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  #1  
Old 03-17-2007, 11:45 PM
Lieutenant William Bligh Lieutenant William Bligh is offline
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Default @ Julian Lee on Bhagavad-Gita

(I had originally intended to send this to you by PM, as it's not important enough to make a thread around, but your box is full. You have read the Bhagavad-Gita, and you would understand better what the controversy in the first few chapters surround. These are musing questions rather than direct and specific.)

I'm in the middle of reading the first few chapters. So far, Arjuna, has objected to fighting the opposing army, because he feels sorrow at the thought of killing the brothers, fathers, teachers and sons, and so on.

Then Krisha comes in with this long justification for 'Right Action', with which he counsels Arjuna. This may sound a silly question, but, how is killing for a scrap of land, a just cause, especially, if as Arjuna says they are his relatives? I sympathize with Arjuna.

Krisha counsels against all desire. Is cold logic, alone truth, or is Arjuna's desire for an amount of peace, more in keeping with truth? Isn't Arjuna more logical, as we have not heard proof as to Arjuna really being on the side of the just cause. No doubt the enemy also thinks itself in the right.

Just as I'm reading, this here, I'm not familiar with this mythology, but it sounds like Krishna is reincarnated.

"I have been born again and again, from time to time; thou too, O Arjuna! My births are known to Me, but thou knowest not thine."

When he refers to "He" as being above intellect, he is talking about God, am I right? Is Krisha like a person in a trinity he goes on:

"I have no beginning. Though I am imperishable, as well as Lord of all that exists, yet by My own will and power do I manifest Myself.

Whenever spirituality decays and materialism is rampant, then O Arjuna, I reincarnate Myself!

To protect the righteous, to destroy the wicked and to establish the kingdom of God, I am reborn from age to age."


Do you know what the significance is of Blue skin to the Hindi? Why is Krisha, always depicted as having blue skin? I've always wondered this.

Furthermore, all the pictures of Krisha and Arjuna, on their chariot together, depict Arjuna as being White. Do you know who drew these common pictures. I can find a dozen in a google search. Are these actually done by the Hindi themselves. How many other people have noticed how they look White, in these paintings?
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:33 AM
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Hello --
Sorry my in-box is full. I will respond better to this post over the next 2-3 days. No time right now. Briefly for the moment: Those two chapters are rich in meaning. Part of the message is that every man has a duty, dictated by society, dharma, religion. To get out of "samsara" and to reduce the conditioning that leads to repeated unsatisfactory births, one needs to learn to do his his true duty -- whatever it is -- in a detached manner without having a lot of emotional reactions to it. This gives him less "samskaras" (impressions) related to the action, thus reducing his conditioning, his sense of "I am this, I did this" and leads to freedom from unsatisfactory dualistic existences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Then Krisha comes in with this long justification for 'Right Action', with which he counsels Arjuna. This may sound a silly question, but, how is killing for a scrap of land, a just cause, especially, if as Arjuna says they are his relatives? I sympathize with Arjuna.
It is you who is deciding to call land a "scrap" here. People live and die by land. Families, women and children are fed and harbored by land. Most human warfare develops over matters of land and territory. So please don't tell me that "land" is an insignificant matter to human beings. Certainly they did not view it as just a "scap" in their context.

Next answer this: Do you believe there is never any justification for men to kill other men? As the U.S. is doing presently in Iraq, or as fathers and husbands do when invaded in an invasion burglary, or as policemen do in firefights, etc. etc.

I don't know your view on this, but let me give you a hypothetical just for your mind: Let's say you personally owned a "little scrap of land" and had built up a farm there. Let's say you had developed it over 50 years and had three generations of progeny and extended family living happily there. Many of your kids and relations are brilliant, productive, creative, virtuous and beautiful. Let's say five different villages down the road survived and were fed by the labors of your family and estate. Now let's say ten lowlife pirates -- all of them criminals who have caused harm to innumerable beings -- want to come to your place, skin all the men alive, rape all the women, and torture all the children, then turn your farm into a parking lot for a new gambling casino and gay brothel. Besides the devastation of your family and life, the five towns down the road will all starve. You would not feel justified in shooting these 10 men as they climb over the wall? (To defend your scrap of land?)

