Saturday, January 25, 2014

BHAGAVAD GITA -Sankhya Yoga - S.7,8,9 - The submission of Arjuna as Krishna's Disciple




Arjuna had, so far, elaborated his various reasons for backtracking from the war. Lord Krishna was listening to him patiently. He did not advice Arjuna much thus far - except for a simple, friendly chiding that Arjuna's opposition to war was bad for a kshatriya.
That chiding kindled the thought process in Arjuna in a different direction. So far, he was looking at Lord Krishna as his friend, and even as his charioteer, who must obey his orders in the war. But, now, the higher weave length in Arjuna towards Lord Krishna woke up and he was about to surrender himself to the God in the following slokas.


Kaarpanya Doshopahatha svabhaavah prucchaami tvaam Dharma sammoodha chetaah |

Yacchreyah  syaannischitham  broohi tanme Sishyasteham Saadhi Maam  thvaam prapannam   ||

Meaning :

"My own nature is overpowered by the dohsa (taint) of pity ( feeblemindedness); I am in dilemma as to what is my righteous duty; I therefore seek from thee - please tell me definitely what is good for me; Iam your disciple; Please do teach me who has taken refuge in you . "
In this sloka, for the first time, Arjuna stopped looking at Lord Krishna merely as a Friend and as a Charioteer.

Arjuna always knew Lord Krishna's Greatness. Lord Krishna only had helped him to win - when Arjuna had challenged the Great Hanuman. But human nature was such that, intimate friendship always blinded people to the Greatness of their friends. They might be the best intellectuals and the wisest men in the world; we might be nowhere near them in wisdom. Yet, our close intimacy with them prompted us and tempted us always to proffer advices to such wise friends also, rather than seeking advice from them. So far, that was Arjuna's position.

Arjuna knew that this war became inevitable. Arjuna knew that every possible effort was made by the Pandavas to avert the war and all those efforts had failed. Arjuna knew that the Kauravas were the worst sinners who had no regard for Dharma at all. They had even tried to outrage the modesty of Pandavas' wife Draupadi in the open court. They had refused to give back their kingdom even after they fulfilled all the requisite conditions of Aranya Vaasa and Ajnaata vaasa. They even refuse to given them five houses. Duryodhana went to the extent of saying that he would not give them land equal the sharp point of a needle.

According to Kshatriya Dharma, war with Duryodhana was therefore inevitable. In the last twelve years of Aranya Vaasam and one year of Ajnaata vaasam, Arjuna  was the one and only warrior who had made the greatest preparation for this war. After all that, when he came to the war field and looked at Bheeshma, Drona and other Gurus on the opposite side, his heart sank in remorse and pity; they had loved him most; they had taught him most; he had also loved them most; how could he possibly wage a war against them and kill them? 
For the first time, in this sloka, Arjuna was acknowledging that this was the kaarpanya dosha in him.  Dosha means a taint, which needs to be eliminated. Kaarpanya means becoming sorrowful (with pity etc). 
Kripana also means - one who does not seek wisdom. Whoever talks and acts without seeking wisdom - is kripana. Arjuna was acknowledging that he was tainted by this Dosha.
For the first time, he was acknowledging that he was in a dilemma as to what was his righteous duty.

For the first time, he was acknowledging that he did not know the 'right thing' to do. Acknowledging that "I don't know", is always the first Gateway to all knowing. If I feel, I know, all doors to further knowing are closed to me - by me.

Now Arjuna was opening this first door for 'knowing' whatever was the right thing for him to do.

He was also opening the next door by openly declaring, "I am your disciple; I have taken refuge in you. Please do teach me." So far, he was talking to Lord Krishna as if Krishna was just his friend and Charioteer. But, now, he was acknowledging Krishna as his Guru. He was acknowledging himself as Krishna's disciple. He was asking Krishna - please do teach me.
No Guru will teach others - unless and until one becomes his disciple and seeks wisdom from him.  Doors of wisdom are opened only for those who actively seek the same from a Guru.

We need to establish some clarifications here. There are some people - who say, show me God; Show me the soul; show me how karma results in rebirth - and so on. Their challenging will take them nowhere.

Unless they become sincere seekers; unless they acknowledge that they "Don't Know"; unless they are willing to submit themselves before a competent Guru as sincere disciples; unless they leave their egos challenging the Gurus,  this path of spiritual seeking is not open to them. This path is only for the most sincere seekers. Lord Krishna did not tell one word of wisdom - till Arjuna surrendered totally. This is the Hall mark of  every Great Guru.

