Why does Krishna talk about controlling the senses to Arjuna when the purpose of the conversation seems to be to incite Arjuna to fight?
Question from: Debendra
Transcribed by: Anupama Kulkarni (Pune)
Question: Why does Krishna talk about controlling the senses to Arjuna when the purpose of the conversation seems to be to incite Arjuna to fight?
Answer: The mention of fighting in the Gita is only contextual. Essentially, Gita’s purpose is to elevate Arjuna to understand the fundamental truths of life, purpose of life and harmonize with that purpose. Krishna does not simply want the destruction of the Kauravas. If that were the case, he could have done it himself with his own supreme power. In fact, Krishna shows in his universal form that all the Kauravas are destroyed by him in the form of time (kala).
In the Gita, Krishna wants elevation of Arjuna to a higher consciousness and through Arjuna Krishna wants to elevate all of us. Krishna wants that Arjuna understands that he is a soul and as a soul his duty is to harmonize with God in loving devotion. Five-thousand years ago when the Gita was spoken, the way for Arjuna to harmonize was by fighting the war because it was Krishna’s will. Contextually, Arjuna’s duty was to fight the war but essentially, Arjuna’s duty (and for us) is to love and serve Krishna.
To elevate our consciousness and relish ultimate happiness, we need to control our senses because if the senses are not controlled, they keep us trapped in material things e.g. enjoying the material forms, touches, tastes, sounds etc. Krishna talks about the necessity of sense control so that a person can practice the path of yoga (ultimately bhakti yoga) and rise to that spiritual level where he can experience loving harmony and happiness.
To summarize, Gita is not a book of violence or silence but a book of transcendence. For attaining transcendence, one has to practice sense control. In Arjuna’s specific case, for acting at the transcendental level, he needs to fight. That is why Kr
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