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
yogic knowledge in the widest and integral sweep.
Yoga has many gates of entry, and moral experience at an acute point of development throws up such a dilemma that the standards of conduct erected by human consciousness collide with each other so critically that one is obliged to enter into the gates of yoga in search of a true solution. When we examine the argument of Arjuna, we shall find that the crisis that confronted Arjuna was no ordinary crisis; it arose at a point where Arjuna had striven his very best to fulfill the demands of the standards of conduct or standards of dharma with his utmost sincerity, and even at that point of crisis, he was prepared for a quest which promised the possibility of fullness of action which was to be totally free from blemish. It is in that quest that Sri Krishna found it indispensable to provide that vast and integral knowledge of the workings of the universe, of the deepest roots of those workings and of the relations of the divine consciousness with human will and human action; Sri Krishna went farther and showed the integral method of combining that integral knowledge with motivation of complete surrender to the divine consciousness, the surrender of human will and human action so that they may be uplifted, transformed and so divinized that the resultant would be fullness of spiritual action.