Monday, June 04, 2007


My colleague Srinivas commented as we walked out of a building and a wave of Kolkata weather hit us, "Its like a wet furnace". Couldnt agree more.

Musings on Gita

After much reading and listening about the Gita, thought I had got atleast the basic idea of Krishna's epic advice to Arjuna.

Recently, after reading the book "Encounter the Enlightened", a collation of speeches by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, felt the discourse of Krishna taking a new meaning.

The passage in question:

Question: Yes, I have a doubt. In the battle of Kurukshetra, why did Lord Krishna compel Arjuna, who had laid down his arms? He did not want to fight his own kith and kin, why did he compel him to fight?

...Even on the battlefield, he was willing to slaughter almost everyone.
It was only five or six people - his grandfather, his Guru, his brother, his friend - except for them, he was willing to slaughter everyone else.
In truth, Arjuna had not given up violence. He only wanted to save these few people; He was willing to kill the rest. So that's why His teaching is like that.
I want you to understand what importance Krishna gives to one man's realization.
If you realize and in the process, ten thousand people die, it is okay; it is of so much value to the world.
It is that value that he is establishing.

Source: Encounter the enlightened-Conversations with the Master

Agreed the speech makes little sense without the context of what Jaggi's Isha Foundation is doing. More at But have to think aloud lest this sinks into oblivion to the bottom of the muddy pond that my mind now is.

The trite phrase that invariable pops up in many a spiritual text / discourse is "to free oneself from action". Nice to hear. But that makes no sense since one's existence (including actions of self and others) is invariably experienced only through the mind driven by the five senses of the body.

Jaggi Vasudev's intent is to make a person explore the inner self and reach a natural state where the person does not identify oneself with actions/situations/one's mind. Confessedly an experiential feeling, little is forthcoming on this natural state from either Jaggi / Isha volunteers about what this is. I am willing to buy that stand since I have neither the inclination or the time to read about the quality of experiences (natural or otherwise) in another chappie's life communicated to me through the questionable medium of my mind and a more questionable medium of the English language.

Now as I understand that Jaggi imputes, Krishna was egging Arjuna to take the route to this natural state at the cost of a bloody war. The value given to one man's realisation is of note here, considering that those that did have changed the course of history (E.g. Christ, Buddha, Shankaracharya... etc.)

Recommended reading: Encounter the Enlightened - Conversations with the Master (Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev)
This book and Jaggi Vasudev make more sense to me than any of the other literature of this nature I have ever read.