Essays on the Gita - Track 901

We had a big gap so, I should like to revise a little bit of what we had said last time. We were describing the condition of Arjuna and the questions that were in his mind. We had a long analysis of the entire description of his own consciousness and to say very briefly, he makes three basic propositions: first is, that he is aware of his duty to fight. It is not true that he forgot his duty because of the overwhelming presence of his opponents who were also his kinsmen, but he got overwhelmed by another idea: the duty to fight was counteractive by a perception that to kill and to kill the kinsmen and to kill the kinsmen which would result in the destruction of Dharma, is a sin. So, a duty was confronted with a sense of a sin. So, killing itself, now he began to feel, is a sin, and much worse, by killing to bring about a destruction of Dharma.

These three ideas were put side by side: 'duty to fight', 'the sin in killing the kinsmen', and thirdly, `to bring about a destruction of Dharma by the killing of the kinsmen`. Between these three alternatives he felt that in performing his duty to fight, he was going to create a disaster for Dharma itself, and therefore he conclude that, ""I shall not fight."

Now, his exposition of his own argument is embellished by three other propositions. One is his declaration: "I do not wish happiness, I do not wish to have kingdom, na kaooke rajyao na kaooke sukhao, I do not wish to have kingdom nor the happiness". The second: "it is better for me to be killed unarmed than to kill my brethren". And the third is: ""it is known that if you destroy the Dharma, you will have no peace anywhere and you will be consign to hell".

Now, you can see that in all these three statements there is a kind of a high profile for himself. It is as if he has now become enlightened, and in that state of enlightenment, he feels quite superior. If somebody says, "I do not want kingdom, I do not want happiness, I want to renounce even if they are available to me", then naturally it is a very high superior profile for oneself, and one feel justify in one's own eyes as well as in the eyes of the others. If one says, "it is better for me to be killed unarmed, than to kill the others", again it means a very high profile for oneself, and one does not want even to defend oneself, what a special kind of abnegation! Self sacrifice of oneself! And thirdly, that there is a knowledge that if you destroy Dharma, and you become responsible for the destruction of Dharma, you will have no peace anywhere at all, and you will be consign to the hell, therefore no wise man should ever do it. So, it is attributing wisdom to himself. And to say these words

before Sri Krishna: itianususruma, he says, "we here we know, we are told of the great wisdom that if you become responsible for the destruction of Dharma, then for you there is no peace anywhere, you are consign to hell"; and then he declares, he says, "look, what a great sin we were going to commit!", and now because of this new wisdom that now has arisen in his mind, he feels that he is saved from all the evil consequences of the action that he was to going to perform.

We must know that at this stage he does not ask Sri Krishna what is His view. He has come to the conclusion on his own, and he simply says: "I shall not fight". At that stage he has no doubt in his mind that he has weight quite well the different alternatives: the duty to fight, the sin in killing his kinsmen, which thirdly leads to the destruction of Dharma. And therefore the conclusion is that he should not fight. As yet there is no sense of a conflict immediately manifested when he declares: "I shall not fight".

It is only latter on, when Sri Krishna rebukes him, that is in the next chapter, in the second chapter when Sri Krishna rebukes Arjuna and says, "what kind of weakness has possessed you at this wrong hour, what kind of weakness, klaibyao, what kind of weakness has overcome your whole personality, as a result of which you speak these words? And then Sri Krishna when He starts on this note, Arjuna confesses that he is confused. And then he repeats his arguments and he says, "how can I kill Bhishma and others. That is his question. So, he confesses that there is before Bhishma, the one who was revered, the one who is so dear, how can he kill him? But at the same time, he confesses that he is savbhibhura~, he is really in a state of confusion, bewildered " , perplexed. And then he says, '115-dhi mao,(II,7) now, you rule over me and tell me what is my Dharma, what I should do?" And then follows the great teaching of the Gita which is the main substance of all the chapters of the Gita. Now we dwelt so much upon this because unless we know the question with which the Gita starts, we will not be able to appreciate the answer that comes, and the answer if very complex and unless we know the main issue we won't be able to understand the complexity of the answer.

Now, it is this answer, which constitutes the core of the teaching of the Gita. One can go verse by verse, try to understand chapter by chapter and see how Sri Krishna leads Arjuna from one state of consciousness to the other, until at last he declares that his moha is nail oa,(XVIII,73), that all his bewilderment is finished, vanished. And then he is prepared, and he is ready to fight. It is a long, long argument. As Sri Aurobindo says, "...fluent but at the same time it is a wavy argument".