All Things Tarun

  • 09:40:11 am on July 12, 2010 | 0
    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    Dharma is your duty. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna instructs Arjuna on a council of war. Arjuna is distressed and does not wish to fight his brothers, grandfathers and teachers of the other side. He wishes to avoid the idea of killing anyone, and making these people perish. Even though he will be killed if he does not fight, Arjuna feels better to let go and detach himself from the war. To this point, Arjuna lays down his bow and arrow and sits and listens to Krishna. Krishna then begins the epic discourse by making a critical point: No one can penetrate the soul, and to think that you can destroy a soul in the process of eliminating a body is false. There should be no fear to fight a war, and, in the end, Arjuna will not determine the fate of the other person on the end of his arrow. His first discourse to Arjuna (of many to follow) culminates to this point:

    If you do not engage in this war of righteousness then abandoning your natural spiritual duty (dharmyam) and reputation you will incur sinful reaction (2.33).

    Krishna makes a few important points here:

    • The war is in fact a righteousness one, and he seems to speak of the ends rather than the means to get there. This statement represents a microcosm of the concept of moksha and the ultimate goal of one’s soul. Everyday we fight many internal battles, but all are worthy and righteous if fought for the right reasons.
    • It almost seems as if Arjuna should feel compelled to fight (hence the stress on do not). Again, this echoes the idea of karma and more the idea of fate — it shouldn’t matter if a person feels it is right or wrong. If it is in one’s dharma, then they must do it. Karma and dharma are uniquely intertwined to sort of weave the fabric of one’s life in general, it seems.
    • Sinful reaction here most likely suggests a bad result to one’s karma as a result of not fulfilling their dharma. Again, Krishna makes a fair point — do your duty and you will fulfill your karma. Do not, and you won’t. A very fair equal and opposite sort of logical approach. Which really speaks to me as a person as I see things the same way.

    Even if religion turns you off, the wisdom of the passage still resonates: Everything you do has a goal in mind. So abandoning some action is only going to result in a different goal being set. So, you may as well do what is ultimately going to lead to what is better for yourself rather than worry about potential smaller bumps in the road. That may be too broad of an interpretation, but it seems to make sense.


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