The opening words of Bhagavad Gita are “dharmakshetre
kurukshetre”, meaning “the field of dharma, the field of the Kurus.”
Essentially Bhagavad Gita is about Dharma, and what is “Dharma”? There is no
direct translation for the word in English. It can be explained as Duty,
responsibility and character. The ‘Dharma’ of fire is light and heat. If an
innocent child keeps his hand in fire, it will burn, as fire will show its
character (dharma) irrespective of the person. Fire does not recognize the
innocence of the baby and performs its Dharma. However, the “Dharma” of mother
is to protect the child from fire and keep him away from it (duty). It is also
her dharma to educate the child about the dangers of keeping ones hand in fire
How is it that the field of dharma is the field of the
Kurus, the enemies of dharma? This portrays the real world of today; a world
full of dualities; negativity and ignorance. The enemies of dharma dominate
society in general. We find ourselves surrounded by negative impulses,
conflicts, confusions, fears, and ignorance of all kinds and have to fight it to
survive and grow.
Next few stanzas portray the din and roar of the battlefield
where many generals and their army restlessly clamouring to start the war and
annihilate their enemies. Arjuna requests Krishna, his charioteer to place the
chariot in the middle of both the armies to see all the people who have
gathered and sided with the Kauravas to fight the war, knowing fully well that
their death is certain. Arjuna sees grandfathers, fathers, sons and grandson
ready to fight the Pandavas. He sees his brothers, brothers in law, friends,
uncles and other close relatives. Arjuna is confused and declares that killing
all these people for the pleasures of enjoying the kingdom is not worth. Arjuna
gets mentally and physically paralysed and informs Krishna that he is quitting
the war and sits in the chariot after putting down his arms and ammunition. He
justifies the decision quoting scriptures and says that death of menfolk will
ruin society and culture.
This is symbolic. Every day we face confusing situations in
our life and struggle to take the right decision. People may look like friends,
but their intentions could be evil. A delicacy may be appealing to our palate
but may be ruinous to our health. Medicines that are bitter will help us
recover from serious illness. Fortunately Arjuna had Krishna to guide, whom do
we have? Today’s Youth is Arjuna. They are confused and unsure of their future
like Arjuna in the battlefield. The circumstances and situations around them
are threatening and unnerving. Today’s youngsters are ambitious, hardworking,
intelligent and more educated than their predecessors are. Yet they struggle to
achieve success in their life due to difficult and unsupportive external
environment, political and economic. Today’s youth is facing Mahabharata war
like situations every day in their life. Whether at home or at office we only
see and hear disturbing news on every day.
Success of an organization is based on innovative products
and progressive policies. Products that help customers solve their problems and
create meaningful impact to their business. Policies that support the
stakeholders and its proper implementation. Finally, we need people who will
execute these policies in letter and spirit at all levels, leadership as well
as executive. If any one element is missing, that organization is bound to fail,
if not now, certainly in future.
Gita teaches us the art of living. It brings proper
perspective to our thought process and guides our action towards success and
fulfilment. It shows us the way forward. Knowledge gives us proficiency.
Applied knowledge is efficiency. Right knowledge applied at the right time, at
the right place and the right way gives us effectiveness. Effectiveness leads
us to success and glory and that is what Gita teaches us.
Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita represents todays’ youth, confused
and disheartened. A man of action that Arjuna is abandons his action station
due to mental paralysis. Arjuna loses his ‘viveka’, his reasoning ability and resigns
from his job like many youngsters of today who leave their job on some or other
pretext, always silly than serious. When a person is angry sad or under severe
stress, his faculty for proper judgement diminishes. Under these circumstances,
either he gives up or take wrong decisions. That is what has happened to
Generally, a problem looks big and insurmountable when you do
not have a solution. The moment you have the solution the problems disappears.
Bhagavad Gita provides that answer to our life’s problems. Running away from
the problem does not solve it; it will only come back and haunt you with even
more vigour and ferocity. If you refuse to see the elephant in the room, it
does not disappear. We have to face it with courage and conviction as running
away is cowardice. Like Arjuna often we justify our inaction quoting precedents
If you do not have the time and patience to read and
understand the entire Bhagavad Gita of 700 stanzas, just understand the last
one. That summarises the essential teaching of Lord Krishna.
