“Therefore get up and prepare to fight. After conquering your enemies you will enjoy a flourishing kingdom. They are already put to death by My arrangement, and you, O Savyasachin, can be but an instrument in the fight.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 11.33)
Friend1: Arjuna has many names.
Friend2: Which Arjuna? You know it’s a kind of tree, also.
Friend1: I did know that. I’m talking about Partha, the son of Kunti Devi. One of the five Pandava brothers.
Friend2: Oh, yes. He certainly does. You just referenced one of them. He is the son of Queen Kunti. Dhananjaya. He is the conqueror of wealth. Gudakesha. He conquered sleep.
Friend1: Showing off again? I was thinking about Savyasachin. What does that mean?
Friend2: It’s someone who is expert at shooting arrows on the battlefield. That is the definition provided by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Friend1: Oh, nice! That totally makes sense now.
Friend2: What does?
Friend1: Well, that is the name Krishna used to address Arjuna in the verse where He talks about acting as an instrument.
Friend2: Where Arjuna is to simply do the work of the Divine, fulfill destiny?
Friend1: Yeah, exactly. The destiny is that the kings on the opposing side will lose, whether Arjuna fights or not. If he fights, he will be acting as Krishna’s instrument. Savyasachin is the perfect name to use, since Arjuna is so expert at shooting arrows.
Friend2: There you go. There are no accidents with Krishna, the Supreme Lord.
Friend1: Oh, so before I forget what I wanted to ask. That is the verse I was thinking of. It obviously shows how Krishna likes to bring glory to His devotees.
Friend2: Right. He can do the work Himself. He can accomplish anything without effort, in fact. He creates the universes through exhaling as Vishnu. Everything is a piece of cake for Him. He allows the devotees to shine because He wants to bring them glory.
Friend1: Thank you for saying that. Glory. That is the issue.
Friend1: Isn’t that material? Yasha in Sanskrit is fame. The desire to be famous is one of the byproducts of illusion, or maya.
Friend1: So why is Krishna interested in bringing something material to the devotee? Moreover, fame is the result of outside opinion. If others, who are in illusion themselves, think highly of the devotee, why is that important? Shouldn’t devotion be pure? Shouldn’t it be free of material influence?
Friend2: Man, these are good questions. I have an answer, but I have to say, you are really on the ball today.
Friend1: Not sure if you are being sarcastic, but I’ll accept the compliment.
Friend2: You have to think of the result of Krishna’s desire.
Friend1: What do you mean?
Friend2: If the devotee becomes famous for their devotion, what is the effect on society?
Friend1: Oh. Hmm. I guess they have a good example to follow.
Friend2: There you go. If there were no people like Arjuna, Prahlada, Hanuman, and Bhima, then it would be more difficult to take up bhakti-yoga, devotional service. You need famous examples to help you. You need to know that bhakti-yoga is not simply a theoretical exercise, reserved for a faculty lounge discussion.
Friend1: I see. Famous devotees means accessible examples of perfection in devotion.
Friend2: Exactly. The Supreme Lord knows that He won’t always have the best reputation. That is a given. Look at how people view their bosses. The teachers are generally disliked in school.
Friend1: That’s true.
Friend2: But God takes care of His devotees. He goes the extra mile to increase their fame, to make sure they have a good reputation. This is because more progress can be made going through the devotee than approaching God directly. The representative is thus very powerful, and if they have some fame it helps to bring attention. In fact, their presence alone can bring perfection. Just remember someone like Arjuna on a daily basis and you will soon be free from illusion. His expert marksmanship will slash away your doubts about the meaning of life, the future destination of the soul, and the personal nature of the Divine.
Since part of material world to be,
Why to bring fame does He?
To devotees Arjuna and Bhima like,
So powerful, vanquishing foes in sight.
There for others to see,
For confident in bhakti to be.
Supreme not always with reputation the best,
Representative equipped to help others the rest.