Gita series – part 9. Bhagavad Gita Chapter II. Verses– 9-12:
Sanjaya who could witness these happenings in the battle field through his third eye, informed Dhiritarashtra (who is blind) that Arjuna having thus addressed the Lord, refused to fight and went into deep silence. The scenario in the battle field is that the two sides are ready to commence the war by flick of a finger. But Arjuna refuses to fight by laying down his arms and remains silent. His eyes looked blank, his body looked tired and he was on the verge of collapse. The men of two sides watching the pathetic situation of Arjuna stood in silence. Obviously, the kurus appeared a happy lot. They knew well, that Arjuna can destroy their entire army. In such a situation Krishna begins His holy sermons that are considered equivalent to the teachings Vedas and Upanishads. The whole concept of self-realization is explained in a mere 700 verses.
Each word of Krishna carries deeper meaning and significance. Krishna starts addressing Arjuna: “You are mourning for those who are not worthy of it. At the same time you talk like a learned man. But wise men do not mourn either for the living or for the dead persons. It is not that I have not existed before, nor you, nor all these kings. It is not that all of us will cease to exist in future” (verses 11 and 12). In both these verses Krishna uses two negatives to emphasize the importance of His statement. In the beginning itself Krishna writes off Kurus. He says that they are not even worthy of consideration. This is because that kurus are known for their evil thoughts and acts. Actions arise only out of thoughts and naturally evil thoughts lead only to evil actions. Evil actions are those that hurt somebody either physically or mentally. Such thoughts and actions are never approved by sastras. That is why in the beginning itself Krishna does not consider kurus worthy of any discussion. So, the Lord has set aside the evils first. Krishna has decided that evil should not rear its head, when talking about self realization of the highest order. Krishna then says that Arjuna talks like a wise man. In fact, Arjuna is a wise man, first by birth and secondly he has the privilege of being Krishna’s disciple. The Guru Disciple relationship is very important in seasoning a person in his spiritual pursuit. There are two types of Gurus. The first type of Guru initiates one into mantra and allied rituals. Plenty of such Gurus are there today. They are like masters in a high school. They have a role to mould their disciples by laying a strong foundation. The next type is like a professor who guides us, while pursuing our doctorate. The professor cannot teach you from the basics and will only share his experience with you. This type of Guru is called Sat-Guru which means a Guru who has realised the Brahman.
Self-realization can be taught only by these types of Gurus. They will impart knowledge only on the Brahman and the ways and means to realize Him. They are extremely rare to find. Such people are known as wise men and they are referred to by Krishna here. Attachment is primarily responsible for mourning. What is there today will not be there at a later date. Nothing in this universe is perennial. Everything is susceptible to destruction. When you develop attachment to somebody or something and when it ceases to exist at a future date, its absence leads you to sorrow. Happiness and sorrow are the reflections of an unseasoned mind. The conflict in the mind arises only when a second object is thought of. Wise men do not think about anything that is susceptible to destruction. That is why they do not have conflict of thoughts. Therefore they do not distinguish between happiness and sorrow. Krishna begins His teachings on ‘atman’, the soul. He says that the birth and death are recurring and existence in any form is not permanent. You may have one form in this birth and may have a different form in a subsequent birth. Therefore the physical forms they (Arjuna’s cousins and his masters) have today are sure of not being there at some later day. This means that the death of physical bodies is imminent. Krishna says that attachment should not be developed on objects that are not permanent in nature. But every object is subject to disintegration at some point. The only exception is the Brahman. But He is not an object, but the subject of self-realization. (to be continued)