Essays on the Gita (The Mother’s Institute of Research) - Session 7 (20 March 1998)

Last time we were speaking of Arjuna's psychology, and we had made distinctions between different kinds of personalities: aesthetic, rational, ethical and various combinations. We were trying to see more and more clearly the combination in the psychology of Arjuna. And the most important element that we had seen was that he was basically ethical. Now "ethical" is to be understood much more deeply than we have done so far. We may say that ethical sense begins in a human being when he or she begins to feel that he should not do unto others what he or she does not expect others to do unto himself or herself. When this sense begins to preponderate you can say someone began to have a true ethical sense. In what I just said, there are three elements. One is the concept of 'One should not do'. "Should" is a very important word. The second word that is very important is 'others' and by 'others' it is not meant 'some others' but 'all the others'. So, there is a sense of 'all'. And third is the relationship of 'all' with 'oneself'. So 'oneself’, 'all' and 'should', these three words are very important in the ethical sense.

Now there is a lower state of consciousness where there is a sense of 'should' but with regard to others, you do not have the same connotation as 'all'. For example, when one wants from 'all others' everything, but one does not want to do the same to the 'others', one feels that 'one' is so important that 'everybody should' serve him or her. But as far as he or she is concerned it is up to him or her pleasure. Now when this consciousness is present, it means that the person is not yet ethical.

For example when one says, "One should seek one's own pleasure", there is a concept of "ought" or "should". And one argues: "'Why not?" But very often one does not apply the same sentence with regard to others, because if I go further and say, "Let all seek their own pleasures." In an argument, the other party will say, "Yes, why not?" But if you say, "Look, my highest pleasure consists in your sacrificing your pleasure." Then what happens? Fine, I should seek my highest pleasure but if somebody else's pleasure lies in your sacrificing some pleasure that you are seeking, then what happens? It is at that point that one feels that one's seeking of pleasure is more important than the others' pleasure; and you say, "You'll find out your own way of pleasing yourself, why should you put yourself on me? Why should your pleasure depend on my sacrificing anything?"

So in that condition one feels to make oneself an exception to the rule. Very often whenever human beings make general rules that apply to all, they want to make their own case an exception. So here also there is a sense of "should" but with regard to "all", there is a kind of a limitation, a hesitation, and some kind of a compromise. This is not strictly an ethical sense.

Now Arjuna was an ethical being and he knew very well that rules have to be applied to all, including himself, and he was living a life in which he was very considerate and very perseverant to follow the laws of ethics. That was his constant effort. In order to be sure, he was in the habit of consulting people, consulting Dharmashastras, consulting elders, so that his action could be really 'ethical', 'right', really 'good'. Now this aspect has to be realised very well before we understand the crisis of Arjuna. This was very fundamental to him: there is a law of conduct, of action, a Dharma that should be observed all the time under all circumstances. And whenever there was a conflict, one should refer to Dharma and take a decision according to it.

Now this seeking of Dharma, seeking of the law of action, was fundamental in the character of Arjuna: Those who are highly moralistic are also practical in their psychology. Let us explain this word 'practical' because it has many meanings.

'Practical' is certainly connected with the word 'practice'. So, those who are inclined to practice may be regarded as practical. This is not the usual sense in which people use the word 'practical'. The usual meaning of this word is one who succeeds, one who is able to compete very well, one who is able to see his own interest in things and adjusts his means and ends according to the benefit that he is going to derive. This is the normal sense in which the word 'practical' is used, but its original sense is 'one who has tendency, inclination, to practice' as opposed to 'theoretical'. A theoretical consciousness is apt to reflect, to arrive at general ideas, conclusions, and refers to those who dwell all the time in the realm of ideas, generalities, theories, principles. Very often there is a kind of a conflict between the theoretical and the practical. Those who are turned to be practical in the real sense of the term do not very well fit in with an atmosphere where people go on discussing theoretical ideas, general principles, universal ideas, reflections, purely for the sake of truth. And those who are theoretical begin to dwell in the plane of thought so much that they have to make a very special effort to come down to the plane of action, to put into practice. A thinker usually feels like climbing down to action. When he is in the field of thought, he feels he is very high and elevated and when he comes to practising something he feels that he is climbing down. Surely there is a conflict between the theoretical and the practical. And many conflicts in the world arise because of the presence of these two elements in any given situation. The highest combination is one where both theory and practice are so harmonised that one enters into them at ease.

