01.45 – Let the example of power come after, never before, the power of example
“My way or the highway.” This is the conflict resolution mantra of the power-hungry. They sometimes rationalize their power-centric tactics with the Bhagavad-gita’s call for violence.
The Gita’s message is far greater and deeper than a mere call to arms. In fact, its essential message is a call to love, enlightened love directed towards Krishna and radiating through him to all living beings.
The greatest power that can inspire everyone towards this spiritual love is the power of example – the example of saintly individuals leading a life of devotion to God and service to all living beings.
The Pandavas exemplified such love through their personal lives, their just rule and their tolerant acceptance of the injustices inflicted upon them by the Kauravas. Arjuna’s readiness to even accept death for avoiding a bloody war, as expressed in the Bhagavad-gita (01.45), confirms that he was not at all power-hungry.
Krishna himself showed the power of example when despite being the most powerful warrior in the world he went to the Kauravas as a humble peace envoy. His example of humility coupled with his sound reasoning influenced many of the Kuru leaders, but not Duryodhana.
Some people like Duryodhana are totally blinded by their greed for power. Such people if they gain power can become monstrous misleaders who can harm millions.
To prevent such a calamity, they need to be taught in the only language they understand: the example of power. They can be silenced and subdued only by a display of power greater than theirs, as happened at Kuruksehtra after Krishna spoke the Gita.
What makes Gita wisdom enduring and endearing is not its contextual call for unleashing the example of power, but its universal call for unveiling the power of example.
01.45 – Better for me if the sons of Dhṛitarashtra, weapons in hand, were to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield.