Arjuna's Argument at Kurukshetra and Sri Krishna's Answer

A Most Difficult Dilemma of Human Life and Gita’s Solution

 

The greatest significance of the Gita lies in the fact that it proposes a solution to a central typical problem of human life that presents itself at a certain critical stage of development. We may say that Arjuna to whom the teaching is addressed is a representative man, and the problem that he faced arose at a certain height of ethical concern in the midst of an actual and symbolic battlefield (Kurukshetra, which is also Dharmakshetra). He had come to the battlefield motivated by the ideal of a fight for justice. But as he gazed at the armies and looked in the face of the myriads of the champions of unrighteousness whom he had to meet and conquer and slay, the revelation of the meaning of a civil and domestic war came to him. He was then overcome suddenly by a violent, sensational, physical and moral crisis. “What after all,” he asked himself in effect, “is this fight for justice when reduced to its practical terms, but just a fight for the interest of oneself, one’s brothers and one’s party for possession and enjoyment and rule?”

The entire train of argument that Arjuna presents to Sri Krishna is very instructive, and the premises and the conclusions of the argument lead to such a dilemma that the search for its solution necessitated a revolutionary change of perception and establishment in a new status of

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