Now in the case of Arjuna, he was prone towards practising; whatever he knew to be right, he wanted to put into practice. But he had this deficiency, you might say, of entering into theoretical consciousness—a consciousness in which one is discussing by reflection, by pros and cons.

Now when I say these words it might seem rather strange because Arjuna was one of the best human beings of his time and therefore to speak of the deficiency of any such character might be misunderstood. So let us say that he was capable of thinking a lot, not that thinking was alien to him, he was even sattwic in his personality. A sattwic human being is one who is constantly turned to light and harmony. This is the very definition of sattwa. Tamas is inclination towards inertia, dullness, mechanical repetition; rajas is an inclination or a tendency to activity, feverish activity, intense activity, even rush activity, or impulsive activity. But sattwa always gives a poise of withdrawal from action. You cannot be very sattwic if you are not able to withdraw from action and stand above action to some degree.

Now to the extent, to which Arjuna was sattwic in his temperament, he was already elevated and every true ethical being is capable of thinking a lot before deciding what he should do. For example to be ethical is to be self-controlled; this is the most elementary thing in any ethical personality. Now you cannot attain to self-control unless you are able to distinguish between 'your impulses' and 'yourself, 'your desires' and 'yourself'. Various alternatives are before you: one is an alternative of self-indulgence, the other not to indulge in something. All these elements were present in Arjuna. When I speak of the theoretical personality and I say that there was a deficiency in Arjuna in this regard, I only consider the tendency in a human being to fly into the realm of ideas where he can dwell for long periods of reflection. You might say that this is the purely philosophical temperament.

Let us repeat. As soon as a human being attains to some kind of a mental level, some kind of rationality, ethicality and aesthetic elements begin to manifest. So every aesthetic being, every ethical being, every rational being is to some extent rational and therefore he is to that extent a thinker. Every thinker is to some extent a person who really can act and who can also do ethical activities. Every rational being has some kind of an opening to aesthetic sense and pursuit of joy and beauty at a higher level, and vice versa. So when I say that Arjuna was an ethical being, it does not mean he was not capable of thinking very widely and very intensely but what I mean to say is that he was not an elevated thinker, a philosopher, a theorist. Now, those who have been philosophers can understand how much you need to think and reflect for years and during that period if anybody tries to take away from thinking to action, you feel a tremendous disturbance.

When Buddha for example left his home, he was in need of deep reflection; the questions that arose in his mind arose in the context of his personality that was extremely high, highly ethical and highly philosophic. In fact Buddha represents one of the greatest heights of intellectuality. His questions were very deep questions: "What is all this pain and suffering? What is this impermanence? What is illness?

What is death?" These were the questions he wanted to decide upon. What he should be doing? That was a subordinate question in his mind. His main question was: "What is the meaning of all this?" So when he left His home, what was predominant in his personality at that time was to discover the truth of life, the meaning of life, the real process by which the world is constituted, in search of something that is permanent. It is that mind which may be called 'theoretical', 'philosophical', but Buddha was not only that, that was only a part of his personality. In other words, in the case of the Buddha, His intellectuality and ethicality were very prominent; one cannot say that his aesthetical mind was very powerful.

In the case of Arjuna, his ethical side was more predominant.

You might distinguish between the two personalities by asking the following question: 'What is true' is the basic question of a philosopher, 'what is the real truth of existence?', 'what is the reality?'. But if you are ethical you will say 'What is the law by which I should act?' The search for the law of action is the fundamental question of the ethical. And throughout the Bhagavad Gita when you read Arjuna's questions, you will find this predominance in his questioning: "Tell me decisively what I should do; do not speak to me in a mingled language"—that was his complaint. When Sri Krishna spoke to him of the high principles of the immortality of the soul and the arrival of a consciousness which is samadhistha, when one really comes to a state of equilibrium, settle intelligence, he seemed to be somewhat impatient, he said, "Please tell me decisively what I should do?" And even after reaching the soul consciousness, he said, "Tell me what is the effect of it in action?" Another question was, "How does a samadhistha move, how does he walk, how does he talk?" His questions were related to what is to be done. He did not ask deeper philosophical questions which arose out of the whole enunciation of Sri Krishna's description of 'Reality". He neither asks “what is this soul, from where does it come, is there a higher reality than this, what is the truth of the independence of the soul?" These are deeper questions of philosophy. But he did not ask them and wanted to know what was to be done. It is 'this' that is very remarkable in Arjuna's personality. The capacity to dwell upon pure thought for a long time is a mark of a theoretical personality, reflective personality, philosophical personality, the personality of a seer, of a sage.

