Questioner: Sadhguru, as per the karma theory – karma is accumulated impression of past activity, either of thought, emotion, or physical action. During operations, as a professional soldier, I am expected to obey the orders of my superior authority, as also resort to actions which may result in injury or death of another human being. Which karma account will have to enter this transaction – mine, my superior military authority, further senior commanders, and the upward list could go on? Would you please throw some light on it?
Sadhguru: Namaskaram. My utmost respects to all of you brave men, and above, all your families, who bear the brunt of your bravery, in many ways of daily living in suspense and anxiety about your well-being. So, I bow down to all of you for this.
See, when it comes to a fighting force, well, you did not start the fight. When you hit the enemy, you are not hitting for personal pleasure, you are fulfilling a larger purpose. This is important that we do not mix up philosophies of life, which are manufactured in our heads, with the realities of our existence. We are still not in that kind of a world, or we have failed to create that kind of a world – the failure is mine and people like me.
Because we have failed to create a world where the world will embrace each other, everybody will embrace each other, and live in love and joy – such a thing we have failed to create, men like you have to fight, it is still the reality. Anybody who is denying the reality for themselves, will pay a huge price. I think we as a culture, as a land, we have paid this price already centuries before. Because we thought we can deal with life with philosophies, a few hundred men who came from elsewhere, managed to conquer us, rule us, do all kinds of things to us. Even a business company which comes, ends up ruling us for over 250 years.
So, it’s time to understand, in free India, a soldier should know the fight is not yours. You’re fighting our fight, you’re fighting because of my failure, to be able to create a loving and joyful world. So, you have to fight, and when you fight and when you hit, you said it may cause injury or death. I know, this will be shocking for people that I say this – no, when you hit the enemy, it should be death, not injury – that’s not a good thing. Because you’re not a police force, you’re a fighting force on the border, you will fight only with those forces which will threaten the nation. So, you must be effective, you should not be fluffy with philosophy.
Well, we have a famous teaching in the country I am not an expert on this – I have not even read it, you know, in its real sense, but you know – someone who is supposed to be God like, a divine entity, is encouraging another person who happens to be a warrior, whose head is fluffed up with philosophies. So, all that the divine entity is trying to do in the form of Arjuna and Krishna is, that he is trying to bring some practical sense – you are a warrior, you are on the battlefield, and now your head is fluffed with philosophy, this’s not going to work. To put it very bluntly, this is all the teaching is, because your actions have to be relevant for the situations in which you exist.
If you go into the battlefield, and you don’t hit the enemy the way you should, and you come back with your karmic stuff, your karma in a nice, flowery way – this is very bad karma, because nation’s resources are being wasted, and the possibility of what it could bring to the country is another thing. So, it’s very, very important that we need to understand there is an existential situation, there is a psychological and emotional situation, and there is a social situation – these are all not the same things. So, a fighting force handles a certain existential reality that still human beings have not come to this point where they can hold hands and live joyfully with each other, we have still not come there. Hope we get there. It’s an ideal, but it is not something that we will see immediately. It is going to – I don’t know, how long we will take. But we should not give up the ideal, but till then we have to manage the practical as it should be.