Bhagwad Gita -CHAPTER 2 -Contents of the Gitä Summarized
Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of
miserly weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me for certain what
is best for me. Now Read more ...
I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You.
Please instruct me.
By nature’s own way the complete system of material activities is a source of
perplexity for everyone. In every step there is perplexity, and therefore it
behooves one to approach a bona fide spiritual master who can give one proper
guidance for executing the purpose of life. All Vedic literatures advise us to
approach a bona fide spiritual master to get free from the perplexities of life,
which happen without our desire. They are like a forest fire that somehow
blazes without being set by anyone. Similarly, the world situation is such’ that
perplexities of life automatically appear, without our wanting such confusion.
No one wants fire, and yet it takes place, and we become perplexed. The Vedic
wisdom therefore advises that in order to solve the perplexities of life and to
understand the science of the solution, one must approach a spiritual master
who is in the disciplic succession. A person with a bona fide spiritual master is
supposed to know everything. One should not, therefore, remain in material
perplexities but should approach a spiritual master. This is the purport of this
Who is the man in material perplexities? It is he who does not understand
the problems of life. In the Brhad-äranyaka Upaniñad (3.8.10) the perplexed
man is described as follows: yo vä etad akñaraà gärgy aviditväsmäû lokät praiti sa
kåpaëaù. “He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a
human and who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without
understanding the science of self-realization.” This human form of life is a
most valuable asset for the living entity who can utilize it for solving the
problems of life; therefore, one who does not utilize this opportunity properly
is a miser. On the other hand, there is the brähmana, or he who is intelligent
enough to utilize this body to solve all the problems of life.
The krpanah, or miserly persons, waste their time in being overly
affectionate for family, society, country, etc., in the material conception of life.
One is often attached to family life, namely to wife, children and other
members, on the basis of “skin disease.” The krpanah thinks that he is able to
protect his family members from death; or the krpanah thinks that his family or
society can save him from the verge of death. Such family attachment can be
found even in the lower animals, who take care of children also. Being
intelligent, Arjuna could understand that his affection for family members and
his wish to protect them from death were the causes of his perplexities.
Although he could understand that his duty to fight was awaiting him, still, on
account of miserly weakness, he could not discharge the duties. He is therefore
asking Lord Krsna, the supreme spiritual master, to make a definite solution.
He offers himself to Krsna as a disciple. He wants to stop friendly talks. Talks
between the master and the disciple are serious, and now Arjuna wants to talk
very seriously before the recognized spiritual master. Krsna is therefore the
original spiritual master of the science of Bhagavad-gitä, and Arjuna is the first
disciple for understanding the Gitä. How Arjuna understands the
Bhagavad-gitä is stated in the Gitä itself. And yet foolish mundane scholars
explain that one need not submit to Krsna as a person, but to “the unborn
within Krsna.” There is no difference between Krsna’s within and without.
And one who has no sense of this understanding is the greatest fool in trying
to understand Bhagavad-gitä.
I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I
will not be able to dispel it even if I win a prosperous, unrivaled kingdom on
earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven.
Although Arjuna was putting forward so many arguments based on
knowledge of the principles of religion and moral codes, it appears that he was
unable to solve his real problem without the help of the spiritual master, Lord
Sri Krsna. He could understand that his so-called knowledge was useless in
driving away his problems, which were drying up his whole existence; and it
was impossible for him to solve such perplexities without the help of a spiritual
master like Lord Krsna. Academic knowledge, scholarship, high position, etc.,
are all useless in solving the problems of life; help can be given only by a
spiritual master like Krsna. Therefore, the conclusion is that a spiritual master
who is one hundred percent Krsna conscious is the bona fide spiritual master,
for he can solve the problems of life. Lord Caitanya said that one who is master
in the science of Krsna consciousness, regardless of his social position, is the
real spiritual master.
“It does not matter whether a person is a vipra [learned scholar in Vedic
wisdom] or is born in a lower family, or is in the renounced order of life—if he
is master in the science of Krsna, he is the perfect and bona fide spiritual
master.” (Caitanya-charnamrita, Madhya 8.128) So without being a master in the
science of Krsna consciousness, no one is a bona fide spiritual master. It is also
said in Vedic literature:
“A scholarly brähmana, expert in all subjects of Vedic knowledge, is unfit to
become a spiritual master without being a Vaisnava, or expert in the science of
Krsna consciousness. But a person born in a family of a lower caste can become
a spiritual master if he is a Vaisnava, or Krsna conscious.” (Padma Purana)
The problems of material existence—birth, old age, disease and
death—cannot be counteracted by accumulation of wealth and economic
development. In many parts of the world there are states which are replete
with all facilities of life, which are full of wealth and economically developed,
yet the problems of material existence are still present. They are seeking peace
in different ways, but they can achieve real happiness only if they consult
Krsna, or the Bhagavad-gitä and Sreemad-Bhägavatam—which constitute the
science of Krsna—through the bona fide representative of Kåñëa, the man in
If economic development and material comforts could drive away one’s
lamentations for family, social, national or international inebrieties, then
Arjuna would not have said that even an unrivaled kingdom on earth or
supremacy like that of the demigods in the heavenly planets would be unable
to drive away his lamentations. He sought, therefore, refuge in Krsna
consciousness, and that is the right path for peace and harmony. Economic
development or supremacy over the world can be finished at any moment by
the cataclysms of material nature. Even elevation into a higher planetary
situation, as men are now seeking on the moon planet, can also be finished at
one stroke. The Bhagavad-gitä confirms this: kñéëe puëye martya-lokaà viçanti.
“When the results of pious activities are finished, one falls down again from
the peak of happiness to the lowest status of life.” Many politicians of the
world have fallen down in that way. Such downfalls only constitute more
causes for lamentation.
Therefore, if we want to curb lamentation for good, then we have to take
shelter of Krsna, as Arjuna is seeking to do. So Arjuna asked Krsna to solve his
problem definitely, and that is the way of Krsna consciousness.