Pledge #1 : Bhagavad Gita for corporate professionals, what pledge we can take?


While working on my first book -The Gita Way, I found numerous insights in Bhagavad Gita that can transform us. I found an enlightening pattern that emerges gradually from chapter one to chapter eighteen. All these deductions make a meaningful sense to me as a professional working in a corporate world and I can see its applicability to everyone.

In COVID19 fight, when most of us working from home, I decided to spend 30 mins every day and share it one by one.

Today is Day#1 and Pledge#1

V 1.14 Mounted on a mighty chariot yoked to white horses, Madhava (Krishna) and the Pandava then blew their celestial conch shells

Announce the goal of war, as Krishna and Pandava did just before the war by blowing their divine conch shells. In the following verses V15 to V17, there are details of specific conch shells each Pandava used.

For Instance, Krishna blew Panchajanya, Yudhishthira did Anantvijaya, Bhima blew one which was named Paundra, the performer of formidable deeds. All these names symbolise the goal of the great war from their individual perspective. For Krishna, it was for the universal purpose of Dharma, for Yudhishthira for the victory in the war and for Bhima it was an announcement of his power. In a war like Mahabharata where the enemy is standing just before you, such an announcement makes a lot of sense. The sound of conchs created ripples in the heart of opponents who heard it from the opposite side. But more than the effect it made to others it was for the individual self. We have the biggest enemy inside us which appears in the form of fear or doubt. This sound of conch shell made the same impact inside generating confidence, motivation, passion and enthusiasm adequate enough to even die for the purpose.

So, the first promise we as a professional can make is just announcing our immediate, medium-term or long-term goal and then enter into the war to make it happen. Trust me most of us can make a list of expectations we have from others but few would be in a position to articulate what exactly he or she wants from himself or herself. Announce your goal and blew the shell conch in your mind and be ready to even die for the purpose you set for yourself.

The very first verse of Gita defines Kurukshetra (the battlefield) as Dharmakshetra (the field of duty). Combining these two shlokas, let’s announce our Promise to the self:

1-     Define your Kurukshetra, the battlefield.

2-     Define your professional goal

3-     Announce it in any form- blog it, post it, tweet it, tell it to your friend, or comment here (#mypledge)

The promise made to self manifests itself. Do it and see the magic.

Tomorrow I will post the second pledge we can take based on the Chapter2 of Bhagavad Gita.

#COVID19, #Gita #Transformation, #Goal #Duty, #mypledge #Krishna #Bhagavadgita

Bhagavad Gita Translation Reference: Sutton, Nicholas. Bhagavad Gita: The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Guide (p. 26). Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

Photo: ehud-neuhaus, Unsplash

A shift in Marketing Strategy

Whether we have observed it or not, in marketing the shift from product to the customer already progressed in the last two decades. Mc-Kinsey and co acknowledged it first 2009 by introducing CDJ (Consumer Decision Journey) model, later HBR published Rethinking Marketing in 2010 outlining this shift. If a brand is not on the right side of below shift, there is a big chance it will be left out by the consumer soon.


Push Brand                                   —> Serve Customer Segment

Product Manager Driven Strategy —> Customer Manager Driven Strategy

Word of Mouth                            —> Word of Mouse (or touchpad/ screen)

Product Profitability                      —> Customer Profitability

Brand Equity (Value of Brand)           —> Customer Equity (lifetime value of the customers)

Market Share                               —> Customer Equity Share

Sales Funnel                                —> CDJ

Market Budget (As Fixed Cost)         —> Marketing Investment (Customer equity as Asset)

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

(Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash)

Happy Holi

Have you ever thought of such a situation when two opposite, and contradictory things looked the same?
Consider these two colors; White and black. While the white is a beam of all the colors, the black one comes when all colors meet. Aren’t they intrinsically, inherently, the same?​
Let’s celebrate this Holi unifying all the colors of life.​

Happy Holi!

