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ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे कृष्णार्जुनसंवादे धर्मकर्मयुद्धयोगो नाम प्रथमोऽध्यायः॥18॥

 

भावार्थ : 

इस प्रकार उपनिषद, ब्रह्मविद्या तथा योगशास्त्र रूप श्रीमद भगवदगीता के श्रीकृष्ण-अर्जुन संवाद में धर्मकर्मयुद्ध-योग नाम का पहला अध्याय संपूर्ण हुआ॥

 

॥ हरि: ॐ तत् सत् ॥

Summary of Bhagvad Gita Chapter 1:

The message of the first chapter of the Gita is this: The root cause of all sorrow and suffering in this world is our inability to deal with conflict. The sooner we recognize this universal truth, the sooner we can progress in our personal, professional, and ultimately, spiritual journeys. That is why the Gita is not taught to Arjuna in a remote ashram somewhere in the Himalayas amidst chirping birds and rolling meadows. It is taught in the middle of a gruesome battle with swords clanging, trumpets roaring and soldiers screaming.

 

We experience conflict at three levels - physical, mental and spiritual. At the physical level, conflict is everywhere. Atoms collide against atoms. Weeds take over carefully manicured flowers. Packs of wolves fight for control of territory. And we humans have disagreements with children, siblings, spouses, bosses, co-workers, states and countries. To deal with conflict, we need to learn how to act in this world, including, what to say in each of these situations.

 

How we conduct ourselves in physical conflict is largely dependent on the state of our minds. Our minds are also always in conflict, primarily between our rational side and our ego. Human beings have evolved to a point where they have the power to control and transcend the primitive urges and impulses that control most animals. These primal urges constitute the ego, the part of our mind that oversimplifies and exaggerates situations, and shuts off the rational part of our mind that can think logically and clearly.

Arjuna’s rational mind was clear – he was a warrior, and he entered the battlefield to fight a war against the enemy for a just cause. But, upon seeing his family on the other side, his ego – the primitive side of his mind – rose up and took control. It made him say, how can I ever kill my family? How can I ever kill my teacher? The inability to reconcile this conflict in his mind led to his mental breakdown in the middle of the battlefield. He literally did not know which side of the battle he was on, and being unable to decide, he wanted to quit. His mind immediately began to rationalize his decision to quit, as seen in the speech he gave to Shri Krishna about how unjust the war was.

So we have seen that conflict at the physical level, and at the mental level, is pervasive. It is an integral part of life. We cannot escape it. There's nothing new here. What's unique about the Gita is its perspective on how we should deal these two levels of conflict. The clue lies in verses 21 and 22, where Shri Krishna positions Arjuna literally in the middle of the two armies, a point from which Arjuna can see his dearest teachers and relatives stationed on t…More...