Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 Verse 1


धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः ।
मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत संजय ॥१-१॥

Transliteration:

The sacred Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism is considered epitome of spirituality. Why? The sermon of Bhagavad Gita by Lord Krishna details everything worth knowable by human beings in this cosmic world. The entire Bhagavad Gita is an allegory… what exists beyond (in cosmos) also exists within our body. To search for God, to reach God… we need not look elsewhere. A true seeker of spirituality, a sincere traveler of spiritual path finds God within self and not in outer confines of present manifest world as thought by many.

 

If we were to reach God in present life… we could do so successfully only by travelling inner path that leads to our soul atman, the spirit within. The human body was a mini cosmos in itself (Brahmaand in Hinduism). Whatever we see in external world, could also be realized internally! Everything spiritual was inherent in all human beings. By undertaking spiritual journey towards our true inner self… our soul atman, the consciousness within… we can definitely reach God one day. For realizing God, one does not need the infirmities of physical manifest world.

 

Just by going to temples, churches and mosques… one never gained anything in life! God is always reached through path of contemplation… path of self enquiry (Neti… not this, not this)… the path detailed by Maharishi Ramana, one who reached God in his lifetime!

 

The first shloka of first chapter of Bhagavad Gita… contains a narrative between Sanjaya and Dhritarashtra, father of Kauravas. Dhritarashtra says: O Sanjaya, assembled in field of Kurukshetra, Dharma Kshetra… what transpires between my dear sons Kauravas and sons of Pandu, the righteous Pandavas. By terming area of Kurukshetra as Dharma Kshetra, Dhritarashtra knew well that it was an unjust fight between cruel, greedy, unbecoming Kauravas and upholder of dharma, the Pandavas! In a Dharma Kshetra… how could one following adharma (lawlessness) even think of facing a just enemy… the righteous Pandavas!

 

The ground for expected defeat of Kauravas was set in the beginning of battle of Mahabharata. In a Dharma Kshetra (where God existed in form of Lord Krishna)… how could evil survive! In a Dharma Kshetra, Kurukshetra only Dharma (righteousness) could survive until the end. The question of Kauravas defeating Pandavas did not exist. From the beginning it was a one-way flight. No matter what… the righteous Pandavas were to win the battle of Mahabharata as Lord Krishna himself guided their way. Beseeched by indecisiveness, pettiness… the temporal, ephemeral affairs of life… Duryodhana longed for kingdom of Hastinapur against all odds. But this was never to be. Adharma (lawlessness) could never defeat Dharma (righteousness) in presence of God Almighty himself, existing in form of Lord Krishna!

 

The Explanation:

The entire gist of Bhagavad Gita can be stated to be an allegory to explain fundamental, inherent explicit hidden truths of life! The fight between Pandavas and Kauravas demonstrates the ever going fight between positive and dark forces of nature. At any given moment of time… human beings can invoke positive or negative thoughts. This invocation of thoughts by human beings was incessant… not in control of human beings! In life… we experienced both happiness and sufferings at different stages of life. Nothing was in control of one. We could never say… I am experiencing happiness all the time! Everyone had to undergo our part of sufferings. Only then inherent truth of life… truth of our soul atman, the spirit within can be realized by human beings! In absence of sufferings… happiness carried no meaning! Vice versa… in absence of happiness… sufferings meant little. It was only in our sufferings… we realized true meaning of happiness, our life!

 

The first word used in sermon of Bhagavad Gita was Dharma Kshetra… not Kurukshetra! Why? Dharma Kshetra denotes an area where adharma just could not exist. In a Dharma Kshetra… the righteous forces would always face evil forces head-on and succeed in defeating the enemy. The word Dharma also stands for God Almighty. Where there is Dharma… stands God Almighty in all its glory (Brahman in Hinduism). In the land of Saraswati (Saraswati River) existed Dharma Kshetra where righteousness flowed freely all the time. Everything in this region was pious… sacred! We just could not take Dharma for granted. Only a righteous person could feel presence of God Almighty in such a region. As Arjuna was a righteous person from the beginning… the sermon of Bhagavad Gita was delivered only to Arjuna by Lord Krishna. No other person could assimilate or understand teachings of Bhagavad Gita by Lord Krishna.

 

In the domain of God Almighty, dharma was one and only one… God Almighty himself (Brahman in Hinduism)! But different people assumed different aspects of Dharma distinct from Dharma. On the scales of spirituality, Dharma (righteousness) could not be differentiated as it primarily stands for truth and only truth. As Lord Krishna was an embodiment of absolute truth… his presence in Dharma Kshetra, Kurukshetra was of immense significance. It was apparently clear that whoever sided with Krishna would win the war. It was ignorance of Kauravas… primarily Duryodhana camp that he gave preference to physical manifestation of Lord Krishna than Krishna himself. When Lord Krishna offered himself and his army initially to Duryodhana… he preferred the army of Krishna than Krishna himself! One with an evil mind could never realize sanctity of truthfulness that existed in form of Lord Krishna himself in battle of Mahabharata… in Kurukshetra region also called Dharma Kshetra!

