हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम् ।
तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चयः ॥२-३७॥
hato va prapasyasi svargam jitva va bhokshyase mahim
tasmad uttistha kaunteya yuddhaya kritanishchayah ॥ 2-37 ॥
In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 37 Lord Krishna primarily prepares Arjuna to stand up and fight Dharma yuddha (War of righteousness). Lamenting for inevitable death of maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah, Guru Dronacharya and other close relatives and friends were not signs of a Kshatriya (warrior clan) when facing adharma (evil tendencies). All countrymen and army, the entire Pandava clan wanted Arjuna to fight this war of Dharma (righteousness) and re-establish Dharma at all costs.
Srikrishna tells Arjuna that if death overtakes him in this just battle of dharma (righteousness) then as laid in scriptures he would go to heaven (swarga in Hinduism). And if he, the Pandavas won the battle… then they could enjoy all the pleasures of material world. In both cases it was a win-win situation and Arjuna had nothing to lose! As the evil Kauravas had initiated this unjust war over Pandavas… they had no other alternative than to fight this war of dharma (righteousness).
For this very reason says Krishna to Arjuna… prepare yourself for this mighty battle of millennium, a mother of all wars! Until now, Arjuna had not recognized Lord Krishna as a preceptor, a messiah, a saviour who had manifested human form to save mankind from ills of today. Although Lord Srikrishna appeared only as a friend and relative to Arjuna, in principality he was much more than that. The coming of Sri Krishna in Dwapar Yuga announces that Dharma had deteriorated beyond repair in that era.
Through Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 37 Lord Srikrishna impresses upon Arjuna merits of entering this war of dharma (righteousness) which was the call of day. Until this point, Arjuna failed to realize that his sarathi (charioteer) was not an ordinary human being but god manifest in human form. When Dharmaraja Sri Krishna was with Arjuna (the Pandavas) the question of their losing war did not arise. Here it seems certain that Arjuna was not perturbed on account of losing the war.
He was disturbed by the fact that death of his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and Guru Dronacharya would occur at hands of Pandavas. It was feelings of compassion that dissuaded Arjuna from picking arms. Lord Srikrishna understood this dilemma of Arjuna was not a sign of weakness. Arjuna was a great maharathi (incredible warrior) and most in the enemy camp feared him. Srikrishna knew well, moment Arjuna decides to fight this war of dharma (righteousness), he would win this war!
All efforts of Sri Krishna were directed towards Arjuna getting prepared to fight this battle of Mahabharata so that evil that had bared its fangs in society could be nipped in bud! At the time of Mahabharata, complete society was in turmoil… it was time of total strife, tribulation! Someone had to re-establish Dharma (righteousness). None could do better than Arjuna, a Pandava chieftain. Amongst all in Pandava camp, Arjuna alone was competent to decipher what Lord Srikrishna had to say in the matter.
Principles of spirituality do not become clear to everybody… they require deep contemplation within! As Arjuna, a Kshatriya warrior was competent for this job… the preaching of Srikrishna were directed towards Arjuna alone! Apart from being a warrior, Arjuna was a totally truthful person at heart. Before coming to final conclusions, he wanted to contemplate on all pros and cons! For once he decides to fight this just battle of dharma (righteousness)… chances of revoking his decision were nil.
As everything contained in Bhagavad Gita were an allegory to spiritual values in life, through Geeta Chapter 2 Verse 37 Lord Srikrishna clearly stipulates that journey of spiritual path was a closed end affair. Once we finalize our ultimate goal of life, once we decide to go in search of god in present life… chances of returning back to material fold were nil. Spiritual journey always was a one-way path, one could never return to daily routines of life… no matter what!
For this very reason Lord Krishna says… take time to decide your goal of life! God Almighty ordained a long journey of 1.1 million manifestations in human form to reach stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana)… however, if we decide to reach god in present life, then precipitous, mammoth efforts were needed by the spiritual seeker. Something destined to be achieved in 1.1 million manifestations in human form, achieving the same in a limited time span of 70 to 80 years of earthly life was truly a miracle. Only a very ardent seeker of spirituality like Arjuna succeeded in such an effort.
In present era, one has to become like Swami Vivekananda to reach god in present life! On path of pure spirituality, welfare of all is always above self vested interests. When our goal of life was fixed… where was the time to indulge in compassion of any kind. All earthly relationships come to naught when searching for god in present life. One even fails to recognize one’s own parents, brothers and sisters, close relatives and friends! For a serious traveler of spiritual path, whole world becomes one large family! Fighting for dharma (righteousness) becomes our duty above all!
In simple words dictates of Lord Krishna in Chapter 2 Verse 37 simply mean… while attempting to find god in this very life if we do not succeed then where was the loss? The next manifestation by our soul atman would be from the same level that we left in previous life. The closing balance of present life becomes opening balance for next manifestation. As per inscrutable laws of karma… whatever our balance of present life at the time of death of human body, the same gets transferred to next manifestation!
As per Srikrishna if we succeed in reaching god in present life, then there was no further manifestation for our soul atman, the spirit within! All dross impurities removed within, the purified soul finally regains its lost original pure prime pristine primordial form forever. As a human being one finally gained success in reaching stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) and finally moksha salvation. The goal of human life always was… reaching end of cosmic life, 8.4 millionth manifestation!
Human beings reaching enlightenment in their lifetime announced end of cosmic journey for a soul atman, the spirit within! The liberated soul atman finally entered abode of god, kingdom of god (Vaikuntha in Hinduism)… a point of no return! Heaven (swarga) is different from kingdom of god (Vaikuntha in Hinduism). Heaven (swarga) is only a place for interim stay of souls’ atmans when matching parents are not available on mother earth.
Moment matching parents became available on mother earth; the hibernating soul atman immediately manifests a new body to start a new cycle of life on mother earth.
Undertaking spiritual journey in present life, nothing could be nobler! As the absolute master and controller of human life always was our soul atman, the spirit within… as a human being it becomes our duty to follow dictates of our soul atman, the spirit from within!
Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – Sep 24, 2014
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