क्या आपने कभी ऐसी स्थिति के बारे में सोचा है जब दो विपरीत, व  विरोधाभासी चीजें एक सामान दिखे ?

इन दो रंगों के बारे में गौर करें ; सफेद और काला। जहाँ सफ़ेद सभी रंगों का एक पुंज है वहीं काला रंग सभी रंगो के मिलने से बन जाता हैं। क्या वे आंतरिक रूप से, स्वाभाविक रूप से एक ही नहीं हैं?​
आइए इस होली को जीवन के सभी रंगों को एकत्रित करते हुए मनाएं।​

होली की शुभकामनाएं !

(Photo by David Becker on Unsplash)

Pace on Human Timeline

greedWe took millions of years to transform from animals to humans, as we know today. Then over 60000 years to discover agriculture. And around 9000 years after agriculture, to make machines working for us.

On such a slow pace on evolution timeline, the machine was just 200 years ago. In the last 100 years, it looks we discovered everything. Could our grandfathers ever imagined how equipped we would be with resources and technology today? Aren’t we blessed?

But something still not changed, the basic human insecurities and greeds. Long before we learned to accumulate things, millions of years ago ants had the knowledge of when, how and how much to accumulate food. Perhaps we learned from them but have gone too far. Ants still accumulate only as much as they need.

(c) Santosh_Srivastava

#Philosophy, #Evolution

Krishna’s Dilemma



I am Krishna and I am going to confess the dilemma I had dealing with emotions of Arjuna.

Arjuna who I believe was an enlightened karma yogi, on the eve of the thirteenth day of the great war took an impulsive, self-defeating vow. Arjuna declared to kill Jayadratha before the sunset in the very next day. The pledge was daunting because Arjuna declared that if he fails to do so he will kill himself by jumping into a fire. That evening the whole Pandava camp was mourning the demise of Abhimanyu, and Arjuna’s pledge added more concerns in the camp. People still question me that how even I being on Pandava’s side could not change the destiny of Abhimanyu.

Earlier on the same day, Jayadratha was successful in brutally killing of Abhimanyu in a well-planned trap. Jayadratha, the brother in law of Kauravas, relying on chakravyuha formed by Dronacharya, along with Kaurava army decided to target all Pandavas except Arjuna because he knew that Arjuna can easily break the chakravyuha. To divert Arjuna from it, Kauravas plot a strategy by making their allies Susharma and Trigata army attacking Arjuna somewhere else to keep him busy. Due to sudden surprise, the other Pandava brothers along with Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna took the challenge and entered into the chakravyuha to break it. Unfortunately, none of them knew how to break all the stages of that trap. Only Abhimanyu knew the war-strategy for all the traps except the last one, the exit strategy. Jayadratha set up a plot to trap Pandava brothers in the initial traps itself. However, Abhimanyu managed to enter till last one, the vyuha, the trap, without knowing how to exit from there. That was what intended by Jayadratha who along with other Kaurava warriors killed Abhimanyu brutally.

When we returned and came to know all about that conspiracy, the emotions of losing his son occupied Arjuna with depression. That was natural, it’s obvious for any normal human being to get into such emotional crisis after losing someone so close. But how could I assume Arjuna to be any other ordinary person? He was the only one who had learned the knowledge of Gita directly from me. Where had he lost such divine knowledge? Had it been an instant mournful depression that does not last long, the situation could be justified. When I counselled him before the war I had clarified many times the importance of being equipoised even in an unfavourable situation. How could he forget his own conviction on his duty as a warrior fighting for a righteous purpose? He was free to choose karma either being a father or being a warrior committed to fighting for righteousness. Yet, his instant and impulsive decision was not aligned with the larger purpose of war, hence it concerned me. Being in human form, I sometimes envy humans sometimes feel pity for them. Humans have the freedom to karma yet they are limited by their own emotions.

