Gita Daily Readings

3rd February
Chapter II:31-33
Further, having regard to thy duty, thou shouldst not waver. For there is nothing higher for a kshatriya than a righteous war.

Happy are the kshatriyas, Oh Arjuna, who are called upon to fight in such a battle that comes of itself as an open door to heaven.

But if thou wilt not fight this righteous war then, having abandoned thine own duty and fame, thou shalt incur sin.

Commentary

Society cannot be conducted nor can man live on transcendental knowledge alone! A synthesis of high ideals and practical common sense is essential: this is achieved in our smrti or dharma shastra that are codes of morality and which, therefore, recognize the existence (relative and fleeting) of phenomena.

As we shall see, the Bhagavad Gita emphasizes one's adherence to one's own dharma at all costs.

“Righteous war” was fought only in the days prior to the discovery of the airplane and gunpowder. Now, no war - hot, cold or lukewarm - is righteous because there is no battlefield and there is indiscriminate destruction of all everywhere, without any restraint by proper rules of conduct. Innocent children are killed. Non-combatants and people who have no idea what the war is about are killed. In the present context, all wars should be banished: hot war with guns and bombs, cold war in the field of propaganda and commerce, and lukewarm war over a conference table.

Though the philosophy of the indestructibility of the self could be applied to both commandments “fight” and “do not fight,” it is the dharma shastra or secular duty that gives it the right direction.

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