Battle field of Mind

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by rcscwc, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. rcscwc

    rcscwc Tihar Jail Banned

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    Bhagvad Gita Ch 1 - Battle field of Mind
    (Message of Bhagavad Gita:Chapter 1)



    Recall the Vietnam war. America fought in a foreign land purporting to defend democracy. But the Dharma of Democracy also gives an inalienable right of self determination without outside pressures and coersion.


    America was finding it hard to win, rather avoid defeat. Compulsory draft was avoided and dodged by millions of American youths who always asked: Why this war? What are the objectives from my personal and national persepective? Why should I kill faceless persons in a foreign land with I cannot relate? Why not be jailed rather than fight a senseless war?





    Symbolism in the first chapter of the Gita.


    We find ourselves on Kurukshetra, a field of impending battle. It is not as spectacular as in some Hollywood style epic. How the two great armies were assembled is another topic.
    Arjuna saw the opposing army and was despondent. The questions he raised are exactly those which were raised by the American youth. Neither Arjuna nor the Americans were cowards. They had showed it and proved it in the past.


    Good versus evil

    The two opposing armies are very easy to morally identify. The Kauravas, led by the murderous Prince Duryodhana, are fundamentally evil, although many honorable men have, through various complicated alliances and obligations, found themselves among their ranks. The Pandavas, headed by the virtuous and noble Yudhisthira, the eldest brother of Arjuna, are embodiments of all that is good, among them being the divine Sri Krishna himself who chose to be the charioteer of Arjuna.


    Excellent driver

    Krishna did not take up arms himself. He chose the "humble" office of a chariot driver. He guided the Pandavas in the great Battle of good versus evil. When Krishna Himself is driving, the chariot of virtue is bound to travel unerringly.


    The general symbolism is not very hard to figure out. Kurukshetra is the personality–particularly the mind (intellect)–of the individual, an awakened seeker for higher consciousness. But one easily finds that his aspiration itself has inspired opposition from within his own mind and heart, where good and evil, truth and falsehood, ignorance and wisdom have all got tied up in one single entity, whose parts are hard to distinguish. It is easy to lose sight of the GOOD and EVIL as they are.



    Even much more daunting is the fact that much vaunted “good” is found to be laced with negativity. But the endearing ways of infancy and childhood must be eradicated at the advent of adulthood and replaced with completely different virtues.


    In the chariot we find Arjuna and Krishna. Many interpretations are possible, nearly all of them correct, but the words of the Mundaka Upanishad:


    “Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual [mortal] self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes."


    “The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, he grieves no more.”


    Arjuna has a mortal self, physical body, and is surely governed by the wordly senses and emotions. His Immortal Self, embodied by Krishna, is not affected. Arjuna loses awareness of that Immortal Self, and Krishna wants him to achieve it.



    Dharma means the righteous way of thought and action, but it can also mean the accurate expression of one’s own dominant character, for dharma also means “quality.” This entire world is a dharmakshetra, a field upon which we act out the character of our inner makeup–i.e., the quality of our emotions, mind, intellect, and will (not our ultimate being as spirit). That is what Krishna taught: The whole world is your battlefield and you have to struggle, the strong of virtue triumph.


    But like all human beings who do not like the truth when they see or hear it, we become “confused” and try to avoid the unpleasant prospect. Bitter as death seems the inner battle, so we shrink from it and desperately try to find a way out.


    Arjuna is the true embodiment of such a confused human. He presents his case to Krishna about his “confusion,” which is really a plea to inaction, to avoidance of conflict, thinking that such a negative condition is peace, whereas peace is a positive state, not the mere absence of unrest and conflict. It is also reached only through unrest and conflict, however little we like the fact.


    Escapism from the spiritual [and material] obligations is a desirable trait of the awakening soul [or a an awakened citizen], which brings all its ingenuity to bear on justification of such avoidance. An ateist may deny his spiritual obligations, but worldly obligations cannot be denied. Krishna makes this clear to him.


    But Krishna was a shrewd guide. He recognized that Arjuna’s mind was already a battle field. He had to banish the despondency and for that it was necessary to raise the matter much above the physical battlefield. He succeeded, where Johnson, Kissinger and Nixon failed, even though they had the benefits of the hindsight. They could not convince their youth and turn them into Arjunas.



    USA lost, first in the battle of the Mind. After that a military defeat was a forgone conclusion.


    PS: From all accounts, USA is nowhere nearer a victory in Iraq that it was 10 years ago.
     
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  3. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    I dont see how can Mahabharat and Vietnam war can be correlated at all or how they can be called similar in any sense.

    Vietnam war was just US ego which was deflated Similarly Afghan war was soviet ego which too was lost.

    The loss of the will to fight after certain years on the part of US and soviet union , CANNOT be equated with Arjun's reluctance to even start the war in the maha bharat

    The Iraq war and the present Afghan wars are being fought only because of hatred That America has for the Islamic world.
     
  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    First of all, I'd like to know who translated, interpreted and wrote this piece of text.

    Secondly, I'd like to point out certain explanations which I do not agree with and which are in my opinion wrong and prejudiced.

    Kauravas were anything but evil. There is a reason why Kauravas went to heaven before the Pandavas. They stuck to their beliefs and used whatever ploy they could to defeat their enemies, the Pandavas. The Pandavas were not the biological children of Pandu, and hence had no legitimate claim on Hastinapur.

    Of course the biggest mistake anyone can make is to try and judge one party as GOOD and the other EVIL. This clearly shows the interpreters lack of appreciation of the wisdom of Mahabharata. One needs to keep in mind that every single character in the entire Mahabharata is flawed. No one is perfect. Not even Dharmaraj Yudhistira.

