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Dr K K Aggarwal

Bhagavad Gita 2.10: tam uvāca hṛṣīkeśaḥ, prahasann iva bhārata, senayor ubhayor madhye, viṣīdantam idaḿ vacaḥ

SYNONYMS: tam — unto him; uvāca — said; hṛṣīkeśaḥ — the master of the senses, Kṛṣṇa; prahasan — smiling; iva — like that; bhārata — O Dhṛtarāṣṭra, descendant of Bharata; senayoḥ — of the armies; ubhayoḥ — of both parties; madhye — between; viṣīdantam — unto the lamenting one; idam — the following; vacaḥ — words.

TRANSLATION: O descendant of Bharata, at that time Krishna, smiling, in the midst of both the armies, spoke the following words to the grief-stricken Arjuna.

The answer comes in Bhagavad Gita, the first text book of counseling. When grief ridden Arjuna approaches him he starts his counseling in happy and smiling mood.

Arjuna was grief-filled, sad and rebellious. Yet Krishna smiled. The word in the Gita is prahasann, which means to smile before laughing (beginning to laugh).

It was not a weak or full smile or a sarcastic grimace, but a very positive smile.

Half grief is over is a patient sees his doctor smiling or the relations see a smile on the face of a doctor coming out of operation theater.

In a situation like in Bhagavad Gita, it also gives confidence to the patient (Arjuna) that his doctor (Krishna) has understood his problem fully and has a solution to his problem.

Buddha is also shown smiling and Goddess Kushmanda is also shown with a smiling face.

1)   What is counseling?

A: The mental process involves generation of a thought or idea which is analysed and then acted upon. Thought, analysis and action therefore are the primary three process of human mind. Counseling involves action at all three levels.

2)   What are different types of counseling?

A: Counseling involves basically two principles – Cognitive counseling and behavioral counseling. Behavioral when the concentration is only on the actions and cognitive when the concentration is on the changes in either the thought process or in the interpretation of the thought process.

3)   What is cognitive behavior therapy?

A: As against a pure behavior therapy where a person is counseled to do pre-defined things on regular intervals, cognitive behavior therapy involves changing the actions by changing observations of the interpretation of a particular situation.

4)   What is the origin of counseling in India?

A: The origin of counseling goes back to Vedic era. Upanishads were basically text books on counseling based on the original knowledge of Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda.

5) Is there a relationship of Bhagavad Gita with Counseling?

A: Bhagavad Gita was the counseling done byKrishnato Arjuna on the conflict on Arjuna’s mind whether to fight or not. At that time there were no doctors and hence counseling was given by the elders in the family.

6) Are Bhagavad Gita principles followed today?

A: All the principles of cognitive behavior therapy today are basically principles o        originated from Bhagavad Gita.

7) What is the first principle?

A: The first principle is “counseling cannot be done in one or two sessions. It requires up to 18 sessions which is whatKrishnadid in Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita contains 702 dialogues in the form of Shlokas therefore a proper counseling involves in-depth conversation between the counselor and the patient.

8) What is the second principle of counseling?

A: The second principle of counseling is to listen to the patient in the first session in great detail and that is whatKrishnadid in Bhagavad Gita. In Chapter 1 only Arjuna speaks andKrishnadoes not utter a word. Patient listening is 50% healing done.

9) What is the third principle?

A: As per the third principle the second (first interactive) session between counselor and the patient should be the longest one. Chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita is the gist ofKrishna’s counseling.

10) What is the fourth principle?

A: The fourth principle is that after giving a detailed counseling in the second session one should expect the patient to get confused. This is what happens in start of Chapter 3 where Arjuna says toKrishna“I am confused. Sometimes you are talking about one path and other time you are talking about another path. Guide me again. The third counseling session therefore, is the most important where one has to counsel slowly and in great detail.

11) What is the fifth principle?

A: The next principle is to give reasoning to the counseling. One should not take patient for granted.Krishnadiscusses each and every aspect of life with Arjuna in great detail giving scientific reasoning at every stage.

12) What is the sixth principle?

A: Re-assure the patient again & again. During counselingKrishnaassures Arjuna on multiple occasions that you did your job and do not worry. I am with you.

13) What is the seventh principle?

A: The seventh principle involves creating some fear in the patient’s mind. This is what Krishnadoes while showing his virat swaroop. This especially works in addiction patient.  Some degree of fear with re-assurance from the counselor always work.

14) What is the eight principle?

A: The sum up counseling session should be as big as the second session. Chapter 18 of Bhagavad Gita is as big as Chapter 2 where the whole Bhagavad Gita is summarized again.

