Lurking right behind you...ha! ha! made you look! (lurkitty) wrote in gita_talk,
Lurking right behind you...ha! ha! made you look!

Chapter two, 2:34-2:39


2:34 "Men will tell of thy dishonour both now and in time to come. And, to a man that is in honour, dishonour is more than death."

I puzzled over this verse for a long time. Why, I thought, should an enlightened one be concerned with how others think? The previous discussion pertains. Arjuna is a kşatriyasya, and honour is the life blood of a warrior. To one whose life's cause is protecting others from harm, honour would be key, for the warrior would not only be protecting lives, but livelihoods and, indeed, the honour of those in his charge. To be known as a man of dishonour would cause him to be unable to do his duty.

2:35 "The great warriors will say thou hast run from the battlefield through fear; those who thought great things of thee will speak of thee in scorn."

One must also remember the tactical advantage of being thought a great warrior. Battle have been won on reputation alone, and a great warrior without his reputation is fighting encumbered. This is a persuasive argument for a warrior.

2:36 "And thine enemies will speak of thee in contemptuous words of ill-will and derision, pouring scorn upon thy courage, Can there for a warrior be a more shameful fate?

2:37 "In death, thy glory in heaven, in victory, thy glory on earth. Arise, therefore, Arjuna, with thy soul ready to fight."

Even Krishna himself does not know the outcome of the battle, but he knows that Arjuna's own victory lies in joining the battle and not turning from it. It would seem, then, that the only option for a warrior is to fight. We must again fall back on the notion that the war is a righteous one, and fought with honour.

2:38 "Prepare for war with peace in thy soul. Be in peace in pleasure and pain, in gain and loss, in victory or in the loss of battle. In this peace there is no sin."

You know the cause is righteous. You know you are fighting with honour. You know that your soul will not die, nor will the soul of your enemy. Given all this there any reason to fear?

2:39 "This is the vision of Sankhya -- the vision of the Eternal. Hear now the vision of Yoga, path of the Eternal and freedom from bondage."

Here begins the detailed description of yoga, so I will leave that for the next entry.
Tags: arjuna, duty, honour, krishna
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