God doesn’t need us to harmonize with him – we need to harmonize with him

The Bhagavad-gita (18.78) concludes that where Krishna and Arjuna are together, victory follows. This declaration may raise the question: “Krishna alone is enough to guarantee victory. Why is Arjuna mentioned with Krishna?”

Because the Gita’s stress is not on God’s omnipotence; it is on harmonizing humans with God. That’s why when Arjuna refused to fight the war against the forces of evil, Krishna didn’t say, “Ok, I don’t need you; I can win the war myself.” Instead, he spoke the Gita to persuade Arjuna to cooperate with him.

Of course, the Gita does showcase God’s omnipotence: its eleventh chapter, while revealing the Universal Form, demonstrates and declares that the opponents have already been overcome by divine arrangement. But therein too, the Gita’s stress is underscored when that very section concludes by exhorting Arjuna to fight as an instrument of the divine (11.33).

Thus, the Gita encourages us all to harmonize with Krishna, by understanding that such harmonization guarantees our victory. We may not have to fight a physical war against outer opponents, but we do need to fight a psychological war against inner opponents: self-centered forces such as lust, anger and greed that subject us to illusion and tribulation. By harmonizing with Krishna, we can triumph in this inner war, attaining enlightenment and liberation.

To equip humanity for winning their inner war, Krishna teaches the path of dharma and sets up systems to keep it accessible. And whenever dharma becomes obscured, he descends to clarify and fortify it. And he wants to engage Arjuna, and indeed all of us, for protecting and propagating dharma, thus accelerating our purification.

By predicting that Arjuna’s victory is guaranteed when he works with Krishna and for Krishna, the Gita inspires us all to work similarly and attain life’s supreme victory.

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