Arjuna, you coward !

you coward !
stop moralizing your
your own sense of fear

stop crystalizing unknown,
imagined demons
into moral statements
listen to Krishna,
don’t waste his time
do not be afraid
of the chaos
of battle
there are so many of us
waiting for Krishna
to push us
over the

36 thoughts on “Arjuna, you coward !

  1. A father and a mother
    She goads you to see
    He helps you think
    To be the best you can be
    Wars can be fought
    Hearts can be won
    When blessed by them
    There is fear none

  2. The comment by Heather in the last post was a bit tempting to start off an argument, and I wonder if you wrote the lines
    “stop crystallizing unknown,
    imagined demons
    into moral statements” after reading it.
    May be Krishna is always in us, and we don’t even dare to look for him, and yet wait for him.

  3. Dear Sheetal
    My comment elsewhere can’t have been a trigger for this excellent poem.
    (That comment wasn’t meant to provoke argument. It was an expression of sadness. I did try to soften the sadness by writing in a slightly chipper way and putting a smile at the end. By trying to soften the message, I opened it up for misinterpretation. I should have just been sad.)
    love, Heath

  4. Arjuna was no coward , a truly brave hero who just was overwhelmed by compassion for the undeserving – the same self-effacing sympathy to the peril of life , honour , property , symbols of culture that the average man in India stood upto centuries after centuries in the last millenium .
    I cant help but be reminded that mr. mohandas gandhi ( not sure , mahatma ) was only a product of such an eventuality – the mentality of the times threw him up – and his approach to continued and persistant intransigence of coercive and threat-based politics of jinnah ( the secular giant ) reminds all straight thinking people of the perplexity and seeming cowardice of Arjuna – only , in mr. mohandas gandhi’s case , there was neither true and universal compassion nor integrity to admit that he warped and distorted the message of the gita.

  5. heather, you are right. This poem has nothing to do, nor is it in response to your comment on ‘farewell..”
    It is a refection upon myself, and interpreting myself in Arjuna’s place, unable to completely let go and fall into chaos. Knowing that there is nothing but chaos in any case. For all ilusion of control are only fodde tot the Ego.
    All of us need a Krishna in our lives. I certainly feel the need for one right now.

  6. There is not much difference between an individual soul and the Cosmic spirit( krishna in this case). The individual’s attachment to the body makes them lead an ordinary life. So, all our lives we keep on waiting for that moment of epiphany,waiting for someone to help us perceive that. Not realising thats its all there within us. Understanding the importance of jeev(individual), controlling the thought as it is thought that leads to action, letting go of the duality of existence , and realising the self would help us discover the Cosmic spirit within. But being the ordinary that we are , we require external conduits to help us reach our own self. So, we look for gurus, we fall in love , we seek gods and likewise.

  7. There is not much difference between an individual soul and the Cosmic spirit( krishna in this case). The individual’s attachment to the body makes them lead an ordinary life. So, all our lives we keep on waiting for that moment of epiphany,waiting for someone to help us perceive that. Not realising thats its all there within us. Understanding the importance of jeev(individual), controlling the thought as it is thought that leads to action, letting go of the duality of existence , and realising the self would help us discover the Cosmic spirit within. But being the ordinary that we are , we require external conduits to help us reach our own self. So, we look for gurus, we fall in love , we seek gods and likewise.

  8. Nice subject, beautiful words shekhar and great posts…
    Krishna is within us, the conflict ie mahabharata is within us. “we” are the problem and “We” are the solution, just the concept of how we identify ourselves, as the relative or the absolute makes a difference… not to forget the difficult part of controlling our thoughts, to think good and hence act out goodness… (goodness being reative that hopefully slowly moves us towards the absolute)

  9. Ok Shekhar, I’ll be your Krishna. (Did I ever tell you my middle name is Mohan?) Tell me what you wanna know. 😉

  10. ‘We all need a Krishna in our lives ‘ ? – surely , that must count as one of the most illogical statements on this blog .
    How many Krishnas do you think exist ? Which of the many of them would you prefer ? Can you create your own personal Krishna ? Now that would be a truly fantastic ego balm isnt it ? – to be able to choose from a set of Krishnas – like the six pack of doughnuts on the baker’s window ?
    reminds me of Satanic verses and one of its opening lines ‘ there is no god but god ‘. which of the many to choose ? which of the only One gods to choose ?
    metaphorically , I dont think any other Krishna comes anywhere near Krishna’s original and universal message to mankind.
    why speculate when there is this personality well defined ?

