Gita series – part 16. Bhagavad Gita Chapter II - Verses– 30-31:

Krishna continues to infuse confidence into Arjuna. “Oh! Bharata (Arjuna)! The One (soul) who dwells in all the bodies (all living beings) can never be slain. Therefore, it is not appropriate to grieve for the living beings (verse 30). Even if you look at this from the angle of dharma, you should not bother because for a Kshatriya (class of warriors) there is nothing more worthwhile than a righteous battle (verse 31)”. Krishna again and again underlines the importance of the soul and its eternal nature. Only the body perishes and not the soul at the time of death. The invisible Soul continues to exist and gets yet another body for executing the accumulated karmas. Krishna says that one should not attach importance to the body that is susceptible to decay (aging) and destruction (death). Opposites like pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow are only for the body and for the soul. This does not mean that one should not mourn a relative’s death. Krishna does not say so. After all we are used to see a certain form for many years and one find day, it does not exist, naturally there is bound to be a feeling of bereavement. What is lost is lost and cannot be regained in the same form. A particular shape and form exists only once.

What Krishna says is to understand this hard reality. If this reality is not understood in the proper perspective, the maya or illusion takes complete control of that person leading to terrible conflicts in his mind that leads to shirking of responsibilities. In the next verse (31), Krishna talks about righteousness. Krishna classifies mankind broadly under four categories, depending upon their level of knowledge and ability. This categorization is not based on birth, but purely depends upon one’s ability to develop certain qualities. They are Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras. Those who pursue the study of Vedas are called Brahmins. Those who protect the sovereignty of the soil are called kshatriyas, those who involve in trade are called Vaishyas and those who undertake cultivation, etc are called Sudras. The men under each of these classes have to depend upon the other three classes for their very survival. If one chooses to follow any one of these four categories, then they are bound by certain guidelines prescribed by sastras. Arjuna chose to follow the principles of Kshatriyas and hence protecting his country becomes his duty. But, Arjuna bound by the clutches of bondage, refuses to fight. Krishna says that the decision by Arjuna not to fight is against the principles of sastras.

Most unfortunately, this categorization of mankind led to the disastrous division of mankind based on race and colour. In due course this paved way for further divisions based on economics, language, color etc. “God that made the world and all things therein ….hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” says the holy Bible. The components of blood of all the human beings are the same. Universal brother hood should not stop at the speech level and should percolate into the thoughts of all men to provide a safer environment for the future generation. Religion is the most destructive weapon than all the nuclear war heads put together. The fragrance of love should prevail everywhere paving way for a harmonious and peaceful living in the lap of Mother Nature. (to be continued)

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