Anandway: Blog

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Skill in action is yoga

Q: In Bhagavad Gita when Arjuna wishes to flee the battle and renounce the world Krishna urges him to fulfill his duty by staying put and fighting. How is this advice understood with the principle of non-violence, a concept also central to the Gita? Is it similar to the notion of a just war in Christian and Islamic theology?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
The whole essence of the Gita is to act without being attached to the action. It's all about yoga, not about war but your attitude. When you are faced with a situation like war, how do you manage yourself? The worst situation in life is when you have to face a war and when you have to fight not with an enemy, but with some of your own people. When you have to fight with your own brothers and sisters, how do you handle the situation? It's easy to fight a war with an enemy, someone you don’t like. But fighting with someone who is part of your own family is the worst thing.
If you can manage your mind in the worst scenario, then you can manage yourself in any situation.

Given the extreme example of how you can manage the mind, the consciousness, yourself, that’s the whole essence of the Gita, not the war.

Skill in action is yoga.

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