Vishwa Yoga | Contradictions in Bhagvad Gita

Vishwa Yoga

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Contradictions in Bhagvad Gita

Truth is contradictory; if it is not contradictory then it is not truth! Bhagvad Gita is full of contradictions. You can understand it only if you see it in totality.

At one point, Krishna tells Arjuna that action is the most important thing and without action one will be nowhere. But after that He tells him that action is all right but knowledge is better! Then Krishna says, ‘‘You must become a yogi and drop everything around you.’’ Then Krishna tells him: ‘‘He is intelligent who sees ‘action’ in ‘inaction’ and ‘inaction’ in ‘action’.’’ What does this mean? It means even if you don't do something you have acted — simply by ‘not doing’.

If you do something then too you have not acted, for in your not acting here, something else could have happened — you could have done something else. Even though you have acted, there is ‘inaction’; because you did this, you couldn't do something else. So every ‘action’ has ‘inaction’ and every ‘inaction’ has got an ‘action’ connected to it.

And then Krishna takes Arjuna towards Dhyana Yoga — meditation. In the sixth chapter of the Bhagvad Gita, he tells Arjuna that since he is confused, there is no use talking. He asks him to meditate. Finally, Krishna says, ‘‘Arjuna, he is the greatest amongst the yogis who keeps Me in his heart whether he meditates or not. He is the real yogi, because I am with him in whatever he is doing.’’


The contradictions don’t end there. At one juncture, Krishna says, ‘‘Arjuna, there is nobody dear to me, nobody whom I love.’’ And then gives a whole list of qualifications for those He really loves!

In another instance, Krishna tells Arjuna to act without looking for the fruit of action. Later He asks Arjuna to act properly, according to natural law. Then He tells him the way he ought to fight if he wants to win the war. So, at this point He is bringing Arjuna's attention to the fruit of action, but then He also tells him not to worry about the fruit of action.

Krishna was like a dear friend to Arjuna. In Bhagavat, you will see that except for Vidura and Udhava, nobody even thought he was enlightened; they all thought that he was just very smart. Of course, there were the Pandavas and the gopis who knew who Krishna was and how total He was from all angles. But many of them, including Arjuna, did not see him that way.

But then Krishna shows him, in one minute, that He is infinite. He tells Arjuna, ‘‘You can't see without the eye of knowledge; so now I will give you a special eye of knowledge, which I have haven't given anybody in ages. I am giving it to you now because it is time.’’ With that, He gives him a vision, a flash. For that one moment the universe appears as a manifestation of Krishna to Arjuna. Arjuna’s mind is shattered that moment. He sees all of creation, everything — the mountains and the rivers, the past, the present and the future — dissolving in Krishna. He sees that Krishna is that space, that infinity, into which everything is coming in and dissolving. For an instant, the whole life, the whole universe, all the memory and all that was associated with it just plays out like a movie and it frightens Arjuna.

Then Arjuna pleads, ‘‘Oh! Please show me your simple, natural and friendly face. I like your simple smile and I want to see my friend. I don't want to see anything beyond. It is too much for me.’’ This is called Vishva Roopa Darshana — the vision of the universal.

Thereafter, Krishna tells Arjuna about the yagyas and all the principles and the laws under which the society and universe works. Then He talks about sanyasa and how to be really centered.

For instance, an event or an instance should be seen as just that — an event, an instance or a happening. But it sticks to the mind and you try to get rid of it. The event assumes importance and the mind is caught up in it — ‘‘Oh! He said that, they said this, they didn't say this, etc.’’


Once the event goes away, then you feel a sense of great relief. You suddenly discover peace inside you.


Your very nature is peace. In the centre of you, you are peace. The moment this disturbance gets thrown out, you can actually feel it — all the brain cells, and the entire brain becomes so calm and settled the moment this garbage goes out.

And deep inside you can really smile as a flame of peace. Arjuna asks Krishna, ‘‘What you say is very magical and joyful. But it's not easy. This mind is difficult to control. It's like controlling air — can anybody control air?’’

Then Krishna says, ‘‘I agree with you. It is difficult but not impossible. Abhyasena tu Kaunteya — with practice, dispassion and by getting to the centre again, you will succeed.’’ You will see that Krishna tried everything.

Finally it was the display of the universal vision that worked on Arjuna. People cannot change just by visions also. Krishna does not really bring about the realization totally from outside — it needs something more.

That is why after Krishna led Arjuna to the infinite vision, he speaks on what is dear to him, on devotion, and then he comes on all the other things you know —about creation and even about food.

But when Arjuna says, ‘‘I give up,’’ Krishna says, ‘‘I can't do anything; you think and do whatever is best for you. First ponder on whatever I have said and then act.’’ Arjuna says, ‘‘No, now I am clear in my mind. I'll do whatever you will say.’’ So, Krishna had to speak through 18 chapters to get him to that point and interestingly gave all these knowledge in the middle of battle field. Krishna could have done it at the very first chapter. But it is beautiful the way this knowledge has flown.

Everything may appear to be all contradictory, if seen from all angles. But that is in fact reality.


Source: Sri Sri


Comments (15) -

  • Sandhya

    12/31/2006 4:02:06 AM | Reply

    Excellent one !! Keep Posting such informative articles.

  • shubha

    1/1/2007 11:03:35 PM | Reply

    Good Vishwa. It's awesome especially the action, inaction one.
    Keep posting something from Geetha. Because that's a must read epic but needs lot of patience to go through the entire book and every page will not have something that's interesting. I tried reading. That's why I am telling.
    Bible says, A good friend is one who is wise and helps his friend become wise and grow.
    My grandfather's friend is doing a comparative study between the bible and Shiva Sharana's stories. I'll meet him when I go to Bangalore this time and convey that knowledge to you. I am sure it'll be interesting to know.

