ARJUNA, ASOKA AND THE ATOM BOMB

What form would Krishna take if he were to appear today? For which collective ambition should he appear as the man of the age, and fulfill the work of an incarnation? Humanity today is harassed, and lives under tension. Therefore, it craves peace. Humanity, in its entirety, is passing through a condition of despair. On the one hand, science gives us the hope of a joyful and comfortable future; and on the other, that same science frightens us with the fear of complete annihilation. Krishna’s chariot stops between these two. We should understand the implication of the words “between the two armies”. Today’s world has been divided into groups of strong power –blocks. This creates unnecessary tension amongst the weaker nations.

Arjun was struck by despair at the beginning of war. Emperor Ashoka was overcome by grief at the end of the battle of kalinga, where he had achieved victory. Such despair would not be possible at the end of any modern war. Now, the reason for will have to be sought out and destroyed, at the very root. Draupadi and Gandhari were safe during the Mahabharata battle.No one would be safe in a modern war. Krishna saved the young of the female lapwing, by protecting them under a bell during the burning of Khandavavana. Today this will not be possible. It is definite that the destruction by the atom bomb will be total and without exception.

There was a time when stories of battles, were considered delightful. Can a war be pleasant to a mother who has lost a darling son? As Jimmy Carter said, as many people will die every second in a modern day war, as died in the entire Second World War. Today’s war will affect every human being. Arjuna’s philosophy of despair is ours in reality. War is our history and peace, our dream. A modern war will not be contained within the boundaries of a battle-field or be limited by the number of soldiers involved. A philosopher like Hegel believed that society was prevented from remaining static because of war. Bacon compared war to jogging and considered it beneficial for social well-being. But there would be no question of well-being today, because no society can survive a modern day war.

Michael Korda has written a novel, “Wordly Goods” . It depicts Hitler describing the benefits of vegetarianism. The author makes a character, Paul Foster, utter two sentences:

1        The dish of revenge is best eaten cold.

2        Living well is the best way to take revenge.

The seeds of revenge and acrimony are sown during war. This novel presents in a fascinating manner, the idea, “revenge is conquered by love (non-revenge) not by revenge.” Every man has his moments of despair and conflict, when his sense of duty is tested .Even Arjun at such a moment, sits down overwhelmed  with anguish. At such times , Gita brings to us the message  of our duty. For the removal of the anguish of today’s common man, our expectations from Krishna will be different. In our age, relinquishing the Gandiva, becomes imperative. The poetic call, ‘Tell Partha to string the bow his bow, as war is the only way out’, seems to be out of context. The whole of humanity would be destroyed by one small mistake. The universe which desires peace, is constantly under the threat of annihilation. Who else but a new Krishna can explain this to the countries craving for war?

An Excerpt from the book ‘ The Symphony of Krishna’ .Selecte By Manisha manish

 

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the stone flower

A little away from Mysore, the Kaveri flows through lovely rocks and trees. Birds from all over the globe migrate here. A migratory bird from China comes here, lays eggs and when the baby-birds grow up,it flies away. This bird sits still on the rock for hours together as if in meditation. It has an interesting name – Stone Flower.

Perhaps every man is like a stone flower. His existence consist of three things:

1. Stone-ness

2. Flower-ness

3. Bird-ness

Stone-ness is represented by materialism, money-mindedness, greed and the profit motive, i.e. an attitude fixed upon the mundane.

Flower-ness is the blooming of one’s self and it implies ‘self-actualization’,the term coined by Abraham Maslow.

Bird-ness inspires the flight to reach the Supreme Being without beginning or end.

Raj-yoga is the tranformation of the Stone-ness within us, into the Flower-ness and the Bird-ness.

– An extract from Dr. Gunvant Shah’s book ‘The Symphony of Krishna’.

the music of synthesis

There was a statement in the ‘Scientific American’ : ” All the elements get together and create an indivisible whole”. It is as if modern science has created a music of synthesis:

1. Synthesis between matter and energy

2. Synthesis between time and space

and

3. Synthesis between space and gravity.

It is said that time is the fourth dimension of space. It is also said that gravity is the curvature of space. Moreover matter, space and time are considered as the field. The non-separability between two particles has been proved.Rupert Sheldrake points to the unity of all living beings through the concept of ‘Morphic Resonance’

Philosophers have also talked about the supreme Unity. Discussions went on about the bridge between the ‘seen’ and the ‘see-er ‘, between’knowing’ and ‘the one who knows’, between ‘the thought’ and ‘the thinker’, between ‘Prakruti’ (nature) and the ‘Purusha’ ( soul), and between ‘I’ and the ‘non-I’.

Only such intrinsic unity can support the law of Karma, in the Universe. It is not possible to imagine a karma as something totally alienated. Any action is a chain-reaction, a chain of action and reaction, an interaction between cause and effect. The place of Karma in the creation of the Universe is like that of gravity in the universe.

There can not be action without its consequence. Action without desire for its reward becomes meaningful when the philosophy of Karma is understood. Only in the Gita have such unique ideas been expressed.

An extract from Dr. Gunvant Shah’s book ‘The Symphony of Krishna’