15 What are the ingredients of counseling?

A: Counseling basically involves in-depth knowledge of dharma, artha,kama, moksha. They are greatly described in dharmashastra, arthashastra, kamasutra and Upanishads through various Vedas.

16) What is stress?

A: Stress is the reaction of the body or the mind to the interpretation of any situation.

17) How to manage stress?

A: Either change the response of the body through yogic living, or change the interpretation by understanding the principles of counseling or change the reaction by willful actions.

18) Are different nitis of our scriptures based on counseling?

A: Yes. Vidur Niti was the counseling given by Vidur to Dhridarashtra when he was not sleeping and Chanakya Niti was based on how to rule a country. Yoga Vashistha was the counseling given by Vashistha to Rama to acquire higher levels of spiritual knowledge.

1) What is counseling?
A: The mental process involves generation of a thought or idea which is analysed and then acted upon. Thought, analysis and action therefore are the primary three process of human mind. Counseling involves action at all three levels.

2) What are different types of counseling?
A: Counseling involves basically two principles – Cognitive counseling and behavioral counseling. Behavioral when the concentration is only on the actions, and cognitive when the concentration is on the changes, in either the thought process or in the interpretation of the thought process.

3) What is cognitive behavior therapy?
A: As against a pure behavior therapy where a person is counseled to do pre-defined things on regular intervals, cognitive behavior therapy involves changing the actions by changing observations of the interpretation of a particular situation.

4) What is the origin of counseling in India?
A: The origin of counseling goes back to Vedic era. Upanishads were basically text books on counseling based on the original knowledge of Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda.

5) Is there a relationship of Bhagavad Gita with Counseling?
A: Bhagavad Gita was the counseling done by Krishna to Arjuna on the conflict on Arjuna’s mind whether to fight or not. At that time there were no doctors and hence counseling was given by the elders in the family.

6) Are Bhagavad Gita principles followed today?
A: All the principles of cognitive behavior therapy today are basically principles originated from Bhagavad Gita

7) What is the first principle?
A: The first principle is “counseling cannot be done in one or two sessions. It requires up to 18 sessions which is what Krishna did in Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita contains 702 dialogues in the form of Shlokas therefore a proper counseling involves in-depth conversation between the counselor and the patient.

8) What is the second principle of counseling?
A: The second principle of counseling is to listen to the patient in the first session in great detail and that is what Krishna did in Bhagavad Gita. In Chapter 1 only Arjuna speaks and Krishna does not utter a word. Patient listening is 50% healing done.

9) What is the third principle?
A: As per the third principle the second (first interactive) session between counselor and the patient should be the longest one. Chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita is the gist of Krishna’s counseling

10) What is the fourth principle?
A: The fourth principle is that after giving a detailed counseling in the second session one should expect the patient to get confused. This is what happens in start of Chapter 3 where Arjuna says to Krishna “I am confused. Sometimes you are talking about one path and other time you are talking about another path. Guide me again. The third counseling session therefore, is the most important where one has to counsel slowly and in great detail.

11) What is the fifth principle?
A: The next principle is to give reasoning to the counseling. One should not take patient for granted. Krishna discusses each and every aspect of life with Arjuna in great detail giving scientific reasoning at every stage.

12) What is the sixth principle?
A: Re-assure the patient again & again. During counseling Krishna assures Arjuna on multiple occasions that you did your job and do not worry. I am with you.

13) What is the seventh principle?
A: The seventh principle involves creating some fear in the patient’s mind. This is what Krishna does while showing his virat swaroop. This especially works in addiction patient. Some degree of fear with re-assurance from the counselor always works.

14) What are the eight principles?
A: The sum up counseling session should be as big as the second session. Chapter 18 of Bhagavad Gita is as big as Chapter 2 where the whole Bhagavad Gita is summarized again.

15 What are the ingredients of counseling?
A: Counseling basically involves in-depth knowledge of dharma, artha, kama, moksha. They are greatly described in Dharmashastra, Arthashastra, Kamasutra and Upanishads through various Vedas.

16) What is stress?
A: Stress is the reaction of the body or the mind to the interpretation of any situation.

17) How to manage stress?
A: Either change the response of the body through yogic living, or change the interpretation by understanding the principles of counseling or change the reaction by willful actions.

18) Are different nitis of our scriptures based on counseling?
A: Yes. Vidur Niti was the counseling given by Vidur to Dhritarashtra when he was not sleeping and Chanakya Niti was based on how to rule a country. Yoga Vashistha was the counseling given by Vashistha to Rama to acquire higher levels of spiritual knowledge.