The Gita: Srimad Bhagwadgita: श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता : Chapter 2:04-2:05

|| परमपूज्य, प्रातःस्मरणीय पं. श्री मुरलीधर जी मिश्र ||

I, Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath bow down at the lotus feet of my first Guru, my revered father Pandit Shri Murli Dhar ji Mishra,  Vidya Guru Kaul Shiromani Shri Shivanand Nath ji, Yoga Guru Paramhamsa Shri Balendu Giri ji Maharaj, Tantra Guru Shri Shri Anta Devji Maharaj, Vama Guru Shri Kaleshwaranand Ji Maharaj and all the compassionate Masters, divine souls of Gurumandala..  I pray for their love, support and guidance always..

Shivoham!

अर्जुन उवाच ।

Arjuna uvaacha|

कथं भीष्ममहं सङ्ख्ये द्रोणं च मधुसूदन ।

इषुभिः प्रतियोत्स्यामि पूजार्हावरिसूदन ॥ २-४॥

Katham Bheeshmaham samkhye dronam cha madhusoodana|

Ishubhih pratiyotsyaami poojaarhaavarisoodan || 2-4 ||

गुरूनहत्वा हि महानुभावान्, श्रेयो भोक्तुं भैक्ष्यमपीह लोके ।

हत्वार्थकामांस्तु गुरूनिहैव, भुञ्जीय भोगान् रुधिरप्रदिग्धान् ॥ २-५॥

Guroonhatvaa hi mahaanubhaavaan,
shreyo bhoktum bhaikshyamapeeha loke |

hatvaarthakaamaanstu guroonihaiva,
bhunjeeya bhogaan rudhirapradigdhaan || 2-5 ||

Arjuna says –

“O Madhusoodan, how can I shoot arrows in battle on men like Bheeshma and Dronaacharya, who are worthy of my worship, O destroyer of enemies? |2-4|

It would be better to live by begging in this world, than to enjoy life by killing these noble elders, who are my Gurus. If we kill them, the wealth and pleasures we enjoy will be tainted with blood. |2-5|

A Guru’s behaviour has been so beautifully depicted in the last chapter where Arjuna kept speaking his mind and heart out while Krishna patiently listened to him. A Guru must listen to each and every disciple when one is confronted with a tough-turbulent-unfavourable-critical situations, be it in their life or in their spiritual journey. This interaction that a disciple or seeker makes is so very crucial for the teacher to assess and direct him/her in the right direction. Krishna has been listening to Arjuna so patiently to fairly and accurately assess his issues, his emotional energies and his motivation. After listening his long ‘speech’ Krishna says just two sentences and then stops. (These two sentences impregnated with Gurus spiritual energy have already started working on Arjuna, we will see that in a while)

But you see, how pathetic situation it is for the modern disciples now a days! They are never listened to. The modern Gurus come.. take Daksina from them in advance, give Mantra / Kriyas / Mudras / processes etc. to other hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of seekers (along with them) in one go and then… typical ‘fly-by-night’ and vanish (laughs). In most of these grand initiation ceremonies the expectant disciples aren’t given any opportunity to talk to the Teacher / Guru. And after so called deeksha/teaching ceremony there’s no chance! I have not been able to understand this that in the absence of such an individual exchange with a person how Gurus are able to assess the exact situation (dis-ease) of every person present in their large congregations and then give them appropriate spiritual method (medicine).. I just bow down to the prowess of such exalted Gurus! तेभ्यः गुरुभ्यः नमः | Although I still wish they are able to see this clear message of Gita.

Krishna has disappointed or baffled Arjuna by seemingly ignoring his earlier detailed ‘confused submission’ regarding the repercussions of this battle by simply asking him to get up and act. These words have already started stirring Arjuna because earlier he was saying धार्तराष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस्तन्मे क्षेमतरं भवेत् – It is better for me to be killed by Kauravas. But now he is contemplating a different line – हत्वार्थकामांस्तु गुरूनिहैव, भुञ्जीय भोगान् रुधिरप्रदिग्धान् – If we kill them, the wealth and pleasures we enjoy will be tainted with blood in response to Shree Krishna’s call for action. No doubt Arjuna is still confused but it is wonderful to see that Masters two sentences have begun to work almost instantly. Spiritually this can be equated with kind of Shaktipaata – the descent of divine energy. Socially speaking the same role is played by the inspiring energy-packed on-screen dialogues by actors. Have you not seen people picking up many such movie dialogues (irrespective of positive or negative) and quoting / repeating them so passionately? It is the energy of your words that matters!

In these verses Arjuna presents his confusion but if you notice he is psychologically defending himself as well. You may not see it directly but can sense it if you just recall what Krishna had said to Arjuna in the two sentences he spoke – Krishna says “क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते”. He has charged him of un-MAN-liness (cowardice). This is ‘the biggest insult’ for a true warrior (kshatriya). Therefore in these shlokas (verses) Arjuna is giving reasons why he is not taking up this fight. His earlier emotional tone was loaded with ‘mamataa‘ (belonging)’ and now here comes another hue the ‘Respect/Reverence’.

