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(Continued from the previous issue)

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1. Arjuna says to Krishna, ‘Lord, You have been very kind to tell me many things. As I understand it, I have to act, I have to be detached, and I also have to sacrifice. But I am still a bit confused. Somehow, all these requirements appear to me to be mutually contradictory. For example, if I plunge into action, I become fully involved, emotionally. How then can you expect me to be detached?’

Sai Gita for Children

2. Krishna laughs and says, ‘Arjuna, you are just like most of the devotees. They barely listen and that too with just one ear. So they hardly remember anything of what I say, and also understand very little. Looks like you need one more revision. But note this is the very last time. Everyone is itching to fight, and we can’t postpone war too long.’

3. ‘You must make a clear distinction between attitude and form. You seem to think that only a Sannyasi wearing ochre robes and all that can be detached. Detachment is an attitude and ochre robe is part of a particular appearance. Attitude and appearances need not always go together.’

4. ‘There may be a person who is dressed like a Sannyasi but does that mean he is detached internally? Mental detachment – that is the important factor. Why do you think a Sannyasi alone can be detached mentally? Why can’t you, a soldier, be detached likewise?’

5. Arjuna protests and says, ‘Krishna, how is that possible? I have a wife and children. Are you asking me to abandon them all?’

6. Krishna counters, ‘Did I ask you to? When did I say that you must abandon your duty to your family? When did I ask you not to love the members of your family?’

7. Arjuna continues to argue and says, “Krishna, that precisely is my point! In one breath You are asking for detachment, and in the very next You say love your family! Are these not contradictory instructions?’

8. Krishna sighs and replies, ‘OK, I see your problem. You are getting mixed up because you are interpreting My advice in a purely worldly manner. You have to analyse at a much higher level than you are doing at present.’

9. ‘To start with, you should not imagine that a man who has renounced is like a hard rock or a dry twig. He can be detached and yet be full of Love and Compassion.’

10. Arjuna is surprised and asks, ‘How is that possible?’

11. Krishna replies, ‘Hold on! I am coming precisely to that point! Now, have you not heard Me say, “All are One. Be alike to everyone?” In the case of the person who suffers from attachment, he certainly loves his family, though perhaps in a worldly sort of way. But what about others? Does he love them like he does the members of his own family? Never!’

12. Arjuna interjects, ‘Krishna! Be reasonable, how is that ever possible?’

13. Krishna replies, ‘Why not? Just look at Me. Don’t I love all? Am I not the same to everyone? Don’t dismiss this by saying, “Oh, You are different,” etc. Everyone, yourself included, can emulate Me in loving all and being alike to all. No question about that; just that most people don’t want to. They say, “What’s there in it for me?” This is the bane of humanity! Selfishness, utter selfishness!’

Sai Gita for Children

14. ‘So you see Arjuna, you can do your duty, you can love all, and you can also serve all. Do all this without fear or favour. Regard everyone as just yourself. When you are thirsty, you have a drink. When you see someone else thirsty, imagine that you are thirsty yourself and give that person some water. See how happy that person becomes. Feel that happiness and become happy yourself. It is not at all difficult. See Me in all and help all. People don’t try this simple method and on top of it give all sorts of lame excuses for not trying!’

15. ‘This brings Me to the subject of action and the various ways in which it can be performed. You see Arjuna, in the end, it all boils down to action. What one must take care is to engage in proper action, all the time. That is what living life properly is all about.’

16. ‘Thinking is a kind of action – it is action at the mental level. Speech is another kind of action – it is action at the verbal level. Obviously, one cannot think one thing and say quite the opposite; you understand that of course. And finally there is physical action carried out using the body.’

17. ‘Associated with each type just mentioned, are five factors. They are: 1) The overall personality of the doer, 2) the doer’s body, 3) the doer’s senses, 4) the physical effort put in by the doer, and 5) Destiny. Yes, in the ultimate analysis, it is Destiny that decides who will do what, when, where and why.’

18. ‘It is common to recognise and accept the role of the first four of the above, but not everyone concedes the role of Destiny. When they are successful, such people take all the credit, but when failure haunts them, they blame it on God! It is all due to attachment to one’s body, also called body-consciousness or ego. True renunciation is giving up this attachment and body-consciousness.’

19. ‘A short while ago, you said that you did not want to fight. Why? You argued that fighting meant that you would have to kill your cousin, your grandfather and so on. Your cousin is your cousin on account of your body. Similarly Bhishma is your grandfather on account of a bodily relationship. True, these relationships exist and must be respected, but only up to a point. When that limit is crossed, you must no longer allow such relationships to come in the way of the duty you are required to perform.’

20. ‘The duty dictated to you by the Atma overrides every other consideration. In other words, God must always be priority number one. If father comes in between you and God, God must be followed and not the father. This precisely is the lesson that the story of Prahalada and Hiranyakashipu teaches. So it is in every case.’

21. Arjuna pleads, ‘Krishna, please make it simple! Tell me in simple language; how a person without body-consciousness as You call it, and faced with the problem I am having, would act?’

22. Krishna replies, ‘Well, such person would say, “I am a solider because Destiny has willed it be so. That very same Destiny has brought me here to fight on the side of Dharma. True, over there I see my Guru, grandfather, cousins, etc. But all those relationships are connected with the body. Dharma is God and God is Dharma. Therefore, my duty to Dharma overrides all other considerations. If I have to fight all my relatives for the sake of Dharma, then so be it. Destiny has decided this to be my role, and I cannot back out.”’

23. ‘Arjuna, it all comes back to knowing clearly what your duty is and then performing it to the best of your ability, without any other consideration, including of success, appreciation, reward and so forth.’

(To be continued...)


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Vol 5 Issue 12 - DECEMBER 2007
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