1-3. Chapter 2

Applying Bhagavad Gita: Find Strength and Clarity Amid Emotional Turmoil and Ethical Dilemmas.

सञ्जय उवाच |

तं तथा कृपयाऽविष्टमश्रुपूर्णाकुलेक्षणम् |

विषीदन्तमिदं वाक्यमुवाच मधुसूदनः || 2.1 ||

_sañjaya uvāca |

taṁ tathā kṛipayā'viṣṭamaśru-pūrṇākulekṣaṇam |

viṣīdantam idaṁ vākyam uvāca madhusūdanaḥ || 2.1 ||

 

Meaning:

Sanjaya said: Seeing Arjuna full of compassion and very sorrowful, his eyes brimming with tears, Madhusudana, Krishna, spoke the following words.

 

श्रीभगवानुवाच |

कुतस्त्वा कश्मलमिदं विषमे समुपस्थितम् |

अनार्यजुष्टमस्वर्ग्यमकीर्तिकरमर्जुन || 2.2 ||

_śrī-bhagavān uvāca |

kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam |

anārya-juṣṭam asvargyam akīrti-karam arjuna || 2.2 ||

 

Meaning:

The Blessed Lord said: From where has this impurity come upon you at this critical moment? It is not befitting an honorable person, nor will it lead to heaven or fame, Arjuna.

 

क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते |

क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप || 2.3 ||

_klaibyaṁ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha naitat tvayy upapadyate |

kṣudraṁ hṛdaya-daurbalyaṁ tyaktvottiṣṭha paran-tapa || 2.3 ||

 

Meaning:

Do not yield to this degrading impotence, O Partha. It does not befit you. Cast off this base faint-heartedness and arise, O scorcher of foes.

 

Context

In the first three verses of Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita, the scene shifts from Arjuna's emotional turmoil to Krishna's initial response to his despair. The context is as follows:

Sanjaya, the narrator, begins by describing Arjuna's state of mind. Overcome with deep compassion and sorrow, Arjuna is emotionally paralyzed on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. His eyes are filled with tears as he contemplates the consequences of the impending war, which pits him against his own relatives and teachers. His emotions reflect a profound moral and ethical crisis, causing him to hesitate and despair.

Witnessing Arjuna's disheartened and tearful condition, Krishna, addressed here as Madhusudana (slayer of the demon Madhu), steps in to counsel him. Krishna's words are firm and direct. He questions Arjuna’s sudden collapse into a state of helplessness and lamentation at this critical moment. Krishna rebukes Arjuna's behavior, deeming it unworthy of a noble warrior (Kshatriya). He points out that such despondency is dishonorable and unworthy of someone like Arjuna, who is known for his valor and strength.

Krishna urges Arjuna to shed this cowardice and rise above his emotional weakness. He emphasizes that Arjuna's behavior is unbecoming of a warrior and will neither bring him glory nor lead him to heaven. Krishna’s admonishment is meant to awaken Arjuna to his duty and responsibilities, encouraging him to overcome his inner turmoil and act with the courage expected of him.

This initial conversation sets the stage for the profound philosophical teachings that Krishna will impart to Arjuna throughout the rest of the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna’s words aim to dispel Arjuna's confusion and prepare him to face his duty with a clear mind and resolute spirit.

 

Today's context

 

Addressing Emotional Overwhelm and Crisis of Purpose

In today’s fast-paced and complex world, people often face situations that lead to emotional overwhelm, much like Arjuna’s crisis on the battlefield. Whether it’s a career decision, personal relationships, or ethical dilemmas, the intense emotions and confusion experienced can paralyze decision-making. Just as Arjuna finds himself at a critical juncture, overwhelmed with sorrow and compassion, individuals today can experience moments where their emotions cloud their judgment and sense of purpose.

 

The Role of a Mentor or Guide

Krishna’s intervention mirrors the role of a mentor or guide in contemporary life. When faced with significant decisions or crises, seeking guidance from a trusted advisor or mentor can provide clarity and perspective. Krishna’s approach—firm yet compassionate—emphasizes the importance of addressing emotional states directly and encouraging a return to clarity and purposeful action. In modern contexts, this could mean seeking advice, reflecting on one’s values, or consulting with experienced individuals who can provide objective insights and support.

 

Importance of Self-Reflection and Realignment

Krishna’s questioning of Arjuna’s despair serves as a call for self-reflection. In today’s world, when faced with challenging situations, it’s crucial to take a step back and reassess one’s feelings and motivations. Krishna points out that Arjuna’s behavior is unworthy of his nature and role, prompting him to reflect on whether his actions align with his values and responsibilities. This teaches us the value of introspection in moments of crisis, allowing us to realign our actions with our core principles and long-term goals, rather than succumbing to momentary doubts or fears.

 

Overcoming Fear and Inaction

Krishna urges Arjuna to overcome his weakness and take action. This advice is highly relevant in contemporary scenarios where fear and hesitation can prevent individuals from making necessary decisions or taking decisive actions. Krishna’s counsel emphasizes courage and determination, highlighting the need to face challenges head-on and not let fear dictate one’s actions. In modern terms, this could mean taking proactive steps despite uncertainties, having the resilience to push through difficulties, and maintaining focus on one’s duties and responsibilities.

 

Emphasizing Duty and Purpose

The conversation between Krishna and Arjuna underscores the importance of duty and purpose. In today's context, individuals often grapple with finding meaning and purpose in their professional and personal lives. Krishna’s exhortation to Arjuna to rise above his despondency and fulfill his duty serves as a reminder that staying true to one's purpose and responsibilities, even in the face of adversity, leads to fulfillment and progress. This resonates with the idea of aligning one’s actions with a higher purpose or larger goals, thereby finding motivation and strength to overcome challenges.

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Knowledge Bank

How do bhaktas control their mind?

They will keep on watching their mind. The moment they see that it is drifting away, they will bring it back to Bhagavan.

How was Dronacharya born?

Sage Bharadwaja, Dronacharya's father, went to bathe in the river Ganga. Seeing Apsara Ghritachi there, he became sexually excited. His semen fell which he collected in a cup. From this dronacharya was born.

Quiz

Which among these mantras is connected to knowledge ?
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