  11. Dear Shekhar,
    was really great to meet you at the exhibition yesterday. The poem suits me as much as it does to you and a lot of us I guess. Was just thinking about what you said in reply to Heather – all of us need a Krishna. But I think it really is a large circle made of Arjuna-Krishna chains-links. Arjuna needs Krishna but probably he himself is also some other Arjuna’s Krishna – knowing or unknowingly. So we are both seeker and director Or Teacher and disciple. And don’t we change into these roles all the time according to situations? May be you could be someone’s Krishna while you find your own. I just wrote an e-mail to you with some of my work but I think that I got your address wrong(I really should have written in down)- would it be asking for too much to mail it to me? I do hope to hear from you. Thanks a lot.

  12. Rudra, the Krishna and Arjuna is within us. The poem is metaphoric. The whole of the Mahabharata is an allegory for an internal struggle surely ? I am Krishna and I am Arjuna. I am the conflict and I am the battle ground ? Metaphorically speaking ? Shekhar

  13. Dear Shekhar , your poem is beautiful, it brought a smile , of course your poem was metaphorical ! But :
    I wanted to focus on this particular usage of all great intellectuals since the time of krishna -to define a very clear and categorical message ( the Gita as it is ) in impersonal terms and metaphors – especially as you say , ‘Mahabharata is an allegory ‘ – that smacks of the mind of Mr. Macaulay.
    Mahabharata is the bonafide history of the world as it was more than 5000 years ago – Krishna was a historical persona and Dwaraka , the sunken city of Krishna has since been discovered :
    When we try and re-define the paradigm or make mataphors of clear historical ( not allegorical )personalities and their clear messages , it strikes me as a trip into space powered by the ego-booster.
    It has been intellectual practice to ‘sanitise’ our ‘myths’ as defined by some dusty-egocentric europeans into ‘allegories’ ,thereby proving how ‘smart’ and ‘intellectual’ and hence ‘scientific’ Veda Vyasa ( thankfully still acknowledgeed as the compiler of the history ) was.
    If you were using ‘The Krishna’ as a metaphor , it needs to be defined , since there is no ambiguity about Krishna, the personality ( not a metaphor ) – no ambiguity of his purpose , actions or message.
    what amuses me is , we follow intellectuals or get smart enough to allegorise Mahabharata – we see ‘the Arjuna’ and ‘the Krishna’ inside us , but refuse to accept the message of Krishna – no ordinary mind could have conceived such a collossus .

  14. Dude..
    Yes…Mahabharata is an allegory of an internal struggle.
    i think, whether Mahabharata is a history or a fable , is not the point.
    according to the archaeological facts now we can say yes it was History!
    Now Vyasa was not a common historian who was documenting what ever and anything that was happening during that time.
    he was wise enough to weave the history in a story!!! And if one reads all the 12 khandas of orginal Mahbharat, one would clearly understand, it is the story of Internal Struggle of all the characters. (yes..historical characters).
    there is no other example in the history of man kind where the history of an era is told in a form of a story.(except Ramanyan) and this is the reason Mahabharat almost appears to be an allegory! and there is nothing wrong in it. because it was written with that intension. and hence it crosses the boundaries of historical documentation and appear to be fablic.
    there 2 points
    A. allegory or not
    b. arjun – krishna

  15. dude and rudra…
    for me it is an allegory!!!
    though it is a proven history. it is an allegory because the history of an era spanning over many decades comes as a story in front of me. except ramayana there is no other example where the history of such a large span is told in a story form. hence the basic intention of VYASA was to forward the message!
    he made the four parts of Vedas. but he did not write them in a story form. He wrote the history in a story form. and hence it will be remembered as a history which is like a fable, myth.
    as far as Krishna’s message is concerned then there are 2 parts of that in Mahabharat-
    1. his life
    2. gita
    his life is full of metaphors,symbolic and gita is a clear message SUTRAS !
    the only man on this earth who lived in Sutras was Patanjali!
    Krishna was a VOID! he has to be understood only with metaphors unless one starts implementing his message in life(experience) ie. at the level of an intellect one has to understand Krishna metaphorically!
    Arjuna- Krishna poem : Shekhar wrote a poem. its a poem. poems come with No mind and then mind is used to write them down. any poem is like a single line idea. one can not say how and why it came! it just comes! so i can only say it is beautiful!!!

  16. PS: i re wrote the comment. the first one, i think, was sent by mistake! pls read the second one (comment 15). ( no…i was not drunk. clicked by mistake…:) )

  17. While metaphors are fine – we can make a metaphor of everything we come across – it is cool but not so cool in this case , since making mataphors of mythologies has become about the only activity of new age intellectuals ( ie. us ) – apart from that , i doubt the accuracy of the metaphor in the case of Krishna- Arjuna.
    It is quite clear from our models of Krishna and Arjuna , that we can find the metaphorical Arjuna in us – this is fine , but my beef is about ‘ the Krishna’.
    ‘The Krishna’ as a matephor is fine if defined – since Krishna is not about pushing us over the edge – it shows an ill-informed , not ill-intentioned streak – which is exactly what i was focussing on.
    If our natural disposition and actions point to quietitude – that would be the line of action – the tipping would be internal – into the center.For a politician-warrior like Arjuna , the tipping had to be in his line of action.
    In both cases , Krishna’s message is about disinterested action knowing well the nature of time. I doubt if ‘the Krishna’ in us would be as competent.
    Question : Did ‘the Krishna’ inside George W. Bush push him over the edge into Iraq ? – remember i was only using a metaphor.

