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Arjun Approach: A resolve for the New Year PDF Print E-mail
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Bhagavad-Gita has several messages. There is tremendous amount of learning possibilities in Gita. Krishna is such a great teacher. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu takes on to Bhakti. Mahatma Gandhi finds lessons of Ahimsa (non-violence) there. Tilak writes a book on Karma yoga. Pandurang Shashtri takes upon Swadhyaya (self analysis) as the core. There have been treaties and commentaries on Gita from around the globe. What do we do? Which path should we take? Which path do we follow? Who is our role model? What is the message for the New Year that is right round the corner?

 

We can look at the messages. We can look at each yoga described in the Gita and discuss which one is better than the other. Bhakti yoga is supreme. Gyan Yoga is clarity. Karma Yoga is practical. Vishad yoga is something that happens to all of us. By the time we finish debating, we get more confused. If you have not tried it, try it this time. Get into discussion of which yoga is better with someone who likes to get into this topic. Take a contrarian position to that person’s point of view. Sooner rather than later, you will find that there is no more discussion. The discussion has taken a shape of argument. And if you do not stop in time, it can become a fight. If you do not want to go through this yourself, look at some of the discussions on some forums. They are nothing more than virtual fights.

Samatva yoga is an answer to all the questions given above. Buddha used a different word, ‘majjhim nikaya (the middle path).’ None of these two words really convey the meaning perfectly. Yet, they do communicate the meaning better than any other word that we can understand. The rest depends upon state of our being. The higher we grow on the vertical scale, the clearer the meaning of these words gets to us.

My approach today is to drop the discussion about contents of Gita and examine the final product. Gita is a conversation between Krishna and Arjun. Arjun in first chapter is confused. He is stressed. Arjun is victim of his own success here. Arjun is a great warrior, but he is also a great thinker. He is well educated. He is emotional. He is successful. A weak person would not have had that guts. Arjun is a strong personality. He is ready to quit, not because he is weak but because he feels strongly that what he is going to do is not right. Arjun is torn between what is right and what is wrong. Right and wrong are balck and white for Arjun. (There is no grey. He finds out later that even right and wrong are relative.)

It is a different Arjun at the end of Gita in Chapter 18. He is no more confused. Clarity has set in. Let us make sure that we understand this fully. Absence of confusion is not clarity. Clarity is a positive phenomenon. It is similar to saying that absence of disease is health. It is simply not true. A truer definition will be, “Health is a physical, mental and spiritual well being.” There is always a problem with definitions. The whole meaning is often not contained or is not containable. We can say that definitions will always have these limitations.

Arjun has claity towards the end of Gita. This clarity is the result of all the messages that is contained in Gita. Real understanding of gyan yoga and Buddhi yoga leads to clarity. Clarity leads to karma yoga. But they together lead to a product called Arjun. This final samanwaya is worth understanding. Gyan yoga, Buddhi yoga and karma yoga appear to be separate concepts. How does one integrate all this into one? What will the product look like? If the product is confusion, we definitely are no better. We may all be confused at a higher intellectual level, but we are still confused. No, we do not want a better confusion. We want Clarity; the same Clarity that happened to Arjun.

We are going to have 3rd Gita Day event on the 9th of January 2005. This will be held in Priyanka Party Hall, Dahisar, Mumbai this year. The theme of the program is, “Arjun Bano.” It is based on the premise that we all need to pay attention to Arjun.

We all have confusion and we all are looking for clarity. Arjun was fortunate that he had Krishna with him. We are also fortunate that we have the contents of that conversation (Bhagavad-Gita) with us. Arjun had the possibility of transformation. We have those possibilities as well. Arjun had the sankalp (will power) to follow through. We need to acquire that skill from Arjun. Arjun was good. Arjun was successful. Arjun went to extreme lengths to get there. He went to Shiva to get a weopon (astra). He had to even fight Shiva for a test. All that did not come easy to him. The best does not come easy to any of us. We all have to learn to work for the best and be willing to stake everything we have for that effort. We should be ready to put our whole life at stake for something that valuable.

Arjun is an example that shows what a man can do and achieve. He gets there and finds out that he also can get confused. Arjun does not hide his weakness at the peak of his existence. He starts shaking and can’t hold on to his Dhanush (Bow). Arjun the great is brought to his own knees because of his own emotions (moha). This moha (emotional attachments) exists inside all of us. We can be at the peak of our possibilities. There are the rich and there are the famous. There are Presidents and there are Prime-ministers. They all have emotions. A breakdown can happen to all of them. We all have the potential to be bogged down with our emotions (moha). That is where Gita starts for Arjun. We can start paying attention before that happens to us. Make that resolve for the New Year. Let us together look at Arjun approach more closely in the coming year.

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