Bhagwad GitaSpirituality

Discussion on Bhagwad Gita: Chapter 1; Verse 32 through 39

In the last post we saw the strength of Arjun’s character – his compassion for his own. Today we will see his weakness – ignorance.

न काङ्क्षे विजयं कृष्ण न च राज्यं सुखानि च।
किं नो राज्येन गोविन्द किं भोगैर्जीवितेन वा॥१-३२॥

हे कृष्ण, मुझे विजय, या राज्य और सुखों की इच्छा नहीं है। हे गोविंद, (अपने प्रिय जनों की हत्या कर) हमें राज्य से, या भोगों से, यहाँ तक की जीवन से भी क्या लाभ है।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा

सुख राज विजय की चाह नाहिं,
यही नैकु न नैकु मोहे चहिबौ,
अस राजहूँ भोग गोविन्द सुनौ,
अस जीवन को हम का करिबौ

Hey Krishna, I don’t have any desire for any victory, or kingdoms or prosperity. Hey Govind, what will we gain from the kingdom and the life we get after killing our own? What is even the use of this life?

येषामर्थे काङ्क्षितं नो राज्यं भोगाः सुखानि च।
त इमेऽवस्थिता युद्धे प्राणांस्त्यक्त्वा धनानि च॥१-३३॥

जिन के लिये ही हम राज्य, भोग तथा सुख और धन की कामना करें, वे ही इस युद्ध में अपने प्राणों की बलि चढने को त्यार यहाँ अवस्थित हैं।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा

सुख राज भोग सब यहि जग के,
जिनके हित मानव होत यथा.
सब ठाढे प्रान की आस छोड़,
केहि कारन जुद्धन होत प्रथा

Those, for whom we want the kingdom, good life, wealth and happiness are right here in the battle ready to give up their lives.

आचार्याः पितरः पुत्रास्तथैव च पितामहाः।
मातुलाः श्वशुराः पौत्राः श्यालाः संबन्धिनस्तथा॥१-३४॥

गुरुजन, पिता जन, पुत्र, तथा पितामहा, मातुल, ससुर, पौत्र, साले आदि सभी संबन्धि यहाँ प्रस्तुत हैं।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा

गुरुदेव पितर, दादा, मामा
निज सुत, पोते, चाचा, ताऊ.,
तस् ही बहुतेरे संबन्धी
सम्बंधित काहू सों काहू

Our teachers, fathers, children, grandfathers, Uncles, Father-in-laws, Grand-kids, Brother-in-laws – everyone is here!

एतान्न हन्तुमिच्छामि घ्नतोऽपि मधुसूदन।
अपि त्रैलोक्यराज्यस्य हेतोः किं नु महीकृते॥१-३५॥

हे मधुसूदन। इन्हें हम त्रैलोक्य के राज के लिये भी नहीं मारना चाहेंगें, फिर इस धरती के लिये तो बात ही क्या है, चाहे ये हमें मार भी दें।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा

तिहूँ लोकन राजहूँ मोहे मिलै,
हे मधुसूदन ! तबहूँ नाहीं
मैं नैकु न मारि सकूं इनकों ,
भू के हित तो कबहूँ नाहीं

Hey Madhusudan, we should not kill them even for the Kingdom of all the three worlds, what to say of this earth. Even if they would kill us.

निहत्य धार्तराष्ट्रान्नः का प्रीतिः स्याज्जनार्दन।
पापमेवाश्रयेदस्मान्हत्वैतानाततायिनः॥१-३६॥

धृतराष्ट्र के इन पुत्रों को मार कर हमें भला क्या प्रसन्नता प्राप्त होगी हे जनार्दन। इन आततायिनों को मार कर हमें पाप ही प्राप्त होगा।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा

धृतराष्ट्र सुतन कौ मारि हमें,
कोऊ हर्ष कदापि कहाँ हुइहै .
आतता यिन मारि के पाप हमें,
निश्चय ही जनार्दन तो हुइहै

What happiness will we get from killing the sons of Dhritrashtra, hey Janardhan? We will only “sin” if we kill these evil-doers.

तस्मान्नार्हा वयं हन्तुं धार्तराष्ट्रान्स्वबान्धवान्।
स्वजनं हि कथं हत्वा सुखिनः स्याम माधव॥१-३७॥

इसलिये धृतराष्ट्र के पुत्रो तथा अपने अन्य संबन्धियों को मारना हमारे लिये उचित नहीं है। हे माधव, अपने ही स्वजनों को मार कर हमें किस प्रकार सुख प्राप्त हो सकता है।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा

अथ माधव कोऊ औचित्य नाहीं,
बंधु और बांधव मारण कौ.
परिवार स्वजन को मार कबहूँ,
सुख होत कहाँ कोऊ प्रानिन कौ

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That is why it is not right to kill the sons of Dhritrashtra and our relatives. Hey Madhav, what happiness will we get from killing our own?

