Bhagavad Gita Lessons

Gita for Joyful Living
By Raja Subramaniyan

Unit 01: Introduction                      
Number of Sessions: 5
(001 – 005)
Number of Lessons: 3

On completion of this unit, the student will be able to
(a) Understand the purpose of learning Gita
(b) Explain the contents of Vedas

Unit Test:                 
Session: 005
1. What is the main purpose of conventional education?
2. Why do we need the knowledge revealed in Gita?
3. What are the four features that differentiate living from non-living?
4. What is the single feature that differentiates a human being from other living beings?
5. What are the advantages and disadvantage of this differentiating feature?
6. How do we overcome this disadvantage?
7. What is the meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘Veda’?
8. What is the meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘Dharma’?
9. What are the two parts of Vedas? Explain the purpose of each part.
10. State the difference between Active Dharma and Passive Dharma.
11. State the difference between Ordinary and Special Dharma.
12. In case of a conflict between Ordinary and Special Dharma, which one should be followed?

Lesson 1: Why should we learn Gita?                                          
Session: 001

The phrase 'conventional education' means the process of acquiring required knowledge to earn money, primarily employing the thinking, logical and communicating skills. Using this education as a stepping-stone, we can earn material comforts, entertain ourselves in a variety of ways, travel around the globe and support a large group of friends, family and community. Thus, the main purpose of the conventional education is earning comforts and companionship.

Arjuna is an example of a man who has acquired the maximum benefit of conventional education. He was the top-notch warrior with perfect skills on archery. He earned enough wealth, visited all the places in the universe and possessed all material comforts. He had many wives and children. The world was admiring and trying to emulate him since his towering personality was the perfect role model for the society.

Today, many people are equivalent to Arjuna in qualification, intelligence, wealth, power and capability.

However, conventional education is not sufficient. Arjuna was not exposed to the knowledge revealed in Gita. As a result, he could not face the world when a great tragedy struck him. Most educated people lack this knowledge. Therefore, they are vulnerable. When everything happens according to their expectation, they are happy. When a tragedy strikes, they break down. We should learn how to face problems in life. This is taught in the Gita.

Conventional education focuses on increasing the standard of life. Gita guides us to increase the quality of our life. It teaches us how to handle all our problems in life effectively so that life could be joyful. It provides us with an emotional insurance cover so that we are not affected by the problems of life.

Example: One has to do exercise and keep the body fit, even while one is healthy. After falling sick (with problems like BP, Diabetes etc) it will be too late to cure the illness through exercise.

Similarly, one has to learn how to handle tragic situations in life while one is reasonably happy. As we advance in age, physical and mental problems keep accumulating and it may be too late to learn the knowledge revealed in the Gita. We cannot start digging a well for water when the house is already burning. We need to equip ourselves with the knowledge provided by Lord Krishna so that we are ready to face any problems in life.

In life, we may face various difficult situations. Such situations are termed as 'problems' or 'crises’. Once we gain the knowledge of the Gita, there will be no more problems or crisis in our life but only situations. Life will be joyful.

Conventional education may be considered a tool that can maximize happiness and minimize or eliminate some of the situations leading to unhappiness. Education cannot change the world. Life will certainly oscillate between the pairs of opposites such as victory and defeat, pleasure and pain, gain and loss, health and ill health. Although we see that life is constantly changing, we expect it to remain constantly favorable to us. When we hear the news about premature death, loss of property or such misfortunate events, we secretly hope that it should not happen to us.

Therefore, we remain unprepared when a tragedy strikes us. Learning Gita will not change the course of our life. We will continue to face the pairs of opposites. Gita teaches us how to handle such experiences. If one is already suffering, his mind will not have the capability to learn and follow the solutions offered in Gita.

Therefore, it is essential to master this knowledge during the early period in life, when one is still physically fit and mentally alert.

Conventional education is essential for economic development and for increasing the longevity of people. In addition to this, the knowledge revealed in Gita is essential to increase the quality of life and facilitate Joyful Living.

Lesson 2: Superiority of human race                                            
Session: 002

That which eats, sleeps, procreates and dies is called a living being. Among living beings, human beings are superior. This superiority comes from the fact that only human beings are aware of themselves as a distinct entity. Arising out of this self-awareness, he has developed a discriminatory power to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and false and such.

The advantage of gaining such discriminatory power based on self-awareness is manifold and some of them are listed below.

1. Human beings presently rule the world using mind power. Although there are many other species of living beings that are far superior in physical strength, human beings have outsmarted them.
2. Compared to other species of living beings, human beings have mastered the art of protecting themselves from a hostile environment by modifying the environment. In addition, the dependency on the environment for increasing life span and size of the population is continuously decreasing compared to any other species.
3. All other living beings are at the mercy of human beings for survival.
4. Human beings are capable of continuously inventing ways and means of increasing comforts and entertainment in life unlike other living beings.
5. Increase in standard of living, formation of society, politics, religion, philosophy, development of art, literature and music are unique to humankind.

Although there are innumerable such advantages, there is one major disadvantage arising out of self-awareness. It is mental suffering due to various negative emotions like, worry, anxiety, fear, jealousy, anger, irritation, frustration, insecurity, guilt etc. Such negative emotions are totally absent in animals since they do not have self-awareness.

Example: Two goats are brought to the butchers shop and one is killed and being sold as meat. Even if the second goat sees the killing, it will ‘happily’ continue to eat the grass while waiting for its turn.

Animals do not suffer thinking what others will think of them since they do not know that they have distinct identity.

Animals experience disease and death like human beings but they do not have any anxiety or fear. A monkey, with a disease, does not feel sad or inferior. Physical pain is common to both while mental sufferings are unique to humankind.

Hippies wanted to overcome this particular disadvantage by living like animals. They have failed because it is not possible to lose knowledge except through gaining a superior knowledge.

Example: A mother received the news that her son is dead. Until she receives the news, she was ignorant about it and therefore did not suffer. On gaining the knowledge, suffering starts. It is not possible to erase the knowledge to remove the suffering. Only a superior knowledge can erase the old knowledge. If she gets to see her son alive, the old knowledge will go and suffering stops. There is no other way to erase the old knowledge.

Similarly, the self-awareness once gained cannot be forgotten. Therefore, it is not possible to overcome the disadvantage caused by it, by living like animals.

This disadvantage cannot be eliminated or compensated by all the advantages listed earlier. However advanced or developed a human society may be, the mental suffering cannot be avoided except by gaining a superior knowledge.

