Introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita (3)

[For the Disciple—A Guide]

Who is Arjuna?

Arjuna, prince of India, represents "man-mind," or the embodied Soul-mind: Lower Manas, in its higher aspect.

This mind is that which works using the brain. He is endowed with self-consciousness, Ahankara (I-ness), or "awareness of himself." He can say: "I am I." He can hold a dialog within, between the dual aspects of his own mind: the "Lower Manas" (Arjuna) discussing "right action" with the interior Krishna (the "Higher Self ").

Like all of us, he is three-fold: body, soul, and Spirit—each aspect being conscious on its plane, as well as being aware of the other two on theirs. He is aware that these are made up of the mixture of the 3 universal qualities: Sattva (Truth, Spirit, Goodness), Rajas (energy, activity, forcefulness), and Tamas (inertia, sloth, laziness). In total: seven [3 pairs and ATMA]—each of the qualities has a positive and a negative aspect. ATMA alone is unitary and synthesizes all.

In this way, "man" is called a "miniature Universe," and concentrates in himself every power to be found in It. It is the development of, and the control of these powers and qualities that forms the subject of true occultism, or wisdomism—the Gita.

The Spirit-mind in man incarnates for the sake of those "elements" which, through him can reach to the immortality of wisdom and thus contact Krishna directly.

Kurukshetra is Dharmakshetra or,
the Transformation of Passion into Duty

Mr. Judge in the "Antecedent Words" to his rendition of the Bhagavad-Gita, published in 1890, gives an account of what precedes the battle of Kurukshetra, (field of the Kurus), which is also called Dharmakshetra, or the "Field of Duty and Responsibility." In other words: Earth life.

He consulted a number of translations when composing his rendition of the Bhagavad-Gita: those of Wilkins and J. Cockburn Thomson, Edwin Arnold, K. T. Telang, to name a few. Wilkins had been encouraged by Warren Hastings to translate the Gita. He was a missionary, and in Bombay he founded a college, named after him. We should take note that Mr. Judge said it was important to look on the Gita, the "Lord's Song," as a "personal" book.

An actual historical war was used by the Sage Vyasa, to illustrate the secret story of the "fight for the right" that is constantly in progress within the consciousness of every aspirant to wisdom. Every man and every woman is such an aspirant: an immortal Soul-Mind, an eternal Pilgrim. The Bhagavad-Gita is sung to us.

The battle refers not only to the great warfare which mankind as a whole carries on, but also to the individual struggle, which is inevitable as soon as any unit of the human family resolves to allow his higher nature to govern in his life. Opposition from friends, from the habits he has acquired, and those which arise from heredity, confront him. The outcome then depends on whether he listens to Krishna, the Logos, shining, and speaking from within himself, as to whether he will succeed or fail.

Gita, Intro., Xii-XV

Sanjaya and Vyasa

Sanjaya, meaning "the completely victorious" (the jiv-atma, that which can say: "I am verily, the supreme Brahma") is already endowed with that spiritual faculty called the "divine Eye." Krishna awakes this power in Arjuna in the 11th Chapter of the Gita, so that he might see the Universal Form including all beings in evolution: the manifested Universe, which in another sense, is an aspect of Krishna himself, and of Arjuna, as he grows to understand. Arjuna sensing his immediate unreadiness, begs Krishna to withdraw this power and permit him to again "see" Him as his friend, and counselor. He does not lose the memory of the experience, and from that point on the discourse assumes the nature of instructions to a devotee who labors to attune himself to the Universal divine virtues, the Paramitas (Voice of the Silence, pp. 52-3) which are his true inheritance.

Dhritarashtra, the Blind King --- Our Body

According to the Mahabharata epic, the twenty-eighth sage titled the Vyasa (interpreter—Theosophical Glossary, p. 367), in response to counselor Sanjaya's request on behalf of the blind King Dhritarashtra, (the physical body) allows him to listen to the dialog between Krishna (the Divine Ego), and Arjuna (the embodied mind). Vyasa serves here as "interpreter—Antaskarana ?," and reveals the meaning underlying the "form" in which the Vedas were recorded. All Upanishads, like the Gita are attached to the Vedas.

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