Discuss the spiritual symbolism of the relationship between Arjuna and Krishna.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that this question is something that can be started here and probably has to continue on in other forums.  Perhaps the reflection value of this particular question is where its significance is most noted.  The spiritual symbolism between Arjuna and Krishna is critical in establishing the relationship between mortals and immortals that is the basis of the Hindu religion.  Arjuna struggles with what he has to do.  He is in an existentialist moment of pain, doubt, and insecurity.  This agonizing moment causes him to put down his weapons and armor and simply refuse to fight.  It is here, at a moment of self- hate and self- destruction, that Krishna counsels Arjuna.  The relationship they share is one that outlines and represents how human beings are in the world and how to alleviate the pain of being in the world.  The spiritual symbolism of their relationship shows how human beings in the Hindu faith must need the role of the divine.  Krishna does not do anything other than explain the nature of the world to Arjuna.  He allows direct questioning, to the point where Arjuna feels all of his questions are answered and that he recognizes what is part of his dharma and what is maya. There is no intermediary in their relationship.  It is between mortal and immortal.  It is one in which Krishna only asks that Arjuna "surrender" his being to the larger entity of which he is a part.  Krishna is the guru figure for Arjuna, the devotee.  In this, the basic tenets of the relationship between Hindu deities and their devotees is revealed, a connection in which one understands that the pain and suffering of life is temporary when placed in the context of surrendering to the divine.

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Bhagavad Gita

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