Gita series – part 8. Chapter II. Verses– 6-8 Arjuna asks Krishna “We do not know who would conquer, either they or we? By killing whom (kurus), I do not want to live; they are on the other side (of the battle field). I am now wrecked by sympathy and fear, my mind is confused about dharma to be followed. I submit to you to advise me the right path to be pursued. I am your disciple and totally surrendered unto you. I find nothing that do away my inner sorrow arising out of my senses, not even a prosperous kingdom, or even the kingdom of the deities (Indra)”. Arjuna openly admits to Krishna about his mental conflict and also the causes arising out of such confusion. Arjuna could not decide whether to proceed with the war or to stop the war. Learned men always try to analyze the pros and cons of an action. Arjuna is a highly learned person. In spite of his spiritual advancement and knowledge, he is not able to take a firm decision. The spiritual advancement attained through knowledge alone prevails till the end. Arjuna has attained knowledge only through this way.

In spite of this, he is not able to take a decision, because the conflict in his mind arises out of attachment and desire (towards his cousins). The knowledge can be total only if the mind remains unpolluted by senses. The situation in which Arjuna is placed could happen to anybody. To hold on to the knowledge, will power is essential. The will of the mind alone can lead to the highest stage of renunciation. Renouncing does not mean wearing red colour clothing and growing beard. In the supreme state of renunciation, mind does not focus on anything else, but on the Brahman alone. The results accruing out of an action does not belong to you and should be surrendered to God. This is the spirit of true renunciation. Such actions do not carry the burdens of karma. The conflicting state of mental attitude leads only to frustration, dejection and delusion. The present mental condition of Arjuna is afflicted by all these three. The power of his senses overtakes the power of his soul. Soul does not have the capacity to act on its own. The soul is fuelled by the effects of past karmas and also by the actions of sensory organs. The effects of the sensory organs can be blocked by mind and mind alone. This is where Arjuna has failed miserably. On seeing his relatives and masters, his mind got afflicted by desires and attachments. This is a clear signal that even a yogi can slip from higher levels of God realisation. Arjuna is known for his valor. He always remained as a threat to kurus.

In spite of this, he started doubting his victory. That is why he says to Krishna that they do not know who is going to win the battle. For a moment he forgets that his charioteer is the Lord Himself. Krishna has already decided on the result of the battle. But Arjuna immediately corrects himself by saying he has surrendered to Krishna. The ferocity of his confusion is pointed out here. The more Arjuna things, he is dragged further down which leads to a stage where he started sympathizing himself. Self pity is the final stage of one’s destruction. Self sympathy arises out of incapacity or laziness. Arjuna is beyond these two. But the mental conflict makes him to think that he is incapable of fighting with kurus and consequently he was not sure of his victory. When one is incapable of finding a solution or as long as one is controlled by the senses, as a last resort they go to God to find a solution. But God generally does not respond to such prayers, as He is approached only in the last moment. It does not mean that God is not within that person. He is omnipresent. But God wants Him to be realized, God wants commune to be established with Him then He is ever ready to answer prayers. Since Arjuna is a devout disciple of Krishna, Krishna gives him solution in his capacity as his Guru and the universal Lord. Arjuna totally surrenders to the Lord.

In fact he is close to the stage of total renunciation. He did not want the post of Indra, the god head of all demigods and goddesses. Indra’s world is full of pleasure and happiness. Everything associated with materialistic joy available in plenty in Indra’s kingdom. But Arjuna says that he does not need those materialistic pleasures. This attitude of Arjuna indicates that he has not totally fallen from the higher level of spirituality. Knowing this, Krishna helps Arjuna to come out his crestfallen stage. Thus begins the holy sermons of God. (to be continued)