RADIANT UPADESH OF GITA, CHAPTER – 1
Dear One! I have brought Radiant knowledge of Gita for you because you are dearer to me. The Radiant Knowledge, I have planned to give you, this is eternal science of Yog towhom I gave first to the Sun-god, Vivasvan, who passed it on to Manu; and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikshvaku.
Merely imparting invaluable knowledge to someone is not enough. The recipients of that knowledge must appreciate its value and have faith in its authenticity. Only then will they put in the effort required to implement it practically in their lives.
Gita is not new. Gita did not came in Dwapara yuga. According to Varah Puran, Gita is before foundation of the world. Lord said in Varah Puran – Gita is My abode and on this I take rest. Thus, Varah Puran has given establishes the credibility and importance of the radiant wisdom of Gita to whom I am bestowing on you. I want to give you information that the knowledge being imparted unto you is not newly created for the convenience of motivating you into the battle of present circumastances of life in the world. It is the same eternal science of Yog that I originally taught to Vivasvan, or Surya, Sun God, who imparted it to Manu, the original progenitor of humankind; Manu in turn taught it to Ikshvaku, first king of the Solar dynasty. This is the descending process of knowledge, where someone who is a perfect authority on the knowledge passes it down to another who wishes to know.
I am giving Global Alarm to the people – those the persons who possess neither faith nor knowledge, and who are of a doubting nature, suffer a downfall. For the skeptical souls, there is no happiness either in this world or the next.
The Gita is a conversation between the warrior-prince Arjuna and the God Krishna who is serving as his charioteer at the Battle of Kurukshetra fought between Arjuna’s family and allies (the Pandavas) and those of the prince Duryodhana and his family (the Kauravas) and their allies. This conversation is recited by the Kauravan counselor Sanjaya to his blind king Dhritarashtra (both far from the battleground) as Krishna has given Sanjaya mystical sight so he will be able to see and report the battle to the king.
The Kauravas and Pandavas are related and there are mutual family members fighting on both sides for supremacy of rule. Accordingly, when Arjuna sees all his former friends and comrades on the opposing side, he loses heart and refuses to take part in a battle which will result in their deaths as well as many others. The rest of the text is the conversation between the prince and the god on what constitutes right action, proper understanding and, ultimately, the meaning of life and nature of the Divine.
It is the vision of belief in one God and the underlying unity of all existence. The text instructs on how one must elevate the mind and soul to look beyond appearances – which fool one into believing in duality and multiplicity – and recognize these are illusions; all humans and aspects of existence are a unified extension of the Divine which one will recognize once the trappings of illusion have been discarded.
Arjuna’s confusion starts with his words: “0 Achyuta, stop my chariot right in the middle between the two armies, ” We know how impossible it is to enter the no-man’s-land between two armies as the arrows fly (as stated in Gita 1:20)
The Gita itself, by admitting such a possibility, gains, from this point onwards, a revised status as being primarily concerned With contemplation rather than with the actual events of the battlefield. Arjuna’s condition worsens (in Gita 1: 29-30 stated) when he sees friends not only on his side but on the side that faces him. He is a thoroughly confused man there, unable even to hold up his bow, Gandiva. He recovers some sort of firmness or certitude of outlook by the end of the chapter, when he sits down, throwing away his bow and arrow.
By he has finished philosophizing on the situation as ably perhaps as Krishna himself is able to do. The latter is only able, for the time being, to smile at Arjuna and mock him in the name of honour, etc. To be stated in its completeness, Krishna’s answer needs all the remaining chapters. Even then, it is not easy to say clearly where Arjuna was wrong in his reasons, so elaborately stated in this chapter and more philosophically in the next. He prefers renunciation to fighting and does not care for the benefits that fighting might bring him. Detachment, relinquishment or renunciation are ways of life praised and even directly and indirectly recommended in the last.