Animals are ignorant on who they are. Human beings have self-awareness. However, they do not have self-knowledge. This is the cause of all mental suffering. Gita helps human beings to convert their imperfect self-awareness into perfect knowledge so that the only disadvantage, the mental suffering, is removed. It is then possible to live happily all the time.

Gita gives the essence of all the Vedas. It is very difficult for anyone to read the original version of Gita and understand the meaning without mastering the knowledge revealed in the Vedas. It is impossible to read all the four Vedas and decipher the meaning without guidance. Therefore, the only solution is to study the Gita under the guidance of a teacher who has mastered both the Vedas and the Gita by systematically studying the same from his teacher.

It is not possible to understand the message from the Gita without the guidance of a teacher. The Gita is a dialogue between Arjuna and Lord Krishna. Gita has to be learnt in a similar way by the student from a teacher on one to one basis.

Acquiring this knowledge is as difficult, or as easy as gaining competency in any other subject like physics, chemistry or math at the postgraduate level. One should possess the required basic qualifications. In addition, one needs to have intelligence, deep desire and access to a good teacher.  When these three requirements are met, this knowledge can be gained easily through hard work.

Only when we do this, our intelligence is used to its full potential and we can truly proclaim that a human being is superior. If we do not do this, our happiness will continue to depend on the environment just as in the case of other living beings.

Thus, Gita helps us to grow to our full potential and enjoy life all the time.

Lesson 3: An over view of four Vedas                                
Session: 003 – 004

Gita is the essence of the four Vedas namely, Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. The meaning of the term Veda is knowledge. One of the Upanishads declares the purpose of Vedas (and Gita) is to guide the humankind to move from (1) ignorance to wisdom, (2) from mortality to immortality and (3) from false to truth.

It is already seen that human beings are superior compared to all other living beings due to a differentiating factor called self-awareness. This self-awareness is the foundation on which the superior human intelligence has grown.

This superior intelligence is an instrument using which human beings are supposed to master the art of living.

The purpose and proper usage of our intelligence is prescribed in Vedas. It is like a user manual that comes with any sophisticated instrument. How to operate our body/mind complex is explained in the user manual called Vedas. Only by using this User Manual, we can reach new heights, hitherto unimagined. We can go where science and economic development cannot take us. The unprecedented growth in the standard of living is not accompanied by increase in quality of life, since many do not take advantage of this User Manual.

Vedas prescribe Dharma. Dharma means ‘that which preserves’. Adhering to Dharma is essential to preserve and sustain existence.

Dharma is classified into two categories namely, Active Dharma and Passive Dharma. The initial part of all the Vedas, called ‘Veda Poorva’, prescribes Active Dharma and the ending part called ‘Veda Anta’ (Vedanta, which translates into ‘knowledge-end’, meaning that there is nothing more to know beyond this, is a collection of 108 major Upanishads), prescribes Passive Dharma.

Active Dharma is further subdivided as Ordinary Dharma and Special Dharma.

Ordinary Dharma Vs Special Dharma

Ordinary Dharma is eternal in nature. It remains same for all people, at all places and at all times. Examples of Ordinary Dharma are, ‘do not steal’ or ‘do not hurt’. Ordinary Dharma is inherently known to all the human beings even without any teaching. An easy way to identify an Ordinary Dharma is to check one’s expectation from others with respect to general behavior. All others in the world expect the very same behavior from us.

Example: I do not like anyone talking rudely to me. This means that I should not talk rudely to anyone too.
This is Ordinary Dharma.

Special Dharma is that Dharma which changes from person-to-person, place-to-place and time-to-time.

Example: Everyone should work to their best of their ability in their chosen profession. What is best varies person-to-person, place-to-place and time-to-time.

Special Dharma includes all the personal and professional duties taken up by an individual. Special Dharma is also known to people through general awareness. Everyone knows that one should not cross the yellow line or litter the roads.

Example: A student should study, a husband/father must provide financial support to the family and a doctor must do his best to save a patient from death. These are all examples of Special Dharma.

Special Dharma keeps changing.

 Example: Abortion was not allowed earlier. Now it is allowed.
       One can wear jeans and t-shirt but not while going to college.
       Employees of essential services cannot go on strike.

When there is a contradiction between Ordinary Dharma and Special Dharma, the latter prevails.

Example: A police officer should obey the orders of his superior and shoot in an encounter, violating the Ordinary Dharma of non-violence.

Active Dharma Vs Passive Dharma

Active Dharma is action oriented and Passive Dharma is knowledge oriented. One can do action on behalf of others but each person has to gain the knowledge through individual effort. Action is the stepping-stone for knowledge.

Active Dharma helps human beings to progress in life and live a life that is superior to other living beings. As the name suggests both Ordinary and Special Dharma are action oriented in the form of Do’s and Don’ts.

Even if a few individuals do not follow the Active Dharma, it is possible for humanity as a whole to progress. This is so because the result comes from action and action by majority can compensate the inefficiency of few.

Example: Mongolians (who did not follow the Ordinary Dharma) frequently invaded China and hampered the economic growth. By building the Great Wall, emperors of China protected their citizens. Thus, the majority can prevail over minority.

However, Passive Dharma prescribed in Vedanta requires individual effort. It is knowledge oriented and everyone has to learn and gain knowledge for himself. Each individual can follow the prescribed path and reach the ultimate destination without being influenced by the progress made by other members of the society.

Thus, Active Dharma is prescribed in the form of action for the welfare of the human society as a whole. Economic development and making the world a better place to live is the objective of the Vedas, while prescribing the Active Dharma.

Passive Dharma is prescribed in the form of gaining knowledge for enabling the individual to improve the quality of his life and enable Joyful Living.

Passive Dharma can be attempted only when one practices Active Dharma for a length of time until his mind is matured enough to understand the teaching of Vedanta. Passive Dharma, guides the human being to overcome the only disadvantage of self-awareness, namely suffering in life. As seen earlier, man suffers various negative emotions, unlike the animals. These sufferings can end if one follows the prescribed steps of acquiring knowledge that is revealed in the Vedanta.

Active Dharma deals with material pursuit and Passive Dharma deals with spiritual pursuit.

All living beings want to avoid suffering and be happy all the time. Only human beings are capable of reaching the goal and they can do so only if they follow the prescriptions given in Vedas. Vedas prescribe Active Dharma as the first step and Passive Dharma as the second and final step to meet this objective.

