Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 35

भयाद्रणादुपरतं मंस्यन्ते त्वां महारथाः ।
येषां च त्वं बहुमतो भूत्वा यास्यसि लाघवम् ॥२-३५॥

bhayadranad upratam mansyante tvam maharathaha
yesham cha tvam bahumato bhutva yasyasi laghvam ॥ 2-35 ॥



In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 35 Krishna tells Arjuna that accomplished warriors like Bhishma, Dronacharya… even Karna would consider Arjuna a coward, one who out of fear refused to fight battle of Mahabharata. In the eyes of such maharathis (great warriors), when a Kshatriya quit war… the reason behind could only be cowardice, never act of love for maternal grandfather, guru, relatives or friends.


Arjuna, a Kshatriya warrior quitting war in times of need was an act not acceptable to any in his or the enemy camp. Both sides abhorred cowardice displayed by Arjuna. The war of Mahabharata was not being fought at personal level; it was war of dharma (righteousness) destined to root out evil from society. Sri Krishna says… Arjuna who was perceived a great warrior by all would now face complete rout of reputation at their hands.


In the eyes of all, Arjuna was a quitter… one unqualified for post of a maharathi (great warrior). Hence degradation of his reputation at hands of all, both in Pandava and Kaurava camp. Such an accomplished warrior as Arjuna, could he bear the onslaught of society on his reputation. In simple words, Sri Krishna admonishes Arjuna not to quit war as foremost of all he was a Kshatriya, one from warrior clan! In this war of dharma (righteousness)… it was his prime duty to fight and defeat the enemy!


In times of war of dharma (righteousness)… earthly relationships carried no meaning! The battle of Mahabharata was no ordinary battle. It was a Dharma yuddha (war of righteousness) necessitated to re-establish moral values. For the sake of re-establishing dharma (righteousness), Lord Krishna asks Arjuna to lift arms and fight the ensuing battle of Mahabharata. Sri Krishna wanted evil to be nipped in the bud. Duryodhana must pay price for siding evil. None could escape onslaught of dharma (righteousness).


The Explanation

As everything contained in Bhagavad Gita was an allegory to spiritual values in life… in Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 35 Lord Krishna confirms that spiritual journey can only be completed by accomplished Kshatriyas (those from warrior clan). The journey of spirituality was not stipulated for Brahmins, Vaishyas or Shudras. When an accomplished warrior like Arjuna almost failed to travel this path of spirituality… what to say of commoners, masses!


Lord Krishna within every human being prompts one to follow path of spirituality so that our soul atman, the spirit within liberated self from cycle of birth and death forever at the earliest. To follow or not to follow dictates of our soul atman, the spirit within is the sole prerogative of every individual human being on mother earth. We were all the time at liberty to follow what suited us most! We were not a slave to destiny. The human form was the most evolved consciousness on mother earth.


By following precepts of spirituality detailed in Bhagavad Gita, remaining truthful in life all along we can definitely cross ocean of Samsara (worldly life) to reach god in present life time. We have to develop the art of contemplation, self enquiry (Neti… not this, not this) to reach god in present life. All sayings of Lord Krishna to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita were directed towards Arjuna contemplating on teachings of Srikrishna. Unless Arjuna mastered the delicate art of contemplation, he could never reach god in his lifetime! Most human beings world over wanted a shortcut to god.


None seems to indulge in path of contemplation. People preferred the simpler path of religion to path of spirituality! Human beings failed to realize that through path of religion (path of rituals)… in the present Kali Yuga, dark age… metal age none could reach god in present times! So was not ordained by God Almighty. For fathoming the underlying hidden meaning of teachings contained in various sacred scriptures of different religions of world, our indulgence in path of contemplation was an absolute must!


In present times Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa did it and so did Maharishi Ramana! The famous disciple saint of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa… Swami Vivekananda also indulged in path of contemplation all the time! Following path of contemplation is following path of logistics. By negating all that was not god… one finally reached doors of God Almighty. Path of spirituality as detailed by Lord Srikrishna demands our pursuing path of absolute truthfulness always and ever. Arjuna finally agreed to fight war of dharma (righteousness) as apart from being a Kshatriya, he was also truthful to the core.


In Geeta chapter 2 verse 35 Lord Krishna highlights a very vital issue of spiritual journey. If we quit spiritual path midway, we would not only be lowering self in our own eyes but also our close family members, relatives and friends. All in the family would criticize us for taking a wrong decision. Path of spirituality must always be travelled with caution… utmost caution! Chances of returning back to material fold were nil. Once the process of inner evolution is initiated, it just could not be stopped by one. Spiritual elevation needs time, the inner evolution is slow but results always positive.


What people say does not matter in field of pure spirituality! It was just like; grapes always were sour for those who attempted and failed in their spiritual journey of life. There was no dearth of such people world over. Path of pure spirituality demands highest level of perfection that could ever be achieved by human beings. Swami Vivekananda reached his spiritual master Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa only by practicing patience, persistence and perseverance of the highest order.


All human beings world over had been given equal opportunity of reaching god in present life. In the domain of God almighty… none was rich or poor! All were equal all the time. The sole prerogative of undertaking spiritual journey rested with every individual. None could force us travel spiritual path. The journey of unknown could be attempted by children and elders alike. As many human beings… as many different paths to God Almighty can there be. Everything depends on our intellect… our intelligence!


For a serious seeker of spirituality, Lord Krishna all the time existed within our heart as our soul atman, the spirit within! We need not search for god in external confines. God all the time existed in our heart in miniscule form as our soul atman, the spirit within! To realize our true inner self journey of spirituality was mandated by god. Path of jnana yoga (absolute wisdom) was necessitated to contemplate on teachings contained in Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. Only wise followed path of spirituality.


No matter what our accomplishments of spiritual journey… our close family members, relatives and friends may tend to criticize us all the time. Guided by dictates of Lord Krishna from within, any human being world over can easily counter all criticism. If we had absolute faith in God Almighty… where was the cause for any worry! Everything in cosmic domain, even on planet mother earth belonged to God Almighty. We were only a custodian, a soldier of god taking care of things that truly belonged to him.


This is how we indulged in nishkama karma yoga… offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time. When nothing belonged to us at any stage of life, it becomes our duty to follow path of spirituality detailed in Bhagavad Gita to reach God in present life.


Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – Sep 23, 2014

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