So, Arjuna admitted to Lord Krishna unreservedly, that he did not know what his righteous duty was. He submitted himself as a disciple before the Lord and sought his guidance.
Now, comes the guidance from the Lord.
senayorubhayormadhye visheedantamidam Vachah ||
Sanjaya informed Dhritaraashtra that now, after listening to the long musings of Arjuna, after observing his despondency and his unwillingness to fight the war, and only after Arjuna finally asked him to guide him as his disciple, Lord Krishna started benevolently addressing Arjuna and answering his despondent entreaties.
Arjuna was placed (physically) in between two huge Armies who were all ready to fight each other. If there was one who was not ready to fight, it was Arjuna only. It was not that he knew that to be the right thing to do. He did not know what else was the right thing to do.
Emotionally, he was in between two warring sides too. Could he possibly fight with his Grand-sire and Gurus and kill them, whatever be the fruits of that action, that would accrue to him? How could he do that? And yet, what was the way out? The war was already about to begin. The Pandavas depend most on one warrior and that was Arjuna. The Kauravas fear most, one warrior and that was Arjuna.
Arjuna holds the key to the result of the war - as it was always in the minds of both sides. He couldn't therefore leave the war field; but, he couldn't also fight the Grand-sire and Gurus. Without fighting them, there could be no war at all. This was the Great Dilemma in Arjuna's mind.
And Lord Krishna opens up the first, most educative and illustrious advice to Arjuna in the next sloka. Here onwards, readers will find many slokas - which are jewels of wisdom.
Many of them are also straightaway beneficial in current day's Personality development, Individual success and progress. As we go from chapter to chapter, Lord Krishna will be telling us many sciences , which are largely unknown to the current day, scientific world.
Many of these are extraordinary and unparalleled quotable quotes as well.
Sree Bhagavaanuvaacha (Lord Krishna said as follows:)
Gathaasoonagathaasoomscha naanusochanti Panditaah ||
In fact, this is the first teaching of the Lord, not only to Arjuna, but for all of us. Grief for any one or any purpose is not the wise man's way. Grief of every kind is nicknamed by the one word , "samsaara"
"Samsaara" , as we generally use , means family or world and so on. But, in theology, Samsaara means Grief and all grief producing objects and circumstances. Theology examines samsaara deeply and comes to the conclusion that everything in the world, be it the individual family or the whole world, is samsaara only, until it is properly understood. This aspect will be examined in more detail as we proceed further.
Lord Krishna emphasizes that the real wise man grieves not either for the living or for the dead. And he mildly ridicules Arjuna saying you speak words as if they are words of wisdom.
From this sloka onwards, I propose to use the present tense, since Gita's message is for us, for today and for everyday. It is not just for Arjuna. It is for everyone who swims in this samsaara. That is, all of us.
Does it look cruel to say - grieve not either for the living or for the Dead?
But, that is the wisest way of living. That is the wise man's way of living. Decide not to grieve - for grief is the very opposite of wisdom.
You can be either wise or you can be grieving - What do you want to be?
na chaiva na bhavishyaamah sarve vayamatah param ||
Lord Krishna gives his clear justification why Arjuna should not grieve for any one in both the armies.
I exist always. You exist always. They exist always. None of us ever cease to exist. So, what is the Grief for?
But, as long as we look at ourselves as bodies with a mind, the grief looks justified. As bodies with minds, we are born, we grow, we suffer, we seem to enjoy, we degenerate, we grow old, we die. How could we not grieve when we suffer?
The answer lies in the next question. Are we merely bodies with minds? Lord Krishna will answer this - for us now.