BG CH1: Arjun Vishad Yoga

Chapter 1 – Overview

Total 46 verses, preparation for Krishna to speak His message.

In the original Mahabharata written by Srila Vyasa Deva and the Mahabharat we get today the chapters do not have any title, so different chapters are given different title. So here are different ways of referring as different nomenclature and different names are used this Parva this chapter etc.  Mahabharat is so vast that accessing its message is often complex in terms of referring its message.

So Acharys based on their presentation and focus has names different chapters differently.

So Krishna is not speaking as now one chapter is over and I am starting other chapter it is a normal conversation so it is a live conversation happened which is then contextualize and to create some reference points for categorization some reference points are made by Srila Vyasa Deva.  And chaptered are named by Gita presentator as per their focus of their commentary.

1-26 observing the armies

1-13 preparation of war

14- 20 signs of victory

 21-26 Krishna as Bhakta-Vatsala by obeying Arjuna over there

 27-46 Arjuna’s lamentation (28 – 46) (some Acharya used the word Arjun Vishad Yoga)

        - Arjuna gives following four reasons why he will not fight.

(My comment: We can see how even mode of goodness can be an obstruction in Bhakti as Krishna says go beyond three modes. How modes affect us. We also give similar reasons for not doing Bhakti)

 27-30 compassion

31-35 enjoyment

36-38 fear of sinful reactions

39-43 destruction of family tradition.

BG 2.6 Indecision

Soul (Thanks Krishna I am not Mind)

Soul has spiritual mission

In between is mind, mind also has eye that has settle vision, mind vision is not restricted. E.g. someone staring from behind.

Mind power can be trapped by yoga sadhana it can see / fetch long distance things. Sanajay was able to see entire betel field in his mind.

Body has physical mission.

 Bg 1.1

Gita 01.01- The transcendental manifests in the geographical

dhtarāṣṭra uvāca

dharma-ketre kuru-ketre
samavet
ā yuyutsava
m
āmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya

Word for word:

dhtarāṣṭra uvāca — King Dhtarāṣṭra said; dharma-ketre — in the place of pilgrimage; kuru-ketre — in the place named Kuruketra; samavetāḥ — assembled; yuyutsava — desiring to ght; māmakāḥ — my party (sons); pāṇḍavāḥ — the sons of Pāṇḍu; ca — and; eva — certainly; kim — what; akurvata — did they do; sañjaya — O Sañjaya.

Translation:

Dhtarāṣṭra said: O Sañjaya, after my sons and the sons of Pāṇḍu assembled in the place of pilgrimage at Kuruketra, desiring to ght, what did they do?

Different Generations in Mahabharata

Current Generation         1: Pandava, Kaurava

                                

Generation Above Pandavas 2. Dhritarashtra {From Srila Vyasadeva, others were Pandu and Vidura}

3. Vichitravirya – chitrangada (passed away without begeting any offspring), {From Shantanu & Satyavati}.

Bhishma {From Shantanu and Ganga Mai} all these 8 sons were cursed to take birth. 7 died and 8th Bhishma left.

4. Shantanu & Satyavati Bhishma.

(Parasara Muni  & Satyavati => Vyasadeva {same generation as Bhishma})

BG -> Conversation b/w Krishna and Arjuna

        -> Conversation b/w Dhritarashtra and Sanjaya

Only verse spoken by Dhrtarastra  although it is only verse but it is seminal as semen produce a full child similarly a seminal question leads to a huge amount of discussion later.

dhtarāṣṭra uvāca, dhtarāṣṭra speaks, what does he says?

dharma-ketre kuru-ketre, at the place of Dharma at the holy place at sacred place, which was the sacred place? kuru-ketre, it is the place where battle is going to take place.

Along with above there is another point that transcendental is manifested in geographical and that is the characteristic of Gita wisdom at large that spiritual becomes manifested in material to raise us at spiritual level.

Dharma is something which is transcendental which is our very eternal nature (my comment: As Dharma of fire is heat and light, and of water is liquidity), it is set of activities which takes us to our spiritual nature. Since we as soul are transcendental our dharma is also transcendental. So Dharma is not religion, dharma is our essential nature which is to love and serve (GOD - Krishna), it remains the same even if we are Hindus, Muslims, Christians or non-believers.  This essential nature is not always known to people or it is not consciously comprehended by people so dharma refers to that nature.

So the transcendental knowledge which is not restricted to any set of peoples is manifested at a particular geographical place, dharma-ketre kuru-ketre, the transcendental is being manifested in the geographical.

Dhritarashtra   may not speaking knowing all these things but when Lord performs pastime, people does things even without being aware of things and how it is assisting in Lord’s pastime.

So knowledge of Dharma will become manifested at Kuru-ksetra and this place will gain far greater fame now with respect to its past fame because knowledge of Dharma will be spoken over there.

samavetā yuyutsava, samavetā-> assembled, yuyutsava-> to fight

māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva, māmakāḥ-> my sons and pāṇḍavas, mentality of partiality is shown here, generally people have affection towards some based on relation so here Dhrtarastra having more affection towards his son is natural but having antipathy towards his nephew to Pandavas is unnatural and it is all the more undesirable, unworthy of a person who is on king’s position because the king is expected to be like father of all the citizens what to speak of one’s own nephew, and what to speak of nephew’s whose father is passed away, so Dhrtarastra is expected to act like father but māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva, so this partiality is caused by excessive bodily attachment that too when Pandavas were so much respectful towards him and on the other hand Duryodhana was always manipulating him. This he has realized after the war and that time he felt very regretful on what he has done earlier.

kim akurvata sañjaya, O sanjay what did they do? This question is self-answering or self-defeating since he has said earlier that they have come there for fighting the war. yuyutsava and kim akurvata are almost contradictory or redundant. Like people went to restaurant and sat down to eat then if somebody will ask the question what did they do it is meaningless as it is obvious that they would have eaten.  

