Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter Two Verse 1




Verse 1

As Arjuna sits there,

Overwhelmed with pity, desperate,

Tears streaming from his eyes,

Madhusudana (Krishna) speaks these words to him:

Srila Prabhupada:

"The word 'Madhusudana [the killer of Madhu] is significant in this verse. Lord Krishna killed the demon Madhu, and now Arjuna wants Krishna to kill the demon of misunderstanding that has overtaken him in the discharge of his duty. Although Arjuna was a Kshatriya, he was deviating from his prescribed duties by declining to fight. Such deviation from duty does not help one in the progress of spiritual life. Lord Krishna did not approve of the so-called compassion of Arjuna for his kinsmen. Arjuna might argue that he would give up the battle on the grounds of his magnanimous attitude for the most respectable Bheeshma and his relatives, but Krishna considered that sort of false magnanimity mere weakness of heart."

Sri Aurobindo:

"Arjuna's pity is quite another thing from the godlike compassion mentioned later in the Gita, which observes with an eye of love, wisdom and calm strength the battles and the struggles of humanity, its joys and sufferings, entering into it all to help and to heal. Arjuna's pity, rather, is a form of self-indulgence. It is the physical shrinking of the nerves from the act of fighting. Invaded by this self-indulgent pity, Arjuna has lapsed into unheroic weakness which will immediately draw a strongly worded rebuke from the divine Teacher."

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