Before the battle of Mahabharata actually began on the field of Kurushetra, Lord Krishna tried all possible ways to stop this battle. On the persuasion of Pandavas, He personally went to the court of Hastinapur as a simple message carrier telling Kauravas to give back Pandavas their share and finish the matter. He even went to Duryodhana and tried to convince him. He said, ‘You are a prince of a great lineage. You have been brought up well. You have everything what you want. Then why are you doing all these horrible things to Pandavas? It is unrighteous, morally wrong and the path of adharma, the way you are treating Pandavas.’
At that time Duryodhana replied with these words. He said:
जानामि धर्मं न च मे प्रवृत्ति-
र्जानामि पापं न च मे निवृत्तिः ।
Meaning: I know what dharma is, but I cannot abide by it. I know what adharma is, but I cannot revoke myself from it.
And that is what made the difference.
He knew from the right beginning that it’s wrong. He was aware in his heart that the fault lies within me. But as we read in the earlier chapters that lust is the cause of anger and anger brings delusion which further destroys the intelligence. Sometimes we also know it clear in our heart that what is truth and yet we don’t choose it due to various other pleasures that seems to be associated with untruth. But remember those who choose righteousness over unrighteousness, those who abide by truth and those who put their firm faith in God, they win at the end.
From the last eighteen days we have been taking a bit of the divine nectar everyday from the Bhagavad Gita. And until now we learned about Karma Yoga, Sankhya Yoga, Dhnan Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and many of the things. In the second chapter we learned about various characterisitcs of an equanimous person. In the eleventh chapter, we heard Lord Krishna speaking about His devotees that are very dear to Him. Lastly we had been reading about the nature, enjoyer and the consciousness along with three types of bodies and the Supersoul. In the previous chapters we also understood about the three modes of material nature – they are modes of goodness, modes of passion, modes of ignorance. These three modes exist everywhere in this material world, man become bound to it acts under the ignorance. But ultimately when one transcends it through the path of devotion and spiritual realization, one transcends this world and attains the higher Supreme. Supreme God and His divine abode is always above these material modes of nature.
Based on these modes, there are two kinds of personalities in this world described by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the 16th chapter and they are: demoniac and divine natures. Those possessing demoniac nature possess attributes like – arrogance, pride, anger, conceit, harshness, ignorance, envy, etc. They say that this world is unreal, that there is no foundation and that there is no God in control. It is produced of sex desire and has no cause other than lust. And so they enjoy their time in the cultivation of various vicious desires and materialistic pleasures. Being bound to ignorance and superficial things they always live in misery and are always lost in themselves.
Lord Krishna says very clearly in this chapter that:
त्रिविधं नरकस्येदं द्वारं नाशनमात्मनः।
कामः क्रोधस्तथा लोभस्तस्मादेतत्त्रयं त्यजेत्।।16.21।।
Meaning: There are three gates leading to this hell – lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give up these, for they lead to the degradation of the soul.
Remember this always that lust, anger and greed are the powerful enemies of the man. One must shun them totally if he wants to achieve liberation.
Next He tells Arjuna about that how under various modes of material nature man worships different beings. Those under the mode of goodness, they worship the demigods. There are various demigods responsible for the maintenance and organization of everything under their control. People who are under the mode of goodness worship them and attain various worldly goods. While those under the modes of passion, they worship demons and the lowest of all in the mode of ignorance they worship ghosts and spirits. We can find these people around us easily. But the most important thing is that those who worship the Supreme Lord transcend all these modes and fix their mind only on the feet of divine Lord.
And that is why in the last, Lord Krishna tells very same thing to Arjuna. He says:
सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज।
अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः।।18.66।।
Meaning: Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all the sinful reactions. Do not fear.
When the battle of Mahabharata was almost fixed, both Arjuna and Duryodhana went to Lord Krishna with invitation to join them in their teams. Lord Krishna was very powerful and Duryodhana knew that if he could convince Him to be on his side then they could win very easily and so he reached His quarters. And when he reached there he found Lord Krishna to be sleeping on His bed. So he went to the pillow side and sat there silently. Few minutes later, Arjuna too arrived with the invitation for Lord Krishna to fight along with them in the Mahabharata. And same when he entered the quarters he found Lord Krishna to be sleeping peacefully. He also saw Duryodhana sitting by the pillow side and Arjuna sat down at the edge of bed right towards His feet. When Lord Krishna opened His eyes, He first saw Arjuna. It was natural for Him to see the one on His front first and he asked naturally, ‘So tell me Arjuna, why have you come down here? Anything specific.’ And just then Duryodhana almost cried, ‘I came first. You should ask it from me.’
