A conversation between two Yogi's at a most improbable place in the middle of a war and a strange topic of conversation
Karm Yoga. Both, Krishna and Arjuna , were both yogies s? Arjuna , the biggest warrior , and trained by the very best; likes of Guru Dronacharya and overseen by Bheeshma and Krishna ,
Maha Neetikaar the biggest strategist and karma yogi by any means, by any standards. In a way the entire epic of Mahabharata is to craddle this conversation; a conversation between two Yogi's
Chapter three of Gita, the Karma Yoga is fully dedicated to this topic. And that is what I want to focus, in a specific way of narrative delivery what we call Nada Yoga. In chapter one, the writer the poet, Ved Vyasa describes the battlefield
Dharm Kshetre, Kuru Kshetre - horses, elephants and the young men and the women, eager to test their ideas, eager to take on each other. The leaders on the both sides pronounced the war with a
Shankh Dhvani. So, Arjuna asked Krishna to take the chariot centre stage, he wanted to see what are these people who are willing to put their life and blood, knowing very well none can stand a chance to compete with Krishna and Arjuna together, then why these people are so eager to get into the dual. But he doesn't see enemies out there. What he sees are the faces of his cousins, his teachers and mostly his friends. Am I committing a mistake? The duality strikes and immediately without any thought, he tells Krishna- O Krishna Are we on the right path? Or are we making a mistake? In fact, he thinks that even Krishna is making a mistake by enduring this war.
Krishna is obviously surprised with this sudden change in In the mood, the sudden change in in the vibe and the sudden rise of weakness in Arjuna. As a friend, Krishna thinks about what Arjuna said and he allows him to make up his mind. Even in the middle of war, there is no rush. Krishna takes it as an opportunity for Arjuna to really understand who he is, what he feels and say what exactly he wanted to say.
Arjuna goes on to describe his thinking. he deems his family, his friends and his teachers as the most important thing. If he takes on this war, he would be someone who destroyed the family
Varna Sankar. He had many ideas based on his
Samskaras what he had learnt from the very best and he walks back in the rear side of the chariot and it sits there lifeless, as if the blood drained off this veins. Having seen armies, he finally says the words. He says ..
Karpanya Dosh-aophat Swabhavah , Prichami Tvam Dharm Sammoodh Cheta;
Yatshrya Nishchitam Bruhi Tanme, Shishyasteham Shadhi Mam Tvam Prappanam.
I'm not able to make up my mind. So hey, Krishna, put me on the right path. Treat me like your disciple. I urge you to review the situation once again. Maybe everything is not lost yet. Maybe we can save ourselves from making a grave mistake. And in doing that, we can save the family.
Of course , Arjuna thouht, what else Krishna would say. No one in the right mind can support the war as it is. And in this particular case, it's not even a war against enemies. It's the war within the family, against the very teachers who taught the art of war and all the friends there's no one who's unrecognisable.
Krishna takes a pause. Now that he's been appointed as a teacher, by no less than the biggest archer, the biggest warrior ever seen by the mankind. Arjuna himself is calling him a teacher. So he needs to think and decide the righteous path. Again, he weighs that the situation demands a quick delivery of the message. But at the same time, he's talking to Arjuna. So he needs to be detailed enough to convince a Yogi -
Nidrajayi Arjuna -spmeone who had won the sleep itself. Arjuna was an example of dedication, control and focus himself. So he takes his time and he explains everything in chapter two. Now, many people say that Chapter Two itself is the completion of Gita, which is kind of true because Krishna covers everything, what he needs to say and what Arjuna needs to hear. At the same time, he understands that it is a lot.
So, in the beginning of chapter three, Arjuna raises couple of questions. In fact, those questions are more like an allegation. He says
Jyasasi [better] Chet [if] Karmanh [from action] Te Mata [per your opinion] Buddhih [intelligence] Janardna [O Krishna];
Tat Kim [then why] Karmani Ghore [ghastly actions] Mam [me] Niyojayasi [ you are engaging] Kesava [O Krishna] .
After hearing Krishna in chapter two, Arjuna reaches the conclusion that whatever Krishna said, it meant that intelligence is better than actions. So, he says, If intelligence is better than actions in your opinion, O Krishna, then why are you engaging me in these acts of war, these undoable unthinkable actions. Having made himself a disciple of Krishna. He further goes on to say
Vya [your] Mishrena Eva [ Kinda mixed] Vakyen [sentences -> words] Buddhim [intelligence] Mohayasi Eva [you are kinda delusioning] Me [me];
Tat [therefore] Ekm [one thing] Vad [tell] Nishchitya [after deciding] Yena [by which] Shreya [better in the eyes of others] Ahm [I] Aapnuyam [I get].
Now, this is a real blow, real allegation on Krishna. As I said, this is a conversation between two Yogies, a fascinating conversation. This conversation is what Karma Yoga is all about. As we know there are many many types of yoga. In the Scripture, we start with Hath Yoga, Nyaan Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Naad Yoga. And they say that Karma Yoga is the mother and father of all the yoga. Krishna himself advocates karma yoga and in the context of Karm Yoga, Arjuna is saying, your mixed messages are confusing me, you are saying many things . Therefore, decide one thing tell clearly which brings me credit. Arjuna is not asking for the the Kingdom . All he is saying that I want credit in the in the eyes of others. So, tell me one thing after deciding which bring me the honour , which is appreciated by historians after the war is finished, which creates a legacy.
Now, this conversation is is not based on any ego Arjuna is not trying to pull a fast one on Krishna. We do that many times but Arjuna is serious . And Krishna understands that he he probably said too much in too little time. And he understands that it may be difficult for Arjuna to comprehend this all. The reason I'm saying this is if Arjuna himself or Yogi, was unable to understand Krishna speaking face to face in the middle of the war, what chance do we stand to understand Gita from chapter two? So many people say that chapter two is pretty much everything that Gita has to say. The problem is there is just so much that even Arjuna had to take a break and dive deeper. So in chapter three, they take on the topic of karma yoga. And Krishna takes a step back. And he understands that maybe he needs to explain a little better. So here he says
Loke [in the world] Asmin [this] Dwi-Vidha [two kinds of] Nishtha [faith] Pura [previously] Prokta [said] Maya [by me] Anagha [O sinless Arjun];
Jnana Yogena [with ritual of knowledge] Sankhyanam [by philospphers] Karm Yogen [with ritiual of actions] Yoginam [by Yogies].
So Krishna, having understood the confusion that still prevails in the mind of biggest warrior and his friend and he talks back to him with love and respect, he says - O sinless Arjuna , There are two types of faith in this world as told by me previously Nyana yoga for the philosophers and scientists and Karma Yoga for the Yogies - those who are connected to me.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai