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Friday, July 13, 2007

What is the Dharma War??

Krishna in the Gita updesha very pointedly tells Arjun to rise up and fight for his rights.... that the peace he refers to is chosen by the faint hearted...(you are chicken!) and that this is the dharma war - the war of righteousnesss. I wonder if Bush's fight over Iraq is the dharma war at least in his mind. The world evolves, times change, but the basic issues remain the same. Read on....

Mahabharata was enacted by Lord Krishna to teach the value of action - about not making excuses ...going out and executing our duties. Don't we see people around us making excuses for their inaction all the time? By the play of words, justifying what is not right? They will convolute issues with their own agendas. Can we step up and be Krishna to avoid the pitfalls that the Balarama of the world throw at us? Or when we do that, are we perceived as maniacs? Vibhishan in the Ramayana is quick to analyze and figure out what the dharma war really was and switched sides. Are we able to analyze situations and steer the course? In the Lord of the Rings, we see a similar story, with groups unwilling to join the fight for good. During World War-II, the same thing.... US refused to join the war, but finally joined the war of Dharma.

Going back to the Mahabharatha, before the war started, the Panadavas came to ask Balaram (Krishna's brother) for his assistance and he refused. His justification was that disputes between kinsmen was not good. The dispute should be resolved peacefully. Refusing to take sides, he left for pilgrimage during this war.

Balarama finished his teerth yatra and arrived back to witness the battle between Bhima and Duryodhana. Both sides were equally matched. Finally, Bhima smashed Duryodhana's thighs, as he had vowed to do long ago (interesting tidbits here). Balrama was upset that Bhima violated the war ethics as no attack could be made below the waistline. Krishna brilliant as ever jumped in and finally berrated Balarama....that
A) You decide to go to pilgimage - when during the war between evil and right, the battlefield is the true pilgrimage.
B) For all the wrong that Duryodhana did, never once did Balarama oppose him and one error by Bhima and Balarama was quick to the draw and do his tsk tsk.

Don't we see this with folks we come across regularly? I see such folks and prefer to move on, there is no point in swimming upstream. In my mind it is better to avoid dealing with the negativities of such people, as it is hard to fix. We have to choose our battles. (But always a good idea to evaluate the feedback with an open mind.)

Here is another example of ACTION versus being a slacker

A sinking man dismissed the boat man- "Go on buddy, Don't worry, God will save me". He did the same with another fisherman on a dingy canoe, "God will save me, he won't let me drown". Alas, he drowned! When he died, he was brought in front of God, and our guy was totally annoyed "Why didn't you save me?". God said "I came twice, but you dismissed me!"

Gandhi was the true doer, had a lot of energy in his actions, and confronted the British in a total paradigm shift that no one has been able to replicate. He got the British to think and acknowledge the power of Gandhi's principle of non-violence, but at the same time he remained good, following his own dharma. Every event, needs to be evaluated for its value and a course of action crafted. This seems to be a classic example of FATE versus FREE WILL. Read here for the classic discussion of fate versus free will.

And here is the #1 inspiring song. Play it and let the energy soak into your skin and go out and conquer the world. Yes, we can do it!

BTW I loved this esoteric Ramayana - it is here:

Here is another story told by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to emphasize the value of action. It puts it in perspective what Gandhi did NOT do. He created the power, and then wielded it brilliantly to his advantage that has left a wonderful legacy that the world still tries to ape.

"A serpent dwelt in a certain locality. No one dared to pass by that way, for whoever did so was instantaneously bitten to death by that serpent. Once a holy man passed by. As usual the serpent pursued that sage with a view of biting him, but when it approached the holy man, it lost all its ferocity and was over-powered by his gentleness.

Seeing the snake, the holy man said, “Well, friend, do you want to bite me?” The snake was abashed and made no reply. At this the sage said again, “Hearken, friend, do not injure anyone in future.” The snake bowed and nodded assent. After the sage had gone his own way, the snake entered its hole, and thenceforth began to live a life of innocence and purity without even wishing to harm anyone.

In a few days it became a common belief in the neighborhood that the snake had lost all its venom and was no more dangerous, and so people began to tease it. Some pelted stones at it and others dragged it mercilessly by the tail. Thus there was no end to its troubles. Fortunately, sometime after, the sage again passed that way seeing the bruised and battered condition of the poor snake, was very much moved to pity and inquired about the cause of its distress. At this the snake replied. “Sir, I have been reduced to this state, because I have not been injuring anyone since I received your instruction. But alas! They are so merciless!”

The sage smilingly said “Dear friend, I only advised you not to bite anyone, but I never asked you not to hiss and frighten others. Although you should not bite any creature, still you should keep every one at a considerable distance from you by hissing.”

Similarly, if you live in the world, make yourself feared and respected. Do not injure, but do not at the same time let others injure you. "


1 comment:

  1. Glad that u liked the esoteric ramayan :-) something that I had been contemplating since long...but there was no Blog concept then, so it was all in empty space for so long, until finally I jotted down unless forgotten :-D

    ReplyDelete

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This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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