I could only sympathise with Arjuna, but both Arjuna and I always knew that war demands loss from both the sides. Abhimanyu was not the first one who was killed from the Pandavas side, there were many who might have created a grief in their respective families in the previous twelve days. In none of the cases the purpose of war debilitated from the perspective of Pandavas. Arjuna’s vow taken in a knee-jerk reaction brought his personal purpose of revenge over the collective purpose of the great war.

Jayadratha on the other side won that day due to his war strategy that was against the niti, as at the time Abhimanyu was killed he was weaponless. Arjuna gifted him another opportunity to win another day; Jayadratha had to just manage to hide till the sunset. A failure for Arjun would drag him to his own self-defeating vow to kill himself. What could have been a better outcome than this in the favour of Kauravas? So, instead of accepting the challenge of Arjuna, Jayadratha chose to hide till sunset. And he was almost successful in that if I would not have intervened.

That was my dilemma, being in the human form with a promise to not take part in the war, could I take one side? But there was a universal purpose as well I was driving through the war. Would it be fair to intervene among freedom of human to think and act? What if someone debilitates from the right path and seeks divine help? I had to intervene and decided to.

I created an illusionary sunset using his power of yoga-maya. Looking at the sunset, Arjuna, bonded by his own vow decided to jump into the fire. During the same time, Jayadratha could not control his excitement and came forward in front of Arjuna to mock him. Arjuna was helpless as his pledge was limited to the sunset which was eventually happened. That was the time, I swung Prarabdha to help Arjuna and removed the temporary illusion of sunset. Arjuna took no time in killing Jayadratha and taking his revenge.

I can justify Arjuna’s emotional trauma that made him forget all the knowledge of Gita only on the grounds of human’s limitations. This happens to many when despite being committed to a long-term path people take the abrupt short-term, self-defeating turns? That’s where the role of Prarabdha which brings back them on righteous track comes. People call it luck, but there is a spiritual science behind it. It’s almost impossible to understand Prarabdha or luck by decoding the permutations and combinations of collective karma done by everyone in both the past and the present. So instead of pondering how Prarabdha works- just remember the promise I made in Gita. “यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत। अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदाऽऽत्मानं सृजाम्यहम्।।”. Whenever the virtue of righteousness is in danger I will come and intervene. That is why despite my promise to not to participate in the war, I helped Arjuna to take his revenge.

#mahabharat #spirituality #arjuna #Krishna
(C) Santosh Srivastava. The article derived based on a concept presented in the book ‘The Gita Way’

Truth About Lies


When I met Chandrakant during my tenure in the previous organisation, I found him an inflexible and lost person. Although his arrogance offended me initially, soon we had talking terms. With maturity, we started sharing our ideas and developed a sort of workplace friendship. Later I came to know about his story, which I think is unique enough to share.

During the beginning of his teenage, he got into a mystifying trap of a tantric who said it to him that he is a reincarnation of a great king happened to be in the ancient India. The tantric who claimed authority in past telling convincingly seeded the virtual, unknown truth about the past in his mind with some details about the king. One of the details was that the king emerged from a common man through various political struggle but made an impact. He added that a similar Kingdom is due in his existing life too. The movable tantric vanished but seeded the conception of the King deep inside the mind of Chandrakant Gupta.

Chandrakant was enrolled in science during his secondary education, but the past life analysis as told by that tantric induced him to study ancient history. Despite the fact that tantric mentioned ‘India’ in the architecture of his previous life, Chandrakant, minimising any possible risk studied ancient history of the whole world. After drawing multiple parallels, one day, he declared that he is the reincarnation of Chandragupta, the founder of Mauryan Empire in ancient India. Coincidently there was a reflection of Chandragupta Maurya in his name. Soon he started behaving like a king and the first thing the changed behaviour impacted was his studies. Once an exemplary student, he fell to an average one. That was the beginning of his so-called ‘struggle’ to his raja-yoga.

