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

Concepts  and Issues
It  would be observed from the above dialogue that Arjuna was extremely grieved,  his eyes were filled with tears and his heart was overcome with sorrow, thinking  of those on the battlefield and surveying both armies while the weapons were  beginning to be discharged.

Krishna  rebuked Arjuna, the great warrior and told him to shake of all weakness.  Arjuna, being of the warrior class, was  obliged to fight for a righteous cause and for justice. He did not think of his  kinsmen or relatives before coming to the battlefield. He was very enthusiastic  and did everything to organize. He was commanding a large army. But after  seeing his relatives and friends and thinking of the result of the battle, he  hesitated and thought what good would come out of such a fight.. His heart  filled with pity and sorrow. He became nervous and lost his head and so he  wanted to retire from the battlefield at that crucial moment.

Krishna  said “No, that is not manliness”. Krishna found that the cause of his grief and  sorrow was lack of right knowledge; it was attachment and ignorance and he  tried to remove the cause of his sorrow and grief in the light of  self-knowledge.

It  may be noted from the long statement of Arjuna that the following real issues involved  were sidetracked.
1. The war was between two sets of ideals, the just and the unjust, righteousness and covetousness.
2. On the battlefield there was no individual identity like father, son, grandfather, teacher, friend etc. Each one there represented his side and the values that it stood for and it was his duty to fight for them.
3. He committed the error of looking at the problem from his personal point of view.  He did not look at the situation in       totality but viewed it through his colored eye-glass of egoism, the sense of `I' ness and `my' ness.
4. He saw himself attached to others: as a student of Drona, grandson of Bhishma and overlooked his duty at that critical juncture which was nothing but to fight. On the contrary although Bhishma and Drona were on the other end of that relationship which was tormenting Arjuna they did not undergo any such sentimental pangs as Arjuna did and they were ready to fire the first shot.

The  more one gets attached or identified with the sense of `I'ness and `my' ness  the more he will be faced with problems and confusions in life. The moment he  enlarges his vision and identifies himself with basic principles his confusions  would disappear and he would discover his real identity with the Self.  This is what Krishna's teachings will do to  Arjuna.

In  order to have the mist cleared from his mind Arjuna at last totally surrendered  before The Lord and begged him to show what was good for him.  Arjuna wanted to know from Krishna what was  decidedly good for him i.e. Shreyas.  The  term ‘good' did not mean good only for him but good to all those around him  also.  It also meant not only his  material prosperity but spiritual enlightenment for perceiving the Reality or  Self within himself.

He  admitted his confusion with regard to his Dharma or duty. The question in  Arjuna's mind was how he should act which was expected of him or what was his  Dharma.  The relationship of Arjuna with  Krishna had now changed from a friend to a student, from an equal to a disciple.  Weighed down by wretchedness, confused about what is right and wrong, Arjuna  seeks light and guidance from his teacher, the Divine by his side. When one's  world is in ruins, one can only turn within and seek illumination as the gift  of God's infinite compassion.

It  is the general experience of the seekers that they are assailed by doubts and  difficulties even when they are on the threshold of light. The light as it  begins to shine in any soul provokes the darkness to resist it. Arjuna faces  difficulties, both inward and outward such as the resistance of the relations  and friends, doubts and fears, passions and desires. They must all be laid to  rest and consumed in the fire of wisdom. The struggle with the darkness will  continue until the light fills one’s whole being. The conflict in Arjuna must  be healed. He must attain to a new, integral, comprehensive consciousness.

This  frame of mind was a pre-requisite for the attainment of spiritual  enlightenment.  It was a turning point.  The Lord took note of it, sympathized with him and infused courage in him which  was the crying need of that hour. In His efforts to release Arjuna from his  doubts Sri Krishna refers to the doctrine of the indestructibility of the Self,  appeals to his sense of honor and martial traditions, reveals to him God's  purpose and points out how action is to be undertaken in the world.

We  all are self-deluded men in the battlefield of this world. So long as we are in  the charming and enchanting power of the world (samsara) which is nothing  but maya, we do not identify anything correctly as in the case of a man  identifying a rope as a snake in the inadequate light. Similarly in the partial  light of our knowledge we do not know what will be the right path. So when become  a disciple to a wise man, we get the proper light and then we understand the right  path to Dharma.

Live  as the Gita Teaches You to Live

Like  Arjuna the aspirant must realize his weakness and ignorance and yet be anxious  to do God’s will and discover what it is.

So  the description of the battle in the Bhagavad Gita can be applied to any one  living in the world in any country at any time. We therefore study the Gita not  because it was given by Sri Krishna but because it is helpful in our everyday  life. In the path of everyday life, if we follow and take advice of the buddhi or intelligence and its right direction, then we can ultimately reach the goal  of all religions.

Sri Krishna starts by saying "O! Arjuna, you are worried  unnecessarily", and ends by saying "Don't worry; I will take care of  you". In between these words, there is an entire teaching on the nature of  Existence - the Nature of jeeva, jagat and ishwra and the most practical philosophy for right  conduct in everyday life, leading to Absolute Happiness and Total Fulfillment  in life, which is indeed the teaching of all our scriptures - the Vedas and the  Upanishads.

From here on, we are not particularly concerned with the Mahabharata War as  an episode in human history, except in terms of context. On the other hand, we  are concerned with the incessant war going on within every one of us, between  the forces of good and bad, in our every day life. This war is of every human  being, who is mature enough to realize that Joy of Life lies only in  Enlightenment of the Best and the Highest in one's own self; and that is -  Self-Knowledge - God Realization.

Striving towards such Enlightenment - such Self-Knowledge - such God-Realization  is our heritage; is our philosophy; is our culture; is our religion. In order to gain such Enlightenment, one has to overcome so  many obstacles within oneself - that is the Great War one has to fight every  day of one's life. In this war itself, there is no violence. There are no bows  and arrows, bombs or shells. There is no bloodshed. There is no death. There is  only a continuous process of self-endeavor, to uplift oneself, which itself is  a process of continuous joy.

The destructive weapons of ordinary war are completely useless in this  process of self endeavor. The weapons needed to succeed in this war are  constructive ones, and they are:  - humility, modesty, non-violence,  etc., about which the Gita tells us in Chapter 13.

Simply because the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita occurred in the context of the Mahabharata war, they do not constitute an incitement to  violence of any kind, anywhere, at any time, under any circumstance. On the  contrary, these teachings unfold the power of the all-inclusive war to dispel  Self-ignorance and gain Extraordinary Enlightenment, Fulfillment and Joy of  Life for every human being.

Points  to Ponder
* Arjuna’s thoughts about the impending war.
* How Arjuna’s decision not to wage war is incorrect?
* Why surrendering like Arjuna for the guidance from the wise is necessary for everybody?
* Sri Krishna’s expression as if smiling.
* Bhagavan’s strong reaction to Arjuna’s words.

Next time we will proceed from the Verse 2.11

Harih Om

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