Bhagwat Gita is one of the spiritual texts of Hindu Dharma. It is part of a voluminous poem cum ithihas (History) of Mahabharata. It contains 700 verse out of 10,000,0 verse of Mahabharata. Before my commentary on this subject, I would like to tell you about the few things about this blog. I will not mention all verses of Bhagwat Gita in this chapter because few of them are the emotional expression of Arjuna (student) and few of them plain instruction by Lord Krishna (teacher). I will mention only those texts which can be questioned as a point of view by an atheist or important to understand the context of Bhagwat Gita.
Each verse, I have found to be eligible to ask are mentioned in quote block and an answer is by me and guru ji will be italic with the colon. Words in Sanskrit will be constructed as “aa” for “Ā “.
In Bhagwat Gita, First chapter Lord Krishna and Arjuna is standing in between a large battle of India. From here, this whole episode of war has been vocal translated by Sanjaya (King Dhristrastra minister) who was gifted to this far vision. This far vision is provided to him as a gift.
Now, Here I asked my first question to my guru. How can a person get a far vision in ancient time? He told me that in ancient India this far vision and divine eyesight is symbolized for the wisdom of a person. As much as a person is able to raise his consciousness higher and see through words has been saying can be considered a person of greatly gifted vision. In reality, that fight was continuous for 18 days, and for no reason, sanjay was able to visualize continuously the whole seen like a satellite. so he was informed by war messenger every time.
Initial 2-14 verse Sanjay describes how King Duryodhana (king’s son who was against his cousin’s) is describing the formation and mighty worries in Pandav’s (Arjuna brothers) army. How he is being impatient and want to listen to some praise words from his elders to overcome his tension of winning the war. This verse is irrelevant and part of stories so I am avoiding them.
In verse 27, When the son of Kuntī (Arjuna) saw all these different grades of friends and relatives, he became overwhelmed with compassion and spoke thus:
Verse 28, Arjuna said: My dear Kṛṣṇa, seeing my friends and relatives present before me in such a fighting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.
Verse 29, My whole body is trembling, and my hair is standing on end. My bow Gāṇḍīva is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning.
Verse 30, I am now unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself, and my mind is reeling. I foresee only evil, O killer of the Keśī demon.
In these verses, when Arjuna order Lord Krishna to get into between the battle ground or he can see the whole construction of the army of kuru ( cousin’s of pandav and brother of Duryodhana). After watching whole his family elders in opposite side, Arjuna become compassion for them. he told to Krishna that he is feeling extreme nervousness and guilty for come to a war which involves his own family member and elders. he said to Krishna about his physical condition after seeing this war like situation and thinking about the result.
Guru Ji explained me, After being a courageous worrier, still, Arjuna feels the compassion for the people or family members who are ready to kill him for the throne. this shows the basic quality of a human. a human which is satvick ( extreme good in nature) nature always think about others and tried to avoid the war like situation no matter how much he suffers from injustice. In this situation, Arjuna and his brother have spent 13 years exile for the land which was related to them. After completing exile in the forest, they were denied their rights. Still avoiding to war, Lord Krishna purposed five villages for five brothers, which was not considered by Duryodhana and king. So they were forced to fight for their right. but still, in battleground Arjuna becomes to compensate for same people who were denying him his rightful land.
verse 31, I do not see how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in this battle, nor can I, my dear Kṛṣṇa, desire any subsequent victory, kingdom, or happiness.
verse 32, O Govinda, of what avail to us are kingdoms, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed in this battlefield? O Madhusūdana, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and all relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, then why should I wish to kill them, though I may survive? O maintainer of all creatures, I am not prepared to fight with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth.
Verse 33, Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and our friends. What should we gain, O Kṛṣṇa, husband of the goddess of fortune, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?
Guru Ji said, In this verse, Arjuna show what is the reason for him to not fighting after such atrocities. he said, he didn’t see any reason to fight a war with his family member for a throne which is only a materialistic approach. Kingdom is manmade material construct to rule the land by dharmic law. how he can kill his family for this materialistic kingdom. Arjuna also said it’s sinful to him kill his own member for the kingdom and at last what he will gain. Can he will be happy after such killings and gaining kingdom over death bodies.
verse 37-38, O Janārdana, although these men, overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one’s family or quarreling with friends, why should we, with knowledge of the sin, engage in these acts?
verse 39, With the destruction of dynasty, the eternal family tradition is vanquished, and thus the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligious practice.
Verse 40, When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Kṛṣṇa, the women of the family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, comes unwanted progeny.
verse 41, When there is the increase of unwanted population, a hellish situation is created both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. In such corrupt families, there is no offering of oblations of food and water to the ancestors.
Guru Ji said, Arjuna also explain the other side dilemma for war. he said these members are influenced by greed and hence unable to see the sin of killing but how we can, we are the enlightened one. He said after this war dynasties will be destroyed and this war will result to the broken tradition of dharma. he said, without dharma, women (in ancient India, women considered as the prominent holder for family economically & culturally ) will be corrupt (here corruption meaning, corruption of thought and action in dharmic life) and it will lead to notorious society who will be materialistic and less human. such adharmic population will lead to a nation where people forget their ancestors.
Verse 42, Due to the evil deeds of the destroyers of family tradition, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated.
Verse 43, O Kṛṣṇa, maintainer of the people, I have heard by disciplic succession that those who destroy family traditions dwell always in hell.
verse 44, Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful acts, driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness.
verse 45, I would consider it better for the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra to kill me unarmed and unresisting, rather than fight with them.
Guru Ji said, In this verses, Arjuna grief and compassion for his family transformed to a suicidal attempt and nature of cowardliness. he can not stand for his rightful demand with this cowardliness. In these verses, Arjuna gives the excuse to his nonaction for his right act. he said by this war kuru and pandav dynasties will move to an end where all welfare activates will be ended and he will be dwell in hell (Hinduism doesn’t hold the concept of hell, it is misrepresented here, the meaning here is only the eternal pain of killing his own dynasty) . At last Arjuna ready to sacrifice himself fuel this grief which is absolutely crowdedness and he wanted to explain this by implying the guilt over him. Arjuna said it batter for him to get killed for saving those who was not interested in giving him his rightful land in name of goodness. Here “Goodness” transform into “evil” and “cowardliness”.
My View as an Atheist
This is an introduction chapter only, so most of the verse are only related to Mahabharata Only. In this chapter, we have seen that how Arjuna from a mighty worrier to come into the decision to suicide for right emotion, not for right acts. This gives me few facts about Hindu philosophy
1.Rightful action and rightful emotion is not co-related in extreme position. A right emotion can turn suicidal in its extreme condition.
2.The human mind can be suicidal in the attempt of being extremely right.
3.Every time as human we had fought in our mind. this fight can be good v/s bad, right v/s wrong, sin v/s boon. This situation of Arjuna teaches us the basic lesson. Action should not be based on extreme emotion and extreme action should not be based on action.
4.The construction of righteousness is very with the degree of emotions in humans. more practice approach to life can lead emotionless society and extreme emotional approach can lead self-destructive nature.
In this chapter no extraordinary claim done by Krishna and Arjuna, which can be questioned. as a atheist. This very texts based on Human approach to the situation where he has to fight with his own righteousness and family for the rightful act.
(Disclaimer: If you are an atheist, and looking for a blog where someone bluntly and without listening the dharmic side has done criticism than this blog is not for you. I have clearly asked my atheist question to my spiritual guru and he replied me on specific question with more elaborated explanation. He claimed no authorities over reality of nature and universe but best representation of Bhagwat gita in form of scientific evidence and scientific theory or considerable scientific hypothesis, You are free to post question)