In Arjuna's context, in the context of their family and monarchial government, in the context of land, as well as "right and wrong," they were involved in a just war and not a trivial one. What I'm saying is there's not much room in the Gita to question the concept of war or killing. It's just assumed there is such a thing as justified killing and justified war. In fact, the Gita draws a picture of a just war as opposed to a spurious one. This is to set up the necessary tension and picture of life in samsara. The suffering of Arjuna -- in seeing beloved relatives on the other side yet being caught in the bind of duty -- is intended as a portrayal of the very crux of samsaric conditions; i.e. human suffering. The difficulty of the situation is part of the point. The Gita would not portray a minor suffering event, but a major one -- the worst possible one. (Having to kill beloved relatives.) Then the rest of the scripture is devoted to how we get out of ALL suffering and conflicted situations. Doing his duty without personal involvement is part of that answer, and there is more.

Now, the various other feelings of Arjuna -- the feelings that all intelligent men encounter when involved in a war -- are another subject which I will respond to later. But please don't tell me war and killing are never justified or that it was "just a scrap of land." If we get bogged down in that non-issue, it's just a distraction from the more important things found in the Gita.

There are more dimensions and issues connected to those chapters, and you raise some of them. But this is one of the prime purposes of those chapters. More later.

By the way, those first two chapters are the least interesting of the Gita chapters in my view. As soon as you get out of the battlefield scene the verses roam widely and deal in philosophy and meditation practice. Hurry along to Chapter Six.

Last edited by Mentious : 03-18-2007 at 02:26 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2007, 02:53 AM
Lieutenant William Bligh Lieutenant William Bligh is offline
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I don't know your view on this, but let me give you a hypothetical just for your mind: Let's say you personally owned a "little scrap of land" and had built up a farm there. Let's say you had developed it over 50 years and had three generations of progeny and extended family living happily there. Many of your kids and relations are brilliant, productive, creative, virtuous and beautiful. Let's say five different villages down the road survived and were fed by the labors of your family and estate. Now let's say ten lowlife pirates -- all of them criminals who have caused harm to innumerable beings -- want to come to your place, skin all the men alive, rape all the women, and torture all the children, then turn your farm into a parking lot for a new gambling casino and gay brothel. Besides the devastation of your family and life, the five towns down the road will all starve. You would not feel justified in shooting these 10 men as they climb over the wall? (To defend your scrap of land?)

Well, yes of course, I was expecting, Krishna to justify this though, just as you have justified it. I would not think twice about killing the kind of people you have just described. (You have just described California, minus the Mexicans?) It is the idea of killing people related to you over land, which is unfair.

Here for example, in chapter 11:

Krishna: “I have shown myself to thee as the Destroyer who lays waste the world and whose purpose is destruction. In spite of thy efforts, all these warriors gathered for battle shall not escape death.

Then gird up thy loins and conquer. Subdue thy foes and enjoy the kingdom in prosperit. I have already doomed them. Be thou my instrument, Arjuna!

Drona and Bheeshma, Jayadratha and Karna, and other brave warriors – I have condemned them all. Destroy them; fight and feat not. Thy foes shall be crushed.”


He's sounding more and more like the Bible's, God. I am assuming, Arjuna's people are like the Israelites and his enemies are unrighteous and deserve death, but from the first bit, it sounds like two tribes facing off over nothing, a scrap of land. That was how I imagined it literally. Two tribes somewhere in the North of India, where the story takes place. Clearly, the willingness to fight depends on how convinced I am of the evil of the enemy.

Last edited by Lieutenant William Bligh : 03-18-2007 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 03-18-2007, 03:43 AM
Lieutenant William Bligh Lieutenant William Bligh is offline
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Is that just you, singing there in "Johnny Oh?" It sounds like there could be at least one other man, and a womans voice at the beginning.
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Old 03-18-2007, 03:58 AM
Lieutenant William Bligh Lieutenant William Bligh is offline
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“For even the children of sinful parents, and those miscalled the weaker sex, and merchants, and labourers, if only they will make Me their refuge, they shall attain the Highest.”