Gita contains both the Active Dharma and Passive Dharma. Therefore, it can be called as the fifth Veda. Studying and understanding Gita is equal to understanding all the four Vedas. The result of such understanding is Joyful Living.

Unit 02: The disease       
Number of Sessions: 15
(006 – 020)
Number of Lessons: 5
Verses: 1.01 – 1.45

On completion of this unit, the student will be able to
(a) See his vulnerability to stressful or tragic situations in life
(b) Appreciate the dilemma faced by Arjuna
(c) Understand the role of attachment in bringing fear, anger and sorrow

Unit Test:                 
Session: 020
1. What is attachment and what are the two emotions that indicate the presence of attachment in our mind?
2. Two factors develop and sustain attachment. What are they?
3. Describe the connection between attachment and love.
4. What are the four modes of mind? Which one should be powerful?
5. What is the first effect of attachment?
6. What are the effects of delusion?
7. Why does Arjuna give various reasons for abandoning the war?
8. What is the revelation that dawned upon Arjuna with respect to material pursuit?
9. What will you do if are in the position of Arjuna?
10. What the diagnosis of the disease is as described in the Chapter 1?

Lesson 1: The battlefield of life                                           
Session: 006 – 008

The first part of the Chapter 1 of Gita describes a situation wherein Arjuna faces a grave problem in his life. In order to appreciate the teaching of Lord Krishna, it is essential that we relate the situation faced by Arjuna with our life.

It is very difficult for someone to listen to the teachings of Gita when one is really immersed in a problem. Arjuna managed to do this because he surrendered unconditionally to Lord Krishna and sought his guidance. Normally we do not have recourse to such a resourceful guide nor will our ego permit us to surrender totally. To put ourselves in the position of Arjuna, it will help if we recall a problem faced by us in the past or imagine any problem with vivid details.

Example 1: You come to know that your spouse is having an illicit relationship with your best friend for the past two years.

Example 2: Your own siblings are trying to cheat you your rightful share in an ancestral property.

Example 3: Your cousin, who works as your superior officer is taking undue advantage of the position and portrays a poor image of you among your coworkers.

There are innumerable such examples in real life but most of us never accept that such a thing may happen to us. Invariably, we will be forced to face difficult situations and will be unprepared to face such situations. Then we will call that a crisis in life.

Unless we feel the need of a solution now, to help whenever problems strike us, we will not be in a position to appreciate the words of wisdom of Lord Krishna. Therefore, it is essential to imagine an appropriate situation involving our own close friends/ relatives that could be related to the situation faced by Arjuna in the battlefield.

Arjuna is forced to fight a war against his own cousins and the situation is described from Verse 1 to 25. We should note that every character mentioned in these verses are related / known to each other. There were no aggressive foreigners, masked terrorists, guerrilla army or underground mafia involved in the fight. Arjuna would have had no difficulty in fighting such enemy.

It will be difficult to imagine that our own siblings, parents, children could turn against us. If it happens, how will we face the world and what will be our reaction is the question that needs to be answered. Arjuna is facing his own relatives and friends in the opposing army.

What do we do when the Special Dharma is contradicting the Ordinary Dharma?

Example: A police officer finds his son among a gang of outlaws fighting with the police. In order to fight for his cause, even the son is forced to shoot at the father. How will the father and son respond to the situation?

We may not know how to face such situations in our life.  It will be easy to comment on someone else’s life. When such situations arise in our own life, we will be at loss for words or action. Such a situation in the life of Arjuna is described in the verses given below.

Chapter 1: Cause of Suffering & Delusion         
Verses: 01 – 25

1.1 Dhrtarastra asked: Oh Sanjaya, after assembling at Kuruksetra, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do, being desirous to fight?

1.2 Sanjaya replied: Oh King, after looking over the army gathered by the sons of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to Dhrona and began to speak the following words:

1.3 Oh my teacher, behold the great army of the sons of Pandu, so expertly arranged by your intelligent disciple, the son of Drupada

1.4 Here in this army there are many heroic bowmen equal in fighting to Bhima and Arjuna; there are also great fighters like Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada

1.5 There are also great, heroic, powerful fighters like Dhrstaketu, Cekitana, Kasiraja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Saibya.

1.6 There are the mighty Yudhamanyu, the very powerful Uttamauja, the son of Subhadra and the sons of Draupadi. All these warriors are great chariot fighters.

1.7 Oh best of the brahmanas, for your information, let me tell you about the captains who are especially qualified to lead my military force.

1.8 There are personalities like yourself, Bhisma, Karna, Krpa, Asvatthama, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta called Bhurisrava, who are always victorious in battle.

1.9 There are many other heroes who are prepared to lay down their lives for my sake. All of them are well equipped with different kinds of weapons, and all are experienced in military science.

1.10 Our strength is immeasurable, and we are perfectly protected by Grandfather Bhisma, whereas the strength of the Pandavas, carefully protected by Bhima, is limited.

1.11 Now all of you must give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, standing at your respective strategic points in the phalanx of the army.

1.12 Then Bhisma, the great valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty, the grandfather of the fighters, blew his conch shell very loudly like the sound of a lion, giving Duryodhana joy.

1.13 After that, the conch shells, bugles, trumpets, drums and horns were all suddenly sounded, and the combined sound was tumultuous.

1.14 On the other side, both Lord Krishna and Arjuna, stationed on a great chariot drawn by white horses, sounded their conch shells.

1.15 Then, Lord Krishna blew His conch shell, called Pancajanya; Arjuna blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhima, the voracious eater and performer of Herculean tasks, blew his terrific conch shell called Paundram.

1.16-18 King Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, blew his conch shell, the Ananta-vijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosa and Manipuspaka. That great archer the King of Kasi, the great fighter Sikhandi, Dhrstadyumna, Virata and the unconquerable Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and the others, Oh King, such as the son of Subhadra, greatly armed, all blew their respective conch shells.

1.19 The blowing of these different conch shells became uproarious, and thus, vibrating both in the sky and on the earth, it shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhrtarastra.

1.20 Oh King, at that time Arjuna, the son of Pandu, who was seated in his chariot, his flag marked with Hanuman, took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows, looking at the sons of Dhrtarastra. Oh King, Arjuna then spoke to Lord Krishna these words:

1.21-22 Arjuna said: Oh Krishna, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see who is present here, who is desirous of fighting, and with whom I must contend in this great battle attempt.

