Bhagavad-gita As It Is

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

A Treatise on Pure Human Psychology

By Upendranath Dasa

Chapter 1, Verse 3

 Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

Other Chapter Menus

Website Page Particulars  & Essentials

Author’s Notes

How I First Made Contact with Bhagavad-gita As It Is

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

REVIEWS

SETTING THE SCENE

 

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

A Treatise on Pure Human Psychology

 

Chapter 1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra 

Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized

Chapter 3: Karma-yoga

Chapter 4: Transcendental Knowledge

Chapter 5: Karma-yoga-Action in Krishna Consciousness

Chapter 6: Dhyana-yoga

Chapter 7: Knowledge of the Absolute

Chapter 8: Attaining the Supreme

Chapter 9: The Most Confidential Knowledge

Chapter 10: The Opulence of the Absolute

Chapter 11: The Universal Form

Chapter 12: Devotional Service

Chapter 13: Nature, the Enjoyer, and Consciousness

Chapter 14: The Three Modes of Material Nature

Chapter 15: The Yoga of the Supreme Person

Chapter 16: The Divine and Demoniac Natures

Chapter 17: The Divisions of Faith

Chapter 18: Conclusion-The Perfection of Renunciation

Purport by Srila Prabhupada
 Purport 1.3: Duryodhana, a great diplomat, wanted to point out the defects of Dronacarya, the great brahmana commander in chief. Dronacarya had some political quarrel with King Drupada, the father of Draupadi, who was Arjuna's wife. As a result of this quarrel, Drupada performed a great sacrifice, by which he received the benediction of having a son who would be able to kill Dronacarya. Dronacarya knew this perfectly well, and yet as a liberal brahmana he did not hesitate to impart all his military secrets when the son of Drupada, Dhrstadyumna, was entrusted to him for military education. Now, on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, Dhrstadyumna took the side of the Pandavas, and it was he who arranged for their military phalanx, after having learned the art from Dronacarya. Duryodhana pointed out this mistake of Dronacarya's so that he might be alert and uncompromising in the fighting. By this he wanted to point out also that he should not be similarly lenient in battle against the Pandavas, who were also Dronacarya's affectionate students. Arjuna, especially, was his most affectionate and brilliant student. Duryodhana also warned that such leniency in the fight would lead to defeat.
Verse 3

O my teacher, behold the great army of the sons of Pandu, so expertly arranged by your intelligent disciple the son of Drupada. ***   

Commentary

Verse 3 highlights the importance of respect and communication between a student and teacher. From a psychological standpoint, this verse emphasizes the significance of “positive relationships” and “effective communication” in educational settings.

Positive relationships in psychology refer to good relationships people build with others. Signs of positive relationships include respect, trust, companionship, and shared activities1. You can develop positive relationships by identifying your strengths and those of your partner, reframing bad memories, practicing gratitude and forgiveness, showing empathy and support, taking responsibility, having interest in your partner’s happiness, sharing good news, speaking positive words, and having open and honest communication.

Effective communication requires:

  • Keeping your own interests on hold.
  • Using person-centered skills, such as open-ended requests, repeating another’s statement, inquiring about emotions, and responding empathically.
  • Considering the timing and mood of your recipient.
  • Checking your own emotional level.

 

The verse highlights respect and reverence towards a teacher. This highlights the importance of a positive student-teacher relationship. According to the current science of psychology, a positive student-teacher relationship, leads to academic success and emotional well-being, and it helps students to develop social skills and lifelong learning habits. Additionally, a respectful student-teacher relationship, enhances student motivation, engagement, and trust.

The text acknowledges Duryodhana’s military arts teacher Dronacarya’s disciple’s, the Pandavas’s intelligence and skill in arranging their army. This demonstrates the significance of acknowledging and appreciating the skills and abilities of others, which is an essential aspect of establishing positive relationships. It fosters a positive environment that promotes learning and encourages students to share their knowledge and abilities with their peers.

The verse shows an “effective communication” pattern between the disciple and the teacher. The student’s willingness to share his knowledge and skills with the teacher stimulates an open, and “honest communication pattern”, that enhances the learning experience. Similarly, an effective communication pattern fosters a positive learning environment, promotes conjecture, and enhances team spirit.

Honest communication pattern is a way of talking about your problems in an open and honest way with your partner or others. It can help you resolve arguments and disagreements more easily and improve your relationship. We communicate to create, maintain, and change relationships and selves.

Some benefits of honest communication are:

  • How we communicate helps relationships get off on the right foot, navigate problems, and change over time.
  • In communication, we develop, create, maintain, and alter our relationships.
  • We communicate to work our way through family changes and challenges in verbal and non-verbal ways.
  • . Personal growth and learning

 

Effective communication in psychology is a connection between people that allows for the exchange of thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and leads to mutual understanding1. Here are some tips to foster positive communication:

  • Empathic listening.
  • Expressive speaking.
  • Discussion-negotiation conversation.
  • Problem-conflict resolution.
  • Consider the timing and mood of your recipient.