Now why did somebody ask a question like this because one may suspect that there is something wrong about that place which may cause the normal course of action to be hampered. For example if someone know that terrorists planted bomb under table in restaurant and then there are people who go and sit on that table in that restaurant  then naturally one may ask question, hey what happened when they sat down to eat, so one is not expecting eating to take place on is apprehensive that something else will happen the bomb will explode what happened? So they have gone for eating but there are factors over there which may change the expected course of action. So Dhrtarastra    is suspecting a similar sabotaging of the action and that sabotaging can happen because there is dharma –ksetra, so he knows that his sons are Adhramic and he is apprehensive that at the dharma-ksetra they may become influence by the vibration of that place and they may decide to arrive at reconciliation, at one level he doesn’t want the war because he knows that his son’s being sinful will be destroyed that is what sages and Krishna told him repeatedly, so he is wondering if Dharma-ksetra will prevent the war and whether his son’s will be affected by some level of conscience that might be present which might be triggered and finally arrive at some peace agreement, at the other hand he is having hope that somehow my party will win I will remain as king as my party have much more forces than the pandavas and therefore we are likely to win so he wants the war to go on. So he was trapped between denying the inevitable and desiring impossible. So he asks kim akurvata.

The place of dharma didn’t affect duryodhana because he was adharmic beyond redemption if the personal presence of person who makes all places holy  that is Krishna, that person personal presence and persuasion doesn’t change Duryodhana’s heart than just going to a holy place will unlike change his heart. So from that angle Dhrtarastra enquiry was not substantial. But it is also true that always events doesn’t happen as expected as although they have come for fighting Arjuna consciousness was affected not Duryodhana’s and because of his emotion he refused to fight and because of which Bhagavad Gita was spoken so kim akurvata, what happened that Sanjay will start narrating from next verse.

So this verse essentially states:

At the holy place kur-ksetra with the troops assembled for fighting mine and pandava’s son what did they do Sanjaya?

Before war when Lord showed His Virat Rupa in Kuru assemble Dhritarashtra wanted to see that vision and he was allowed to see that.

Before war Vyasa Deva came who was grandfather of Kaurava and Pandavas.

Dhritarashtra told Vyasa Deva he don’t want war but he cannot control his son. Vyasa deva proposed to give him eyes to see. He said I have not seen my sons and now I don’t want to see them dying so Sanjay his secretary got the vision.

Dhritarashtra was torn between hoping for the impossible (my sons will win) and fearing inevitable (he knew that Duryodhana was sinful and he will be doomed).

        There is much in the universe which science is not able to find out. Understanding how much complex the universe is brings the sense of humility. So many people say that this is all impossible it is all mythological. Anything that contradicts the current concept of science is immediately called imaginary or mythological however, such dismissal of things which is incomprehensible is simply arrogant. And it is completely contrary to the spirit that has led to human progress. Rather than dismissing that which is impossible we try to extend our understanding to bring what is impossible in the realm of possible. What seems impossible could be possible.                  

        Powers of the mind are remarkable and science is discovering them only now there are so many powers like that for example there is something called as steering experiment, which is if someone is seating and somebody else is looking at him from behind it happened that you turn in that direction and find that actually someone was looking at you…this happens more in some people to the extent of 90%, how this exactly happens is not comprehensible is current context of science but it happens. From the spiritual perspective How this happens is soul has spiritual vision that is covered and body has physical vision that is functioning through eyes and in between is mind and mind also has its senses and the mind also has its eye sometimes we referees indirectly mind’s eye but that is representation of what we see within our minds eye, but actually mind also has an eye in the sense that there is shuttle vision which is there. Normally speaking our vision is thorough physical eyes but mind is much shuttler then gross eye, Mind is not restricted by time and space as gross body is restricted. And that is why mind can perceive things which are far away which is not perceivable by gross eye, that is how sanjay is able to perceive that which is visible directly that which is not visible directly Sanjay is able to perceive that. By yoga Sadhana like Prapta Siddhi the mind power can be taped. And if mind power is taped the person can see things which are distant and he can also go and get those things. Similarly the mind can be granted the power by the blessing of some great soul  which means ultimately God’s power is coming through that soul then by that mind’s capacity can be extended and that is how a person is able to see that which is far away so there is a science behind this and that science may not be exactly what the modern material science is but the word science is not monopolized by its modern material version, science is referred to systematic study of knowledge and the way subtle body and gross body is analyzed in the vedic scripture is qute systematic and quite detailed and exhaustive in many ways  so this vision is given to Sanjaya, and he could see not just one part of the battlefield but he could see everything and everywhere in the battle field which is remarkable aspect of his vision. So Dhritarashtra was asking Sanjaya.

Bg 18.78

yatra yogeśvara kṛṣṇo
yatra pārtho dhanur-dhara
tatra śrīr vijayo bhūtir
dhruvā nītir matir mama

BG 1.2 & 1.3 Duryodhana goes to Dhrona Acharya instead of the commander Bhishma because he wanted to point out weakness of Dronacharya that he has trained Dhristadyumna. (Drona thought that as a brahmana he should distribute knowledge to all including his enemy). Also here by reminding him about his enemy he was invoking Dronacharya's anger. He was also reminding Dhrona about his cause not only Duryodhana cause.