यद्यप्येते न पश्यन्ति लोभोपहतचेतसः।
कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं मित्रद्रोहे च पातकम्॥१-३८॥

यद्यपि ये लोग, लोभ के कारण जिनकी बुद्धि हरी जा चुकी है, अपने कुल के ही क्षय में और अपने मित्रों के साथ द्रोह करने में कोई दोष नहीं देख पा रहे।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा

जद्यपि कुरु लोभ सों भ्रष्ट भयौ,
कुल मित्र विनाश को उद्यत है.
नाहीं पाप को नेकु लखाय रह्यो,
रन जुद्ध करावन कौ रत है

Although these people due to their greed, and because their intellect has been hijacked, cannot see how their generations and clan will be negatively affected and also cannot see anything wrong in going against their own friends.

कथं न ज्ञेयमस्माभिः पापादस्मान्निवर्तितुम्।
कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं प्रपश्यद्भिर्जनार्दन॥१-३९॥

परन्तु हे जनार्दन, हम लोग तो कुल का क्षय करने में दोष देख सकते हैं, हमें इस पाप से निवृत्त क्यों नहीं होना चाहिये (अर्थात इस पाप करने से टलना चाहिये)।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा

सुन मोरे जनार्दन मोरी सुनौ,
कुल नाश को दोष हटावन कौ.
क्यों नाहीं विचार कियौ चहिबौ,
कुल नाश को पाप बचावन कौ

But, Hey Janardhan, we at least we can see the danger to our coming generations then why shouldn’t we be free of this sin (that is about to happen)?

Discussion

This portion of Gita, specially as it leads into the second chapter, is perhaps the most misunderstood of the entire text. Due to reverence for the text, Hindus generally assign greatness in every respect to all the characters who were alongside the main protagonist. In this case, all the Pandavas. If Arjun was indeed wise, then there was no need for Gita. The issue was that he was ignorant. And so Bhagwad Gita was a necessary message for his time.

Not only was he ignorant, but even others. Let us look at him in a little more practical way and not out of our reverence. He was a prince and had been given the best education that money and pedigree could get anyone in that time. Vedas were the main source of knowledge in that time. So it is reasonable to expect that he would have gone through some of it as a curriculum although he may not be a scholar. His discussion does show that he had some inkling of the concepts that occur in Vedas – Varna, Kul, Paap, Punya etc. – even if someone may contend that he wasn’t taught anything but Shastra-vidya (knowledge of Arms and battle).

It is also interesting that later in the text, Shri Krishna contends that what he is giving is a “Gupta Gyan” – a knowledge not known commonly. Which, again is surprising, if Vedas were the main staple of that generation.

Message from someone like Shri Krishna can only be warranted if people in that generation have become totally ignorant and have completely misconstrued the basic concepts on which the Spiritual process is based. If the basics and foundation of these concepts have been lost, then it makes sense to come back and give the knowledge which has been “lost” (Gupta Gyan). Otherwise, why give it?

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And, though Gita is surely a departure from the Vedas in the philosophical sense, yet the building blocks are from the Vedas.

It is also interesting that someone like Yudhistra, who was known at that time as “Dharmaraj” actually violated all the Dharmas in his lifetime. As a king – when he gambled on the entire kingdom (including its inhabitants, without their consent or knowledge); as a husband – when he gambled on his wife (without her consent or knowledge) and as a brother – when he did things that put everyone at risk. He rarely ever did anything that was Dharmic. He was Saintly in many ways, but he rarely ever took “good” decisions. Most of his decisions were driven by desires and not intellect.

So, in that sense, it is strange that he was hailed as the epitome of Dharma!

When the foundations of Dharma have been totally become unknown and people start creating their own benchmarks and their own ways to interpret the Spiritual process and its basics, and such ignorance is not only rampant but has no one honest to even call it out, then something as profound as Bhagwad Gita comes along.

In these verses too, Arjun displays his compassion, and what is considered to be an accepted way for someone to act when he is confronted with things that make him uncomfortable. People at those times, when decision is needed, become indecisive and cloak that weakness in Saintly terms. Just like Arjun is doing.

It is a misconception that detachment means not enjoying the worldly pleasures (or bhog). That has put many a spiritual student through untold hardships without any progress. Shri Krishna makes one thing clear that its not abandoning the world that is required, but not being attached to it.

Even if one abandons the entire world, but mentally he/she is still attached, it is of no good. On the other hand, one may enjoy every pleasure on the planet, but is not attached to any of them, then one can say he/she is spiritually elevated. Which means even if you have everything today but you were to lose it all tomorrow, would you cry hoarse from it and feel bad? If losing every material pleasure and possession doesn’t affect you as a person, then you are not attached.

Unfortunately, that is not how it has been portrayed by most “pundits”.

And that is exactly where Arjun is coming from. If he can “give up” instead of “performing action”, he feels he will do something Dharmic. We will see later on, how Shri Krishna tries to explain the spiritual reality from and at Arjun’s level of ignorance. He uses Arjun’s semantics and concepts, although they insufficient to explain what he wants to say. Slowly and gradually he takes Arjun to the highest level of wisdom.

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Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh - the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and "drishtikone".

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