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Trapped by Mundane Ethics BG 1-21-22

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 3 months ago

 

 

About the difference between Bhisma and Drona, and how Bhisma was more attached to mundane ethics and legal technicalities than to moral principles

 

Listen

 

 

Bg 1.21-22

 

 arjuna uvaca

 senayor ubhayor madhye

 ratham sthapaya me 'cyuta

yavad etan nirikse 'ham

yoddhu-kaman avasthitan

 kair maya saha yoddhavyam

asmin rana-samudyame

 

TRANSLATION

Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see those present here, who desire to fight, and with whom I must contend in this great trial of arms.

 

 

summary:

Krsna is eager to serve us, so if we try to serve ourselves and Krsna also wants to serve us there is an imbalance. There are many paradoxes in Mahabharata. One of them is Bhisma fighting on the wrong side (pleasing an evil person means also doing evil – what can bad association do to a good person). Bhisma and Drona stayed in the association of Dhuryodhana, thus supporting his unlawful regime.

 

Bhisma was trapped in his own mundane ethics of being loyal to the city monarch. He was hung up in legal technicalities when Draupadi got stripped. It was more important for him to stick to his vow than to serve moral principles. Later, of course, he fully surrendered to Krsna. In Victor Hugos “Les Miserables” (also a movie) Javers is an even more extreme character: For him the law was an irrefutable fact even if it wasn’t true. At the end he drowns himself in the river Seine because of a higher awareness. Bhisma is an act-based ethicist. Krsna is a consequencialist.

 

A complete act includes the consequences. Bhisma wasn’t willing to marry the widows of Vicitravirya because of his vow without considering the consequences.