evamuktaarjunaha samkhye rathopastha upaavishat |
visrujya sasharam chaapam shokasamvignamaanasaha || 47 ||
Having said these words in the battlefield, Arjun sat in the center of his chariot, casting off his weapons, his mind disturbed with sorrow.
evam : thus
uktva : having said
arjunaha : Arjun
samkhya : on the battlefield
rath : chariot
upasthaha : centre
upaavishat : sat
visrujya : cast out
sasharam : with arrows
chaapam : and bow
shoka : sorrow
samvignam : disturbed
maanasaha : mind
Arjuna ended his rant in this verse, which is the final verse in Chapter 1. His body language reflects his state of mind as he threw away his weapons and sat down on his chariot, in the midst of the battlefield. Sanjay the narrator took over here, and possibly gave a glimmer of hope to Dhritraashtra, who was hoping that this action of Arjuna could end the war even before it began.
Let us reflect upon the first chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, in preparation for the second chapter. Arjuna, ready for war, under the influence of his ego and mind, became weak when Shri Krishna moved the chariot in between the Paandava and Kaurava armies.
Now, we may never face a war in our lifetime, but we will undoubtedly face conflicts in life where we lose our mental equipoise, and need guidance on what the right course of action is. Death of a loved one, hard economic conditions, issues with family members or friends, a bad boss, a stressful job – life is full of conflict-ridden situations.
This chapter is called “Arjuna Vishaada Yoga”, or the Yoga of Arjuna’s dejection. We will delve deeper into the meaning of the word Yoga later, but for now, let’s assume that it means technique or method that shows how one should conduct oneself in a life situation.
So why is Arjuna’s dejection called a technique or a method? Let’s take an example. Assume you own a car, and ever since you owned the car for about 10 years or so. You have never had an accident, and you never had the need to get a car insurance policy. But one fine day, you drive into your neighbour’s car, and end up owing him a gigantic sum of money. From that day onwards, you will never ever drive a car without insurance. So, what this means is that you had to pass through an extremely difficult situation in order to gain the knowledge that insurance is important.
Similarly, Arjuna had to pass through an extremely difficult life situation which jolted him so much that it made him realize that he was missing something essential. He did not know how to conduct himself in such a difficult situation. Fortunately for him, Shri Krishna was right there to provide him that instruction. But without passing through that tough life situation, he never would have realized the need for such an instruction. Therefore, just like any other chapter in the Gita, this chapter is also a Yoga, or a method, of how to conduct one’s life correctly.
om tatsatiti shreematbhagavatgitasupanishadsu brahmavidyaayaam yogashaastre shreekrishnaarjunsamvade arjunavishaadayogo naama prathamodhyaayaha || 1 ||