1.23 Let me see those who have come here to fight, wishing to please the evil-minded son of Dhrtarastra.

1.24 Sanjaya said: Oh Dhrtarastra, being thus addressed by Arjuna, Lord Krishna drew up the fine chariot in the midst of the armies of both parties.

1.25 In the presence of Bhisma, Dhrona and all other chieftains of the world, Lord Krishna said, You can now see, Arjuna, all the Kurus who are assembled here.

Lesson 2: Nature of Attachment                                
Session: 009 – 011

Attachment describes the connection between an individual and an external object. (‘Object’ includes people, things, possessions, positions, power, fame etc). Most people are attached to something or other in life, whether they are aware of their attachment or not.

Example: It is important that I have a cup of coffee in the morning.

This is an attachment. The degree of attachment varies among people but everyone is attached to something or someone. When the degree of attachment is at the highest level, it is felt that the purpose of one’s life is to devote to the welfare of the object or person to which one is attached.

Example: A mother is attached to her newborn baby and she is willing to give her life for the sake of the welfare of the baby.

Attachment is different from love. Attachment is born out of dependence and it comes with expectation. Love does not make one dependent and one will not have any expectation. Therefore, it is possible to love someone deeply without developing any attachment. It is also possible to develop attachment without any love or affection.

Example: She is very much attached to her boyfriend. If she learns that he is seeing someone else, she develops hatred and distances herself from him. Even when there is no more love, the attachment does not vanish. She still misses him.

As a corollary to the above, it is possible to love deeply someone without developing any attachment.

Example: A mother loves her son very dearly. When he wants to go abroad for his higher studies, she does not object to his proposal.

Ignorance is the source of attachment and this aspect will be dealt in detail in the subsequent lessons.

Two factors develop and sustain attachment. They are ‘physical association’ and ‘mental association’.

Example: If I drink coffee more frequently, I get more attachment to it. This is due to physical association.

Example: The more she thinks of him, more attachment she develops. This is due to mental association.

Normally, physical association precedes mental association.

When we meet someone for the first time, we do not have many thoughts about that person in our mind. There is no attachment. As we get to move closely with that person (frequent meetings, sharing of opinions and views etc) more thoughts about that person are accumulated in the mind. The degree of attachment is directly proportional to the quantum of thoughts.

In this case, the physical association has lead to mental association. It is also possible that we learn about an object without coming into physical contact with it. Advertisement in television and magazines kindle our thoughts (mental association) and make us crave for obtaining the object (physical association).

Physical and mental associations are interdependent and support mutual growth. Frequent physical association brings more thoughts into the mind. More thoughts in the mind compel one to spend more time in physical association.

Thus, attachment increases at a fast rate and soon reaches a stage of ‘I cannot live without you’.

In general, we are not aware of the degree of our attachment to a person or object. Only when we meet an obstacle to the physical association with the object of our attachment, we realize its existence.

Anger or fear indicates the degree of our attachment. If someone is preventing us from physical association, we will get anger or fear. If that someone is inferior to us, we become angry. Else, fear takes over.

Example: After office hours, I come home and watch a TV serial. When this is done repeatedly for about two weeks, I develop attachment to the serial and it becomes my favorite serial. I leave the office in time so that I do not miss the program.

If my subordinates do not finish their work in time, I become angry. I shout at them to hurry up lest I might miss my program.

If my superior asks me to come to his cabin, I develop a fear that I may be delayed.

Until we experience fear or anger, we do not realize that we are attached.

Arjuna is leading the army in the battlefield and he asks Lord Krishna to take him to a place where he can see his ‘enemies’ clearly. However when Lord Krishna stops the chariot, he does not see enemies. He sees friends, relatives and close associates. This is the result of attachment.

Although he knew that he was going to fight with Bhisma and Dhrona even before arriving at the battlefield, he was not aware of his attachment. When it is time to act, he realizes that he is attached to them so deeply that he cannot think of killing them.

This is depicted in the 26th verse.

Chapter 1: Cause of Suffering & Delusion                  
Verse: 26

1.26 There Arjuna could see, within the midst of the armies of parties, his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, and also his father-in-law and well-wishers--all present there.

Lesson 3: Effect of Attachment I - Sorrow                         
Session: 012 – 014

Mind is divided into four modes based on its function. They are intelligence, mind, ego and memory. The mode of intelligence should be more powerful than the mode of mind. (We use the same term ‘mind’ to refer both the whole and one of the mode)

Mind (one of the mode) is the term that refers to the thoughts that are oscillating between the alternatives. Thoughts that are not clear, incoherent, illogical belong to the realm of mind. It is the seat of all emotions and feelings. All the sense organs report the information collected from the external world to the mind. When the mind is flooded with information it sways between likes and dislikes.

Intelligence is the term that refers to the thoughts that are decisive in nature. It can differentiate between right and wrong very clearly. It knows what is good for us and what is bad for us. All thoughts that are clear, coherent and logical belong to the realm of intelligence.

Intelligence is not fully developed in children. That is the reason they do not know to distinguish bad from good. However as they grow up, by default everyone develops a perfect intelligence that knows the difference between right and wrong. By nature, all human beings possess a faultless intelligence. This natural quality of intelligence is absent only in mad or mentally retarded people.

Intelligence, by nature knows to differentiate the right from the wrong. Right is something that is good for us and wrong is bad for us. This power of discrimination is the equivalent of the natural instinct prevalent among animals.

Example: A giraffe calf attempts to stand up within minutes after birth. By instinct, it knows that its survival depends on its ability to start walking.

Similarly, all human beings are endowed with a natural instinct of knowing what is right and wrong for them, which is essential for their survival. However, unlike the giraffe calf, this natural quality develops in human beings only when they reach their adulthood.

In order to function in an efficient manner, both the modes of our mind, namely mind and intelligence have to work in unison. Occasionally, it happens that we do work when the mind and intelligence are not in unison. When this happens, there will be a struggle between the mind and intelligence similar to a tug-of-war.

As seen earlier, intelligence knows what is right and it is the duty of the mind to follow intelligence at all times. However, the constant input from the external world influences the mind and causes it to disobey intelligence.

Intelligence gets its strength through knowledge. Education and association with good people gives the intelligence sufficient strength to keep the mind under its control.

