Names of Kṛṣṇa and Arjunā in Bhagavadgitā : An Appeal for Awakening (Part-II)

Continued from Part-I

Prof. C.L.Prabhakar

Kṛṣṇa calls different names suitable to the context of the message, answers guidance, clarifications, assertions and more by suitable expressions appealing and awakening the need of the situation. Arjunā’s quest and doubts are removed saying that he will not be a killer and a sinner however. He would not be a sinner by fighting and defeating his own kith and kin even though he kills them. The names thus with which Arjunā was called by Kṛṣṇa are these: Internal evidence shows that Arjunā’s character is screened and real expectations are awakened in Him. Actually he shirked to fight gripped by Klaibya and Hrudaya-daurbalya. He got into the crisis of moha and loss of smṛti in respect of bounded duty as kśatriya.

Anagha :  Pure. Sin free Arjunā is afraid that due to war fighting he would be sinner. Kṛṣṇa with this call assures he is not getting sin when he attends kśatriya dharma at that juncture.

Anasuya : Not having jealous normal.

Arjunā : White, pure clean slate ready to grasp and ready to be instructed rightful ways of action, opened for corrections.

Bharatasreshtha : Best among citizens of bharat the  native land.

Bharatasattama :  Strong enough among the citizens belonging to Bharat.

Bharatarshabhha : He belongs to Bharata clan and he thus Bharatas. He is best among such group of native men.

Bharata :   He is native of Bharat.  Here the love and commitment to the devotion of Bharat in securing the Dharma in the land. This name is used as addressal to  Arjunā by Kṛṣṇa  three times to awaken the rāṣtrabhakti in him.

Dehabhrtamvara : Best among all holding to the body and its nature and behavior.

Dhananjaya : Victor in the battles and bring good booty after the war to the masters of his support. A war is called as  dhana samsad.

Gudakesa : Victim of the influence of the senses. Loses control over senses and emotions ordinarily.

Kapidhvaja : Having Hanuman over his flag on the top of his chariot.

Kiriti : Known for victory always the kiritas, crowns of kings  are unstable when he goes to fight while his kirita remains firm, success is sure.

Kurupraveena : Best among the people of the Kuru vamśa he is best.

Kurunandana : He is the son of Pāndu of the Kuru family. He would be delight to the Kuru family. He delights the Kurus with his exploits too.

Kurusresrehtha :  He is eminent among the warriors of the Kuru dynasty.

Kurusattama : Better person among the Kuru People.

Kaunteya : Son of Kunti attached by sentiments, land and  family.

Mahabahu : Strong shouldered symbolic to signify the irresistible strength in his bahus that wields weapons. So he can fight long in the war with out fatigue but with success usually.

Maasucah : Pure . cf., Kṛṣṇa assuring  Arjunā that he would relieve him from sinning (Aham tvaam sarvapāpebhyo mokshaishyāmi 18.66) Kṛṣṇa ensures that war and success would not defile him at all. He is agree to get reward unaffected. Only once Kṛṣṇa complements thus like the calling Arjunā as Taata.

Manada : Provider of respect to the other recognizing their honour.

Paramtapa :  He severs enemies and enhances their fear and defeats them.

Pandava : Belonging to the children of Pandu raja. He takes the name of his father who ruled the land in place of his brother Dhrutarashtra.

Pārtha : He is earthly and having all ordinary human qualities known for attachment and emotions. Also means a royal person.

Purusharshabha : He is best among Purushas, the Men , the warriors.

Savyasacee : Capable of fighting in the war with both hands with equal felicity. This is unique fame to Arjunā. He reached top in that skill in war.

 Taata :  Boy  innocent and affectionate to elders. Affectionate calling only once the name is used by Kṛṣṇa. One who does well shall never fall and be a sinner.

All these names referring Arjunā and his capabilities and eminence as recognized by Kṛṣṇa go to screw up the mood and remove dispiritedness in him. All   that gripped him temporarily. It is ‘nāma mahimā’; that appeal and awakening got ignited. That quality in the individual names addressed to Arjunā reminded the commitment he had at an hour of crisis when his participation was a keynote for protecting dharma. Therefore the action depends upon the kind of addresses made to the concerned individual to wake up and give up shiredness. Lord Kṛṣṇa had done this sensitively that Arjunā realized his duty.

These names when we reflect, we realize they speak the personal and impersonal antecedents and features latent in each other. It lends scope for improvement in the respective perspectives of personalities. When Kṛṣṇa’s names are seen they are suggestive that the Lord is human and divine but committed to make the human- a human caring dharma from their ends. Actually some of the features of them look common to all. Humans are placed in different circumstances and situations in life. They are marked by their Jāti, Varṇa, Deśa, kāla and such miscellaneous occasions. Gitā containing the words of Lord Kṛṣṇa resolve and action that is warranted is activated. Need be viewed that it is a text relevant for us. There is lot of appeal to conscience and nature. Arjunā is no different from us. We are like him only always facing doubts and fears of sin and follies.

There is scope for awakening and appeal for action. We can lead a life of fulfillment in case we get chance to have a learned person to counsel us. To be modern, we may cite Vivekananda who maintained a word of awakening thus : ‘Arise, Awake , Stop not until the goal is reached’. We are the servants of Rama-Kṛṣṇa.  Here Kṛṣṇa signified by work and extra skill to accomplish the validity and establishment of dharma. We are all the children of immortality (amṛtasya putras vayam). We obtain Mukti. If the yogas 17 of the Gitā are understood and practiced, viṣāda vanishes. It is true. Viṣāda is the foundation of improvement. Birth is viṣāda (sorrow).

Gitā impresses reality and facts relevant in our own day to day circumstances. We have dialogues participated by Sanjaya and Dhṛtarāśtra to begin with. Therefore Bhagavadgitā is for Action, Vidura Niti is polity and Vishnu Sahasra Nāma Stotra is for peace and Sanat Sujatīyam is for relief and Liberation. These four portions of Mahābhārata are regarded as Gems (Ratnas) of Mahābhārata. A study of the names of Kesav-Arjunās remains a source for personality awareness and progress to move to perform destined action and stand an example to world.

Prof. C.L.Prabhakar, President, Bangalore Chapter, WAVES-India.

Names of Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna in Bhagavadgitā : An Appeal for Awakening (Part-I)

Prof. C.L.Prabhakar

Bhagavadgitā is Ever Fresh. It is ocean of Guidance. It provides hope and solace for the life issues to all at all ages.  Bhagavadgitā is Mother extending grace and concern over people’s duty of paying attention to Dharma. Gitā is guide for spiritual sādhanā moves and sights. Therefore, there are several expressions praising Gitā and its eternal use. But the same is not availed for benefit for many. Keeping this in View many missions and associations came up to impress the value, validity of Gitā. It is said:

Gitā sugitā kartavya kamanyaih sastra vistaraih|

                                 Yat svayam padmanabhasya mukha padmat vinisrutam||  

(Gitā-mahatmya 4)

Gitā has to be well followed. What else is the use of other large amount of Sāśtras. This statement has come out from the mouth of Padmanābha Kṛṣṇa who is a teacher of teachers. This supports the Eternity of the value and validity of Gitā. Thus is the talk by Kṛṣṇa while Arjuna was sole recipient of the awakening set of yogas and instructions.

Pārthaya pratibodhitam  Bhagavata narayanena  svayam

                   vyasena grathitam purana munina madhyat Mahabharatam!

                        advaitamruta varshinim Bhagavatim ashtadhasaadhyaini…..

                                             … gite bhavadveshini

(Gitā Dhyana 1)

Gitā is the nectar of Advaita covering eighteen chapters disdaining the material comfort only and the incidence of rebirth.

Wholly knowledge of yogas has come out to answer the Arjuna viśāda yoga.  At chapter one, Arjuna expresses his fear of sin and so refused to fight. But Kṛṣṇa comes up with Karma, Bhakti and Jñana yogas to instill courage and clear the doubts in him. He even risked showing his Universal form when doubts and unfaith in talk lurked in the mind of Arjuna. While this famous dialogue between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna there are addresals to Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna done by each mutually. That would be our enough effort to draw message and appeal hidden in them. At the same time awaken the sense of duty and right for execution. Kṛṣṇa says:

samvādamāvayoh jnāna  yajñena’

(Gitā 18.70)

Sanjaya said as he remembered the dialogue, he gets elated and happy. Further the dialogue is ‘adbhutaṁ’, ‘roma harshanaṁ’, ‘param guhyaṁ’ and ‘punyaṁ’. Sanjaya terms it as: one emerging out of significant dialogue of Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna and adds that he felt elated very much (18.75). The same could be experience to anyone who followed the dialogue with diligence.

II

Let us enlist the names with which Arjuna called Kṛṣṇa at first. It is interesting to note that Acyuta is the constant address to open dialogue and conclude the dialogue.  In 18th chapter of the Gitā, Kṛṣṇa is Hṛṣīkeśa althrough while Arjuna is ‘Pārtha’ and Gudākeśa just to differentiate the difference between the Narāyana and Nara, the Arjuna. They mean just opposites namely Kṛṣṇa has control of senses while Arjuna is with in the grip of senses. So only the introductory stanza goes thus: saying that Narāyan imparts the teachings to Pārtha at the crisis. This is knit together by Vyāsa, the Purana Muni in the mid point of the body of Mahābharata. The teaching amounts to Advaita and it is amṛta showered on the ambiguous mind of Arjuna. The amṛta-varśa dispelled the doubts and suspicions and superstitions from the mind of Arjuna. Arjuna is made very happy forgetting his mental status touched when Kṛṣṇa showed him the viśvarupadarśana (the universal Form imbibing any and everything of the creation), the final mode of solving the lurking rather impeding confusion in the mind. It is to clear the Vimudhatva in Arjuna who is liable for change and understanding resulting in right action. Kṛṣṇa said ‘Act as you please’

‘yathecchasi tathā kuru’

(Gitā 18.63)

The decision was he was made to get rid of the cowardice, diffidence and moha. He got the light of truth and the real memory of Jāti and Kula Dharma became activated. He considered that he would not be sinner when Kṛṣṇa has done what he has to do in reality.  It is to the show of the world outside. In essence the dialogue gave rise to appeal and awakening on either side to ignite right action.  War was only solution for Kṣatriyas to resolve the Dharma. It is so because the ruling goes yato dharmah tato jayah (Mahābhārata). Success is always inclined at the reach of Dharma. Kṛṣṇa’s target was Dharma-samsthāpanā namely to establish Dharma only however.  Lord Viṣṇu descends to set right the Right.

III

The names of Kṛṣṇa with which Arjuna addressed Kṛṣṇa look very suggestive of his nature and powers. They stand to appeal to the Lord to guide him relevantly.  He is seen looking at Kṛṣṇa in many angles, forms and ultimately as friend and God. In like manner, Kṛṣṇa too looked upon Arjuna as a capable hero but disturbed momentarily at the sight of the opposite Army that contained his kith and kin too. Basically Arjuna was gripped by emotions and sentimental feelings.. That was a matter of viṣāda in him.

Now the respective names of Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna are taken to discussion briefly-  

The meanings of the names get understood relevant to the addressals done by each other. It is the nāma mahimāthat kindles the sense of appeal and awakening.  Besides that the personality traits, build of character and suitable action are suggested. The way name is called out supports the action warranted thereafter. Arjuna is looked upon more times as Pārtha meaning quite, materialistic and terrestrial.  He seemed to be elevated to the sense of duty at that critical juncture as a warrior best and care for the duty of a kṣatriya.  

Acyuta: this is the standard name to Kṛṣṇa at all times, meaning he never shakes nor looses courage and confidence. It is derived thus: ‘na cyutih, nasah yasya sah acyutah. In other words, all others in the creation are liable for ruin and disappearance. It is ‘cyuti’ meaning nasa. Finally Arjuna calls him Acyuta. Assenting to the appeal by Kṛṣṇa to war. He said ‘Naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtirlabdhā tvatprasādānmayācyuta’ (18.73). All the way memory and extra love sentimental bothered Arjun althrough.

Ananta : Infinite. All in all, endless.

Apratima Prabhava :  Matchless, valor and influence. Unfailing in plans and desires.

Arisudana : victor over enemies. Slays wicked enemies.

Adyah : He is erstwhile in existence before anyone. Kṛṣṇa is God who exits before anything came into the being.

Bhagavān : means possessor of all that characterizes of Bhaga. Bhaga implies ability in the features like creation, destruction etc. that belong to people and nature.

Bhutabhavanah : He thinks of the beings and attests their thinking and connectedly supportive.

Bhutesah : He is the leader of all beings irrespective the category known.

Devadeva : the leader of such Brilliant gods (the Viṣṇu). In a feeling of over joy Arjuna calls Kṛṣṇa at a stretch with several names especially when Kṛṣṇa showed his universal form (viśvarupa).  

Devavarah : well elected and best of all the brilliant people like bright righteous people, gods etc.

Devesa : the commander of   workers  to make the good to happen.

