Chapter 1. Yoga of Inconsiderate Compassion (Part 2)

At this point, as an example of the severity of the result of one’s own experience, we can recollect the episode of the blind king Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Vyāsa offered to give him the capability to witness the scenes in the battlefield.

yadi tv-icchasi saṅgrāme draṣṭum-enaṃ viśāmpate
cakṣur-dadāni te hanta yuddham-etan-niśamaya
(Bhīṣma-parva 2.6)

Dhṛtarāṣṭra replied –

Chapter 1. Yoga of Inconsiderate Compassion (Part 1)


ಕುರುರಂಗದಿ ಸೇರಿ ಸಮರಶಂಖಂ ಮೊಳಗಲ್ ।
ನರನುತ್ಸಹಿಸದೆ ಕೃಷ್ಣಂ
ಗೊರೆದಂ ತನಗಾದ ಧರ್ಮಸಂಕಟಭಯಮಮ್ ॥

When the two armies of Bharata’s descendants
met at Kurukṣetra, and the war-conch sounded,
Arjuna, having lost his will
told Kṛṣṇa of his fear and doubt about his dharma

The Puruṣārthas and the Self


Man is a bag of desires. His life is a river of ceaseless likes and dislikes. Whatever he desires and whatever goals he attempts to attain have all together been termed by our ancestors as puruṣārthas.

There are four puruṣārthas –

1. Dharma (good works, virtue, sustenance, global ethic)

2. Artha (wealth, means to fulfill desires)

3. Kāma (desire, enjoyment)

4. Mokṣa (liberation).

Repetitions and Reiterations in the Gītā

Let us get back to the Bhagavad-gītā. There are so many punaruktis (repetitions); upamāna-upameyas (comparisons in a simile) and paradoxes. Our attention should be on their purport. When prosaic speech does not suffice and figurative expressions are resorted to even while describing commonplace incidents and worldly experiences, how else could the mind of the philosopher expressing thoughts about the supernatural reveal itself to us without figurative language?

Sādhana-catuṣṭaya - The Four Prerequisites

It is indicated above that the buddhi is a power that works with the manas. The buddhi is under the influence of the manas. Therefore, to purify the buddhi, it is imperative to purify the manas. Buddhi is an implement that enables reflection.  Manas experiences the product of the buddhi. In Vedānta, jñāna (wisdom) is the same as anubhava (experience). Knowledge of Brahman is the experience of Brahman. Mind is the arena of experience.

Bhārata-Sāvitrī (Part 4)

A Touchstone

Though we have a great deal of material connected with dharma, it is not easy to decide what constitutes dharma and what would be adharma when faced with challenging situations. Draupadī, while being humiliated in the court of the Kauravas hurls a scathing remark at Bhīṣma and questions him about the nature of dharma. Bhīṣma replies that it is beyond his capacity to assess what is dhārmic under the current circumstances.[1]