Gita series – part 7. Chapter II. Verse– 2-5 The opening statement of Krishna was only in its gross form. Subtle nature of His teaching is yet to be delivered. Transition from gross to subtle takes place depending upon one’s mental modification. Krishna wanted to wait and watch Arjuna’s mental modification. That is the reason He opens His statement in gross form. Otherwise Krishna would not have spoken about the Heaven, purely a gross form. In fact Heaven means the highest level of consciousness, transcending all religions. Religion and orthodox are the two major impediments in developing universal brother hood. Krishna continues “Oh! Partha! Do not succumb to unmanliness. This is not befitting you. Oh! The scorcher of enemies! Rise up! Get rid of the weakness in your heart.” Arjuna is also known as Partha (being the son of Pritha. Kunti, the mother of Arjuna is also known as Pritha). It is not without reason that the Lord addresses Arjuna as Partha. Kunti sent words of courage through Krishna to Arjuna to take on the Kurus in a battle. Krishna reminds Arjuna the words of his mother to fight against the kurus and that he belongs to the family known for its bravery, citing Kunti as an example. The level of Arjuna’s consciousness has fallen from the steep heights. That is why Krishna says ‘rise up’. If the level of consciousness reaches higher levels, the mental confusion will goes off automatically. The mind becomes so pure at higher levels and remains un-afflicted by attachments and desires.
What Krishna is trying to do is to raise the morale of Arjuna. Krishna would have thought that His sermons will go unheeded if Arjuna’s mental condition remains at lower levels. The conditioning of the mind is important in spiritual progress. Arjuna’s mental condition was so low at that time, he could not even listen attentively to what Krishna says. Arjuna continued to pour out his mind to Krishna. Arjuna says “Oh! Madhusudana! How can I slay my grandfather Bhishma and my master Dhrona. They are worshipped by me. It is better for me to go for begging than slaying my guru. Even if I kill them what I am going to enjoy is only the material happiness like wealth, lust, etc. But such material happiness will have only blood strains. “ Arjuna’s mind got a booster from Krishna’s opening statement. The words of the Lord infused positive vibrations into Arjuna. Though he remains confused, clarity begins to dawn on him. Now from generalized statements, he proceeds to specific issues. He is reluctant to kill his grandfather and his guru. He says that they are being worshipped by him. Elders and gurus should not be killed is a general rule. General rules are applicable to everybody. But there are exceptions to every rule and such rules are applicable only to evolved souls. Scriptures say that reciting mantras and performing daily rituals are compulsory. The same scriptures point out that such external rituals are not necessary. But these exceptions are incorporated in a subtle way so as not to confuse the common man. The transition in spirituality from lower levels to higher levels has to be gradual and steady. Arjuna feels that slaying of such respectful persons is the worst sin possible and instead it is better to beg and make his living.
Earlier we have seen that Arjuna wanted to end his life and here he wants to live, even by resorting to begging. Arjuna, the great warrior of his times should not have even thought of begging, that too with the Lord by his side. Then Arjuna talks about the philosophy of life, material prosperity etc. Twists and turns in his words are to be carefully noticed which clearly indicates his confused mind. The elders or even the gurus deviate from the principles of dharma; they are no longer worthy of worship. Material prosperity has no role to play in spiritual progress and self-realization cannot be purchased with money. Though Arjuna has fallen from the higher levels of spirituality, he has not totally collapsed and crumbled. He appears like a tree shedding leaves in a season and gets them back in the next season. Arjuna has not forgotten the basic principles of spirituality. He could distinguish the difference between the pleasures derived from the senses and the pleasures derived from the bliss. He knows that there is no comparison between these two pleasures. He does not consider the pleasure that could be derived from the victory in this battle as sacred. He feels such pleasures are tainted with sins. (to be continued)