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

Chapter 1 v1:22-1:33

1:21 "...Drive my chariot, Krishna immortal, and place it between the two armies.

1:22 That I may see those warriors who stand there eager for the battle, with whom I must now fight at the beginning of this war."

On the eve of battle, Arjuna wants to see the enemy he is fighting. In his mind, he characterizes the opposing army as evil, but when he actually looks at the two warring armies, what strikes him is that both are made up of his own family and friends.

With this revelation, he is devastated.

1:28 "When I see all my kinsman, Krishna, who have come here on this field of battle,

1:29 Life goes from my limbs and they sink, and my mouth is sear and dry: a trembling overcomes my body, and my hair shudders in horror..."

1:31"And I see forebodings of evil, Krishna. I cannot foresee any glory if I kill my own kinsmen in the sacrifice of battle."

Here is the archetypal battlefield revelation: the soldier realizing that those he is fighting are people, just like him. He looks over the battlefield and sees that both sides are made up of the same men. The world is suddenly no longer black and white, friend and enemy, like and unlike, but an homogeneous mixture of people, all related.

The shock Arjuna feels is not only for placing those around him in context, but himself in context. The recognition that he is related to all of these people makes him a part of the larger whole and not an observer.

1:32 Because I have no wish for victory, Krishna, nor for a kingdom, nor for its pleasures. How can we want a kingdom, Govinda, or its pleasures or even life,

1:33 When those for whom we want a kingdom , and its pleasures, and the joys of life, are here in this field of battle about to give up their wealth and their life?"

Arjuna thinks it through. If his comrades die in battle, where is the joy in his retirement from the field, with no one to join him in his desired kingdom?

Once more, the classic dilemma: How can I keep my cake and eat it, too?

Returning to the observation that this is an internal battlefield, here is a man caught in an existential argument: my actions adversely affect my friends and family. How can I go on in good conscience?

On even deeper level, he knows there are parts of himself that are evil. If he gets rid of them, will he be the same person, capable of having fun, experiencing joy?
Tags: arjuna, krishna
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic