In refusing to fight, what is Arjuna calling into question When Arjuna refused to fight, he raised into question the virtue of his role in the society as a warrior and also the importance of maintaining social order. However, he is disheartened once he thinks about all the killing required to keep peace. He even suggests to Krishna that it is better to pull out of society all in all and to seek refuge in solitude. Further, then that, Arjuna offers a repudiation of the society as a way of living and consequently has to take some agonizing actions (Miller 57). He tells Krishna how life in society is too unbearable and how he would wish to forsake society as well as his present ways of living. Krishna encourages him to fight by outlining various reasons such as fulfilling his duty to the society and also maintaining his status. He explains that if Arjuna did not fight, people would think him a coward.
According to the Vedic, Arjuna has to be a warrior in the society. He is entitled with the responsibility of combating any force that prevents order in the society. This will involve fighting despite his personal feelings against the practice. Krishna encourages him to fight by explaining that it was his dharma, as a Kshatriya, to compete in any battle and further convinces him that it would be tough for him to kill his family or friends (Theodor 143). Krishna encourages Arjuna also by telling him that he was entitled with the responsibility of freeing himself from his karma and samsara to acquire complete liberation necessary for fulfilling the higher duty.
What does Arjuna see as the only alternative to fighting? According to Arjuna, the only option to combat is abandoning the entire society and living a life of solitude. self-liberation was seen as a symbol of physical detachment from the the to seek his inner self. It was also seen as detachment from his social role as a king who was entitled with the responsibility of fighting lawlessness among other evil. He realizes that this alternative is not useful as there are consequences for not fighting. Krishna reprimands Arjuna’s actions and tells him to take up his role as the king and fight the evil men (. He further tells him that there is no need to fear death as it would be followed by rebirth. He also adds that it is necessary for the society to be led by a strong and courageous king who should be seen fighting along with his people.
What path does Krishna show him? Krishna shows Arjuna the way of karma yoga also known as the path of disciplined action. Krishna advises Arjuna to detach his soul (Atman) from his innermost self and also to detach both of these from his role to the society. As a result, this would help him to play his role in the society effectively regardless of personal consequences. He further advises Arjuna to renounce all desires that come about with the fruits of actions. Krishna advises Arjuna to live his life as a sacrifice to God in order to have the ability to act altruistically and to release his soul from the binds of actions that are narcissistically motivated. Through this path, Krishna is able to convince Arjuna to fight again for the benefit of his society.
What does Krishna put forth as the key to liberation from rebirth? Krishna explains that the key to liberation from rebirth is world renunciation. He tells that people should be ready to give up all ties and responsibilities, retire to nature and perform asceticism. He adds that this enables one to be free like the wind and to surpass the wheel of eternal lives. To find tranquility, peace of mind, physical wellbeing,and disconnection with the cares of the world, a king has to be away from his duties. Interaction with nature also enlightened the king of the importance and value of nature. According to Yudhishthira, any individual who values dirt and gold equally is greater compared to the individual who owns the entire earth.
How does Krishna uphold the Vedic view of supporting the world while also accommodating the world-denying view? Krishna can uphold the Vedic view of helping the world by advising Arjuna to remain at his post and to endure on with his responsibility as a warrior and lead in the battle at hand. On the other side, he can accommodate the world-denying view through his teachings which explained that ultimate liberation constitutes freedom to form one’s samsara and karma and also from repudiation of desires. He tells that each has two responsibilities; to seek self liberation from samsara and karma and to maintain order in the society. In the case of the Gita, both of these obligations may be carried out concurrently while still participating in societal activities and performing yoga.