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  1. Pradeep Chhajerh
  2. Master Gita Master Life
  3. 03 July 2019
So the exhortations from SriKrishna to Arjuna are to fight on as it is his duty to fight for the country.Is it so that the country was suffering under Duryodhana and needed to be fought for. On the other hand, the apparent cause for the war was Duryodhana's refusal to return Pandava kingdom or even give 5 villages or homes to Pandavas. How do we equate this with national interest? Why would have it been ignoble for Pandavas to just walk away renouncing the kingdom just like Bhagwan Ram did.
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Hari Om!

We need some background of both epics to understand it in proper perspective. Mentioning it briefly here, if you are interested please refer to the books on these epics.

In case of Bhagwan Ram, he had to uphold his Father's word to his step-mother Kaikeyi(on the evil advise of Manthara). So on the day of coronation, even though He was the rightful heir, He proceeded on exile to forest to redeem His Father's pledge and uphold boon given to Kaikeyi. This renunciation was a noble act by dutiful son of Dasharath.

From the Mahabharata, we know that Pandavas were rightful heir to the kingdom due to their seniority over Kauravas. Duryodhana tried to eliminate Pandavas in different ways and exiled them from their kingdom using wily Shakuni in the game of dice. After Pandavas came back from exile to lay claim to their rightful kingdom, Duryodhana again denied them their rights.

Even after trying to peacefully settle the situation by mediation from Lord Krishna, Duryodhana refused to part so much as piece of land to drive a pin. So war became inevitable. This was between 2 sides - one standing for Dharma and on the opposite side aligned with Kauravas all Adharmic forces (those who side with Adharma irrespective of their compulsions also become Adharmic).

After exhausting all possibilities of avoiding violence and war, it becomes righteous war and the duty of Kshatriya King Arjuna to fight this holy war and redeem himself.

स्वधर्ममपि चावेक्ष्य न विकम्पितुमर्हसि ।
धर्म्याद्धि युद्धाछ्रेयोऽन्यत्क्षत्रियस्य न विद्यते ।।2.31।।

Further, looking at thine own duty thou oughtest not to waver,
for there is nothing higher for a KSHATRIYA than a righteous war.


अथ चैत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं संग्रामं न करिष्यसि ।
ततः स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि ।।2.33।।

But, if you will not fight this righteous war,
then, having abandoned your own duty and fame, you shall incur sin.


Here it is not so much for the country, but for upholding Dharma that Sri Krishna asks Arjuna to fight. धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः - One who protects Dharma is protected by Dharma. A country which is ruled by Dharmic leaders and principles will prosper.

I don't know if the kingdom & subjects were suffering under Duryodhana. But any leader driven by adharmic principles of greed and lust will ultimately cause sorrow and suffering
to their followers or countrymen.


How to identify and be sure that an action is selfless, when you stand to gain with a particular outcome?

Whether an action is selfless is not determined by the outcome of gain or loss but rather by the attitude of performer.

Any action performed with Iswara-arpana (as an offering to Lord) and Prasada-buddhi (accepting the outcome) qualifies as Karma Yoga.

सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ ।
ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि ।।2.38।।

Having made pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat the same,
engage thou in battle for the sake of battle; thus thou shalt not incur sin.

In our case we can interpret battle as our daily struggles in life and sin as future bondage.

Pranam
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Hari Om Manohar JI,

" After Pandavas came back from exile to lay claim to their rightful kingdom, Duryodhana again denied them their rights. Even after trying to peacefully settle the situation by mediation from Lord Krishna, Duryodhana refused to part so much as piece of land to drive a pin. So war became inevitable"

Does it follow then, that fighting for once rights is also Dharma? How do we reconcile this with selflessness?

Pranams,

Pradeep


  1. Manohar
  2. 2 weeks ago
  3. #132
Hari Om Pradeep ji,

No it does not automatically become Dharma to fight for one's rights. It is duty. Performing one's duty in righteous manner is Dharma.

I think your difficulty is how an action can become selfless if you are doing it for benefit of yourself / your family. It was answered but let me clarify more.

So first of all, performing duties are inevitable for all. You need not avoid performing actions even though it may directly benefit you or your family. You can still do it in the spirit of Karma Yoga.

If you are able to work for the larger good of the society then those actions are even better because the results will be for universal good. It becomes Seva. Take example of Gandhi ji. He converted his fight for right to travel in train to fight against discrimination, to freedom struggle of Bharat and become Mahatma Gandhi from Mohandas Gandhi.

However even while doing Seva, if you are doing it with a sense of doer-ship or with anxiety of results then it is just labour (unintelligent work - not Karma Yoga). Therefore it is the attitude with which you perform action is important.

Pranam





Hari Om Manohar Ji and Rajini Ji,

Thanks for your kind explanations. I am actually a bit embarrassed to persist with my question, but also realize that if I don't seek (knowledge), I wouldn't find and would remain ignorant.