Govinda : He makes the land and people happy. He is the custodian of Knowledge and Happiness.

Hṛṣīkeśa : Who has hold on Indriyas. They never drop down. They remain standardized and never swerving in the circumstances. Indriyanigraha is a great feat but it is natural to him.

Janārdana : means Protector of people indifferent to their differences and distinctions like sun and Moon. Janārdana is everybody’s protector. So, Arjuna calls Kṛṣṇa at right situation. Kṛṣṇa was promoting war with the Kauravas and kill them. As Janārdana it is sin prompting him to do pāpakarma. It was the suggestion to Kṛṣṇa when he called him thus.

Jagannivasa : though he is elsewhere fixed, he is not away from the creation and situations. Involved in the crisis and solution of the orders.

Jagatpate : He is lord of Jagat the combination of mobile and immobile objects in creation. He is inseparable and identical with all.

Kamala Patraksha : his eyes are beautiful as beautiful as the lotus flower. Here the looks are pleasant and attractive that fear is dispelled at his sight.

Kṛṣṇa : He is the Attractor  ‘aa karshati iti Kṛṣṇah’ He pulls attention of all towards him.

Kesava : connected to creation that comes out of Water. No creation is possible without water, the divine support. The first appearance of the Lord is in waters lying in restful state.

Kesinishudana : He killed another demon by name Kesi and this demon was a special kind of rākṣasa but a bhakta. His name he took in is fame.

Madhusudana : ‘Madhu’ is a Demon by name.  The slayer of that demon is Kṛṣṇa. A queller of Evil and Negativity.

Mahabaaho : Strong shoulders meaning skilled in war and courage to face any inimical person or circumstances.

Mahatmā :  Great soul able to get elevated outlook of his own self.

Paramesvara : There are many overlords, the leader and monitor of all of them to keep the work well organized.

Purushotthama : He is Puruṣa, one with the creation but ranks always high. Looked upon by people for help and suggestion. In Puruṣa sukta of  RV Narāyana is Puruṣa.

Prabhu  : He is one controlled by himself over his own being and actions.

Sarvesah : He is monitor of any and everything in the creation.

Sahasra bāhu : His strength is number with the thousand shoulders, hands. It bespeaks his war skill and never failing in exerting physical strength. Bahu is symbolic of power and potency.

Yādava : He belongs to the Yādava community, which is known for service to society.

Yogeśvarah : The teacher and mentor of Yoga that joins the individual to make him enhanced of powers and hope.

Varsheya :  He belongs to the clan of Vrushni and it a natural identity to him as he is mānava avatara too besides divine inset in  his personality.

Vāsudeva : Son of Vāsudeva.

Viśvamurti : He is figure of all.  All forms are his own.  He is in everybody.

Viśvesvara :  He is overlord of  the Universe and every object.

Viṣṇu : He is present any and everywhere all the three times.

Yogi : Focused person a Disciplinarian.

In all these names we notice the mention of power and ability and vested capacity in Kṛṣṇa that He would be good Guide par excellence. Further the names have special intonation with reference to his talk made to arjuna and arjuna responding in dialogue.

Continued to Part II

Prof. C.L.Prabhakar, President, Bangalore Chapter, WAVES-India.  

स्वतंत्रता की भारतीय शैली

-प्रोफ़ेसर बलराम सिंह

Independence का वास्तविक अर्थ आत्मनिर्भरता है। In का अर्थ है inside अर्थात् आत्मा के स्तर तक पहुँचना और फिर उसी पर निर्भर होना अथवा dependent हो जाना। जब व्यक्ति आत्मश: कार्यरत होता है तो उसका आत्मबल सदैव पुष्टित होता रहता है। उसके लिए सारा जग आत्मीय बन जाता है। वह ‘अयम निज: परोवेति’ की गणना लघुचेतीय समझता है। उसके अंत:करण में चिरक़ालीन उदारता झकोरे लेने लगती है, तथा ‘वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम’ के सम्मत भाव जागृत हो जाते हैं। यहाँ तक कि उनके यहाँ ‘संताने तनय व तनया’ तक न सीमित रहकर आत्मज और आत्मजा के रूप उत्पन्न होने लगती हैं अर्थात् आत्मबीज ही अंकुरित, पल्लवित, पुष्पित. व फलित होता है। ‘अहम् ब्रह्म अस्मि’ की अनुभूति सार्थक हो जाती है। ये है independence की वास्तविक महिमा! ये एक दिन में सीमित नहीं हो सकता, ये तो कल्पों का माजरा है जनाब!!

bharat

Independence का दूसरा अर्थ है है स्वाधीनता, अर्थात् अपने को पूरी तरह से पहचान कर उसके आधीन हो जाना अथवा उसी की सत्ता के आधीन कार्यरत हो जाना। अपने को पहचानने का अभिप्राय है अपने धर्म को पहचानना, और उसी आधार पर गुण और कर्म निर्धारित करना। स्वधर्म की पहचान का तात्पर्य है अपनी प्रकृति को गहराई से समझना, बूझना, और परखना। जब व्यक्ति इस स्तर पर पहुँच जाता है तब अपनी प्रकृति को ही आधार बनाकर उसी में श्रद्धा एवं भक्ति से संलग्न होकर कर्म करता है। उसके अतिरिक्त कुछ नहीं करता। श्रीकृष्ण ने भगवद्गीता में इसका उद्धरण इस प्रकार किया है- ‘स्वधर्मे निधनम श्रेय: परधर्मों भयावह’, अर्थात् अपने धर्म के अनुसार आचरण में सबकुछ मिट जाना भी श्रेयस्कर है। यही नहीं किसी अन्य के धर्म अर्थात् प्रकृति का आचरण भयावह होता है इसलिए स्वाधीनता अत्यंत आवश्यक मानवीय दशा है जो मानव ही नहीं बल्कि पूरी समष्टि के लिए कल्याणकारी है।

