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Worksheet #1

The Spiritual Gift in

Sheer Anguish

Self-Inquiry & Self-Assessment:

You, the reader, be the referee for now…

(a) In your frank opinion which argument below wins this round, the warrior’s or Krishna’s? (Use a pencil/pen and paper to do the following.) Give the winner a full 100 points; give the loser 1 to 99 points based on how strong you think his case is.  No ties.


Warrior’s score:_______  Krishna’s score:_______


(b) On the 1 to 9 assessment scale below indicate your own current

level of interest in spiritual learning—somewhere between “not

at all ready” at the low extreme and “raring to go” at the high

extreme. Be truthful.




(Not Ready)                                                              (Raring to Go)



(The following are direct quotes from the classic Indian scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, describing the deeply insightful conversation between Lord Krishna and his student, Arjuna, just prior to the beginning of a great battle.)



As the first chapter of the Bhagavad Gita opens:


The warrior Prince Arjuna surveys the enemy forces, his eyes pausing on beloved relatives who are ready to fight against him. His hands begin to shake. He tries to speak to his friend Krishna (who is the Avatar, Divinity Incarnated)…


___1) “What’s happening to me, Krishna? My arms and legs feel heavy, my mouth is dry and my hair stands on end. Look at me tremble! My skin burns all over, I feel weak, my mind whirls!


___2) Unlike our early glory days, I don’t desire victory now, or a kingdom. Of what use is life?


___3) No good can come from slaying relatives. To kill one’s relations, even though they’re evil, would be shameful.


___4) How could I ever again be happy? I know they’re blind to their treachery, but does that justify me being blind too?


___5) When a family weakens, its traditions are destroyed

and it loses its sense of oneness. Without unity the women

get corrupted, and with their decline the world plunges

into chaos.


___6) Death would be better than this awful anguish. Let them attack and kill me, unresisting.”


Fully overcome by his agony, the once-brave hero prince slumps, drops his weapons, and in a barely audible voice says, “I shall not fight.”


Krishna’s normally soft eyes become steely. He starts  to speak…


___7)  “Arjuna, this egoistic self-indulgence at a time of crisis is shameful and unworthy of you!


___8)  Where is your dharma, your inner truth? Your pity-soaked mind is now so unbalanced it would not know the truth if it hit you over the head.


___9)  I know you are astonished at my apparent lack of commiseration, but you must not yield to weakness. Truth and right can never be obtained by the weak. Cast off this faint-heartedness. Stand up and Fight!”


The anguished Warrior labors to catch his breath…


___10) “But how, Krishna? How can I not be weak? I’m completely confused as to what is my duty. I can’t think of any remedy for this awful grief that has stolen my energy.


___11) Don’t just tell me to fight, help me! Tell me what

I should do!


___12) Be my teacher; I am your pupil. I take refuge in you

and surrender to You. Please, I beg You, beloved Lord,

show me the way.”    – Arjuna


Due to his utter anguish, the warrior, after years of mere friendship has finally submitted himself as an earnest student. Krishna thus transforms into his true role as Divine Teacher. He looks long into the crestfallen warrior’s eyes and begins to instruct...


(Now begins Krishna's Teachings as found in the Bhagavad-Gita as he teaches Arjuna (and in the process all of us) some of the most profound spiritual teachings of all time . . . )




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