To illustrate my doubt, I would use an alternative narrative (a la Taleb).
Before the war Dhritarashtra sent Sanjaya to suggest to Pandavas that vile and wicked Duryodhan wouldn't give them half the kingdom and it is therefore better that they don't insist/ask for it, to avoid an internecine war. If the Pandavas would have accepted this as the will of the father/elder, with an attitude of selflessness and renunciation, would they still have been guilty of the Paap of dereliction of duty?
Even with the right attitude, one would always have two possible paths to choose from. Especially when both options include the possibility of taking some hard/unpreferable decisions and actions, how do you choose.

Thanks for your kind guidance.

Pranam,

Pradeep.


Hari Om Manohar Ji and Rajini Ji,

Thanks for your kind explanations. I am actually a bit embarrassed to persist with my question, but also realize that if I don't seek (knowledge), I wouldn't find and would remain ignorant.

To illustrate my doubt, I would use an alternative narrative (a la Taleb).
Before the war Dhritarashtra sent Sanjaya to suggest to Pandavas that vile and wicked Duryodhan wouldn't give them half the kingdom and it is therefore better that they don't insist/ask for it, to avoid an internecine war. If the Pandavas would have accepted this as the will of the father/elder, with an attitude of selflessness and renunciation, would they still have been guilty of the Paap of dereliction of duty?
Even with the right attitude, one would always have two possible paths to choose from. Especially when both options include the possibility of taking some hard/unpreferable decisions and actions, how do you choose.

Thanks for your kind guidance.

Pranam,

Pradeep.


  1. Manohar
  2. 2 weeks ago
  3. #135
If Pandavas were counselled by Bheeshma and Krishna to give up claim of their right to kingdom and to keep their word they could have renounced. But this is just your conjecture I think. Otherwise please quote the reference you have used.

In the actual Mahabharata, Bheeshma and Vidura were for giving Pandavas their share of the kingdom. Prior to game of dice, Yudhistra was crowned the king and later after coming back from exile, Duryodhana denied their rights even after fulfilling all the conditions of the dice contest. The actual story is Dhirtharashtra sent Sanjaya on a mission for reconciliation to avoid the war. There is no mention about forgoing their kingdom. Yudhistira asks Sanjaya is it not fair that they get their rights? Finally he says that he will agree to whatever Krishna counsels them to do and says that they dont want half the kingdom but just 5 villages to avoid the war.

Do you think Duryodhana or greedy person will get satisfied by an act of selfness of others? In reality, not doing your duty of protecting your rights (though you may think it is selfless and renunciation) does not lead to peace or glory. We can see this in the loss of territory of our country and increasing corruption when no action is taken against people acting in corrupt ways. You need to use the right discrimination where you are being selfless and renouncing.

> Even with the right attitude, one would always have two possible paths to choose from.
> Especially when both options include the possibility of taking some hard/unpreferable decisions and actions, how do you choose.

(If this question is not related to the thread, it is better to post the question in a new thread)

In such situation use your discrimination choose the path of Shreyas (the universal good for all) rather than Preyas. Similar question I think was answered towards the beginning of the course. Refer to QnA.
In modern times we say choose long term gain over short term pleasures. The word Shreyas encompasses much more than that - universal good for all of the world.

Hope your doubts are cleared.

Hari Om.


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a selfless action is.........your mind is only on performing the action to your best and not on the outcome.your focus is only on your duty not in the result..your duty to the perfection without likes and dislikes.You are not worried or your mind is neither thinking or worrying about the outcome.You gain by it take it.nothing wrong in it.
example..............your duty is to bring up your son.You have to bring him up in such a way he can live his life successfully.Become a good human being and also good citizen.Teach him what is good,bad, ethics, morals etc.After he grows up he takes care of you....you gain with that outcome.But while bringing up somewhere in your mind that thought is there..........tomorrow he will take care of me........it is not a selfless action.

Dharma is ......Right Action.active resistance to evil.
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Hari om Pradeep ji
Kauravas tried to kill the Pandavas in the wax house.Pandavas escaped through a tunnel.
This is a selfish or selfless action ?Clarify and please explain why and give reasons.
Pranams
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Hari Om Rajini Ji,

Thanks for taking time to explain the concept.

I think your point is, and I agree if so, that acts of self preservation do not need to be judged on this criterion of being selfless or selfish. It is probably for this reason that Arjuna wasn't hit by Karpanya Dosha before escaping through the tunnel and didn't need to seek Krishna's counsel, on whether or not it is righteous to escape from a fire which is about to burn you to death.

It however, is not so clear for me as to how do you link this to my question i.e. whether the war was selfless act of duty/dharma, even if gain or loss of kingdom was at the trigger.

(PS:-In my limited intellect, a more opportune/righteous moment for war would have been when Draupadi was being disgraced;similarly it was Duryodhana who deserved to die at that point, probably more than Shishupala deserved to die at Rajasuya.