Buddha had this personality very prominently in him. Actually if you examine the crisis through which Buddha passed, and the crisis which Arjuna passed at this stage on the battlefield, you will get a very clear idea of as to how the two crises are situated at two different levels. Buddha was prepared to spend years and years in the search of 'what is true?' before asking the question of 'what should I do?'. If he withdrew from his home it was only to get time to reflect on this. It was not that he decided that this was the right thing for him to do; he left because the circumstances of his life did not permit him to reflect. So unless he went into a great seclusion and went from teacher to teacher to ask questions, He would not have been able to come to the real conclusion. Of course, he was highly ethical, therefore he really ultimately wanted to do what was right, but what he wanted to discover was the basis of doing the right thing. His was a very powerful and wide philosophic and ethical nature, both together.

In the case of Arjuna, the philosophic element was not as wide as in the case of the Buddha. The philosophic was not absent but it was highly moralistic, highly inclined to do something and follow some law of action to be applied. That was his basic inclination. So you might say that Arjuna was ethical, practical, and the third element in his personality was that he was 'emotional'. Now here again we find a conflict between intellectuality and emotionality. We cannot say that he was not intellectual but that the intellectual element was subordinate to the emotional element. In an emotional personality, there is always a great consideration to enjoy with others; it is a sense of expansiveness in which you share your joy with a large number of people, you feel happy in the happiness of others. If somebody is unhappy or sick or troubled, this personality feels very much overpowered. It is said that Indians by nature are more emotional than many people of the West; a simple appeal of a poor person can melt most of the Indians more easily, but an argument may not actually interest many people in India as much as a mere experience of emotional stirs.

Now Arjuna was a personality that could be moved very powerfully through emotions. He said, "He is my uncle, he is my grandfather, or he is my companion, he is my comrade" and to share with people, whatever you enjoy is very important for an emotional personality. To share with his own people whatever he enjoyed, even his victory, was very important to him, that was the mark of Arjuna. Finally he was a sensational man, not in the ordinary sense of the term. A sensational person is one who gets greatly affected by what one sees and what one hears. There are people who understand a thing only when they 'hear' it; there are people who get much more convinced by 'seeing' something, not only 'hearing' it; there are people who are convinced when they 'read' in printed words—to them, 'seeing' or 'hearing' is not so important, and sometimes they have to read again and again until they are absolutely certain. This last category of people cannot be emotional, they are hard rationalists who want all their evidence on paper, in writing, and they need to read again and again to make sure that what is said is true and then only their action will follow out of what they have read. They need a lot of time to reflect, they do not get affected immediately by what they hear and see. On the other hand there are people who even if they have read ten times will not be absolutely sure until they have seen or heard somebody saying something. This is a mark of emotionality, one who gets very much seized by sensations.

