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Krishna, Gita and Terrorism PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

We covered the concept of universal value system Dharma in our last two columns and how terrorism is a threat to its sustenance. Let us look at it from another angle. We have a system of law enforcement in our state and federal level. This law enforcement system that protects certain value system is a small part of the larger value system Dharma that we have been talking about so far. We all know what happens when this system breaks down. We all have witnessed the looting and rioting in different parts of the world when the laws are broken by demonstrators for one reason or the other. No one questions with the need for re-establishing normalcy in these situations. Curfews are put in place, criminals are arrested and measures are taken to bring the chaos to normalcy so that the country or state can run properly again.

There is similar yet much larger value system that is not written, yet a definite entity that encompasses the whole universe. It is perceived by all of us but we find it difficult to define. It encompasses not only the universe that we can see and comprehend but also the universe of incorporeal bodies that we call soul or astral bodies. We can definitely feel the tremors when this value system, Dharma, is hit by sources that want to destroy it. When the airplanes tore through the twin towers of the World Trade Center, they really pierced through the heart of this value system (Dharma), and every one who heard or witnessed the scene felt the pain. We all shook up. The value system has been threatened. Our liberty, freedom, and daily lives have changed because of this event. To Krishna it is a law and order problem, albeit at a higher plane.

Why the war?
Our lives have changed since the incidence of September 11, 2001. Civil liberties are at stake. We have to plan our trips differently. Economy has taken a tumble. We ought to do something. Is it revenge? Should we hate those terrorists or should we nuke them? Pacifists will come out with their own arguments. We ought to make sure that innocents do not suffer. We should find the culprits and bring them to justice similar to what we did in the bombing of Oklahoma building.

Krishna will like us to act; he will ask of us to arise and fight the root of terrorism and any one who takes their side or protects them. But he will make sure that what we do is not out of reaction, revenge or hatred. Hatred has never solved anything. If we respond out of hatred or revenge, not only we will not be so successful, but also we shall create more problems than we started with.

Arjuna was in a similar dilemma. He could not understand why he has to kill good people in the war. Krishna had to tell whole of Gita before Arjuna could understand that he had to fight these forces that were eroding the core of the value system Dharma. As we mentioned above, Krishna sees it as a law and order problem. When you are stopped for speeding on a highway, do you hate the cop or do you think of revenge. Some of us feel that we were unlucky that day. There is and there should not be such feeling. Most of us pay the fine and get on with our lives. Krishna does not see it very differently at least in my view. The value system of existence (Dharma) is threatened and for proper running of the universe, this has to be re-established and sustained. We can then have our freedom and liberty that we so much enjoyed when we had it.

The goodness fights
Goodness suffers from a basic weakness; it wants to keep away from conflicts and wars. There are times when the voices of good, simple and gentle cease to be effective. This happens because people inclined to evil don’t hear them, don’t fear them and blindly go their own way. As these good people shrink back just out of goodness, at the same time, the mischief makers become bold and behave like having a field day. Goodness then has to fight, and when goodness fights it does not do so fir the sake of fighting, it fights simply to prevent evil from winning; it fights to re-establish the value system Dharma that has been eroded by these evil terrorist like people. Arjuna was simple and good but he and his brothers were dragged into the Mahabharata war and they ultimately did fight and fought for preventing a reign of terror that might have happened should Duryodhana have stayed unabated. A similar situation has arisen; terrorists have been having a field day thus far; time has come to stop them from eroding the system any further. There will be rocky times in the near future, but it has to be done.

In our next column we shall cover what conditions Krishna would have liked to put to the forces of the good; we shall cover Krishna’s anasakti (non-attachment) and other issues that may be an important factors in this war against the terrorism.

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