Bhagavad Geeta: Chapter 1, Verses 24-37

In the last few verses, Sanjaya narrated the mental state of the two armies vividly. He takes Arjuna and Duryodhana as examples to demonstrate the state of mind on both sides. On one side, he shows how Duryodhana is so fearful looking at the enemy, and in contrast, Arjuna is so courageous that he wants to go forward and take a closer look at the enemy.

Chapter 1, Verses 24 and 25

सञ्जय उवाच
एवमुक्तो हृषीकेशो गुडाकेशेन भारत।
सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये स्थापयित्वा रथोत्तमम्॥२४॥
sañjaya uvāca
evamukto hṛṣīkeśo guḍākeśena bhārata,
senayorubhayormadhye sthāpayitvā rathottamam. (24)

भीष्मद्रोणप्रमुखतः सर्वेषां च महीक्षिताम्।
उवाच पार्थ पश्यैतान्समवेतान्कुरूनिति॥२५॥
bhīṣmadroṇapramukhataḥ sarveṣāṁ ca mahīkṣitām,
uvāca pārtha paśyaitānsamavetānkurūniti. (25)

Sanjaya said to (Bhārata) Dhritarashtra,
Thus addressed by Gudākesha (Arjuna), Hrishīkesha (Sri Krishna), having drawn the excellent chariot between the two armies, in the presence of Bheeshma, Drona, and all other kings, he said: "O Partha (Arjuna), behold all these descendants of Kuru gathered here."

Dhritarashtra is referred to as Bhārata as he is from the lineage of King Bharat. Arjuna is referred to as Gudākesha, meaning one who has conquered sleep (or laziness). Sri Krishna is referred to as Hrishīkesha, meaning who is the Lord of the senses. Arjuna is also referred to as Partha, meaning the son of Pritha. Pritha is another name for Kunti. 

Chapter 1, Verses 26 and 27

तत्रापश्यत्स्थितान् पार्थः पितॄनथ पितामहान्।
आचार्यान्मातुलान्भ्रातॄन्पुत्रान्पौत्रान्सखींस्तथा॥२६॥
tatrāpaśyatsthitān pārthaḥ pitṝnatha pitāmahān,
ācāryānmātulānbhrātṝnputrānpautrānsakhīṁstathā. (26)

श्वशुरान्सुहृदश्चैव सेनयोरुभयोरपि।
तान्समीक्ष्य स कौन्तेयः सर्वान्बन्धूनवस्थितान्।
कृपया परयाविष्टो विषीदन्निदमब्रवीत् ॥२७॥
śvaśurānsuhṛdaścaiva senayorubhayorapi,
tānsamīkṣya sa kaunteyaḥ sarvānbandhūnavasthitān,
kṛipayā parayāviṣhṭo viṣhīdann idam abravīt (27)

From that vantage point, Arjuna saw fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, fathers-in-law, and well-wishers in both armies. Arjuna's heart was overwhelmed with compassion, and in deep sorrow, he spoke...

It looks like Arjuna became deluded when he saw his relatives. Till that point, he was ready for the war. On seeing these people, instead of focusing on the task at hand, Arjuna starts thinking about the ultimate end of the war with his anxious desire for victory. This preoccupation of the mind confuses his mind.

Chapter 1, Verses 28, 29 and 30

अर्जुन उवाच
दृष्ट्वेमं स्वजनं कृष्ण युयुत्सुं समुपस्थितम्॥२८॥
arjuna uvāca
dṛṣṭvemaṁ svajanaṁ kṛṣṇa yuyutsuṁ samupasthitam. (28)

सीदन्ति मम गात्राणि मुखं च परिशुष्यति।
वेपथुश्च शरीरे मे रोमहर्षश्च जायते॥२९॥
sīdanti mama gātrāṇi mukhaṁ ca pariśuṣyati,
vepathuśca śarīre me romaharṣaśca jāyate. (29)

गाण्डीवं स्रंसते हस्तात्त्वक्चैव परिदह्यते।
न च शक्नोम्यवस्थातुं भ्रमतीव च मे मनः॥३०॥
gāṇḍīvaṁ sraṁsate hastāttvakcaiva paridahyate,
na ca śaknomyavasthātuṁ bhramatīva ca me manaḥ. (30)

Arjuna said:
Seeing my kinsmen present eager to fight, O Krishna, my limbs are quivering, my mouth is drying up, and my body is shuddering with my hair standing on end. Gāndivam (the name of Arjuna's bow) is slipping from my hand, and my skin burns all over; I'm unable to remain steady, and my mind is whirling around.

In these verses, there is a clear explanation of the symptoms that one can recognize in his physical body as a result of mental confusion. Sanjaya, in the previous verses, mentioned that Arjuna was feeling compassionate and pitiful. Now we are witnessing that reality where Arjuna's mind is unsteady, agitated, and chaotic.