Now having analysed this, let us start with the emotionality of Arjuna. I was so far building up the case for the sense of crisis that overcame Arjuna rather suddenly. Arjuna is brought to the arena in the chariot by Sri Krishna. Arjuna knew that he was going to fight against the arrogance and violence symbolized and manifested in Duryodhana. He was sure that he was acting according to what a Kshatriya should do—the Dharma of Kshatriyas is to fight for justice and to establish what is right—and he was moved by this law of action and he wanted to implement it. He knew also that in this great conflict, people of different parts of the country or different countries were to participate; he knew also that among them, there were people not only of his clan but of his own family; he knew that in the opposition there were people of his own family, not only of his clan but of his own family; among his opponents were his Gurus, Dronacharya, Kripacharya. And when Sri Krishna leading the chariot brought him into the arena, he watched all this and what happened to him? What he knew was experienced sensationally by him; he saw with his own eyes Bhishma standing here, Dronacharya there, and his brothers, his comrades, friends, peers, people who had been working with him and for whom he had been working, all those people were arranged before him. It is 'this sensation' that overpowered him, and all his thoughts were generated by this sensational experience. This is the true psychology of what happened to Arjuna. He knew the two parties and that he was on the battlefield, what was it that changed him suddenly? What was new in the situation that changed his mind completely? He had come to fight, he wanted to see everybody like a majestic master of the whole situation, and suddenly he changed. What happened? The only explanation we can give is that he has a personality that can be affected by sensations. What he knew in theory, in thought, became not so real to him. And immediately the current of sensations passed through him so powerfully and he says: 'my limbs become numb'. His physical organs—it is a sensational experience—they become numb: sidanti mama gatrani, (I, 28). Now, these experiences lead him to a series of thoughts...

Question: You were giving us the differentiation between an Intellectual and emotional being, you said that the emotional wanted to share, what would you have to say for the intellectual person in that respect?

He also wants to share but rather sharing thoughts.

Question: Not joys and so on?

Also, but it is a subordinate thing. Very often, a thinker is very happy when you ask him to tell you his thoughts. He may not be able to give you a dinner party very easily, he may not even think of it unless he has also a developed emotional personality. I am talking of those who are predominantly thinkers and those who are predominantly emotional. If you ask questions to those who are predominantly thinkers they immediately start a kind of an analytical assessment of a situation or analytical statement of the process of thought.

It is very peculiar, when she asked her question I went immediately into analysis; that shows my personality. I am more inclined to a reflective process of explaining. Somebody else could have answered by an experience that could be a higher capacity than what I provided. So I can share with others an analysis, which is more easy for me, because I can immediately enter into analysis. It is the mark of a thinker rather than of a man of emotion although I am quite emotional also. But I am predominantly a thinker so in my case it is not easy for me to share emotions so easily.

Question: Does the emotional, Intellectual or ethical being have an evolutionary gradation or they just... ?

You are right, there are many gradations. That is why whenever you analyse, you find it very difficult because, as for example in the case of Arjuna, he was ethical but not rational. Now to say this bluntly would be a big injustice to Arjuna because it is not that he was not rational, on the contrary, therefore I made a remark that actually every ethical, rational and aesthetic being has a sufficient modicum of rationality. But when I make a distinction, I refer to the gradation. I mean that when one moves more and more in the ethical level then the dwelling upon the philosophic level becomes less and less pronounced. Ultimately there should be harmony of all the three together.

In fact one of the greatest difficulties, not only of a human being but of any culture, is that cultures tend to become specialized in one or the other. Take for example the cultures of Athens and Sparta, which represent one of the earliest examples of a conflict between two very powerful cultures in ancient Greece. What was the difference between the two? Both were rational, but philosophical thought and the pursuit of beauty were prominent in Athens, when the pursuit of right, good, strength and endurance, the pursuit of stoicism, were prominent in Sparta. You know in Sparta there was a rule that when a child was born a weakling, it was thrown off from a mountain. They only wanted brave and powerful children. When we think of it today it may give us a terrible shake in our being; how cruel were these people but they were so powerful as far as the capacity of endurance was concerned. They wanted to create a race of people who could bear all kinds of sufferings and all kinds of privations. This was unthinkable in Athens where the aesthetics and intellectuality were very much emphasized. So you can see here two cultures where one was very predominant and the other less predominant. And the other way, in Athens, this pursuit of stoicism was not absent but it was less prominent.

