2.31 -“In view of your own dharm, too, it is unworthy of you to fear, for there is nothing more propitious for a Kshatriya than a righteous war.”
It does not befit Arjun to be hesitant even if he just keeps his dharm in view, because there is no greater good for a Kshatriya than a war of piety. It has been repeatedly said that “the Self is immutable,” that “the Self is eternal,” and that “the Self is the only real dharm.” Now what is this dharm of the Self (swadharm)? The Self is the only dharm, although the capacity to engage in this dharm varies from individual to individual. This ability arising from one’s disposition has been named swadharm or the inherent dharm.
Ancient sages divided the travellers on the eternal path of the Self into four classes, Shudr, Vaishya, Kshatriy, and Brahmin, according to their innate abilities. In the primary stage of accomplishment every seeker is a Shudr, meaning one who is deficient in knowledge. He spends hours on worship and adoration of God, and yet fails to render even ten minutes of his time truly beneficial to his spiritual quest. He is unable to cut through the illusory facade of the material world. Sitting devoutly at the feet of a realized Sage, an accomplished teacher, at this stage helps in the cultivation of virtues in his nature. With this he is promoted to the level of a seeker of the Vaishya class. Gradually realizing that accomplishments of the Self are the only true accomplishments, he becomes adept in seizing and protecting his senses .
Passion and wrath are fatal to the senses, whereas discrimination and renunciation protect them, but they are by themselves incapable of annihilating seeds of the material world.Gradually, then, as the worshipper progresses further, his heart and mind grow strong enough to carve their way through the three properties of nature. This is the inborn quality of a Kshatriy.
At this point the worshipper acquires the ability to destroy the world of nature and its perversions. So this is the point of commencement of the war. By further refinement after this, the worshipper is slowly elevated to the category of a Brahmin.
Some of the virtues that now grow in the seeker are control of the mind and senses, incessant contemplation, simplicity, perception, and knowledge. By slowly perfecting these qualities, then, he ultimately attains to God, and at this stage he ceases to be even a Brahmin.At a sacrifice performed by Janak, King of Videh, answering questions by Ushast, Kahol, Aruni, Uddalak, and Gargi, Maharshi Yagnvalkya said that a Brahmin is one who has achieved direct realization of the Self. It is the Self, dwelling in this world and the higher world, and in all beings, that governs all from within. The Self is the inner ruler.
The sun, the moon, the earth, water, ether, fire, stars, space, the sky, and every moment of time-are under the authority of this Self. This embodied Self, knowing and controlling the mind and the heart from within, is immortal. He is the imperishable reality (Akshar) and anything that is not Self is destroyed. In this world, he who offers oblations, performs sacrifices, practises austerities, even though for many thousands of years but without an awareness of this reality, gains little: all his offerings and exercises are perishable. He who departs from this life without knowing the imperishable is like a wretched miser. But he who dies with knowledge of reality is a Brahmin.
Arjun is Kshatriy worshipper. According to Sri Krishn there is no more beneficial way for such a seeker than war.The question is: what is meant by the term Kshatriy ? Usually, in social usage, it is taken as one of the terms such as Brahmin, Vaishya, and Shudr, which are denominations of “castes” determined by birth. These four constitute what are known as the fourfold varn. But that such was not the original intent behind the provision is evident from what the Geeta has to say about the inherent disposition of the Kshatriy. Here Sri Krishn just demonstrates the duty of a Kshatriy. The problem, namely of what varn is and how a man of inferior varn can by his conduct gradually elevate himself to a higher class, is repeatedly taken up and resolved at the very end of the sacred composition.
Sri Krishn says that he has created the four varn. Did he in doing so divide men into four classes? He himself says that it was not so: he has only divided action into four categories according to the innate property. So we have to see what that action is???
2.32 -“Blessed indeed, O Parth, are the Kshatriy who, without seeking, come upon such a war which is like an open door to heaven.”
Perfect marksman Arjun has made a chariot of the temporal body itself. Only the most fortunate among Kshatriy get an opportunity to fight in a war of righteousness that provides fighters with an open gateway to heaven. The worshipper of the Kshatriy class is strong enough to subdue all the three properties of matter. The door to heaven is open to him because he has stored an abundance of divine riches in his heart. He is qualified for the enjoyment of celestial existence. This is the open way to heaven. Only the fortunate among the Kshatriy, the ones who have the capacity to wage war, are able to know the significance of the incessant struggle that goes on between matter and spirit. There are wars in the world. People assemble at a place and fight. But even victors in these wars fail to secure a lasting victory. These wars are, in fact, only acts of getting satisfaction by deliberately inflicting injury for injuries inflicted-mere acts of vengeance. The more a man suppresses others, the more he is eventually suppressed himself. What kind of victory is this in which there is only sense-withering grief! And at the end the body is also destroyed.The really beneficial war is the conflict between matter and spirit, for a single conquest in this war results in domination of matter by the Self. This is a conquest after which there is no possibility of defeat.
2.33 -“And if you do not engage in this righteous war, you will lose the dharm of your Self and glory, and be guilty of sin.”
If Arjun does not fight in this war of matter and spirit, which will afford him access to the Supreme Spirit-to th e immutable, eternal dharm, he will be deprived of his inherent capacity for action and struggle, and wallow in the mire of repeated birth and death, and of disgrace.
2.34 -“And all will for ever speak of your disgrace and such disgrace is worse than death itself for a man of honour.”
People will long speak ill of Arjun’s unmanliness. Even today sages like Vishwamitr, Parasher, Nimi, and Shringi are remembered chiefly for their transgressions of the path of righteousness. So worshippers reflect on their dharm. They think about what others will say of them. Such thought is helpful in the process of spiritual seeking. It provides the urge for persevering with the quest for the ultimate reality. It also provides support over a certain length of the spiritual way. Infamy is even worse than death for honourable men.
2.35 -“Even the great warriors who have a high regard for you will then scorn you for having turned your back upon the war out of fear.”
The mighty warriors, in whose esteem Arjun will then fall from honour to dishonour, will believe that he had retreated from the war due to cowardice. Who are these other great warriors? They, too, are seekers who make their way strenuously along the path of spiritual realization. The other formidable warriors who oppose them are, on the contrary, desire for sensual pleasure, anger, greed, and attachment, that drag the worshipper with equal tenacity towards ignorance. Arjun will be disgraced in the eyes of the very people who now hold him in high esteem as a worthy seeker.