Saturday, January 12, 2013
Verse 1.24: Sañjaya said: O descendant of Bharata, having thus been addressed by Arjuna, Lord Kṛṣṇa drew up the fine chariot in the midst of the armies of both parties.
Today we get a chance to understand what true friendship is all about. Here, we see Krsna, not just God, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, taking instructions from his good friend Arjuna.
If you think about it, it's kind of wild. How often do we see someone who is influential and powerful taking a submissive role happily and voluntarily? Mind you, this is not a paid position! It's almost unheard of these days. Instead we have the experience of seeing anyone who has or is in any position of power hanging on to it for dear life and making it known to anyone who will listen to them.
It goes to show that one who is truly powerful, as Krsna is, has no qualms about letting go of that title. Krsna is so personal. He doesn't allow qualities such as power, fame and wealth to act as stumbling blocks or barriers in his relationships with others. Krsna is not about the external, he's all about the internal.
What a wonderful person Krsna is. He genuinely cares. That's the only motivation he has for, wait for it, serving Arjuna. That's what relationships and friendships should actually be centred on - service.
But what does service really mean? We see advertisements of different companies boasting that they provide the best service and hear of royalty having servants. Is that what service is all about? Being surrounded by false indicators of service where money is a prime driver, it's easy for us to be shocked when we hear how the bhakti texts describe that our natural inclination is to serve.
And that's exactly what we see here. Krsna is taking the position of a servant for Arjuna. He is his charioteer. Make no mistake, taking on the role of a charioteer is not very prestigious and in a battle can be extremely dangerous. So why is he doing it then? Because he is showing all of us that he is the friend of one who loves him. It's not a one-sided relationship where we're tiny and he's the man in charge.
This relationship we can all re-invest in with Krsna is one of love and closeness. As we continue through the Gita, we'll get a chance to see how much Krsna loves Arjuna. Personally, I've always found the relationship of Krsna and Arjuna to bring solace to my heart. It demonstrates without a doubt that Krsna cares and he's our friend.