Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 (Part-2): Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna By T. N. Sethumadhavan October 2010

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Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 1 (Part-2): Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna

By T.N.Sethumadhavan October 2010

When the Gods deal defeat to a person, they first take his mind away, so that he sees things wrongly. Time does not raise a stick and hit a man's head; the power of Time is just this topsy-turvy view of things.

-- Dhritarashtra (Mahabharata - The Book of the Assembly Hall)

Concepts and Issues
We have studied the text of the 1st Chapter last time. We shall now have a critical look at it. As we take up our seats in the comfortable opera house at Kurukshetra, the panorama unfolding before us on the stage is the gigantic field of the battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. While the text mentions the names of a number of characters about to play their roles on both the sides, we are concerned with only three of them for our critical evaluation. They are 1. King Dhritarashtra 2. The valiant Arjuna and 3. Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who assumed the role of a charioteer to Arjuna.
If we analyze their mindsets we automatically understand the concepts and issues involved and their complexity. The immortal appeal of the Gita lies in the guided tour the Jagad Guru, Sri Krishna, takes us through the annoying wide-spread pot-holes of ignorance (lack of right knowledge, avidya in Sanskrit) on the road and who ultimately makes it possible for us to reach the destination of enlightenment, free from the shackles of bondage. This journey from darkness to light is definitely exasperating at times but yet manageable.
Dhritarashtra

Dhritarashtra already heard several reasons for the likely victory of the Pandavas. He was afraid of the possibility of loss of kingdom for his own sons, the Kauravas. He therefore asks Sanjaya “what did my sons, Duryodhana and others, as well as Pandu’s sons, Yudhishthira and others, actually do on the battlefield at Kurukshetra? Did they undertake the war according to their earlier plan for fighting or did they act otherwise or do something else as a result of sagging of the will to fight due to some reason?

Apart from the inbuilt fear complex in the mind of Dhritarashtra, a significant aspect of his question is his making a distinction between his own sons and the sons of Pandu. Although the question in the form ‘What did my sons do?’ would have been sufficient, he, by separately mentioning his sons and Pandu’s sons exhibits an absence of family homogeneity and harmony in his mind.

The image of the King here is that he is not only physically blind but also is deprived of the vision of personal kindness and a human touch and inclusiveness. He is engrossed totally in his affection exclusively towards his sons.
In the entire Gita this is the only verse which the old king Dhritarashtra gives out. All the rest of the seven hundred stanzas are Sanjaya's report on what happened on the Kurukshetra battlefield, just before the war.
The old king is certainly conscious of the palpable injustices that he had done to his nephews, the Pandavas. Dhritarashtra knew the relative strength of the two armies, and therefore, was fully confident of the larger strength of his son's army. And yet, the viciousness of his past and the consciousness of the crimes perpetrated seem to be weighing heavily upon his heart, and so he has his own misgivings on the final outcome.
Dhritarashtra is physically blind. But passion and desire do not disappear with the absence of sight. Even if all the sense organs were lost, the desires hidden within the mind would not vanish and so his mind is curious, eager and troubled to know what is happening on the battlefield.
Arjuna

Arjuna is intelligent and where there is intelligence there is doubt and where there is doubt there is dilemma. Arjuna is rational and where there is rationality, there lies the capacity to think from a totally different perspective. Where one has these qualities, it is difficult to enter into a dangerous situation like war with closed eyes.


Remember that life does not end the same way as it begins; the end is always unknown and invisible. In this war Duryodhana’s focus was entirely on Bheema. He overlooked the fact that Krishna was on the side of Pandavas and particularly as the charioteer of Arjuna. He could not visualize that Krishna would retrieve Arjuna from his shortcomings and consequently the whole story took a different turn and Duryodhana lost.

Arjuna requested Krishna to place his chariot between the two armies so that he can observe with whom he has to fight. The points to be noted here are:

