The Gita’s message is not just specific and historical, but also generic and universal

The Bhagavad-gita takes a specific real-life situation, examines it philosophically and offers a universal pragmatic solution.

The Gita begins with Arjuna’s weak-hearted capitulation: at the end of the first chapter (01.46) he puts aside his bow. His action expresses his intention: “I will not fight.” The message of the Gita infuses Arjuna with clarity of vision and firmness of resolution, as evidenced in his concluding declaration: “I will do your will.” (18.73)

Why does Arjuna not conclude with the specific resolution: “I will fight”? Because after hearing the profound wisdom of the Gita, his vision has been lifted far beyond the specific battlefield dilemma: “Should I fight or not?” That’s why, though the Gita in its initial chapters repeatedly exhorts Arjuna to fight, such exhortations become increasingly infrequent as its discussion becomes deeper and broader.

The Gita’s battlefield setting is historical, not mythological. Still, it is the setting, not the substance. The substance of the Gita is its majestic analysis of the universal existential perplexity that confronts all of us: “What should I live for?” The conclusion of the analysis is a call for love: “Live for love: love of Krishna and all his children.” This philosophy, when understood holistically, reveals divinity’s love for humanity and inspires reciprocal human love for the divine.

Like Arjuna, we can choose to respond to our specific dilemmas with the universal panacea of loving surrender: “O Lord, I will do your will.” Reciprocating with our surrender, Krishna will provide us from within our heart the clarity of vision to resolve the dilemma. More importantly, we will also discover through the dilemma a pathway to Krishna’s supreme abode, the world of eternal love that is free from all material dilemmas.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 01 Text 46

“Sanjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.”

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Seek the one achievement that misery cannot reach
The Bhagavad-gita enthrones the path of love

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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1 Comment

  1. Hare krishna.
    People often discard krishna and gita wisdom as a myth and a fictious subject and refuse to believe in it. The desires controlling their mind makes their vision murkier by putting an opaque curtain of the pleasure and success the same promises.They also disregard the ultimate futility of being indulgent in these desires. By surrendering to the profound and ever lasting gita wisdom one ables himself to get an insight to the once invisible truth and further endeavors erases the dilemmas which one was overwhelmed with earlier and embark oneself on a perpetual odyssey with eternal love for krishna.
    HARE KRISHNA.

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