Dialog between Krishna and Arjuna: A Geeta reader for teaching in Yukthi class
Introduction: Birth of Geeta
According to Mahabhaarata, Bhagawad Geeta was born in a battlefield. But saints say that the truth of Geeta is born fresh whenever there is a war between Good and Evil, and we are confused of our duty. Thus Geeta jayanthi or the birth of Geeta is always a fresh event in our everyday lives. Every life situation that requires decision-making is the moment of Geeta’s birth and application.
In Mahabharata, to which Geeta forms a part, Paandavaas and Kauravaas meet at Kurushektra for a final battle. This will settle who rules over from Hastinapura. On the side of Paandavas are the five princes, their friends and allies. Arjuna, the valiant hero, is supported by Sri Krishna as his charioteer stands proud with his four brothers. They face the vastly outnumbering army of kauravaas consisting of one hundred brothers of Duryodhanaa, Great Grandpa of all – Bheeshma, military teacher of all – Drona, Karna and others.
At the time of the first day of the battle, Arjuna asks Sri Krishna to take his chariot between the two armies to have a clear look. Vengeance and anger over 14 years of exile and other happenings surge in his heart. Arjuna has long known Sri Krishna only as his friend and later, as a brother-in-law. He has called him names and tried to beat him in their playful games. He does not know Sri Krishna’s Divinity, that Sri Krishna is an Avataar of Naaraayanaa.
When Arjuna has a look of his opponents, he realizes that he is there on the battlefield to kill his teachers, very dearest grandpa, and his cousins. All for regaining the throne of Hastinapura… He forgets the evil and adharma perpetuated by Duryodhana and his allies. He forgets the vow of Dharma Rakshana – protection of Dharma – he has taken as a mature warrior. He loses his heart, his mind weakens and his resolve flutters.
The great warrior tells his charioteer and friend that he cannot fight his family for whatever good reason. Sri Krishna by his wise words removes the veil of ignorance and teaches Arjuna, and all of us, the eternal truth. In that moment of extreme anguish and darkness of a soul, Light of Truth – the Divine (Bhagawad) Song (Geeta) – is born. This is the brief story of Geeta Jayanthi – Birth of Geeta from Bhagwan Himself.
This narration starts with Arjuna’s anguish, a few essential snippets of Sri Krishna’s words and closure of Arjuna’s dilemma.
Reading, understanding and living by it’s meaning is a Yagna in itself. ‘
I am anguished.. Why should I fight?
Q: Krishna, my friend, I can’t see any good coming from slaying Kauravaas. Now I don’t desire victory, or a kingdom, or pleasure. What if they are evil? After all they are my relatives. I would be forever ashamed, if I were to kill my family in battle. If I do, how could I ever be happy? I shall not fight, why should I?
(sloka 1-31) na cha sreyo nupasyaami
hatvaa sva-jana maahave
na kaankshe vijayam krisna
na cha raajyam sukhani cha
Q: Krishna, I am worried and anxious. I don’t know the way out of this utter confusion. Please do not just tell me to go and fight; I am asking you to help me. I am your student and you are my guru. What should I do now? I take refuge in you, I surrender to you. Krishna, will you please instruct me and show me the right way?
kaarpanya dosho pahata svabhaavaha
pricchami tvam dharma sammuda cetaaha
yach chreyah syan niscitam bruhi tan me
shisyas te ham saadhi mam tvam prapannam
Path of Works or Karma Yoga
Q: Krishna, how should I do my duty here in the battlefield or in life without being anxious?
Work hard in the world, Arjuna, but for work’s sake only. You have every right to work but not for it’s fruits thereof. Don’t be inclined to not doing your duty because of selfish reasons. By keeping strong determination, you can refuse to be attached to or affected by the results whether favorable or unfavorable.
Karmanye vaadhikaras the
maa phaleshu kadaachana
maa karma-phala-hetur bhur
maa the sangos tvakarmani
Q: Krishna, don’t you know it is very difficult not to worry about the results? Can I even do my job well by not worrying about the outcome of what I do?
Dhananjaya! To work without desire may seem impossible, but the way to do is to substitute thoughts of Me for the thoughts of desire. Do your work in this world with your heart fixed on me instead of on outcomes. Do not worry about the results. Be even-minded in success or failure. This equanimity is yoga. If you practice such equanimity while doing your work, you can indeed do your work much better.
yoga-sthah kuru karmaani
sangam tyaktvaa dhananjaya
siddhyaa siddhyoh samo bhutvaa
samatvam yoga ucyate
Q: Krishna, can only wise people and monks who give up everything reach you? Is there a sure way for ordinary people who have to work daily to reach you?
