First, open the door to your mind and walk away leaving the door open. Then read from your heart and listen from this source of inner wisdom. You can always go back to your mind and read it a again and try using logic and reason to understand, but it will always sell you short.
“Ah alas! We are resolved to do a great evil, being intent upon killing our own people out of desire for royalty and ease.
“I would feel easier if the armed Son’s of Dhritarashthra were to kill me in battle while I was unresisting and unarmed.”
Having thus spoken of the conflict, Arjuna sat down upon the seat of his chariot, throwing down both bow and arrow, with a heart overcome by sorrow.
In these few verses, we see Arjuna finally giving in to his despair and giving up. Convinced that the whole affair is unnecessary, destructive and wrong, he steps beyond simply emphasizing his position to Krishna, and says that he would rather die than continue—he would rather die at the hands of his enemy while unresisting and unarmed.
End of Chapter One
The Despondency of Arjuna
The author (Vyasa) of the Mahabharata from which the Bhagavad Gita is taken, put his vast knowledge of yoga into an epic framework to make it more engaging and available to more of the population than would otherwise have been possible as a scripture for many in those times. Consequently, those who wish to accelerate their evolutionary journey now have this information in a form that illuminates yoga, the way of eternal Truth, Sanatana Dharma.
The story of the Mahabharata war is a story about your own evolutionary journey. This journey, normally long and slow, is now picking up its pace because you have put God in the driver’s seat—you have surrendered yourself to That, even if only for an hour or two a day—and God has taken you up on it: “You want to move forward with this? Then let’s get with the program. If I’m the one driving we’ll make way better time.” So off you go, and next thing you know you are questioning everything—God, Guru, Yoga, surrender, even your own experience.
This is understandable considering what you’re used to as compared to what you are up against now that things are picking up. But it is good to know about this beforehand, to know that this event, this despair, is expected in the normal course of your sadhana. With this knowledge you will be relieved of it earlier due to having known about it—forewarned is forearmed. And you will be relieved of the burden of questioning your own worth, your deservedness, and can choose not to be guided by your mind. But are you a warrior? Or are you going to play it safe and try to maintain the status quo?
A Marvelous Mystery
I would call your attention to something rather marvelous about this chapter: You will have noticed that Arjuna is the predominant speaker, not Krishna. But everything Arjuna says pertains directly to yoga sadhana and the awakening and ascension of the evolutionary force, and even though Arjuna may be unaware of it, everything he says is true.
The essence of the characters of Arjuna and Krishna is Nara and Narayana. Arjuna is Nara, the ‘eternal spirit that pervades the universe’, who is always associated with Narayana, ‘son of the primeval man’, Krishna. Together they are the union of law, visible form, and harmlessness (dharma, murti, and ahimsa). Arjuna is you, and Krishna is your soul, that divine one who is just like you, and for whom you live, who reflects back to you, your true Self. We see this in the relationship of Arjuna as the disciple and Krishna as the guru. So you will find that in trying to understand the Gita, you can identify with both Arjuna and Krishna, for they are both you.
If all you ever do with the Bhagavad Gita is to tackle chapter one, you will have everything you need to know … if you can understand it. Arjuna doesn’t even understand it, and he’s the one speaking. He thinks he is telling Krishna why the war should not go on, but in doing so, and in giving his reasons, we learn the truth about yoga and how it unfolds. It is one of those beautifully drawn mysteries found in scripture that tells you that you already know everything, even though you may not realize it or understand what you know. Revealing this is what scriptures are for, and why they are worthy of our complete and loving attention.
In the remaining seventeen chapters, Krishna presents this knowledge in several different ways until Arjuna finally understands.
Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Happy Guru Purnima
Dadaji, Sri Bhagavan Lakulisha