Ch. 2, Verses 1–45
I suppose you have the Bhagavad Gita, the text.
I think we shall read a few verses like a study of the book itself, because it is what we had decided isn’t it?
The context of the 2nd chapter is very well known to us, because we have spoken at length on it. These are the questions of Arjuna and he decides that he will not fight. Sri Krishna will answer the questions but before that He will chide Arjuna:
“And this how the Lord Himself says to the sorry Arjuna, whose eyes were filled with tears, whose heart was full of pity and grief, Madhusudana spoke thus.” (II, 1)
“O Arjuna! How did you develop this kind of dejection during the crisis of war? It is not followed by great persons, does not lead to heaven and it is disgraceful.” (II, 2)
“O Son of Pritha! Do not yield to cowardice. This does not behove you. O Destroyer of the Enemies! Give up this feebleness of the mind, stand up and fight”. (II, 3)
“O Madhusudana! Tell me how I shall attack with arrows the most venerable Bhishma, the grandfather, and Guru Dronacharya in the battlefield.” (II, 4)
“It is better to live in this world by begging rather than killing the most venerable elders. Even if I kill these elders for worldly gains, all my enjoyments will be smeared with their blood.”
“We are not sure who is stronger amongst us and who will win the war. Moreover, the sons of Dhritarashtra are arrayed against us, after killing whom we ourselves would not like to live any longer.” (II, 5&6)
“I am confused about my duty and owing to my low spirits, I have lost my grain. Therefore, I ask You to tell me what is certainly the best for me. I am Your disciple, I have taken refuge in You. Please do instruct me.” (II, 7)
“Even if I were to attain undisputed sovereignty over the whole world, and conquer even the gods, I do not see how I could remedy this grief which is consuming my sense” (II, 8)
There are two important questions that arise when Sri Krishna instead of encouraging Arjuna in any way, in the attitude of renouncing everything, Sri Krishna depreciates him in very bitter words. To a Kshatriya to be told that he is coward is perhaps the worst kind of criticism and that is exactly what Sri Krishna does. The argument which Arjuna has already put forward, seem to be on the face of them springing from nobility, high character, great sense of renunciation…