Wednesday, June 9, 2010

III: 21

Chapter 3, Verse 21

“By observing the actions of the great,
Others find their rule of action.
The paths of the great
Become guides to the world.”

Swami Shivananda:

“We are social animals. We are imitating animals, too. We take our ideas of right and wrong from those who are our models. We try to walk in their footsteps.”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:

“Although indirectly stated, the message is conveyed from Krishna to Arjuna that he is venerated in society and that people will follow his example. For the evolution of his own soul, Arjuna is expected to stand up and fight. It also behooves him to fight for the sake of being an example to others. Therefore he has a responsibility which extends beyond the limits of his own, individual growth.”

Srila Prabhupada:

“People in general always require a leader who can teach the public by practical behavior. A leader cannot teach the public to stop smoking if he himself smokes. Lord Chaitanya said that a teacher should behave properly before he begins teaching. One who teaches in that way is called Acharya, or ideal teacher. The king or executive head of a state, the father and schoolteacher are all considered to be natural leaders. All such natural leaders have a great responsibility to their dependents; therefore their own behavior needs to be in alignment with moral and spiritual values.”

Sri Aurobindo:

“The rule given here by the Gita is the rule for the divinized human being, the one whose whole personality has been offered up into the being, nature and consciousness of the one transcendent and universal divinity. When this object is fulfilled, when the liberated one rests in the Brahmic status and sees no longer with the false, egoistic vision, but sees all beings in the Self, in God, and the Self in all beings, God in all beings, what shall be the motive of actions?

The motive of action will be the holding together of the peoples. This great march of the peoples towards a divine ideal has to be held together and prevented from falling into bewilderment, confusion and discord of the understanding to which the world would be too easily prone were it not held together by the illumination, by the strength, by the rule and example, by the visible standard and the invisible influence of its Best.

In order to indicate more perfectly his meaning, Krishna, the divine teacher, the Avatar, will give his own example, his own standard, to Arjuna in the next verse.”

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