‘Bhagavad Gita is now more relevant than ever’: Oxford journal looks to Bhagavad Gita for 'Covid lessons', says ‘healthcare workers are today’s Arjunas'

    06-Jun-2020   
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“Krishna’s advice to Arjuna was simple. Being a warrior committed to protecting his people, Arjuna’s only dharma was to fight, and not worry who he was fighting or the outcome of the war,” reads the article titled "Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita (the ‘Lord’s Song’), from India during these difficult times".
 
“Now, in the midst of a pandemic, the Bhagavad Gita is more relevant than ever—the healthcare worker is Arjuna, hospitals are battlegrounds for the war against the virus and misinformation, the lack of a cure or an effective containment strategy, and a system that has failed us. Amidst this chaos, the healthcare worker is being guided by dharma and a deep sense of purpose to do what is right and not become paralysed by the outcome,” says an article in The European Heart Journal, a peer-reviewed journal of cardiology published by Oxford University. The article called the healthcare workers today’s Arjunas, comparing the Kurukshetra battlefield to hospitals.
 
“Krishna’s advice to Arjuna was simple. Being a warrior committed to protecting his people, Arjuna’s only dharma was to fight, and not worry who he was fighting or the outcome of the war. To be able to do what is needed without becoming attached to the result is the way of living a skilful life. To have a goal is not the problem—to become so entangled in the goal where the action is tainted lends itself to suffering,” reads the article titled "Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita (the ‘Lord’s Song’), from India during these difficult times".

 
“The famous archer Arjuna, the hero of this story, was caught in a moral dilemma. He was sure that he was on the side of dharma but could not imagine fighting his loved ones. ‘I quit’, he said. Fortunately for him, his charioteer was Krishna, an embodiment of dharma. In what would come to be known as the Bhagavad Gita (the ‘Lord’s Song’), Krishna taught Arjuna the ways of skilful living. In the 5000 years since the description of the war of Kurukshetra, the Bhagavad Gita has proven to be an accurate guide for living a fulfilling life—a life aligned with dharma,” says the article.
 
"COVID-19 has challenged clinicians’ professional commitment to their communities and to humanity, accompanied by a sacrifice of their own safety and of the safety and needs of their families. It has become a litmus test of our character, our focus, our strength, and our passion to care for the sickest, in the sincere hope that even amidst despair and desperation, we are somehow making a difference in every life," the article adds.
 
"The frivolities that we as a society had previously invested in no longer seem relevant or important. The collective thought that has floated higher—what is the meaning of life—has been felt much more acutely among healthcare workers," it adds.