अकीर्तिं चापि भूतानि कथयिष्यन्ति तेऽव्ययाम् ।
सम्भावितस्य चाकीर्तिर्मरणादतिरिच्यते ॥२-३४॥
akirtim cha api bhutani kathayishyanti te avyayam
sambhavitashya cha akritir marnanad atirichyate ॥ 2-34 ॥
In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 34 Krishna further tells Arjuna… demerits of not fighting Dharma yuddha (war of righteousness) against evil forces of nature, the evil Kauravas! People who admired your valor, righteousness would speak ill of you all the time. Your name would enter into cauldron of perpetual, unending infamy that would tarnish your image and fame forever and also your Kshatriya Dharma (act of righteousness), that you failed to obey in times of need!
Arjuna was not in personal fight with Kauravas. He represented Pandava clan in the battle of Mahabharata. If the Kshatriya chieftain of an army withdraws for any reason, it would only bring infamy to honor of incumbent. As per Sri Krishna dying for sake of Dharma (righteousness) and Svadharma (Kshatriya Dharma) was more meritorious than practicing cowardice in the face of war. Physical wealth lost can be regained, but never lost prestige, merit. The past heroic, virtuous deeds of Arjuna would come to roost forever.
As per spiritual allegory to which complete teachings of Bhagavad Gita was a testimony… Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 34 confirms… once deviated from journey of spirituality, chances of reverting back were almost nil. Lord Krishna repeatedly confirms in Bhagavad Gita that path of spirituality must be chosen with due diligence. Spiritual journey is like travelling razors edge. As a normal human being we must take time to decide goal of our present spiritual journey of life. For some reason if we decide against undertaking spiritual journey in present life, then we must not!
The path of spirituality was always a one-way path. Having treaded ahead… chances of returning to normal routines of life were nil. I know many people in life who entered spiritual path without much deliberation. Some quit after five years, some after ten… others after fifteen! Not realizing perils of spiritual path, these human beings started their pursuit of god without much thinking and contemplation. When God Almighty ordained a long journey of 1.1 million manifestations in human form, where was the need for hurry! We must practice patience while deciding ultimate goal of present life.
The decision must always be taken within. A decision based on hearsay was meaningless. We just could not undertake spiritual journey because our parents, brothers and sisters, some relatives or friends said so. The decision in matters spiritual always rests with us. Why? As stated by Lord Srikrishna… we were primarily a spiritual being, a spirit on its cosmic life cycle of 8.4 million manifestations. By manifesting human form… our soul atman, the spirit within needs removing dross impurities within! As journey in human form was the highest manifest stage in cosmic life cycle, it was only in human form our soul atman, the spirit within could liberate self from cycle of birth and death forever.
As an intelligent human being it becomes our duty to assist our soul atman in reaching cosmic end of life… 8.4 millionth manifestation, last in cosmic life cycle! Journey of spirituality can only be travelled when we purified our thoughts, our thought process! A war of Dharma (righteousness)… Dharma yuddha ensued all the time within all human beings world over. This was necessitated to negate karma to zero, remove dross impurities within! Unless we agreed to enter this Dharma yuddha, we could never gain success in spiritual life! Mere reading of scriptures never helped one reaching higher levels of spirituality! As Lord Srikrishna resided in our heart as our soul atman, the spirit within… all decisions of life need to be taken by us alone. A preceptor, spiritual master can only act as guide… nothing more!
As is normally observed, most human beings who start spiritual routines of life quit midway unable to bear spiritual pressures. None wants to abandon family attachments, earthly relationships that carried no meaning in spiritual world. For a serious seeker of spirituality… the whole world becomes one large family! In the circumstances, not willing to fight our brethren in the just battle of Mahabharata (Dharma yuddha) was feigning ignorance in matters spiritual. Such decisions only bring infamy for times to come. In the circumstances Sri Krishna advises Arjuna to pick arms and fight this battle of dharma (righteousness) head-on. In times of Srikrishna as Arjuna was the only suitable candidate to undertake spiritual journey… all teachings of Bhagavad Gita were directed towards him!
