Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2 (Part-1) Saankhya Yogah- Yoga Of Knowledge

arjuna  uvaacha
katham  bheeshmamaham sankhye dronam cha madhusoodana
ishubhih  pratiyotsyaami poojaarhaav arisoodana //2.4 //

Arjuna  said
But  O Madhusudana, how can I strike Bhishma and Drona with arrows in this battle, for  they are worthy of worship, O Arisudana (Destroyer of enemies - Krishna)?

guroon  ahatwaa hi mahaanubhaavaan
shreyo  bhoktum bhaikshyam apeeha loke
hatwaarthakaamaamstu  guroon ihaiva
bhunjeeya  bhogaan rudhirapradigdhaan  // 2.5 //

It  is better to live in this world by begging than to slay these honored teachers.  By slaying them I would enjoy in this world  pleasures which are stained with blood.

na  chaitad vidmah kataran no gareeyo
yad  waa jayema yadi vaa no jayeyuh
yaan  eva hatwaa na jijeevishaamas
te'vasthitaah  pramukhe dhaartaraashtraah // 2.6 //

I  can hardly tell which will be better - to fight or not to fight,  that we should conquer them or they should  conquer us .The very sons of Dhritarashtra after slaying whom we do not even  wish to live stand facing us.

kaarpanya  dosho pahata swabhaavah
pricchaami  twaam dharma sammoodha chetaah
yacchreyah  syaan nischitam broohi tanme
shishyaste'ham  shaadhi maam twaam prapannam // 2.7 //

With  my nature stricken with weakness of sentimental pity and my mind bewildered  about my duty, I request you to tell me for certain what is good for me.  I am your disciple.  Please teach me.  I am seeking refuge in you

na  hi prapashyaami mamaapanudyaad
yacchokam  ucchoshanam indriyaanaam
avaapya  bhoomaav asapatnam riddham
raajyam  suraanaam api chaadhipatyam  // 2.8 //

For,  even after obtaining an undisputed sovereignty and an affluent kingdom on this  earth and lordship over the Gods, I do not see any means of driving away this  grief which is drying up my senses.

Arjuna  wondered as to how he was being asked to fight Bhishma and Drona, who were not  his enemies but respected elders and teachers worthy of worship.  When even using soft words against them was  considered sin, Arjuna was surprised about his being exhorted to wage war  against them with arrows.

Arjuna  continued that it would be better for him to eat food by begging, which was most  unbecoming for a man of warrior class, than to slay his noble elders on the  Kaurava side. He felt that even if they were killed, his subsequent enjoyment  would be stained with their blood and therefore not worth anything and the life  in this world would be nothing but hell.

A question  arises, why is it that Bhishma and Drona, who are not his enemies, are on the  side of Duryodhana? They are there because as Arjuna says Bhishma and Drona are ‘arthakaman’, which means even though they never approved the criminal  ways of Duryodhana, they still sought, accepted and enjoyed the royal  hospitality of Duryodhana for so long that they now feel obligated to him so  much that they simply cannot abandon Duryodhana in his time of need. That is  how Bhishma and Drona are now caught on the side of Duryodhana. Arjuna feels  that it is their problem and he has nothing to do with it and so he sticks to  his point of view that they are worthy of his worship.

He had also  said that Duryodhana and his companions being goaded by greed were prepared to  wage war; but for himself if he wages war, he will enjoy only blood-stained  pleasure in the form of wealth and sensual enjoyment. Thus he perceives nothing  but evil in waging war.

When  an evil comes to us in the form of an evil, it is easier to do away with it,  than when it comes in the garb of something good. Ravana could not be  recognized by Sita because he disguised himself as a sage while Krishna killed  Kamsa and others recognizing them as evil forces. Similarly Arjuna perceives that  it is virtuous not to wage war and it is an evil to wage war. Hence Krishna had  to give an elaborate explanation to convince Arjuna about the real wisdom.

When  sentiment overtook and clouded his understanding Arjuna lost the faculty of judgment  and started doubting as to who whould conquer whom?

Realizing  his complete helplessness in knowing the nature of his duty and admitting his  incapacity to face the crisis and the challenges presented before him, he  surrendered himself to Sri Krishna. He confessed before The Lord that he was  his disciple and requested Him to tell him for certain what was good for him.
Arjuna  does not ask for a metaphysic as he is not a seeker of knowledge; as a man of  action he asks for the law of action, for his dharma, for what he has to do in  this difficulty. “Master, what would you have me to do?” that is his question.

Arjuna  made it clear that in spite of the victory in the war which will in any case  bring him an affluent kingdom on this earth and lordship over the Gods, he could  not see any way to drive away his grief which was eating away his vitals.  He appealed to The Lord to show him a  definite way which would remove his grief and guide him in his Dharma.

sanjaya  uvaacha
evam  uktwaa hrishikesham gudakeshah parantapah
na  yotsya iti govindam uktwaa tooshneem babhoova ha // 2.9 //

Sanjaya  said
Having  thus spoken to Hrishikesa (Krishna), Arjuna the destroyer of foes (Parantapa),  said to Govinda (Krishna) I will not fight and became silent.

tam  uvaacha hrisheekeshah prahasanniva bhaarata
senayor  ubhayor madhye visheedantam idam vachah // 2.10 //

O  descendent of Bharata (Dhritarashtra), then Krishna, as if smiling, spoke these  words to him (Arjuna) thus depressed in the midst of the two armies.

Even  after taking refuge in The Lord and seeking His grace, the great warrior Arjuna  decidedly told Sri Bhagavan that he would not fight and became silent and  quiet. Becoming silent and quiet in the face of a crisis was an expression of  bewilderment and helplessness. We may notice that despite asking his teacher to  advise him, Arjuna already made up his mind not to fight without even waiting  for the advice sought. This indicates the confused state of his mind. In this  situation the teacher’s task becomes all the more difficult to convince the  student.

The  depiction of Arjuna as a person sorrowing in the midst of the two armies was in  contrast with his description as an enthusiastic warrior ready to fight when he  requested Krishna to place their chariot in between both the forces.

Sri  Krishna’s virtual smile indicates that He saw through Arjuna’s attempt at  rationalization of his wishful thinking. The attitude of the savior Lord who  knows all the sins and sorrows of the suffering humanity is one of the tender  pity and thoughtful understanding and not of reproach or censure.

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