The intensity of struggle may vary but it never ends. After completing his graduation he tried for civil services but could not get through. As he was already convinced that a service is not his ambition, he waited indefinitely long for his Raja-yoga to take over. Finally succumbing to family pressures he opted for a degree in management and got a job in the corporate world. He did well and succeeded in a new empire which was not his own. Yet his above average accomplishments could not make him happy as he was still discovering his true north, the destined truth he believed for years.

With no other option coming to his way, he decided to re-analyze his past life and future, knowing that it is almost impossible to find the same tantric he met years back, he tried an astrologer. The astrologer was not so expert to discover the Mauryan-Empire in him, but he had something to say about his future. The summary of his at-length discourse was that he is still to reach his peak, as so far he hasn’t lived to his potential. Guptaji, knowing his virtual struggle could not disagree more and felt happy that wait is not reached its end. To make this certain he got some gems and rings to wear from that astrologer and returned happily with his uplifted ecstatic emotions. His king like feeling revived for some more time but started fading again in next few years as nothing like his known destiny was visible to him. Soon his unhappiness transformed into infuriation, frustration and discontentment making him weird in his attitude. He developed a different kind of arrogance difficult to explain.

In one of the usual days, knowing that I write blogs in philosophy he reached out to me and shared all his story from the past life analysis of tantric to empire due in future. I remember that day when Chandrakant was little down with elements of hopelessness, he wanted to discard his own theory of himself he had developed since his teenage. He introspected and declared that probably both the tantric and the astrologer did not know anything about his past life or future.

“What if tantric had told me in an intentional lie?” he enquired himself in one of the casual talks with me. He asked specifically ” what do you think of lying? I know you read a lot, you have an authority over ancient philosophy, and you also write blogs on Bhagavad Gita, I am sure you must have a clear view on the subject of lying, don’t you?”

“I like working on these subjects, but I am afraid whether I have an authority on it, your assessment of me looks exaggerated” I replied trying being humble although I liked the compliments beneath his words.

“I know it is a vast area, but in any case what’s your views?” he persisted.

I said, “a lie could be an effort to hide the truth, but it may not be the absence of truth at the same time” I made an intentional diplomatic statement. But I opened the subject which was about to sink me in an auto-generated pool of dialogues. I further added “Scott Peck in his book ‘the road less travelled’ talks about two types of lying, white lies and black lies. According to him, a black lie is the one which we made intentionally knowing that it is false, while a white lie is hiding some or significant part of the truth. Both are not the truth so must be avoided. But there are some version when a lie is acceptable”

“How can an untruthful falsehood be acceptable in any situation?” He probed

“Take an example of the parents who are struggling in their relationship, they are considering separation but undecided due to their child who is too young to understand the complications of a week companionship. They hide their struggle in the relationship from their kid, portraying just the opposite. Now hiding the truth is also a form of lie, it is acceptable in such a situation, isn’t it?”

“In a way yes, but isn’t it a kind of exceptional situation?”

“I will give another example, a mother praises her kid for qualities she never verified whether the child actually has those qualities. It increases the confidence in the kid and mostly they develop such qualities while growing up by sheer pseudo believe that they have those. Unknowingly though, the mother uses such lie for a purpose.”

“I am surprised, a lie could have an intrinsic purpose other than mischievous personal gain,” he said doubting my logic.

“Yes, a lie can have a virtuous purpose, there are multiple references in Mahabharata such as the case of Yudhishthira who lied to Dronacharya saying ‘Ashwatthama is killed’ that was endorsed by Krishna himself visioning the bigger purpose of war. There is another example when Krishna created a false sunset to bring Jayadratha in front of Arjuna helping Arjuna taking his revenge, there are numerous such examples”

“If a lie can be justified, then what is the validity of truth?”

