|| परमपूज्य, प्रातःस्मरणीय पं. श्री मुरलीधर जी मिश्र ||
I bow down to lotus feet of my first Guru, my revered father Pandit Shri Murli Dhar ji Mishr, my Vidya Guru, Kaul Shiromani Shri Shivanand Nath ji and all compassionate Masters of Gurumandala.. I pray for their love, support and guidance once again..
प्रथमोSध्यायः… (Continued 1:28 – 1:30)
I bow down to the Divine seated in your heart!
Till previous shloka Arjuna was describing his physical condition and it is in 31st shloka first time Arjuna starts describing state of his mind and thoughts. He says “O Keshav, I see bad omens. I see no use of killing my kinsmen in battle. (1:31)” One may feel that these and many more words (Shloka 31 till 46) spoken by Arjuna are true reflection of his normal thought process but they are not… Why? Because for a person who is already so much baffled, traumatized and deeply agonized by the harsh reality.. the one who is unable to stand on his own feet, body trembling and head spinning.. keeping sense is impossible. It should be kept in mind that Arjuna is still not God-realized person as yet. He is pursuing life in the pursuit of truth at the best however he is definitely a sadhaka of highest caliber. He is honest. He is systematic in conveying and explaining his condition. First he describes about bodily symptoms and then he is moving on to thoughts.
For the first time Arjuna is expressing his unwillingness to engage in war however he is not yet decisive. He is saying “I see bad omens.” In fact he is saying yet not saying because he is not taking responsibility of this thought process. He says something else is indicating (omens here) this is not right. He is not saying himself but anchoring his thoughts on omens. Omens are indicating it.. not his intellect. You may say it is very ordinary thought. But Gita is not about Arjuna, its all about you! Arjuna is representing an aspiring seeker here. And whatever path once chooses to walk in the pursuit of Truth.. the conditioning is the first barrier… You are taught from your childhood.. if a cat crosses your way.. you should postpone the journey. If someone sneezes when you are about to leave your home for some work.. you should stop. If you see a bier or an elephant on the way to work or some important work it is suggesting something good will happen. No one is spared of it, every sect, religion and community has its own conditioning mechanisms..
Christians have what is called – triskaidekaphobia – the fear of 13. They are made to fear this number so much that they avoid this number whole of their life. So I say if Christ reappears today and offers people to meet him probably only 12 authentic christians will be able to see him…. Simply because Who will come 13? And without 13 there can be no 14! It is not so that they have not understood the futility of adopting this belief about 13 but interestingly they invented a stupid solution as well. As if original sin was not enough (laughs). And what is that great solution? Simple! Keep counting and numbering things till 12 and then skip and yell FOURTEEN. By using this logic 13th room becomes 14. Does that not mean that now 99 will become 100 I wonder.
Although 13 is not so dreaded among Hindus but why spare them. Hindus can also be given some fear hence forth. You are ready to accept and I am here to provide the fodder to your starving intellectualism. Here is it – The biggest massacre in the pre-historic times of mankind is “Mahabharata” and Veda-Vyas hints on why this could have happened due to astrological omen. A rare phenomenon is responsible for it. He described this phenomenon by saying ” The Mahabharata started on an amavasya (no moon day) Generally a month in Indian moon-calendar is composed of two pakshas (one paksha is of 15 days in general). These two pakshas are based on moon’s phases thus one phase is of 14/15-days where moon is waxing and yet another is again of 14/15 days when moon is waning. The author of Vedavyasa tells a very interesting thing about why battle of Kurukshetra (Mahabharat) happened and when omens made him link its happening. He says in one shloka in the Bheeshma-parva of Mahabharata as following –
Look what Ved Vyaas is saying “I have seen paksha of fourteen days, I have also seen a paksha completing on fifteenth day or even its extension to sixteenth day. This peculiar event of amaavaasya (no moon) falling on the thirteenth day itself I have never seen before. He goes on to say that in the same month Sun and Moon eclipses falling during the missing thitis (days) is a rare phenomenon and it is this celestial event which is resulting in large-scale disaster to praja or people.” Now do you still consider 13 a good number? (smiles) In fact all the astrologers who calculated the timing/dates of event of Mahabharata have used this rare planetary occurrence as a pivot.
There are are thousands of things, which as a child are impregnated in your mind which become your belief system for life and rule your behaviour throughout. In every doubtful endeavour, commencement of journey, every failure one unconsciously finds oneself linking the results or situations to irrelevant things.. like good or bad omens, inability of others, planetary hurdles, cat, dogs and even gods 🙂 This shloka depicts a normal human mind and proves that no one is free of such beliefs not even Arjuna!
But Arjuna is not ordinary. He is quick enough to mobilize his emotional and logical faculties therefor he immediately says “.. and I don’t see any good in killing our own people.” Though it may seem as if Arjuna has declined to fight the war but he hasn’t. He is still unsure and just evaluating his action emotionally and ethically howsoever right or wrong but he seems to be engaged in analysis.
