Chapter I: 34-37
fathers, sons and also grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons,
brothers-in-law and other relatives: these I do not wish to kill though they kill me, Oh
Krishna, even for the sake of dominion over the three worlds; leave alone killing them for
the sake of the earth.
By killing these sons of Dhrtarashtra, what pleasure can be ours, Oh Krishna? Only sin will accrue by killing these felons.
"Therefore we should not kill the sons of Dhrtarashtra, our relatives; for how can we be happy by killing our own people?"
Verse 35 is reminiscent of the words of the great spiritual hero of the Kathopanishad, viz., Naciketas. There, the guru (Yama) is pleased. But, here, the guru (Krishna) does not applaud Arjuna's dispassionate words. Mere aversion to worldly pleasures is valueless without devotion to God. It can only lead us to self-imposed misery and poverty-stricken life. As Gurudev used to say, we should "detach the mind from the objects and attach it to the Lord."
The Lord, as the indweller, knew that Arjuna's heart was enshrouded by spiritual ignorance. In order to remove it, he gave it an opportunity to manifest itself, by placing the chariot in front of Bhishma and Drona. Arjuna's cleverness weaves a web of logic to hide his ignorance and faint-heartedness. He forgets that it is the duty of rulers to punish felons, and suggests that even that is fraught with sin! Why? "Because they are our relations." All animate and inanimate objects in the world are God's creations; but relationship is our creation and the source of grief.
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