He doesn't believe women to be weaker sex. I guess the Hindu, really fear women.

Quote:
“He who leaves the body with mind unmoved and filled with devotion, by the power of his meditation gather between his eyebrows his whole vital energy, attains the Supreme.” -Krishna.

So this is the origin of the dot on their heads. Sometimes with an oval.

In this part it looks like he is describing a method of reincarnation:

Quote:
“If knowing the Supreme Spirit the sage goes forth with fire and light, in the daytime, in the fortnight of the waxing moon and in the six months before the Northern summer solstice, he will attain the Supreme.

But if he departs in gloom, at night, during, the fortnight of the waning moon and in the six months before the Southern solstice, then he reaches but lunar light and he will be born again.

These bright and dark paths our of the world have always existed. Whoso takes the former, returns not; he who chooses the latter, returns.” -Krishna
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:31 AM
Lieutenant William Bligh Lieutenant William Bligh is offline
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“I am the same to all beings. I favour none, and I hate none. But those who worship Me devotedly, they live in Me, and I in them.” - Krishna

This line here sounds a lot like something from the New Testament. Very similar.
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:52 AM
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“For even the children of sinful parents, and those miscalled the weaker sex, and merchants, and labourers, if only they will make Me their refuge, they shall attain the Highest.”
That's a spurious rendering of the Bhagavad-Gita by a modern rotter and full of Funny Business. A straight translation of that verse goes this way:

"They who take refuge with Me, O Partha,
though of the womb of sin [illegitimate children]
women, Vaishthas [a lower caste], even Shudras [the lowest caste],
they also tread the highest path.

How much more then holy Brahmanas and
devoted royal saints"


--Bhagavad-Gita
Chapter 9:32-33


This is an accurate translation and like 98 percent of the translations. "Women" are simply lumped in with sinners and the lower classes with no comment whatsoever about them. Krsna says not a word about them being "miscalled the weaker sex" or any crap like that. The above straightforward translation was done, incidentally, by a woman, Annie Besant, in 1904 along with an Indian Sanskrit scholar of some sort. There is no playing around with the text here. All this verse is saying is that through bhakti yoga (the spiritual discipline of focused devotional attention on God or his representative), even women and the lower classes can attain spiritual liberation. There is not one jot or tittle in the Bhagavad-Gita to validate or support modern feminism. Certainly women are indeed the weaker sex, because she always is first to give in to moral corruption.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
He doesn't believe women to be weaker sex. I guess the Hindu, really fear women.
Again, you are quoting a bogus translation where some moderne is trying to "improve" the text by polluting it with modern ignorance. The text is usually translated as "even sinners and women." The bit about "those miscalled the weaker sex" is a complete invention of that translator. You can go back and collect 100 translations of the Gita from the past 50 years, and 49 out of 50 will translate the Sanskrit verse accurately, and Krsna simply says "even sinners and women." Krsna was no feminist. And no, Hindus don't fear women. The Dharma protects against that. Western male pornlings and thralls to feminism fear women.

You should always get at least 10 translations of the Bhagavad-Gita, preferably none of them done before 1970, before you try to get an idea of what it is actually saying. Then settle on one that seems most honest, then collect 20 or 30 more, and settle on another that is even more accurate. Modernes and feminist rotters are always trying to pull tricks on the Bhagavad-Gita.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily Zaitsev
To answer simply, Arjuna was Kshatriya and thus it was his dharma to fight and kill without question.
Yes, and all men have their dharma today; their duties. Including fighting men who have a fighting duty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily Zaitsev
Before it became the yoga of charity, action (especially combat) without thought to the outcome was the ideal of Karma Yoga.
Actually, the idea that "karma yoga" means doing charity and "good works" is a misunderstanding that Christians created. The "yoga of action" or "karma yoga" is simply about performing one's actions without such involvement that you get "marked" by them. This is very important. Even a soda jerk can do perfect "karma" yoga and it doesn't have much to do with being a do-gooder.

