Understanding Gita – 5

Second episode/adhyaya – Sankhya yoga


arjuna uvāca

katha bhīmam aha sakhye

droa ca madhusūdana

iubhi pratiyotsyāmi

pūjārhāv ari-sūdana


arjuna uvācaArjuna said; kathamhow; bhīmamunto Bhīṣma; ahamI; sakhyein the fight; droamunto Droṇa; caalso, madhusūdana—O killer of Madhu; iubhiwith arrows; pratiyotsyāmishall counterattack; pūjāarhauthose who are worshipable; arisūdanaO killer of the enemies.

Above text and translation is from – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg”

Arjuna Uvacha –  Oh Madhusudhana! How can I counterattack Bhishma and Drona who are worthy of my worship?

Bhisma and Drona were the elders of the family. And on top of that they were very fond of Arjuna, and so was Arjuna of them. One is not supposed to talk back to elders(how much ever wrong they are!!), but Arjuna right now has to fight with them!! Our culture places lot of importance on elders and has set so many dos and don’ts with them. We are supposed to blindly follow whatever they say and not question them. In my humble opinion this has only fed their egos, and made the situation worse for the younger generation as the generations progressed.. With age should come maturity, and if one clearly sees immaturity in the elder’s decisions and actions, and when they are imposing their views and opinions on you, what is one supposed to do? blindly follow them?

I think that is what Bhishma did when he took ‘Bhishma Pratigne’… blindly oblige to his father’s whims and fancies and then take an oath to protect the throne. Well, I am no Bhishma, but I would’ve rather told my dad that it doesn’t suit him to go after a girl (whose family is clearly eyeing the throne) at his age.. either let go of the idea of marrying her or find another girl..

Another thing I never understood in Mahabharatha was why did learned men like Bhishma and Drona chose the side of adharma? (Note to self – I should watch Mahabharatha again). Why did they keep silent during Droupadi’s Vastrapaharana? Aren’t elders supposed to intervene when the younger ones are making poor decisions? Couldn’t they beat the crap out of Kauravas with their power(or astras) then and there? Sometimes I wonder if they desired to be killed in this war, for moksha…


gurūn ahatvā hi mahānubhāvān

śreyo bhoktu bhaikyam apīha loke

hatvārtha-kāmās tu gurūn ihaiva

bhuñjīya bhogān rudhira-pradigdhān


gurūnthe superiors; ahatvāby killing; hicertainly; mahāanubhāvāngreat souls; śreyait is better; bhoktumto enjoy life; bhaikyambegging; apieven; ihain this life; lokein this world; hatvākilling; arthagain; kāmānso desiring; tubut; gurūnsuperiors; ihain this world; evacertainly; bhuñjīyahas to enjoy; bhogānenjoyable things; rudhirablood; pradigdhāntainted with.

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

It is better to live the life of a beggar than kill my superiors and Gurus. Even the enjoyments of our victories will be tainted with their blood.

With material things, there lies an underlying feeling that’s attached to it. If the feeling associated with that thing is unpleasant you suffer, if it’s pleasant you enjoy. When you buy an expensive car with your hard earned money, that car gives you a sense of gratification. When you see a big scratch on it after your very first ride, that same car gives you misery..

So what’s the use of having material gains after the victory of a war, if the underlying feeling behind it is sure to cause you misery?

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