  18. And just FYI
    you pretty much missed the whole point of the bhagavad Gita didn’t ya? Krishna is not external to you. The chariot is the mind, the ten horses are the senses and everything with which you experience the externl world. The Atman or the life force within you is what you need to control them. And the voice of arjuna is the voice of self doubt. Close your eyes and trust your self. Do what you feel and know you have to. The voice of the self is never wrong. And wasn’t it you who told me that when you see you will know, for you will never have seen more clearly? Krishna is within you SK. You’re drowning him out.

  19. GJ, thats exacyly what I said. Krishna is within me, as is Arjun. Scroll up a little and see my answer to Rudra. Shekhar

  20. is not it like this that our mind/brain is so intelligent and our imagination is so wide that we may think everything is inside us. And then there is hindu spirituality that we are the world and I am the divine flame and everything is inside us. Becasue somewhere we have fractions of many our ancsetors so naturaly we can feel that Krishna and Arjuna and why these two but Bhishma and Kans, and duryodhana are also inside us.
    So many times we are bad towards a thing and at the same thing very good towards another thing.
    Is not this whole a part of mind game- our own imaginations about a thing. Some definitions appeal us and we start seeing things in that light.
    Others might have said these unity of Arjuna and Krishna within us but perhaps in recent times Osho Rajneesh explained this in his Geeta Darshan and almost every philosopher of present time is affected and influenced by his understaning and explaination of the Arjuna-Krishna dialogue.
    If we think Arjuna and Krishna are two and if we think they are not two but two sides of our own mind, do this matter a bit in our personal world.i.e inner world. Do we reach somewhere by either path?
    Till we are searching ways through any krishna and Arjuna, can we understand what we want?

  21. Dear sir Shekhar kapur
    Hundread salute to your initiative .This is very interesting that such a legend person is writing ,questioning and answering the peoples in such a lovable way.thanks a lot.I am young music composer when I heard of sir A R Rahman is writing music for golden age ,I felt very shocked and also I expect very big and perhabs best of you both. Best wishes..

  22. In India and in most non western societies, history has meaning only in the moral values that history can bring to us. So while I do not argue that a lot of the Mahabharat was based on historical facts, like the battle of Kurukshetra, the interpretation of it though, is a moral story. Therefore allegorical. History is interpreted as myth
    Even Gandhiji is known as Mahatma Gandhi. He is sanctified as a saint. Posters of Shivaji in Maharashtra have a halo around his head. In Maharashtra he has been mythologised.
    That was Buddha’s struggle, wasn’t it ? He did not want to be mythologised. Yet there is now so much fable around the story of the Buddha, of Siddhartha. How do you come to terms with the fact a man of 29 years had no knowledge of sickness, or of death ? It’s a representation of the ignorance of his ego rather than of his worldly knowledge,

  23. Dear Sir
    I like to tell that you making films on heros and history but not yet make on a fan who is watching regularly films and make films hit…
    If you r searching for the story i’m here to tell you and also suggest a new hero who is a fan …I want to know that a fan may can’t become hero on silver screen ,… he is taken birth to only see movise prise ans claps…
    I ‘m only the FAN who loves all top bollywood actress as well reginals and a subject to make a film here Actress are also loves me from years…
    see it all details at my web-page e.i. and I can do this LEAD Role will wll actress???

  24. Hi!
    Arjuna was not a coward.
    he was a sensitive being
    we all need Counsellors – not Con-sellers mind you !
    Krishna being His Counsellor.
    Please read my short story in
    ‘Kalyug’s Mini India’
    I have elaborated on the Yin yang relationship basically .
    You might like it – i mean you seem mature enough to understand it in the first place and then like it…..
    Krishan rules the ethers…he is very much here – very much !
    from Kolkata –
    the hub of all revolutions –
    always was – always will be.

  25. har droN arjuno ka nirmaN karta hain,
    ban ke saarthi krishna fira karta hain.
    dhara bechari vyatha se ghir jaati hain,
    rakt ganga jab vaksh par bah jaati hain.

