat and corrupt, can you bear that thought? It will completely make you to lose all the respect that you have for him, and he stops being there in your life. Anger can lead to lot of situations, other than physical harm. It can lead to cheating, deceit, rape and other forms of crimes also. A balanced mind alone can prevent you from such vices.