Bhagavagd Gita - Session 1 - Track 103

From this, a very important question arises: can the Divine Will massacre of people? This is a very important question because many people believe that Divine being pure, compassionate, most wonderful, omniscient, omnipotent, how can he will that there should be Kurukshetra, a battlefield in which people should come and massacre each other, in which the Divine says: “yes, you must fight, you must kill”? Can there be such a divine who can make this kind of a demand? Can there be such a will as the Divine’s Will? People see a great inconsistency between the omnipotence of God, the compassion of God, the Divine Love, and this kind of a battlefield, in which He wills massacre, He wills destruction. This inconsistency, this contradiction between the nature of the Divine and the will of the Divine in this particular situation, seems to jar the conscience of people so much, that many people think that this cannot be the teaching, the supreme teaching.

Some people have therefore tried to defend the Gita by saying that the Bhagavad Gita is not a command to fight the war; it is not a command to massacre people. According to them Gita is an allegory. It is a kind of an inner story, a battle between the right forces and the evil forces which are all the time within ourselves, and the Bhagavad Gita is a teaching which says to the man that between your evil forces and good forces, you fight, and destroy your evil forces which are in your heart, in your mind, in your thoughts. He does say “massacre”, but massacre what? Not the people who are assembled in the war, but the forces which are there in you, which are evil, unjust and which are contrary to your highest aspirations. This is one interpretation that has been put forward in order to show that the Supreme cannot demand a fight, a physical fight, a physical war, and massacre of people. It cannot be! But if this interpretation is valid, then it means that this Mahabharata is also a fiction, and that the great crisis that Arjuna faces is also a fiction. His crisis was not merely that ‘Well, there are good tendencies in me and evil tendencies in me, and I require to conquer my evil tendencies’, not at all! His main question was ‘Bhishma, Drona, Kripa are before me, how can I take arms against them and slaughter them physically?’ That was his question! He calls it “sin”: that was his question.

In fact, such is the real question of everybody’s life. Our life is not merely allegory: our life is a concrete life in which, we, ourselves are required to fight the battle; we, ourselves come to the crisis of the kind that Arjuna faced.

In other words, we may say that Bhagavad Gita boldly takes up the question. This is the courage of the Bhagavad Gita: to recognise that there is in this world a phenomenon of struggle, phenomenon of battle, phenomenon of wrestling, of conflict which leads to armed conflict; this is the phenomenon which we have to take cognition of as a matter of fact! And the Bhagavad Gita faces that question in its concrete terms: what are you to do when you are face to face with a conflict? Will you say that God does not exist in that conflict?

That is one way of coming out of that question: that God is above, it is human beings who are fighting with each other, and God has no role to play in it! This is one of the answer which have been given by some people: ‘God is transcendental, God is supreme, He looks at the world as if on a chess board, where people are playing with their pieces, may be He is amused by what is going on there, or may be He leaves everybody to their own fate, according to their own actions, but He cannot enter into this stupid little thing in the world.’

If you take the Buddhist position for example, the world is what? World is something that is happening ‘momentarily’, it is a movement of a flux going from moment to moment, which can be re-absorbed, which has no significance in itself. It has no meaning in it: it is a bubble which will burst, which will create another bubble which will burst, till another bubble will burst, and the best thing is to seek a complete extinction, instead of allowing it to burst, to arise again and burst again. It is unnecessary because it produces so much of misery in life; therefore the best thing is to allow the extinction to come about; and the method of extinction, and you are out of it.

If such is the world, then the Bhagavad Gita has no meaning at all. Bhagavad Gita does not declare that ‘this whole war is nothing, is a bubble, it will burst; or it does not matter what will happen to it; the Divine has no will about it’. Surely, this is not the view of the Bhagavad Gita.