Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 - The Yoga of Arjuna's Grief

Brief Background:

Before we get into chapter one, let’s understand from where and why Bhagavad Gita comes in. Bhagavad Gita is a part of Mahabharata - the epic. In which the supreme personality of god has taken the form of "Krishna" and born in world. In this incarnation, God remained with God Qualities but with human form. Mahabharata is a story about a kings family, in which the cousins (with their family) trying to establish hold in the kingdom, whereas few with rightful and few with greediness intent. It shows many of the characters which we are still seeing in our normal life. It ends in battlefield where Kauravas (the misguided ones) and Pandavas (the rightful ones) stand on opposite side to settle scores. Krishna is with Pandavas as they asked for him and Krishna's soldiers are with Kauravas as they asked for them.

Characters to Know:

Krishna: The Supreme Personality of God. We can call as supreme power. He is uncle to Pandavas and Kauravas. He has nothing to gain or lose in the battle (why do we say that- will see in coming chapters)

Arjuna: The Mighty Archery man and one of the Pandavas. Arjuna is very close to Krishna and they both share a relationship, which couldn't be categorized and its pure form of love and affection.

 ”Our life: Do we ever try not categorizing our love or anyone's love at any time.... No, always we need some form like friend, sister, mother, uncle, wife, daughter, etc... Unless we compare and categorize we can’t accept the love and affection in formless way... may be the common man is more rule oriented and pattern oriented"

Remember Arjuna is not someone else, "he is me and you", and he represented us in front of Krishna. Every human being who read this is Arjuna, with whom the god has spoken.

 Let me scope it out, Gita is written only for human and his purpose only! And for other living beings (animals, birds, plants, etc) there could be something which we are not aware of... Similarly its told to a man, so the grammar always follow the singular pointers to male, however woman has to apply applicable grammar when they read.

Sanjaya: The person who was able to see all the happenings in the battlefield with his exceptional power and who is explaining to Dhritarashtra (the king). He is the reason for us to know what is there in Gita or what god has told to Arjuna ... “The Remote Hearing Aid"

Dhritarashtra: The King and father of Kauravas. He was blind and he was not there in the battlefield, but trying to understand, what’s going on through Sanjaya.


Sanjaya is explaining to Dhritarashtra, that what's happening in the battlefield. He could see that millions of soldiers are arrayed in both sides. The great warriors and relatives in both the sides are standing there with their chariots and weapons to conquer each other. "Our Life: I used to see lot of English movies, so I remembered The Mummy, lord of the rings, Alexander, etc and trying to imagine, what could be the magnitude of such military, Wow... Excellent!!! But remember they were living human, each one had a family and every life had a history, I and you could be one among the soldier who left his wife in house and thinking , we will return back in few days with life"

Arjuna's cart was driven by Krishna and it’s with a purpose. Why does god drive a cart? The fact is, he was driving the battlefield which was going to teach the human - what's life is all about!!! ...

Bhagavad Gita as it is

Bhagavad Gita Summary : Arjuna wants to see who all are there in battlefield to fight along with him and against him, in that battle. This is like, self stock taking and to see what’s going on. He asked Krishna to take the cart in between both the militaries to have a better view. Krishna then took the cart to the center of the field and told Arjuna on his either side, he can see his soldier's and of his opponents.

"Our life: We like to imagine India-Pakistan, US-Russia or ourselves and an unfriendly neighbor or colleague in workplace and imagine that we are the good ones and others are our opponents. We don’t have the guts to think, that one side is my impure characteristics and another side is my pure characteristics and god has placed the cart in between them, and asking me to see both the sides of me. Let’s try to do that and perform the stock taking!!

We all have three level of response system with us : a) the outer one - the "survival" system, which responds in a good or bad way ,as it’s been habituated by the person based on the environment he/she lived, it’s more of immediate actions b) the inner one - the "planning" system, which is based on mind and heart, the good and bad here is born after analysis, they have long standing effect (we all might be talking to ourselves with our mind &heart ), by the way “Heart can never talk/think”- but it’s a notion for love, affection, kindness and truthful thinking of Mind c) The Supreme Inner one- the "Purest Soul", we interact rarely in our day to day activities with  this one, this is pure and can never be modified (no good and bad in this level) , but on constant practice (ex: Yoga/meditation/self realization) we can interact with that. This tells at any time "Are we doing right in life"!

Now coming back, imagine now- we are looking from the purest soul perspective the way the other two layers are working in us- the good and bad responses."

Bhagavad Gita Summary : Arjuna had a look, he can see only his uncle, forefathers, teachers and well wishers on either side and he couldn't understand, who his real enemies out there are, as he was confused by the relationship and attachment he has with them. He tells Krishna, Even if someone gives me the three worlds, I will not kill them to attain it. I am not here as greedy, who kills his own people to achieve something and I will not be able to take the sin which arises out of this act.

As a common man, we can say, Arjuna was really good and he is not ready to put down his family for the price of land. Also Arjuna is asking for peace and what’s wrong in it?

"Our Life: For most of us, peace is something important. According to us ' peace' is something which is normal life without any change and not getting into any new position or it’s a position of no decision making. The fact is, being ignorant of most of happenings in the surrounding and self is what many a time we do for this peace. If we don’t raise our voice against social discrimination, family discrimination or any level, we live in peace, if this is our way of peace, it’s "ignorance". We like to do that, because we don’t want to take decision in our life and we don’t want to lose anything in life (attachment & relationship to something). This is exactly what Arjuna felt."

Bhagavad Gita Summary : Arjuna goes on and says to Krishna, instead of doing such a sin of killing my own men and get the sin, which will impact my life and all members in family, I would rather go to battlefield without any armor and die in the hands of Kauravas'. He put is his bow and sat down in the cart.

Arjuna has concluded, what's good and what's not good and what will fetch him sin and everything. His conclusion was based on his understanding and knowledge of what is the criteria or description of good.

"Our Life: The results coming out of an activity are classified by us good and bad, and they are decided so, by the community rule, situation, point of view, etc. The human eye can’t see clearly anything which is  far and can see only the things which are nearer, the same way his rules are based on the closer things, which he see, live and believe. It doesn't mean all others are untrue. Just because we don’t see a micro-organism in our bare eye, it doesn't mean there is nothing! We see movies and we get emotional, don’t we know that’s untrue! But that’s human and he is driven by emotions, illusions and desires! Human thinks, he is the wisest of all and he knows what’s right and what’s wrong! But the reality is he doesn’t know himself and his purpose! Like Arjuna, we also have our own understanding on what’s good/right and bad/wrong, and it’s only based on our region/religion/society/belief, the same for another human from a different region/religion/society/belief could mean differently"

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