“You grieve for those beyond grief, and you speak works of insight; but learned men do not grieve for the dead or the living. Never have I not existed, nor you, nor these kings; and never in the future shall we cease to exist. Just as the embodied self enters childhood, youth, and old age, so does it enter another body; this does not confound a steadfast man. Our bodies are known to end, but the embodied self is enduring, indestructible, and immeasurable; therefore, Arjuna, fight the battle! He who thinks this self a killer and he who thinks it killed, both fail to understand; it does not kill, nor is it killed. It is not born, it does not die; having been, it will never not be; unborn, enduring, constant, and primordial, it is not killed when the body is killed. Arjuna, when a man knows the self to be indestructible, enduring, unborn, unchanging, how does he kill or cause anyone to kill? Death is certain for anyone born, and birth is certain for the dead; since the cycle is inevitable, you have no cause to grieve! Be intent on action, not on the fruits of action; avoid attraction to the fruits and attachment to inaction! Perform actions, firm in discipline, relinquishing attachment; be impartial to failure and success – this equanimity is called discipline”
First, Arjuna is in depressed when he saw some of his men and family members are turning into the opponent side. He’s almost lost when Krishna advised him such in the text above. In the time of desperation and depression, Krishna tried to remind him that as a warrior, killing is unavoidable even if the opponents are dear to his heart. To comfort Arjuna, Krishna is also reminded him that even if the opponents are killed, his soul will always be alive and that the dead will soon be reborn again. And Arjuna should think thoroughly the consequences of his action if he’s reluctant to kill them since he, as a warrior, should not hesitate to banish the enemies in order to bring back the peace even if it costs the lives of his love ones, and I believe, this is why Krishna stressed on action rather than the fruit of such an action. In the war time, the personal and feeling matters should be put aside because they can interrupt the morale of a warrior.
This excerpt from Bhagavad-Gita may sounds cold but yet it has its realistic part; when our lives are in danger, why would we have a pity for our enemies, even if they’re our siblings? If they intend to make a chaos and destroy the world, why would we have to defend their action, even if they’re our best friends? Sometimes we have to think of those who will suffer from such negative action rather than thinking of our relation with the ones who destroy everything. Harsh action is needed when the situation is forcing us to use it. Overall, I don’t really regard Krishna’s advice as a cold one but he’s on the right track; it may saves many people’s lives including Arjuna’s.
I cannot think much of how will the Hindus take comfort from this but in the small points, this may drives them to be more concentrate on their duties to their gods which, I think, will make them more devout to their religion. This excerpt taught people to hold the morality in the highest place above the personal matters, of which, those personal matters can be regard as lust and sin since it can deviate and confuse people from the right way to wrong. People with strong morale inside them often committed to their duties and hold on to the law and order strictly, so from my opinion, the devout Hindus will find an ease by recalling the “special place” of the morale in religion, thus they will have no time in giving their lust a chance to invade their inner selves.
On the side note: this is my own interpretation as to comply with an assignment of one of my History modules, “The State and Society in World Civilizations”.
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