See Duryodhana was arrogant but he was clever too. Clever in his own deceitful ways of-course but he knew that the power of the army of Yadavas and Lord Krishna might be very helpful for them to win this war and so he did not want to lose this opportunity. He was afraid that if Arjuna asked first for His army from Lord Krishna then I would be left alone. And so he almost shouted. Me too here.
Lord Krishna looked at Duryodhana, and said, ‘Oh you too are here. What are you doing there behind the bedpost, come outside.’ And so Duryodhana came outside in front and said again, ‘I came here first so you should ask me first.’
But Lord Krishna replied, ‘See I don’t know I was sleeping and when I opened my eyes the first person I saw in front of me was Arjuna. So technically you may be correct but Arjuna would get the chance to ask first.’ And He added, ‘That I suppose you both are here to invite me for the battle of Mahabharata and join your sides. But I have two conditions.’
Both Arjuna and Duryodhana looked at Lord Krishna like, what condition?
And Lord Krishna said, ‘Either it would be Me or My mightiest army. We won’t be together in one team.’
‘And the second condition is I won’t pick a single weapon in the battlefield.’
‘Now it’s upto you whatever you chose. Either Me without picking any weapon or My whole army with all the cavalry and infantry, everything.’
Duryodhana thought that what good it would be for them to choose Lord Krishna if He won’t fight. And so he prayed that may Arjuna not select the army. Because it was first his chance. And when Lord Krishna asked Arjuna, ‘So Arjuna what do you choose?’
And the pat came reply of Arjuna. He said with his folded hands, ‘Lord I want you to be on the side of Pandavas.’ And as he said this, Lord Krishna smiled and Duryodhana sneered. Because Duryodhana thought in his mind that Arjuna is a fool. He does not know how to make a good choice. What good be it to choose a person who wouldn’t fight in the war and simply watch it?
And Lord Krishna smiled because He knew Arjuna quite well. It was a simple test for His devotee which he easily passed.
At times, we are also faced with circumstances when God tests us and checks our faith, in those times always be sure to keep holding to that faith and your belief no matter what, but always and always put God first.
And so Duryodhana went his home with the Narayani Army of the Lord while Arjuna took his faith with him in the form of Lord Krishna. It is said that the victory was gifted to the Pandavas on that very moment and that same day.
And this is what Sanjaya says to Dhritrashtra at the end of the Bhagavad Gita:
यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धरः।
तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिर्ध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम।।18.78।।
Meaning: Wherever there is Krishna and wherever there is Arjuna, the victory will be certain. That is my opinion.
And thus ends the last chapter of the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.
We have been continuously here from last eighteen days and with the grace of Lord Krishna and our spiritual masters we never skipped a single day, for me that is quite miraculous and I am thankful to my Lord for it. There are a lot of things we discussed in these chapters, some were directly taken from the purport and translation of the verses while some stories and narratives were referenced from other scriptures and sites. We have also been thankful to them and to those who stumble across this piece of blog by chance and take something good out of it with them. I hope it to be refreshing in learning and helpful to all. Lastly this is not the end but a chance for us to dive deeper into deep mysteries of our existence and ponder about the infinite glory of Lord Supreme we have been blessed with. I pray may He guide our way and show us the right path that leads to Him. And may we continue with our sadhana being situated with our mind, thoughts and deeds in Him and transcending the material nature.
04 May 2020
Gaurav S Kaintura
Note: If you find any error or have any doubts then please notify in the comments, you can also raise your questions. This is something sublime and beyond the comprehension of an average human mind, for any mistake on my part, I ask forgiveness in advance. For there could be any flaws in the expression or iteration but here I try to present best of what I understand and know with best of my intentions.
- Bhagvada Gita: https://asitis.com/