0144-RG–Vishada Yoga 1.44, 1.45, 1.46

Verses 44, 45, 46

aho bata mahat pāpaṁ

kartuṁ vyavasitā vayam

yad rājya-sukha-lobhena

hantuṁ sva-janam udyatāḥ

yadi mām apratīkāram

aśastraṁ śastra-pāṇayaḥ

dhārtarāṣṭrā raṇe hanyus

tan me kṣemataraṁ bhavet

sañjaya uvāca

evam uktvārjunaḥ saṅkhye

rathopastha upāviśat

visṛjya sa-śaraṁ cāpaṁ



Alas, it is strange indeed that we are ready to commit sinful acts knowingly. Driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness, we are intent on killing our own kinsmen. Better it is for the sons of Dhritarashtra with weapons in hands were to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield. Sanjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken cast aside his bow and arrows sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.

RG Purport:  Arjuna had concluded with his limited understanding of the Shastras that both he and the Lord were on the verge of committing a heinous crime of extirpating the Kuru race. Arjuna having thus understood the situation gave up the idea of resisting the sons of the blind Dhritarashtra even if he were attacked unarmed. Arjuna seems to display the characteristics of a truly non-violent being as if he were the highest representative of non-violence.

The above surely represents the short-comings of a bound living entity. Although Arjuna is an eternally free associate of the Lord, here he represents the average man in Kaliyuga who is non-violent by nature. This is a true misrepresentation of the Shastras. The Shastras are a step-by-step ladder towards the highest ideal of reaching the Lord. The Varna Ashrama system represents the basic societal structure towards God-consciousness. If one does not follow this basic structure, any amount of so-called higher practices cannot lead you to the highest ideal. The first step of honesty is with oneself and then the next unit of honesty is to be visible in one’s family comprising of Man, Woman and child. If this sincerity is not followed, there is no question of ascending towards the highest reality. This is exactly the purpose of Varna Ashrama Dharma. Nowadays in the name of Bhakti, people seem to ignore or neglect household duties which are enjoined in Shastras. Feeling obligated to Prakriti is an important aspect of sadhana. One who respects Devatas and the forces of nature that feed one is immediately acceptable to the Lord. Kaliyuga does not grant special status to anyone who whimsically chants the names of the Lord by ignoring or slighting Prakriti. Such a person’s heart cannot be purified and one who engages only in the sadhana of the Purusa is sure to undergo health and existential issues. Therefore one has to be properly guided in Varna Ashrama Dharma which ensures proper loyalty of man to woman and woman to man and them jointly serving the forces of nature so that they are naturally impelled to the service of the Supreme person Sri Krishna.

A Kshatriya is supposed to protect the borders of his nation and fight for his right. He is born in a Kshatriya family because his characteristics are built to serve the purpose of an honest Kshatriya who regards his duty towards his people and motherland as foremost. He is not expected to speak like a wrecked Brahmana who talks the language of non-violence. This nature of the Kshatriya is opposed to the principle of the Varna Ashrama Dharma. Hence the feelings of Arjuna , although appearing to come from of platform of highly advanced beings is still steeped in ignorance and does not befit the philosophy of God-realization.

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