01.01 Will we have to lose everything before we lose our blindness?
Attachment makes us blind – blind to everything other than the object of our attachment.
The Bhagavad-gita (01.01) indicates this blinding power of attachment through its starting question, its only verse spoken by the blind Dhritarashtra. His biased enquiry about the fate of his forces reveals that his blindness went far deeper than the physical. He couldn’t see the obvious reality: the inevitable futility of defying the will of the Supreme. Hoping to avoid the unavoidable and attain the unattainable, he led his whole dynasty to an unnecessary fratricidal war that left millions dead and many more wounded or bereaved.
Dhritarashtra heard from his assistant Sanjay the same message of the Gita that Arjuna heard from Krishna. However, due to his attachment, he couldn’t be illumined. It was only after the war when he lost all his hundred sons and after many years of aging when he lost his dignity that he became receptive to hearing a similar message from his younger brother, the wise Vidura. He had to lose everything before he lost his blindness.
Might we be choosing a similar fate for ourselves? Obviously, we won’t condone anything as vicious, as did Dhritarashtra. But if we let ourselves become attached to worldly things, especially anti-devotional things that defy the will of Krishna, then we may have to lose everything. Not just once but maybe over many lifetimes. Till we agree to give up our blindness.
Gita wisdom offers us a far better alternative. If we give its profound message an open-minded hearing, we will discover therein a world of love centered on an all-loving Supreme. When we direct our love towards Krishna, then the resulting devotional attachment far from blinding us illuminates us. And it liberates us into a life of eternal fulfillment.
Dhrtarastra said: O Sañjaya, after my sons and the sons of Pandu assembled in the place of pilgrimage at Kuruksetra, desiring to ﬁght, what did they do?