If you have a battle to fight, you need a Krishna to guide
The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, Pranaam! Arjuna’s various identities reveal themselves when he looks at his kins in the battlefield and thinks of the consequences the war will have on everyone he is related to. While I can relate to him conceptually, one rarely has a situation of this scale in front of him in one’s day-to-day life, where it is a matter of life and death.
You have always said that we are all Arjunas. Please help me understand the gravity of this statement. Do you mean that the seemingly small events of our day-to-day life too are a matter of life and death?
Acharya Prashant (AP): Yes, obviously. You see, Arjuna being present in a battlefield appears a special event to you because you are not a warrior belonging to that era. Is presence in the battlefield really an extraordinary event for Arjuna? That’s his normal day-to-day life, isn’t it?
Yes, it’s a bit out of the ordinary in the sense that today he is set against his own relatives, but even that is not happening for the first time.
Half a dozen times previously, Arjuna has fought many of the warriors who are today lined up against him. And many of those who are today standing against him have sometimes been on Arjuna’s side. Conversely, a few of those who are on Arjuna’s side today have sometimes been against Arjuna. So there is nothing extraordinary in Arjuna’s situation for Arjuna.
But you are a householder; you are not a Kshatriya warrior. So, when you look at Arjuna, you feel, “Oh, such an extraordinary situation. Family members gang war; gangs of Hastinapur. Too bad.” For you, it is extremely abnormal. For Arjuna it is not; it’s a bread and butter thing. “Yeah, where is the bow? Where is the arrow? Who is to be shot?” That’s what Kshatriyas are supposed to do every day.
So, it is in that normal situation that Arjuna experiences a dilemma for the first time — a kind of dilemma that no other warrior is experiencing. In fact, the others must be getting frustrated and bored and puzzled. “What the hell is happening to this Arjuna chap? Come on dude, fight! Let’s just finish this off. Either I get killed, or you get killed…