The Gita’s purpose is not to proclaim God’s position, but to transform man’s disposition
The Bhagavad-gita concludes with a proclamation: “Wherever there is Krishna and Arjuna, there will be victory.” This prophetic proclamation aptly climaxes the Gita’s revelation of Krishna as the all-attractive supreme. He is the Lord of the goddess of fortune; wherever he is, victory will naturally be there.
Yet the Gita’s conclusion begs the question: Why is Arjuna mentioned here? Wouldn’t Krishna be victorious even without Arjuna? Yes, he would be. But the Gita’s purpose is not just to proclaim God’s position, but primarily to transform man’s disposition.
Arjuna represents all of us, who are souls confused by worldly illusion. We all are spiritually diseased, being attached to temporary material things despite being eternal spiritual beings. Krishna is the ultimate physician whose prescription can free us from ignorance and illusion, as it did for Arjuna (18.72). Krishna speaks his glories to inspire us to take the treatment of bhakti-yoga, which centers on directing our love towards him and molding our life according to his will.
And just as he became healed by the Gita’s exposition, so too can we become healed. By including Arjuna in its conclusion, the Gita assures us all that when we choose to be with Krishna, as did Arjuna, victory will be ours. The Gita’s purpose is to inspire us to harmonize with Krishna’s will. And its description of Krishna’s glories is primarily to convince us that he is the all-powerful, all-benevolent supreme, who is our ultimate well-wisher (05.29).
If a doctor describes their qualifications to inspire the patient to take the prescribed treatment, then the doctor is not bragging, but simply doing the needful. In the light of this medical metaphor, the Gita’s conclusion could be rephrased as “Wherever there is a competent doctor and a cooperative patient, there will be health.”
Think it over:
- Why does Krishna speak his glories in the Gita?
- Why does the Gita mention Arjuna in its conclusion?
- What example illustrate the intent of the Gita’s glorification of Krishna?
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