01.36 – Don’t treat Krishna as a showpiece; let him show how to put the pieces of life together
We tend to lead our life in pieces – a piece for our career, a piece for our family, maybe a piece for society. And if it makes us look good, we let God have a piece too, as a showpiece adorning a wall.
How all these pieces fit together is something that we don’t think much about.
Unless the various pieces start fighting with each other and falling apart.
That’s what happened to Arjuna at the start of the Bhagavad-gita (01.36). The imminent fratricidal war set one piece of his life, his professional duty (kshatriya-dharma), for a head-on collision with another piece, his dynastic duty (kula-dharma). As a warrior, he had to protect law and order by punishing wrongdoers, whereas as a member of the respectable Kuru dynasty, he had to protect his relatives. What to do when the wrongdoers were his relatives?
The conflict tore at his heart, threatening to throw the pieces of his life far apart.
In despair, he turned to Krishna for help and thus the Bhagavad-gita was spoken.
The Gita puts all the pieces of life together in a magnificent whole with the glue of enlightened love. All of us are indestructible souls meant for everlasting happiness in a life of pure spiritual love with Krishna. All our duties are ultimately meant to aid us in progressing towards attaining that love. When we keep our eyes and heart fixed on Krishna, we gradually get the intelligence, by his grace, to integrate all our roles with that goal.
Before an unexpected perplexity puts our life’s pieces into conflict, we can proactively elevate Krishna from a showpiece to the centerpiece of our life and let him show us how to put the pieces together through Gita wisdom.
Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhrtarastra and our friends. What should we gain, O Krishna, husband of the goddess of fortune, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?