When there is too much entertainment and too little education, mind becomes more powerful than intelligence resulting in frequent disobedience. The more we indulge in undesirable sense pleasures, the more the mind is strengthened. The less we acquire knowledge, the less powerful intelligence becomes.

In such situations, mind will start functioning without abiding by the directions laid down by intelligence. Even if the intelligence tells that a particular action will bring about misery to us, the mind will continue to indulge in such action.

Example: A soldier knows that his illicit relationship with the queen will lead him to death. However, his mind will disobey his intelligence paving way for his misery.

In addition, since the mind cannot function alone for long duration without the support of intelligence, it will start influencing intelligence to come to its way.

Example: An intelligent person will start justifying his addiction to smoking since it is not possible for the mind to function without the support of the intelligence for an extended period.

Attachment by definition involves association with an external object. If there is an obstruction to the physical association, one gets anger or fear as detailed in the previous lesson. However, if the object of attachment suffers natural change, decay, destruction or death, one is immersed in sorrow.

It is even more painful if one has to cause the annihilation of the object of attachment through one’s own effort.

 Example: Mercy killing of a pet animal.

It is not that the attachment will lead to sorrow sometime. Attachment and sorrow are two sides of the same coin. It is impossible to have any sorrow without attachment. Attachment invariably begets sorrow. However intelligent one may be it is not possible for him to avoid sorrow without removing the attachment.

No one wants to be sorrowful at anytime during his lifetime. However, everyone is attached to some object or the other. Attachment causes a split between the mind and intelligence. Then it plagues the mind with anger, fear or sorrow and tilts our balance. When anger, fear or sorrow strikes us our calmness and composure leaves us.

We cannot think clearly and our mind will become agitated.

Mind becomes a kite caught in a cyclone. It no longer stays in the control of the thread (intelligence). Various thoughts flood the mind and it becomes inoperative.
One starts talking (lamenting) incoherent words, since the mind is not stable.

Such is the situation faced by Arjuna in the war field as described from the verse 27 to 31.
Prior to coming to the war, Arjuna’s mind was in full control of his intelligence. He clearly knew that it was his duty to fight and the war was to be fought based on Dharma. However, due to his attachment, instead of seeing enemies, he sees relatives, friends and close associates in the battlefield. The thought, that he has to cause their death, results in sorrow in his mind.

Thus, the first effect of attachment is sorrow.

Chapter 1: Cause of Suffering & Delusion         
Verses: 27 – 31

1.27 When Arjuna, saw all these different grades of friends and relatives, he became overwhelmed with compassion and spoke thus:

1.28 Arjuna said: My dear Krishna, seeing my friends and relatives present before me in such a fighting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.

1.29. My whole body is trembling, and my hair is standing on end. My bow Gandiva is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning.

1.30 I am now unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself, and my mind is reeling. I foresee only evil, Oh Krishna.

1.31 I do not see how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in this battle…..

Lesson 4: Effect of Attachment II - Delusion                      
Session: 015 – 017

Attachment causes sorrow in the mind. The sorrowful mind does not function under the control of intelligence. However, such a situation cannot prevail for long. We can function normally only if both the mind and the intelligence work in unison.

Depending on the strength of the mind or intelligence, balance is gained very soon in all human beings.

Example: The news of the sudden death of the husband shattered her. She was speechless.

She will not be in the same condition for a long time. As long as the mind is disturbed by the news, she cannot function normally. However, the intelligence takes over soon and she returns to normalcy in a few days time.

It is generally expected that the intelligence will eventually take control of the mind. However, if the attachment is very strong mind starts influencing the intelligence. Normally intelligence knows what is right or wrong. However, due to strong attachment, intelligence becomes corrupted. When this happens, the mind can no longer behave normally. People start doing things that are harmful to themselves and others because their intelligence is no longer able to differentiate what is good from bad.

Unfortunately, people will not be able to see that their intelligence is corrupted. It is like wearing a colored glass and not knowing it is a colored glass. The result is devastating.

Good will appear to be bad and right will appear to be wrong to such persons. They can no longer function normally. Such a condition may last for long time since both mind and intelligence are functioning in unison, although in the wrong direction.

It is not an easy task for the mind to overpower intelligence. It will start inventing reasons and convince intelligence that wrong is right and bad is good. If the person is not educated and has very limited knowledge, it will be easier for the mind to take control of intelligence. From then on, their intelligence will be submissive to the mind.

It is not possible for anyone to convince such persons that they are on the wrong path.

Example: A police officer knows that his son is guilty of a crime. However, his attachment to his son has colored his mind. Therefore, he allows his son to escape from the jail and starts looking for loopholes in the law to declare that his son is innocent. He will quote innumerable cases of guilty escaping punishment.

However, his intelligence is not completely corrupted. It will not show the right path only in the case of his son. Suppose, this officer arrests another person who has committed similar crime, he will not let him escape.

Thus, the attachment causes partial blindness to intelligence, which is called delusion. Delusion makes a person illogical. It is not possible to talk sense with him and convince him on what is right.

Example: Extra marital affair will be justified (quoting various ‘valid’ reasons) by the persons involved.

There is no point telling them it is wrong to have an extramarital affair. It will not appeal to their mind since it is deluded.

Fortunately, the intelligence never becomes completely corrupted. It is only deluded and such delusion will reduce, as and when attachment is reduced. Deep down, the intelligence will continue to have the power of discrimination. However, it will be under the influence of mind as long as attachment continues.

Example: Both the persons involved in an extra marital affair are aware that their relationship is wrong although they try to convince themselves and others that it is right.

This is the status of Arjuna. His attachment to his friends and family first affected his mind and he becomes sorrowful. Then slowly his strong attachment started corrupting the intelligence too. As a result, he starts justifying that it is wrong to fight.

People talk about right and wrong only when it is convenient to them. Since it is convenient for Arjuna to quote the virtue of non-violence now, he uses it in his arguments. Somehow, he wants to avoid the situation wherein he is forced to fight and kill his own people whom he likes.

He cites various ‘valid’ reasons for avoiding the war.

Thus, the second effect of attachment is delusion.

Since intelligence is never corrupted with delusion completely, it does not surrender to the mind fully. If Arjuna knew with conviction that he should not fight, he would have ordered his charioteer (Lord Krishna) to take him outside the battlefield instead of talking all these words. The fact that someone is trying to justify his action shows that the mind is still oscillating between right and wrong.

