The Bhagavad-Gita begins with the preparation o

The Bhagavad-Gita begins with the preparation of battle between the two opposing sides: on the left stands the collected armies of the one hundred sons of Dhritarashtra and on the right lies the soldiers of the Pandava brothers. Warring relatives feuding over the right to govern the land of Kurukshetra, both forces stand poised and ready to slaughter one another. The warrior Arjuna, leader of the Pandava armies, readies himself as his charioteer, the god Krishna, steers toward the opposition when the armies are ready to attack. Arjuna stops Krishna short before the two sides clash together. Hesitation and pity creeps into Arjunas heart as he surveys his family and relatives on the other side; he loses his will to win at the cost of the lives he still loves. As Arjuna sets down his bow and prepares for his own death, the god Krishna begins his council with Arjuna, where Krishna uses various ideas on action, self-knowledge, and discipline to reveal to Arjuna the freedom to be attained from the suffering of man once Arjuna finds his devotion to Krishna. Before Krishna begins his teachings, Arjuna analyzes his emotions and describes to Krishna the way his heart feels. Krishna, I seek no victory, or kingship or pleasures (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 25). Arjuna admits that he stands to gain nothing of real worth from the war. He knows he cannot consciously triumph over family for his own wealth and glory. We [Pandava brothers] sought kingships, delights, and pleasures for the sake of those assembled to abandon their lives and fortunes in battle (The Bhagavad-Gita, p. 25). Arjuna continues on to state that once the family is destroyed and family duty is lost, only chaos is left to overcome what remains. He goes so far as to describe how chaos swells to corrupt even the women in the families, creating disorder in society. Arjuna tells Krishna that the punishment for men who undermine the duties of the family are des…

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