Gita Daily Readings

9th January
Chapter
I: 32-33
For I desire not victory, Oh Krishna, nor kingdom, nor pleasures. Of what avail is dominion to us, Oh Krishna, or pleasures or even life?

Those for whose sake we desire kingdom, enjoyments and pleasures, stand here in battle, having renounced life and wealth.

Commentary

Vasishtha, Krishna and Buddha have all acclaimed with one voice that desire alone is the root-cause of all miseries and of transmigration. Here we have Arjuna voicing the same thoughts and the same wisdom, yet he was wrong!

To all outward appearances the sage might behave like a madman, but a madman is not a sage! Between escapism and renunciation there is this vital difference - the inner attitude. Krishna does not advocate escapism. He revives in us the true spirit of renunciation.

"I do not want victory or pleasure, so I will not fight," says Arjuna.

"You should not run after victory or pleasure, not even the pleasure of abstaining from the battle; therefore you should fight," says Krishna.

The argument is the same, but the conclusions are different because the inner approach is different. Hence, we should not blindly trust our intellect, but should seek wise counsel in order that the inner intelligence may be awakened.

Again,"It is for our relatives' sake that we seek kingdom, etc., and I won't fight since they may be killed in war," says Arjuna. "No, not for their sake, but for God's sake, for the sake of your duty or God's will, you shall fight," replies the Lord.

The path of duty is often unpleasant to the pleasure-seeking mind or ego-centered personality. It demands unwinking vigilance to prevent insincerity and unwisdom from veiling true insight.

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