From the Lesser to the Greater Holy War:

Bhagavad-Gita’s Aryan Sense of Heroic-Spiritual Reality

Unmatched elsewhere & Contains Precious Hyperborean Material

(from "Metaphysics of War")




[...] even without having been killed one can have experienced death, can have won and can have achieved the culmination peculiar to 'supra-life'. From a higher point of view 'Paradise', 'the celestial realm', are, like Valhalla, the Greek 'Isle of Heroes', etc., only symbolic figurations, concocted for the masses, figurations which actually designate transcendent states of consciousness, beyond life and death. Ancient Aryan tradition has the word jivanmukti to indicate a realization of that sort obtained already in the mortal body.

Let us come now to a pure metaphysical exposition of the doctrine in question. We find it in a text originating from the ancient Indo-Aryan races, imprinted with a sense of the heroic-spiritual reality which it would be hard to match elsewhere. It is the Bhagavad-Gita, a part of the epic poem, the Mahabharata, which to an expert eye contains precious material relating not only to the spirituality of the Aryan races which migrated to Asia, but to that of the 'Hyperborean' nucleus of these which, according to the traditional views to which our conception of race refers, must be considered as the origin of them all.

The Bhagavad-Gita contains in the shape of a dialogue the doctrine given by the incarnate divinity, Krishna, to a warrior prince, Arjuna, who had invoked him, as, overcome by humanitarian and sentimentalist scruples, he found himself no longer able to resolve to fight the enemy. The judgement of the god is categorical: it defines the mercy which had withheld Arjuna from fighting as "the limp tie of the soul", and "impurity, unworthy of a noble man, not leading to heaven" (II, 2). Therefore, it is not on the basis of earthly and contingent necessities but of a divine judgement that the duty of combat is confirmed here. The promise is: "Killed you will attain heaven; victorious you will enjoy the earth; arise, therefore, resolved to fight" (II, 37). The inner guideline, necessary to transfigure the 'lesser war' into 'greater, holy war' in death and triumphant resurrection, and to make contact, through heroic experience, with the transcendental root of one's own being, is clearly stated by Krishna: "Devoting all acts to Me with your mind absorbed in the supreme spirit, free from desire and selfishness, fight without faltering" (III, 30). The terms are just as clear about the 'purity' of heroic action, which must be wanted for itself, beyond every contingent motivation, every passion and all gross utility. The words of the text are: "Making equal pleasure and pain, profit and loss,  victory and defeat, fight for the sake of fighting; in this way you will incur no sin" (II, 38).

But beyond even this a true metaphysical justification of war is arrived at. We will try to express this in the most accessible way. The text works on the fundamental distinction between what in man exists in the supreme sense and, as such, is incorruptible and immutable - spirit - and the corporeal and human element, which has only an illusory existence. Having stressed the metaphysical non-reality of what one can lose or make another lose in the vicissitudes of combat, as ephemeral life and mortal body (there is nothing painful and tragic - it is said - in the fact that what is destined fatally to fall, falls), that aspect of the divine which appears as an absolute and sweeping force is recalled. Before the greatness of this force (which flashes through Arjuna's mind in the moment of a supernatural vision), every created, that is, conditioned, existence appears as a 'negation'. It can therefore be said that such a force strikes as a terrible revelation wherever such 'negation' is actively denied; that is to say, in more concrete and intelligible terms, wherever a sudden outburst sweeps up every finite life, every limitation of the petty individual, either to destroy him, or to revive him. Moreover, the secret of the 'becoming', of the fundamental restlessness and perpetual change which characterises life here below, is deduced precisely from the situation of beings, finite in themselves, which also participate in something infinite. The beings which would be described as 'created' by Christian terminology, are described rather, according to ancient Aryan tradition, as 'conditioned', subject to becoming, change and disappearance, precisely because, in them, a power burns which transcends them, which wants something infinitely vaster than all that they can ever want. Once the text in various ways has given the sense of such a vision of life it goes on to specify what fighting and heroic experience must mean for the warrior. Values change: a higher life manifests itself through death; and destruction, for the one who overcomes it, is a liberation - it is precisely in its most frightening aspects that the heroic outburst appears as a sort of manifestation of the divine in its capacity of metaphysical force of destruction of the finite - in the jargon of some modern philosophers this would be called 'the negation of the negation'. The warrior who smashes "the limp tie of the soul", who faces the vicissitudes of heroism "with your mind absorbed in the supreme spirit", seizing upon a plan according to which both the 'I' and the 'thou', and therefore both fear for oneself and mercy for others, lose all meaning, can be said to assume actively the absolute divine force, to transfigure himself within it, and to free himself by breaking through the limitations relating to the mere human state of existence. "Life - like a bow; the mind - like the arrow; the target to pierce - the supreme spirit; to join mind to spirit as the shot arrow hits its target." - These are the evocative expressions contained in another text of the same tradition, the Markandeya Purana. Such, in short, is the metaphysical justification of war, the sacred interpretation of heroism, the transformation of the 'lesser war' into the 'greater holy war', according to the ancient Indo-Aryan tradition which gives us therefore, in the most complete and direct form, the intimate content present also in the other formulations pointed out.




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