After reading the Bhagavad-gita, someone had called it the ”original” psychotherapy session. Today, professional psychotherapists define their profession as “the relief of distress in one person by another.” Arjuna, the great Pandava warrior, was facing his own brothers and their armies on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra. His dilemma was whether to kill his own family members (including his grandfather, Bhishma, and teacher, Dronacharya). Unable to come to any conclusion, he was in extreme distress. Arjuna was feeling compassion for his loved ones. Even though he knew that they were motivated by greed, he was willing to forgive them. Arjuna knew that if he won the kingdom at the cost of his relatives’ lives he simply wouldn’t be able to enjoy life as a king. War means death, especially if the belligerent parties were the two most powerful warrior clans on the face of the earth. This war would have meant a huge toll of human lives. As great warriors, who are also administrators, would die untimely, irreligion would flourish. Women who were unprotected and corrupted by unscrupulous people would beget fatherless children. As a trained kshatriya warrior, Arjuna also feared incurring sinful reaction for destroying the family and killing his superiors. Finally, Arjuna’s mind was so overwhelmed by various conflicting thoughts that he simple drifted into the vast expanse of indecision.

During an instance, this stress was so unbearable that even physical symptoms were visible on Arjuna’s body. His body began to tremble and his mouth dried up. His hair stood on end and his famous bow and his skin began to burn.

Seeing Arjuna’s distress, Krishna could have immediately delivered him the solution, but wisely Krishna allowed him to continue his line of thought till it reached The Original Psychotherapy Session its inevitable dead end. Arjuna had put forth water tight arguments against fighting. But he found that his own philosophy was not even helping him in times of crisis, what to speak of being useful for others. Therefore he turned to Krishna again. But this time he decided not to treat Krishna as a friend but more like a teacher. And that’s what helped him.

We all have questions a lot of them. But whom do we go to for answers? Srila Prabhupada writes, “The whole world is full of questions and answers. The birds, beasts and men are all busy in the matter of perpetual questions and answers. In the morning the birds in the nest become busy with questions and answers, and in the evening the same birds come back and again become busy with questions and answers. The human being, unless he is fast asleep at night, is busy with questions and answers. The businessmen in the market are busy with questions and answers, and so also the lawyers in the court and the students in the schools and colleges. The legislators in the parliament are also busy with questions and answers, and the politicians and the press representatives are all busy with questions and answers. Although they go on posing such questions and answers throughout their lives, they are not at all satisfied. Satisfaction of the soul can only be obtained by questions and answers on the subject of Krishna.” (Bhagavatam 1.2.5).

It is in the month of December (Marga Sirsa in the Vedic Calendar) that this monumental dialogue took place. It is also in this month that members of the ISKCON community distribute the Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is throughout the world. Kindly get yourself a copy if you do not have one, or gift it to someone you love , and get answers for the most fundamental questions of life. This will help you as well as those you love.