Paartha! There is! What ever you do, keep your mind always on Atmaa or Divine Self and do your worldly duties without attachment to it or desire for results. Make this as automatic as your heartbeat. This is the sure way to reach Me just by doing your duty.
kaaryam karma samaachara
asakto hyaacharan karma
param aapnoti poorushaha
Avataar of Sri Krishna
Q: Krishna! You ask me to fight to protect Dharma at this time. How do you protect Dharma in this world whenever it needs you to?
Hey Bharathaa! Whenever goodness and dharma weaken, and evil grows stronger, I make myself a body and walk on earth as a avataar.
yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bhaarata
tadaatmaanam srijamy aham
Q: Vaasudeva! What do you do when you take avataars like this?
I take avataars to uplift and transform society, to reestablish the balance of goodness over wickedness. I live on this earth to serve as model for others to follow. I come age after age in times of spiritual and moral crisis for this purpose.
vinaasaaya cha duskrutaam
sambhavaami yuge yuge
Vibhuthis and Divine Form of Sri Krishna
Q: Krishna, I have always treated you as my friend. I even asked you to drive my chariot. But you are Purshottamaa himself, and is now my teacher. Will you please forgive me for my ignorance and educate me of your Divine nature?
Dhananjeya! I am the underlying essence of all elements and beings. Nothing exists separate from my Divinity. There is no power in the cosmos that does not come from me. The entire Universe is suspended from me as if I were the string in a necklace of jewels. My Divinity is the force that holds them all together.
Maththah parataram naanyat
kinchid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-ganaa iva
Q: Krishna, What is the essence of this vast and varied universe that came from you?
Son of Kunthee! I am the innate nature of everything. In pure water I am the sweet taste. In the sun and moon, I am the radiance. I am the virility and courage in people. I am the sacred Om among the sounds of Vedas, and I am the sound of it heard in the universe.
rasoham apsu kaunteya
prabhasmi sasi suryayoh
sabdah khe paurusam nrushu
Path of Devotion or Bhakthi Yoga
Q: Krishna, is Bhakti to you alone is sufficient to lead our lives? How do you take care of us who are your devotees?
Arjuna, listen to this king of secrets: Do your duty as I have taught you. While doing so, think of me only and constantly adore and worship me with your mind and heart undistracted. I will personally carry the burden of your welfare. I will provide for your needs and safeguard what has already been provided.
ananyaas chintayanto maam
ye janaah paryupaasate
teshaam nityaabhi yuktaanaam
yoga-ksemam vaham yaham
Q: My Lord, how can I ever attain you? Is there a simple way for ordinary folks like me?
Kountheya, Devotion is the simplest way to reach me. Give all your love to me. Adore me, the One Divine. Make all your acts an offering. Surrender to me. Make Me your fondest ideal and highest goal Set your heart steady on me and you will indeed attain me.
Manmanaa bhava madh baktho
madyaajee maam namaskuru
maame vaishyasi yukthvaivam
Aathmaanam math parayanaha
Q: Krishna, how should we worship you to be saved from this cycle of birth and death?
Arjuna, Offer me all your actions, set your minds on me with unswerving devotion, worship me as your dearest, and take me as your one and only refuge in life. Know for sure that I quickly come to anyone with such devotion. who Because such devotees love me so dearly, I save them from sorrow of death and endless waves of rebirth.
(sloka 12-6 & 7) ye tu sarvaani karmanee
mayi sannyasya mat-paraaha
mam dhyayanta upasate
Q: Krishna, most of us have led sinful lives until now. What happens to sinful people when they learn to be devoted to you?
Kauntheya! Mark my words in your heart: if a person tainted with the wayward actions of a lifetime but turns to me in utter devotion, I see no sinner. That person’s devotion to me will quickly transform his or her nature. Know this for certain: No one devoted to me ever fails or goes waste.
kshipram bhavathi dharmaatmaa
na me bhaktaah pranasyati
Path of Liberation or Moksha Sanyaasa Yoga
Q: Achyuthaa! Before I go and do my duty, will you please assure me of my salvation?
Arjuna! I promise: Fix your mind on me! Give me your whole heart. Adore me always and bow to me only. Make me your very own. By this acts, you will discover me and come to me. You are very dear to me. Now, with a clear heart, go and do your duty as warrior.
man-manaa bhaava madh bhakto
madhyaaji maam namaskuru
maam evaishyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo si me
Wherever Yogeshwar Krishna and Arjuna armed with bow are, there can always be found Wellbeing, victory of good over evil, plenitude, adherence to eternal Dharma.When Sri Krishna and Arjuna get together, there is the birth of Bhagawad Geeta.
yatra yogesvarah krishno
yatra paartho dhanurdharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir
dhruvaa neetir matirmama