Gita Gyan: When Arjun became emotional after seeing his relatives in the battlefield

Arjun was a great warrior. He was an expert in weaponry. Complete preparations for their war had been made. Lord Shri Krishna was also with him in the form of charioteer. Thus his victory was certain, yet he became disillusioned after seeing his relatives. Such a situation can often happen to all of us when there is a possibility of some tragic event in the future. Arjuna becoming insane on the battlefield is certainly worrying because its consequences could have been quite fatal. It was good that they developed this attachment before the war started, if this had happened during the war then the situation could have been even worse. Now only Lord Shri Krishna will save them from this difficult situation.

In the first chapter of the Gita, it is said that after seeing the formation of the Pandavas’ army, Duryodhana told Dronacharya that this arrangement had been made by his disciple Dhrishtadyumna. Dronacharya did not react to this which made Duryodhana sad. Then to please Duryodhana, Bhishma ji blew the conch. When Bhishma ji blew the conch, the instruments of the Kaurava-Pandava army started ringing. After this the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjun started.

Arjuna asked the Lord to park his chariot between the two armies. God placed the chariot between the two armies in front of Bhishma and Dronacharya etc. and asked Arjun to see the Kuruvanshis. Seeing his relatives in both the armies, family attachment arose in Arjun’s mind due to which Arjun decided not to fight and left his bow and arrows and sat in the middle of the chariot. With this the first chapter of Geeta ends.

Now Sanjaya started the topic of the second chapter by telling Dhritarashtra what the Lord had said to the sorrowful Arjuna.

Sanjay Uvaach-
Tan and kripa vastamashrupurnakulekshanam.
Vishdantamidam vakyamuvaach madhusudanah.

Sanjay: Uvaach;-Sanjay said; Tam-(that)!To Arjuna; And- like this, please- with compassion; avistam – overwhelmed; अश्रु-पुर्न-full of tears; bewildered-disappointed; ikshanam-eye; vishidantam- painful; Idam Vakyam – This word, Uvaach – said.

Sanjaya said – Madhusudan Krishna said these words (verses 2 and 3) after seeing the sorrowful Arjuna, full of compassion and with troubled eyes full of tears.

In this verse three adjectives have been mentioned for Arjuna i.e. please avistam, ashrapurnakulekshanam and vishishtam. These feelings have arisen in him after seeing his relatives in both the armies and the fear of their death. The word ‘Kripaya’ has special significance in expressing Arjun’s feelings which means compassion or sympathy. Compassion is a social emotion that motivates people to do anything to relieve the physical, mental or emotional pain of others and themselves. Compassion is sensitivity to the emotional aspects of the suffering of others. When it is based on notions such as fairness, justice and interdependence, it can be considered partially rational in nature.

This compassion is of two types. There is a divine compassion that God and saints experience when they see human souls suffering because of their separation from God in the material world. The second physical compassion is what we experience when we see the physical suffering of others. Worldly compassion is a great feeling but it is not perfectly directed. It’s like focusing on saving the clothes of a drowning person instead of saving them. Arjuna is experiencing another kind of compassion. He is overwhelmed with cosmic compassion toward his enemies gathered for battle. Deeply in mourning, Arjuna’s despair shows that he himself is in need of compassion. Therefore his idea of showing kindness to other people seems meaningless.

The word Samvodhana Madhusudan used by Sanjay is also important. Lord Shri Krishna had killed the evil demon named Madhu. Here Shri Krishna wants to kill the demon of doubt in Arjun’s mind which is preventing him from following his religion.

Compassion, grief and tearful eyes arising from attachment to the body and all other material things are symptoms of not knowing the soul. Compassion towards the eternal soul is self-realization. No one knows where compassion should be used. It would be foolish to pity a drowning man’s clothes. A man who has fallen into the ocean of ignorance cannot be saved merely by protecting his outer garment, i.e. the physical body. The one who does not know this and mourns for the sake of outward show is called a Shudra, that is, he mourns in vain. Arjun was a Kshatriya so such behavior was not expected from him. But Lord Krishna can destroy the suffering of an ignorant person and for this purpose he preached Bhagavad Gita. This chapter teaches us self-realization through analytical study of the physical body and soul.