Friday, December 27, 2013

BHAGAVAD GITA - THE COMPLETE YOGA SASTRA - Ch.1:Sl.36 to 38 - How does Greed cloud our Vision?





Nihatya Dhaartaraashtraan nah kaa preetih  syaath-Janaardana |

Paapamevaasrayet-asmaan hathvaitaanaatataayinah  ||

Arjuna continues further, expressing his anguish to Lord Krishna :

Meaning :

"O Janaardana, By slaying the sons Dhritaraastra, what pleasure can we derive? By killing these brash sinners, only sin will accrue to us also."
Janaardana means - One who inflicts suffering on evil men; one who bestows boons on people and whom people pray, for such boons.

Arjuna was asking Lord Krishna what pleasure could they possibly derive by killing all the sons of Dhritaraashtra! Arjuna was not really asking Krishna; but he was expressing his own feeling that there was no pleasure in this act of killing Duryodhana and his brothers.

But, at the same time, Arjuna acknowledged that these sons of Dhritaraashtra were brash sinners, desparadoes, who would commit any sin themselves.
Many of their infamous sins, they had committed against the Pandavas themselves. They had set fire to a House in which Pandavas were asleep, after luring them to sleep in it. The tried to poison the Pandavas, especially Bheema. They deceived the Pandavas in the game of dice; and by deceit, they defeated the Pandavas. They humiliated their duly wedded wife, Draupadi, in front of all elders and public in the full, open court, in front of themselves,and when even Dhritaraashtra was present. If they could do it to the mighty Pandavas, what could they not do to the helpless citizens of Hastinapur?

Arjuna knew them to be Great Sinners. Yet, he said, only sin could accrue to Arjuna if he went out to kill them!

In this sloka, Arjuna looked thoroughly confused in what was sin and why punishing sinners itself was sin - especially for a kshatriya!


Tasmaannaarha vayam hanthum Dhhartaraastraan-swabaandhavaan  |

Swajanam hi Katham hatvaa sukhinah syaama Maadhava   ||  

Meaning :
"O Maadhava, we must not therefore feel justified in slaying the sons of Dhritaraashtra, our relatives, and our Kinsmen; How can we feel happy killing our own Kinsmen?"

Arjuna was now using the word "vayam' to describe who 'all' were feeling, all that he  was expressing. If he had said 'aham', it would have meant him only. If he had said "aavaam". it would have meant "You and me together". But, by saying "vayam" he was including all the people in Pandava army in his way of thinking.
They, together, were going to slay the sons of Dhritaraashtra; all of their warriors and all of their army men - which included so many of their relatives and kinsmen.

Could they feel any pleasure what so ever - in killing all the relatives and kinsmen on the other side - this was what, Arjuna was wondering.


Yadyapyete Na Pasyanti Lobhopahatachetasah     |

Kulakshayakritam Dosham Mitradrohe Cha Paatakam     ||

Meaning :


"When the vision and understanding are clouded by Greed, we fail to see any Guilt in the extermination of our creed and our family line totally and any sin in harming and deceiving our friends."
Let us look at some of the characteristics of Greed :
Greed is one evil, which stirs up all strife in the world...; Whoever is greedy  troubles all his kith and kin.. ; Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.... ; Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the man to satisfy his need, but without ever reaching his satisfaction.... ; Greed always talks but never listens...; Greed is never innocent or intelligent..; Greed is the chief inventor of injustice and its greatest perpetrator...; Greed is the thief that steals all your happiness, therefore beware of greed..;
Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction
Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction
Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction

These are all great sayings by many wise persons of the past on the evil of Greed. Arjuna adds to all these saying - Greed clouds all our vision and understanding; in greed, we will be  destroying our clan and all kinsmen too; we will be deceiving our friends too - but do not see any sin that!

But, whose greed was Arjuna referring to here ? - Was it the Greed of Duryodhana, who was not able see the sin of killing all his kinsmen on both sides in this unjust war; or, was it his own perceived greed in trying to kill all his kinsmen on the other side in this war, for the sake of kingdom? 
The root question however was - was he in the war out of Greed, or, for protecting Dharma? Surely, when sorrow clouds the vision, it destroys the understanding of Dharma, much more than Greed does.

.....Will Continue.

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