He states that Bheeshma and Dronacharya are worthy of his respect. Bheeshma was the true embodiment of chastity and remained a lifelong celibate to fulfill the vow that he had made. Let’s empathise with Arjuna for sometime understanding the true personality of Bheeshma –

Some people argue that Bheeshma was on the wrong. For them it is better to know that Bheeshma was an enlightened soul. He was a great devotee of Shri Krishna, the knower of the Absolute Truth, embodiment of chivalry and generosity whose actions were never against the principles of dharma. His profound character and insight is beyond the comprehension of mundane reasoning. Even though he may have fought on the side of the Kauravas but when Yudhishthir bowed to him before the war he said thus, “Putra! I am obliged to fight on the side of unrighteousness but I give you the boon that you will be victorious.”

|| The Entrance of Hanumat Niketan at Civil Lines, Prayagraj – Celebrating Bheeshma ||

In fact Bheeshma already knew that the Pandavas are on the right. He also saw it clearly that the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna was on their side. How such an enlightened man could not see the evident? He knew that Pandavas would never lose. He is just playing his role by taking the side of adharma (unrighteousness). He showed us that even the most powerful forces can not affect an unholiness win in a holy war. Bheeshma, a true bhakta (devotee) is part of Krishna’s leela (divine pastimes) and he offered the biggest sacrifice of laying down his life at the service of Truth. What more evidence you want than this!

In the last days of his life, as he lay on the bed of arrows for six months, he meditated on that very fond vision of Krishna (that he had seen in Vrindavan) offers this prayer to Lord:

युधि तुरग रजो विधूम्र विवूक, कच लुलित श्रम वार्यलङ्कतास्ये।
मम निशित शरैर्विभिद्य मान, त्वचि विलसत्कवचे स्तु कृष्ण आत्मा।।

Yudi turag rajo vidhomra vivooka, kach lulit shram vaaryalanktaasye|
mam nishit sharairvibhidya maan, twachi vilasat-kavache stu krishna aatma||

In the battlefield, Krishna’s locks were covered with white dust raisen by the hooves of the horses. His beautiful face was further beautified with sweat beads due to his physical effort in driving the chariot. These were the natural ornaments enhancing the beauty of my Lord. The dents of my sharp arrows on his armours intensified the decorations of divinity in Him. Let my mind meditate unto that Shri Krishna.

Such a persona Bheeshma was and he was standing on the opposite side! Now you know the reason why.

Another person was Arjuna’s warfare Guru, Dronacharya. Drona was a genius in his field and it was from him that Arjuna had mastered the art and science of archery.  Kripacharya was another respectable person on the side of Kauravas, whom Arjuna had always held in high regards. To treat such men as enemies here seems abominable to the noble-minded Arjuna.

In Hindu tradition even arguing with elders is considered improper, then how could Arjua ever think of attacking these respected persons with weapons? All this being true his statement also implies, “O Krishna, you please do not doubt my manliness and courage.  I am all out to fight but my moral duty, is to respect my teachers and to show compassion to the sons of Dhritarashtra.”

Arjuna is directionless in his thinking, lost all his senses for he says that he would prefer to live by begging than commit this heinous act of killing loved and respected ones. He further believes that his conscience will not allow him to enjoy any of the fruits of his such action in this world. It is so unlike a Kshatriya who is ready to live by begging – In hindi there’s a saying which can be translated in english – “A lion will die of starvation but can not eat grass!” The lion in Arjuna is dreaming of surviving on grass.. almost an impossibility!

Arjun out of his pity mixed compassion feels that, if he did kill his own people, the victory shall taint all that is won, with their blood and his conscience wouldn’t let him enjoy the kingdom. This is so real situation. Arjuna’s plight is a very extraordinary one.

I remember how I had also come across an old lady who shared her story.. how she had lost the grip of her 7 year old grandson’s tiny hands at a crossing, just for 2 seconds, only to see him getting crushed under a speeding bus. Now that is the memory which haunts her.. Decades after she continues to blame herself for the mishap even when that was not her fault. In waking, in dream.. always!  Such incidents even if these happen unintentionally become continuous source of horror and agony. We can discuss  ignorance of Arjuna but It is not easy to be in the place of Arjuna!

Arjuna is confused but; Conviction to confusion is also the journey.. If you are convinced about any skewed / unhelpful idea / philosophy / point of view then for sure you can not be convinced through your odd, brief encounter with the Truth howsoever powerful that be. A Master is someone who wishes to correct you but even he can not overpower your ‘free-will’ that easily. In this stage all he can do is to give ‘your’ understanding a severe jolt only to confuse you. Masters are good at it. There are so many stories of Gurus who pushed their disciples to unexpected horrifying situations only rescue them later. Almost every such disciple emerges back with a greater and deeper understanding of truth after such a dramatic encounter with unobvious. Confusion is a virtue for this state of mind creates an opportunity for re-orienting one’s understanding.

You are blessed if you are confused and a Master is watching you over! The kind of turmoil Arjuna is in only Master like Krishna’s grace can lift him up from this deep depression. Let’s pray for it!

– Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath

Ach. Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath is master of SriVidya, Yoga & Tantra.
He along with his beloved consort Ma Shakti Devpriya, initiates
interested seekers in Tattva Shakti Vigyaan, Kriya, Yoga, Tantra, 
Swara & Yantra Vigyaan. To know more about upcoming workshops visit 
www.shaktimultiversity.com or email: shakti.multiversity@gmail.com
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