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Is Arjuna Disease universal ?

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    We see in the second part of Gita first chapter that there was a break-up in Arjuna’s personality when he faced the grave situation in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. His repressions and supressions erupted from the deep layers of his personality. He lost his reasoning and mental balance completely. He felt dejected that he was unable to face the challenge.

    Swami Chinmayananda aptly calls this Arjuna Disease !

    This is a universal disease, natural to any man of action. It is also common to people of all creeds, cultures and races. What is the cure for this disease ? The panacea for all these mental disillusions is the subject matter of Gita, woven as a fabric in the eighteen chapters.

    A special point of interest in our scriptures is that , the imperatives
    Thou shalt, Thou shall not
    are never used. The student has the freedom to question at every step and has a moral right to expect satisfactory answers from the teacher. Only the Gita gives answers to the whys and the wherefores regarding life and living. Thus Gita provides answers not only to Arjuna but to all those who find themselves in such a shattered mental condition.

    Arjuna and his brothers had always been the under-dogs at every turn in their lives, suffering hardships caused by the Kauravas. So, he was itching to strike the Kauravas; but when he saw that they were intermingled with his own near and dear ones, Arjuna realized that he did not have the capacity to answer the call to the battle. His personality was broken at all levels and he was emotionally shattered.

    Arjuna thought that by destroying his own people, he would be creating great confusion in the society. He argued that, by going on with the war, he would be the cause of all confusions arising from adharma and therefore, he wanted to be no part of it.

    We see that the moment Arjuna comes in front of Bhishma and Dhrona, his intellect was overcome by emotion.
    This is the beginning of samsara. We read about this in the second section of the first chapter
    Krupayaa parayaa(aa)vishto visheedannidamabraveeth 1.27

    He was overcome by supreme compassion and sorrowing.

    What is the samsara caused by dependence ? One technical term used by Vyasa is
    Krpayavishtah

    In this context krpa does not mean compassion, but means attachment. Attachment means depending on another person for our own security, happiness and comfortable feeling ! Arjuna’s attachment to Bhishma and Drona was intense. Attachment is a potential source of sorrow – if the person dies, we are very much affected by the loss.
    So we see that death is not the cause of sorrow, but our dependance on the person who died and our pshychological weakness for that person is the cause of sorrow.

    Samsara is caused by three technical terms.

    Attachment is a problem. We often get confused between love and attachment. Love is a positive virtue. In attachment I depend on the other person, whereas in love, I allow another person to depend on me. Love is born out of independence and strength and there is less expectation. Attachment is born out of weakness, dependence and there are expectations. This is what Vyasacharya calls Krpa. Arjuna was overpowered by this attachment. The immediate consequence was
    Vishidannidamabraveet

    He spoke in grief.
    Vishada means sorrow. That is why this chapter s called Arjuna-vishada-yoga.
    So we see that sorrow is caused only by attachment.
    This problem of attachment is universal. If the sorrow is intense,
    It is shown in the body as, Arjuna says

    Seedanthi mama gaathraani mukham cha parichushyathi
    Vaepathushcha shareerae mae romaharshascha jaayathae 1.29

    My limbs droop, my mouth dries up, my body trembles and hairs stand on end.
    Psychosomatic diseases disturb the mind first and then the body.

    The third problem is delusion or confusion.
    The rational faculty takes a back seat.
    Arjuna thinks, he will get papa by killing atatayins. Atatyayins are people who commit cardinal sins. Duryodhana is a maha atyayin ! But now that his mind is veiled, he thinks so.
    According to dharma sastra an atatyayin should be given capital punishments without even a enquiry !
    So, thus we see that samsara is caused by
    Attachment – Raga
    Sorrow - Shoka
    Confusion - Moha

    Arjuna intensely experiences samsara and therefore decides not to fight this battle.
    Hence at the end of the chapter we find

    Aevamukthva(a)rjuna: sankhyae rathopastha upaavishath
    Visrujya sasharam chaapam shoka-samvigna-manasa: 1.47


    Arjuna sat down on the chariot in that battle, casting away bow and arrows, being grief-stricken at heart.

