Re: Should we all follow Arjuna the warrior?
Best estimates place the compilation of the Bhagavad Gita somewhere between 500 BC and 500 AD, the same time frame during which the Bible was compiled.
from the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 2, translated by Juan Mascaro
Then arose the Spirit of Krishna and spoke to Arjuna, his friend, who with eyes filled with tears, thus had sunk into despair and grief.
Whence this lifeless dejection, Arjuna, in this hour, the hour of trial? Strong men know not despair, Arjuna, for this wins neither heaven nor earth.
Fall not into degrading weakness, for this becomes not a man who is a man. Throw off this ignoble discouragement, and arise like a fire that burns all before it.
I owe veneration to Bhishma and Drona. Shall I kill with my arrows my grandfather's brother, great Bhishma? Shall my arrows in battle slay Drona, my teacher?
Shall I kill my own masters who, though greedy of my kingdom, are yet my sacred teachers? I would rather eat in this life the food of a beggar than eat royal food tasting of their blood.
And we know not whether their victory or ours be better for us. The sons of my uncle and king, Dhrita-rashtra, are here before us: after their death, should we wish to live?
In the dark night of my soul I feel desolation. In my self-pity I see not the way of righteousness. I am thy disciple, come to thee in supplication: be a light unto me on the path to my duty.
For neither the kingdom of the earth, nor the kingdom of the gods in heaven, could give me peace from the fire of sorrow which thus burns my life.
When Arjuna the great warrior had thus unburdened his heart, 'I will not fight, Krishna,' he said, and then fell silent.
Krishna smiled and spoke to Arjuna -- there between the two armies the voice of God spoke these words:
Thy tears are for those beyond tears; and are thy words words of wisdom? The wise grieve not for those who live; and they grieve not for those who die -- for life and death shall pass away.
Because we all have been for a time: I, and thou, and those kings of men. And we all shall be for all time, we all for ever and ever.
As the Spirit of our mortal body wanders on in childhood, and youth and old age, the Spirit wanders on to a new body: of this the sage has no doubts.
From the world of the senses, Arjuna, comes heat and comes cold, and pleasure and pain. They come and they go: they are transient. Arise above them, strong soul.
The man whom these cannot move, whose soul is one, beyond pleasure and pain, is worthy of life in Eternity.
The unreal never is: the Real never is not. This truth indeed has been seen by those who can see the true.
Interwoven in his creation, the Spirit is beyond destruction. No one can bring to an end the Spirit which is everlasting.
For beyond time he dwells in these bodies, though these bodies have an end in their time, but he remains immeasurable, immortal. Therefore, great warrior, carry on thy fight.
If any man thinks he slays, and if another thinks he is slain, neither knows the ways of truth. The Eternal in man cannot kill: the Eternal in man cannot die.
He is never born, and he never dies. He is in eternity: he is for evermore. Never-born and eternal, beyond times gone or to come, he does not die when the body dies.
When a man knows him as never-born, everlasting, never-changing, beyond all destruction, how can that man kill a man, or cause another to kill?
As a man leaves an old garment and puts on one that is new, the Spirit leaves his mortal body and then puts on one that is new.
Weapons cannot hurt the Spirit and fire can never burn him. Untouched is he by drenching waters, untouched is he by parching winds.
Beyond the power of sword and fire, beyond the power of waters and winds, the Spirit is everlasting, omnipresent, never-changing, never-moving, ever One.
Invisible is he to mortal eyes, beyond thought and beyond change. Know that he is, and cease from sorrow.
But if he were born again and again, and again and again he were to die, even then, victorious man, cease thou from sorrow.
For all things born in truth must die, and out of death in truth comes life. Face to face with what must be, cease thou from sorrow.
Invisible before birth are all beings and after death invisible again. They are the seen between two unseens. Why in this truth find sorrow?
One sees him in a vision of wonder, and another gives us words of his wonder. There is one who hears of his wonder; but he hears and knows him not.
The Spirit that is in all beings is immortal in them all: for the death of what cannot die, cease thou to sorrow.
Think thou also of thy duty and do not waver. There is no greater good for a warrior than to fight in a righteous war.
There is a war that opens the doors of heaven, Arjuna! Happy are the warriors whose fate is to fight such war.
But to forgo this fight for righteousness is to forgo thy duty and honour: is to fall into transgression.
Men will tell of thy dishonour both now and in times to come. And to a man who is in honour, dishonour is more than death.
The great warriors will say that thou hast run from the battle through fear; and those who thought great things of thee will speak of thee in scorn.
And thine enemies will speak of thee in contemptuous words of ill-will and derision, pouring scorn upon thy courage. Can there be for a warrior a more shamefull fate?
In death thy glory in heaven, in victory thy glory on earth. Arise therefore, Arjuna, with thy soul ready to fight.