Why is the Gita’s first chapter called a chapter on yoga when it contains no yogic teachings?
Transcription By: Shalini Ahluwalia Mataji
Edited By: Murlidhar Prabhu (Murli Thundi)
Question: Why is the first chapter in the Bhagavad Gita called as “Arjun vishaad yoga”? When there is no teaching of yoga in the first chapter why is it then called a chapter with the name ending in “yoga”?
Answer: Yoga is not just a process nor is it just a connection but is actually a means. Anything that promotes/facilitates the connection with the Supreme Lord is called as yoga.
In the first chapter Arjuna is not following a process by which the connection will be established nor is Krishna giving much of an instruction by which yoga will be established. ButArjuna’s emotions which are generated by the seeing the settings of the Kurukshetra war, is narrated in the first 25 verses and are hence called “sainyaniriksha yoga”. SrilaPrabhupadathustitles the first chapter “Observing the armies on the battlefield”.The second part of the chapter, verses 26 to 46, is Arjuna’s lamentationsand hence some other commentators have given the name, “Arjunavishaad yoga”.
Since both of them, “Arjunvishaad yoga” which deals with the external situation or “sainyaniriksha yoga”, which deals with the internal emotion, contribute to Arjuna’s enquiry, by which eventually the connection is established, the word yoga is used. In that sense even situations or emotions that push us towards the enquiry by which our “viyoga” i.e. our separation from the Lord will end and our connection will begin can be called as yoga. That’s why the first chapter is called as a chapter ending with yoga either “Arjunvishaad yoga” or “sainyaniriksh yoga”.