Part of the goal of "yoga" (the effort at spiritual union with the Deity) is to allow the aspirant to burn up "karmas" which exist in the form of "samskaras" in the astral and physical body. These samskaras are the markings or impressions from past experience, past identity (even of this life, such as "I was a prisoner once"), and past actions. ("I did such-and-such.) It is these samskaras that keep us bound in dualistic existence and dualistic identity. These samskaras/impressions are actually the locus of what is called "karma."

"Bad karma" in essence is the impression that "I did such and such bad thing" or "I was this or that bad thing." Likewise, "good karma" exists in the impression/samskaras that "I did this good thing" or "I was that good thing." The naive western mind turned the idea of "karma" into this idea of getting "punished or rewarded" for things you did by some outer spiritual law. But the real karma is in the impressions you take on that "I did this thing" or "I was this" or "This thing happened to me." That's where karma really lives. In those impressions. We punish ourselves, not some outside law but our own inside law.

For example, let's say a young a boy gets trapped in the playfort for a few hours by some meanies. He's like a "prisoner" for what seems like an eternity, though it might have been just 20 minutes. Now he has some samskaras (impressions) of having been trapped; imprisoned. If he really suffers over this at the time, he takes on the samskaras very deeply. If he does nothing later to rub out those impressions, he'll tend to keep repeating this experience. He'll remember it, fear it happening again, imagine it in new ways. Then he'll repeat this experience in future, in grosser and grosser ways. Some years later he's trapped in an elevator for four hours. Then later he's trapped somewhere else. If he keeps taking on these markings from this experience, one day (maybe in a future life) he'll finally spend a day in a prison (just like when he was a kid). Maybe a month. Maybe a year. If he keeps on taking on the impressions, he could develop a real "prison" habit in future incarnations.

It's the same with actions. When we give ourselves the impression "I did this," we tend to do it again in future, and future births. The best way to avoid doing this to ourselves is to avoid performing the action. So, if you like to kill things, you're developing an identity of "killer" and taking on impressions of "killing" and that's how you're getting karma.

Yoga contains the techniques for doing two things: Burning away old karma (impressions), and avoiding taking on new karma (impressions). And this is the point of what has been called karma-yoga. One learns to perform necessary action (such as Arjuna's battle duties) but in a detached manner in which one does not take on impressions of doer or "I did this." That keeps him free of new karmas and repetition of those events.

There is a baloney aphorism that I have heard many times: "He who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it." The exact opposite is true: "He who keeps on remembering the past is doomed to repeat it." So, in the case of the Jews, if they keep on obsessing on the German camps thing, they are doomed to repeat it. In fact they could create a future genocidal event for themselves -- even if it didn't really happen like they think it did -- simply by thinking of it all the time. You can take on "impressions" of an identity or experience even if it didn't actually happen in the first place! If I were a Jew and somebody said: "Maybe six million didn't die, and maybe they didn't die of deliberate gassing," I would say "What a gift! My past has just been upgraded! Maybe I no longer have to tell my kids this horrible thing about their relatives!" But I digress...

So the only connection real karma yoga has to "good works" is this: When you do good works you take on the impressions of having done good works, and you do more in the future. You take on an identity of one who does good works, and you reward yourself in future with better conditions, which you yourself have allowed yourself to have because of your more positive ideas about yourself.

To illustrate this more I will use a comment about Adolf Hitler. Sometimes people remark about Hitler's death and say: "Well, he's going to come back in his future life as a cockroach." This betokens a misunderstanding about karma and how it actually works.

The truth is, because Hitler had the experience of "I came up from obscurity and did big things," this will be his story again in future lives. Because he had the experience "I sat in plush chairs" he will sit in plush chairs again. Because he had the experience "I believed in a cause and fought for it" he will do this again. Because he played with architecture before, he'll do it again. He'll have mistresses again in future lives. And because he had a big failure in the end, he will also manifest a similar final debacle in future lives, and fear that, unless he does something to alter those particular "impressions." Because he committed suicide, in his next lives he will have fears and premonitions of suicide, and is highly likely to do it again. That is how "karma" actually works. It's like a rust spot that keeps on rusting, or a scratch that keeps on getting bigger, or a burr on the inside of your mouth that you keep on nipping and it keeps getting bigger. If YOU think in terms of "I did this so in future others will do that to me," then you may also manifest that aspect of "karma" in future incarnations. But it's really just you cooking up "what should happen," see?

