Gita 01.37 – Greed gives us a tunnel vision of reality

Published on Dec 05, 2014

Bg 1.37-38
yady apy ete na pasyanti
kula-ksaya-krtam dosam
mitra-drohe ca patakam
katham na jñeyam asmabhih
papad asman nivartitum
kula-ksaya-krtam dosam
prapasyadbhir janardana

O Janardana, although these men, their hearts overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one’s family or quarreling with friends, why should we, who can see the crime in destroying a family, engage in these acts of sin?

A ksatriya is not supposed to refuse to battle or gamble when he is so invited by some rival party. Under such an obligation, Arjuna could not refuse to fight, because he had been challenged by the party of Duryodhana. In this connection, Arjuna considered that the other party might be blind to the effects of such a challenge. Arjuna, however, could see the evil consequences and could not accept the challenge. Obligation is actually binding when the effect is good, but when the effect is otherwise, then no one can be bound. Considering all these pros and cons, Arjuna decided not to fight.

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