The main character of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna, is a warrior. His dilemma is that in the midst of the battlefield, he identifies as a peaceful person and does not want to participate in the fight, especially as it is his own relatives involved in this battle. God appears to him through Krishna, and it was only at that point that he felt helpless, completely uncertain of what to do, seemingly trapped in chaos and suffering, that he was able to truly listen to the message that it is his duty to fight.
We too are caught in the midst of a battlefield. There is a so-called war on drugs waged by our government, but it is more accurately a war on the poor. Everyday we hear reports of state-sanctioned killings, executions without just trials. As yogis, there may be a part of us who does not wish to participate. We may not want to hear the news because they're negative, we may not want to be involved because we identify as non-violent persons, we may not want to look at the world outside, and we may wish to focus on our own meditation instead.
The other day, I heard an activist speak, and he said that contrary to what we may think, he is not brave, in fact, he is one big coward. He now speaks up against the extrajudicial killings because all the fear that he possesses as a coward is being depleted. "Nauubos na ang takot ko", he said. And so it is, that peace is not attained by inaction or apathy or indifference or denial. If we truly want peace, we must be willing to bear witness. More than that, we must be willing to participate in the fight. We must be active citizens speaking up when we see injustice.
My teacher Sharon Gannon said that we cannot help but be political, because it means we care about the way we live, the way we share this space with others. We now have a choice to make, to fulfill our duty as Arjuna did, to be warriors in this fight, to stand up against injustice, to be active citizens of the world we live in.