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From: Bharadwaj, Jaganath (jbb0_at_nreca.org)
Date: Tue May 19 1998 - 12:06:27 PDT
Sanjaya: "Oh King Dhritaraashtra! Arjuna had dropped his bow and arrows and squatted at the bottom of his chariot with a heavy heart and eyes brimming with tears. "Aho pada matat paapam kartum vyavasthithaa vayam", he yelled. In this way, he gave vent to his grief. The evil spirit called "compassion" totally possessed Arjuna at this untimely hour. Seeing Arjuna suffer in this way, the personification of mercy - Madhusoodhana - the chastiser of the Madhu demon, began his preparations to kill the demon of misplaced compassion in Arjuna by speaking the following words." Dhritaraashtra: "Sanjaya! What did Kannan say? Please elaborate expeditiously." Sanjaya: "Oh King! Listen to what the Supreme Lord said. "Do not show mercy to enemies. Having taken birth in a noble family, and having learnt the meaning of all the Sastras, you should not give in to compassion at this inopportune time. Aryans, the possessors of true knowledge, will not behave in this way. If you let grief take control of you in this way, you will not attain an auspicious birth in your next life. Ignominy will haunt you for the rest of your life in this birth. Therefore, stop grieving! Partha! Don't be a coward! Shed fear! Are the memories of being a eunuch during your one year incognito, still haunting you? This behavior does not behoove an ideal man like you, who has been gifted with magnificent strong arms and bravery to match. Get rid of this ignoble cowardice and get up and fight in the war." Dhritaraashtra: "What reply did Arjuna give to this?" Sanjaya: "Because of untimely misplaced compassion towards his enemies, Arjuna considered righteous action to be a sin. Therefore, he did not get up to do battle as instructed by the Supreme Lord. He did not understand that it was Kannan's resolve to make a war available as a means to liberation for generations of Kshatriyas. Therefore Arjuna put this question to the Supreme Lord. "Oh destroyer of foes! Bhishma and Drona are such exalted personalities, that their feet are worthy of being adorned with flowers. Their status is exalted. While I consider not worshipping them to be a sin, you are asking me to aim arrows at them! How can I take this to be good advice? You have also killed demons like Madhu. But you did not treat your Acharya Sandipani Muni and others of similar stature in the same fashion!" Sri Bhagavan: "Will you be able to attain victory in battle by failing to combat the Acharyas who have come to do battle with you? Without victory can you win back your lost kingdom? Without a kingdom, can you have the means of substinence? Without bodily necessities, how will you keep body and soul together?" Arjuna: "Krishna! How can I occupy the seats previously occupied by my Acharyas after killing them? How can I enjoy the material comforts which belonged to them, even though they may have been conceited and over attached to material comforts? I shudder to imagine the scenes of them vomiting blood after having been felled by my arrows. Won't I be reminded of this scene every time I enjoy some material comforts. Leading a life of a beggar is far superior to a life of comforts at this price." Sri Bhagavan: "Arjuna! Living off of alms is the proper means of livelihood for a Brahmana. You are however a kshatriya. Therefore isn't begging a sin for you?" Arjuna: "Begging is a sin (for one who is a Kshatriya). Killing Acharyas is also a sin. While contemplating the difference between the two, killing of Acharyas appears to me, to be a far more heinous crime." Sri Bhagavan: "Having started a war, if you decide not to fight in the middle of it, won't all of you be killed by the sons of Dhritaraashtra? (The sons of Dhritaraashtra were as blind in their attachment to the possession of a kingdom as Dhritaraashtra was in his attachment to fulfilling their desires. Therefore they will show no mercy in sparing the lives of warriors not ready to do combat with them.) Arjuna: "Let them all kill us. Will we be victorious over Duryodhana and company? Or will they be victorious over us? Will auspicious tidings befall us, if we overcame them in battle? Let us look objectively at which of the two propositions is superior (us killing them versus them killing us). The very people, by killing whom, we will have no interest in living, have become our enemies and are ready to confront us on the battlefield. What can I do? Oh Krishna! I am unable to decide on the correct course of action! I am not able to think of a means to get rid of this grief. As a result, I stand bereft of all courage. Please advise me about the course of action that is in my best interest, since you are omniscient (all knowing). I am your disciple. Please accept me as such and tell me what is best for me." Sri Bhagavan: "Dhananjaya! Just sit back and ponder. You will understand what is in your best interest. Or else seek somebody else's assistance. They will tell you what is best for you. Besides, even if you are My disciple, I am not willing to lecture an adamant upstart, who is not willing to heed My words." Arjuna: "Oh Lord of All (Sarveshwara)! I am ignorant and helpless. I have no refuge other than You. I have no means other than turning to You for help. I will act per Your desire. Therefore you should enlighten me about the means to get rid of my grief, for I am a servant who is surrendered to You." Dhritaraashtra: "What is the intention behind Arjuna approaching this issue in this manner?" Sanjaya: ""My grief will not be subdued even by obtaining Lordship of the three worlds. You have to protect me by enlightening me with the concept of tattva (reality), hita (the means to obtain a desired result) and Purushaartha (ultimate objective)." Thus prayed Arjuna the one who had conquered sorrow and laziness and who was blessed with the ability to destroy enemies, to the Master of the senses, Hrishikesa. Having made this entreaty, Arjuna maintained silence, giving Sri Bhagavan an opportunity to talk. Bhagavan Himself caused the confusion in Arjuna's mind:- While departing for Kurukshetra and while blowing the conch shell, the same Arjuna who had no doubts about what is right and wrong, had his senses confused by the will of the Master of the senses Hrishikesa. With a view to using Arjuna as a pretext, He confused Arjuna's mind and thereby made the esoteric knowledge of the Upanishads available to all living entities, when Arjuna surrendered to Him. The clear headed Arjuna was thus confused by the Supreme Lord, who has forever sworn to protect the truth. Sri Krishna then made Arjuna surrender to Him for the sake of removing the confusion and to lead a life righteous life after understanding Dharma. Bhagavaan could have made Arjuna fight the battle, just by His mere will. The fact that He did not do so, but chose to reveal the Geeta, makes it clear that the likes of us have the responsibility to understand the Saastra and abide by its principles. Until this point, we have the prelude to the incarnation of Srimad Bhagavad Geeta. The next part is the avataaram of the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta. It is very interestingly written. If you enjoyed the above post please support Sri Ranganatha Temple which made this possible. Send your tax deductible check to Sri Ranganatha Temple. P O Box 120, West Nyack, NY 10994. or visit http://dileepan.busi.utc.edu/ahboard.html for monthly direct debits from your bank account. Please visit Sri Ranganatha Temple homepage at http://www.geocities.com/~ahobilam/ranga.html and enjoy the beauty of this archa avataram from the comfort of your home or office. adiyen jaganath.