Gita series – part 1. Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1- verses 1 -27
Gita unfolds with the speech of Dhritarshtra, a blind king asking one of his aids Sanjaya to know the situation where his sons are taking on the pandavas in the battle field called ‘Kurukshetra’. The war is between pandavas and kurus. Kurus are the sons of Dhritashtra. Pandavas are kurus cousins. The blind king represents an afflicted mind or a negative mind. Sanjaya, the king’s aid is known for his impartiality. The battle field at ‘Kurukshetra’ is the field of action or where our sensory organs are ready to fight against intellect of the mind. Kurus, the sons of Dhritarshtra are the products of an afflicted mind. The products of an afflicted mind are evil deeds. Pandavas represent intellect, a product of the pure mind.
The battle is to begin between the products of afflicted mind against intellect, a product of pure mind. The battle takes place between these two in a field where our sensory organs and mind are highly active. It is to be noted that mind and intellect are the two components of anthakkaranam, a product of mind. The other component of anthakkaranam is ego. This situation refers to our day to day life, where all these factors are quite active. The role of Sanjaya is to pass on the information to the blind king impartially. An afflicted mind can be conditioned by impartial and intellectual inputs. Therefore, the subtle Gita opens with a situation where a battle takes place in the mind between evil forces and pure knowledge. Mind is not a single but a complex entity in man. King Duryodhana is the chief of kuru. He pays his respects to his teacher Dronacharya. Duryodhana points out to his teacher about the army of pandavas. He lists the names of great warriors on the other side and proceeds to names the warriors of his side too. The fear and ego started engulfing Duryodhana. His evil mind gets disturbed on seeing the strength of virtues of the other side. It is to be understood that mind has to have more virtues than evils, as otherwise, the mind cannot make spiritual progress.
The strength of virtues should be so strong that evil thoughts should be driven away by the sheer strength of virtuous thoughts. Duryodhana showers praise on his mentors and teachers merely to induce their ego to enable them to put in their best in fighting pandavas. Only evil thoughts can induce ego as virtuous thought never gets associated with ego. Now the battle begins. Conch shells are blown by both the sides. Drums are beaten, bugles and trumpets are blown. The whole area was vibrating with the deadly sound of these instruments indicating the commencement of war between the good and the bad. Lord Krishna also blew his conch shell called ‘Panchajanya’ possibly indicating the ultimate death of evil. Krishna is the charioteer for Arjuna. Krishna parked Arjuna’s chariot in the midst of the two armies and asked Arjuna to have a look at his opponents. Arjuna saw all his relatives, masters and friends on the other side and was filled with emotions and sympathy. Arjuna knew that all of them would be killed in the battle as dharma alone triumphs. Arjuna loses his self control. The side of Duryodhana said to represent evils, then why should Arjuna feel for their ultimate destruction in the war? What is the stage of Arjuna at this critical moment? If he loses his self-control, will he not lose the battle itself? When we are in confusion, we go to God seeking answers. Same is the case with Arjuna. He starts addressing Krishna to get clarification. (to be continued)