Philosophy should expand our human sensitivity, not shrink it (Gita Daily)

Published on Feb 24, 2014

Based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 06, Text 32
By Chaitanya Charan Das

In the Bhagavad-gita (02.11), Krishna chides Arjuna for lamenting the imminent death of his relatives in the impending war.

Yet, when Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu was slaughtered in the war and Arjuna broke down, Krishna didn’t use the same chastising tone or speech. Instead, as reported in the Mahabharata, Krishna’s tone was sensitive and empathetic; his speech, comforting and encouraging.

Why the difference?

Because there is a time for education and there is a time for commiseration. And understanding the difference between the two and modifying one’s behavior accordingly is a matter of basic human sensitivity — sensitivity that should be expanded, not shrunk, by philosophy. Those who neglect such sensitivity end up alienating others who feel that philosophy simply makes one heartless.

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