 

Moreover, this Verse, reinforces the importance of “positive student-teacher relationships”’, respect, and effective communication while emphasizing the significance of acknowledging the abilities and skills of others. From a psychological perspective, a positive learning environment fosters academic success, emotional well-being, and social skills that equip students with lifelong learning habits.

Positive student-teacher relationships are interactions between educators and students that are fair, supportive, respectful, and trusting. They can improve students’ academic and social development, achievement, engagement, and motivation. They also involve teachers listening to and taking an interest in students’ lives, setting high expectations, using humor, apologizing when needed, and maintaining clear boundaries.  It refers to the extent to which students experience both fair and supportive interactions with their teachers. Positive teacher-student relations are closely related to quality instruction and school climate, as teachers have the opportunity to support students both academically and socially.

Srila Prabhupada Purport, presents the story of Dronacarya, the great Brahmana commander-in-chief. Duryodhana, a great diplomat, points out the mistakes Dronacarya made. The story highlights a number of important principles in human psychology, including the importance of “alertness,uncompromising behavior”, and “decisiveness” during crisis.

Mental alertness is a state of high sensory awareness where we can focus and concentrate on a task at hand, as well as perceive and act fast in any situation. It relates to reasoning, capability, awareness, perception, and imagination, and therefore staying mentally alert is vital for productivity levels, especially in the workplace.  Mental alertness is a state of high sensory awareness and the ability to quickly perceive a situation and act fast. The brain is one of the most important organs in the human body and the cognitive functions it provides, allow us to stay alert throughout the day to complete work tasks and stay on top of our game.  Mental alertness, therefore, enhances cognitive functions as we age and is the key to preventing mental fatigue. It relates to reasoning, capability, awareness, perception, and imagination and holds the ability to notice changes in the body’s system. By exercising your mind and keeping yourself mentally alert, you are able not only to focus and concentrate on hard tasks but also be watchful and promptly react to dangerous situations.

Human behavior refers to the full range of physical and emotional behaviors that humans engage in1. It is the potential and expressed capacity of human individuals or groups to respond to internal and external stimuli throughout their life. Behavior is driven by genetic and environmental factors that affect an individua. The behavior is defined as a total response of an organism, in reply to living circumstances, depending on the environmental stimulation and its internal tension of successive movements which are oriented in a significant way.

Decisiveness is the trait or quality of making decisions quickly and confidently, as evidenced by firmness of character or purpose. It can also mean the practice of acting without hesitation or the ability to determine an outcome or resolve a question5. Decisiveness can be shown in handling situations with courage23 or in buying real estate.

Duryodhana was alert to the fact that Dronacarya’s behavior could compromise the Pandavas in the battle. Alertness is one of the major components of “situational awareness is the ability to be aware of what is happening around you, where you are in relation to other people and things, and what potential threats there may be. It is critical for good decision making in many environments.  Moreover, it plays an important role in decision making and everyday activities

In the case of Duryodhana and Dronacarya, alertness allowed Duryodhana to take advantage of Dronacarya’s mistake, and point out his lack of vigilance.

Duryodhana warned that leniency during the fight would lead to defeat. This highlights that uncompromising behavior is often necessary in crisis situations. Uncompromising behavior is about standing up for your values and beliefs, even in the face of opposition or adversity. In crisis situations, it allows people to take decisive action, and find solutions to problems. Duryodhana understood that leniency is a weakness that could lead to failure; instead, he stressed the need for a strong and decisive response.

Finally, Duryodhana’s approach also demonstrates the importance of mutual “respect” and “loyalty”.

By Respect, we mean that people are impelled to treat each other as individuals of goodwill and competence, even if they do not privately believe it. This norm explains why people, including strangers, trust each other much more than the underlying rational economic analysis would suggest.

 Loyalty is a general term that signifies a person’s devotion or sentiment of attachment to a particular object. In psychology, loyalty means being consistent in your treatment, behavior, and regard for another. It involves consistently treating the other person with kindness, fairness, and generosity of spirit. Loyalty is an extension of integrity, which refers to consistency between your ideas/principles and your actions. Within relationships, loyalty manifests as kindness, attention, patience, and expressions of love and respect.

Dronacarya had successfully trained both the Pandavas and the Kauravas, but Duryodhana reminded him that the Pandavas, especially Arjuna, were his most brilliant students. Loyalty is powerful in promoting healthy relationships, and mutual respect can strengthen bonds even in crisis situations. Duryodhana’s warning shows that while success in a battle may require a “single-minded loyalty” to a particular group, it is still important to respect and acknowledge the skills and abilities of other individuals.

Single-minded loyalty Some evolutionary biologists/psychologists see loyalty as a genetically transmitted adaptive mechanism, a felt attachment to others that has survival value. Given what is often seen as the self-sacrificial character of individual loyalty, such loyalty is taken to be directed primarily to group survival Commitment is the degree to which people are willing to stick with and support their partners, groups, or causes, even when they face difficulties or challenges. Commitment can be influenced by various factors, such as personal values, moral foundations, social norms, and emotional.

