Weekly learnings 1: What does the Bhagavad Gita think about Conflicts?

A representation of Arjuna between two armies assessing the situation as in chapter 1. A photo from Pexels

I have been wanting to read the Bhagavad Gita for quite some time now, I believe I have been in that frame of mind now that I can look for nuggets of wisdom from the slokas and commentary helps in this process. I read chapter 1 this week as a part of this endeavor.

Most of the slokas were just character introductions as to who belongs to which side, scene-setting, and the main content come in the last 3–4 slokas.

For a mild introduction to the story for the people unaware of the story, I would suggest reading this wonderful article

The main dilemma here is that Arjuna the warrior prince is fighting with his cousins and extended family for the throne and he ponders on whether this is really worth all the effort and is ready to face them and die without fighting. He fears for the loss of his relatives who might die in the battle, others who might not die but get away from him because of his actions in the war.

As humans, we at many times are caught in between rock and hard place. This situation is quite similar to that. Coming from an emotional perspective the situation is just a lose-lose for all parties involved. It should also not be forgotten that there were escalations that had led to this situation.

The more general or Abstract question that we can draw from this situation is

  • How do we handle conflicts which are perceived to be zero gain for both parties?
  • How are we supposed to evaluate the cause of conflict and what metrics are to be placed?
  • What situation led to the general conflict and is it justified that we are in this higher escalation itself?

While I don’t have answers to these questions I believe that these questions themselves have generated a deep thinking process in me, and can be applied to numerous other situations pertaining to general life.

Thanks for reading through, If you like this article share it and comment on how you view this chapter of the Bhagavad Gita and what other viewpoints you can gather from it.

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