This is what Jesus meant when he said "To those who have, they are given more. And to those who have not, they lose even what they have." (Paraphrase) He is talking about the law of karma. Our real wealth is in our impressions. If I live in on a big beautiful estate all my myself, and love it, I now have "impressions" for that and I will easily manifest that story again in future lives. That's the real inner wealth, and we keep building on our samskaras.

The occult spiritual principles found in real Yoga allow one to change his samskaras, get samskaras for things he never even did (the Yoga-Sutra talks about "receiving the good karma of others"), and to "upgrade" all samskaras at once by experience of the non-dualistic Beng-Consciousness-Bliss back of the mind. (Sat-Chit-Ananda). This is true liberation, salvation, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
So this is the origin of the dot on their heads. Sometimes with an oval.
Partly. There is a meditation practice called the "yoni mudra" that involves placing the attention at the point between the eyebrows, and gently directing the gaze there (not a literal gaze, but the attention of the eyes, usually half closed). There is a divine light seen there, often called the bindu or dot, especially after the divine baptism/shaktipat. At death for higher results after death one wants to focus there and "leave" through there. The dot many Hindus place there is a representation of the divine light, often described as a "sesame seed" in the sacred literature, which appears to the devoted meditator, sometimes for brief instants, and for longer periods for the advanced. I think that a lot of Hindus may not even know this but still wear their little "bindu." The real bindu is a spiritual phenomenon seen within.

At death, the eyes of many look up to this point naturally. In sleep our eyes go up to this point, especially babies. This is the point of highest return. This technique is mentioned at least twice in the Bhagavad-Gita. The first is in the Sixth Chapter describing meditation technique:

"Holding the body, head, and neck erect,
immovably steady, looking fixedly at the
[point between the eyebrows] with unseeing gaze,
the self serene, firm in the vow of the celibate,
the mind controlled, thinking on Me alone, let him
sit aspiring after Me."


The original text says that the yogi should place his attention at the "nasikagram." Some versions have translated this as "the point of the nose" but this is a mistake. One great spiritual master, Sri Yukteswar, clarified this:

"The path of a yogi is singular enough as it is," he remarked. "Why counsel him that he must also make himself cross-eyed? The true meaning of nasikagram is 'origin of the nose, not 'end of the nose.' The nose begins at the point between the two eyebrows, the seat of spiritual vision."

And then there's the later quote you brought up:
Quote:
“He who leaves the body with mind unmoved
and filled with devotion,
by the power of his meditation
gather between his eyebrows his whole vital energy,
attains the Supreme.”
--Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita
By doing this practice a lot in life, it helps one to do it instinctively during the death process, which is very traumatic for most. In the death process, ingrained instinct takes over. So if you can gather all your energy there during death, you'll get a high birth at the least. (Such as one with a good mother and father, in the "home of the "righteous and prosperous" as in Chapter 6.) If a man is used to going toward sex pleasure whenever he feels stress or pain, during his death process he'll think sexual thoughts and get an erection. This is why a lot of men get erections when they die. But this leads the consciousness down to the lowest chakras and leads to lower orders of birth. That's why it's good to begin overcoming sex addiction now well in advance and practice the "yoni mudra" during stressful situations in life.

Christ appears to be referring to the bindu, and the meditation technique, where he says: "If your eye become single your whole body will be filled with light."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Well, yes of course, I was expecting, Krishna to justify this though, just as you have justified it...It is the idea of killing people related to you over land, which is unfair.
All soldiers and fighting men, when forced to kill other men, have some level of qualms about "killing their own" or killing their own human relations. They also see that those are other men, and that they have a human relation to them. For very good reason the Gita sets up this premise on even more poignant terms. And the Gita considers all humans to be human relations, and set up this situation as an ultimate and obvious emotional conflict, see?