    Do we not identify ourselves with Arjuna ? Humanity is always marked by Raga, Shoka and Moha. We continue this bondage forever ! We fall into traps of dejection and despair. Our intellect is clouded and offers us no line of right action.
    Once we diagnose our disease, we must understand our problem is nothing but our own dependence.

    Swami Dayananda says
    The problem is you and the solution is you.

    Krishna watches Arjuna going through samsara, but does not come to his rescue because there is a rule in our shastra which says;
    Never advise a person unless he seeks advice.
    That way, we lose our respect and value. The seeker must always ask for advice ( the only exception is in the case of children).

    So, now we see at the end of the first chapter, Arjuna has identified his problem, but he has not asked for Krishna’s advice. So Krishna’s teachings do not start in the first chapter.

    The essence of the first chapter is presenting the context and Arjuna’s discovery of his problem as samsara. The treatment of such a natural, mortal illness of the inner mind is the theme of the entire Gita.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
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  2. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Chith

    Great Write up Chith. Very very impressive. You have very clearly explained the situation of Arjuna and compared it to our lives. I like the way you explained the love and attachment.

    Even I like the idea of not adivicing any one unless he or she asks for advice. But often very much confused how can we practice this when we deal with our family members and friends? Would like to know how you deal with it? What is your opinion in this regard?

    Eagerly looking for the future threads.

    Love
    vidhi
     
  3. mkthpavi

    mkthpavi Senior IL'ite

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    fantastic article Chithra....has deep significance indeed :)
    If a GREAT warrior like Arjuna can get confused, how abt ordinary mortals like us?

    Profound !

    Thanks and love
    Pavithra
     
  4. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidhi,
    Every time, I read your F B, I wonder how you can be so consistent in sending me a F B, on the very day I post ! I cannot thank you enough. It is a few like you, who keep me going in vedanta posts.
    It is ok to advice our kids so long as they are children. But once they grow up, they are no more interested in listening to advice. They prefer to learn from their experience. That is also a good learning process. We will be spared the heart-ache that they did not listen to what we said.
    I stopped advising my children long back. I jovially tell them that it is costly & they have to ask me for it. To be very frank, I know that I am going to be hurt if they do not listen to what I say. This way, both parties are happy !
    Thankyou for the F B, Vidhi.
    Love,
    Chithra.



     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Pavithra,
    I was wondering if you are not interested in Gita ! Thank God, I am wrong.
    I profusely thank you for the F B.
    Love,
    Chithra.




     
  6. birraj

    birraj Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Mom,
    As ususal you have given the Gita post little early because of varalakshmi Nombu preparations. Very neatly described. Now after all these years I am learning not to give any advice to any one unless they ask for it. Still funny things happen becuase of out of control of situations. More to learn from Gita and your posts. Your posts are always my inspirations. I wish it should continue. Thanks for the lighting up with in your busy schedule.

    Love
    Birundha
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Birundha,
    You are yet another regular "feed-backer" ! I thank you for the same.
    Every thursday, I post by 9 AM - not early at all, today !
    I do not have nombu, but join Ruby for the same. I take responsibility for some naivedyams as well !:)
    I am very happy to know that you enjoy the Gita posts. Please continue with me !
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  8. birraj

    birraj Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Mom,
    Thanks for the immediate reply. It must be so sweet that you are going to join tomorrow with your daughter. I must say as soon as I go home I will be very busy with the pooja preparation. Happy Varalakshmi Nombu.

    Love
    Birundha

     
  9. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chitra
    That post was really really wonderful.It made me sit back and think.Amazing ,how much we can learn from our puranas.Happy Varalakshmi Nombu.
     
  10. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kanka,
    Welcome to this sub-forum.
    All value of life, irrespective of the time we live, can be understood from our scriptures, provided we understand it in the proper perspective of life.
    Thankyou for joining us here.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     

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