“Truth is a philosophy which says it never changes. The reality is nothing in this word we see or hear is original, everything is a deformed or changed state of its own fundamental nature. Vedic philosophy terms even the earth and the sun a kind of deformed state of incessant fundamental nature. We are already living in an untruthful state. That’s why there is a purpose for everything to return back to its original state, that’s the truth”

“This was a bouncer, I duck.’ He was lost in my reasoning and I felt that perhaps I got into a negative reasoning zone. But in any case, I had to defend the theory of truth about lying I established just then during the conversation.

“Let me explain this with an example of a lump of coal, when we see it we identify it as ‘coal’ but in reality, it is a deformed state of various elements of nature that combines with energy. If we burn it, all fundamental elements go back to their original state releasing energy which transforms itself into heat and serves a purpose. There is a moment of truth even for such a non-living thing as coal. We, humans, are no different” I said this and in the back of my mind, I was surprised that it’s a philosophy which I never thought of before, evolved from such a casual conversation.

“Truth looks so complicated,” he said in a dejected manner. I felt agreement in it.

I tried to conclude, “Truth separates reality from perception. Mostly we live in perception, which may or may not be a truth.”

“So you suggest that what I felt is correct; both the tantric and the astrologer lied to me. Is there a possibility of any purpose in such lies other than their immediate gains from me?”

“Well, they may have presented a deformed truth which everyone will believe in almost every context. However accomplished you may be, statements like ‘you have more potential than what you achieved’ is always a truth and applicable to everyone. There are such statements as ‘you are pure inside’ or ‘Often people misunderstand you’ always perceived as true due to their psychological value. Wouldn’t they sound good to everyone?”

“Looks logical, I may have lived in a false world,” he said in a conclusive mode with a helpless tone.

I felt that perhaps my reasoning disappointed him disturbing his own beliefs of himself. I need to conclude the conversation with a positive note.

“You may not be completely wrong, you discovered Chandragupta in you but where is Kautilya, the Chanakya who made Chandragupta the emperor? Don’t you think that you need to discover ‘Kautilya’ first?”

He gave me a confused, baffled and puzzled look.

I continued, “search of Chandragupta is easy as there are few with such an ability and eligibility. But searching Kautilya is tough as everyone here is gyani. Right from messages in Facebook and Whatsapp to people around you, you will find gyan for free, everyone is a look alike of Kautilya, and as I am giving this lecture to you, I also fall in the same category”

He understood the new perspective, sighed and looked introspective as if he is promising something to himself. The conversation came to an end, he left and in next couple of month till I worked in that organisation and after we never had a similar discussion again.

I was almost not in touch with Chandrakant for years after I left that organisation. I never tried to know about him either. God knows whether he could have found his Kautilya, and perhaps discovered his true north. But I know that all of us have a Chandragupta somewhere inside with a hidden desire and ambition. The irony is we never try to discover the Kautilya who can transform any Chandragupta into an emperor. We never even know that such Kautilya could be inside us as well.

© Santosh Srivastava, 2017
Work of Fiction

#Story #Kautilya #Fiction #Philosophy #truth #lie

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos


Dear #Jeffrey_P_Bezos,

After reading your address to shareholders, 2016, I am induced to write this. Your letter moves me in two ways, one with day1 philosophy and two with your strategic solutions to remain in #day1. While the #day1 philosophy is inspiring enough to reflect upon incessantly, I have some ‘disagree to commit’ situations which I feel worth discussing and this post is all about that. The strategies to make anyone relevant in day1 are commendable and I personally feel it presents years of strategic research.

For the benefit of other readers, let me first restate the first few paragraphs from your address to shareholders as it is.

“Jeff, what does #Day2 look like?”

That’s a question I just got at our most recent all-hands meeting. I’ve been reminding people that it’s Day 1 for a couple of decades. I work in an Amazon building named Day 1, and when I moved buildings, I took the name with me. I spend time thinking about this topic.

“Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”

To be sure, this kind of decline would happen in extreme slow motion. An established company might harvest Day 2 for decades, but the final result would still come.

I’m interested in the question, how do you fend off Day 2? What are the techniques and tactics? How do you keep the vitality of Day 1, even inside a large organization?