And almost all wars are over land, or the fruits of the land. Where have you been?

The battle scene in the Gita is not some kind of statement about war per se. Life is a battlefield. It's a statement about life and its difficult situations on the grandest possible scale. Many also take the story as an allegory, and the opposing army represented desires.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Krishna: “I have shown myself to thee as the Destroyer who lays waste the world...
Yes, in the vision of the deity Krsna got to see God in his "destroyer" aspect, sometimes personified as "Shiva." (Along with his other aspects as Creator, Preserver...) So you don't think God has destructive power? You don't notice things constantly being destoyed? You don't think it's God who destroys? Somebody else?
Quote:
"...and whose purpose is destruction."
??? I do not recognize this line. I looked at that chapter and cannot find such a line. I think you got another funky translation again. Get past the first two chapters and Krsna pretty much drips with an attitude of love and care. Destruction is only one of the 'divine activities,' and not in any way God's only facet. Arjuna was a great Devotee. In that chapter Krsna decided to let Arjuna have a vision of the destructive facet of God, as an inspiration for him just before foing into battle. It was a favor of love to this devotee-warrior. Arjuna fought then with the faith of God being behind him, and that destructive power.

The line "...whose purpose is destruction," if it is there, related to that facet of "God the destroyer" in Arjuna's vision, and not to God in general. Again, God also has the aspects of Creator and Sustainer in the Gita cosmology. Read more widely. You are taking little bits here and there and misunderstanding them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
"In spite of thy efforts, all these warriors gathered for battle shall not escape death."
That was a basic statement of fact about the dualistic and karmic existence, wouldn't you say? No one escapes death, just as Buddha observed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
"Then gird up thy loins and conquer. Subdue thy foes and enjoy the kingdom in prosperity. I have already doomed them. Be thou my instrument, Arjuna!”
Yes, part of the wisdom the Gita conveys is that no man is actually the true "doer," and that only God really does anything. We are instruments of a higher intelligence. Also, that through doing one's duty, being pure, and living dharmically, one automatically gets prosperity by divine law. The words of Krsna are directed at you and I, and not intended to be a discourse on the ethics of war or politics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
He's sounding more and more like the Bible's God.
Again, read more of the text. You are jumping on a few lines here and reading things into them. The text of the B-Gita is very, very different from the text or tone of the Old Testament. Get past those first two chapters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
I am assuming...
I know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Arjuna's people are like the Israelites and his enemies are unrighteous and deserve death...
Quite obviously from Arjuna's anguish in the first chapter he did not view his adversary as "unrighteous" or deserving death.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
...it sounds like two tribes facing off over nothing, a scrap of land.
No, read the Mahabarata. There were legitimate causes for their war. And land is always one legitimate cause of war, as I have explained before. Why do you always refer to precious land as a "scrap." Is your yard a "scrap"? Your grandfather's farm? Is your wife a "scrap"? Your world?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
That was how I imagined it literally. Two tribes somewhere in the North of India, where the story takes place.
This is not an anthropological text, but a spiritual discourse setting up situations having spiritual lessons. But even so, soldiers still today, forced to kill others, need to have some framework for doing it that is not spiritual destructive to them (such as the American soldiers today). The lessons of Krsna about detachment, duty and service are just as valuable today for any man who has to engage in a fighting duty.