When a seeker of spirituality quit spiritual journey midway… it was practically worse than death! By quitting our ultimate goal of life… by not following dictates of our soul atman, the spirit within… we not only lose fame but make our balance journey of life on mother earth difficult. People from all walks of life would criticize our spiritual efforts. They would repeatedly say that it is better to indulge in religion than path of spirituality. Path of pure spirituality initially seems difficult but for a serious seeker of spirituality like Swami Vivekananda… nothing was impossible in life! If we really want to achieve god in present life… we have to burn all bridges behind! In spiritual travail, we never know how many contemplations of suicide we may have to undergo or how many times we may have to eat hell for breakfast.
Journey of spirituality was much difficult than journey to moon or elsewhere in cosmic system. On the physical plane, journey of spirituality was much more complicated than winning a few noble prizes. Earthly decorations, earthly achievements carried no meaning in spiritual world! It was indulgence in good karma, positive karma all the time that paved way for reaching god in present life. It is only indulgence in good karma, positive karma that helped one establish absolute control over five senses and mind. Cutting across shackles of Moha (extreme emotional attachment) was a dilemma faced by Arjuna. Seeing his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and Guru Dronacharya in the opposite enemy camp… Arjuna refuses to fight this just war of dharma (righteousness).
For a true seeker of spirituality… material riches, earthly gains carried no meaning. In the battle of dharma (righteousness) even if death occurs… we would continue our cosmic journey from the same level in next manifestation by our soul atman, the spirit within! With death of human body, nothing gets lost in cosmic life! The closing balance of present life at the time of death of body becomes opening balance for next manifestation by our soul atman, the spirit within! Everything in field of spirituality was directly governed by inscrutable laws of karma… as we sow so shall we reap, nothing less or more! When law of karma was governing in cosmic life cycle… why not indulge in good karma, positive karma all the time to reach god in present life!
Once Arjuna had decided go in search of god, it was not for him to quit Dharma yuddha (war of righteousness). A true seeker of spirituality also realizes that mortal death was only a stepping stone in the cosmic frame of life. Body after body, manifestation after manifestation… the journey of a soul atman, the spirit within continued unabated! It was through complex process of karma and evolution… life moved ahead in cosmic life cycle! As a human being says Lord Krishna, the spiritual journey of life was not imposed on us. As we were only a manifest form… the journey of life truly belonged to our soul atman, the spirit within! It has rightly been said that fruits of karma performed by human beings always belonged to our soul atman, the spirit within!
When our soul atman, the spirit within was the eternal truth of life, why not follow its dictates all the time to reach god in present life! Arjuna in Geeta chapter 2 verse 34 represents mortal body of a serious seeker of spirituality. By indulging in teachings contained in Bhagavad Gita… any human being world over… belonging to any religion, faith or belief can easily reach god in present life. The 700 shlokas verses contained in Bhagavad Gita sufficed for entire humanity to reach god in present life. Other than Bhagavad Gita… one need not refer any other spiritual text than Upanishads (independent treatises) which also carry divergent spiritual views. A combination of teachings contained in Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads were sufficient for energizing human beings to reach god in present life.
In Chapter 2 Verse 34 Lord Srikrishna categorically states when confronted with illogical situations in practical life… one must never give up. Rather one must confront evil with dharma (righteousness). No form of evil can cow down an innocent, a serious traveler of spirituality. Even if tormentors were our relatives and friends, we must fight adharma (evil) with dharma (righteousness)… forgetting our relationships for the present. One siding evil also was evil says Krishna. When Bhishma Pitamah and Guru Dronacharya sided with evil Dronacharya… how could they be pardoned by Arjuna! In practical life, when we come across ugly situations, where our brethren had cheated us… we must fight head-on to the hilt, never looking back even once. Only then we shall succeed in re-establishing dharma (righteousness) in the face of evil.
Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – Sep 23, 2014
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