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May 31, 2006

Philosophical Points: BG 2.1-10

Chapter Two – Contents of the Gītā Summarized

Arjuna’s surrender (2.1-10)

Main Theme:
When one comes to the realization that there is no shelter in the material world, including their own mind and intelligence, they take full shelter of a spiritual authority.

A. Necessity of guru to solve the problems of life (text 2.7)
1. After presenting his arguments and hearing Kṛṣṇa’s opinion, Arjuna realizes that he cannot find a conclusion to his dilemma; he needs superior guidance.
2. Therefore, Arjuna decides to take full shelter of a spiritual master (Śrī Kṛṣṇa)

B. Arjuna illustrates the result of selfish consciousness: frustration and
inability to reach sound conclusions.

C. Finer sentiments like compassion, although praiseworthy, are worthless
if applied without knowledge (text 2.1-3)
1. Due to lack of knowledge Arjuna directs his compassion towards
the temporary material body alone.
2. This misunderstanding causes him to disregard higher values of life, such as prescribed duties, which purify one’s consciousness.

D. The Gītā directly accepts Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead
by referring to Him as Śrī Bhagavān (text 2.2)
1. Using the example of the sun, Śrīla Prabhupāda explains the
Absolute Truth in three phases:
a) Brahman
b) Paramātmā
c) Bhagavān
2. Although all three are the same Absolute substance, Bhagavān is
the most complete realization

E. The need for guru
1. Arjuna’s reverential attitude toward Bhiṣma and Droṇa underscores
the uniquely respected position of teacher (text 2.4-5)
2. One can surrender to a spiritual master when they realize:
a) They cannot independently solve the perplexities of material existence (text 2.7)
b) Fully taking shelter of Kṛṣṇa is the only way to alleviate pain and despondency (text 2.8)
3. Arjuna sets a perfect example o surrender by his taking shelter
of Kṛṣṇa

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May 22, 2006

Philosophical Points: BG 1.28-46

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May 11, 2006

Philosophical Points: Bhagavad-gita 1.1-27

Philosophical Points – Introduction and Chapter One (1-27)

  • Bhagavad-gita also known as Gitopanisad, is the essence of Vedic knowledge and one of the most important Upanisads (p. 3).

  • Krsna cannot be known even to personalities greater than human beings, so how can a human being understand Him without becoming a devotee. Therefore one must at least theoretically accept Sri Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and try to understand the Bhagavad-gita in a submissive spirit (p. 6-7).

Chapter One – Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra
Introduction: Preparations for War (1.1-27)
Main Theme:

  • Using literary devices (i.e. foreshadowing, tone), Chapter One
    Repeatedly presents the following theme: Devotees who surrender to Krsna’s protection are assured victory, despite overwhelming material odds.

  • Bhagavad-gita introduces Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as the intimate servant of His devotee.


  • Examples of how this first section foreshadows the victory of the
    surrendered devotee.
    1. Text 1: As explained in the first verse of the Gita, the battle will take place at ‘dharma-ksetre’, a place of religion. Since the Pandavas are religious they will be victorious.

    2. Text 10: Grandsire Bhisma’s strength doesn’t measure up (aparyaptam) to the strength of Bhima who is surrendered to Krsna.

    3. Text 12: In response to Duryodhana, Bhisma blows a conch, the symbol of Vishnu.

    4. Text 14: Krsna is called Madhava to denote that He is the husband of the goddess of fortune. Also the conchshells of the Krsna and Arjuna are referred to as transcendental (divyau sankhau).

    5. Test 15: Krsna is referred to as Hrsikesa suggesting that He will personally direct the senses of Arjuna.

    6. Text 19: The devotee’s confidence in Krsna shatters the hearts of the enemy.

  • The political expertise of Duryodhana.

    1. Text 3: drupada-putrena, the enemy was born to kill Dronacarya, so be attentive.

    2. Text 8: The order in which he mentions the heroes of his army.

    3. Text 10: He encourages Dronacarya that his assistance to Bhisma is essential.

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