State Of Awareness – In Gita Verse 1.36 Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and our friends. What should we gain, O Kṛṣṇa, husband of the goddess of fortune, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?

In the midst of war, the words of Arjuna resonate with confusion and distress. He perceives the act of slaying kin as a sin that would envelope his soul. His vision is clouded by the objective reality – the world seen through a binary of right and wrong, virtue and sin. This, indeed, is a world where intuition struggles to make itself heard, and the wisdom of the heart is lost in the cacophony of the mind’s reasoning.

Arjuna’s quandary is not just about the inevitable violence before him; it is a reflection of our own entanglement in the subjective world we each inhabit, where motivations are often misunderstood and misconstrued by a logical mind disconnected from the universe’s innate subjectivity.

For one who acts from their core, their authentic self – what we might term ‘subjectivity’ – the concepts of sin and virtue lose their traditional grip. Such a being understands that life presents an array of assignments from the cosmos, tasks that we must undertake as part of our existential journey.

Only by acting from awareness – deep, intrinsic awareness – can an individual transcend the duality of sin and virtue. This profound state of clarity is often referred to as enlightenment, a state where the mind’s constant narrative falls silent, and actions arise from a place of pure presence and being.

In the revered tradition of ancient Indian education found within the Gurukul, knowledge was not obtained solely from a predetermined curriculum, but it was also a journey of ascending consciousness. This elevation of consciousness requires a distinctive form of education, one that cannot be imparted through traditional teaching, but rather, is self-learned through the rich tapestry of life’s circumstances. As such, masters of the past would craft specific scenarios, each one a fertile ground where, dependent on one’s level of awareness, one could thrive and grow in consciousness. The readiness of an individual to shoulder societal responsibilities, too, was often judged based on this growth in consciousness – acknowledged and certified by enlightened masters.

The ‘real teaching,’ as you might call it, eludes direct instruction. It cannot be taught in a conventional sense but can be hinted at, suggested through subtle indicators. Like the ineffable Tao spoken of by the sage Lao Tzu, the truth cannot be ensnared by language. Once spoken, it is already distorted. Truth lies beyond the reach of logic, intellect, and ego – it is something that cannot be grasped, only experienced.

An enlightened master thus has the delicate task of creating indirect paths for the seeker – nudging one ever closer to the unarticulated mystery. The master’s words are not the destination; they are but signposts to the silence where truth might emerge. The phenomenon of enlightenment is unpredictable, defying causality; it occurs when it wills. Our part is simply to be open, present, and receptive for the moment it decides to visit us.

And in this light, we can understand Arjuna’s plight. He is not only battling kin on the fields of Kurukshetra but also wrestling with his own shadows, his unconscious. The argument he presents emanates from his logical mind and may be compelling, but only because it seems pious, rooted in love. Yet, it veils the deeper calling of his intuition and his awareness.

This brings us to why Arjuna chooses Krishna as his charioteer. It is not just a choice of strategy, but a profound act of surrender. Arjuna recognises within Krishna an illuminated being capable of guiding him back to his innate light – extinguishing the shadows of unconsciousness and allowing him to fulfill his cosmic duty without being ensnared by the dualities of sin and virtue.

Arjuna’s call to Krishna is a poignant admission of his predicament. He understands that mere awareness of the objective world, without the illumination of the self, is but a trap – a recursion within the maze of duality. This self-realisation is what is often mistaken for self-awareness.

It is a warrior’s journey, akin to the many battles we face where intuition guides us. When we shy away from this inner calling, the regret can be profound. Intuition is more than foresight; it is the courage to act in alignment with our deepest understanding, even amidst the greatest storms.

Consider Arjuna’s plight – not as a prince reluctant to wage war, but as a soul yearning for the light of intuitive action. By invoking the help of Krishna, he seeks to rekindle his awareness and thereby to engage in righteous action, as decreed by the universe.

Let us remember that the battlefield of Kurukshetra is as much within us as it is a chapter of history. It represents the timeless struggle to align our actions with the deepest truths of our being. Through the guidance of the Gita, may we all find the courage to follow our intuition and act from a place of enlightened awareness.


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