Independence का तीसरा अर्थ है स्वतंत्रता अर्थात् अपना ही तंत्र होना चाहिए चाहे वो पारिवारिक हो, सामाजिक हो, आर्थिक हो, शैक्षिक हो, अथवा राजनीतिक हो। दूसरों की व्यवस्था यद्यपि उनके लिए कितनी भी उच्च एवं सराहनीय क्यों न हो किसी और के लिए तनावपूर्ण, बलाघाती, भयंकर कलह का कारण बन सकती है। अतः किसी भी देश को एक ऐसी व्यवस्था का सृजन करना चाहिए जिसके अंतर्गत हर एक व्यक्ति को सम्पूर्ण मुक्ति रहे कि वह व्यक्तिगत, पारिवारिक, तथा सामाजिक स्तरों पर अपने ही तंत्र के अनुकूल जीवन यापन कर सके। यह व्यवस्था बाह्य रूप से प्रारम्भ में अनेकता के सिद्धांत पर ही आधारित हो सकती है, अर्थात् कोई uniform civil code नहीं, कोई संविधान नहीं, कोई अधिवक्ता या न्यूनतवक़्ता नहीं, कोई AC में विराजित न्यायाधीश नहीं। मात्र धरातलीय प्रबुद्धजनो की आवश्यकता होती है जिनमे आचार विचार से आत्मबोध झलकता हो। वही सर्वभूतानाम की स्वतंत्रता सुनियोजित व  सुनिश्चित कर सकते है इसीलिए भारत ऋषियों का देश रहा है, स्वतंत्रता के लिए। आधुनिक स्वतंत्रता दिवस  को प्रेरणा का आधार मानकर स्वतंत्रता को शाश्वत बनाने के लिए संकल्पित हों, और इसी का पर्व मनायें आज and forever!! शुभम्

– Prof. Bal Ram Singh, School of Indic Studies, Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, MA, USA

Bases of Dharma in the Gita

– Dr. Shakuntala

454295-bhagavad-gita

(Source of Image: http://zeenews.india.com/entertainment/and-more/what-bhagavad-gita-teaches-us-top-10-lessons-we-must-remember_1849199.html)

The Gita, through Krishna declares a two-fold bases of dharmaSamkhya or reason and yoga or discipline – “In this world a two-fold basis (of dharma) has been declared by Me of old, blameless one: By the discipline of knowledge of the followers of reason-method and by the discipline of action of the followers of discipline method” (III.3). But before we try to understand reason with discipline of knowledge or jñana-yoga and discipline with discipline of action or karmayoga, we need to appreciate the fact that the term ‘discipline’ is used in two senses in the Gita. One of course is the basis of dharma. The other is defined by the Gita through Krishna as indifference: “discipline is defined as indifference” (II.48). We can take it that it is discipline in the latter sense, that is, in the senses of indifference that is used when the Gita is talking about discipline of knowledge and discipline of action. In other words, it appears that whether we are followers of reason or followers of discipline, discipline in the sense of indifference is a necessary feature of it.

In the Gita, Discipline (basis of religion) appears to be, on one hand, renunciation and, on the other hand, non-attachment: “For when not to objects of sense nor to actions he is attached, renouncing all purpose, then he is said to have mounted to discipline” (VI.4). That is, if we want to understand discipline, then we need to understand what renunciation and non-attachment mean in the Gita. Renunciation in the Gita comes forth as renunciation of actions of desire (XVIII.2). Further, in the Gita, he is recognized as renouncing action who does not ‘loathe or crave’ which is also termed as being free from pairs of opposite (V.3). But if this is renunciation, it appears that it is non-different from what the Gita calls as discipline of mind or buddhi-yoga. In its discussion on discipline of mind, the Gita says about longing and loathing that “one must not come under control of those two, for they are his two enemies” (III.34). But this is how renunciation is understood in the Gita. Again, it says that “Whom all desires enter in that same way he attains peace; not the man who lusts after desires” (II.70). This can be understood as meaning that who is nor driven to act by desire goes to peace. And this is the way renunciation has been defined – giving up acts of desire. Further, this renunciation is also discipline in the sense of indifference: “Content with getting what comes by chance, passed beyond the pairs (of opposites), free from jealousy, indifferent to success and failure, even acting he is not bound” (IV.22).

Discipline, however, in the Gita also means non-attachment. The actions that the Gita has asked one to perform without attachment to fruits are actions of worship, gift, austerity (XVIII.5) as well as natural born action of the individual (XVIII.48). Worship is another kind of action the Gita says one should perform (IV.23). The Gita suggests that if one performs actions without attachment to the fruit of action, one does not get bound (III.7). In fact Krishna tells of himself that he is not bound even though he keeps performing actions because he is not interested in fruits of actions: “Actions do not stain Me, (because) I have no yearning for the fruits of actions. Who comprehends Me thus is not bound by actions” (IV.14). Such actions do not bind because in truth they do not bear fruits, though performed they are barren (IV.20). In other words, it appears that according to the Gita, it is the mental attitude that binds and not mere action.

Of the two elements of discipline, if they can be termed as such, renunciation and non-attachment to fruits of action, the Gita shows its certain inclination towards the latter (V.2). The reason for this can be explained in the following way: renunciation is more an attitude than performance of action. Giving up certain action by itself cannot be called action – at least in the sense of performance. Renunciation is giving up acts of desire. But non-attachment involves performing of certain kinds of actions without attachment to fruits of action. In other words, in the latter case one gives up certain action but goes on performing the required kinds of actions. That is, non-attachment involves both giving up action as well as performance of certain sort of actions while renunciation does not imply performance of action.

Of the ‘two-fold basis’ of the world, the Gita declares reason as one of them. Reason in the Gita comes forth as understanding of the nature of the soul. When Arjuna asks Krishna regarding a way for right conduct, Krishna answer tells of the right way as suggested by reason. The way, as we find it, involves a description of soul’s nature: “He is not born, nor does he ever die; nor, having come to be, will he ever more come not to be. Unborn, eternal, everlasting, this ancient one is not slain when the body is slain” (II.20). Further, it is said that the soul in reality does not feel pleasure and pain. Whatever feeling of pleasure and pain the embodied being feels is due to its contact with matter (II.14). Thus on one hand, the Gita tells that the soul actually does not feel pleasure and pain and on the other hand, that they belong to matter. Reason, according to Gita, thus lies in understanding that pain, pleasure etc are not felt by soul but belong to matter. Likewise, the Gita also tells that according to reason, action does not belong to the soul, but to matter. Having said this, the Gita says that the one who understands reality in true nature – that the immortal does not in actuality feel or perform – in reality he does not perform action. That is, though actions take place, even after one realizes that himself is not the doer, such actions no more bear fruits, that is, they more bind (XVIII.17).