Again see for example the difference between the Greek culture and the Roman culture. What was the difference between the two? Take the Greek culture as a whole, not Athens and Sparta separately. Romans were nearer to Spartan than to Athens in the sense that Romans were also great adherents of law, order, organisation, heavy hand to see that things were done; they had not a questioning mind as to what was right or wrong, it was assumed: they knew it. The question was: 'what is to be done'. This is the reason why they conquered Greece, the Greeks were thinking! They were pursuers of beauty, sculpture, arts, architectural designs that were so beautiful. And because they lacked this element which Spartans had in a great measure they were conquered and even became slaves. And this is the trouble that arises in culture: a good thinker can very well be made a slave of a practical man, which happens very often. Scientists are hired by rich people who command them and the poor thinkers have to spin out so many ideas in service of the powerful people! This happens all the time. So in cultures also it can happen: the Greeks, even though great philosophers, had to work as slaves of their Roman masters! It is said actually that the Greeks were so clever because of their thinking power that they knew very well how to please their masters and therefore they would spin out stories which would please them and in doing so gained favours from them. And they were so clever that they simply ruled upon Romans who ultimately became Greeks, just by their intellectual power: their power of persuasion, their manoeuvrings and intelligent understanding. So that is why once Romans had conquered the Greeks, there arose what is called Greco-Roman culture in due course of time—actually Roman culture did not remain Roman at all, it became highly influenced by Greek culture. And that was the great conquest of the Greeks who conquered Romans not by warfare but by the mind.

Question: Can the perfection be defined as integration?

That's right, correct, absolutely! Perfection is integration of ethicality, aesthetics and rationality. The only problem is how to integrate them and is there any power by which they can be integrated? And the experience shows that neither of them can be integrated only by the power of reason, or the power of ethicality, or the power of aesthetics, that is why the need to go above these three elements. This is what is required by spirituality. Spirituality is not optional. If you really want to integrate there is no other way, you have got to overpass these elements, you have got to enter into a higher level. In fact the question that you ask is so important that actually the whole of the Gita can be understood only through that question. What was the need for Sri Krishna to give him a spiritual light when Arjuna simply said, 'Please tell me decisively what has to be done?" It is because the answer that Sri Krishna had to give was not acceptable only to the ethical element and what he wanted to say was something that ethicality would not have accepted easily. To say very briefly you might say Sri Krishna's answer actually was, "Look, my dear friend, you are looking for the Law. And what I want to explain to you is a situation where you have to give up all the laws. This is my real answer, sarva dharman parityajya." This is the basic, ultimate in chapter XVIII°,66, and this is the last word of the Gita.

Now you are asking me: "what is the law by which I should act?" Now Sri Krishna does not tell that in the beginning.

It was not easy to make this big transition. The answer of the ethical questions which was raised by Arjuna did not rest in ethicality. It was on a higher plane and Sri Krishna had to lead Arjuna to this higher plane of consciousness. How to lead him into a higher level of consciousness? The one element which was left by Arjuna as an opening to a higher level was Arjuna's argument that he should renounce, he must not fight, he must renounce, he must go away. This idea of renunciation is slightly higher than the ethicality. In ethics you have got to do, whereas he said: 'I shall not fight, I shall renounce'. This was a small element left in his whole argument and it was through this door that Sri Krishna ascended higher: 'as you talk of renunciation, I will tell you what is renunciation'. And his whole argument starts with renunciation; the first three or four chapters are only about what action is, and what renunciation is. So it is through that door that Sri Krishna takes Arjuna 'upwards' and because Sri Krishna's answer is on a higher plane and Arjuna is not able to reach that higher plane: he constantly says: "All right now come back to the brass tacks and when you say that knowledge is superior to action" (because that was one of the propositions that Sri Krishna made at a certain stage) he said, "If you think that intelligence is much higher than action, why do you throw me into action at all? I am already saying that I want to go away from here!"

So Arjuna's crisis can be understood first when we understand his psychology. That was the reason why we have been dwelling upon this so much. Otherwise we will not understand why this whole debate is on. It was the psychology of Arjuna which was peculiar. He had come to his crisis first of all through sensations because he was a person who could be affected through sensations. His crisis manifested by a sense of horror. To imagine horror is one thing but to see the horror before his eyes, which he now could see much more easily, when he saw such a huge expanse of armies standing before him and in imagination that these people will ultimately be slaughtered; a tremendous sense of horror seizes him. Not that he could not fight, he was capable; he had fought so many wars. But to see this huge arena filled with people and among them his grandfather and his brothers, and his closest relatives and friends. So, first of all a crisis of the senses arises in the sense of 'horror'. Then, there is a sense of pity: he feels as it were a great 'pity' for everybody because so many are going to be killed. And the next sensation is 'disgust'. These three words are very important to understand his crisis: the sense of horror, pity and disgust. What is the meaning of all this?

