Zero to Hero

This is the meaning of a verse in the Bhagavad-Gita: “Wherever the Yogeshwara Krishna and the archer Arjuna come together, there will be success, prosperity and fame.”

One day, Lord Krishna put his hands on Arjuna’s shoulders, looked deep into his eyes and said,
“Arjuna, if I ask you a question, will you give me an honest answer?”
“Certainly,” replied Arjuna.
Who is the greatest archer in the world?”
Arjuna replied without hesitation, “That would be me, no doubt!”
The Lord answered a trifle displeased, “Arjuna, I didn’t realize you were so arrogant! Is it right to praise oneself so much?”
Arjuna smiled and replied with humility, “Lord, when you, the Almighty, hold my shoulders like this, how will I not be the best in the world?”

Arjuna’s reply pleased Lord Krishna, as it meant that someone with faith and surrender to God would always emerge victorious. Arjuna had a clear understanding that ‘Lord Krishna is leading me.’ In such a state of surrender, there will surely be victory.

Some children, maybe as a joke, ask, “How was my singing?” and themselves reply, “No one need praise my songs. I will praise them myself.” Maybe there is ego involved there to be successful in their efforts. Amma also sees some innocence as well.

Arjuna had that firm conviction that he was not some appliance being run by a battery, but was connected to the supreme source of all energy —Sri Krishna. When we yawn, there is a power acting even behind our mouth opening. If that power stops acting, we will remain like that, with our mouth gaping open.

Amma would like to reiterate that we shouldn’t proclaim “I am the best” full of ego. Arjuna’s answer came from the attitude of surrender. Arjuna had the attitude “I am a zero and Lord Krishna, my hero, is acting through me.” Such an attitude can convert even a zero into a hero.

During the Mahabharata War, when Karna aimed his arrow at Arjuna’s neck, Shalya warned him against it, advising him to aim for Arjuna’s chest instead. But Karna, full of ego and pride, said that once set, he would never change his aim. And thus, he shot his arrow at Arjuna’s neck. Just as the arrow was about to strike, the Lord placed His foot on the chariot and thus lowered it. So, when the arrow reached Arjuna, it went above his head and only knocked off his crown. Because Arjuna was humble and had surrendered everything, including his life, at the Lord’s holy feet, he was protected. The arrow, which should have taken off his head, only took off his crown. Actually, Karna was far stronger and more knowledgeable in warfare than Arjuna. Karna’s drawback was that he refused to bow down before anyone.

Similarly, we must surrender our lives to God with an attitude of humility. Then all of our problems and obstacles will be reduced to a minimum. Problems that may have “taken off our heads” will reduce to the point where they merely “knock off our crowns.” It will make us befitting of God’s grace.