The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Acharya Prashant (AP): The ‘Bhagwad Gita’ discourse, the form of a dialog, commences in the theater of Kurukshetra. The first thing to be understood is that when a wise man, a sage, a prophet speaks, he is not really aiming to communicate concepts. It is just the limitation of the listener that he must be spoken to in words. A deep emptiness, a vast field of clarity is sought to be communicated. Words are just a medium. The immediate context is just that, a context, a pretext.
The Krishna-Arjun dialog apparently is about a particular situation, a particular man, his relatives, but really it is something else.
Arjun represents the mind. Krishna represents the center, the “Aatman”.
The mind is lost as it always is.
First Adhyay (Chapter) — ‘Arjun is in a miserable position’. On one hand, he is conditioned as a brother, as a husband, as a Kshatriya, as a prince, as a man and there are forces compelling him to fight, forces all within him. On the other hand, there are other factors –social, evolutionary, emotional, all within the domain of the mind that is preventing him from fighting. He looks at Bhism, he looks at Drona. He looks at the large assembly of armies. He looks at all his brothers and now he is in conflict, he is torn. What to do?
That is not the position of Arjun — the person. That is a situation of entire mankind. That is not conflict that one man faced thousands of years back. That is the conflict that we all faced daily every day.
In fact, there is no conflict other than the conflict that Arjun is facing. To be a human being is to live in conflict, is to be divided, fragmented, to not to know what to do, to be pulled apart in different directions.
One aspect of influence dominates one fragment of the mind, another kind of conditioning dominates another part of the mind and there is no integrity, there is no totality. Dedicated complete action then becomes so difficult. One moves one particular way and finds that other ways are beckoning, “If I fight, then all the memories, the emotions related to my childhood, the cozy lap of Pitamah — I breach the sanctity of those…