Therefore, now is the second level of his crisis: the vital crisis. What is the vital crisis? The loss of 'attraction'; usually the vital being is enjoyed upon action by attraction: you like this, you don't like this, likes, dislikes, preferences and rejection on the basis of your preferences. There is a loss of attraction of all the ordinary aims of life in which he reveled up till then, which he will expound later on, when he will enunciate his real argument. His ordinary aim of life was what? First, normally we all live for joy, for happiness, and that is his first argument, na kankshe, "I don't desire now anymore", he said. The loss of the attraction to life and the aim of life; the normal aim of life is to have happiness and joy and he says: 'I don't want it’. Or, what do you want further in your life? You want to help others; you want to have victory, but victory for what? To share with your own people. But these are the very people who are to be killed! So with whom will he share his happiness? This is his vital crisis.

Then there is his emotional crisis. What is his emotional crisis? 'Here is my grandfather, my friends, all the people with whom I have been enjoying my whole life have to be slaughtered'.

And then there is the practical crisis. What is a practical crisis? The practical crisis is that all life is to put into practice the highest that you regard in terms of morality, good, right, justice. This is practicality, to see that the 'right', 'justice' wins in the world. Now following this path, he has reached this point where all he thinks is right and just ultimately will be destroyed at the national level. And this is a very important perception. In order that there should be 'right' and 'justice', there should at least be people and people who are themselves devoted to right and justice, then only you can say that you have worked for justice and right. But the action to which he has now come was arrived at by pursuing the path of the right; he now sees that by doing this very action he will create a situation where human beings devoted to the right and justice will be destroyed on a large scale and manhood in the country will be destroyed; the women will go astray, and there will arise a people varna sankara, who have no idea of 'right' and 'good'. He sees: this is the consequence which will arise out of this. So doing the right and justice, pursuing that path, he is going to create a situation where for a long time, or for many, many years, even centuries, there will be a complete disorder who will not even think of the right and justice. This was his great practical crisis.

Question: But it was the destruction of evil that he set out for.

True, that is what he said, °I want to destroy evil, ultimately I will arrive at what point? Where people themselves will become evil?" You see his argument? I will slaughter thousands of young men, therefore lots of women will become widows who will then go astray, and will produce generations of people born out of going astray from their lives, therefore these generations will not obey the law of the right and justice: the path of evil will be more easily available to those people who were out of such a crisis. Now this is not fully expounded in the Gita because it is not so easy to say but he says that kulastriya (I, 41), 'the women' will go astray when manhood on a large scale will be destroyed, what will happen to women? They will go astray, and then children will be born on a large scale, in what condition? Therefore he speaks of varna sankara** (I, 41): the people who will be born out of their varna, that is to say 'out of their dharma'. Therefore you will not be able to teach them what is their Dharma. This was the great challenge that comes before him now, at this stage. In fact this is a point that we shall expound further because it is very important.

The crisis of Arjuna was not only a crisis of the senses, of the emotions, not only practical, it was a deeper crisis where the whole idea of morality itself became questionable: if by doing the right thing, you ultimately create a wrong thing, then what happens to your right thing? This is the question: you do your right thing, you destroy the evil; if by destroying the evil, you create even more evil; then, what do you do? You want to destroy the evil, fine! But if ultimately you will produce more evil, a greater evil, an irremediable evil, what will happen? This is the crisis; this is the question that he puts. Arjuna's questions were really difficult actually, very, very formidable; only Sri Krishna could have given these answers. So, the crisis through which Arjuna passes is of a tremendous kind.

Sri Aurobindo said that you could not have the kind of great teaching of the Gita unless the crisis to which it answered itself was a great crisis. A small crisis could not have produced such a great teaching. It was a crisis in which some of the most fundamental questions of human life had to be answered. And the situation was such that the questions arose in the mind of Arjuna only at that moment and that is why the crisis became so difficult and in a sense even typical because most of the human beings are of the type of Arjuna. Very few people are thinkers, philosophers, but most of us are likely emotional, practical, ethical and sensational. We are all basically of that type and our crisis usually comes in this fashion. We may have decided a hundred things but when we see a situation we are completely changed. When we see a situation with our senses the whole heart melts. We may have thought that we want to work for one, but when we really see something else we work for somebody else. At the last moment some appeal comes from somewhere and emotionally we are carried away.

