30 April 2009

Is Arjuna Ignorant?

I was reading the first chapter of Bhagavad Gita and a significant point struck me. The following are the ways in which Arjuna addresses Krishna.

acyuta- O infallible one (1.21-22)
Kesava- O killer of Kesi Demom (1.30)
Madhusudhana- Killer of demon Madhu (1.32-35)
Madhava- husband of Goddess of fortune (1.36)
Janardhana- maintainer of the people (1.43)

acyuta describes the nature of Krishna. Kesava, Govinda and Madhusudhana describe His power and the lilas in which He displays it. Madhava is associated with Sri Lakshmi in Vaikunta. Janardhana is again describing Krishna as the provider.

Primarily, this shows that Arjuna is already fully aware of Krishna's transcendental position. His questions in the battle field are for the benefit of other like us struggling in the material world.

Secondly, I recently heard in a lecture given by a devotee that in the spiritual world no one is unaware of Krishna's supreme position. If mother Yashoda is anxious to protect her son from the dangers, it is not that she is unaware of His powerful position.

Her bhava or relationship with the Lord is that of a parent and every parent is anxious for the welfare of her child. The vatsalya bhava or the parental love for Krishna in mother Yashoda's heart takes a superior position to the knowledge of Krishna as the Supreme person.

Similarly Arjuna is fully aware of the Supreme Position of Krishna but again his love for Krishna in Sakhya bhava as a friend has taken precedence. Hence he was able to associate with Krishna in a playful mood.

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