 

Kurukshetra also relates to human body. Kurukshetra… the human body is Dharma Kshetra and prime reason why our soul atman, the spirit within has taken this body is to exercise principles of Dharma (righteousness) all the time and refrain from indulgence in adharma (lawlessness)! Only when human beings indulged in Dharma (righteousness), could a spiritual seeker reach ultimate goal of life… gain absolute purity as a soul atman, the consciousness within! It is established fact in Hinduism that only by indulgence in good karma, positive karma… Punya karma human beings finally succeeded in negating dross impurities within a soul atman, the spirit within! One can successfully tread path of pure spirituality by indulgence in Dharma… never adharma! Dharma of all human beings on mother earth was one and only one… reach God Almighty in present life by following dictates of our soul atman, the consciousness within! This becomes possible when we were righteous in our actions in all stages of life.

 

In Bhagavad Gita chapter 1 verse 1 Lord Krishna emphasizes the fact that it was beyond capacity of Kauravas to assess implications of dharma (righteousness) in the battle of Mahabharata. One who was easily influenced by vices, one who was unethical and immoral in day-to-day affairs of life… how could such a one ever understand significance of presence of Lord Krishna in the battle of Mahabharata. In the eyes of Duryodhana, lord Krishna was only a charioteer… nothing more! He failed to realize that Lord Krishna was God Almighty manifest in human form. No matter how best Lord Krishna tried to convince Duryodhana not to indulge in battle of Mahabharata… he failed to budge. Duryodhana was not only arrogant but also ridiculed Pandavas whenever an opportunity came his way. Making mockery of Lord Krishna was his past time. What more could be expected of someone that sided with adharma (lawlessness) most of time! Duryodhana camp was interested in indulging in warfare… no matter what the outcome!

 

For all practical purposes, Duryodhana had made up his mind to fight Pandavas even though logic failed him at each and every stage of life! Even when Gandhari, his mother tried to convince him not to fight his cousins and close relatives… he chose otherwise! Even presence of Lord Krishna did not deter him from indulging in warfare. One who was ignorant in matters spiritual… how Duryodhana could recognize value of not fighting Pandavas! When in doubt… a person looks forward to advice from Elders. But in case of Duryodhana… his maternal uncle Shakuni held a grudge against Pandavas. More so… his blind father always sided with his childish pranks, never realizing that such illogical demands would land him and all Kauravas in the danger of not only losing lives but also reputation of Kaurava clan! Repeatedly, Duryodhana was making mistake of underestimating his enemy consisting of close cousins, relatives and friends! So much so that at times Duryodhana did not adhere to advice even of his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah who was in his camp.

 

In Bhagavad Gita Arjuna is synonym of a God-fearing person that sides with Dharma (righteousness) all the time. In spiritual terms, Arjuna was a soul atman in search of absolute purity! He wanted to reach God, realize God in his lifetime. By fighting battle of Dharma (righteousness)… he was only following path of truth dictated to him by his soul atman, the consciousness within! The physical entity of Arjuna, the body had no meaning! Every soul atman, the spirit within manifests a body to work out its karma… remove dross impurities within! Arjuna was also doing the same. In following dictates of Lord Krishna (God manifest in human form)… he was truthfully following dictates of his soul atman, the consciousness within! As a soul atman could not purify self of its own… it needs a body, a medium to eradicate karma within! The path of pure spirituality can only be successful travelled by indulgence in nishkama karma yoga… offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time!

 

In bhagavad gita chapter 1 verse 1 it has been emphatically confirmed that in human form (also termed Kurukshetra) one must always indulge in path of Dharma (righteousness)… never path of adharma (lawlessness). As human form was the highest manifest stage in cosmic life cycle… it was only in human form (never lower forms of life)… that a soul atman, the spirit within finally reaches its logical cosmic end of life when human beings by travelling path of pure spirituality finally gained absolute purity forever. As a human being we must never undermine importance of this human body… which as per Bhagavad Gita was totally sacrosanct! The human body was never meant by God Almighty to indulge in adharma (lawlessness)… prime reason why human body (also called Kurukshetra) is termed Dharma Kshetra. As a human being… travelling spiritual path and reaching God in present life must become our only goal of life. That is what our soul atman, the consciousness within desires all the time!

 

In past, people indulged in yagna (sacrifices meant for spiritual gain). Cutting across shackles of karma was not easy… prime reason why people indulged in yagna to eradicate presence of evil within the body. At any given moment of time… every human being had both positive and negative tendencies. Indulgence in vice propels one towards negative tendencies. Indulgence in Dharma, yagna propelled one towards godly forces of nature… our soul atman, the spirit within! As the ultimate goal of life of all human beings was realizing the ultimate Tattva within our self… our undertaking spiritual journey becomes an absolute must! What could be more pious than indulging in a dharmic warfare in presence of Lord Krishna himself! As Arjuna was always a righteous person… he did not bow to whimsical fantasies of Duryodhana, the Kaurava clan! Under guidance of Lord Krishna, when he finally understood gist of Bhagavad Gita… he not only fought the battle of Mahabharata head-on but also succeeded in re-establishing Dharma (righteousness) against evil forces of adharma (lawlessness).