Once observation starts, analysis is not far too behind and analysis always leads to wavering of mind. So Arjuna analyses the question to fight or not to fight and comes to the conclusion that he should not fight. In all his arguments in support of that conclusion he puts forward several pleadings which apparently look valid and very wise but in fact are very hollow as Krishna proves them to be subsequently.
At this stage although it looks that Arjuna is not obsessed with war, he is not against war either and has no aversion to violence. All his life he fought many wars and his whole life’s education and training and his lifelong conditioning is all violence and war. Then why he turns his face against war? We have to understand this paradoxical situation very clearly because this is the very seed for all the teachings contained in the Bhagavad Gita. Had there not been this ironical situation, the Bhagavad Gita would not have come into existence.
Arjuna Syndrome - Origin and Cure CH2
Arjuna was overpowered by an emotional upheaval. He suddenly started exhibiting several symptoms of weakness both physically and psychologically. He was afflicted with great depression of mind masquerading as compassion. Arjuna himself described his physical symptoms in graphic terms. It was of the nature of a Fever of Unknown Origin (F.U.O.) or a Bhava-roga in Sanskrit. This disease is the oldest known to human kind. Its origin is traced to ajnana or avidya or ignorance in the Vedanta of Hinduism. The divine potion or elixir (amrita) that cures this disease is Jnana or Knowledge, grace of God, issuing from self-surrender, prayer and freedom from desire (bhakti, sharnagati, prapatti, nirvasana) and so on.

What makes the Gita, a unique medicine of bhava-roga is that it contains all the ingredients stated above, fit to be consumed by peoples of all ages, climes, genders - monastic or lay. The Arjuna syndrome, analyzed and diagnosed by the master physician Sri Krishna is the starting point of the preparation of this unique brew.

Adi Shankaracharya’s description of the Arjuna syndrome is simple and remarkable. It is not that Arjuna was unwilling to do his duty as the Army General when he came for war. Arjuna is a picture of courage and self-confidence before the war. In the verses 21 and 22 of the 1st chapter he roars like an impatient lion waiting to pounce on its prey.
Afterwards, Arjuna’s mood suddenly changes. At what point of time and for what reasons did he become a victim of the Arjuna syndrome?
Verses 28-46 of the 1st Chapter, if properly analyzed word for word, give us the clue. Arjuna saw in the huge armies his own people, (svajana)-fathers, grandfathers, brothers, teachers, friends etc., and was overcome with pity. The key word here is svajana, people who are one’s very own. It may be noted that Arjuna uses the word ‘svajana’ four times in these verses. Arjuna’s lament and depression are rooted in this feeling of svajanatva - one’s own-ness. Arjuna’s ego that strongly felt this attachment engendered by possessiveness - own ness or svajanatva- plunged him into the abyss of sorrow and delusion (shoka
and moha)
This pathological aberration of Arjuna can be traced to psychological roots that define the Arjuna syndrome. Arjuna displayed feelings of grief and delusion caused by ignorance and confused understanding and his attachment for and the sense of separation from dominion, the elders, sons, friends, kinsmen, relatives - all these arising from the notion that ‘I
am theirs and they are mine’. It was when discriminative faculty (knowledge) was thus over powered by grief and delusion that Arjuna, who had of himself naturally and spontaneously been engaged in battle as warrior’s duty, abstained from fighting and prepared to lead a mendicant’s life which was a duty alien to him.

It is thus that in the case of all creatures whose minds come under the sway of the defects of sorrow, delusion, etc. there verily follows, as a matter of course, abandoning their own duties and resorting to prohibited ones.

Even when they engage in their own duties their conduct in speech, thought and deed is certainly motivated by hankering for rewards, and is accompanied by egoism. Egoism consists in thinking that one is the agent of some work and therefore the enjoyer of its reward.
Such being the case, the cycle of births and deaths, characterized by passing through desirable and undesirable births, and meeting with happiness, sorrow, etc. from the accumulation of virtue and vice, continues unendingly. Thus, sorrow and delusion are the sources of the cycles of births and deaths. Their cessation comes from nothing other than the knowledge of the Self which is preceded by the renunciation of all attachment to duties. Hence, wishing to impart that (knowledge of the Self) for the welfare of the whole world, Lord Vasudeva, making Arjuna the medium, said, 'You grieve for those who are not to be grieved for,' etc. (Chapter 2)
Thus the Arjuna syndrome analyzed could be reduced to the following flow-chart. Ignoranceconfused understandingfeeling of I and Mine (ahamkara
and mamakara) sorrow and delusion (shoka and moha)overpowering of discriminative faculty abandoning one’s own duty (svadharma) and adopting alien duty (para dharma), even in own duty craving for reward and egoismaccumulation of merit and demerit ( dharma and adharma)endless cycle of birth and death, samsara, consisting of getting the experiences of the desirable and the undesirable, pleasure and pain.

