Friday, March 22, 2013


Verse 2.34: People will always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonor is worse than death.

Dishonour is worse than death. Powerful words. For a person who lives by these words, it means that their good name is everything to them. Funny isn't it? Everything is so topsy-turvy nowadays. So many of our "celebrities" have a made a name for themselves due to doing something dishonourable. In fact, it doesn't matter whether one is famous or infamous anymore, all that matters is that they are known.

The bhakti texts speak of how name, fame, adoration, prestige and wealth can blind one to what is really important - our relationship with the Supreme. All of these attributes may appear to satisfy the mind, but do they really satisfy the heart? Although we hear time and again that they don't, why are so many people out there willing to sacrifice everything, even their good name, for a few fleeting moments of fame?

Here, Krsna is explaining to Arjuna what true honour is all about. It's about fulfilling one's duty.

It's important to note though that Krsna is speaking in stages in trying to convince Arjuna to do the right thing. First he spoke on the highest level- you are the soul and you need not lament for the material body. Then Krsna speaks from the perspective of the body. "Ok Arjuna, if you can't act on the level of the soul, then realize that along with this body comes a specific nature. Work in line with that nature." Now Krsna is speaking to Arjuna on the emotional level to convince him to do the right thing.

Just see the different perspectives that Krsna offers! Although the eternal bhakti perspective is the most important, Krsna does not discount other perspectives. This is the beauty of bhakti. There's something for everyone on all levels. So whether you are just curious about the bhakti path or are trying to make it the centre of your life, you'll always walk away with something invaluable.

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