Knowledge is the means for the followers of reason. This knowledge comes forth in the Gita as knowledge that reality is one which can be understood under its ‘lower’ and ‘higher’ nature. The first, the ‘lower nature’ constitutes the universe (VII.4), while the second, the ‘higher nature’ is the soul, the support of living being (VII.5). And then there is the Lord in whom “this (universe) is strung, like heaps of pearl on a string” (VII.7). These two natures of the ultimate reality again have been explained in Gita under different headings – the Field and the Field-knower. And this knowledge of the Field and Field-knower is considered as true knowledge in the Gita (XIII. 2). In another place of the Gita we come across knowledge as knowledge of the Lord and Brahman as well as that of the Strands as the binding factor. The man of knowledge thus knows that the actual agent is matter. As such he can be assumed to be acting with the knowledge that it is not he who is acting. This is also the way how disciplined man is defined: ‘I am in effect doing nothing at all?’ – so the disciplined man should think, knowing the truth, when he sees, hears, touches, smells, eats, walks, sleeps, breathes, talks, evacuates, grasps, opens and shuts his eyes; ‘The senses (only) on the objects of sense are operating’ – holding fast to this thought (V.8-9).  Thus it can be said that the man who performs with knowledge is practising discipline of knowledge.

A study of the bases of dharma reveals the importance of mental attitude in performance of dharma in the Gita. That the Gita has attached indifference to both the ways of reason and discipline is indicative of this very feature. In fact that this is so is clear from the very beginning of Krishna-Arjuna conversation. Arjuna asks Krishna what is dharma: “My being very afflicted with the taint of weak compassion, I ask Thee, my mind bewildered as to the dharma” (II.7). But Krishna does not answer by telling what dharma is. Rather what Krishna says reveals the importance of mental attitude: “Abiding in discipline perform actions” (II.48). And this indifference is certainly of mental nature. However, though the importance lies in the mental attitude, the Gita cannot be taken as advocating mental attitude alone. What it advocates is performance of action with certain mental attitude and not mere mental attitude. And that is why the advice to Arjuna is not just to carry the attitude but to fight with the right mental attitude: “Holding pleasure and pain alike, gain and loss, victory and defeat, then gird thyself for battle” (II.38).

Dr. Shakuntala, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy,  University of Gauhati, Guwahati, Assam

 

गीता में योग की व्याख्या

डॉ. श्यामदेवमिश्र

(continued from previous article)

योग की गीता में व्याख्या से मन में शंका उठती है कि प्रभु ने योग की कई परिभाषाएं दे डालीं जिससे योग के स्वरुप को समझना सामान्य जिज्ञासु के लिए कठिन हो गया है। पहले सिद्धि और असिद्धि की समता को योग कहा; फिर कर्म की कुशलता को योग कहा और आगे दु:ख के संयोग के वियोग को भी योग कहा। किन्तु विचार करने पर यह शंका निर्मूल सिद्ध होती है। प्रभु ने योग के अनेक लक्षण नहीं बताए हैं अपितु एक ही लक्षण को अनेक प्रकार से समझाया है। वास्तव में फल की आशा छोड़कर कर्त्तव्य बुद्धि से कर्म करते रहना ही कर्मयोग है। उस फल की आशा को छोड़ने के अलग-अलग विवरण हैं। फल की आशा छोड़ देने पर सिद्धि और असिद्धि में समानता हो जायेगी। फल की आशा से ही कर्म-सिद्ध होने पर सुख और असिद्ध होने पर दुःख हुआ करता है; फलाशा न रहने पर न सुख होगा न दुःख। तब सिद्धि और असिद्धि में समता हो गयी। यही योग है। इसी प्रकार समानता रखकर कर्म करते जाने से आत्मा पर कर्म का कोई प्रभाव नहीं आता इसलिए यह अर्थात् योग एक बड़ा कौशल या चतुरता भी हुई। यहाँ फलाशा के त्याग को ही ‘कौशल’ शब्द से प्रकट किया है क्योंकि फलाशा-त्याग न करने के स्थिति में फलाशा पूर्ण न होने पर दु:ख हुआ करता है। फलाशा छोड़ देने पर दु:ख का भी प्रसंग नहीं रहेगा। अत: दु:ख संयोग-वियोगरूप लक्षण में भी वही बात प्रकारांतर से कही जाएगी। कहने का तात्पर्य यह है कि एक ही विषय को भिन्न-भिन्न शब्दों से भिन्न-भिन्न अर्थों में समझाया गया है। ‘योग’ शब्द का अर्थ कर्म-योग मान लेने पर सभी लक्षणों की सङ्गति उक्त प्रकार से हो जाती है।

यहाँ एक और प्रश्न उठता है जिसका समाधान अत्यावश्यक है कि फलाशा-त्याग अर्थात् फल की आशा को छोड़ देने से क्या अभिप्राय है?

फल की आशा छोड़ने से तात्पर्य है कि फल के प्रति चिंता ही न करे। इसके दो कारण हैं –  पहला कि फल के बारे में सोचने पर कर्म दुष्प्रभावित या विकृत होगा। दूसरा केवल कर्म के प्रति मनुष्य का अधिकार है यानी केवल कर्म करना ही उसके वश में है; फल के प्रति मनुष्य का अधिकार अर्थात् वश ही नहीं है। यानी फल क्या मिलेगा? कितना मिलेगा? कब मिलेगा? इत्यादि मनुष्य के अधिकार-क्षेत्र के बाहर की बात है। अत: अधिकार-क्षेत्र से बाहर के विषय में चिन्तना करना ही व्यर्थ है। इसीलिये प्रभु ने कहा है – कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन

तब ऐसे में प्रश्न उठता है कि अनधिकार होने के कारण यदि मनुष्य फल की इच्छा का त्याग कर देवे यानी उसके बारे में सोचे ही नहीं तब फिर कर्म करने का प्रयोजन क्या रहा? और बिना प्रयोजन के मनुष्य कर्म ही क्यूँ करे?

इसका समाधान यह है कि प्रयोजन दो प्रकार का समझा जा सकता है – १. क्षणिक या ऐहिक और २. आत्यन्तिक या पारलौकिक । क्षणिक प्रयोजन वह है जिससे प्राप्त सुख की अवधि निश्चित हो; यानी जिसमें फल के उपभोग की समाप्ति अर्थात् वियोग-रूपी दु:ख भी मिलना तय है। क्षणिक प्रयोजन के ही तीन अवान्तर रूप हैं – धर्म, अर्थ और काम ये तीन पुरुषार्थ। किन्तु उत्कृष्टतम कर्म से प्राप्त ब्रह्मलोकरूपी फल के भी भोग के पश्चात् पुन: मनुष्य जीवन-मृत्यु-चक्र में फँसता है। भगवान् ने स्वयं ही कहा है – आब्रह्मभुवनाल्लोका: पुनरावर्तिनोऽर्जुन (गीता )

किन्तु आत्यन्तिक प्रयोजन वह है जिससे प्राप्त सुख का अन्त ही नहीं है अर्थात् जिसमें लेश-मात्र भी दु:ख नहीं है। यही कारण है कि इसे परमप्रयोजन या परमपुरुषार्थ मोक्ष कहा है।