  26. 300 Words of wisdom from Geeta.
    Arjun Uvach:
    na hum hotay na tum hotay na yeh silsila hota
    na dil hota na dil rota na dil say dil juda hota
    Krishna Uvach:
    mein bhi hun tu bhi hai aur yeh silsila bhi hai
    dil bhi hai dil rota bhi hai aur ek chhupi samajh bhi hai
    Arjun Uvach:
    Kya woh samajh hogi kya woh manjar hoga
    kya kiya jayega tab jab sab kuch meri samajh mein hoga
    Krishna Uvach:
    Tab bhi tu hoga tab bhi mein hounga
    Aur jo soch apni abhi kehta hai use apna naam deta hai use samjhna bhi muskil hoga.
    Arjun Uvach:
    Meri soch meri nahi hogi tab kya mein badal jaunga, Aur Kya tab mein apni Is soch se khafa haounga?
    Krishna Uvach:
    Apni soch se khafa na hona, aur meri soch pe fida na hona. Aye Arjun, soch ki sochna tujhse nahi aur sochna mujhse nahi.
    Arjun Uvach:
    Kya Matlab Krishne???
    Krishna Uvach:
    Humse nahi yeh Duniya, Humari rajaa se hai yeh.
    Dekh meri rajaa ki yeh yuddh hota hai.
    Dekha meri rajaa ki yeh silsila hota hai.
    Dekha meri rajaa ki man mein koi soch uthati hai.
    Aur dekh teri rajaa… nahi toh yeh soch kaise teri hoti hai?
    Di hai tune rajaa isko toh yeh tere tere mann mein aati hai aur bandha hai tune isko nahi toh yeh cchitak kar chali jati hai.
    jab badal jati hai raaja meri to teri rajaa ko akhar jati hai. Soch toh ati hai aur chali jati hai par jane kyon teri rajaa bifar jati hai?
    Khudi koh kar buland itna ki khuda khud bande se poochee ki bata bande teri rajaa kya hai.
    Ultimate Uvach by Arjun:
    Khudi toh hai buland meri ki batau mein tujhe rajaa apni.
    Yaad aaya hai ab woh ki jo teri rajaa hai wohi meri rajaa hai.

  27. Shekhar your peom has a message by which a person on the edge has a hope to go ahead. It not Arjuna to whom Krishna has commented it. It was for all of us . Its not Arjun that made himself stop but it was all krishna i guess in disguise which made such a situation so that he can send a gifted nobel message for us.

  28. The whole of the Gita is a communication between God and a common man. Its a question and answer session between Krishna and Arjun. Arjun has to be viewed as a vulnerable common man if we are to understand Gita. We will distance ourself from the message of Gita if we cant relate to Arjun. That is what shekhar is trying to do through this poem I think.

  29. Wonder why all these books are written by men and men alone lol, they have been dominating and conditioning life as per their whims lol….long enough!
    Rightly said, the conflicts are within us and we the solutions.

  30. This is a good poem.
    After watching a recent interview of you on TV last month, I cannot help but interpret it like an internal dialogue of Shekhar Kapur’s inner selves about whether he should stretch himself and go ahead make Paani, or continue living his comfortable Hollywood dream !
    “stop crystallizing unknown, imagined demons”, (Perhaps you do not need 25 million in funding, perhaps ten, raised in India will do!)
    Best wishes for making that movie…

  31. Arjuna was lucky enough to have Krishna.
    Lesser mortals like myself still continue to stay on the edge..

  32. Wow !
    so many people are so clear about Mahaharata and Geeta, good good !
    but then why don’t we walk the path ! if the message is clear then you would transcend being an agony struck arjuna and be a bliss radiating krishna !!
    let’s examine where we are

  33. Will you understand Arjuna
    If I don’t wear this much publicized name and form
    Will you still stand your ground
    even if I change this battleground

    O Arjuna
    will you fight a battle fiercer than this
    will you fight you biggest enemy mightier than this
    Will you stagger or would you dance in joy
    if i told you this fiercer battle
    is won by being peacefully still

    you can know Me only thru Me
    yet do you know yourself o great arjuna
    Truth is Sweeter than imagination
    while in reality though
    rivers of blood will flow
    the third eye opens
    and burns all ignorance

    I may be called Krishna, that i am not
    But i am God and you are my Son
    This is just a story about our past union
    know thyself to know me my son
    And know by knowing this
    Every battle not yet begun
    has already been won…

    In peace
    Harish Nair

  34. neither prejudiced by the past
    nor in fear of the future
    the moment
    only the moment….

    would it make you blissfully happy
    if you were to know
    you have an eternity full of those moments
    for you will be you again.. and again and again…
    when this eternal movie of life runs again

    yes this is the perpetual set
    and all of us are actors
    the story and each dialogue
    every moment of life
    lived on earth by every one
    is indestructibly etched
    inside us

    so you could think
    this story must have a beginning a middle and an end
    a Creator Director and Principal Actor
    yes there is an Answer O Arjun
    and unimaginably beautiful one
    a simple beautiful loving one
    To all the questions
    if ever there were one..

    In peace
    Harish Nair

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