[Advaita-l] GITA - dvitIyo'dhyAyaH : 2.1 - 2.9

Amuthan Arunkumar R aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Fri Nov 11 10:24:03 CST 2005

namo nArAyaNAya!

dvitIyo'dhyAyaH (sA~Nkhya yoga)

as was seen in the first adhyAya, arjuna, because of
his attachment to his relatives, was immersed in grief
and delusion. the circumstances under which the grief
occurred indicate that it was a sudden one. being
completely overpowered by it, he sat down in the
chariot, unable to fight. this is expressed by
sa~njaya as follows,

sa~njaya uvAcha -
taM tathA kR^ipayAviShTamashrupUrNakulekShaNam.
viShIdantamidaM vAkyamuvAcha madhusUdanaH..2.1

knowing fully well the delusion and the subsequent
grief which tormented arjuna, kR^iShNa says the
following words,

shrI bhagavAn uvAcha -
kutastvA kashmalamidaM viShame samupasthitam.

here, kR^iShNa ridicules arjuna by saying that his act
is neither approved by wise men nor leads to svarga
nor gives fame. since it is undesirable to a
kShatriya, kR^iShNa, with the intention of arousing
arjuna to fight, uses a very strong language, as can
be seen from the next verse,

klaibyaM mA sma gamaH pArtha naitattvayyupapadyate.
kShudraM hR^idayadaurbalyaM tyaktvottiShTha

arjuna, not understanding kR^iShNa's intentions,
objects to this as follows,

arjuna uvAcha -
kathaM bhIShmamahaM sa~Nkhye droNaM cha madhusUdana.
iShubhiH pratiyotsyAmi pUjArhAvarisUdana..2.4

gurUnahatvA hi mahAnubhAvAn shreyo bhoktuM
bhaikShyamapIha loke.
hatvArthakAmAMstu gurUnihaiva bhu~njIya boghAn

this represents another important consequence of
delusion. arjuna, because of an ill-founded
compassion, concludes that it is better to adopt the
life of begging (an activity prohibited for
kShatriya-s) than to follow his natural dharma to
fight. thus, this delusion manifests itself in the
form of one embracing paradharma, neglecting one's own

arjuna, confused about his dharma, points out the
uncertainities involved in the battle, 

na chaitadvidmaH kataranno garIyo yadvA jayema yadi vA
yAneva hatvA na jijIviShAmste'vastithAH pramukhe

but since he was not able to take a decision of his
own, torn as he was between his urge not to fight and
kR^iShNa urging him to fight, he surrenders to
kR^iShNa to know that which is best for him, 

kArpaNyadoShopahatasvabhAvaH pR^ichChAmi tvA
yachChreyaH syAnnishchitaM brUhi tanme shiShyaste'haM
shAdhi mAM tvAm prapannaM..2.7

thus, the gItA shAstram starts off with arjuna doing a
sharaNAgati to kR^iShNa to know the way out of his
grief. kR^iShNa ends the gItopadesha in the eighteenth
adhyAya by saying 'sarva dharmAn parityajya mAmekaM
sharaNaM vraja' (18.66), indicating that sharaNAgati
is the ultimate import of the gItA [1].

next, arjuna gives (once again) the reason why he his
unable to overcome the delusion by himself by stating
that he finds no other way of dispelling the scorching

na hi prapashyAmi mamApanudyAd
avApya bhUmAvasapatnamR^iddhaM rAjyaM surANAmapi

and finally, arjuna, unable to convince himself to
fight, having surrendered to kR^iShNa, became silent.
this is expressed by sa~njaya,

sa~njaya uvAcha -
evamuktvA hR^iShIkesham guDAkeshaH parantapaH.
na yotsya iti govindamuktvA tUShNiM babhUva ha..2.9

this covers all the shloka-s before kR^iShNa starts
the gItopadesha.

note: i have, in some sense, merely rewritten the gItA
shloka-s from 1.1 to 2.9. the purpose of doing this is
to set the context so that the cause of arjuna's grief
and delusion can be easily discussed. as mentioned in
the previous post, arjuna's reasons for not fighting
are relatively unimportant to us. what is really
important is how we identify this phase of arjuna in
our own life. since this is the most important lesson
to be learnt from the first adhyAya, i'll take this up
in a separate mail. 

footnotes and references

[1] in the last adhyAya, kR^iShNa concludes with
sharaNAgati having only an uttamAdhikArI in mind. see
for instance BP's bhAShyam on this. this sharaNAgati
is a little different from sharaNAgati as it is
normally understood. this will be taken up when we
reach the end of the gItA. 

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

Amuthan Arunkumar R,
Final year, B.Tech/M.Tech Dual Degree,
Dept. of Aerospace Engg., IIT Madras.

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