You call them "tribes." But they were a people superior to us; an elegant monarchial civilization with far higher standards of living. Modernes today are the "tribes," or not even that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Clearly, the willingness to fight depends on how convinced I am of the evil of the enemy.
Clearly, Arjuna became convinced to fight for other reasons, and not because he became convinced of the evil of his adversary. And that is the beauty of the whole thing. He was able to do it out of duty and dharma, with complete dispassion, and not in passion or hate. You are missing the point here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Krisha counsels against all desire. Is cold logic, alone truth, or is Arjuna's desire for an amount of peace, more in keeping with truth?
No, because endless indulgence of desires brings no peace.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Isn't Arjuna more logical, as we have not heard proof as to Arjuna really being on the side of the just cause. No doubt the enemy also thinks itself in the right.
The Gita is writter for you and Everyman. Can you take a stand for yourself? Or are you enemies the ones who are "right"? What you think your enemy thinks is not your concern. You must stand in your own truth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Just as I'm reading, this here, I'm not familiar with this mythology, but it sounds like Krishna is reincarnated. "I have been born again and again, from time to time; thou too, O Arjuna! My births are known to Me, but thou knowest not thine."
Yes, this is the concept that the 'divine manifestation,' the representative of God, appears repeatedly on the earth, and not just once two thousand years ago.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
When he refers to "He" as being above intellect, he is talking about God, am I right? Is Krisha like a person in a trinity he goes on: "I have no beginning. Though I am imperishable, as well as Lord of all that exists, yet by My own will and power do I manifest Myself. Whenever spirituality decays and materialism is rampant, then O Arjuna, I reincarnate Myself! To protect the righteous, to destroy the wicked and to establish the kingdom of God, I am reborn from age to age."
Yes. He is talking about God and also as God.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Do you know what the significance is of Blue skin to the Hindi? Why is Krisha, always depicted as having blue skin? I've always wondered this.
I know, but I cannot tell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Furthermore, all the pictures of Krisha and Arjuna, on their chariot together, depict Arjuna as being White. Do you know who drew these common pictures. I can find a dozen in a google search. Are these actually done by the Hindi themselves. How many other people have noticed how they look White, in these paintings?
Indians in India draw these. White is beautiful. Even brown skinned peoples feel this way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieutenant William Bligh
Is that just you, singing there in "Johnny Oh?" It sounds like there could be at least one other man, and a womans voice at the beginning.
All the male voices are me, and I sing all the verses. One of my older daughters sings the choruses. My youngest daughter is singing many bits, along with me, in the backing vocals throughout the verses.

Last edited by Mentious : 03-18-2007 at 09:39 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2007, 03:05 PM
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Sandee Sandee is offline
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Originally Posted by Julian Lee
Hello --
Sorry my in-box is full. I will respond better to this post over the next 2-3 days. No time right now. Briefly for the moment: Those two chapters are rich in meaning. Part of the message is that every man has a duty, dictated by society, dharma, religion. To get out of "samsara" and to reduce the conditioning that leads to repeated unsatisfactory births, one needs to learn to do his his true duty -- whatever it is -- in a detached manner without having a lot of emotional reactions to it. This gives him less "samskaras" (impressions) related to the action, thus reducing his conditioning, his sense of "I am this, I did this" and leads to freedom from unsatisfactory dualistic existences.


It is you who is deciding to call land a "scrap" here. People live and die by land. Families, women and children are fed and harbored by land. Most human warfare develops over matters of land and territory. So please don't tell me that "land" is an insignificant matter to human beings. Certainly they did not view it as just a "scap" in their context.

Next answer this: Do you believe there is never any justification for men to kill other men? As the U.S. is doing presently in Iraq, or as fathers and husbands do when invaded in an invasion burglary, or as policemen do in firefights, etc. etc.

I don't know your view on this, but let me give you a hypothetical just for your mind: Let's say you personally owned a "little scrap of land" and had built up a farm there. Let's say you had developed it over 50 years and had three generations of progeny and extended family living happily there. Many of your kids and relations are brilliant, productive, creative, virtuous and beautiful. Let's say five different villages down the road survived and were fed by the labors of your family and estate. Now let's say ten lowlife pirates -- all of them criminals who have caused harm to innumerable beings -- want to come to your place, skin all the men alive, rape all the women, and torture all the children, then turn your farm into a parking lot for a new gambling casino and gay brothel. Besides the devastation of your family and life, the five towns down the road will all starve. You would not feel justified in shooting these 10 men as they climb over the wall? (To defend your scrap of land?)

