I have been fascinated with the Bhagavad Gita for a long long time … I have attended a few Gita discourses at the Chinmaya Mission in Shillong and have participated in the Gita-shlok reading competitions at the RK mission, again in Shillong. This year I have decided to read one of the verses everyday and post my understanding and interpretation of it on my blog.
The reason I have been fascinated with the Gita is because its 700 verses long and for many centuries it has been remembered through recitation – just unbelievable that we could pass on knowledge through memorising verses and whole epics. There are many commentaries on the Gita and many learned people have interpreted it, so what am I going to add ? Well, I want to understand it in my own way and through the corporate lens because thats my “karmabhoomi”. I am no battlefield expert or a Sanskrit scholar, but I have read Sanskrit in school and I have worked in the corporate world – so I want to explore how the Gita applies to a common man/woman.
This is also an invitation to all the readers to add your own interpretation or thoughts on each verse, as it will lead to a better understanding of the Gita.
I am ignoring the first chapter because its largely about how the two armies are deployed and Sanjaya, the first videographer is relating to the blind Dhritarashtra about the goings-on on the battlefield at Kurukshetra. In short, the Gita forms part of the epic Mahabharata, which is about two families – Kauravas and Pandavas who are cousins. The Pandavas are five in number and they are the rightful rulers of Hastinapur, but Duryodhana, the eldest of the 100-strong Kauravas desires to be the King. There is a war between the cousins over 18 days and the Pandavas win. The Gita is Lord Krishna’s (an avatar of Vishnu) coaching conversation with the greatest warrior (archer) of his time – Arjuna, a Pandava. When Arjuna sees the Kaurava army, he sees his uncles, cousins, teachers etc and loses his will to fight … he becomes dejected and depressed and tells Krishna that he doesn’t need to kill his teachers, cousins and other relatives just to win a piece of land and rule over a Kingdom. Lord Krishna through Gita gives him the much needed coaching, right in the middle of the battlefield. All thanks to Sanjaya for relaying the entire Gita to Dhritarashtra … otherwise this would have been lost forever.
I am starting from Chapter 2, verse 11 which is –
अशोच्यानन्वशोचस्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे |
गतासूनगतासूंश्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिता: || 11||
aśhochyān-anvaśhochas-tvaṁ prajñā-vādānśh cha bhāṣhase
gatāsūn-agatāsūnśh-cha nānuśhochanti paṇḍitāḥ
Brilliant, I’m going to follow every interpretation. One from my view – in the corporate world, you sometimes do need to ‘kill’ as in let go of or move people, to get the ‘piece of land’ – save the larger business. No use mourning because it is a death that is necessary.