[Advaita-l] Re: Arjuna's paramArtha jnAna
svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 3 12:06:41 CDT 2003
>I have a serious (you may call it mischievous) doubt here. My question is,
>in gIta, even after krishna's valiant effort to enlighten arjuna through
>17 chapters (krishna's upadEsha starts from II chapter) & from 650 & odd
>shlokas (leave sanjaya uvAcha, arjuna uvAcha etc.), arjuna again deluded by
>the influence of kAla & dEsha & succumbed to ahankAra mamakAra when he
>fought with babruvAhana (arjuna-chitrAngada's son) & tAmradhvaja &
>hamsadhvaja during ashvamEdha digvijaya yAtra (post kurukshEtra era). Is
The issue is one of adhikAra. At the beginning, arjuna wanted to run away
from the battle and said he would renounce everything. It was Krishna's duty
to point out to him that this was the wrong course for Arjuna at that
juncture. Why? True renunciation needs a prerequisite - vairAgya : a deep
sense of detachment from everything in this world. Arjuna did not want to
renounce out of detachment. Instead he was extremely attached to his
relatives who were fighting on the opposite side, and he did not want to
continue with the battle. Because of this attachment on his part,
renunciation was the wrong course for him. Krishna points out this flaw on
his side and encourages him to turn back to action and to develop detachment
towards the fruits of action. Krishna also points out the correct path of
detachment and renunciation, which is meant for those who have transcended
the need for action. Arjuna did not fall into this latter category, or else
Krishna could have said, at the very outset, "fine, renounce everything and
become a saMnyAsin rightaway."
We have to understand that saMnyAsa is completely different from nishkAmya
karma, and that Arjuna was only encouraged to do the latter, not the former.
It is still necessary to retain a notion of ahaM and mama, in order to
perform actions, even it if is without expectation or attachment towards
their fruits. It is only total renunciation of ALL action that goes hand in
hand with complete removal of the notions of ahaM and mama.
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