[Advaita-l] GITA - 2.14

sunil bhattacharjya skbhattacharjya at yahoo.co.in
Fri Dec 9 02:27:00 CST 2005

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya,
  In Sanatana dharma it is believed that ones  birth  is not  accidental. One takes birth in a particular life situation by virtue of  his/her past karma and the unfulfilled desires/cravings. Having taken  the birth  in a particular life situation, such as particular  parents, particular community, particular economic and social  environment, one  therefore has to discharge the obligations  incumbent on him/her due to that  birth. That is why Lord Krishna  insisted on Arjuna on discharging the duties of Swadharma and not to  shirk off the duties. Towards that objective the Lord  gave the  Bhagavad Gita  discourse to Arjuna and the discourse covered the  entire Indian Philosophy as Arjuna was an erudite person and could ask  many questions. The 16 chapters, from the 3rd to the 18th, are not just  elaborations of the 2nd chapter.
  Secondly in the olden days there were many Kshatriyas who could teach  the sashtras to Brahmin rishis. For example king Janaka gave advanced  spiritual  knowledge to Astavakra. So there was nothing wrong in  Arjuna's getting the highest Vidya directly from the Lord.
  Sunil Bhattacharjya

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com wrote:  
Hare Krishna

I've asked same question to my guruji Sri Vidyashankar Sundaresan prabhuji
couple of years back!!...here is his thougtful insights : (my query marked
in " > " )

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

// quote //

>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
>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
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
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
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.


Subsequently he clarified :

> >  prabhuji, if arjuna, being  a kshatriya, was entitled (adhikAra) to do
>only karma yOga , why krishna had to tell him other three yogAs prabhuji??

It is not about his being kshatriya, because saMnyAsa is open to kshatriyas
too. It is just that, in his own specific personal situation, Arjuna was
entitled to do karma, not to renounce it yet.

>straightaway krishna could have convinced arjuna to discharge his
>dharma (karma yOga would have been more than enough for arjuna at that
>particular point of time).  Why sAnkhya, bhakti etc. prabhuji?? It
>one more doubt, has Krishna identified the wrong person (person who is not
>fully ready to receive the divine knowledge)to bestow brahma vidyA??

The reason Krishna talks about all different paths is because he had to
Arjuna what is the correct path of renunciation and knowledge, in order for
Arjuna to understand that it was wrong of him to seek to renounce at that
particular juncture, when the battle had to be fought.

> >  Moreover, if we see at the end, after listening to gItOpadEsha arjuna
>said to krishna  "nashtO mOhaH smutirlabdA! tvatprasAdAnmayAchuta!!
>sthitOsmi gata samshayaH! karishye vachanaM tava!!

His doubt vanished regarding the battle he was due to fight, and his duty
was clear. He did not claim to have all root avidyA removed, nor is it said
so anywhere in the Gita.

// unquote //

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