18.73: Questioning our questions

by December 29, 2011

The Bhagavad-gita begins in its first chapter with Arjuna asking a series of rhetorical questions meant to justify his views and choices. Lord Krishna responds to Arjuna by questioning those questions, by challenging the materialistic presumptions that gave birth to those questions. After showing Arjuna how his materialistic paradigm was fundamentally, fatally flawed, Lord Krishna gave him a new vision of life: its spiritual nature, its divine essence and its devotional purpose. With this fresh vision, Arjuna found his questions automatically answered, his course of action indubitably clarified and his determination unshakably restored, as he confirmed at the end of the Gita (18.73).

The Gita thus illustrates that our ascent to spiritual wisdom begins with the willingness not just to ask questions, but to also question our questions. Otherwise, if we attempt to fit the Gita’s spiritual wisdom into a convenient corner in the cupboard of our materialistic preconceptions, we will miss out on the Gita’s empowering potential. Only when we recognize that Gita wisdom is offering us an entirely new cupboard according to which we need to revise our preconceptions will we be able to experience the dramatic transformation and dynamic empowerment experienced by Arjuna.


Arjuna said: My dear Krishna, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy. I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.

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