When You are in Difficulties, Seek Divine Help

Krishna's Teachings

by Jayaram V


Chapter 2, Verse 4

4. How O Madusudhana, how can I strike Bhishma and Drona who are worthy of worship, with arrows in battle, O Arisudana?

Arjuna’s response was typical of the people who resort to defensive behavior. He was in denial of the reality that was confronting him and his brothers. He forgot that he was not responsible for the war, and the people about whom he was concerned namely Bhishma and Drona failed to prevent the war or mediate between the two sides. Not only that, they even decided to fight on behalf of the Kauravas against them, despite their closeness to Arjuna and his brothers. Therefore, if there were any people who should feel the guilt and remorse, certainly it was not Arjuna but those very people for whom Arjuna was expressing his feelings of reverence and remorse.

Arjuna was a genuinely good person of character and integrity. Like all the good people, he was also sensitive and compassionate. In life, it is always the sensitive people who suffer when they are drawn into a conflict. Even if they are on the right side and even if they are not responsible for that conflict situation, the very idea of becoming involved in that situation make them feel unpleasant since it might cause hurt or harm to others or to themselves. They suffer more because they assume responsibility and feel guilty for the situation for which they were not at all responsible. Arjuna was going through the same situation. He was feeling guilty for the situation, as if he was responsible for it although it was he who was forced to be part of it by the evil machinations of his cousins and the failure of those who were supposed to remain neutral and resolve the dispute.

In this verse, Arjuna asked a question, expressing a doubt with which he seemed to be in agreement. Indeed, it was not a question but a statement, expressed by him as if he was asking Krishna for  approval. At least, he managed to come out of his depressed state and ask a question, which was a good sign because he was now thinking and ready for a rational dialogue. By asking that question, Arjuna not only expressed his self-doubt but also created an opportunity for Krishna to counsel him and address his problem.

By asking a question and expressing his feelings he also opened his mind to divine guidance with true humility. When people are in sorrow or depressed, they withdraw into themselves and shut down all communication. They do not share with others their inner feelings or why they are depressed. This is not a good way to deal with your grief. It is better to share your deepest concerns and worries with people who matter to you most in your life. By expressing your inmost feelings, you lighten up and feel relieved. Most importantly, you may get help or a second opinion.

Many people continue to suffer in their lives because they egoistically refuse to seek answers from others who may help them because they are reluctant to reveal their personal feelings to others. It is true that you cannot reveal your mind to everyone, nor can you share your feelings and emotions with others unless you know them and trust them. Discretion, therefore, is important. At the same time, you must find a way to express your feelings and concerns so that you will find help.

God is you indweller (antaryami). He is the witness to all that you feel and experience. You cannot hide anything from him. Whether you tell him or not, he knows what has been going on in your life. Therefore, you should have no hesitation to convey your deepest thoughts and feelings to him and seek his guidance. If you do not feel comfortable with seeking God's help, it means that you do not trust him or believe in him, or you are not ready to let go of your separate identity or egoism. Divine guidance comes to those who are willing to admit their weaknesses and ready to learn from their mistakes or from people of wisdom and spiritual learning, who speak the word of God or have dissolved their egos and identities in their pure consciousness.

Those who do not find a distinction between God and them, or who have experienced oneness or self-absorption with their inner Selves, are worthy of veneration. They are truly qualified to teach or give guidance. You can approach them to learn, or know answers to your questions. It is true that you cannot easily find such people in life, but if you are persistent, you surely will. God is always willing to respond to sincere and reverential prayers. He is always willing to respond to a devotee who has approached him with faith and humility.

Note : These commentaries are not part of the Bhagavadgita Complete Translation.

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