Equal disposition doesn’t mean identical action

The Bhagavad-gita repeatedly urges (05.18, 06.09, 12.18, 13.28, 18.54) its readers to have an equal disposition towards all living beings. In fact, the Gita emphatically declares that only those who see everyone equally are true seers, implying thereby that those who don’t see equally have a vision deficiency.

Yet we see that Arjuna, the Gita’s original student fought for Yudhisthira and fought against Duryodhana. Did he forget the Gita’s call to treat everyone equally?

No, not at all.

Equal disposition doesn’t mean identical action.

A doctor may be benevolently disposed towards all patients, yet doesn’t give the same treatment to everyone – the treatment is customized according to what is needed for each patient.

Similarly, realized spiritualists are benevolently disposed towards all living beings – they see everyone as patients suffering from spiritual amnesia, souls who have forgotten their eternal life with Krishna. Though the overall ailment is the same, its specific variations are varied. So everyone needs to be treated differently.

The Bhagavad-gita offers the treatment plan of devotional service centered on cultivating remembrance of Krishna. Realized devotees want to assist Krishna in treating and healing everyone, but not everyone shares the same enthusiasm for being treated.

For realized devotees, those people who are a part of the hospital staff, that is, those who are devotees wanting to assist in executing Krishna’s recovery plan, become the close friends. Yudhishthira was such a person for Arjuna. On the other hand, those who are so sick that they are delirious, that they don’t even understand that they are sick, need to be treated differently. Duryodhana was delirious with the intoxication of greed and envy – Arjuna administered him an appropriate surgical treatment.

By cultivating a spirit of service towards Krishna, we get the intelligence to translate our equal vision into not identical but reciprocal action.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13 Text 28

One who sees the Supersoul accompanying the individual soul in all bodies, and who understands that neither the soul nor the Supersoul within the destructible body is ever destroyed, actually sees.

The notion that bhakti is for the less intelligent is less intelligent
Spirituality is not about abandoning but about reclaiming
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9 Comments

  1. Hare Krishna,
    Very beautiful explanation.

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  2. Dear Prabhuji,

    Is equal disposition similar to equanimity?

    As with Arjuna and Duryodhana,can a devotee (who has done no harm) take appropriate steps to defend his honor against a demonic person delirious with envy and hatred?

    Hare Krishna!

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  3. Wow .As usual I can see the same clarity of thought and its expression in simple language .Although this is the quality I admire in Chaitanya Charan Prabhu , still it never ceases to amaze me.Hari Bol.

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  4. Hare Krsna – Great interpretation indeed .. Thanks for this wonderful explanation ..

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  5. hare krsna. thank you pr ji c c das for explaining that goal is one but paths / methods may be different. it is like taking the staircase, taking the ladder, taking the escalator for going back to GODHEAD.

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  6. For two different individuals ,different actions (but maintaining same disposition),creates confusion in their minds and to answer their confusion is again more difficult. World perceives the doer thru his actions & not disposition. Typical eg. is Bali and Sugriva.

    So prabhuji, need your explanation to get rid of this confusion.

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