[Advaita-l] GITA - 2.38

Amuthan aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Sun Mar 12 10:02:15 CST 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

after reminding arjuna of the various merits of doing
his svadharma, kRShNa now instructs him on the bhAva
that he should adopt when fighting the war,

sukhaduHkhe same kRtvA lAbhAlAbhau jayAjayau.
tato yuddhAya yujyasva naivaM pApamavApsyasi.. 2.38.

discerning with equanimity happiness and sorrow, gain
and loss, victory and defeat, prepare yourself to
fight. (fighting) thus, you will not incur (any) sin.

if arjuna chooses to withdraw from the war, he would
incur sin because of the non-performance of his
svadharma. on the other hand, if he fights the war
with selfish motives, sin would accrue because of
slaying elders, brAhmaNa-s etc. but, if he fights the
war without any attachment to happiness, gain or
victory, without any aversion to sorrow, loss or
defeat, and with the sole intention of doing his
svadharma, then both the sins mentioned above would
not accrue. hence, kRShNa advises arjuna to be
indifferent to the consequences of the war and prepare
himself to fight.

it was only for motivating arjuna to do his svadharma
that kRShNa talked about the various benefits of
fighting the war in the previous verse (hato vA
prApsyasi svargaM...). but His real intention was to
help arjuna gain the necessary maturity to grasp the
ultimate truth. it is for this reason that he
specifically states in the present verse that it is
not just sufficient to perform one's nitya and
naimittika karma-s, but that they must be done without
any attachment to their results. whether or not this
brings positive or negative results is inconsequential
in the present context since the aim is only to attain
the requisite mental maturity. 

to sum up, for one who does not have sAdhana
chatuShTaya sampatti and for one who has not taken up
sannyAsa, svadharmAnuShThana is a must. even in it's
performance, one must be vigilant to root out any
attachment or aversion to it's fruits. this would
eventually produce the necessary maturity for tattva
j~nAna to arise. 

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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