Such a question can’t have a simple answer. There will be many elements, multiple paths, and many traps. I don’t know the whole answer, but I may know bits of it. Here’s a starter pack of essentials for Day 1 defense: customer obsession, a skeptical view of proxies, the eager adoption of external trends, and high-velocity decision making.

On Day 1 Philosophy:

I am a fan, follower and a kind of disciple of Vedic philosophy which aligns me well with the definition of day1. However, day2 is not the beginning of decline and pain, it’s rather beginning of a new transformed state which comes based on Day1 knowledge.

The difference between the two thoughts is subtle but relevant to make a point that it’s not about the keeping the vitality of day1 but it’s about innovating and transforming in day1 itself so that we welcome day 2 with a new face. In such case, day2 becomes a new beginning and is always welcomed. The partial disagreement here is to commit to a change which is a bigger motivation than fear of decline and pain. The history of changing industries in transportation, computing, imaging, retailing validate this point, the companies that switched to day2 with new transformed state are still in relevance. Amazon itself is a continual transformation story, isn’t it? Yet, I agree if the vitality in day1 fades, the nature of day2 will not be a pleasant one.

Based on the interpretation of Vedic Philosophy by reading Bhagavad Gita, I can make a point on the human that is relevant to the virtual person like an organization as well. Day1 is the current reality, with efficiency, knowledge, intellect, we maintain the vitality of mind, body and the spirit. Whatever efforts we do to maintain the vitality of the body the inevitable decline will definitely come, but the journey of the consciousness and cognizance inside us continues. Whether it goes to a higher state or a lower one depends on the cumulative Karma and knowledge by end of the Day1. That’s why Vedic philosophy advocates the transformation to next level by good Karma in current reality. Organizations are no different.

On Starter Pack of Essentials for Day 1 Defense:

I have something to say on two elements of your four point recipe.

It’s over half of a decade now when the business world has understood the importance of consumer decision journey (CDJ) over sales funnel model practices earlier. When you say ‘customers are beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied’, it itself says a lot about customer obsession as a philosophy. Having worked in product management of a traditional industry I know how difficult it is institutionalizing consumer advocacy, an essential element of CDJ. When I see Amazon, it surprises me in many ways, consumer advocacy is an essential part of Amazon eco-system that’s too for the product manufactured by others. Yet, that eco-system is Amazon’s product which neither any retailer nor any manufacturer can match. The others I admire are ‘Intel’ who did it through product marketing and ‘Dove’ who did it by institutionalizing ad campaign. I am sure much before Harvard discovered CDJ, Amazon was working on that.

On high-velocity decision making, you institutionalized empowerment that is revolutionary. It’s like developing employed entrepreneur. Isn’t it a great idea? Intuitive decision making even with 70% information needs subject knowledge, alignment with vision and commitment to a larger purpose. Aren’t they the essential elements of SQ driven entrepreneurship? ‘Disagree to commit’, your philosophy of taking initiative, will evolve automatically from the induced entrepreneurship. I feel it’s an outcome than a trait any leader would like to have in his team.

In the end, congratulations to you on cracking down #1 spot -the world’s richest man! My best wishes!

Warm Regards,

Santosh Srivastava

Photo by A spray painting by Thierry Ehrmann of Jeff Bezos on the Abode of Chaos in Saint-Romain-au-Mont-d’Or, France.

First published at Linkedin @…/open-letter-jeff-bezos-santosh-s…

#bezoz #amazon #Gita #philosophy #day1 #day2

Women in my life, the women of substance

Covering a span of three generations, the women in my life interchangeably played different roles; my mother, my wife and my daughter portray this case.

Wish I be a newborn again and feel the warmth of my mother. Wish it rains now and Shweta in that pink sari holds me again from the back seat of my bike, and I drive. Wish when I enter the house, I feel again the excitement of Prisha reaching me, crawling with a smile.