Srila Prabhupada’s purport brings up an interesting point about leadership, loyalty, and the dangers of leniency. Specifically, it highlights the relationship between Dronacarya, a great brahmana commander in chief, and his student Dhrstadyumna, who was entrusted to him for military education. Despite knowing that Dhrstadyumna was destined to kill him, Dronacarya taught him all of his military secrets anyway. This act of leniency came back to haunt Dronacarya when Dhrstadyumna took the side of the Pandavas in the Battle of Kuruksetra.

One principle that can be inferred from this purport is the importance of “loyalty in leadership.

Loyalty in leadership is an important aspect of the relationship between leaders and followers. It involves faithfulness, dedication, honesty, trust, and support. Loyalty can reduce frictions, enable delegation, and build support. However, loyalty can also have drawbacks, such as blind obedience, loss of identity, or resistance to change.

 As a leader, Dronacarya had a responsibility to his students, including Dhrstadyumna and Arjuna, who was described as his most affectionate and brilliant student. He had a duty to teach them everything he knew about military strategy and tactics, regardless of their individual allegiances. However, this duty was complicated by his personal relationships with the students, and the fact that his student Dhrstadyumna was ultimately working against him.

Another important principle is the danger of “leniency in leadership”. Duryodhana warned Dronacarya that showing leniency to the Pandavas would lead to defeat, and this warning ultimately proved to be true.

Leniency in leadership is loyalty is similar to trust, but it pertains more specifically to the relationship between leaders and followers. It, too, reduces the frictions associated with actions, enabling followers to do what they need to do without fear of repercussion and leaders to delegate authority without spending time and energy micromanaging decisions.  Loyalty is an important aspect of the relationship between leaders and followers. It involves faithfulness, dedication, honesty, trust, and support1. Loyalty can reduce frictions, enable delegation, and build support. However, loyalty can also have drawbacks, such as blind obedience, loss of identity, or resistance to change.

 As a leader, it is important to balance kindness and understanding with firmness and decisiveness. If a leader is too lenient, they risk being taken advantage of by their subordinates or being unable to make difficult decisions when necessary.

Overall, this purport highlights some important lessons about leadership and working with others. Leaders must balance their duty to teach and support their subordinates with the need to make difficult decisions, and maintain loyalty to their own goals and objectives. They must also be careful not to be taken advantage of, or show too much leniency, as this can lead to defeat and failure. By keeping these principles in mind, leaders can navigate complex situations with grace and confidence.

In conclusion, Srila Prabhupada Purport highlights the importance of alertness, uncompromising behavior, and mutual respect. It is a reminder that these principles are as important today as they were during the period of the Mahabharata. With these principles in mind, individuals can navigate situations of crisis with confidence and make better decisions.

Other Chapter Menus

Website Page Particulars  & Essentials

Author’s Notes

How I First Made Contact with Bhagavad-gita As It Is

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

REVIEWS

SETTING THE SCENE

 

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

A Treatise on Pure Human Psychology

 

Chapter 1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra 

Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized

Chapter 3: Karma-yoga

Chapter 4: Transcendental Knowledge

Chapter 5: Karma-yoga-Action in Krishna Consciousness

Chapter 6: Dhyana-yoga

Chapter 7: Knowledge of the Absolute

Chapter 8: Attaining the Supreme

Chapter 9: The Most Confidential Knowledge

Chapter 10: The Opulence of the Absolute

Chapter 11: The Universal Form

Chapter 12: Devotional Service

Chapter 13: Nature, the Enjoyer, and Consciousness

Chapter 14: The Three Modes of Material Nature

Chapter 15: The Yoga of the Supreme Person

Chapter 16: The Divine and Demoniac Natures

Chapter 17: The Divisions of Faith

Chapter 18: Conclusion-The Perfection of Renunciation

Purport by Srila Prabhupada
 Purport 1.3: Duryodhana, a great diplomat, wanted to point out the defects of Dronacarya, the great brahmana commander in chief. Dronacarya had some political quarrel with King Drupada, the father of Draupadi, who was Arjuna's wife. As a result of this quarrel, Drupada performed a great sacrifice, by which he received the benediction of having a son who would be able to kill Dronacarya. Dronacarya knew this perfectly well, and yet as a liberal brahmana he did not hesitate to impart all his military secrets when the son of Drupada, Dhrstadyumna, was entrusted to him for military education. Now, on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, Dhrstadyumna took the side of the Pandavas, and it was he who arranged for their military phalanx, after having learned the art from Dronacarya. Duryodhana pointed out this mistake of Dronacarya's so that he might be alert and uncompromising in the fighting. By this he wanted to point out also that he should not be similarly lenient in battle against the Pandavas, who were also Dronacarya's affectionate students. Arjuna, especially, was his most affectionate and brilliant student. Duryodhana also warned that such leniency in the fight would lead to defeat.

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