The remedy prescribed by Krishna is Self-Knowledge (atma jnana) which He starts unfolding from the verse 11 of the 2nd chapter. This is the greatest relevance of the Bhagavad Gita for the modern world particularly to the youth - stress filled, strife torn, panic stricken, and conflict ridden, modern world. Atma jnana is the source of strength, infinite power, eternal knowledge and wisdom.

Like Arjuna we too are weak, we too have no will. The will has been lost in our never-ending debate ‘What to do and what not to do? What is proper and what is improper?’ All the ground beneath our feet is slipping like quick-sand. The Arjuna in us is in suspended animation, is in limbo. We too require a shock treatment.
Krishna is holding Arjuna’s hands and starting to resolve his problems from the very place where Arjuna is. That is why the Gita is very dynamic psychological system. As Arjuna evolves step by step the Gita also rises and unfolds gradually. Krishna reforms Arjuna at Arjuna’s level. All the time in the Gita, Arjuna is the focus and not Krishna.
Krishna, the Master Strategist CH3
It is better to quote Swami Vivekananda here. He says: “I have heard about Krishna’s life. I take it for granted there must have been a man called Krishna, and his Gita shows he has left a wonderful book. He is the most rounded man I know of, wonderfully developed, equally in brain, heart and hand. Every movement of his is alive with activity, either as a gentleman, warrior, minister or something else. Great as a gentleman, as a scholar, as a poet. This all-rounded and wonderful activity and combination of brain and heart you see in the Gita and other books. Most wonderful heart, exquisite language and nothing can approach it anywhere.
In Krishna we find two ideas stand supreme in his message. The first is the harmony of different ideas and the second is non-attachment. A man can attain to perfection, the highest goal, sitting on a throne, commanding armies, working out big plans for nations. In fact, Krishna’s great sermon was preached on the battlefield!

How hard it is to arrive at this sort of non-attachment? Therefore Krishna shows us the lower ways and methods. The easiest way for every one is to do his or her work and not take the results. It is our desire that binds us. If we take the results of actions, whether good or evil, we will have to bear them. But if we work not for ourselves, but all for the glory of the Lord, the results will take care of themselves. To work you have the right, but not to the fruits thereof. The soldier works for no results. He does his duty. If defeat comes, it belongs to the General and not to the soldier. We do our duty for love’s sake-love for the General, love for the Lord”.

With such a kind of the Charioteer guiding the eminent soldier Arjuna, let us see what strategy Krishna adopted in the very first scene of the Gita to achieve the purpose of his avatar, his descent from the Vaikuntha.
When Arjuna asked Krishna to place his chariot between the two armies, Krishna placed it with his sagacity, at such a point from where his kinsmen such as Bhishma, teachers like Drona and other chief kings and warriors of the Kaurava army, could be clearly seen. After keeping the chariot at a crucial spot he told Arjuna, “O Partha (the son of Prtha, Kunti, and Krishna’s aunt) behold all these Kurus, assembled here”. This statement has got a deep significance.
In the word ‘Kuru’, the sons of both Dhritarashtra and Pandu are included because of both of them belong to the Kuru lineage.. Krishna by saying ‘behold all these Kurus assembled here’ means that they are all one, whether they are on his side or opposite side and whether they are good or bad and thus a feeling of kinship may develop in Arjuna. This feeling of kinship may lead to attachment and make him inquisitive. Thus, by making Arjuna an instrument, Krishna wants to preach the gospel of the Gita for the humanity as a whole. Therefore, Krishna instead of using the word ‘Dhartarashtran’ used the word ‘Kurun’. Had he used the former word, Arjuna would have become enthusiastic (as could be observed from Arjuna’s dialogues using this word) and there would not have been any chance to expound the Gita.

Krishna considered his duty to destroy Arjuna’s delusion by first arousing it and then destroying it as in the case of certain medical procedures for achieving his avowed purpose of establishing and protecting Dharma in the world through his several incarnations.

The relationship between Arjuna and Krishna in this scene is that of a car owner and his driver. The driver just drives the car to the place where its owner wants him to go. The driver does not question the owner or pass any comments on the owner’s instructions or wish. But here Krishna tells or directs Arjuna “Behold these Kurus”. There is no need for these remarks as Arjuna will see the assembled warriors anyway and Krishna could have placed the chariot without uttering any words. But he intentionally used the words ‘Kurun Pasya’ to arouse attachment in Arjuna.