When a person knows the right path, he does not have to choose between alternatives. The mere fact that Arjuna puts forth various arguments in favor of abandoning the war shows that he is not fully convinced of his own arguments. Arjuna was the master and Lord Krishna was his charioteer. There is no reason for Arjuna to get permission from Lord Krishna to convert his thoughts (of leaving the battlefield) into action.

It is universally known that war is evil. However, one might have to resort to it when it becomes impossible to ensure practice of Dharma by any other means.

Sama, Dhana, Bheda and Danda are the four ways through which Dharma should be practiced and they have to be followed in this specific order.

Sama means to achieve the goal through peaceful means. When this was not possible, Pandavas asked for at least five houses as a gift to resolve the conflict. This is Dhana. When Duryodhana refused, Lord Krishna on behalf of Pandavas tried to weaken Kauravas through various means (like disarming Karna and Krupar, making Vidhura abandon Duryodhana). This is Bheda. When all these three methods failed, Pandavas have the option to wage a war. By blowing the conch shell in the battlefield, Bhishma commenced the aggression. Therefore, it has become the duty of the Pandavas to fight. This is in line with Dharma.

Arjuna was aware of all these and that is the reason he was leading the army to fight Duryodhana. However, due to delusion (caused by attachment) he started putting forth various arguments for abandoning the war. If Lord Krishna had countered the arguments, it would have had no effect on Arjuna. That is the reason Lord Krishna did not say anything. It is useless to say anything to one whose mind is deluded. Such is the effect of attachment.

However, in the process of putting forth various arguments, Arjuna realizes the fruitlessness of their material pursuit. It is very difficult for one to understand that the material pursuit (chasing money, power, position etc) will never give lasting contentment/ happiness. Even when a great tragedy strikes an individual, he seldom thinks on these lines. Most people blindly pursue their search for material comforts with a hope that one day they will attain their ultimate goal of being happy all the time. It is very difficult to see this truth and Arjuna began to see the truth at this hour of tragedy.

Arjuna makes the following arguments (from Verse 31 to 45) in support of his claim that he should abandon the war. However, all of them are wrong arguments because the measuring scale (his intelligence) with which he is assessing the situation is corrupted.

Similarly, everyone under the influence of delusion will proceed towards his own destruction. This is similar to the giraffe calf arguing with its mother that it has to lie down and take rest for few hours since it was born just then. Such action contradicting the natural instinct will bring misery.

Chapter 1: Cause of Suffering & Delusion     
Verses: 031 – 046

1.31..., nor can I, my dear Krishna, desire any subsequent victory, kingdom, or happiness.

1.32 Oh Krishna, of what avail to us are kingdoms, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now in this battlefield?

1.33-34 Oh Krishna, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and all relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, then why should I wish to kill them, though I may survive?

1.35 Oh Krishna, I am not prepared to fight with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth.

1.36 Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore, it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhrtarastra and our friends.

1.37 What should we gain, Oh Krishna, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?

1.38 Oh Krishna, although these men, overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one's family or quarreling with friends, why should we, with knowledge of the sin, engage in these acts?

1.39 With the destruction of dynasty, the eternal family tradition is vanquished, and thus the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligious practice.

1.40 When irreligion is prominent in the family, Oh Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt and from the degradation of womanhood come unwanted progeny.

1.41 When there is increase of unwanted population, a hellish situation is created both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. In such corrupt families, there is no offering of oblations of food and water to the ancestors.

1.42 Due to the evil deeds of the destroyers of family tradition, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated.

1.43 Oh Krishna, I have heard that those who destroy family traditions dwell always in hell.

1.44 Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful acts, driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness.

1.45 I would consider it better for the sons of Dhrtarastra to kill me unarmed and unresisting, rather than to fight with them.

1.46 Sanjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.

Lesson 5: Diagnosis of the disease    
Session: 018 – 019

Lord Krishna and Arjuna are not fictitious characters in the ‘story’ of Mahabharata. They are real persons who lived in the distant past who represent the human race of all times.

Arjuna represents millions of educated people across the globe not aware of the importance of the message contained in Vedas and Gita. He represents those who assume that material goals will ensure them everlasting happiness until they face a great tragedy in life.

Lord Krishna represents thousands of enlightened masters living across the globe, who have mastered the art of living. He represents the teachers of Vedas and Gita.

Gita is a dialogue between the student and the master and the first chapter gives the backdrop against which the dialogue is about to begin.

There are various objects (including persons, events, power, position) one is attached to. This attachment is sustained and developed by physical association and mental association without our knowledge.

Example: Presence and growth of virus in the body is not known until it manifests as a disease.

Similarly, we are not aware of our attachment until the symptoms, anger, fear and sorrow appear. We get used to these negative emotions as we assume them to be a part of our life. Therefore, we do not attempt to cure the basic disease. This results in a serious situation in which we completely breakdown.

Example: If we do not treat the disease in its initial stages, it becomes serious. In the later stages, it will become more difficult to treat it.

Similarly, we ignore the daily symptoms of the negative emotions without attempting to treat the root cause of the disease. When our personality becomes strong, we suffer a great deal when a tragedy strikes us.

Attachment causes these emotions (anger, fear and sorrow) by affecting the mind. If the attachment is stronger, it affects the intelligence and deludes it. When this happens, the mind cannot distinguish between good and bad. It will be immersed in sorrow when there is a situation that threatens the existence of the object of attachment. We will no longer be in a position to function efficiently.

Diagnosis of the disease that is afflicted the humankind is described in the Chapter 1 of Gita as below.

“Arjuna is aware that it is his duty to fight. However, when the reality that he has to kill his own people strikes him, he breaks down. His attachment to his people causes a split between his mind and intelligence. His mind is haunted by sorrow and he is not able to function normally. His intelligence is deluded. As a result, he starts putting forth various invalid arguments in support of abandoning the war. He is expecting Lord Krishna to endorse his arguments so that these wrong thoughts are justified so that his mind can gain control over his intelligence.”
   

Unit 03: Preparation for the treatment    
Number of Sessions: 10
(021 – 030)
Number of Lessons: 3
Verses: 2.01 – 2.09

On completion of this unit, the student will be able to
(a) State the requirements to receive and understand the message of Gita.
(b) Identify the single Universal Problem of the human beings.