Question: The crisis of the Gita was at a national level but as you said that this was a very typical thing; so was not the crisis also to be identified at a personal level?

Oh yes! That is why it has such a great relevance to us. While reading the Gita, we find our own life portrayed, we find that Arjuna is ourselves. And that is why we turn to the Gita at every step, because the questions that Arjuna asked are so dear to us, these are the very questions that we would like to ask.

I would now like to give you the text of Arjuna's argument first in Sanskrit and then in English, so that we can study this more carefully.

Verse 1.28

अर्जुन उवाच
दृष्ट्वेमं स्वजनं कृष्ण युयुत्सुं समुपस्थितम् ।
सीदन्ति मम गात्राणि मुखं च परिशुष्यति ॥

Verse 1.29

वेपथुश्च शरीरे मे रोमहर्षश्च जायते ।
गाण्डीवं स्रंसते हस्तात्त्वक्चैव परिदह्यते ॥

Verse 1.30

न च शक्नोम्यवस्थातुं भ्रमतीव च मे मनः ।
निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव ॥

Verse 1.31

न च श्रेयोऽनुपश्यामि हत्वा स्वजनमाहवे ।
न काङ्क्षे विजयं कृष्ण न च राज्यं सुखानि च ॥

Verse 1.32

किं नो राज्येन गोविन्द किं भोगैर्जीवितेन वा ।
येषामर्थे काङ्क्षितं नो राज्यं भोगाः सुखानि च ॥

Verse 1.33

त इमेऽवस्थिता युद्धे प्राणांस्त्यक्त्वा धनानि च ।
आचार्याः पितरः पुत्रास्तथैव च पितामहाः ॥

Verse 1.34

मातुलाः श्वशुराः पौत्राः श्यालाः सम्बन्धिनस्तथा ।
एतान्न हन्तुमिच्छामि घ्नतोऽपि मधुसूदन ॥

Verse 1.35

अपि त्रैलोक्यराज्यस्य हेतोः किं नु महीकृते ।
निहत्य धार्तराष्ट्रान्नः का प्रीतिः स्याज्जनार्दन ॥

Verse 1.36

पापमेवाश्रयेदस्मान्हत्वैतानाततायिनः ।
तस्मान्नार्हा वयं हन्तुं धार्तराष्ट्रान्स्वबान्धवान् ।
स्वजनं हि कथं हत्वा सुखिनः स्याम माधव ॥

Verse 1.37

यद्यप्येते न पश्यन्ति लोभोपहतचेतसः ।
कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं मित्रद्रोहे च पातकम् ॥

Verse 1.38

कथं न ज्ञेयमस्माभिः पापादस्मान्निवर्तितुम् ।
कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं प्रपश्यद्भिर्जनार्दन ॥

Verse 1.39

कुल-क्षये प्रणश्यन्ति कुल-धर्माः सनातनाः ।
धर्मे नष्टे कुलं कृत्स्नम् अधर्मोऽभिभवत्युत ॥

Verse 1.40

अधर्माभिभवात्कृष्ण प्रदुष्यन्ति कुलस्त्रियः ।
स्त्रीषु दुष्टासु वार्ष्णेय जायते वर्णसंकरः ॥

Verse 1.41

संकरो नरकायैव कुलघ्नानां कुलस्य च ।
पतन्ति पितरो ह्येषां लुप्तपिण्डोदकक्रियाः ॥

Verse 1.42

दोषैरेतैः कुलघ्नानां वर्णसंकरकारकैः ।
उत्साद्यन्ते जातिधर्माः कुलधर्माश्च शाश्वताः ॥

Verse 1.43

उत्सन्नकुलधर्माणां मनुष्याणां जनार्दन ।
नरके नियतं वासो भवतीत्यनुशुश्रुम ॥

Verse 1.44

अहो बत महत् पापं कर्तुं व्यवसिता वयम् ।
यद् राज्य-सुख-लोभेन हन्तुं स्वजनम् उद्यताः ॥

