Updated: Aug 10, 2019
Om Śrī Kṛṣṇāya Paramātmane Namaḥ
Śloka of the Day
Arjuna Viṣhāda Yōgaḥ
Dhr̥tarāṣṭra uvāca |
dharmakṣētrē kurukṣētrē samavētā yuyutsavaḥ |
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāścaiva kimakurvata sañjaya ||1||
“What did the sons of Pandu and also my people do when, desirous to fight, they assembled together on the holy plain of Kurukshetra, O Sanjaya?”
This first chapter plays a very important role. It begins with Dhritarashtra’s question. Bhagavad Gita was told to Dhritarashtra after 10 days of war when Bhishma had fallen on the battlefield on 10th day. It was great shock for Dhritarashtra. Dhritarashtra enquired details from Sanjaya. He wanted to know what happened before the war began.
The name of this Chapter is “Arjuna Viṣhāda Yōgaḥ”. “Viṣhāda” means grief, dejection. Grief or despondency of Arjuna. Each Chapter in Gita is Yoga.
Why? Because it is a means to bring you closer to the Supreme Truth.
It has brought Arjuna closer to Sri Krishna and His teachings. He surrendered to Bhagavan. His sorrow became the cause for him to become closer to Bhagavan. In Mahabharata, Kunti Devi used to remember Bhagavan Sri Krishna intensely in all difficult times. She prayed to Sri Krishna that let there be sorrow in her life so she would remember Him intensely always! Generally, we don’t remember God or Sadguru when we are happy. This is our human nature. This grief led Arjuna to seek and surrender to Sri Krishna. After surrendering only could Sri Krishna begin teaching him.
What is the root cause for this Grief?
In the first chapter itself the root cause of this grief is shown to be attachment and misplaced compassion (rāga & kṛpā) which led to grief (śoka or viṣāda) and delusion (moha). When we are not satisfied or happy, we seek it outside. We attribute happiness to the objects of the world. This leads to desires and attachment. Since the conditions regarding such temporary happiness are unpredictable, the very peace of mind of that person is not permanent. A disturbed mind can make only improper and hasty judgements complicating situations further. Thus we sink further into the quagmire of this saṃsāra (realm of transmigration) and a vicious cycle is created.
One should discover the problem of saṃsāra, for which Gītā happens to be a solution. Unless one discovers the disease and the root cause, one will not seek medicine. One should develop a sincere and strong longing (tīvra mumukṣutva) for freedom from this saṃsāra. This leads to a committed and fruitful pursuit despite obstacles faced. One should realize that such a problem cannot be solved independently. Surrender to Sadguru and Grace of the Saduru is a must!
"If the Upanishads present the aim and purpose of human life, the Bhagavad Gita indicates the way to attain them and live a life of fulfillment. By faithfully following that path shown by the Bhagavad Gita, man can make his life sublime, leave behind his footprints on the sands of time."
-- Parama Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda