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Season 5 - Episode 2

Krishna and Arjuna

5 min - Special
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Ravi speaks about the relationship between Krishna and Arjuna from the Bhagavad Gita and the lessons that transmit between their relationship.
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Dec 15, 2019
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Could you speak to the relationship between Arjuna and Krishna? Is it a call to action? Is it a love story? Could you comment on that? Well, Arjuna and Krishna really, in a way, they were even relatives. Arjuna married the sister of Krishna on the suggestion of Krishna Himself. So there is, in that way, there is a relationship.

But, strictly speaking, all these sages in India who have made any comments on the Bhagavad Gita, they regard Arjuna and Krishna to be released within ourselves. So Krishna representing our deepest self and Arjuna our usual self. Arjuna is much more involved in action, he is a skillful warrior, and Krishna is bringing vision. So it's really a little bit of a, that is their general understanding. But on the other hand, as I'm sure you've heard me say that on more than one occasion, that transmission of culture from one generation to the next requires all these subtle internal realities need to be externalized. Otherwise, I can't tell my five-year-old granddaughter that this conversation is between her deepest self and her superficial.

You know, that doesn't make any sense to her. But culture actually is transmitted at that age. People may not quite realize that, because one begins to understand or have a whole emotional language based on the certain stories or mythology or fairy tales or songs. So therefore, then Krishna and Arjuna are naturally externalized. Arjuna is a very great warrior. In fact, even his opponents, when they want to admire a warrior, they say he's as great as Arjuna. So he's clearly a highly regarded warrior. And Krishna only in the Bhagavad Gita actually reveals his true nature to Arjuna.

And even there, it's really an important point in a way that I cannot really know, let us say, your true nature until I know my own true nature. It requires a perception from a deeper level in me. So there are a couple of people in the Mahabharata, generally regarded very wise people. They are somewhat aware of Krishna's true nature, but most people don't know this. So he's a minor king in a nearby minor kingdom. And it is because the battle has become inevitable, so both sides are approaching Krishna for their help. So Arjuna approaches him. So this is, in a way, the relationship gets exemplified by the choice. Krishna gives the choice to two sides.

Arjuna is representing one side. The other is Duryodhana. That one side can have all his armies and weapons and chariots and elephants. The other side can have him alone. And he won't even take the weapons in this particular war. So that already indicates one side is completely occupied with action and all the instruments of action. The other side is completely bringing a vision that Krishna brings. But even there, for Krishna to reveal his true nature, Arjuna needs to be transformed.

So the whole of the teaching is really a transformation of Arjuna through the whole science of yoga. So then Bhagavad Gita becomes a classic of yoga.


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