    Of course Krishna was shrewd; and to the disappointment and perhaps annoyance of the multitude of 'pious' followers, was a sinner. Krishna was no God, but an Avatar, not any different from the Fish, Tortoise, Pig, Lion-man, Dwarf et al.. The fundamental Vedic philosophy is that a person will achieve Moksha only when he is 100% perfect. The same law applies to Avatars, because they are a part of God, who is equivalent to infinity, in human form. If they do not commit sin, they cannot be reborn. Gita clearly says the God's Avatar is reborn again and again. Hence, the Avatars sinned for a reason, so that they could be born again. Krishna, being a Kshatriya, intervened in Bhima-Jarasandha duel in direct violation of Kshatriya Dharma, and hence was a sinner. There are several other examples to prove that he indeed was a sinner.

    My message to all is simple: Do not try to classifly characters in the Mahabharata or Ramayana as GOOD or EVIL. These are not Bollywood movies with a HERO and a VILLAIN. These are sources of wisdom, guidance and knowledge.

    I hope I haven't ruffled too many feathers here; however, I had to make this point and put an end to this illogical vilification of the Kauravas by people who understand little the essence of our Epics.

    Finally, my humble apologies if anyone is offended, and thank you all for taking your time to read.

    -Regards-
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  5. rcscwc

    rcscwc Tihar Jail Banned

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    Biggest thing is not to project your views. It lies in your abilities to make them convincing. Kauravas may or not be evil. That is btw. America USA may or may not have been wrong.

    Arjuna was reluctant to fight, rather had thrown his bow emphasis the refusal. American youths too refused to fight. The reasons were not much different. But Krishna was able to convince Arjuna, none could convince the American youth.

    Wars and battles are fought in mind too. And such battles can be decisive. What finally convinced the British to see that their days were over? Gandhi? Nehru? British could have continued in spite of them. It was the mental blow that they received at the hands of INA. INA undermined their confidence in the continued loyality of the Indian soldiery. Here they lost the battle in the battlefield of the mind, not due to the military prowess of INA, which was not much. Further blows were the Air Force and Naval mutinies.

    My g'father told that by mid 46, British officers were no longer giving any direct orders to the troops. So they too saved their diginity. He was already an SM by that time. It is hard to know for the present generation of officers that an SM was the Father figure. His name? I retired as senior officer. But in my ilaqa, I am still known as Subedar Major Ram Kishan's grandson.


    Can you find a single Krishna among our political and military leadership?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Did you get the impression that I am projecting my views? Maybe you should read the Mahabharata in total and see if whatever I said is false? Who am I to project my views? All that I have stated are evident in the Mahabharata and are already discussed by many eminent scholars. The concept of Moksha has been well discussed and documented in the Upanishads and the life and deeds of Rama and Krishna are well documented as well, that also include their shortcomings and unrighteous acts.

    Regarding the correlation with the US invasion, well, I am not sure if I can agree, but I will not contest that.

    No I cannot. Neither am I looking forward to. Those who believe are waiting for Kalki. The rest are in the past.

    N.B.: I would recommend each reader to find some time and read the Ramayana and Mahabharata. These have been translated by many people and there are subtle differences in the interpretations of the different translators, which can be sensed by a thoughtful reader. Thereafter, each reader has to ask his own soul and come to his own conclusions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  7. rcscwc

    rcscwc Tihar Jail Banned

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    No, I never refered to your views or projections thereof. Nor am I projecting my subjective views.

    Forget about Moksha, forget about worship. Just see how Krishna convinced ARjuna.

    Sir, we live in a cruel world. As did Arjuna. Either do or die attempting to do it. Otherwise your fate is another spell of enslavement.

    Do we need a Krishna who can turn turn doubters into doers? We do. Sooner oe later a figure has to emerge. The later he emerges, the more upheavals precede him.


    I too would request each member to go through them, and ponder for themselves.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  8. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I appreciate your clarification.

    So, we are basically talking about the same thing. We need someone (for believers, God's Avatar) to be born to deliver humanity from all evil. You refered to him as Krishna, I as Kalki (I did so because the former is in the past and the latter is in the future). Nomenclature matters less than the deeds of these personae. Most will agree that we need someone like any one of the 9 past Avatars of God. I surely agree with your point of view.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  9. rcscwc

    rcscwc Tihar Jail Banned

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    To leave everything to Kalki is just escapism. You cannot abdicate your duty right now when you are standing in your Kurukshetra, physical as well as mental. Krishna is in the past. Yes. But Really? think of it, Sir.

    Was existence of USA as a nation or a state threatened in VN? Not at all. Was such a threat there during WW-II. Sure, there was. So American youth rose.

    Lessons of WW-II are very profound. White races, whose "invincibility" had been built up so painstakenly COULD be defeated. If a small, comparatively, nation like Japan could be subdued, then consider the costs!!

    Sir, battles are there everywhere in your life. I fought my battles to safeguard W. Bengal from floods. I had my actions and orders, implemented tyranically, did result is some misery to a few thousands, but saved a few lakhs. In 99, I refused to part with my staff for election duty. My plea: Elections can wait, they can be postponed by the EC, floods do not obey the EC. I SHALL part with my staff ONLY when I am told clearly who is to be prosecuted for obstructing the flood management. AND that was in face of threats of being arrested for "obstructibng election process". What is paramount? I stuck to my guns AND won. AND by god I would have gone ahead with a few prosecutions too.


    PS: My stand is on RECORD.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010

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