Chapter II, Verse 31
Sri Nerode’s Translation:
Looking at thine own duty; thou must not trouble; for there is nothing higher for a militant soul than a righteous war.
A warrior’s primary duty is to engage in righteous battles. These battles fulfill one’s purpose.
Arjuna masquerades throughout the Bhagavad Gita as a soul in many different states of spiritual development. Each of these different states is noted by the use of a different moniker. (See Arjuna’s twenty-two epithets.)
While the Gita and Arjuna’s example offer guidance to all of humanity, the deeper esoteric meaning of the text is directed specifically to the Kshatriya caste. Arjuna is a noble warrior and a top example of how a Kshatriya member should act. Each of Arjuna’s twenty-two epithets indicates different states of consciousness and spiritual perspectives that any Kshatriya person may experience.
The ancient sages who created the Bhagavad Gita (see introduction) were all from the Kshatriya caste. The Gita is essentially a Kshatriya text for the Kshatriya caste. However, noble leadership is one of the most significant roles that the Kshatriya caste plays. The Bhagavad Gita reflects the Kshatriya role of leadership by providing helpful information for the Vaisya and Sudra castes as well.
Brahmins, those rare individuals who consciousness is primarily generated from the dorsal center of conscious energy, have no need of the Bhagavad Gita nor any other religious or philosophical text.
The Kshatriya caste is endlessly engaged in both internal and external battles. The internal battles are the most significant. The inner battles include concentration, introspection, and self-discipline. The external battles include overcoming the greed for material wealth, the desire for sexual promiscuity and the addiction to escapism through intoxicants including alcohol.
The Kshatriya person who declines to engage in these battles fails to fulfill his purpose in life. It is better to “try and fail” than to not try at all. Krishna spends a great deal of time offering a myriad of reasons in the Bhagavad Gita to convince Arjuna to try.
Easter Eggs (hidden references to deeper meanings) in the original version of this this verse include:
Kshatriya Caste – Warrior/Artist
The warrior/artist/leader caste is consumed with battling the senses. With a little concentration the warrior/artist can create things of great beauty and joy. Or they can create material destruction and devastating misery. With concentration the Kshatriya’s perception may extend into the essence of any topic or thing spontaneously. With developed concentration the warrior/artist directs their concentration to gain any desired understanding. The Kshatriya person is the historical basis for the gods of mythology and the current inspiration for tales of superheroes. The warrior/artist will test and apply their understanding to the physical world. They reveal new insights and establish new trends of thought. They are leaders and define previously undiscovered laws of spirit and nature.
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