The Creed of the Aryan Fighter

The Divine Teacher has taken upon himself the effort to address Arjuna’s confusion and depression with a number of different responses which address both the ordinary values found in daily life and society, as well as the higher teaching and spiritual values that he would like Arjuna to adopt.

The Gita addresses itself to all the major aspects of life and motives for action, rather than artificially confining itself to some high spiritual ideal that is not always practical for everyone to accept in their lives.

The teacher’s aim here is to inspire Arjuna to respond, not with tamas and darkness of depression and surrender of his positive life and characteristics, but with sattwa, rising to a higher standard and a higher light as the basis of his action. Arjuna has already indicated that he can no longer rely on the social order and the duties imposed on him, and his wish to renounce all action is clearly a tamasic rebound from the rajasic impulse that fueled his first wish to view the battlefield and inspect those whom he intended to defeat.

Sri Aurobindo describes the essence of Sri Krishna’s message: “Put away all egoism from you, disregard joy and sorrow, disregard gain and loss and all worldly results; look only at the cause you must serve and the work that you must achieve by divine command; ‘so thou shalt not incur sin.’ ”

“Know everywhere the one self, know all to be immortal souls and the body to be but dust. Do thy work with a calm, strong and equal spirit; fight and fall nobly or conquer mightily. For this is the work that God and thy nature have given to thee to accomplish.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 7, The Creed of the Aryan Fighter, pp. 60-61,