From the 15-20 Shlokas pertaining to war, the obvious conclusion is that ‘sex-lust’ and ‘doubt’ have been spoken of as enemies to be fought against with the sword of Godly knowledge of Gyan.
It will be noticed that, in one of the verses of the Gita, it has been said:
“Oh Arjuna, if thou wilt not fight willingly, dominated by your ego (attachment), thou shalt still fight, compelled by your nature.”
On the basis of this Shloka, (verse), some people say that God had imparted Gita-Gyan to attachment gripped Arjuna so as to induce him to fight a war of violence.
But the reader will notice that 4-5 verses (shlokas) earlier, in this very chapter, it has been said that “Yogi alone is dear to Me and Yogi is he who does not commit violence and remains friendly to all, and is constantly peaceful and joyful.
Now, if it were a ‘lethal war’ that was meant, then the meaning of these verses, characterising a Yogi, not only do not tally with those of the later ones, but are totally opposite to them.
It is obvious, therefore, that when the principal object of Gita-Gyan is to establish one in God-consciousness, cultivate divine virtues in life, to establish in soul-consciousness & to obtain liberation (Mukti) and fruition (Jivanmukti), the word ‘war’ must mean the war that constantly goes on in the human mind, for a Yogi has to carry on a persistent war against lust, violence, malice, anger, enmity, etc., which he treats as the only enemies he has.
In other words, he has to forsake or conquer them. That is why, it has been called a ‘spiritual battle’ or the ‘battle of righteousness’, which is enjoined upon many, failing which he becomes liable to incur sin.
THIS WAR IS SPIRITUAL WAR
Similarly, it has been said at one place in the Gita: Oh Mahabaho (Thou valiant fighter), ‘Sat’, ‘raj’, and ‘tam’ are the gunas (chatacteristics) that bind man to the body-consciousness.
Now, the use of the word ‘Mahabaho’ obviously refers to the spiritual battle rather than to any physical war with arms, it is used here in the same spiritual sense as the epithet ‘Mahavir’ which has been applied to the Jain Tirathankar (Founder) Vardhman ji, or, in other words, a person who liberates himself from the bondage of sat-raj-tam is called ‘brave’.
Further, it is said in the very opening chapters of Gita” ‘Oh, child, by means of this war, the gates of heaven open and he is lucky warrior (Kshatriya) who gets an opportunity to fight this war”.
Again, it is said a little further that even if you die fighting this war, you will attain heaven?. The question thus arises as to who gets entitled to go to heaven?
This has been answered in the Gita itself in these words: “when the righteousness in man gets to the highest limits of perfection, it is only then that man attains the highest and the purest ‘Paradise’. It is, thus, clear that the war is related to the fight entailed by the spiritual endeavor to make oneself pure and not to physical battle with arms.
In another context also, God (Bhagwan) has said that sex-lust, anger, and avarice are your sworn enemies and also the gates of hell.
The ‘war’, by which paradise is attained, can certainly be no lethal war, which is essentially rooted in anger. The word ‘Kshatriya’, used here, does not refer to any social caste as such, but stands for a warrior who combats Maya (Vices) with the sword of Godly Gyan.
Bhagwan (God) says, “If thou wilt stabilize thy mind in Me, thou wilt conquer all forts of Maya and with My grace, thou wilt swim the ocean of vicious life.”
Now, there is no question here of swimming through any river, but of crossing the ocean of sensuousness, viciousness and misery that this world really is. And “conquering or winning forts’ also means ‘ surmounting all obstacles in one’s path, i.e. in one’s fight against vices, viz. sex-lust, anger, avarice, attachment, arrogance, envy, malice, sleep, etc.
The word ‘Kshatriya’, as stated already, does not stand here for any warrior with bow and arrow, trying to kill an enemy, but for a person who comes on a relentless spiritual battle to conquer the vices stated above
Surely, this internal war needs much greater bravery, fearlessness and indomitable courage. There are so many shlokas in the Gita, describing the characteristics of a person, stabilized in consciousness of the soul and the Supreme Soul.
According to these, a Yogi is he who conquers his physical organs of senses, rises above craving and desires, keeps his equanimity in the face of praise or insult, gain or loss, success or failure. Neither does he bear enmity nor attachment to anyone. On the contrary, his mind is free from ill-will, ever happy and contented, vice-less, steady and pure simultaneously.
God (Bhagwan) says: “Such a soul is dear to Me, in fact, it is My ver image.
Accordingly, He says to Arjuna: “Thou art My dear friend and, as such, I impart thee the supreme, wonderful and mysterious Gyan”, Now, does it stand to reason whether God, who loves a ‘Yogi and a ‘Gyani’, would have told His dear friend to dip his hand in blood? And, then, God has said in clear words: “Thou shouldst always remember Me and also fight vices and surrender thy mind and intellect to Me.”
A lethal war can, certainly, not be carried on every moment.
An incessant war, surely, has to be waged only against one’s deep-rooted, inherited negative propensities, thoughts and vices. Thus, the aim of Gita-Gyan is to inspire man to wage war against the Five enemies and their countless army, thereby becoming a Yogi.
If the ‘True Essence of Bhagwad Gita’ is read in this perspective, everyone will become Arjuna & can win over his/her own vices.
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Questions about Shrimad Bhagwad GITA