Gita Daily Readings

14th January
Chapter
I: 45-47
Alas! We are involved in a great sin in that we are prepared to kill our kinsmen through greed for the pleasures of a kingdom.

If the sons of Dhrtarashtra with weapons in hand should slay me in battle, unresisting and unarmed, that would be better for me.

Sanjaya said: Having thus spoken in the midst of the battlefield, Arjuna, casting away his bow and arrow, sat down on the seat of the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with sorrow.

Commentary

If the motive of the war was "greed for the pleasures of a kingdom" that war was undoubtedly unrighteous, but here the noble heart of Arjuna was merely reflecting the wrong attitude of the Kauravas! "They are greedy and they are ready to fight; we are ready to fight and so we are also greedy" - is the simple equation in his mind. Krishna will point out that his attitude, the divine will, was different and hence Arjuna had to fight.

"Resist not evil" should never be misconstrued to mean "encourage evil." There is an orderly (democratic, if you like) way of dealing with evil which does not involve the disturbance of the mental equilibrium of anyone. "Great sin" is not this action or that action, but according to Krishna, kama (desire) and krodha (hatred) are the fountains of the greatest sins. Selfish motive is the greatest sin. Lust, anger and greed disturb one's inner equilibrium and hence they are the "gates to hell," according to the Bhagavad Gita. They are "of insatiable hunger," says Krishna: they consume our peace of mind, our happiness, our vitality and the tranquility of our inner being, which is one of the fundamental characteristics of yoga.

Thus are we led to the threshold of this yoga.

OM TAT SAT

Thus in the Upanishad of the glorious Bhagavad Gita,
the science of the eternal, the scripture of yoga,
the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the
first discourse entitled:
THE YOGA OF THE DESPONDENCY OF ARJUNA

 

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