I know a possible explanation is that their respective karmpahalas were to ripen at that particular point and accordingly Pandavas and Draupadi had to suffer what they had to , while Duryodhanas and Shishupala met their prarabdha when the time came, but if there is more to it, please do share your thoughts).

Pranams.
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Hari Om!

Comparing actions of Bhagavan Rama and pandavas is comparing actions of Avatar and Ajnanis

Avatar actions are always dharmic and Avatar has nothing to gain or lose by doing actions always remains no the non-doer. So, Bhagavan, as a Jnani, left kingdom doing actions of a prince to ensure promise made by the king is kept. If He did not do that and took the throne how could He be a credible king? Besides, He was not attached to kingdom so having a kingdom or not is the same for Him!

Pandavas on the other hand were not Jnanis and so were attached to the kingdom but they did seek and obey the advice of Bhagavan (though not at all times!)

Depending on where on the path someone is, makes the same action right or wrong! Keep in mind that Duryodhana did not even want to be on the path - he was clear he must have the kingdom

Thanks for the question

Pranaams
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Hari Om Mahavir Ji,

Thanks for your answer and explanation.
I am afraid my question got a bit lost in the noise I might have created. The point was never to compare the actions of Shriram and Pandavas. My question only was, it is not so clear why the war was a selfless,noble act of duty and if Pandavas would also have renounced the kingdom like Bhagwan did, would they have incurred the Paap of dereliction of duty.

While I have no doubt that this doubt is a result of my own ignorance and ultimately with abhaysa one would wisen enough to grasp the subtle uances, kindly consider this as my abhyasa only.

Pranaams
  1. Mahavir
  2. 2 weeks ago
  3. #139
Hari Om! Pradeepji, This is a great question that pushes all of us to understand the teaching better. So, thanks for the opportunity to do abhyasa:

Yes, Pandavas renouncing the kingdom would incur paap of dereliction of duty for the following reasons:
- They think they are Karta (doer) for e.g. they felt they must rule a kingdom however small it may be.
Or, Arjuna experienced sorrow and delusion because he thought he was the one going to do the killing.
- As long as there is karta bhav, there will be duty
- As long as there is duty, it must be performed. If not, there will be paapa

Now, it could be reasoned that renouncing kingdom is also a duty-- but as explained in these discourses, it is not svadharma for ARjuna (or Pandavas) since their nature propels them to be kshatriyas (i.e.a propensity to act more than a propensity to pursue knowledge). That is why they must discharge their duty of a kshatriya but just because it is right action, not because of consequences and renouncing the war itself as will of God and themselves as instrument etc. By doing that, mind will be purified i.e. more propensity for knowledge will occur which will lead to tattvajnana after which they will not be part of any wars

Contrast that with story of Buddha who also renounced kingdom - His entire life up to that point also reveals his thirst for knowledge, not a propensity to rule. In that sense, renunciation happens as Swamiji explained when it is appropriate (as illustrated by the story of mother-in-law, daughter-in-law )

Thanks,

Hari Om Mahavir Ji,

So what i gather is that the direction to Pandavas, was that they must act as they would have acted if the opposing side didn't consist of acharyas, pitaras,putras,bhratas and matulas. Concessions should not be made only because you are attached to the aggressors/those committing unrighteous acts.

It makes sense, thanks for your kind explanations.

Pranams
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Hari om Pradeep ji
by participating in the discussion forum i am trying to strengthen my "manana"
From some other angle let us try to analyse this
yes. It would have been ignoble for pandavas to walk away renouncing the kingdom
1.mahabharata,udyoga parva---72-18 says:"the sin that is committed by killing one who does not deserve to be killed is as great as the sin of NOT killing one who deserves to be killed.
2 After .renouncing the kingdom also kauravas will definitely try to kill pandavas .They were always afraid of them. that is why i linked my question of "escaping from wax house".Where and how can you draw a line for a self less act?We have to slowly raise from our emotional levels to wisdom and intelligence. That is in the BMI chart we have to move from M to I.
3. Kauravas were power hungry.If pandavas renounce the kingdom they would have fought more wars to expand their kingdom.
4.Praja would not have been safe under their rule.They tried to poison,cheat,kill the pandavas and molest draupadi.Then what would have been the fate of an ordinary woman and common man?
5.Bhagavan Ram knows the kingdom will be safe in the hands of Bharata.
6.If it is a selfless act or a noble act ,in a larger picture praja should be benefitted.
7.To avoid war pandavas were willing to compromise by just taking 5 villages.
8.3rd chapter 21 sloka......if this is the example set by pandavas if others follow the same thing what type of a society it would have been?
9.Kauravas were"atatayis". They committed all 5 crimes.Giving poison,setting fire to other's house etc.They were ready to stoop down to any level for power and wealth.That shows they did not have any values ,ethics ,morals."yatha raja Tatha Praja '

Because of the above said reasons pandavas would have renounced the kingdom neither it would have been a selfless act or a noble act.
Pranams
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