Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 6

न चैतद्विद्मः कतरन्नो गरीयो यद्वा जयेम यदि वा नो जयेयुः ।
यानेव हत्वा न जिजीविषामस्तेऽवस्थिताः प्रमुखे धार्तराष्ट्राः ॥२-६॥

na chai tad vidmah kataran no gariyo
yad va jayema yadi va no jayeyuhu
yaneva hatva na jijivisham,
te avasthitah pramukhe dhartarastraha ॥ 2-6 ॥



Arjuna expresses his doubt whether or not to fight the enemy. Arjuna is in a fix as to merits and demerits of fighting the enemy. Although Arjuna was confident of his side winning the war, yet he expresses his regret about outcome of war. His statement, that either of both sides may win the war is just an outwardly expression of his love towards his enemy… his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and Guru Dronacharya. He in fact, is not prepared to fight his close relatives and friends, no matter what the result.


Arjuna further regrets the fact… even if they win the war, then at what cost! By killing his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and Guru Dronacharya… he would only become a sinner in eyes of God. As his aim of life was indulgence in good karma, pious deeds… what Punya would he earn by killing those he truly loved. Life would become despicable in absence of his beloved relatives… sons of his uncle Dhritarashtra, father of Duryodhana. Arjuna did not want to fight the enemy for the sake of winning material possessions.


The Explanation

In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 6 Arjuna expresses his plight of not wanting to fight his enemy in the war… beloved maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah, Guru Dronacharya… even sons of uncle Dhritarashtra. In bhagavad gita chapter 2 verse 6 one thing is absolutely made clear by Arjuna that he had a very distinct and clear goal of life that he did not want to alter at any stage of life, no matter what. His expressing doubt over outcome of war was not a sign of his weakness. When someone is not mentally prepared to fight the war, chances of losing war exist! Talking about merit or demerit of fighting the war was a ruse by Arjuna to escape an unwanted war that he thought was avoidable.


The lame excuses of Arjuna did not bode well with Krishna. According to Krishna, this was not an ordinary war but a fight between dharmic (righteous) and evil forces of nature. No matter what, according to Krishna, Arjuna must fight and win this war of Dharma (righteousness). As the enemy sided evil (lawlessness)… their escaping rigors of war was not a possibility as per Krishna. If the enemy consists of brave soldiers like Bhishma Pitamah and Dronacharya… army of Pandavas also consisted of Dharmaraja (embodiment of dharma)… Lord Krishna himself. In presence of Krishna, Arjuna losing the war was not even a distinct possibility!


The correct interpretation of Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 6 laid in spiritual allegory. A true aspirant of spirituality faces biggest dilemma of life when confronted with family members consisting of father, mother, brothers and sisters… beloved relatives and friends. For sake of spirituality, for sake of travelling spiritual path… was it right for one to abandon interests of family members and that too forever! If one had already fixed a goal in life… could one forego all interests of the family including parents?


When we were young… who was it that catered to our needs at every stage of life! No matter what personal discomfort, but our parents took care of us in the best possible manner. And whence comes the stage to give a helping hand to our parents… we desire abandoning their interests forever. We want to go in search of god permanently, possibly by quitting the family forever! In such circumstances, can the seeker decide who to support at this juncture of life… our fixed goal or the interests of the family?


By quitting the family midway… would we not become a sinner in eyes of God Almighty? By going in search of god by quitting interests of family… would we ever feel happiness in life? Would bad karma not overtake us? Even if we reached god in present life… to what avail, if we could not serve our parents with full diligence! As detailed in scriptures of Hinduism… all children were duty-bound to assist their parents in times of need. In the circumstances, how could Arjuna abandon interests of his family members? To his queries… he wanted a firm answer from Krishna… his soul atman, the spirit within!


Our soul atman, the spirit within is God Almighty existing within every human being in miniscule form. If an individual grain of sand is an independent soul atman… the whole mound God Almighty! If an individual piece of puzzle is an independent soul atman… the completed puzzle God Almighty! It is our soul atman, the spirit within that always guided us on right path. Whenever in trouble, we must always seek guidance of our soul atman, the spirit within! For Arjuna, this was easy as he was a truthful person from beginning of life.


The sweet small inner voice of our soul atman, the spirit within can only be heard by one who was absolutely truthful in life all along. This faculty of Arjuna was developed to the hilt. When in doubt… he consulted his soul atman, the spirit within to find a solution to his problem. Before finally going in search of god forever… he wanted to reaffirm from his soul atman, the spirit within whether it would be right for him to abandon the interests of his family members forever. Like Lord Krishna… his soul atman, the spirit within always prompted from within the exact answer. When confronted with evil… our soul atman, the spirit within prompted one on path of Dharma (righteousness).


Does this mean… helping our parents in times of need is an act of evil! No it is not. But anything that relates to Moha (extreme emotional attachment), the five senses and mind were evil as far as undertaking spiritual journey was concerned. As our dear parents, brothers and sisters, close relatives and friends belonged to material world… it was in our interest to quit family interests to go in search of god permanently. This was how God Almighty ordained spiritual path to be. We just could not nurture our external nature, five senses and mind if we really wanted to reach god in present life. God Almighty can only be reached by negating karma to zero.


As earthly relationships were always a hurdle on path of pure spirituality… by quitting family interests we did not become a sinner in eyes of God Almighty. Arjuna also was aware of this cosmic fact. Still, he wanted to reconfirm from his soul atman, the spirit within… advantages or disadvantages of leaving family life. In bhagavad gita chapter 2 verse 6 Arjuna at no stage expresses weakness of character. He had taken the decision of pursuing god in this life willfully and thoughtfully after much contemplation. Chances of his going back on his decision were nil. No matter what level of discomfort faced by his family… he was not internally prepared to quit his path of pursuing god in this life!


Fighting close relatives and friends… Bhishma Pitamah, Guru Dronacharya and sons of Dhritarashtra is indicative of fighting our inherent nature… five senses and mind! Unless we overpowered five senses and mind forever… we could never reach god in our lifetime! For every sincere seeker of spirituality… controlling five senses and mind was an absolute must if we were to reach God in present life. Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 6 was very clear on this point. Most human beings world over failed on this point, establishing absolute control over five senses and mind. We failed to overpower our inherent nature… the five senses and mind! Arjuna did it in his lifetime… so he finally became an enlightened one, a bodhi… a Jina, a Mahavira!


In bhagavad gita chapter 2 verse 6 Lord Krishna makes it clear that no two souls’ atmans were attached to each other. All were independent of each other. As we were primarily a soul atman, the spirit within… all earthly ties, earthly bondages carried no meaning on spiritual path. But one thing is certain… we just could not leave karma midway like Siddhartha Gautama. We had to complete all our family responsibilities before we started our journey of spiritual path. Living within the family… one could pursue spiritual life! Nowhere in Hinduism scriptures is it ordained that to pursue spiritual goal of life… one need to abandon one’s family! Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa did it… and so could others.


We can all duplicate path undertaken by Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa to reach god in present life. As detailed in Hinduism scriptures those who pursued path of pure spirituality while living in family were a Karma Yogi of highest order. We could serve our parents; help our younger brothers and sisters, close relatives and friends even while pursuing a spiritual goal of life. This was difficult in practice yet, not impossible! If Lord Krishna says so… element of doubt could never creep in. We had to trust our soul atman, the spirit within all the time! This became possible when we had absolute faith in God Almighty all the time.


Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – September 1, 2014

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