Chapter 4: Religiousness Is beyond the Realms of Time
The artist cuts in, “You understand me wrongly. I don’t create a statue, I only help manifest it. A little while ago, passing by on the street, I saw by the wayside a statue hidden in this rock. I brought the rock home and with my chisel and hammer removed the unnecessary chips from it and the unmanifest became manifest. I did not create it, I just uncovered it.”
Krishna does not create Arjuna, he only uncovers him, only uncovers his self-nature. He makes him see what he is. Krishna’s chisel cuts away the unnecessary and ugly parts of his personality and restores him to his pristine being and beauty. What emerges at the close of the Gita is Arjuna’s own being, his individuality. But it seems to us that Krishna has created a new statue of Arjuna. The sculptor’s visitor said the same thing, that he had seen him create it with his own eyes. But this is not what a sculptor feels about his art. Many sculptors have confessed they had seen the statues inside the rocks first and only then uncovered them. Rocks speak out to sculptors that statues are hidden inside and call to be uncovered. Not all rocks are pregnant with statues; not all rocks are useful for sculpting. Sculptors know where a statue is hidden and they uncover it. This statue happens to be the being, the individuality of the rock that bears it.
The entire Gita is just a process of uncovering. It reveals the pristine possibilities of Arjuna.
Questioner: You said that Krishna happens to be Arjuna’s friend, not his master, and therefore he bears with him so patiently and clears his numerous doubts. But in the same Gita Krishna says, “Sanshayatma vinashyati - a doubting mind perishes.” He says so looking at the doubting mind of Arjuna himself. But the irony is that Arjuna does not perish, the Kauravas perish instead. Please explain.
When Krishna says “Sanshayatma vinashyati,” he is speaking a great truth. But most people make a mistake in translating the word sanshaya. The Sanskrit word sanshaya does not mean doubt, it means indecisiveness, a state of conflict and indecision.
Doubt is a state of decision, not of indecision. Doubt is decisive; trust is also decisive. While doubt is a negative decision, trust is a positive one. One person says, “God is. I trust in him.” This is a decision on his part. And this is a positive decision. Another person says, “There is no God. I doubt his existence.” This is also a decision, a negative one. A third person says, “Maybe God is, maybe God is not.” This is a state of sanshaya, indecisiveness. And indecisiveness is destructive, because it leaves one hanging in the balance.