This is the first moment when Arjuna is pulling back and goes on to express vocally “I desire neither victory nor pleasure nor kingdom, O Krishna. What is the use of the kingdom or enjoyment or even life, O Krishna,because all those for whom we desire kingdom, enjoyments,and pleasures are standing here for the battle, giving up their lives and wealth?” (1.32-1:33)
Note what Arjuna is saying and what it means… It means we desire kingdom, enjoyments and pleasures not for self but for those whom we feel are ours. There can be no denying on this statement.. it was true then and true even now. While this is true for most of people on the earth and this is what makes most of people ordinary people. Most people earn for their immediate dependents and family.. Do you earn for your neighbours or friends? No, you don’t. And you may argue what’s wrong in it? Nothing! Except your whole life is spent in keeping yourself occupied with the welfare-project of your family. But I can still argue with you that this thought is an ordinary thought.. a limiting thought. And I can prove it to you. For instance you have a family of 10 members and you workup your life for them. And you definitely make it big by arranging all the luxuries under the sun for them. You think you are successful and well off. True you are! However think of a person who decides to take care of 1000 people (if not today but someday in future) and plans for it. Are there such people who do so? Yes very much! These people are known as businessman, entrepreneur, factory owners founder of big corporate houses. Now tell me who made it bigger? Who is more successful?
It is your this thought process which limits your progress not only in the materialistic but spiritually as well. Those who rise above this prototype thought process of earning for and serving our ‘own’ kinsmen, friends and all.. pay attention to enrich themselves. They put everything behind and take up a project of finding the biggest treasure… not for self but for millions of others. They dig within and when they do find ‘that’ treassure they become the richest people.. They are called Rishis, Munis, Buddhas and Masters.. Arjuna is exposing himself to Krishna.. everything in fact.. his wisdom, his understanding and his intent (why he was going to take up this war in the first place) in these and upcoming verses. But keep in mind that Arjuna’s situation is extraordinary.. not matching with anyone of yours. His own people for whom who thought he would earn and share with, are standing against him.. ready to fight and die if they must.
“I do not wish to kill teachers, uncles, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other relatives who are about to kill us, even for the sovereignty of the three worlds, let alone for this earthly kingdom, O Krishna.” (1.34-1:35) says Arjuna further. I can say with complete conviction that this particular sequencing of some of the important relationships he has mentioned are true reflection of his personal reverence, attachment, expectations, love and longing for them. See, the first relationship he puts above the rest. He says “I don’t wish to kill teachers…” Of course teacher is most important relationship in this world. May be it is a lost tradition today but sooner you realize the importance and place a teacher deserves the better. Then he points to uncles.. Uncles carry the image of your father and deserve the same respect and as that of your father. Here you can see sons are given more priority than grandfathers. This is natural they are young and leave promising future ahead of them.. they should definitely be spared first. One may wonder why grandsons fared after father in-law. The subconscious thought that if son remains alive the possibility of more grandsons is there but if son is dead you can’t have grandsons. So save the son first! You can observe that only after thinking about paternal and maternal relationships he could turn to in-laws and other relatives. I have personally observed that most of people have such priorities and think them to be quite normal.. all this somewhere deeply ingrained the subconscious. On the lighter note it means in-laws are not as important for a man. But see the disparity; men expect women to leave their parents and give their in-laws the first place in their list. This is something for you to ponder. Whatever is your list.. it is your personal choice and conditioning. And its best you do not (at least vocally) match it with Arjuna’s list for obvious reasons. (smiles)
Arjuna then compares this earthly kingdom with sovereignty of the three worlds. How typical of you! You don’t know whether heaven exists… hell exists somewhere but you go on quoting and discussing about it. Arjuna was also not familiar with the three worlds, he had not seen them but he is referring this phrase in his expressions. Yet another aspect of it – baffled Arjuna has started running away from reality in front of him and this is his first mental flight to the kingdom of unseen, unknown, un-experienced. And you would see now on he would base his arguments on things which he has heard of, read somewhere.. not what he has experience himself.
Nothing new. Actually all the people who go to a Master to learn the methods of spiritual ascension have so many questions to ask and all they ask or refer to is hardly ever based on their personal experiences instead it is all what they have read or heard. In Tattva Shakti Vigyaan initiation programmes people come and ask very intelligent questions about chakras, nadis, spirits, energies and thousands of other things. You would be thinking how I answer them.. right? Not for free at least. Come and join the workshop to know that. (laughs)
An angel appears at a meeting of religious leaders and tells their leader that in return for his unselfish and exemplary behaviour, God will reward him with his choice of infinite wealth, wisdom, or beauty.
Without hesitating, the leader selects infinite wisdom.
‘Done!’ says the angel, and disappears in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning.
Now, all heads turn toward the leader, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light.
One of the others whispers, ‘Say something.’
The leader sighs and says, ‘I should have taken the money.’
Enough for today..
– Ach. Agyaatdarshan Anand Nath