Q: Why was a battlefield chosen as the stage for giving this message? Why not, say a classroom, or a quiet serene place which will be more conducive for teaching?
This is the greatness of Veda Vyasa Maharshi.
The generally prevalent idea is that spirituality is a matter to be thought of during retired life in a secluded forest, in an environment of complete silence. But it is not so and way beyond that. In order to live life dynamically and achieve the highest success in life, Spiritual understanding is essential. So in order to drive this idea Vyasa beautifully portrays the story of Mahabharata and in the middle of the battlefield where is full of tension, fear, hatred, anger, uncertainty and noisy situation. Arjuna is confused, depressed and dejected. Sri Krishna is giving the message and inspired Arjuna to act enthusiastically. That message is Gita. One needs to understand this. This is what spirituality is all about – keeping the mind balanced, face all challenges of life with a smile. Only when the mind is calm and quiet you can take the right decision. Some of the most difficult places to practice the lessons of spirituality are when we are in difficult situations, such as war, busy market place, exam hall etc. It is difficult to practice our dharma with complete happiness even in these situations.
In the war, Arjuna was only a representative of mankind. When we face such difficult circumstances, we become like Arjuna. For e.g., we have prepared for the final exam sacrificing everything. Upon hearing the 1st bell, you instantly start to get fear, followed by shivering and sweating. And upon receiving the question paper, your pen slips away from your hand, you see bad omens, lips are dry and sticking together, feeling thirsty, darkness covers your vision and getting dizzy. We start thinking why should I write this exam? I don’t have the ability to win this, caught up in fear, anxiety or excitement. We are thrown, helplessly into the Arjuna Mind condition, i.e., “vishada” a state of depression!! Then a Bhagavan is needed to give Gita teaching us how to handle body and mind, focus on the goal correctly and tune mind properly to solve the problem at hand. In fact, everyone goes through Arjuna state of mind (i.e., the 1st chapter Vishada yoga, the Yoga of Depression! ). We can observe that many educated people get depressed due to various reasons. When expectations break, lose girlfriend, a friend gets better marks or job, the wife earns more and innumerable reasons. But the problem is we never get to the 2nd chapter – Samkhya Yoga – the leaning or knowledge from life’s experiences. So we need a Guru, guide and friend who can help us to take us to the 2nd chapter of life.
We can even say that Arjuna represents the modern youth. We are endowed with everything, but fail to live up to the situation. We want to do good, but fail to do so.
Even in the sorrow, there is a chance of a new life. Gita teaches us how to effectively use our sorrow to rise and go ahead with our dharma.