“Sanjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.” (Bhagavad-gita, 1.46)
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एवम् उक्त्वार्जुनः सङ्ख्ये
विसृज्य स-शरं चापं
evam uktvārjunaḥ saṅkhye
visṛjya sa-śaraṁ cāpaṁ
1. Sitting for an exam
“I don’t know what it is. I study sufficiently beforehand. I am not like those students who skip class the entire semester and then cram everything into their memory the night before. That would be too much pressure for me.
“I take the slow-and-steady approach, which is more manageable. The problem is that this only mitigates the nerves to a certain factor. I still tend to freeze up when sitting for an examination. It is like I have studied too much.
“I read more into the questions then there actually is. I am too conscious of making careless mistakes. I wish there was a way for me to be evaluated in a more relaxed environment. Then people could see that I am actually quite knowledgeable on the subject matter.”
2. Cross-examining a witness
“I don’t know what happened. We have been preparing this case for months. We had everything lined up. We knew exactly what this witness was going to say. We were prepared for the proper rebuttal. We knew that if we asked this one question as a follow-up, the witness would be stumped.
“Our entire case rested on this moment. For some reason, however, my co-counsel messed up. They completely forgot what they were supposed to ask. They botched the presentation. The jury was not able to see that the witness was lying. It is a real shame.”
3. Delivering a speech
“Wow, I guess our manager is human, after all. They sure talk tough in our daily meetings. They are quite strict in the responsibilities they hand out. If anyone messes up, that person gets called to the carpet immediately.
“You can imagine the surprise for us team members when we saw our manager flub an important speech delivered in front of the entire company. The board of directors was in attendance, seated in the front row. The manager will never get another chance to make that first impression. Sad.”
4. Making a precise incision
“Have you ever wondered how surgeons are able to carry out their operations with such overwhelming success? I have heard that they try to relax as much as possible. They don’t want to think too much. They try to let the instincts take over, based on the many hours they spent in training.
“It’s almost counterintuitive. You would think with such serious consequences to the smallest mistake, there would be a heightened sense of awareness. Increased consciousness and more focus. But I guess it makes sense for the doctor to be in the mindset most conducive to success.”
5. About to begin military conflict
This was the situation of Arjuna, the famous bow-warrior described in the Mahabharata history. He suffered from hesitation at the worst possible time. He was right in the middle of the battlefield. The war was about to begin.
His side was counting on him. Arjuna was known as Savyasachin. He was expert in shooting arrows from a bow. There was no one like him in the world.
“Savyasachin refers to one who can shoot arrows very expertly in the field; thus Arjuna is addressed as an expert warrior capable of delivering arrows to kill his enemies.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 11.33 Purport)
In this worst possible time for hesitation, Arjuna had a friend indeed. Right when he needed a supporter, Arjuna looked to his charioteer. Based more on the role assumed thereafter than the actual juxtaposition in occupation, that charioteer is also known as Partha-sarathi.
That charioteer saved Arjuna. He removed the hesitation. He gave a wonderful presentation, allowing for follow-up questions and further explanation. It otherwise could have been quite an embarrassment for Arjuna. It would have been better to not step foot on the battlefield, at all. At least then his hesitation would not be on display for so many to see and subsequently mock.
इदं तु ते गुह्यतमं
यज् ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसे ऽशुभात्
idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ‘śubhāt
“The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.” (Bhagavad-gita, 9.1)
Since Arjuna was not envious of Krishna, he was eligible for being saved. Since he was a friend to Krishna, Krishna was a friend to Him. The devotion of the devotees never perishes. Krishna personally protects. He can quickly eliminate a subtle enemy like hesitation, utilizing transcendental knowledge that has no fixed date of origin.
From blessed wisdom to state,
That no longer he should wait.
On battlefield the demonstration,
To remove Arjuna’s hesitation.
Such an amazing friend is He,
From potential embarrassment to free.
With confidence the arrows firing,
Dharma in action transpiring.
Categories: the five
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