When Death And Destruction Are Plainly Visible

[Krishna and Arjuna]“O King, as I repeatedly recall this wondrous and holy dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, I take pleasure, being thrilled at every moment.” (Sanjaya, Bhagavad-gita, 18.76)

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राजन् संस्मृत्य संस्मृत्य
संवादम् इमम् अद्भुतम्
केशवार्जुनयोः पुण्यं
हृष्यामि च मुहुर् मुहुः

rājan saṁsmṛtya saṁsmṛtya
saṁvādam imam adbhutam
keśavārjunayoḥ puṇyaṁ
hṛṣyāmi ca muhur muhuḥ

“How were Arjuna and Krishna able to have a sober, rational discussion within that particular setting? They were situated on a battlefield. This wasn’t a class field trip. This wasn’t a ride-along with the local police department. This wasn’t a scientific expedition, to identify the different species in nature.

“Both participants were suited up. Arjuna was to lead the chariot and Krishna was to steer. They were expecting incoming. Arrows and other weapons flying at violent speeds in their direction. The other participants were trying to kill them.

“This is the harsh reality to war. Why people decide to come to blows is baffling to many. Why not cooperate? Why not sit down at a table and negotiate? Why not work things out in a peaceful manner?

“The subsequent discussion was due to Arjuna’s concern. He conducted a brief risk-benefit analysis. As a simple example, if there is new medical treatment brought to market, the people in charge should have an idea as to the benefits versus risks.

“This is if the people in charge are honest. In other words, how many people will be saved by the new treatment against the number of people who will be harmed. If there is no risk-benefit analysis, if there is no concrete number to present, then the medication might as well be snake-oil.

“I am amazed Arjuna was able to pose such questions within that setting. I was in a hospital recently, and it was a traumatic experience. Just witnessing the pain and suffering firsthand. To see people on the verge of death. To hear their screams for help. To observe their painful expressions as time took its toll on their physical bodies.

“How was Bhagavad-gita spoken in a similar setting without causing trauma? How were both participants able to keep their minds at ease? How were they able to think so clearly when everything around them screamed a dire emergency?”

The contrast between the content and the setting is what makes Bhagavad-gita all the more glorious. The cover image to the published work, Bhagavad-gita As It Is, is accurate. The child may think they are about to read the details of a great military conflict. They expect a beginning, middle, and end, with a narrative on how one of the sides emerged victorious.

[Bhagavad-gita As It Is]Instead, they get a philosophical discussion. Life and death. Winning and losing. Coming and going. Attachment and aversion. Love and hate. Work and renunciation. Knowledge and yoga. The different occupations. The way consciousness carries forward, like the air carrying aromas.

शरीरं यद् अवाप्नोति
यच् चाप्य् उत्क्रामतीश्वरः
गृहीत्वैतानि संयाति
वायुर् गन्धान् इवाशयात्

śarīraṁ yad avāpnoti
yac cāpy utkrāmatīśvaraḥ
gṛhītvaitāni saṁyāti
vāyur gandhān ivāśayāt

“The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.8)

The substance that is the conversation is more valuable than the details of a temporary military conflict. There is a winner and there is a loser. There are plenty of details provided, enough to fill a large portion of an already epic in volume work known as the Mahabharata.

The conversation is between Arjuna and Krishna, disciple and guru, but the verses are essentially carried forward from a person named Sanjaya. He is dictating to an elderly member of the ruling family. Sanjaya directly remarks that there is thrill at recalling the great conversation.

जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यम्
एवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर् जन्म
नैति माम् एति सो ऽर्जुन

janma karma ca me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna

“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.9)

[Krishna and Arjuna]This means that simply by studying Krishna’s words to Arjuna, the back and forth, the problem and resolution, a person can meet a successful end to life. Not only this lifetime, but future issues get resolved, as the source of all our problems is birth. Those who know Krishna and the Divine nature to His activities and appearances never return to the land of birth and death.

In Closing:

When attention to setting paid,
All the more glorious made.

That talk Arjuna and Krishna between,
In the midst of battlefield scene.

Where death and destruction to see,
But speech calm and composed to be.

The highest subject matter to cover,
Bringing bliss like no other.

Categories: questions

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❤️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❤️🔥 Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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