  • Navin

    2/11/2007 4:50:36 PM | Reply

    Very nice.

  • Sudheer Kalarikal

    3/13/2009 5:31:38 PM | Reply

    Hi Mohan,

    It seems you have not understood clearly what is mentioned by Krishna as action in inaction and inaction in action. But i really want to tell you that you are in right path of self discovery.  The best way to study Gita is through critcally analysing it.  This inaction in action is the tool which i use whenever i am working under pressure.  To get the point of it, next time when you are to work under pressure just visualize in mind that the work you do is a dedication to Krishna. And when you work like this you will fell inaction in action.    That's all for now..Keep reading (I Sugests Chinmayananda books on Gita)

  • Faryshta

    6/30/2009 9:47:23 PM | Reply

    So according to you since math has no contradictions at all then all math is wrong.

    You are best seller material.

  • Riddles

    7/1/2009 10:00:46 PM | Reply

    You have it backwards, if it is contradictory, it is not the truth.

    For example, a man says the sky is green with purple spots. This contradicts the evidence it is not. this means the man is not speaking the truth just because he is contradicting something

  • YogiVishwa

    7/9/2009 1:15:55 PM | Reply

    Faryshta, I can only say that you are not comparing an apple to an apple.  This article talks about contradictions in Bhagwad  Gita, if you study it you may understand a different meaning each time based on your state of mind and which may lead you to contradictions. In summary, truth can be only one but it can be explained in thousand ways.
    I am not a Mathematician but there are several things in mathematics which are either not determined for example infinity and operations with infinity.
    Thank you for visiting my site.

  • YogiVishwa

    7/9/2009 1:26:29 PM | Reply

    Riddles, I disagree with you. It is not necessary that what you see or understand through you five senses is only the truth because they are your limitations. For example, your ear can not hear sound below or higher than certain wave length but some animals or birds like dog or owl can hear them. So, does that mean those sounds do not exist because you cannot hear them?

    In the same way scientifically there is no color of sky, it is how light gets reflected in the sky and how our eyes see them, and if you wear a green or purple glass then surely you will see the so called blue sky in same color of your glass.
    In the same way depending on how we have grown in our understanding on certain things, we perceive, acknowledge or understand that within those limitations.

    Thanks for your comment

  • Riddles

    7/10/2009 6:45:10 AM | Reply

    Faryshta, I would appreciate it if you did not intentionally misread what I say. I said that just because a man contradicts something, doesn't mean he is saying the truth. I did not say that if nothing contradicts something then it is wrong, that would be the sort of message the article is giving off.

  • YogiVishwa

    7/10/2009 7:46:47 AM | Reply

    Riddles, you are right, just contradicting something does not make something true.  This article is in context of Bhagwad Gita, which has full of contradictions.  Any person reading this gets amazing knowledge but at the same time can get confused easily because at one time it talks Knowledge is best, next time devotion is best and then it says Yoga is the best and so on. So you can easily start asking this question that what is best of these best and hence the contradiction begins.

  • B.N Vasandi

    8/20/2009 12:15:17 PM | Reply

    Hi Mohan. It is a beautiful presentation. Only 3-4 days before, I have read a similar article entitle "Contraadictions in The Gita  Help One to Think" with similar wording appeared in Times of India under The Speaking Tree by Sri Sri Ravi
    Shankar.Both the articles are, in effect,zerox copies.Would feel grateful if you confirm per return message who is the original writer of the article. Regards. Yours BN Vasandi, Ahmdabad 2lst August. -2009

  • B.N Vasandi

    8/20/2009 12:23:15 PM | Reply

    Hi Mohan, Where my comments have gone? Plese confirm. Regars, Yours Sincerely, BN Vasandi, Ahmedabad 21st August, 2009

  • YogiVishwa

    8/20/2009 6:39:01 PM | Reply

    Hello B.N Vasandi, Your comments are visible now. Actually I review and approve every comment posted on my blog; it does not get immediately posted.

    Regarding the Article, its GuruDev's words as it is mentioned in Source, nothing is long as it conveys the message and give the knowledge.

  • Guestor

    10/6/2009 6:02:47 PM | Reply

    Technically, any 'the sky is...' statement is a lie, if only one static color is suggested.

  • Hiren

    6/18/2010 9:18:09 AM | Reply

    Please refer to Acharya Sanjay Dwivedi (Ahmed Pandit) videos and lectures
    He was mentionedby on Dec 4, 2006
    What is important about this person is he is a well educated person in Hindu Dharma/Vedas. He attained the status of "Acharya", The highest degree in the teaching of Hindu Vedas / dharma. There is no other degree above it. In the speech he mentioned that after that he could become one of the head of the

    4 peets (Like kanchi sankaracharya). At the age of 15 he as appointed as head priest of Birla group of temples and also president of All India Brahmin's Association.

    As far as the political influence of his family is concerned, his grand father is the current chief minister of Uttaranchal, N.D. Tiwari. His mother Shri Kamla Devi has served as education minister of Uttar Pradesh for over 9 years.

    In the event he spoke in great detail about his life and his journey towards Islam. The full video is available at (language Hindi). What turned him toward Islam, Because of which he lost so many things in this world. (He told in the meeting that if he goes for a marriage as a priest, his fees will be around 51/- lakhs, yes 51 lakhs., such was his level among Hindus.) Now he is living the life of an ordinary Muslim. But nonetheless he has taken up the mission of spreading Islam. Currently he is President, Al Hidayah, Hyderabad.