The main reason of Arjuna’s grief is that when Krishna placed the chariot between the two armies and asked Arjuna to behold the Kauravas, he saw his relatives, teachers and friends etc. and thus his sense of attachment was aroused. He perceives good in turning away from war and overwhelmed with grief he sinks into the chariot laying down his arms. Thus we see that it is delusion which changes a hero’s great courage into anxiety and worry state neurosis.
Dr.S.Radhakrishnan says that Arjuna’s cry or demand was simple yet tremendous and damaging one, “significant of the tragedy of man, which all, who can see beyond the actual drama of the hour, can recognize. The mood of despair in which Arjuna is found in the 1st Chapter of the Gita is what the mystics call the dark night of the soul, an essential step in the upward path. Krishna stands for the voice of God, delivering the message in the thrilling notes, warning Arjuna against dejection of spirit. As the dialogue proceeds, the dramatic element disappears. The echoes of the battlefield die away and we have only an interview between God and man”.
LIVE AS THE GITA TEACHES YOU TO LIVE ch4
The core teaching of Krishna in the Gita is that where there is virtue there is the prospect of victory and glorious life, both in this world and hereafter and wherever there are vice, unrighteousness, injustice and immorality, there is destruction, physical, moral and spiritual.

The senses of ‘I’, ‘Me’, and ‘Mine’ are the root of all evils and bondages in the world and the senses of ‘you’ and ‘your’ bring freedom to the soul. A wise man is the one who goes beyond the sense of ‘I’, and knows the secret of ‘you’ by which he gets rid of the senses of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’. As long as we remain selfish we are caught in the net of desires and the world, so long we shall not be able to realize the real essence of the Gita. So Krishna says detachment is freedom and attachment is bondage. Therefore he instructs everybody to perform work disinterestedly without asking for results thereof because desire for the result of works is the chain that binds men and drags them into the den of delusion or maya.

Krishna represents the realized soul free of all conditioning, capable of seeing the truth as it is. He is the Self in a state of sat-chit-ananda. Arjuna is consciousness crumpled by conditioning. The chariot he rides is the body. The horses are the senses. The two wheels are the desire and destiny. As a charioteer, Krishna does two things - 1. He helps Arjuna to realize the true nature of life and 2. He overpowers the forces that threaten social order.

He classifies all actions into two viz. reaction and response; the former is guided by one’s ego, motivated by one’s desires and the latter is guided by one’s intellect motivated by one’s duty. The former focuses on result while the latter focuses on action. Krishna proves that by responding rather than by reacting, by maintaining equanimity and not getting provoked by worldly stimuli, it is possible to satisfy the demands of worldliness, fulfill one’s obligation to the society, repay one’s debts to ancestors and still attain moksha, liberation.


The varnashrama dharma categorizes life into four stages to be lived sequentially viz., brahmacharya, grihasta, vanaparstha and sanyasa. Krishna’s suggestion is that simultaneous rather than sequential achievement of material joy and spiritual bliss is possible.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Is the Gita a scripture that propagates war?

The answer is that it is concerned neither with violence nor with non-violence. It neither condones nor condemns war. The point it makes is to look at the root of any action. What is the yardstick that makes one war noble and the other ignoble? It is the motivation behind it - is it the ego or the common welfare based on justice that distinguishes the two.

Before the battle of Kurukshetra begins, Arjuna asks Krishna to drive their chariot into the open space between the two armies, so that he may see the men he must fight with. When Krishna does this, Arjuna recognizes many of his kinsmen and old friends among the ranks of the enemy. He is appalled by the realization that he is about to kill those whom he loves better than life itself. In his despair, he exclaims: ‘I will not fight!’

Krishna’s reply to Arjuna occupies the rest of the book. It deals not only with Arjuna’s immediate personal problem, but with the whole nature of action, the meaning of life, and the aims for which man must struggle here on earth. At the end of their conversation, Arjuna has changed his mind. He is ready to fight. And the battle begins to fight the evil on the clear understanding that non-resistance to evil is as good as committing evil.
To understand the Gita, we must first consider what it is and what it is not. We must consider its setting. Krishna and Arjuna are on a battlefield. Arjuna is not a dedicated monk but a householder and a warrior by birth and profession. His problem is considered in relation to the circumstances of the moment.
In the background of Gita is a war, between two families, ready to start. Arjuna the main hero on one side looks at the family members, elders and friends on the other side and experiences a strong sense of frustration for infighting in the family. Although he was a great warrior, he merely broke-down by thinking on the utter futility of this war and in that moment of depression he asks his mentor about what he should do.
Also read War and Non-violence in the Holy Gita - http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/War-and-Non-violence-in-the-Bhagavadgita-1.aspx

