Saturday, 14 December 2013

Arjuna's problem


Practical  steps  to  spirituality-  section  6  part  54

The  Gita  revisited

Arjuna's problem  

                            Arjuna  confessed  to  Krishna  that  he  is  confused  about  his  duties  . The  cause  of  his  confusion  being  how  he  could  fight  his  own  relatives  . So  the  problem  was  confusion  about  what  to do  (  moha  )  leading  to  grief  (  soka  )  

                          In  our  own  life  , sometimes  we  are  confused  about  our  duties  . Our  duties  are  determined  by  our  identity. If  I  am  a  mother  , my  duty  is  to take  care  of  my  children  . A  son's / daughter's  duty  would  be  to  take  care  of  his / her   parents  in their  old  age. . The  confusion   about  my  duty  arises   when  I  have  many  identities  . I  am  a  daughter,  a  daughter n-in- law  , a  wife,  a  mother  and  when  I  work  outside  I  have  that  identity  also  . If  and  when  there  is  a  clash  between  my  various  roles  then  I  get  confused  about  which  one  duty  is  more  important   than  the  other  for  me  .  If  my  work  in  my  office  keeps  me  occupied  for   long  hours  in  the  office  at  the  cost  of  my  attention  and  duties  towards  my  family  ,then  this  leads  to  friction  with  the  family.and  I  the  get  confused about  my  duties.    Adi  Sankara  faced  a  similar  problem  in  his  own  life. . He  was   very  much  an  advanced   for  his  young  age    in  spirituality   ,hence  his  quest  for  Truth  was  so  great that      he  wanted  to  go out  into  the  world  in  search  of  a  Guru  and  then  to  take  to  a life of renunciation  . But  his    mother  would  not  allow  him  to  do  what  he  wanted  to  do. . Sankara's  dharma  to  take  care  of  his  mother   was  just  a  samanya  dharma  while  his  highest  dharma  , vishesha  dharma  ,  was  to  get  spiritual  enlightenment  ,  which  is   the  only  mission  in  life  for  every  human  being. Hence  he  left  his  home  in search  of  the  Truth. 

                       Confusion   also  arises  when  there  is  either  ignorance  of  our  identity  or  we  just  simply  forget  our  identity. , for  example  if  a  person  is  given  a  job  without  a  designation  , then  he  would  definitely  be  confused  about  his  duties. . Confusion  could  also  arise  when  one  forgets  his  responsibilities  . Arjuna  was  clear  in  his  mind  about  his  identity  when  he  entered  the  battlefield  . He  was  well  aware  that  he  was  a  soldier  whose  only duty  it  was  to  fight  this  righteous  war  . But  when  he  saw  his  own  grandfather , Bhisma,  and  his  revered  Gutu  , Dronacharya  ,  and  all  his  own  relatives  arrayed  in  the  opposite  side  he  forgot his  responsibilities    instead   had  the  identity  crisis  , which  became  the  cause  of  his  moha  and  soka. 

         We  shall  see in the  next  page the  solution  to  Arjuna's  problem   

to be  continued....


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