अब यह मनुष्य पर है कि वह किस प्रयोजन का चयन करता है। मनुष्य, जो कि लेश-मात्र भी दुखाकाङ्क्षी नहीं है, वह ‘दुःख हो ही न’ ऐसा प्रबंध क्यों न करे? वही आत्यन्तिक-प्रयोजन अर्थात् मोक्ष है जो केवल पूर्वोक्त योग यानि कर्मयोग  से ही संभव है।

Krishna-arjun-e1489044770798

(Source of image : http://www.navhindu.com/bhagwad-gita-chapter-3/)

इस प्रकार जो कर्म, मनुष्य को स्वभाव से ही बांधने वाले हैं, वे ही मुक्ति देने वाले हो जाएं – यही वस्तुत: कर्मों में कुशलता है। कर्म करने की ऐसी ही चतुरता को योग कहते हैं कि मनुष्य कर्म करता भी जाए और उसके बंधन में भी न फंसे। काजल की कोठारी में जाकर बिना कालिख लगाए निकल आना ही बड़ी भारी चतुरता है। ऐसी ही कुशलता योग से प्राप्त होती है कि कर्म करता भी जाए और उसका फल भी अपने पर आने न दे।

इस प्रकार देखा जाए तो योग: कर्मसु कौशलम् योग की परिभाषा से बढ़कर उसकी महिमा का उद्घोष है।

डॉ. श्यामदेवमिश्र, सहायकाचार्य (ज्योतिष), राष्ट्रिय-संस्कृत-संस्थान, भोपाल परिसर, भोपाल, म.प्र.

 

योग: कर्मसु कौशलम्

[It was broadcasted by International Broadcast service, All India Radio, New Delhi in 2016 on the occasion of International Yog Day]

डॉ. श्यामदेवमिश्र

‘योग: कर्मसु कौशलम्’ यह श्लोकांश योगेश्वर श्रीकृष्ण के श्रीमुख से उद्गीरित श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता के द्वितीय अध्याय के पचासवें श्लोक से उद्धृत है। श्लोक इस प्रकार है –

“बुद्धियुक्तो जहातीह उभे सुकृतदुष्कृतेतस्माद्योगाय युज्यस्व योग: कर्मसु कौशलम्”।।इति।।

श्लोक के उत्तरार्ध पर यदि गौर करें तो दो बातें स्पष्ट होती हैं। पहली योग की परिभाषा एवं दूसरी योग हेतु प्रभु का स्पष्ट निर्देश। उनका उपदेश है कि ‘योगाय’ अर्थात् योग के लिए अथवा योग में, ‘युज्यस्व’ अर्थात् लग जाओ। कहने का तात्पर्य है कि ‘योग में प्रवृत्त हो जाओ’ यानि कि ‘योग करो’। अब प्रश्न यह है कि क्यूँ करें योग? इस प्रश्न का उत्तर उन्होंने श्लोक के पूर्वार्ध में दिया है कि बुद्धिमान व्यक्ति अर्थात् योगी, वर्तमान में ही अथवा इस संसार में ही ‘सुकृत’ एवं ‘दुष्कृत’ अर्थात् पुण्य एवं पाप से मुक्त हो जाता है। योग के इस हेतु को स्पष्टतया जानने के लिये, सबसे पहले यह समझना परमावश्यक है कि ‘योग क्या है’? या ‘योग किसे कहते हैं’?

httpwww.boisetemple.orgbhakti-yoga

(Source of Image: http://www.boisetemple.org/bhakti-yoga/)

गीता में ‘योग’ शब्द के तीन अर्थ हैं – १. समता; जैसे – समत्वं योग उच्यते(२/४८); २. सामर्थ्य, ऐश्वर्य या प्रभाव; जैसे – पश्य मे योगमैश्वर्यम्(९/५); और ३ समाधि; जैसे – यत्रोपरमते चित्तं निरुद्धं योगसेवया(६/२०)। यद्यपि गीता में ‘योग’ का अर्थ मुख्य रूप से समता ही है तथापि ‘योग’ शब्द के अंतर्गत तीनों ही अर्थ स्वीकार्य हैं। इसके अतिरिक्त गीता में योग की तीन परिभाषाएं भी मिलती हैं जो कि दूसरे अध्याय के क्रमश: ४८वें एवं ५०वें श्लोक में तथा छठे अध्याय के २३वें श्लोक में निर्दिष्ट हैं। ये परिभाषाएं क्रमश: इस प्रकार हैं –

“समत्वं योग उच्यते”(गीता २/४८)

“योग: कर्मसु कौशलम्” (गीता २/५०)

तं विद्याद्दु:खसंयोगवियोगं योगसंज्ञितम्।(गीता /२३)

‘योग: कर्मसु कौशलम्’  के दो अर्थ लिये जा सकते हैं –

1. कर्मसु कौशलं योग: अर्थात् कर्मों में कुशलता ही योग है।

२. कर्मसु योग: कौशलम् अर्थात् कर्मों में योग ही कुशलता है।

यदि हम पहला अर्थ लें यानि कर्मों में कुशलता ही योग है तो, जो बड़ी ही कुशलता से सावधानी से ठगी, चोरी या फिर हत्या आदि कर्म करता है उसका कर्म भी ‘योग’ हो जाएगा! किन्तु ऐसा मानना उचित नहीं है और फिर श्लोक में निषिद्ध कर्मों का प्रसंग भी नहीं है। अगर हम यहाँ ‘कर्म’ शब्द से केवल शुभ कर्मों का ही ग्रहण करें तब फिर ‘कर्मसु कौशलम् योग:’ इस पद के दो अलग-अलग परिप्रेक्ष्य में भावार्थ निकलेंगे जो प्रसंग-विशेष में तो ठीक प्रतीत होते हैं किन्तु गीता में प्रभु द्वारा प्रतिपादित योग के सिद्धांतों से इतर सिद्ध होते हैं। आइए उन दोनों पर ही गौर करते हैं –

