fuse you about the principle of Ahimsaif you don’t keep in mind the backgroundof the war of Mahabharata.This spiritual talk between theSupreme Lord, Krishna, and His devo-tee-friend, Arjuna, occurs not in a tem-ple, a lonely forest, or on a mountain top,but on a battlefield on the eve of a war.
Jai: This is an interesting story,Grandma. Can you tell me more?
Grandma:If you come to where I sitevery evening, Jai, I will tell you thewhole story, one chapter each day. Justmake sure your homework is done andyou have time to listen. If you agree,let’s start tomorrow.
Jai: Thank you, Grandma. I’ll bethere to hear more.
CHAPTER 1ARJUNA’S CONFUSION
Jai: I would like to know first howLord Krishna and Arjuna happenedto talk on the battlefield, Grandma.
Grandma:It came about in this way,Jai. The war of Mahabharata was aboutto begin after peace talks by LordKrishna and others failed to avoid thewar. When the soldiers were gathered onthe battlefield, Arjuna asked LordKrishna to drive his chariot between thetwo armies so that he could see thosewho were ready to fight. Seeing all hisrelatives, friends, and soldiers on the bat-tlefield and fearing their destruction, hebecame compassionate.
Jai: What does compassionate mean,Grandma?
Grandma:Compassion does not meanpity, Jai. That would be looking down onothers as poor, pitiful creatures. Arjunawas feeling their pain and their unluckysituation as his own. Arjuna was a greatwarrior, who had fought many wars andwas well prepared for the war, but sud-denly his compassion made him notwant to fight. He spoke of the evils of war and sat down on the seat of his char-iot, his mind full of sorrow. He saw nouse in fighting. He did not know what todo.
Jai: I don’t blame him. I wouldn’twant to fight either. Why do peoplefight, Grandma? Why are there wars?
Grandma:Jai, there are not only warsbetween nations, but quarrels betweentwo people, quarrels between brothersand sisters, between husband and wife,between friends and neighbors. Themain reason is that people are not able tolet go of their selfish motives and de-sires. Most wars are fought for posses-sion and power. But all problems couldbe solved peacefully if people could seeboth sides of the problem and work outan agreement. War should be the last re-sort. Our holy books say: One should notcommit violence towards anyone. Un- justified killing is punishable in all cir-cumstances. Lord Krishna urged Arjunato fight for his rights, but not to killneedlessly. It was his duty as a warrior tofight a declared war and establish peaceand law and order on earth.