Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 78

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

The Hesitation and Despondency of Arjuna

Man and God need a third party as intermediary no more than do two lovers. No one is so close to God as oneself and to get at Him we require only an ardent heart, a pure intention. Arjuna stands naked and alone without intermediaries opposite his God. There is perpetual communion between God and man and the dialogue proceeds until complete harmony of purpose is reached. This Divine Principle is not at a distance but close to us. God is not a detached spectator or a distant judge of the issue but a friend, sakha who is with us at all times, viharasayydsanabhojanesu (XI, 42). Re. Veda speaks of two birds, beautiful of wing, friends by nature who live together on one tree.[1]

visada: depression. The Chapter ends in dejection and sorrow and this is also called Yoga as this darkness of the soul is an essential step in the progress to spiritual life. Most of us go through life without facing the ultimate questions. It is in rare crises, when our ambitions lie in ruins at our feet, when we realize in remorse and agony the sad mess we have made of our lives, we cry out "Why are we here?" "What does all this mean and whither do we go from here?" "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?". Draupadi cries. "I have no husbands, no sons, no kinsmen, no brothers, no father, not even you, 0 Krsna. "[2]

Arjuna passes through a great spiritual tension. When he detaches himself from his social obligations and asks why he should carry out the duty expected of him by society, he gets behind his socialized self and has full awareness of himself as an individual, alone and isolated. He faces the world as a stranger thrown into a threatening chaos. The new freedom creates a deep feeling of anxiety, aloneness, doubt and insecurity. If he is to function successfully, these feelings must be overcome.


References and Context

  1. Cp. also : "Thou all-knowing God, Thou art always present nearus; Thou dost see whatever sins there may be without and within." sarvajnatvam svayam mtyam sammdhau vartase ca nah antar bahis ca yat kinicit papam tat pagyati svayam.
  2. naiva me patayas santi, nay putra, nay ca bandhavahnay bhrataro, na ca pita, nova tvam madhusudana