Chapter 1, Verse 31

निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव।
न च श्रेयोऽनुपश्यामि हत्वा स्वजनमाहवे॥३१॥
nimittāni ca paśyāmi viparītāni keśava,
na ca śreyo’nupaśyāmi hatvā svajanamāhave. (31)

And I see bad omens, O Keshava (Sri Krishna). Nor do I foresee any good in killing my kinsmen in battle.

Now, his mind has lost all discriminatory power as well. The usually logical and intelligent Arjuna became deluded and reached unintelligent conclusions because of his chaotic state of mind.

Chapter 1, Verses 32, 33 and 34

न काङ्क्षे विजयं कृष्ण न च राज्यं सुखानि च।
किं नो राज्येन गोविन्द किं भोगैर्जीवितेन वा॥३२॥
na kāṅkṣe vijayaṁ kṛṣṇa na ca rājyaṁ sukhāni ca,
kiṁ no rājyena govinda kiṁ bhogairjīvitena vā. (32)

येषामर्थे काङ्क्षितं नो राज्यं भोगाः सुखानि च।
त इमेऽवस्थिता युद्धे प्राणांस्त्यक्त्वा धनानि च॥३३॥
yeṣāmarthe kāṅkṣitaṁ no rājyaṁ bhogāḥ sukhāni ca,
ta ime’vasthitā yuddhe prāṇāṁstyaktvā dhanāni ca. (33)

आचार्याः पितरः पुत्रास्तथैव च पितामहाः।
मातुलाः श्वशुराः पौत्राः श्यालाः सम्बन्धिनस्तथा॥३४॥
ācāryāḥ pitaraḥ putrāstathaiva ca pitāmahāḥ,
mātulāḥ śvaśurāḥ pautrāḥ śyālāḥ sambandhinastathā. (34)

For, I do not desire victory, nor kingdom, nor happiness, O Krishna. Then of what avail is the Kingdom, O Govinda? Of what avail are the pleasures or even life itself? They, for whose sake we desire kingdom are all situated here in battle, having renounced life and wealth. Teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other relatives.

Arjuna continues to give the argument to Krishna, justifying his cowardly retreat from his duty, perhaps wanting Sri Krishna to confirm what he is feeling in his mind is acceptable and just. But Krishna was quiet, and that is why Arjuna is continuing to put forth his argument.

Chapter 1, Verse 35

एतान्न हन्तुमिच्छामि घ्नतोऽपि मधुसूदन।
अपि त्रैलोक्यराज्यस्य हेतोः किं नु महीकृते॥३५॥
etānna hantumicchāmi ghnato’pi madhusūdana,
api trailokyarājyasya hetoḥ kiṁ nu mahīkṛte. (35)

These I do not wish to slay even though they may kill me, O Madhusudhana (Sri Krishna), even for the sake of dominion over three worlds, then what to speak of for the sake of the earth.

Arjuna continues with his argument, feeling that he may not have expressed his case strongly enough. He says that he would not want to kill his relatives, even to win the three worlds of the universe, and much less so for the mere Hastinapur kingdom.

Chapter 1, Verse 36

निहत्य धार्तराष्ट्रान्नः का प्रीतिः स्याज्जनार्दन।
पापमेवाश्रयेदस्मान्हत्वैतानाततायिनः॥३६॥
nihatya dhārtarāṣṭrānnaḥ kā prītiḥ syājjanārdana,
pāpamevāśrayedasmānhatvaitānātatāyinaḥ. (36)

By killing these sons of Dhritarashtra, what pleasure will there be O Janardhana (Sri Krishna)? Sin certainly must come upon us by killing these aggressors/felons.

Seeing Krishna silent, Arjuna continues to put forth his argument with his misinterpretation of what the scriptures say regarding sin. Krishna remains silent, understanding that Arjuna is hysterically venting out, and it's best to let a mentally confused person bring out everything in his mind and exhaust himself.

Chapter 1, Verse 37

तस्मान्नार्हा वयं हन्तुं धार्तराष्ट्रान्स्वबान्धवान्।
स्वजनं हि कथं हत्वा सुखिनः स्याम माधव॥३७॥
tasmānnārhā vayaṁ hantuṁ dhārtarāṣṭrānsvabāndhavān,
svajanaṁ hi kathaṁ hatvā sukhinaḥ syāma mādhava. (37)

Therefore, we shall not kill the sons of Dhritarashtra, our relatives. For how shall we be happy by killing our people, O Madhava (Sri Krishna)?

In this way, Arjuna rounds up his arguments and concludes that he should not kill the aggressors. He is asking Krishna to endorse his wrong conclusions derived from his misinterpretation of scriptural knowledge.

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