Verse 1.45

यदि मामप्रतीकारमशस्त्रं शस्त्रपाणयः ।
धार्तराष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस्तन्मे क्षेमतरं भवेत् ॥

Verse 1.46

सञ्जय उवाच
एवमुक्त्वार्जुनः संख्ये रथोपस्थ उपाविशत् ।
विसृज्य सशरं चापं शोकसंविग्नमानसः॥

These are all the crises of which I have spoken: sensational crisis, vital crisis, emotional crisis, practical crisis. Now let us read in English. I am reading something which was not read in Sanskrit but that is important to understand the context. (page n°78)

"Right in the midst between either host set thou my car, O Unfallen.(he speaks to Sri Krishna) Let me scan these who stand arrayed and grieving for battle. Let me know who must wage war with me in a great holiday of fight. Feign would I see who are these, who are here for combat, to do in battle the will of Dhritarashthra's witless son."

This is the proud, great Arjuna, decided to win the battle of justice, this is the spirit in which he comes to the battlefield.

"Thus, O Bharata, to Rishikesha Gunekesha said who sat in the midst between the either army the noble car in front of Bhishma and Drona, and all those kings of earth. (and he said, Sri Krishna said), Lo, O Partha, all these Kurus met in one field. There, Partha, so fathers and grandsires stand, (this is the sensational experience) and teachers, and uncles, and brothers, and sons, and grandsons, and dear comrades, and fathers of wives and heart's friends, all in either battle opposed."

"And when the son of Kunti beheld all these dear friends and kindred facing each other in war, his heart was besieged with utter pity and failed him and he said, 'O Krishna, I behold these kinsmen and friends arrayed in hostile arms and my limbs sink beneath me, and my face grows dry, and there are shudderings in my body and my hair stands on end, Gandhiva falls from my hand and my very skin is on fire." This is the sensational experience.

"I cannot stand and my brain whirls and evil omens, O Keshava, meet my eyes. I can see no blessing for me having slain my kin in fight."

This is the emotional crisis.

"I desire not victory, O Krishna, no kingship no delight..." This is the vital reaction.

"... or the ordinary enjoyments of life..."

They mean nothing now to him there is a vital disgust towards it.

"What shall we do with kingship, O Govinda, what with enjoyments, what with life? They for whose sake we desire kingship and enjoyments and delight, lo, they all stand in battle against us, casting behind them their riches and lives, our teachers and our fathers and our sons, our grandsires and uncles and the fathers of our wives, and our grandsons and our wives's brothers and the kin of our beloved. These though they slay me, O Madhusudana, I would not slay. No, not for the empire of Heaven and space and hell, much less for this poor earth of ours! Slaying the sons of Dhritarashthra, what joy would be left to us, O Janardana? Sin, sin alone, would find lodging in us if we slew these though our adversaries then falls. Therefore we do not right to slay the children of Dhritarashthra and their friends for how can we be happy, O Madhava, if we slay our kin? Even though these see not for their hearts are swept away by greed, error, done in the ruin of our house and grievous sin in treachery to natural friends, how shall we not understand and turn back from the sin, we who have eyes, O Janardana, for error done in the ruin of our house? When the family dwindle the eternal ideals of the race are lost. And when ideals are lost unrighteousness beset the whole race. In the prevalence of unrighteousness, O Krishna, the women of the race go astray and where women grow corrupt, bastard confusion is born again. But confusion brings the slayers of the race, and the race itself to very hell, for the long line of fathers perish, and the food ceases and the water is given no more. By these sins, who bring their race to perdition? Fathers they all barter confusion, the eternal ideals of the nation and the hearth are overthrown. And for men who have lost the ancient righteousness of the race in hell and eternal habitation he set apart, it is told. Alas! A dreadful sin have we set ourselves to do, that we have made ready from greed of lordship and pleasure to slay our own kin. Yea, even if the sons of Dhritarashthra slay me with their armed arms, me unarmed and unresisting, it will be better and more fortunate for me than this."

"Thus speak Arjuna and in the very battle's heart, sat down upon his chariot's seat and let fall his bow. When the hero was under strain for his soul was perplexed with grief."

We shall stop here today.