A Brief Introduction to The Bhagavad Gita
August 13th 2007 Los Angeles, USA
India is called Bharatha even today. Ok, let me say this, the real name of India is Bharatha in Hindi and in all the Indian languages. Bharatha came from a king called Bharath. Bharatha means brilliance.
The word in English brilliance comes from Sanskrit root – Bha means brilliance. You know English is so close to Sanskrit. Like rays, rays come from Lakmi. Radiance, rays come from Lakmi means rays. Bharath means brilliance. So Bha means to shine. Brightness comes from bha root. Bha means brightness.
So, Mahabharatha, there was a king called Dhritharashtra. He was blind, born blind. He had a brother Pandu. The brother had 5 children, 5 sons (Dharmaraja, Arjuna, Bhimasena, Nakula, Sahadeva). The king Dhritharashtra had 100 children. And this 100 children were arrogant and they were the example of, what you call, rowdyism. They did not want to give anything to those 5 other brothers because the 5 other brothers were, their cousins were brilliant, they are righteous, people of certain moral standards. So these people they would just, everybody would love them and appreciate them. The eldest of these 100 brothers (Duryodhana) wants to get rid of them. So, he played chess game and through the game the war happened because in the game those 5 (righteous) ones, they lost the game. Because it was played in a crooked manner and made them lose the game so a war began between them. And that is Mahabharatha war.
In this war Lord Krishna became a charioteer of Arjuna, one among the five. There is a story also.
Sri Krishna was very clever. So He is always neutral or at least appears to be very neutral. (laughter) Sri Krishna went as an ambassador 3 times to avoid the war, to make them come in terms. Says “Come on, don’t fight! Ok, give them something, at least give them 5 villages.” And this man (Duryodhana) says “I won’t give them even the space of a needle. They have lost (chess game) and they have lost everything. I am not going to give them anything. I am not going to be compassionate, kind at all.”
So now, war became inevitable. So, when war became inevitable, one day, Krishna was lying on His couch and then Duryodhana came. So what happens?
Krishna was lying down, He is in yoga nidra, He is a yogi. So His sleep and wakefulness are all mixed up. (laughter) There is no definited line between sleeping and wakefulness. So, He was sleeping, though He knew what was happening.
So when He was sleeping, Duryodhana came. First he came, it’s considered not a right thing to wake someone when they are sleeping so he waited till He wakes up. He came near and sat near His feet. Then, he suddenly realised why should I sit near His feet so he went round, because he is a prince, prince of a great kingdom, emperor’s eldest son so he went and sat near the head of Sri Krishna. And then little later, Arjuna also came. Arjuna came and he sat at the feet of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna was waiting till Arjuna come. (laughter) so Arjuna came and sat.
So ah… whoever ask… first come first serve, you know. (laughter) You ask somebody, you ask them “What can I do for you?” so he will say “You be in my side of the conflict.” So Krishna was sleeping, pretending to be sleeping and then when Arjuna came and sat near the feet, then He woke up. When you wake up, whom do you see first? Those at your feet. You won’t turn back and look who is that near my head. So, He says “Oh, Arjuna has come. You are prince of this kingdom.” Krishna has His own little army and His own kingdom not very far away. So He started greeting “Oh, wonderful you came! What can I do for you? I know you are going to have fight, what can I do? How can I be of any help?” So, Arjuna says “You should come to my side.” And then He looks and says “Oh, emperor’s prince is here!” then He said “what can I do for you?” he says “You should come and fight for me.” then He says “Ok, you have a choice either you take Me or you take My army, all My man and amry will be on one side, I will be on one side. If you want Me, then My amry will go to the other party. If you want My army, then I will go to the other party.”
Duryodhana for a moment thought “What I will do with one man? (laughter) and He says He is not going to lift any arm, He is not going to fight.” Krishna says “I am not going to fight” though He knew archery everything. “I am not going to lift a finger. I am not going to take any weapon in My hand. If you are ok with Me, then I will come to you. But if you want My army, here My whole army is there, you can take them.” So Duryodhana thought for a moment, “what will I do with a man, He doesn’t even want to pick up an arm, (what is it? weapon) weapon in His arm.” Then he says “Ok, you give me (your army)”
Then Arjuna is a little brilliant, he says “You come to my side, that is enough for me.” Because Arjuna knew, at least he has some hint that Krishna is equal to a million armies like that. He is much more powerful than a group of men with arms. He has the brilliance, He has the wisdom, He has the enlightenment, all that is needed for me to win He has, if He is on my side, there is no way I can lose.”
This inner faith was present in Arjuna. So he was very happy to have Krishna, so he says “You come to me, I don’t want the army.”
So then the war started. Then Arjuna and Krishna, they came to the war field. The chariot was in between of the 2 armies. That is where the entire Gita happens, of 700 verses, 18 chapters.
You would wonder how can someone give all the knowledge about the meditation, sattwa, rajas, tamas and ayurveda, everything, pitta, vata, kapha, sort of everything in a field of war. And that is the skill that in which Arjuna was given this knowledge. And he was given a vision of what truth is, what untruth is; what is real, what is unreal.
So, bringing music in chaos is a skill of Divinity. Bringing light into the world where there is misery is a skill of Divinity. Bringing joy where everything appears to be miserable. Making one understand that life is all fun and joy where there are complication and problem all around is a skill of Divinity. And that is exactly what Krishna does.