But time flies. The roles are changed, the mother is now a grandmother; wife is now a mother and daughter now enjoying our attention. The one thing that is not changed is the unconditional love they own and give.

Saluting the women in my life, the women of substance and wishing a Happy Women’s day.

I deserve a place on this earth. Where is my Kurukshetra? (Bhagavad Gita from a different lens- Part 1)


The entire Bhagavad Gita can be explained in just two shlokas, the first one of the first chapter and the last one of the last chapter. The beauty of Vedic communication is that both of these shlokas are not narrated by Krishna. The first one is a question asked by Dhritarashtra and the last one is a closing statement by Sanjaya, the advisor and charioteer of Dhritarashtra. To infer the hidden premise and conclusions that are inbuilt purposefully in these verses, we need a different lens. Let’s look at these, one by one.

V1.1 9 (first verse of the Bhagavadgita)

धर्मक्षेत्रे करुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः I मामका: पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय II


Dhritarashtra said: On the field of dharma at Kurukshetra, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do when they assembled there seeking battle, O Sanjaya? (Sutton, Nicholas. Bhagavad Gita: The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Guide)

In this verse, Dhritarashtra defines the battle field Kurukshetra as Field of Dharma (Dharmakshetra). In what context one can define a battlefield as a field of ultimate duty?

For all the warriors the battlefield of Kurukshetra was the ultimate field of their destined karma and duty. For Pandavas it was for their rights, for Kauravas it was for their kingdom and for Krishna it was for the ultimate purpose of righteousness. None of the positions was wrong, none was right either, yet everyone fought for their duty, the righteousness in a context.

We deserve a place on this earth. Do we know the Kurukshetra of our karma and ultimate duty?

In the same verse, Dhritarashtra differentiates Pandava and Kaurava by saying Kauravas as ‘mine (my sons)’ (मामका:). The war was between two successors of the kingdom, one defending his position, the other claiming the eligibility. Dhritarashtra’s biased favour to his own sons made the Kauravas to perceive the kingdom their private property. Dhritarashtra’s blindness symbolically asks this question to all of us; are we blind too when dealing our own prejudices and biases?


V 18.78 (last verse of Bhagavadgita)

यत्र योगेश्वर: कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धर: I तत्र श्रीविर्जयो भूतिर्ध्रुवा नीतीर्मतिमर्म II


Wherever there is Krishna, the master of yoga, and wherever there is Partha who bears the bow, there will also be good fortune, victory, success, and good judgement. That is my opinion. (Sutton, Nicholas. Bhagavad Gita: The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Guide)

We manage complexities of life through decisions at various points without knowing what will work. For a right judgement, a success, a victory or even a fortune we need to embed three elements within the self:

  1. Partha, the bearer of the bow (धनुर्धर:) represents eligibility and competence. Whatever place we choose on the earth, we would only deserve it with an eligibility and required competency to hold it. Sanjaya concludes that Arjun qualifies the requirements to win the righteous war (dhramayudh)
  2. Krishna is also known as Parthasarathi, the friend and guide of Partha, the Arjuna. If we have the required competencies, even the master of all yoga will help us being a guide.
  3. People who seek guidance from the master of yoga, actually seek the intricacies of yoga. From knowing the self and the purpose of life through yoga of knowledge to persistently work on it through yoga of karma and yoga of unconditional devotion summarise the purpose of any divine guidance. That’s why Krishna is adjectively referred here as yogeshwar (योगेश्वर:, the god of all yoga). To seek a guidance from the teacher or guide, we need to become a disciple first, the disciple of yoga in the real sense.
These two verses guide us explicitly that to deserve a winning place on this earth, the individual Kurukshetra, we need to develop an eligibility, be a disciple of knowledge, karma and devotion. On such pursuit, even the master of all yoga, the divine power will come and guide us. Isn’t it the summary of the whole philosophy of Bhagavad Gita?
Copyright: Santosh Srivastava, Author of the book: The Gita Way.