- Religion and Philosophy»
Bagawat Gita songs were prompted due to the ignorance of Arjuna!
The chariot in the midst of armies!
The treasure chest Bagawat Gita and Bagavata Purana!
One who relinquishes the desires to enjoy the fruits of his labor is a true warrior in spiritual parlance. Sri Krishna teaches this truth to Arjuna in the battlefield. Amid the opposing forces which were eager to embark on the Great War, Arjuna too expresses a desire to view the entire army and hence he requests the Divine Charioteer Krishna to drive the chariot in between the two great armies. Till such time, Arjuna was eager to engage and embark in the war, which is the result of greed of Kauravas, the one hundred brothers who wants to usurp the legitimate share of Pandava brothers who were five in numbers but they had with them Krishna as the Charioteer. Before the war, they entreated Krishna to be on their side. But Krishna was cunning to test the steadfastness of the five brothers. He said, “Choose my mighty army or me, but I won’t wield any weapon in the war. Thus it was settled that Krishna will be charioteer for the mighty bowman Arjuna! The brothers have chosen wisely since they counted ‘quality’ over quantity! At the same time, the wicked Kauravas were exalted at the prospect of getting the entire army of Krishna. They thought that the Pandavas were foolish to choose Krishna instead of his mighty army!
When God is on your side, none can defeat you! Hence the Pandava brothers have chosen very wisely. Krishna drove he chariot in between the two armies as requested by Arjuna. Arjuna saw his own great grandfather, uncle, preceptor and many of his friends in the opposing army. He was crestfallen for a moment. What a misery? He thought. Am I to shot arrows at my own great grandpa Bheesma who caressed me on his lap from baby days? Am I to pour arrows at the revered form of my preceptor? Wherever I turn my head, I am looking at my dear relatives and friends. Oh! What a mess I am in? Instantly Arjuna was despondent and his bow slid from his grasp and he slid into his sear as a dead body! Shri Krishna noticed all this drama and admonished Arjuna, “how this pusiliamity Arjuna? You are a “Kshathriya or warrior by birth”. Your duty is to fight the war which came to your door unsolicited. You are not the cause of this war. Your wicked cousins refused to hand over even five villages to you, though you are the legitimate heir of this great Kingdom, Hasthinapura! They were not willing to give you even five huts and the eldest one Duryodhana proclaimed ‘not even a needle top will be spared”. How can you stomach this unrighteous behavior of your cousins? I interceded on all your behalf and brokered peace with them but they were not in a mood to listen my sage advice. Thus I failed in the mission!
Now the readers may wonder how the Lord’s mission failed. In fact, it is the will of Krishna that the war should take place and all the evil forces need to be removed from the surface of the earth! Krishna actually willed that the mission must fail. Then alone he can bring peace on earth by eliminating the demonic forces! He used Arjuna as a mere instrument in his hand. But Arjuna has not realized the grand plan. He thought that Krishna being a cousin to him, wanted to help in the war by conceding to be his charioteer. Arjuna muttered, “Oh Krishna! How I can kill my own people who fostered me so far? I see my great grandfather, uncles and friends in the opposing forces. What is the need for this war? Instead I will become mendicant begging alms! After killing all my people, how I can rule this great kingdom peacefully? Who will be left with me after this devastating war and loss of blood?
Krishna understood the predicament in which Arjuna has fallen. He coaxed Arjuna with sane advice! Oh Arjuna! “The bodies you call as your own is the result of primordial ignorance in you. You are not this body you wear! You are the indestructible soul within. Bodies may come and go but the self within is immortal. Hence avoid this false identification with the impermanent body! In the battlefield, in the war zone, in between two great armies, Krishna taught Arjuna many truths about human life and his duties as a warrior clan. Arjuna! You think that you will incur sin by slaying so many of your people and friends. Listen, they are already slain by me. Be thou my instrument and embark on destroying the enemies. Again Arjuna, If you keep an eye on the results of the war, you will lose your strength and tenacity to engage yourself. Hence you become weak. Arise, take hold of the bow and commence the Great War. Think of Me and fight. Do not bother about the outcome. Be my instrument and fight. You won’t be affected by anything.
The Bagawat Gita, imparted to Arjuna contains 700 stanzas. Arjuna finally saw the wisdom of Krishna and told him, “I will abide by your will, Please guide me thus. At the end, all the wicked forces were killed and the five brothers emerged victorious though they too suffered many losses in their side. In fact, all the sons of Pandava brothers were killed surruptiously after the war, when they were sleeping in the tents. Only the fetus of Uthara which contained the grandson of Arjuna survived due to the protection of Krishna. He was the great Parikshit who ruled the land gloriously and righteously for many years! His story is enshrined in the great “Bagawata Purana” written by Sage Vyasa, reading which one can shed the illusions arising out of the mundane existence!