“yatra yogesvarah krsno yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir dhruva nitir matir mama”
Meaning – Where there is Krishna, the lord of yoga, and
where there is Paartha, wielder of the bow, there is fortune, victory,
prosperity and infallible morality, in my opinion
What is the significance of Sri Krishna and Arjuna having to
be together? Is Sri Krishna alone not sufficient? Having acquired powerful
weapons from divinities, such as Pasupatastra, brahmastra, varunastra, etc.
with unique bow called Gandiva, is Arjuna alone not sufficient to win the
The Bhagavad Gita concludes with this verse delivering a
deep pronouncement. Dhritarashtra was hopeful that his children would win the
war considering the strength of the army and the capabilities of their Generals
lead by Bhishma, Drona, Karna, etc. However, his minister Sanjay informs that
material calculations of the relative strengths and numbers of the two armies
are irrelevant as victory will always be on the side of God and his pure
devotee, and so will goodness, supremacy, and abundance be.
Sri Krishna is the master of yoga, or the Lord of Yogis.
Yoga refers to the unification of individual mind to that of GOD. Yoga gives
you the power to focus your mind and body, your thoughts, for the higher goal
and not get distracted by the various attractions in society. Krishna acts as
the charioteer of Arjuna during the war. The Chariot symbolises human body,
driven by horses that are your senses, the five senses of hearing, vision,
touch, smell and taste. If the horses are under control, they will take the
chariot to the desired destination, if not; it will lead us to hell. Arjun’s
chariot is controlled by Krishna who resides in all of us as ‘Buddhi’ (means
the intellectual faculty and the power to form and retain concepts, reason,
discern, judge, comprehend, understand). Use our Buddhi to control our senses,
we will have no confusion and reach our destiny with flying colours. Krishna is
the guide, Guru and director of the universe. The Directors of the organization
should also be like Krishna. Evaluating situations dispassionately, with
righteousness and morality as the guiding principles and not business and
profit at any cost, then the business will be strong, successful and
sustainable in the long run.
What are the characteristics of Arjuna?
Employees of today may have higher qualifications or ambition
but do they have the same ability and competence of Arjuna to be successful under
difficult circumstances? What are the
strengths of Arjuna?
Hard worker (Industrious) – Once while having dinner, the
lamps went off. However, Arjuna continued to eat which made him think that if I
can eat without light because of regular practice, I should also be able to hit
the target at night, when there is no light. Henceforth he started practicing
at night also while rest of others were sleeping.
Focus – critically important for success. If you do not
focus on your objective and work single-mindedly towards achieving that what
you will always see are obstacles. Once Drona conducted a test for all student.
He tied a wooden bird on top of a tree and asked each of his students to shoot
it down. However just before shooting the arrow, he would ask them what do you see.
Most answers were I see the tree, all the leaves and the wooden bird. However,
it was only Arjuna who saw only the eye of the bird. Therefore, only he was
allowed to shoot the arrow.
Perseverance – irrespective of any obstacles in his path,
Arjuna never gives up and continue to work until success is achieved. That is
how Arjuna became such a competent and capable archer but also acquired many
Righteousness – Arjuna the word meaning is white, blemish
less. He always stood for righteousness. Whether it is participating in the war
or killing of Bhishma and Drona, Arjuna never wavered from the path of
righteousness. He went on 12-year exile as the vow was broken to protect a Brahmin
and entered the chamber of Yudhishthira and Draupadi to get his weapons, even
though they requested not to punish himself as the intention was noble.
Trust in GOD – Krishna gave Arjuna the first choice of
selecting between Krishna who will not fight or his entire fighting army for
the war and Arjuna happily chose Krishna as his charioteer. If you consider
human body is the chariot driven by five horse senses, Arjuna let Krishna
control the horses, his senses as his charioteer. We all should do the same.
Guru Kataksham (blessing of his teacher)– Arjuna was amply
blessed by his Guru to an extend that Drona demanded from Arjuna as Guru
dakshina only a promise that when time comes he will not hesitate to fight with
his own Guru. Gratitude is the greatest virtue that lacks in today’s youth,
Regardless of how much time and effort we put into any
action, knowledge or qualifications we have, one cannot be assured of success. Success
depends on a multitude of factors, but it boils down to two things: self-effort
and Gods’ grace. If any aspect is missing, success cannot be achieved.
It means that if you work with total dedication, put all the
effort in your work, focus in your duties and responsibilities and surrender
yourself to GOD with total faith and devotion then Victory, Fortune, Power and
Virtue will definitely yours!