Theory and practice

Theory and practice

When the war of Kurukshetra was declared, perhaps Arjuna was raring to go to the war field and settle scores for all the wrongdoings of his cousins towards Draupadi and the Pandavas.

Yet when the actual day of the war dawned, he was gripped by a strange dilemma.

The faces on the opponent’s side sent him down the memory lane. He was overwhelmed by visions of unconditional love and affection showered on him by

Bhishma, the rewards of learning and knowledge bestowed upon him by his guru Drona, the cordiality and goodwill extended by the warrior kings among other things.

The Pandava prince laid down his bow and vehemently expressed his reluctance to fight the war.
Then, Lord Krishna took the initiative to help Arjuna by explaining the various facets of life and see the Truth of life and the very Creation. Arjuna was sensitised to the fact that the body and the soul were different entities with entirely opposite characteristics.

While the soul or atman is indestructible by nature, the corporal body merely housed the soul.
Arjuna was clearly told that he should not grieve over the loss of the physical bodies of his relatives because their souls would continue to exist in another body in another form.

Lord Krishna also told Arjuna about how a person could realise the ultimate truth by making a conscientious choice of following the path of Bhakthi, Jnana or Karma yoga and persuaded the Pandava warriorto fulfill his Karma to restore Dharma. The rest is history.

 Krishna’s advice to Arjuna is the famous Bhagvad Gita.  It has been analysed, commented upon and translated into just about every language in the world.

The relevance of its content has been vastly recognised by philosophers, seers, theologists, artists, scientists, professionals, amateurs and the common man alike.

The karma theory propounded in the good book has been variously understood by the humanity through the proverb as you sow, so you reap and Newton’s third law which says every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

In such a scenario, one would think that the world we live in would have been relieved of all ills and would be a sanitized utopia.

Sadly enough, that is not the case because human race has largely failed in the art of translating theory into practice.

The day we realise that lofty philosophy does not lie in the realms of the abstract and is meant to be practised, we can hope to live in a spiritually evolved and harmonious society.