Let us understand why Srila Prabhupada named Chapter 2 of BG as “Contents of the Gita Summarized” and Chapter 6 as “Sankhya Yoga”

November 27, 2020 in Articles by Laksman dasa

Let us understand why Srila Prabhupada named Chapter 2 of BG as “Contents of the Gita Summarized” and Chapter 6 as “Sankhya Yoga”

In the 1972 Macmillan Original Bhagavad Gita, we know that Chapter 2 is named as “Contents of the Gita Summarized” and Chapter 6 as “Sankhya Yoga”.
This is contrary to the chapter names of all other Bhagavad Gita translations found today where Chapter 2 is called “Sankhya Yoga” and Chapter 6 is “Dhyana Yoga”.
Even in 1983 onwards revised editions, the have followed suit by changing the names of these 2 chapters.
It appears that these editors while doing their “so called corrections”, did not even understand why did Srila Prabhupada name these 2 chapters in that way. The Macmillan edition is the only edition in English that has these 2 chapters named in this way, contrary to other editions including the 1983 onwards revised Gitas.
Let us hear from Srila Prabhupada himself why he named them like this.
1. Clarification regarding chapter 2:Original 1972 Macmillan Gita name of chapter 2: “Contents of the Gita Summarized”
Changed 1983 Gita name of Chapter 2: “Sankhya Yoga”

Purport from Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summatized,Verse 72, Bhagavad Gita As It is,1972 original unrevised Macmillan Edition:

“Śrīla Bhaktivinode Ṭhākur has summarized this Second Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā as being the contents for the whole text. In the Bhagavad-gītāthe subject matters are karmayogajñānayogaand bhaktiyogaIn the Second Chapter karmayoga and jñānayoga have been clearly discussed, and a glimpse of bhaktiyoga has also been given, as the contents for the complete text.”

This description towards the end of Chapter 2 makes it very clear as to why it has been named this way. 
1. Clarification regarding chapter 6:
Original 1972 Macmillan Gita name of chapter 6: “Sankhya Yoga”

Changed 1983 Gita name of Chapter 6: “Dhyana Yoga”
Srimad-Bhagavatam (SB), 4.8.43 purport, 
“It appears from this statement that Dhruva Maharaja had already been instructed how to practice the eightfold yoga system, which is known as astanga-yoga. This system is explained in our Bhagavad-gita As It Is, in the chapter entitled, ‘Sankhya-yoga,’
“It is recommended, it must be a solitary place, sacred place, and alone. And then you have to sit, or you have to select your sitting place. There are so many things. Of course, those things cannot be explained within few minutes. If you are very much interested, you’ll find in this book, “Sāṅkhya-yoga” chapter.”( April 30, 1969)
“These Kṛṣṇa conscious persons, people, they are also yogīs, bhakti-yogīs. They are the best of the yogīs. As we see in the Bhagavad-gītā, in the chapter in which sāṅkhya-yoga has been explained, the conclusion is, yoginām api sarveṣām (BG 6.47): “Of all the yogīs . . .” yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā, “one who is thinking within himself about Me, Kṛṣṇa,” mad-gaten . . . śraddhāvān, “with faith and love,” bhajate mām, “engaged in My devotional service,” sa me yuktatamo mataḥ, “he is the first-class yogī.” He is the first-class yogī.” [720803 – Lecture SB 05.05.01 – London]

One should meditate upon Me. And ultimately, where is the meditation. Not in void. Just on Viṣṇu, this Viṣṇu form. That is sāṅkhya-yoga.
This sāṅkhya-yoga was first practiced by Kapiladeva. He is incarnation of God, Kṛṣṇa. So this is the secret of yoga. That this, I mean to say, process of sitting and seeing the tip of your nose and sitting straight, all these means will help you to concentrate your mind on the Viṣṇu form, or Kṛṣṇa. One should meditate upon Me. This meditation means meditation on Kṛṣṇa. So here in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, it is directly simply on Kṛṣṇa. There is nothing, therefore nobody is better meditator than these boys. They are simply concentrating on Kṛṣṇa. Their whole business is Kṛṣṇa. They’re working in the garden, digging the earth, “Oh, there will be nice rose, we shall offer to Kṛṣṇa.” Meditation. Practical meditation. I shall grow rose and it will be offered to Kṛṣṇa. Even in the digging there is meditation. You see? They are preparing nice foodstuff, “Oh, it will be eaten by Kṛṣṇa.” So in cooking there is meditation. You see? You see? And what to speak of chanting and dancing. So they are meditating twenty-four hours in Kṛṣṇa. Perfect yogi. Let anyone come and challenge. These boys are perfect yogis.
We are teaching perfect yoga system. Not whimsically. On the authority of Bhagavad-gītā. We have not manufactured anything by concoction, but here is the statement, you see? Simply to concentrate your mind on Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu. and their activities have been so molded that they cannot think of Kṛṣṇa, cannot think but Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa. So they are highest meditators. “Think upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.” So Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate goal of life. They are preparing themselves for being transferred to the Kṛṣṇaloka. So here is a perfect yoga. Perfect yoga they are practicing. Go on.[Bhagavad-gītā Lecture, Chapter 6, Sankhya Yoga,Verses 6.13-15,—Los Angeles, February 16, 1969]
Some more clarification between differences of 2 Sankhya philosophies: The first Sankhya yoga is described in BG Chapter 2, where Krsna declares in BG 2.39. This Sankhya is the analytical description of the distinction between the body and soul. The second sankhya yoga is was described in the quotes above as the Ashtanga yoga/eightfold yoga system, or the Sankhya Yoga as told by Lord Kapila.
Another excerpt below from BG 2.39 Purport expains the difference between 2 sankhya yogas.
Purport from B 2.39 Original Macmillan 1972 Edition
“Thus the buddhi-yoga mentioned in this verse is the devotional service of the Lord, and the word sāṅkhya mentioned herein has nothing to do with the atheistic sāṅkhya-yoga enunciated by the impostor Kapila. One should not, therefore, misunderstand that the sāṅkhya-yoga mentioned herein has any connection with the atheistic sāṅkhya. Nor did that philosophy have any influence during that time; nor would Lord Kṛṣṇa care to mention such godless philosophical speculations. Real sāṅkhya philosophy is described by Lord Kapila in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but even that sāṅkhya has nothing to do with the current topics.Here, sāṅkhya means analytical description of the body and the soul. Lord Kṛṣṇa made an analytical description of the soul just to bring Arjuna to the point of buddhi-yoga, or bhakti-yoga. Therefore, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s sāṅkhya and Lord Kapila’s sāṅkhya, as described in the Bhāgavatam; are one and the same. They are all bhakti-yoga. He said, therefore, that only the less intelligent class of men make a distinction between sāṅkhya-yoga and bhakti-yoga.
Of course, atheistic sāṅkhya-yoga has nothing to do with bhakti-yoga, yet the unintelligent claim that the atheistic sāṅkhya-yoga is referred to in the Bhagavad-gītā.”

These instructions clear the doubts from the minds of the people and whatever Srila Prabhupada has written is exactly taken from previous acaryas without any change