Unit Test:                 
Session: 030
1. Give the broad outline of the six steps in understanding the universal problem.
2. List at least ten negative emotions that represent ‘suffering’
3. What is the difference between the temporary solution and ultimate solution?
4. What are the four prerequisites to receive the ultimate solution?
5. What are the five reasons that prevent us from surrendering to the teacher?
6. What are the effects of surrendering to a wrong teacher?
7. How do we know that the teaching is not a wrong interpretation of the Gita?

Lesson 1: An overview of the universal problem              
Session: 021 – 024

Arjuna was shattered due to the overwhelming sorrow. After hearing his problem, if Lord Krishna had given a solution to his specific problem then Gita will not be relevant to us today.

All of us face various problems of varying degrees of importance. Whenever we confide our problem to our close friends and associates, we do receive suggestions to overcome our problem. Such suggestions or solutions may be valid for that specific situation and cannot be used to solve all our problems at all times nor can someone else be benefited by that solution.

Lord Krishna helped Arjuna to solve his problem by giving a solution that is relevant and applicable to all human beings at all times. In order to appreciate such a solution, we need to understand the universal problem.

Understanding the Universal Problem:

Step 1: Location of the problem

We need to understand that all our problems are located in our mind. There are no problems in the world.

 Example: Poverty is a problem of the mind!

Proof: What will happen if we do not get food to eat? Our body will report that we are hungry. After a prolonged period of abstinence of food, body will stop reporting that we are hungry. Within a few weeks we will die. We do not want to die. Where does the problem lie? The problem lies only in our mind. In the earlier example of two goats in the mutton-shop, the goat that is still alive does not worry about its imminent death. For human beings, it is a great problem!

It is impossible to have any problem that lies outside our mind.

Step 2: Nature of the problem

All the problems in our life are represented by negative emotions such as:
Anger
Annoyance
Anxiety
Bitterness
Confusion
Discontent
Disgust
Displeasure
Fear
Frustration
Grief
Guilt
Hatred
Irritation
Rage
Regret
Shame
Sorrow
Suspicion
Worry

Step 3: Status of the problem

We do not enjoy having such negative emotions. If we have such emotions, we suffer. We call this suffering as our problem. Even if we do not have these negative emotions, during any given period in our life, it cannot be said we are not suffering. Like a dormant disease, which has not yet manifested, the possibility of suffering by such negative emotions, exist in all of us all the time. When we encounter a situation that is not in line with our expectations, then such negative emotions are manifested.

Thus, the problem is always present. Either it is manifested (as suffering) or it is in the dormant state (possibility of suffering).

Step 4: Cause of the problem

While the problem is within our mind, the cause of the problem lies outside in the form of situations, people, objects etc.

Example: He cheated me. (This is the cause of the problem).
     I hate him.         (This is the problem.)
I suffer because there is a negative emotion called hatred       in my mind caused by the fact that someone has cheated me.

Thus, the cause of the problem is external (in the world) and the problem is internal (in the mind).

Step 5: Multiple causes but single problem

The cause of the problem varies from person to person and from time to time but the problem is universal.

Everyone in the world (except those who have learnt the ultimate solution revealed in the Gita) is suffering ALL the time. It is very important to understand this step. It may appear that many people are enjoying life most of the time and only few appear to suffer occasionally. It is not true. Every human being in the world suffers all the time as proved by the following statements:

1. Everyone has a feeling of incompleteness as evidenced by the presence of a goal in life. If one is completely happy, then there is no need to have a goal.
2. Everyone is working towards becoming happy as shown by the actions. A beggar is begging for the next meal and the king is working to increase the wealth of his kingdom.
3. At all times of our life – from birth to death – we continue to have some problem or other. As a child, we wanted to have balloon without which we felt we were incomplete, as a student we wanted to complete our education and acquire qualifications, as a professional we wanted to earn money, name, fame etc. As a grand old person, we want our great grand children to come to a good position in life. The search or waiting is eternal.
4. Problems in life are never completely absent. We may forget about them for a while when we are immersed in the positive emotions. Even when we are amidst a happiest situation, deep down in our mind, we continue to have many pending problems. While watching a movie, if a friend talks about the upcoming exams, we get irritated with that friend for reminding us our problem.
5. Pleasure and pain are two sides of the same coin. When we enjoy the company of a friend, unconsciously we are binding ourselves to an impending sorrow. If we analyze all our problems, we will see that the opposite of the same is our enjoyment.

Step 6: Persistence of the problem and multiple ‘solutions’

We have seen that the cause of the problem keeps changing from time to time and varies among individuals but the problem that we suffer, continues to be the same. Cause of the problem lies outside and the problem lies inside our mind.

Our effort to remove the cause of the problem can never be complete because the cause will keep reappearing in different forms.

Example: If we buy a balloon to solve the problem of the child, it will soon start crying for a chocolate.

Instead of attempting to change the cause of the problem, we need to work on the actual problem, which is our suffering.

If we understand these six steps, we can recognize the universal problem.

It is called universal problem because it is applicable to all the human beings at all times. Every individual wants to achieve a particular goal in life, which has already been accomplished by someone else. Nevertheless, no one seems to be completely fulfilled or contented ever. Therefore, the problem is universal.

Temporary solution Vs Ultimate Solution

Instead trying to find the solution to the universal problem, people in general are working towards removing the apparent cause of the problem, which lies in the outside world. The solution that they find will always be inadequate and temporary since the basic problem of discontentment is not solved.

It is not possible to find a lasting solution by making corrections in the external world. World will continue to offer the pairs of the opposites and we need to know how to handle them without any trace of suffering. This is the ultimate solution.

Example: The problem of a broken arm is not solved through painkiller or anesthesia. This may be the first step in solving the problem. We need to proceed with the treatment and ensure that the cause of the problem, the fracture in the bone, is addressed.

Temporary solution is similar to giving anesthesia, which does not eliminate the root cause of the problem but relieves us from the pain temporarily.

Ultimate solution is like an operation, which removes the root cause of the problem that lies in our mind.

Arjuna after expressing his sorrowful situation waited for Lord Krishna to give a solution. After hearing his predicament without interrupting, Lord Krishna started talking for the first time.

Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution                      
Verse: 1

2.1 Sanjaya said: Seeing the sorrowful Arjuna who is overpowered by attachment with his eyes brimming with tears, Lord Krishna, spoke the following words.

Lesson 2: Prerequisites to receive the ultimate solution
Session: 024 – 026

Lord Krishna is aware of the ultimate solution that is prescribed in Vedas and he could have helped Arjuna by teaching him the solution. However, Arjuna was in no mood to listen to any teaching. He wanted an immediate solution to the problem.

