Bhagavad Gita – 1.2
So, my attempt through these postings of Bhagavad Gita series is to remove the phobia and the fear and share some of my basic understandings on Bhagavad Gita so that I can help more of you to take up to reading this and getting benefitted from the amazing knowledge it provides.
It will be good for all of us to know that the whole book is in the form of question and answer and therefore is very easy to understand. It is almost like being witness to someone else asking everything we wanted to ask and getting to hear the answers for all of them from none other than God Himself!
In this post, I wish to share a bit of my understanding on the first chapter of Bhagavad Gita. It is called Sainya Darshana, which means Observing the Armies on the Battlefield.
At the outset, we need to understand the meaning of the title of this chapter itself in its right perspective for today’s age and time before proceeding any further. The title of this chapter is “Observing the Armies of the Battlefield’. So, let’s first understand which is the Battlefield where this whole episode is happening. Because of lack of proper understanding of these kind of aspects, people are confused whether Bhagavad Gita and Mahabharata are part of our history or is it Mythology? Let’s set this confusion to rest right in the beginning.
There are four different and specific planetary positions that create four specific types of effects on the life that exists in this Universe and these are cyclic in nature and are time bound, each lasting a few thousand years. These four periods are called “Yuga’s” and these Yuga’s are also referred to as “Kaala Chakra” – the Time Cycle. These four Yuga’s are named Sat Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga. These four planetary arrangements and their impact on the entire existence is even accepted historically and scientifically.
As we all know, we are presently in Kali Yuga. If you see the image below, we can see that there is a period when we are moving from Kali Yuga to Sat Yuga, which is a progressive state of being and there is a period when we are moving form Sat Yuga towards Kali Yuga through Treta Yuga and Dwapar Yuga which is a deteriorating phase.
However, as we can see, nothing stays the same forever. Things are always changing and due to the very nature of this material world, all things are born, they grow, they deteriorate and then die before they are born again. Everything is consistently changing. Imagine a flower and you know what I mean here. A seed turns into a plant, a plant bears bud, bud blooms into a flower, flower performs its duty and fulfils its purpose of existence and then with time it dries up, withers away and dies. Of course, before it dies, it has transformed itself back into a seed to get into the whole process again.
So, because of contamination that exists in the material nature, which for human beings is in the form of greed, pride, anger, jealousy, etc, we start seeing the bad side of us take birth. So, by the time we are into Treta Yuga, we are able to see that along with good, there are some bad. These bad people are referred to as Devils or Enemies of the Good. When they appear, they appear on different planets in Treta Yuga. That is why when we read about those times, there is a Deva Loka, there is a Daitya or Asura Loka or the Planet of Good and Planet of Bad. When this dual nature exists, then conflict starts and we hear of the wars between Deva’s and Daitya’s in Treta Yuga and the Asura’s are always coming from a different Loka to trouble the Devata’s in the Deva Loka.
With time progressing towards Dwapar Yuga, Asura’s started appearing on the same planet as Deva’s or the good and bad started co-existing on the same planet. So, we hear of war between Sri Rama and Ravana or between Sri Krishna and Kamsa, wherein both appeared on the same planet.
Then comes Kali Yuga and here the good and bad have merged into one and we can find both within each one of us! Therefore, in today’s time, our conflicts are internal. Our battle is within us between our own good and bad side. Battlefield is our body and mind. Since, these two cannot co-exist peacefully, we are in a constant state of conflict or battle till we declare a war and one of the side within us wins. and of course, if we want happiness, we need to get our good side winning 🙂
In order to understand our Battlefield better, I would like to share a few thoughts on that before concluding this post. In Bhagavad Gita, Battlefield was Kuru Kshetra. Kuru was a King and the Kshetra or place was named after him. Because the King represented righteousness the same place was also referred to as Dharma Kshetra. This is very interesting. As is later explained in Bhagavad Gita, Dharma means Duty. So, Dharma Kshetra means the place for performing your duty!
So, in today’s context, our body and mind become our Dharma Kshetra, where we are constantly fighting our battle. The only way to stop this conflict and restlessness, is to learn what is good, what is our duty and strengthen that good side and perform our designated duty using the Dharma Kshetra we have been provided with. We have to become aware and conscious of our duty and do it with complete faith in our creator, like Arjuna did, and finally there will be a day in each of our lives when we will achieve bliss or ananda because there will be no more conflict and only good will exist.
So, before we get any further, which we will do tomorrow, let us now once again understand what does observing armies on the battlefield mean to us in today’s context and try to reflect on it a bit.
If you have questions, or want to know more, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also buy Bhagavad Gita from www.gosai.com/chaitanya and read along while you read these posts! Be Conscious, Be Happy!