September 23, 2018

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 – Samkya Yoga Or the Yoga of Knowledge-Part-4

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In continuation of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 – Samkya Yoga Or the Yoga of Knowledge-Part-3

Arjuna pleads to the lord to explain to him some specific and resolute approach that would remove his sorrow which was drying up his senses. Arjuna unambiguously states “Even if I gain sovereignty and a prosperous realm on this earth and the lordship over the gods I do not see what will drive away this wretchedness which dries up my senses.”  It can be observed that Arjuna was not to be comforted by any amount of authority and affluence and thus to disperse his misery he turned to the Supreme Lord for direction. Arjuna could not see any means of lessening the grief that was drying up his senses, his stress is that wealth and kingdoms are not the means for overcoming the delusion and he needs to recognize the knowledge of the ultimate truth to prevail over this hallucination. Sanjaya said; “Arjuna having thus addressed Hrisikesa exclaimed I will not fight and became silent (perhaps indicating that the voice of truth can be heard only in silence.).” Arjuna after seeking sanctuary in the lord, imploring him for instruction and direction, he then articulated his own repressive and upsetting thoughts without waiting for the advice of the Supreme Lord. Arjuna seems decisively to have made up his mind and said I will not fight; thereby making the task of the guide more difficult. Anticipating the question as to what the Supreme Lord did when Arjuna became silent, Sanjaya says, “O Bharata (Dhritaraashtra), the Supreme Lord with a beaming countenance spoke the following words, to the grief stricken Arjuna in the midst of the two armies”. The smile indicating sarcasm is justified due to the nature of the situation, the absolutely inconsistent actions of Arjuna. The Lord, the resplendent one, with a slight smile on His face spoke to the grief stricken Arjuna who was enveloped by the mortification of fraternal spectre and in that moment of melancholy the falling heart of Arjuna heard the celestial voice of the Supreme Lord. The smile on the Lord’s face indicated that He saw through Arjuna’s attempt at rationalisation of what is now known as wistful beliefs. The attitude of the saviour God who knows all sins and suffering humanity is one of tender pity and contemplative indulgence.

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The Supreme Lord says; “You grieve for those who are not worthy of grief and yet speak words of wisdom. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. You are sorry for those with whom sorrow is unreasonable, never was I non-existent, nor you nor these chiefs of men; neither shall we; all of us ever cease becoming hereafter.” Earlier what looked like a proclivity on the part of Arjuna to comprehend and discuss psychological agony, unease and a languid response now prove only to be a passing situational personality disorder; Arjuna is only emotionally insensate or stunned. It is merely a case of scholarly conflict which involves his ethical commitment as well as his spiritual beliefs or convictions calling the timely attention of Guru. Arjuna’s fears touch the fringes of irrational belief and the Lord places before him the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence inspiring a sense of inscrutability and marvel. The Supreme Lord says to Arjuna; “You think you are communicating judiciously I am astounded that you have got hold of an erroneous inspiration, both about yourself and about the Kauravas; you are not the basis of survival of this world. Your outlook indicates that you are the author of life and death and you can recall or modify these factors at your insistence. Surely if you decide not to kill Kauravas through your misleading egotism they will not live forever. You are not the exclusive cause of their death and nor is everybody else waiting to be killed by you, be rational, there is the never-ending phenomenon of life and death that works out routinely and you should not be remorseful for it; the whole phenomenon is weird”

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The Supreme Lord said; “You bemoan over those who should not be grieved for, and yet you speak words of wisdom, wise men do not lament for the dead or the living”. This verse marks the beginning of the flawless truth of Bhagavad Gita and attains its conclusion in the verse sixty six of the eighteenth chapter. “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear”.  God being the quintessence of legitimacy, awareness and ecstasy, is the only enduring certainty, nothing exists without Him. The affiliation as well as the severance of the body and the soul, although foreseeable from the worldly perspective are as unreal as a trance, for this reason Arjuna’s grieving was truly unwise, because the wise neither lament for the living nor for the dead. In order to evoke the power of discrimination between the physical body and the soul, the Supreme Lord is rejecting Arjuna’s scholarship and replied that he was grieving for those who should not be grieved for. Furthermore Arjuna talks like an intellectual saying that sin would be incurred in slaying the venerable opponents, disregarding the fact that Duryodhana and his brothers are heinous offenders. So in this way the Lord explains foolishness and scholarship are illogical and such a dichotomy being contradictory hence Arjuna’s attempt at scholarship has no value.

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About Sridharan Lakshmanan 12 Articles
Retired officer from Syndicate Bank
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