What is the importance of reading Bhagavad Gita?
Every living being is subjected to this interaction. Of course, variations are found in the interactions of various living creatures. A dog seeing a monkey reacts in a certain way, but the human baby seeing a monkey becomes excited and shows different reactions. In the nature of man there is an element of intelligence.
This element brings in change in the situation. Due to his intelligence, man is not bound to follow a certain path. He is able to make a choice from various alternatives before him. This ability of making a choice creates for him a complex problem. Now arises the issue of policy. The exploration of elements of life attempts to resolve the arisen issue.
Arjun places his difficulty before Krishna who expresses his viewpoint for helping him to solve his difficulty. The battle between Kauravas and Pandavas was to begin. Armies of both the parties were present in the battle ground of Kurukshetra.
Krishna brought the chariot with Arjun in between the two armies. As a signal to start the battle, drums were beaten and Shankhas (conches) were blown. Now a doubt arises in Arjun’s mind whether to fight or not to fight.
Arjun was a Kshatriya. It was his duty to fight. But the doubt arose because of the uniqueness of the situation. In a battle one party is an enemy of another and wants to destroy it. In Kurukshetra close relations were standing before each other.
The family bound duty was not to shed blood of each other, but at the same time ‘duty’ warranted that the prestige must be also maintained. In the very beginning of Gita, Kurukshetra has been termed as Dharmaskshetra (i.e., the place of performing sacred duties).
Now there is a clash between the blood-relationship and the Dharma, i.e., the duty. Arjun is not able to decide his course of action. The morality viewpoint arises and the policy is now that of morality. When there is a policy matter, there are alternatives.
Arjun tells Krishna, what is the use of kingdom which is to be obtained by killing close relations consisting of elders and revered persons? It is better to earn a living through begging. Arjun further asks Krishna:
“What is the certainty of our victory in the bated? Should we then shed blood in this uncertain situation? Now Krishna says, “Arjun, why are you expressing this ignorance? This conduct is neither praiseworthy nor can it lead you to Heaven, nor will it give you glory.”
Krishna says, “Oh Arjun you say that so many relatives will be killed. But the fact is that you, I and all others were present previous to this birth and we shall remain even after this life is finished.
The one who thinks that he can kill a soul, and the one who considers it as dead, both do not know. The soul neither kills nor is it killed” (2-19).
Even if soul is under bondage of birth and death even then death is no cause of grief. All these have to die; just there is a difference after or before (2-26).
To desist from battle is not noble. Battle is your life mission. If a warrior dies as a duty, the heaven’s doors become open for him.
For a Kshatriya there is nothing higher than dying for a righteous (Dharmayuddha) battle (2-3-2). You’re argued cause for desisting for battle is unevenly. If you do not fight you lose both glory and your duty (Swadharma).
All will decry you. And for a good man infamy is worse than death. And who will know that you left the battle ground for love of your relatives. All will say that you have run ^.way from the battle due to fear.
You say that you do not know whether you will win or lose in the battle, but at least you know this that if you are killed you will go to heaven, and if you win you will get the kingdom (2-31-37).
Giving the above reasoning Krishna says to Arjun. “Treat gain and loss, victory and defeat as the same thing, get ready for battle. By doing this you will be committing no sin (2-38).
The main substance of the entire reasoning of Krishna in this is that if duty (Dharma) draws one side and another motivating force to another, then in every situation one should act according to duty (Dharma). The demand of duty is above everything else. This idea is an original concept of moral education in Gita.
Krishna says that to treat gain and loss, and, victory and defeat’ as equal is extremely difficult. Pleasure and pain are experienced in the present, harvesting the benefit of gain and victory is matter for future.
In accepting guidance of the intellect, the main obstruction is from the attachment of the outcome. In Gita several times it has been observed that one should be indifferent (Udasin) to attachment and outcome. A duty should be performed with the feeling of doing a duty.
The philosopher Kant of Germany has also accepted the above viewpoint of Gita. He has also said that in the performance of one’s duty, one should be indifferent to attachment and outcome.