Lord Krishna realized that Arjuna has not yet met the prerequisites to receive the teaching.

Example: Immunization is a process in which the body is taught to protect itself from harmful virus, by artificially injecting the dead viruses.

Similarly, it is possible to receive the ultimate solution and solve the disease of ignorance in advance so that we do not suffer when unfortunate events are encountered. However, there are four prerequisites, which are to be fulfilled before one could make the immunization effective.

The problem is universal. Gita contains the ultimate solution to this universal problem and it is available for everyone. Still not many have benefited because one has to meet following four prerequisites to use the solution offered in Gita.

Prerequisite 1: Acknowledgement of the problem

Most people do not acknowledge the presence of the problem in the first place. If they do not even recognize the problem, the solution will not be useful to them.

Example: As a person grows old, his eyesight becomes progressively poor. However, he does not take note of it and assumes that he is perfectly all right. Obviously, he will not go to a doctor seeking relief.

Similarly, as children our problems are limited to completing the homework or writing an exam. Then slowly one by one the number of issues one has to deal with increases. For every such problem, we are able to find a temporary solution. In addition, we are compensated with ‘satisfaction and a sense of achievement’ on crossing each hurdle that we face. We are not aware of how vulnerable we are until a great tragedy strikes us.

If we do not acknowledge our inability to solve all the problems completely the ultimate solution is of no use to us.

Most people do not even want to diagnose to check whether the problem is present.

Example: Routine medical check-up is prescribed after certain age. However, many are reluctant to undergo the same for the fear of finding out a latent disease.

Similarly, many shy away from self-introspection. They always keep their mind occupied in some work or entertainment so that it does not get the time to reflect and find out its own vulnerability to problems. It is very easy to check whether we are prone to suffering in life by just imagining personal, financial, family or professional misfortunes that can happen in our life and our probable response to the same.

Prerequisite 2: Desire to solve the problem

After acknowledging the presence of the problem, one may still not be ready or willing to seek a solution.

Example: The old man has finally acknowledged that his eyesight is failing and he is not able to see properly. It appears he is suffering from cataract. However, he says that he can manage without treatment (secretly hoping that the problem will disappear by itself or may not warrant an operation)

Similarly, even if we acknowledge that we suffer or are prone to suffering, we may not be willing to seek a solution.

In order to get the benefit from the universal solution one has to decide that the current problem is so severe that it needs immediate and permanent treatment.

Example: If signs of cancer are seen, it has to be treated early. Even if there is no apparent health problem suffered by the patient, the doctors will advice immediate commencement of treatment. However, it is up to the patient to decide when the treatment can start.

Similarly, if we do not wish to liberate ourselves from the problem, no external person can help us solve the problem.

Prerequisite 3: Realization that self-help will not work.

Assuming that one acknowledges the presence of the problem and has a deep desire to resolve it, still one has to understand that external help is required.

Example: The old man with poor eyesight assumes that if he gets up at 3 am in the morning and washes his eyes thoroughly in cold water, he may regain eyesight. Since he has a deep desire to restore his eyesight, he sincerely attempts such natural cure.

Similarly, most of us believe that we are capable of solving all our problems. “If only I can get the next promotion or build my own house all the problems will be solved forever” is the common attitude.

It takes a while to realize that more issues we deal with, more issues are cropping up. If we are active and energetic, we do a lot more things compared to someone who is not so active. However, the active person has more issues to deal with.

If one carefully observes the history and scrutinizes the personal lives of great achievers, it is possible to realize that it is impossible to solve the basic issue of feeling the discontentment or sense of incompleteness without external help.

The more intelligent and more capable we are, we tend to think that we can solve our universal problem by ourselves. The fact that the solution is given only in Vedas is a difficult proposition for us to accept. People assume that they are so intelligent and it is unlikely that they need the contents of Vedas to help them out.

This is the main reason why most people do not read the user manual that comes with any electronic product. They assume that they know how to use the product without reading the manual until a problem crops up. Only when they realize that they are not able to solve the problem they progress to the next step of reading the manual.

Prerequisite 4: Surrendering to the teacher

After realizing the necessity of the external help, we reach the final step of identifying the correct teacher to whom we can surrender and seek the solution.

Example: The old man finally gives up his dependency on self-help and seeks medical help. Many doctors are willing to conduct the operation on him. However, he is not sure which one to choose. He is skeptical about everyone and not willing to go ahead with the operation.

Even after accepting, that the universal solution is available only in Vedas and that it is not possible to solve the problem through self-help, educated people find it very difficult to get the benefit from Vedas. This happens because they are skeptical about the various interpretations that are prevailing in the world. There are different competent teachers who all appear to be talking convincingly but most of them contradict each other.

Example: The old man is not an eye doctor himself. Therefore, there is no way he can assess the credibility of the doctors based on the explanation with medical terminologies provided by the doctors.

Similarly, the universal solution that is supposed to be revealed in Vedas is in Sanskrit language. People who are proficient in that language are not able to give a uniform interpretation with universal acceptance. As a result, even a well-educated person is not able to assess the credibility of the teachers based on the explanations given by them for the Sanskrit verses.

In every other profession, the professional knowledge is not passed on to the customer. A patient does not become a doctor after treatment. However, in case of the ultimate solution, if a student is successfully taught, the student will become equal to the teacher with respect to the knowledge. After gaining the knowledge, it is easy to recognize a good teacher. However, this does not help when one is yet to learn. It is difficult to locate a good teacher.

Even if we are in the company of a well-qualified person who can teach us the ultimate solution from Vedas, we do not recognize him.

Arjuna is in such a situation. He has met the first three prerequisites but has not surrendered to Lord Krishna seeking his help. Therefore, he is not yet ready for the universal solution. He has recognized the problem and has a deep desire to solve it. He has also realized that he cannot solve the problem. However, he does not see Lord Krishna as his teacher. Since he did not see Lord Krishna as his teacher, the final requirement of surrendering to a teacher was not completed.

Therefore, instead of giving the ultimate solution, Lord Krishna rebukes Arjuna and points out his stupidity in the verses 2 and 3.

Chapter 2: Wisdom is the solution           
Verses: 02 – 03

2.2 Lord Krishna said, “My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man of your stature. They do not lead to higher planes, but to infamy.”

2.3 Oh Arjuna, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not befit thee. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, Oh chastiser of the enemy.

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