Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Does Bhagavad Gita Teach violence?

Did Lord Krishna teach violence?

Deception occurs when you are divided and consider some parts and fragments of a story or situation.

Truth appears when you understand the ‘whole’.

First of all, what is violence?

If a king attacks another country to expand his territory and massacres innocent people, it would be violence. But if a soldier fights to defend his country, would we call it violence?

Attacking weak and innocent people is violence but if one fights to save his family and children from an intruder, would we call it violence?

Depriving others for their rights for one’s own selfishness is violence; fighting back for your and other’s rights is defending not violence.

Gita teaches to be practical. It teaches every aspect of life. If we analyze the situation without bias, according to Maha Bharat the war was the last resort. Lord Krishna tried to avoid the war for as long as it was possible. In the end, seeing no other option, he told Arjun to fulfil his duties as a Kshatriya (Warrior) and a king. He had to set a precedent for future generations. He says in Gita, “though he is free of Karma and so should be a ‘Sthitpragna’ but if he does not perform certain Karmas then the future generations will also follow him and shirk from the right actions. They will become coward. If the righteous people do not stand up for their rights; to protect the righteousness, then evil will take over and prevail everywhere.  (Bhagvad Gita Chapter 3: Shloka 21 to 25)

The real Master is perfect and whole. He wants his disciples to see the whole ‘truth’. Not half full or half empty glass; but the reality that it is half full and half empty. Lord Krishna taught the ‘Yoga of renunciation’ in Gita. At the same time he also taught the ‘Karma Yoga’; that one should fulfil one’s duties to the best of his abilities.

If our country is under a terrorist attack, should our government sit back and simply watch them take away parts of our lands and kill innocent people because it believes in non-violence? In fact it would be violence against its own people.

In chapter 2: Shloka 31 to 38, Lord Krishna told Arjun to fulfil his kingly duties and stand up for his rights; for his people and family. Had He told Arjun to attack other countries to expand his territories and kill civilians, then it might have been considered ‘teaching violence’.

Some people find the teachings of Gita confusing or contradictory.
In fact, Gita teaches to consider all aspects of life and to be practical.

There is a ‘right time’ for everything; every ideology.
There is time for speech and there is time for silence.  
There is time for Meeri and Peeri; to be used at the right time.

Guru Nanak taught non-violence but Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru in his succession, spent his whole life fighting against the cruel regime of his time. Does that mean he believed in violence and encouraged it? NO. He stood up for righteousness.

We live in a physical world. We need to be practical.
Life does not run in a straight black and white line. It has variations so we need to analyze the ‘whole’ situation and act accordingly.

 And that is what Gita teaches.

                                         ' Rajan Sachdeva'

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