Bhagavad Gita As a Story About Arjuna

Bhagavad gita is a Hindu ancient text that became important over time. It is one of the many holy books of Hinduism. The author of the Bhagavad gita is unknown to this day. The Bhagavad gita is one of the small portions of another Hindu ancient text called Mahabharata which happened during the Vedic period when Early Aryans were migrating to India. This text informs us how a person can follow his dharma in this world and remain free from the outcome of his actions. It deals with such basic concepts as the nature of our existence and the nature of our true self. Bhagavad gita tells us story about Arjuna; a warrior’s decision on the identity of his enemies, and the conflict he must go through to win the battle. It starts with the blind king; Dhritarashtra requesting Sanjaya; who can see everything what happened when his thousand sons; Kauravas met their five cousins; Pandavas in the field of the dharma to battle for the throne of Hastinapur. Dhritarashtra’s family isn’t the rightful heir to the kingdom, but they have taken control as he wants to keep it for his son Duryodhana. Sanjaya tells Dhritarashtra about the preparation for the battle between two opposing sides. It turns out Pandavas and Kauravas are cousins both fighting for the right on the kingdom of Hastinapura. As Arjun get close to the battlefield, he hesitates to enter the field because he is going to be fighting his family. “Arjuna, son of Pritha, saw father, and then grandfathers standing there – teachers, mother’s brothers, brothers, sons, grandsons and friends too;” (page.10).

The warriors from both sides include all their family members: brothers, fathers; grandfather; and more. Arjuna does not want to rule the kingdom that he does not necessarily want after killing his family. He goes through moral dilemma about why he must kill his family for the throne that he does not truly desire. After analyzing his emotions, he puts down his weapons and tells Krishna; reincarnation of Vishnu that he does not want to kill his family, friends, and gurus “I don’t want to kill then- even for the kingship of the three worlds, and certainly not for the earth.” (page.12). Krishna tells him to not resist his dharma as a warrior. He wants arjuna to get closer to achieving his moksha. Arjuna states that after the family is destroyed and duty is lost, only chaos will be left to overcome what’s left. Krishna continues that there is no such thing as killed and killer. He also adds that even if arjuna die, he will be sent to heaven and if he lives, he will get to enjoy earth. To Krishna, death means a goal toward heaven. Krishna’s advice to arjuna is to fight in the battle so that he could restore his dharma, but if he backs up from it then he will lay upon himself sin which will for sure disturb his dharma.

According to Krishna, not performing one’s duties, doing unlawful duties and straying away from work constitutes sin. In disclosure 4, Krishna reveals his identity to Arjuna. He tells arjuna that he is the “lords of all being’and whenever someone declines their dharma, he comes in play to help restore it “with the purpose of fixing dharma” (page. 51). He dedicates himself to the ones who worship him and sacrifice their knowledge and surrender to him. Krishna instruct arjuna on karma, reincarnation, and yoga. He starts by explaining samsara first, which is the cycle of death and rebirth. He tells him that there is no true death of soul. After each death of the body, the soul gets reincarnated into another body to work off their karma.

He explains that each person has karma that’s been collected through lifetimes of their action and if a person selflessly acts in service to god, then they can work off their karma. Every action that’s taken for the sake of sacrifice is the innocent one. If a person sacrifices food to the god without thinking about themselves, they are given love by god and are free from evil “The true one who eat the leftovers of the sacrifices are free from all evils; but the evil ones eat their own impurity, as they cook only for themselves.” (page. 39). Working off a karma will eventually lead to dissolution of the soul, the achievement of enlightenment, and an end to the samsaric cycle. And when the samsaric cycle comes to an end then, a person can come to form a spiritual bond with Brahman.Krishna also talks about meditation; yoga, as one of the main parts to taking selfless action.

He says that one must meditate to find their true inner self, live in peace no matter how bad the surrounding is, and find fairness in every treatment. Krishna tells arjuna the process to achieving such peace; first, by sitting on a clean spot, on a cloth, deerskin and kusha grass “covered with a cloth, an antelope skin, and kusha grass” (page. 73). Second, stay still without moving and in control of his thoughts with no fear, expectations, and attachment to material possessions. According to Krishna, meditation free one from all illness, pain, and suffering.In disclosure seven, Krishna explains that everything that exist is the combination of his knowledge and spiritual energy as he is the supreme truth “ancient seeds of all beings” (page. 86). He loves only the ones who worship and surrender to him and those who understand these essential. He says people can stop the rebirth and join him in afterlife once they learn to fix their minds on him. Krishna suggests that there are eight parts to his form which are: earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, talent, and ego “my material nature is split in eight ways: earth, water, fire, wind, space, mind, insight, and “I” making.” (page. 85).

 

Later, he professes his love for Arjuna who in return acknowledge him as a higher being and notes that the sage who wrote vadas acknowledged him too. Krishan reveals that he is many things which in among are Vishnu, sun, Marici, Schant, mind and thoughts. He claims that he is everywhere where there is strength, beauty, and spiritual power. Arjun then asks him to show his true form in which Krishna proves himself as a supreme being and shows all of his forms. According to Sanjaya, Krishan’s divine form had many mouths, eyes, and many wondrous aspects of the world from which Arjuna could see the whole world “there, Arjuna, the son of Pandu, saw in the body of the God of gods, the whole world, standing as one, and yet divided up in many ways” (page. 126). Arjuna, after what he has witnessed, he questions Krishna who is wisest, those who worship Krishna through devotional services or those who worship the one without the form, to which Krishna answers, those who focuses on him will find peace first, but those who honor the formless will reach him later “those who are eternally joined to yoga and who honor me with the mind fixed on me…..I think of them as the most joined to yoga. But those who honor the imperishable one…also reach me” (page 139-140).

By this point, Arjuna has switched from impersonal relationship with truth and god to personal and devotional one. He went from trusting Krishna because he is the intellectual one to trusting Krishna because he is the divine one. Krishna differentiate body from soul making body a “field” which is made up of Prakriti. And soul, a product of greater self which is immortal. He explains that Prakriti is constituted of three guṇas which are: sattva, rajas, and tamas. These three gunas determines the nature of our personalities. According to Krishna, sattva is untainted, positive and free from sorrow, which helps us find joy and knowledge. Rajas is passion, but guides us towards rage, and self-interested desire.

Obligations arise strictly from rajas. And tamas, is born of ignorance. Krishna tells Arjuna to be fearless and go back to fight in the battle. He circles back to why Arjuna should fight. He also clears the connection among caste which he created. There are four caste system: Brahmin – the highest caste, composed of priests, and teachers, Kshatriya – second highest caste, composed of warriors, Vaishya – third caste, who are artisans and farmers, and Shudra who are servants. And each caste has their own dharma to fulfil. At the end, Krishna request Arjuna to fully devote to him and puts him in charge of spreading the messages to the unwise ones. According to Bhagavad Gita, there are three Hindu deities: Brahman, who is the supreme being; a creator, Shiva, who is the destroyer of things, and Vishnu, who is the preserver of nature. Through Bhagavad Gita, Krishna teaches people how to live in a world full of deception. Out of selfishness, human bind themselves to the world with evil actions and desires. Bhagavad gita tells us that each person has outer self and inner which is hidden inside in our soul. To truly achieve our inner self, we must stabilize our mind and dispose all our selfish nature and action.