शुभ कर्मों में कुशलता ही योग है अर्थात् शुभ कर्मों को कुशलतापूर्वक करना ही योग है। इस अर्थ में ‘योग’ शब्द से मानसिक, बौद्धिक एवं शारीरिक समन्वयन एवं तादात्म्य अभिप्रेत है। यानि मन, बुद्धि एवं शरीर इन तीनों को एक साथ जोड़कर जब हम कोई कार्य करते हैं तो निश्चित ही उस कार्य में कुशलता या संपूर्ण दक्षता प्राप्त होती है, जिसे योग कहते हैं। व्यावहारिक परिप्रेक्ष्य में, यह अर्थ सटीक है एवं सफलता के सूत्र-रूप में स्वीकार्य है। आधिदैविक या अलौकिक परिप्रेक्ष्य में इसका भावार्थ यह है कि यदि कुशलतापूर्वक अर्थात् मन, बुद्धि एवं क्रिया तीनों के ही संयोग से यदि जप-तपादि अनुष्ठान किया जाए तो निश्चित ही अभीष्ट (शक्ति/सिद्धि) से योग (या संयोग) होता है।

अब यहाँ प्रश्न यह है कि उक्त दोनों ही भावार्थ, गीता में प्रतिपादित योग की संकल्पना से किस प्रकार भिन्न हैं? इसको समझने के लिए योग की परिभाषा को समझना होगा, जिसमें कहा है  –

योगस्थ: कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय

सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्यो: समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते”।। (गीता २/४८)

अर्थात्हे धनञ्जय! तुम योग में स्थित होकर शास्त्रोक्त कर्म करते जाओ। केवल कर्म में आसक्ति का त्याग कर दो और कर्म सिद्ध हो या असिद्ध अर्थात् उसका फल मिले या फिर न मिले, इन दोनों ही अवस्थाओं में अपनी चित्तवृत्ति को समान रखो। अर्थात् सिद्ध होने पर हर्ष एवं असिद्ध होने पर विषाद अपने चित्त में मत आने दो। यह सिद्धि एवं असिद्धि में सम-वृत्ति रखना ही योग है ।

यहाँ ‘योग’ शब्द कर्मयोग का ही बोधक है। यहाँ न केवल कर्म के स्वर्गादि फलों के छोड़ने की बात कही गयी है अपितु प्रातिस्विक फल की आशा छोड़कर कर्म करने से जो चित्त-शुद्धि या भगवत्प्रसाद आदि फल प्राप्त होते हैं, उनकी सिद्धि-असिद्धि में भी सामान भाव रखने की बात कही गयी है अर्थात् यह विचार मत करो कि इतने दिन मुझे कर्मयोग में लग गए अभी तक मेरी चित्त-शुद्धि कुछ नहीं हुई या भगवत्प्रसाद के कुछ लक्षण मुझे दिखाई नहीं दिए। तुम तो केवल कर्त्तव्य समझकर कर्म करते जाओ, इस कर्म का फल क्या हो रहा है इस ओर कोई दृष्टि ही न दो। इसी का नाम योग या कर्मयोग है। इस श्लोक की व्याख्या में कई विद्वानों ने योग का अर्थ परमात्मा से सम्बन्ध माना है यानी परमात्मा से सम्बन्ध रखते हुए कर्म करो अर्थात जो कुछ करो वह परमात्मा को प्रसन्न करने के ही उद्देश्य से करो और कर्मों को परमात्मा को ही अर्पण कर दिया करो।

योग या कर्मयोग के पूर्वोक्त स्वरूप के आलोक में अब हम पुन: योग: कर्मसु कौशलम् के उन पूर्वोक्त भावार्थों पर विचार करते हैं। अगर यहाँ शुभ-कर्मों को ही कुशलतापूर्वक करने का नाम योग मानें तो मनुष्य कुशलतापूर्वक साङ्गोपाङ्ग किये हुए शुभ-कर्मों के फल से बंध जाएगा। कहा भी है– फले सक्तो निबध्यते; अत: उसकी स्थिति समता में नहीं रहेगी और उसके दुखों का नाश नहीं होगा। फलत: प्रभु द्वारा प्रतिपादित योग की संगति इस अर्थ में नहीं बैठेगी।

यहाँ एक जिज्ञासा है कि शुभ कर्मों को करने के बाद भी मनुष्य दु:ख क्यूँ पाएगा? इसका समाधान यह है कि कितना भी शुभ कर्म-करने वाला क्यूँ न हो किन्तु मनुष्य की सभी इच्छाएं पूर्ण नहीं होतीं अथवा सब कुछ सर्वदा ही उसके मनोनुकूल नहीं होता; जो कि अंतत: उसे दुःख ही पहुঁचाता है। यदि ऐसा नहीं होता तो फिर मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम राम या फिर सत्यवादी हरिश्चंद्र, जो कि स्वप्न में भी अशुभ कर्मों से दूर रहे, उन्हें अत्यंत कष्ट क्यों झेलना पड़ता!

तब ऐसे में प्रश्न उठता है कि दु:ख की आत्यन्तिक निवृत्ति कैसे हो? इसका उत्तर है – जीवन-मरण-चक्र से मुक्ति अर्थात् मोक्ष होने पर। ये कब होगा? उत्तर है – कर्मफलों के संपूर्ण भुक्त हो जाने पर। फिर शंका हुई कि जब तक जीवन है तब तक न तो कर्म करना कभी समाप्त होगा और न ही उसके फल का भोग और बिना फल भोगे तो कृत-कर्म की समाप्ति भी नहीं होगी; कहा है –नाभुक्तं क्षीयते कर्म। कहने का तात्पर्य यह है कि कर्म से फल की उत्पत्ति एवं फल-भोगार्थ पुन: कर्म; इस प्रकार से तो यह अनवरत चलने वाला क्रम बन गया। दूसरे शब्दों में, जीवन-मरण-चक्र से मुक्ति ही नहीं होगी। यह सुनकर तो और दुःख बढ़ ही गया। अरे भाई! जब तक मुक्ति नहीं होगी तब तक दु:ख भी समाप्त नहीं होगा। यह तो बड़ी ही भारी विपदा है! क्योंकि जो व्यक्ति धरती पर आया है उसका कर्मासक्त होना और फिर इस आसक्ति के कारण दु:खी होना निश्चित है। शास्त्रों में आया है –कर्मणा बध्यते जन्तु: अर्थात् कर्मों से मनुष्य बंध जाता है। कर्म कितने ही बढियां हों, उनका आरम्भ तथा अन्त होता है और उनके फल का संयोग और वियोग भी होता है। जिसका आरम्भ और अन्त संयोग और वियोग से होता है, उसके द्वारा मुक्ति कैसे प्राप्त होगी? साथ ही यह प्रश्न भी अनुत्तरित रह गया कि दु:ख के संयोग का वियोग कैसे हो? अर्थात् दु:ख का निवारण कैसे हो?