CH-5

The answer given by Shri Krishna is equally unexpected. He says “your present reluctance to fight is illusion. Your problem is not regarding the fight as such but the fight against what you call my relatives, my brothers, my friends”. Krishna says that “your real fight has to be against ‘I' and 'My’ rather than the fight outside”. It is in this context of how to come out of our ego i.e. ‘ I ‘ and the result of the ego ‘My' that all the other seventeen chapters have been strung into one garland..

In teaching Arjuna, Krishna employs two sets of values, the relative and the absolute. He begins by dealing with Arjuna’s feelings of revulsion, on general grounds. Arjuna shrinks from the act of killing. Krishna reminds him that, in the absolute sense, there is no such act called killing. The Atman, the indwelling Godhead (soul) is the only reality. This body is simply an appearance; its existence, its destruction, is likewise, illusory.
Having said this, Krishna goes on to discuss Arjuna’s individual problem. For Arjuna, a member of the warrior caste, the fighting of this battle is undoubtedly ‘righteous’. His cause is just. To defend it is his duty. Running away from the battle is avoiding duty and escapism.
Socially the caste system is graded, but spiritually, there are no such distinctions. Everyone, says Krishna, can attain the highest sainthood by following the prescribed path of his own caste duty. There have been instances of men everywhere who grew into spiritual giants while carrying out their duties as merchants, peasants, doctors, priests, or kings.
In the purely physical sphere of action, Arjuna is, indeed, no longer a free agent. The act of war is upon him; it has evolved out of his previous actions. It is his svadharma. At any given moment in time, we are what we are; and we have to accept the consequences of being ourselves. Only through this acceptance can we begin to evolve further. We may select the battleground. We cannot avoid the battle.
Arjuna is bound to act, but he is still free to make his choice between two different ways of performing that action. In general, mankind almost always acts with attachment; that is to say, with desire and fear. Desire for a certain result and fear that this result will not be obtained. Actions with attachments bind us to the world of appearances; to the continual doing of more actions.

But there is another way of performing action, and this is without desire and without fear. The doer of the non-attached actions is the most conscientious of men. Freed from desire and fear, he offers everything he does as a sacrament of devotion to his duty (surrenders all his actions to the Lord). All work becomes equally and vitally important. It is only toward the results of work- success or failure, praise or blame- that he remains indifferent. When action is done in this spirit, Krishna teaches, it will lead to the knowledge of what is behind action, behind all life; the ultimate Reality. And, with the growth of this knowledge, the need for further action will gradually fall away from us. We shall realize our true nature, which is God, sat-chit-ananda.

It follows, therefore, that every action, under certain circumstances and for certain people, may be a stepping-stone to spiritual growth – if it is done in the spirit of non-attachment. All good and all evil is relative to the individual point of growth. For each individual, certain acts are absolutely wrong. Indeed, there may well be acts that are absolutely wrong for every individual alive on earth today. But, in the highest sense, there can be neither good nor evil. Krishna, therefore speaking as God Himself, advises Arjuna to fight. The Gita thus neither sanctions war nor condemns it. Regarding no action as of absolute value, either for good or for evil, it cannot possibly do either. (Swami Prabhavananda).

Dharma and satya were at stake in Kurukshetra. So, preventing adharma from gaining victory over dharma was the purpose of Mahabharata war and fighting for dharma against adharma is the message of Gita.
However, we have forgotten this message of Gita and have distorted it in the name of ahimsa as our dharma unconditionally. Our dharma was satya (truth), and our duty was to fight and protect dharma and satya from every enemy. Dharmao rakshati rakshitah - dharma protects those who protect it - is our creed. And violence was not prohibited in this fight for satya and dharma. Otherwise Rama would not have killed Vali or Ravana. Actually, violence committed for ensuring dharma by a kshatriya is no violence. That is why Krishna asks Arjuna in each and every chapter of the Gita “Arise Arjuna, pick up your weapon and fight to defeat adharma”. So, we will have to hear the teachings of Krishna if we want to prevent the down sliding of the humanity.
To sum up, war is justified only when it is meant to fight evil and injustice and not for the purpose of self aggrandizement.
2. How such a long discourse like the Gita took place in the midst of two impatient armies ready to fight it out?
The rules of time and space as we understand them today were not applicable to the age when the Mahabharata war took place during which the discourse was delivered by God. What seems to us a long dialogue must have taken place in the blink of an eye on the battlefield! We come across many stories indicating that silence is more powerful and penetrating than speech and a teacher taught his students by maintaining silence - thought transference or telepathy. These instances might be a pre-cursor to the modern developments in the field of information technology.