There is also the theory that once you become a sincere seeker, a Great Guru will come seeking you and will offer all the wisdom to you. This has happened to countless seekers in India. 
This was how Christ went about seeking his disciples, as the story of Christ reveals. The level of teaching however, depends upon the level of submission of the disciple. The story of Adi Sankara's disciples is a clear proof for this. Thotakacharya was seeming to be just serving Adi Sankara's physical needs. But, when asked by Adi Sankara, he spoke the quintessence of Advaitic wisdom in his "Sruti saara Samuddharanam", to the astonishment of all other disciples.


Na hi prapasyaami mamaapanudyaat yacchokamucchoshanamindriyaanaam   |

Avaapya bhoomaavasapatnammruddham raajayam suraanaamapi chaadhipatyam ||  

Meaning :
"Even if I am to gain unrivalled sovereignty over the earth or even over the celestial Gods, this grief will continue to dry my senses and I find no remedy for it."
Arjuna said further that the grief that was numbing his senses thus cannot leave him even if he was given the sovereignty over the entire earth and even over the kingdoms of the Gods.
While Krodha or anger propels a person into undesirable action, Vishaada or numbing sorrow disables a person from all action.
This was what happened to Arjuna now.
Sanjaya Uvaacha (Now sanjaya said as follows, to Dhritaraashtra) :  

yevamukthvaa Hriseekesam Gudaakesah Prantapah   |

Na yothsya yithi Govindam vukthvaa thooshneem babhoova ha ||  

Meaning :
"Having addressed the Lord as in previous slokas, Arjuna further, finally said, I will not fight, and became utterly silent."
Lord Krishna here was addressed as Hriseekesa, or, the Lord of the senses. Only the Lord of the senses could guide others in the right path.
Arjuna here was addressed as Gudaakesa or conqueror of sleep. Indeed, while in Aranyavaasa, Arjuna went into Penance for several years, remained without sleep, pleased Lord Siva and secured his blessings, along with the Paasupataastra.
This time, when Arjuna said, 'I will not fight', it was not coming out of hie egoistic self. It was coming out of a frustration of not knowing what else was the right thing to do for him. He had already surrendered before the Lord of senses as his disciple and sought from him to know the right path. He had openly and unreservedly confessed that he "did not Know" - and sought the guidance of the master.
As Govinda, Lord Krishna was the knower of all destiny.Surrender to him and accepting him as the deliverer from all dilemmas was the quintessence of the disciple's duties.
Arjuna's vishaada yoga actually ended with this sloka, though, as a chapter, it had ended 9 slokas before. The reason was - once the process of submission to the almighty started, vishaadaautomatically started receding.
The Lord could have said - 'Believe me; Your duty is to Fight;Do that; I will take care of the rest.'  He could say that. But, the Lord had a higher purpose, in his mind.
The Great Hanuman was sitting in the Chariot Flag of Arjuna to watch the Mahabharata war - and he was listening to what the Lord was telling Arjuna. Sanjaya was listening to it; and through Sanjaya, Dhritaraashtra also, was listening to it. 
The all-knowing almighty knew that his teaching should finally reach every one who was in vishaada or who ever wanted to avoid the vishaada. Therefore, instead of a simple direction to Arjuna to fight the war, the Lord was about to relate to him all the facets of the Yoga Sastra from now on. The entire gamut of ancient wisdom was summarized in this Gita by the Lord, for the benefit of Arjuna - and for the benefit of all of us.
Undoubtedly, Bhagavad Gita holds the key to the removal of every type of VISHAADA (or Sorrow) that any human being is ever likely to face in life. It is the key for joyous, purposeful, successful, healthy, peaceful and prosperous living.
As we shall see, Arjuna was not a blind seeker; he had put several searching questions to Lord Krishna at every step, until, every step was satisfactorily explained to him. Arjuna proves to be the best seeker; and the Lord proves to be the most benevolent and Patient Guru.
One of the questions often put by non-seekers is : how did Lord Krishna find so much time to tell the whole Bhagavad Gita - in the midst of the Kurukshetra war-field. 
Time and tide do not wait for us. True. But, they do wait for the Lord. If you can sit in Meditation for a few hours, you will also know that time will wait for you - even though, it does not wait for others. Lord Krishna is called Yogeswara, or Lord of Yoga, as we shall see at the end of Bhagavad Gita. For him everything will wait.
In any case, this question is always an empty, purposeless question from the non-seeker. If you want to get rid of your sorrow, your ill-health, your worldly problems, Gita has many practical steps and suggestions. 
Do you want to  find your Joy and your prosperity by becoming a disciple of the Gita, or, merely prolong and end your life in empty questions and misery as non-seeker?
.....will Continue.

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