इन्हीं समस्याओं के समाधान हेतु प्रभु ने योग या कर्मयोग का सिद्धांत प्रतिपादित करते हुए उपदेश किया कि बिना आसक्ति रखे कर्म करना ही योग है, जिससे कारण कर्म के फल अर्थात् भोग से सम्बन्ध छूट जाता है और अन्तत: मुक्त होने के कारण दुःख भी समाप्त हो जाते हैं। इसी कारण प्रभु ने ‘योग’ को दु:ख के संयोग का वियोग भी ही माना है –

तं विद्याद्दु:खसंयोगवियोगं योगसंज्ञितम्।(गीता /२३)

यदि उपर्युक्त अर्थ (यानि कर्मों में कुशलता ही योग है) का ही ग्रहण करना अभीष्ट हो तो फिर कुशलता का अर्थ समत्व या निष्कामभाव यानि कि ‘योग’ लेना होगा। किन्तु जब उपर्युक्त पद में ‘योग’ शब्द आया ही है तो फिर पुन: कुशलता का अर्थ योग करने की क्या आवश्यकता है? यानि “कर्मों में कुशलता ही योग है” इस अर्थ से काम नहीं चलेगा। ऐसी स्थिति में “योग: कर्मसु कौशलम्” का ‘योग ही कर्मों में कुशलता है’ ऐसा सीधा अर्थ क्यों न ले लिया जाए? पूर्व के श्लोक में योग की परिभाषा से स्पष्ट है कि यहाँ योग ही विधेय है कर्मों की कुशलता नहीं फिर कर्म तो नाशवान हैं; नाशवान् के द्वारा अविनाशी की प्राप्ति नहीं हो सकती है। अत: महत्त्व योग का है, कर्मों का नहीं। अत: “योग: कर्मसु कौशलम्” का यही अर्थ – ‘योग ही कर्मों में कुशलता है’ उचित प्रतीत होता है।

(to be continued…)

डॉ. श्यामदेवमिश्र, सहायकाचार्य (ज्योतिष), राष्ट्रिय-संस्कृत-संस्थान, भोपाल परिसर, भोपाल, म.प्र.

Ethics of the Gita – lessons for individuals to work according to their nature

– Dr. Shakuntala, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy,  University of Gauhati, Guwahati, Assam

Dr. Shakuntala did M.A. and Ph.D. from North-Easter-Hill-University, Shillong, Meghalaya. She has authored the following books – Enquiry into Nature of Self (2009), Essays on Philosophy of JidduKrishnamurti (2010), ‘What Ought I to Do?’ The Gita’s Perspective (2014), Rethinking Philosophy of JidduKrishnamurti (2015), and Revisiting the Upanisads (2016).

In the ethics of the Gita svabhava or one’s own nature plays a very important role. It holds that everyone, including the man of knowledge acts according to his own nature. It further says that one is compelled to act as prescribed by his nature and it is simply futile to try otherwise. Krishna tells Arjuna that it is pointless on the part of Arjuna’s to say that he would not fight for nature will certainly induce him to fight. ‘That which, through delusion, thou wishest not to do, O Son of Kunti (Arjuna), that thou shalt do even against thy will, fettered by thy own acts born of thy nature.’ (XVIII.60). Arjuna is born Kshatriya and thus there is no escape but to fight: ‘Even the man of knowledge acts in accordance with his own nature. Beings follow their mature. What can repression accomplish?’ (III.33) Gita says that the karma or action prescribed by one’s nature or svabhava is one’s duty or dharma. What one ought to do is prescribed by what one’s nature is. ‘Heroism, vigour, steadiness, resourcefulness, not fleeing even in a battle, generosity and leadership, these are the duties of a Kshatriya born of his nature.’ (XVIII.43). In fact, there is no good other than performing one’s duty as prescribed by one’s nature: ‘Having regard for thine own duty, thou shouldst not falter, there exists no greater good for a Kshatriya than a battle enjoined by duty.’ (II.31).

Now, if one indeed realizes the truth of such a situation, that one cannot escape doing what one’s nature forces one to do, one automatically becomes happy. When one acts according to one’s nature there is no conflict between what one is and what one thinks one ought to be. The ‘is’ is the ‘ought’. In other words, there is nothing one is putting up as ideal in such a situation to achieve. There is no gap between what one is and what one is trying to be- action becomes niskama, that is, action is performed without desire for becoming.

bhagavat-gita

We further see that svadharma of the Gita as prescribed by one’s svabhava also dissolves the gap between individual and social duty. Arjuna by svabhava is a Kshatriya and thus is asked by Krishna to give up the thought of not-fighting and enter into the battle. But while performing his individual duty he also performs the social duty of a Kshatriya that demands from him generosity and lordly nature; demands that Arjuna does not get affected by personal preference while deciding an action that can change the fate of thousands of people. The Gita does not say that one is to perform two kinds of duties- individual and social. In the Gita in performing one’s individual duty one helps in smooth running of the society.

The Gita does not tire of saying that one cannot change the way nature behaves. Actually this has an important bearing on the whole issue of the ethics of Gita. On one hand we have seen that it helps one in performing action without desire, and on the other hand such a realization, the Gita shows, helps one in working out moral dilemmas.  According to Gita the realization that one cannot change the way nature behaves automatically brings in detachment. When one truly understands the futility of trying to change course of nature, one in a way resigns to it. This attitude, the Gita shows, helps one in solving moral dilemmas of life. In the Gita, Arjuna is shown not questioning the rightness or wrongness of the action of going to battle. But Arjuna is shown as not wanting to enter into battle having seen his friends and family as his opponent: ‘When I see my own people arrayed and eager to fight O Krishna, my limbs quail, my mouth goes dry, my body shakes and my hair stands on end.’ (I.29). The question for Arjuna is not rightness or wrongness of action of doing battle but whether he would incur evil by killing the people who are his relatives: ‘And I see evil omens, O Kesava (Krishna), nor do I foresee any good by slaying my own people in the fight.’ (I.32). Krishna is reprimanding Arjuna for his behaviour that is borne out of attachment for his loved ones: ‘Thou grievest for those whom thou should not grieve for, and yet thou speakest words about wisdom.’ (II.11). If Arjuna were detached, he would not have been affected by who is standing against him but would have performed his duty: ‘As the unlearned act from attachment to their work, so should the learned also act, O Bharata (Arjuna), but without any attachment, with the desire to maintain the world-order.’ (III.25). Again, if Arjuna were detached he would have seen the fact that the battle would not stop with him not-fighting and in fact his not-fighting would affect the fate of all those people who agreed to enter into the battle and are fighting for the Pandavas in a negative way.

*The translation of the verses are taken from The Bhagavadgita by S. Radhakrishnan, HarperCollins India, Impression 2008.