“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.66)
माम् एकं शरणं व्रज
अहं त्वां सर्व-पापेभ्यो
मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
1. My family
“They are everything to me. They will support me during times of difficulty. They are the sole constant factor in everyday life. I have changed schools. I have switched jobs. I have even moved from place to place.
“New atmospheres, changes to the daily routine, all accompanying the onset of old age. The family has been there the entire time, and it is for them that I do everything. I feel no embarrassment in this proclamation. If only everyone had the same level of dedication.”
2. My country
“This is the land of my birth. I inherit the kind of life passed on by those appearing before me. It is only fair that I try to reach a similar level of sacrifice. We are indebted to past generations. Whether we like it or not, this is our situation.
“I am willing to sacrifice up to the point of life for my country. Good or bad, they are my neighbors. They are the people with whom I interact. They are the ones I will support. I will protect them from foreign attack.”
“People told me not to take this case. It is too controversial. The government will come after me. They will make up false charges against me. They will drag my name through the mud. The trade associations will try to get my licenses revoked.
“That is all the more justification for proceeding. I am willing to risk my life to preserve justice. If the innocent have been wronged, someone needs to be brave enough to step forward. If not me, then who?”
4. My employer
“These guys saved me during a time when I needed help. I was down on my luck. I felt worthless. I wondered if I would have to go begging on the streets to maintain a living.
“Now that I am comfortably situated, I am willing to go the extra mile to see the company succeed. I have no problem working extra hours. It doesn’t matter if other members of the team do not put in nearly the same effort. I know who helped me in the past, and I am obligated to repay the favor.”
5. My friends
“You make friends amongst equals. Otherwise, one person would be too much respected to establish a proper relationship. I can make fun of my friends. They can take jabs at me, in the theoretical sense. There is no great offense, since I understand the strength of our relationship.
“I will do anything for my friends. I will sacrifice leisure time. I will forego sleep. I will travel the extra mile. Whatever they need, at any time of day, I am willing to do. There is no improper time to contact me.”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that all such sacrifice is on the bodily platform. We see that a person is not averse to sacrifice. They are willing to risk everything for someone else. They are down for the struggle, ready to accept a challenge to further a cause.
This helps to explain the importance of Bhagavad-gita and the circumstances surrounding the latest transfer of knowledge, which took place between Krishna and Arjuna. The hesitant bow-warrior was willing to sacrifice personal comfort to spare bodily harm to people fighting on the other side, who were relatives and well-wishers.
Yet the ultimate decision was to sacrifice for the sake of the Supreme Consciousness. The acharya explains that this is the topmost sacrifice, as it yields the highest benefit. My friends may turn against me. Someone I was accustomed to speaking with on a daily basis has ghosted me for years.
My country is now infested with frauds and traitors. I risked my life for nothing, to save people in a foreign country who now wish me death. The defendant I helped to exonerate now has no time for doing good; they let the fame go to their head.
The Supreme Consciousness will never abandon me. It will remain with me from lifetime to lifetime. It is the highest form of religion, dharma. It is the ideal way for everyone to follow. It is for this reason that the ultimate call to surrender takes place at the conclusion of that sacred conversation.
Arjuna chose in favor of this path, and he never regretted it. Win or lose, succeed or fail, stand tall in defense or fall to the ground – the cause of dharma moved forward. Shri Krishna was pleased, and since He is our best, well-wishing friend, His judgment matters the most.
Work upon work to pile,
For them the extra mile.
Sacrifice for many willing,
Sense of duty instilling.
But can abandon at any time,
Enemy now that friend of mine.
Supreme Consciousness always to stay,
Therefore Arjuna choosing that way.
Categories: the five