The answer Krishna gave to Arjuna to kill as opposed to a more peaceful way of dealing with this family conflict was also surprising to me, at first. However, as the story continued I became more clear about Krishna’s guidance to Arjuna to push forward and destroy the enemy. When Arjuna questions how he can support such sin, Krishna said there is no such thing as the killer and the killed, that the body is merely flesh, and at the time of death he attains another body. These limits of the superficial body should not stop someone from doing what he must do.
The true master, says Krishna, realizes that reality lies in the eternal; such people are not affected by the temporary changes that come with the senses. Instead, as a warrior, he must follow his dharma, or duty, where in this case nothing is higher than the war against evil. If he retracts from this battle, he will incur sin, violating his dharma and his honor. He encourages Arjuna to not see the results of action, but rather focus on the work itself, without selfish attachments, alike in success and defeat.
This was profound for me to read. I started meditating on the question of what is my duty, why am I here. Am I fulfilling my duties or am I resisting? During the 3 weeks of my personal experiment I kept asking questions and meditated on them. The answers kept coming.
I realized this will be a long path to find wisdom and peace with my duties as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, as a member of community and as an earth citizen; however, I understood the key is to keep focusing on the work and not be consumed with the result and how hard or impossible it would be to get there. Krishna tells Arjuna that the definition of a wise man is one who is unconcerned with whether things are “good or bad,” but rather abandons attachments to the fruits of labor. That was beautiful and liberating to hear or read.