 

When adharma (lawlessness) bares its fangs… a righteous person must never succumb to cowardice, said Lord Krishna! What could be more glorifying than the fact that God Almighty manifests entire cosmos (Brahmaand in Hinduism) and in miniature form… as an independent soul atman it manifests the body of a human being! It has rightly been said… the body of a human being was representing entire cosmos in miniscule form. By realizing our true inner self… we not only reached our soul atman, the spirit within but God Almighty in all its cosmic glory (termed Brahman in Hinduism)! 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! Brahman (God Almighty) truly existed in all living beings in miniscule form as our soul atman, the consciousness within!

 

As per the quote “Kurukshetrae Kurukshetram Kurukshetra Saraswati”… a human being addresses to river Saraswati to accept this human body (also termed Kurukshetra) as its permanent abode. River Saraswati denotes abundant flow of rasa (elixir of life) that exists in every soul atman from beginning of time. River Saraswati in spiritual paradigm can be equated to presence of Kundalini Shakti inside human body. Once activated fully… this coiled Serpentine energy lying dormant in base of spine can work wonders. None could reach stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) unless full awakening of Kundalini Shakti was experienced by one. And for full awakening of kundalini shakti… path of Dharma (righteousness) was ordained by God Almighty (Brahman in Hinduism). Practice of celibacy was that elixir of life practicing which human beings channelized sexual energy towards the only goal of life… reaching God!

 

Through Bhagavad Gita chapter 1 verse 1, Lord Krishna makes it explicitly clear that path towards God Almighty was not in domain of limited few. Every single human being on mother earth… belonging to any religion, faith or belief had the hidden potential of travelling spiritual path in present life to reach God. The path of pure spirituality was not limited to Kings, sages and saints of different era. Even a commoner, one from masses could make it to God in present life by travelling path of Dharma (righteousness) at each and every stage of life. One should never underestimate power of absolute truthfulness, Dharma, celibacy or Kundalini Shakti! We must also never forget… the present earthly domain in human form was a blessing in disguise. As we do not know… after death of present form, what form our soul atman manifests in next life… it is in our interest to travel path of spirituality dictated by our soul atman, the consciousness within!

 

Lord Krishna exhorting Arjuna to fight battle of Dharma (righteousness) against evil forces of adharma (lawlessness) simply means… that in manifest human form (also termed Kurukshetra), every single human being must strive to travel spiritual journey in present life to reach God. As the present body was manifested by our soul atman, the spirit within… it becomes our duty to assist our soul atman in reaching cosmic end of life… 8.4 millionth manifestation, last in cosmic life cycle! Gaining enlightenment in present life time is the prerogative of every single human being on mother earth. Before dawn of life occurs… we must become a serious seeker of spirituality, no matter what! We must never leave things to chance… so was not ordained by God Almighty! The human form was manifested by our soul atman after passing through 7.3 million manifestations in insect, plant and animal life! What more could we desire out of life than treading path of spirituality as detailed in sacred Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism!

 

In bhagavad gita chapter 1 verse 1, Dhritarashtra addresses Kauravas as those who were intensely desirous of indulging in adharmic warfare (not based on ethics and morality). The intentions of Kaurava clan were clear from the beginning. They wanted to usurp everything that did not belong to them. Even in presence of Lord Krishna they were prepared to fight their brethren… little realizing that they would suffer defeat in the end. As a king Dhritarashtra should have viewed all equally but in the battlefield of Kurukshetra he addresses his clan with the word mamaka which means… my own! From a societal angle… even his brother’s children were his own… countrymen, part of entire empire! But Dhritarashtra always viewed Pandavas children as his arch enemy. Not directly but indirectly he supported all evil intentions of his famous child Duryodhana! Knowing well that Sanjaya was impartial to both clans… still, Dhritarashtra feigned spiritual ignorance most of time. This depicts total failure of Dhritarashtra as a king.

 

Where logistics fails… nothing dharmic (righteous) could be achieved by any. In the circumstances, Lord Krishna gives sermon of Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna to prepare him for coming battle of Mahabharata! Dhritarashtra who was blind not only physically but mentally asks Sanjaya the outcome of first day of war between his sons Kauravas and Pandavas (sons of Pandu). The impatience expressed by Dhritarashtra says it all. The hidden cowardice in statements of Dhritarashtra was evident at each and every stage of his talks with Sanjaya. Those who indulged in life nishkama karma way… never cared for fruits of karma performed but Dhritarashtra was very eager to know the outcome of assembly for war. The inherent fear that existed in Dhritarashtra is evident in his character. Even though size of army of Duryodhana was much bigger than that of his enemies Pandavas still, Dhritarashtra had his doubts on the outcome of war.

 

Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – July 31, 2013

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