CH-6

3. This chapter is entitled “Arjuna Vishaada Yogah: The Yoga of Arjuna’s despondency”. How despondency or grief can be yoga?

The word Yoga means to join. Any conscious attempt on the part of an individual to lift his present personality and attune it to a higher, perfect ideal is called Yoga. The title of this chapter is self-contradictory. It is named as the Vishaada Yoga or Yoga of Arjuna's grief, depression. If 'grief' could be Yoga, everybody on the earth would be Yogins. It cannot be so for obvious reasons.
Arjuna’s condition of utter despair is the most appropriate mental attitude wherein the seeds of the Gita can be ideally sown for their glorious flowering. The scriptural texts by themselves cannot help any one unless the seeker’s mental condition is prepared to absorb their teachings. Therefore, even the initial mental condition of Arjuna is called as Yoga as this darkness of the soul is an essential step in the progress to spiritual life.
“Most of us go through life without facing the ultimate questions. It is in rare crises, when our ambitions lie in ruins at our feet, when we realize in remorse and agony the sad mess we have made of our lives, we cry out “Why we are here? What does all this mean? Where do we go from here? My God, why have you forsaken me?” Draupadi cries “I have no husbands, no sons, no kinsmen, no brothers, and no father, not even You, O Krishna”. Arjuna passes through great spiritual tension. When he detaches from his social obligations and asks why he should carry out the duty expected of him by society, he gets behind his socialized self and has full awareness of himself as an individual alone and isolated. He faces the world as a stranger thrown into a threatening chaos. The new freedom creates a deep feeling of anxiety, aloneness, doubt and insecurity. If he is to function successfully, these feelings must be overcome”. - Dr. S. Radhakrishnan

Thus for learning and living the Gita, the Arjuna-Syndrome is the initial Sadhana, a pre-requisite and hence his grief is considered as Yoga.

4. Why in the courts of law in India does one take the oath by putting one’s hand on the Gita and not on the other scriptures like the Ramayana?
The main reason for this practice is that the avatar of Krishna is considered as Purnavatar i.e. a complete and perfect incarnation. Krishna is multi-dimensional, touching all aspects of human personality while Rama is a maryada purushottam. The dictionary meanings of the word maryada are mark, landmark, boundary, limit, end, goal, strictly defined relation, bounds of morality, moral law. Thus maryada purushottam implies a uni-dimensional nature possessing one note and hence its appeal is bound by the limits of such nature while Krishna’s appeal is universal. A thief, a dancer, a Gopika, a cow-herd, a warrior, an enemy, a rakshasa and of course a jnani, a saint uniformly are crazy about him from their own points of view.
Krishna is like an orchestra where many instruments are simultaneously played and each one is bound to fall in love with the note emanating from the instrument he likes. That is the reason why all people like some part of Krishna and nobody knows the whole of Him as the Gita itself says. To put it in terms of music performances, Rama tattva is like a solo performance while Krishna tattva is like a jugalbandi with a bout of sawal-jawab.
Generally only disputants go to the courts of Law. If anybody really swears by or believes in Rama he would never go there. For him courts are redundant. But a person coming before a court can love Krishna because Krishna is accessible even to the sinners and opens the doors for criminals also as the Gita puts it. Therefore it is the practice to use the Gita text for the purpose of taking oath. However, opinions on this point may differ.
POINTS TO PONDER

1. Explain the significance of the background in which the message of Gita was delivered by Sri Krishna.

2. Explain the psychological condition of Duryodhana in the battlefield.

3. What was the reason for Arjuna's grief and despondency?

4. What were the arguments put forward by Arjuna to support his view for not fighting the battle?

5. Explain the central philosophy of the Gita.

6. Short notes on:



  1. Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra

  2. Panchajanya

  3. Devadatta

  4. Significance of Arjuna's chariot and its charioteer

  5. Arjuna syndrome and Krishna cure.


We shall take up Chapter 2 next time.
HARIH OM


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