|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Unit - 02
Lesson - 0205: Diagnosis of the Disease
By Raja Subramaniyan
Lord Krishna and Arjuna are not fictitious characters in the 'story' of Mahabharata. They are real persons who lived in the distant past who represent the human race of all times.
Arjuna represents millions of educated people across the globe not aware of the importance of the message contained in Vedas and Gita. He represents those who assume that material goals will ensure them everlasting happiness until they face a great tragedy in life.
Lord Krishna represents thousands of enlightened masters living across the globe, who have mastered the art of living. He represents the teachers of Vedas and Gita.
Gita is a dialogue between the student and the master and the first chapter gives the backdrop against which the dialogue is about to begin.
There are various objects (including persons, events, power, position) one is attached to. This attachment is sustained and developed by physical association and mental association without our knowledge.
Example: Presence and growth of virus in the body is not known until it manifests as a disease.
Similarly, we are not aware of our attachment until the symptoms, anger, fear and sorrow appear. We get used to these negative emotions as we assume them to be a part of our life. Therefore, we do not attempt to cure the basic disease. This results in a serious situation in which we completely breakdown.
Example: If we do not treat the disease in its initial stages, it becomes serious. In the later stages, it will become more difficult to treat it.
Similarly, we ignore the daily symptoms of the negative emotions without attempting to treat the root cause of the disease. When our personality becomes strong, we suffer a great deal when a tragedy strikes us.
Attachment causes these emotions (anger, fear and sorrow) by affecting the mind. If the attachment is stronger, it affects the intelligence and deludes it. When this happens, the mind cannot distinguish between good and bad. It will be immersed in sorrow when there is a situation that threatens the existence of the object of attachment. We will no longer be in a position to function efficiently.
Diagnosis of the disease that is afflicted the humankind is described in the Chapter 1 of Gita as below.
"Arjuna is aware that it is his duty to fight. However, when the reality that he has to kill his own people strikes him, he breaks down. His attachment to his people causes a split between his mind and intelligence. His mind is haunted by sorrow and he is not able to function normally. His intelligence is deluded. As a result, he starts putting forth various invalid arguments in support of abandoning the war. He is expecting Lord Krishna to endorse his arguments so that these wrong thoughts are justified so that his mind can gain control over his intelligence."