January 24, 2018

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 Arjuna Visaada Yoga; 5th part

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5th Part; The first chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita is called Arjuna Visaada Yoga or The dialectical conflict of Arjuna: Lamenting the Consequence of War.

In continuation of 1. Introduction of Srimad Bhagavad Gita

2.Chapter 1 Arjuna Visaada Yoga; 1st part

3.Chapter 1 Arjuna Visaada Yoga; 2nd part

4.Chapter 1 Arjuna Visaada Yoga; 3rd part

5. Chapter 1 Arjuna Visaada Yoga; 4th part

“When the spiritual traditions and devout standards are shattered in the society, unrighteousness prevails and the surviving members in the society become tainted.” Wars tend to uproot us from the social traditions which are the embodiment of the established understanding of the morality of the people. Every quality family is a repository of virtuous family customs which are handed generations down that help preserve high standards of conduct from its men and women; thus guarding its members from going astray. These valuable conventions are broadly termed as family traditions; the annihilation of the dynasty causes scarce qualified members to maintain family traditions, eventually traditions ceases to exist, this is the sinful corollary of the war. When rectitude is gone then unrighteousness emerges and the society is no longer compelled to adhere to the path of virtue and avoid sin. Fear of God though absolutely real and the command of the scriptures though representing truth depend on man’s faith and they are not direct or perceptible incentives. The laws of the territory only govern the subjects, generally those who exercise power do not respect the laws of the territory; thus it is only the family traditions that link up the individual and the society. When the members of the general public/family discard every form of restraint then as a matter of course, misdemeanour extends its sway over the family/society and this is what is broadly meant as sin takes hold of the entire family. Arjuna concludes when unrighteousness pedals the etiquette of an empire; the females of the society are placed in an environment of compromise; thus resulting in unwelcome descendants. Employing the vocative Varsneya Arjuna seeks to lay emphasis that Lord Krishna took birth in the line of the glorious Vrsni and as such He should be completely aware of all these effects.

By the misdeeds of those who destroy family and create confusion of varnas, the ancient laws of the caste and the family are destroyed. When the ideals enshrined in the primal traditions are shattered then the social equilibrium is destroyed and consequently chaos is induced. When lawlessness prevails; O Varsneya (Krishna) moral values begin to be treated as obsolete prescriptions, the codes of ethics and restraint are ridiculed, more importantly the society ridicules and turns hostile to those who volunteer to acquaint the humanity on the codes of rectitude. In that situation the sacrosanct law of marital faithfulness which is the very core and keystone of social code loses its grasp on the civilization. There is a consequential intermingle of castes due to the spoil of the family structure; the women of the family get corrupted and when women are corrupted confusion of caste arises. As regard to the result of undesirable progeny; the intermixture of castes that follow the family customs and honour the age-old traditions with those that do not, causes degradation in society and guides the family to a hellish existence When this happens there is a mélange of castes and those who are responsible are damned to hell; not only these ruinous family members, the ancestors of these destroyers of the family fall from heaven as they are deprived of their periodic ritual offerings of food and water due to the fact that there is no qualified descendant to perform the propitiatory rites prescribed in scriptures. It refers to the belief that the deceased ancestors require these offerings for the welfare. Varna is usually translated as caste; it must be stressed that the present system of caste in no way corresponds to the Varna as mentioned in Gita.


From these transgressions, the four specified orders of life namely celibate student life, married house-holder life, preparation for devout life and total renunciation from material life and complete attachment to spiritual life, customs of the clan are damaged, gone astray, forgotten and overlooked. Due to these evils the essential duties prescribed in the scriptures which are the authorised and proven means leading humanity to the highest good are all forsaken.  Those persons who are obsessed with wicked activities and do not make penitence or atone are damned to dreadfully excruciating and shocking hells. By affirming those who are responsible for destroying righteousness reside permanently in hellish existence Arjuna therefore asserts the decision to fight is not the judicious option. Assessing  his intelligence must be marred by delusion Arjuna sorrowfully construes  it is not in his best interest to fight, to him even considering it would be rewarding to fight a battle that would bring such evil consequences would be sinful. It is incongruous to him that he has committed himself to great sin by his intent to slay friends and kinsman in the pursuit of royal pleasures and enjoyments. Arjuna who was hurt by the Kauravas determination to slay their relations says; “Alas what a heinous sin we have resolved to commit in striving to slay our very own relations in the course of our greed for the bliss of the sovereignty.”

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About Sridharan Lakshmanan 12 Articles
Retired officer from Syndicate Bank
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