Five Strategic Advantages From Associating With Bhagavad-gita

[Krishna and Arjuna]“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.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.1)

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श्री-भगवान् उवाच
इदं तु ते गुह्यतमं
प्रवक्ष्याम्य् अनसूयवे
ज्ञानं विज्ञान-सहितं
यज् ज्ञात्वा मोक्ष्यसे ऽशुभात्

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ
pravakṣyāmy anasūyave
jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ‘śubhāt

With any honest interpretation of Bhagavad-gita, the conclusion is rather straightforward. The point of the entire text is obvious. There is confirmation from a verse itself, found towards the end of the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna.

सर्व-धर्मान् परित्यज्य
माम् एकं शरणं व्रज
अहं त्वां सर्व-पापेभ्यो
मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

“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)

Given the tendency towards envy in the material world, upon hearing of such a conclusion we might not agree. We will lump in Vedic culture with every other kind of religion or spirituality with which we are familiar, in that the basis seems to be dogmatic insistence.

Surrender to this person. Be prepared to submit to the will of a higher power. Otherwise, you will be condemned. You will suffer for all of eternity. Better not make the mistake. Take advantage of the opportunity.

If we happen to fall into this category of thinking, there are several other benefits to first consider. While these are not necessarily related to the end-goal of consciousness of the Supreme Lord, they do serve as an advantage while living in the material world.

In other words, people are already after such benefits. With the association of Shri Krishna, we get help along the way. He guides us from within in the manner of connecting with Him. The disciple named Arjuna already has the necessary qualities, and they are on the side of the Divine.

दैवी सम्पद् विमोक्षाय
निबन्धायासुरी मता
मा शुचः सम्पदं दैवीम्
अभिजातो ऽसि पाण्डव

daivī sampad vimokṣāya
nibandhāyāsurī matā
mā śucaḥ sampadaṁ daivīm
abhijāto ‘si pāṇḍava

“The transcendental qualities are conducive to liberation, whereas the demonic qualities make for bondage. Do not worry, O son of Pandu, for you are born with the divine qualities.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 16.5)

The Divine qualities bring us closer to the highest destination, whereas the qualities in the opposite direction are considered demoniac. The transcendental qualities found in Arjuna made him eligible for winning Krishna’s favor, which is the best advantage a person can think of.

1. Kind-heartedness

Arjuna is kindness personified. He is so benevolent that he does not want to harm others who are actually worthy of punishment. Arjuna would rather accept the punishment for himself. While this is a difficult platform to reach, there is the advantage in that one is not constantly struggling to find outlets for their misery.

2. Non-enviousness

“One kind of khala, the snake, can be pacified simply by mantras or by the action of a particular herb (mantraushadhi-vashah sarpah khalakena nivaryate). An envious person, however, cannot be pacified by any means. Therefore Prahlada Maharaja prays that all envious persons may undergo a change of heart and think of the welfare of others.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.18.9 Purport)

Arjuna was able to hear the transcendental wisdom from Shri Krishna precisely because he is non-envious. What a miserable existence it is to be envious of others. That envy could extend beyond my supposed adversaries. Like a single tree set on fire to burn down the entire forest, I will become envious of my own family and friends, or even my own children.

3. Calm in struggle

Arjuna was in the belly of the beast. He was right in the middle of fiery conflict. There is the saying that he who hesitates is lost. Arjuna had this hesitation at the beginning. He was unsure of what to do.

[Shri Hanuman]Fortunately, Krishna was there to guide him. The guidance is available for every person. After all, it is the mind which determines the nature of a particular situation. A person can be amidst chaos and find peace. They can also be within inauspicious circumstances, but remain positively situated.

मनो हि हेतुः सर्वेषामिन्द्रियाणां प्रवर्तने।।
शुभाशुभास्ववस्थासु तच्च मे सुव्यवस्थितम्।

mano hi hetuḥ sarveṣāmindriyāṇāṃ pravartane।।
śubhāśubhāsvavasthāsu tacca me suvyavasthitam।

“It is certainly the mind that is instrumental in causing the senses to act in ways that lead to either auspicious or inauspicious conditions. And my mind right now is positively situated.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 11.41)

4. Focus in a task

If I have a task to complete, will distractions help me? If I am having trouble focusing, is that a good thing? Would not I prefer to be focused, to see the assignment through to completion?

Arjuna was able to find proper focus, both in the task and the result to be gained. The words of instruction from Krishna were not a distraction. They helped to strengthen the resolve, to be resolute in the mission.

व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिर्
एकेह कुरु-नन्दन
बहु-शाखा ह्य् अनन्ताश् च
बुद्धयो ऽव्यवसायिनाम्

vyavasāyātmikā buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-śākhā hy anantāś ca
buddhayo ‘vyavasāyinām

“Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.41)

5. Humble in success and defeat

If we understand that outcomes are essentially out of our control, it is easier to be humble. Otherwise, there is only frustration. I become so proud of my successes, but then later devastated by the defeats. Material nature must first cooperate for any result to manifest.

प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि
गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः
कर्ताहम् इति मन्यते

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate

“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.27)

To be humble in both situations is an advantage. Bhagavad-gita facilitates such humility, as there is the awe-inspiring vision of the virat-rupa. This is the universal form, which is the complete everything that we can contemplate, imagine, or potentially perceive.

[Krishna and Arjuna]In this way, we see that Bhagavad-gita carries advantages on all sides. Whether someone wants to worship God or not. Whether they are inclined towards higher learning or satisfied at the moment with their progress in understanding, there is always something to be gained by listening in on that sacred conversation between the two friends, Krishna and Arjuna.

In Closing:

Advantages to all sides bringing,
From Krishna to Arjuna singing.

Sacred wisdom transfer ensued,
Full surrender in words to conclude.

But kindness, humility, and how to be steady,
For success and defeat to be ready.

Benefits assured to accrue,
To the attentive listener who.

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