Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 5

गुरूनहत्वा हि महानुभावान्
श्रेयो भोक्तुं भैक्ष्यमपीह लोके ।
हत्वार्थकामांस्तु गुरूनिहैव
भुञ्जीय भोगान् रुधिरप्रदिग्धान् ॥२-५॥

gurun ahatva hi mahanubhavan
shreyo bhoktum bhaikshyamapihiloke
hatvarthakamans tu guruni haiva
bhunjiya bhogan rudhirapradigdhan ॥ 2-5 ॥



Arjuna further tells Krishna that it would not be proper for him to disregard those for whom he had great reverence… his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and Guru Dronacharya. Arjuna prefers indulgence in alms than confronting his elders in the battle of Mahabharata. As per Arjuna… feeding on alms would be more beneficial than killing his elders in the battle.


Arjuna further says: if he fights the battle and kills his most revered elders… then he would be committing sin of the highest order. Why indulge in something that is tainted by blood of elders… was his argument. In the battlefield one fights for gaining material wealth. As his goal of life was not earning material riches… why should he indulge in war against his beloved elders!


Even if elders were siding adharma (evil forces)… he was duty-bound to pay respects to his elders by not fighting them. As per Krishna… this was an act of cowardice! One who sides with adharma (lawlessness) is a sinner in eyes of law. One just could not be pardoned because one was much senior, even a Guru but respected by the junior.


No matter what, Arjuna was not prepared to fight Bhishma Pitamah and Dronacharya!


The Explanation

In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 5 Lord Krishna emphasizes demerits of holding onto Moha (extreme emotional attachment) towards his elders and Guru! If the goal of our life was fixed… if we wanted to reach God in this very life, our establishing absolute control over five senses and mind was an absolute must. While doing so… interest of our brethren, loved ones would be jeopardized! How?


If we refuse to support our ego, if we refuse to support five senses and mind… we would indirectly be refusing support to those dependent on us. For surviving in this materialistic world… it is only our ego, five senses and mind that come to our rescue. Those without an ego rarely succeed in life… in the materialistic world! For gaining riches in life… the more bloated our ego, the better! For us to sustain our family… our providing fuel to our ego was an absolute must.


What of those wanting to undertake spiritual journey. Such human beings must establish absolute control over five senses and mind by subduing their ego forever. This would kill the interest of our parents, brothers and sisters… all those dependent upon us! For the sake of undertaking spiritual journey… Arjuna plainly refuses to kill his ego. He does not want his parents, brothers and sisters to suffer on his account.


Arjuna is even prepared to seek alms… for the sake of sustenance of his family! But he is not prepared to leave the family midway. As his internal nature is pursuing path of spirituality… he knows very well that he would bitterly fail in the materialistic world. Prime reason why he prefers surviving on alms than indulging in ego, five senses and mind! This predicament is experienced by all human beings who decide to go in search of God in their lifetime.


How could one abandon family interests… the beloved parents, younger siblings, relatives and friends dear to us! As his inner nature would not permit him to indulge in this materialistic world… even if he survives rigors of material world… that would result in increasing of klesha’ (dross impurities within a soul atman) that could finally prolong his spiritual journey. Arjuna is deadly against accumulating more klesha (dross impurities) and prefers seeking alms for the family.


On altar of spiritual allegory, Arjuna refuses to fight negative forces of nature existing within him since long. These negative forces represent the mighty Bhishma Pitamah and Dronacharya. For sake of his family, his beloved ones… he refuses to fight five senses and mind that was a direct hurdle to path of pure spirituality. Arjuna was competent to establish absolute control over five senses and mind but in that case his direct family, close relatives and friends would have suffered. At the opportune moment, Arjuna raises a white flag and prefers alms to fight.


In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 5 Lord Krishna has made it absolutely clear that to undertake spiritual journey… our establishing absolute control over five senses and mind was mandated by God Almighty. We had to follow path of dharma (righteousness) all along to reach God in present life. By following path dictated by our senses and mind, we would only be accumulating more and more material riches that were a direct hindrance on path of pure spirituality. As per Lord Krishna… there was no middle path if we desired reaching God in present life.


We had to abandon all feelings of Moha (extreme emotional attachment) towards our loved ones, if we successfully wanted to establish absolute control over five senses and mind. As per Lord Krishna abandoning interest of our loved ones does not mean abandoning those dear to us physically. Even while living in family we could undertake journey of spiritual path nishkama karma way… never attaching self to fruits of karma performed! We had to live life like JRD Tata, a Karma Yogi par excellence, man of steel… if we desire serving mankind and reaching God in present life. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa is also another example of a perfect Karma Yogi, who while living in family tread spiritual path to reach god in his lifetime.


Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – August 30, 2014


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