Look Your Enemy in the Face



In my last Karate session, we did some “sparring”. Usually, all moves are highly scripted, regular, predefined and relatively slow in karate. In the sparring session, the moves were fast and totally unpredictable. Being still a novice, this is usually a recipe for disaster, taking plenty of hits and not getting enough opportunity to fight back. To get over this, my teacher taught me an easy trick. He told me NOT to look at the hands and feet of my opponent. Instead he told me to concentrate on the face of the opponent, particularly the eyes if you can. 

It was amazing ! The moment you concentrate on the opponent’s face, your own limbs start to mirror the opponents limbs and you automatically defend yourself effortlessly ! With a little bit of concentration, you can take this a step further and can attack as well as defend yourself with ease !

The main thing was, not to concentrate on the rapidly moving hands and feet of your opponent but the face instead !


You must look your enemy in the face if you expect to survive or win.  Pandavas do not win the Mahabharata war as easily as they expected because they do not look their enemies in the face.  Bhishma, Drona, Ashwasthama, Karna, Duryodhan, Dushashan etc are sworn enemies of Pandavas.  Yet, the Pandavas either love and respect them or loath them with such intensity, that they never look their enemies in the face. 


Elders they love and respect so much, Pandavas were constantly looking at their feet, not their face. 
Cousins they hated much, yet they kept “reacting” to their schemes rather than forestalling them or striking first to avoid painful retaliations.  At no point did the Pandavas look their enemies in the face and act to avert the calamities that follow them like their own shadow. 


Arjun had weapons taught to him by the very gods of heaven.  He had the weapons of Indra, Yama, Varun, Vayu, Agni and even Shiva himself.  Shiva’s Pashupatastra was incapable of being resisted and was guaranteed to achieve its purpose.  Yet, Arjun refused to use it against any of his enemies.  Even when Krushna commanded it, Arjun refused to attack his grandsire and guru.  Even after Ashwathama had killed his sons and relatives in the most henious way as they lay asleep, Arjun would not use his most powerful weapons to kill guru-putra Ashwathama.  Even when envoking Brahma-shirsa to counter his enemy's weapon, Arjun wished the weapon would not hurt Ashwathama and instead be for his good.


The reason Pandavas took so long to win, despite having all the advantage of weapons and Krushna's advise is because they never looked their enemy in the face.




Return to Index

Return to Mahabharta Index

Return to ShriNathji's Haveli 

© Bhagwat Shah    [email protected]