In Arjuna's context, in the context of their family and monarchial government, in the context of land, as well as "right and wrong," they were involved in a just war and not a trivial one. What I'm saying is there's not much room in the Gita to question the concept of war or killing. It's just assumed there is such a thing as justified killing and justified war. In fact, the Gita draws a picture of a just war as opposed to a spurious one. This is to set up the necessary tension and picture of life in samsara. The suffering of Arjuna -- in seeing beloved relatives on the other side yet being caught in the bind of duty -- is intended as a portrayal of the very crux of samsaric conditions; i.e. human suffering. The difficulty of the situation is part of the point. The Gita would not portray a minor suffering event, but a major one -- the worst possible one. (Having to kill beloved relatives.) Then the rest of the scripture is devoted to how we get out of ALL suffering and conflicted situations. Doing his duty without personal involvement is part of that answer, and there is more.

Now, the various other feelings of Arjuna -- the feelings that all intelligent men encounter when involved in a war -- are another subject which I will respond to later. But please don't tell me war and killing are never justified or that it was "just a scrap of land." If we get bogged down in that non-issue, it's just a distraction from the more important things found in the Gita.

There are more dimensions and issues connected to those chapters, and you raise some of them. But this is one of the prime purposes of those chapters. More later.

By the way, those first two chapters are the least interesting of the Gita chapters in my view. As soon as you get out of the battlefield scene the verses roam widely and deal in philosophy and meditation practice. Hurry along to Chapter Six.

I am not going to peruse through the whole thread right now - since my time on the boards is limited and I have to get going in a bit. I will later though.

Let me just add to the above. The kingdom was rightfully theirs (Yudhistira was supposed to become King, being the eldest son of the half-brother of the current King who was was blind). Everyone loved Yudhistir, the eldest Pandava for his righteousness and fairness. Duryodhan tried to strip Draupadi (the wife of Arjuna) in front of everyone in the assembly (The Pandavas foolishly gambled everything they had, including their wife during a dice game). No one tried to intervene and Draupadi wept and cried for Krishna. He appeared and put a stop to it. In addition to this incident, there were instances where The Pandavas were wronged in many ways. Their dwelling places were set on fire and those were attempts by Duryodhan to get rid of them after they were exiled.

The Pandavas are Kshatriyas (warrior caste) and they needed a kingdom to rule. They tried to compromise with Duryodhana and asked for only a few villages - they lost everything to Duryodhan. Duryodhan was greedy and told them he wouldn't even give them enough land to drive a pin in when they came back from their exile. Imagine. How were they supposed to cater for their wives and descendants? They were forced out and by very unfair means and the Mahabharata war was a justified one.

Quote:
Justice and Peace

The Pandavas and their common wife, defeated in a game of dice, were driven out of Indraprastha. "You can claim your kingdom only after you live in the forests, without home or identity, for thirteen years," said the Kauravas, shutting the doors of civilisation on their face. At first the Pandavas wished to attack and reclaim their lands immediately. "No, that will be against dharma. You lost the wager and so must suffer the exile," advised Krishna. Thirteen years later, after much hardship, when the Pandavas returned from exile and asked for their kingdom, the Kauravas refused to part with it. "This is against dharma," said Krishna. "The Pandavas kept their word. You must too." "No," said the Kauravas. "Give them at least five villages for the sake of peace," pleaded Krishna, willing to compromise to avoid bloodshed. "No," said Duryodhana, the eldest Kaurava. "Then you will get what you deserve - a war," declared Krishna, "And none will prevent the slaughter of the unrighteous Kauravas."

As the Pandavas and Kauravas prepared for war, Balarama said, "Spilling blood for land or law makes no sense." He refused to fight for either side. "If this war does not take place, adharma will reign supreme, and pralaya will destroy the world before its time is up," argued Krishna. Krishna took up the reins of Arjuna's chariot. "Come Arjuna, help me establish dharma on earth."

http://www.crystallotus.com/vishnu/12.htm

^ The Pandavas kept their word but Duryodhan didn't.
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:07 PM
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Mentious Mentious is offline
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Thank you for that summary of the background of the situation in the Gita.
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:13 PM
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Mr. Lee please do clean up your PM's so people may send you some more
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