It may be apt to recall the maxim of the English philosopher John Stuart Mill. It is not enough if one person forms an opinion or follows a certain set of actions because of faith in the words of others’ words. One should yearn to understand the exact reasons why a certain thing is good through one’s own analysis. Then the thing becomes truly beneficial. A belief that arises from blind faith may not be as fruitful. The same words are stated by...
The Beginning of the Instruction The second chapter of the Gītā has four main aspects. The remainder of the first chapter’s topic, i.e. Arjuna’s words of abandoning battle. Propounding the eternal nature of the Self (ātmā) The necessity of performing one’s own dharma The nature of the knower of reality Let us look at this one by one. Arjuna’s Wish to Give Up The story of Arjuna’s depression continues in the first nine verses. When Arjuna...
Terminology [Continued]   7. Kāla-Deśa – See Deśa-Kāla. 8. Deśa-Kāla (Space-time) – The ideas of size and duration that emerge in our minds through the experience of various objects and actions. Both deśa and kāla are expressions of the existence of the world. The world is an aggregate of things and actions. The word deśa (or dik - direction) indicates the shape and size of objects in the world and their mutual relationships. The word kāla...
Gist ಸ್ಮಿತದಿಂ ಸೌಹೃದವೀಕ್ಷಾ- ಮೃತದಿಂ ಫಲ್ಗುಣನ ಸಂತವಿಡುತವನುಲಿದಾ ಮತಿಮೋಹವ ನೀಗುವ ಜೀ- ವಿತತ್ತ್ವವ ಪಾಡಿದಂ ಜಗದ್ಗುರು ಕೃಷ್ಣಂ || 1 || With a smile and a nectar-like glance of friendship, the world-teacher, Kṛṣṇa, sang the essence of life, curing Phalguṇa’s (Arjuna’s) mind delusion  that caused him to utter words of unhappiness.   ಅವಿಚಾರದ ಕೃಪೆಯೇಂ ತ- ತ್ತ್ವವಿಮರ್ಶಾಧಾರಮಿರದ ಧರ್ಮಾಸ್ಥೆಯದೇಂ ಸವಿಷಾದ ವಿರಕ್ತಿಯದೇಂ ನವಕುಸುಮಾಸ್ತರಣಗುಪ್ತಗರ್ತಂ ಸುಖಮೇಂ || 2 || What is...
The fault of Arjuna’s compassion is not just that it was indiscriminate and unexamined. It was mixed with ego. The self-delusion that he was responsible for deciding the nature of his dharma, that the others were fit for compassion, that the decision to fight the war was out of his own free will (see BG 18.58–59) was included in it. Among the various forms of human relationship, compassion is indeed great. There are very few people in the world...
BhagavadGeeta-2
It is claimed often that ours is an Age of Science, an era of intellectual superiority. On the one hand, the intellect is mighty but on the other hand, the mind is fragile. Our times despise difficulties. Let nothing be difficult, may everything be easy – a piece of cake – this is today’s mindset. This starts in our schools. Indian languages have the letters cha, bha, kṣa, hra – who needs these letters? They weary the children. Let us not...
Sri Krishna and Arjuna
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 – na rocaye jñāti-vadhaṃ draṣṭuṃ brahmarṣi-sattama। yuddham-etat-tv-aśeṣeṇa śṛṇuyāṃ...
Gist ಭರತಕುಲದುಭಯವಾಹಿನಿ 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 Substance When the armies of the Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas gathered at Kurukṣetra, known as dharma-kṣetra—the abode of dharma—Arjuna beheld his elders and relatives in front...
BhagavadGeeta
The Yoga of Life The Bhagavad-gītā establishes and illustrates these three problems of life on a philosophical foundation. There is a place for kāma, a place for artha, a place for dharma, and a place for mokṣa. How is it possible to establish the suitability of attaining one of these four? What are the rules for each of the four puruṣārthas? How are those four courses to be adjusted to ensure that they do not hamper one another? Indicating the...
Puruṣārtha 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). Kāma and Artha are first desired by all. Both of these...