Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 3

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

NEWS   ###   NEWS   ###   NEWS

From now on the weekly texts are available also for download as PDF-documents. So, whoever has missed out on a weekly delivery, or who likes another optical appearance than in an E-mail (for example important words marked in colour), may now also access the texts on his/her own.

We have implemented two websites: “” for German, “” for English.

The English version of the newsletter of this week is available at:

In principle the first number indicates the year (so 06 for a while), whereas the second number is the week of the year when the corresponding newsletter has been sent.

You also find News_06_06 available now with the first slokas of chapter 2 from last week.

Shortly the full chapter 1 will be provided as download also, and the same with the various additional comments, so that its easier for new subscribers of the newsletter to get started. Following chapters will be treated similarly – single issues will be compiled into one download whenever it makes sense from content and volume.

In addition the websites “” and “” as such will be filled with content over time – for now they just serve as vehicle for the downloads.

We wish you much joy with these innovations, and we thank Narendra for his support.


Sloka 3


O Partha, do not yield to this wretchedness. It does not befit you. Cast off this wretched weakness of the heart. Arise, O scorcher of the enemies.


This is one of the most often quoted verses in the Gita by the experts. Swami Vivekananda who spread the message of Hindu philosophy across the globe and in whose name a number of institutions have blossomed all over says that the two most important words in this sloka are
a) Klaibyam and
b) Utthishta.
He considers that the two words summarise the essence of the Gita.

It is therefore necessary for us to analyse these words in greater detail.

Klaibyam – wretchedness

Arjuna as we know was a highly competent and well-respected soldier holding the highest rank. He was a physically strong warrior and well-versed in archery. Unfortunately, the grief he got himself into considering the consequences of the war, made him mentally weak.

Any well respected individual who does not fit in with the expectation of the society in relation to his duty will be labelled as “wretched.” Arjuna was expected to lead the Pandava army and help in defeating the famous warriors like Bheeshma, Drona, Karna and others in the opposite camp. There was no one else in the Pandava army who could take up the mammoth task of defeating the great soldiers in the Kaurava army.

Sri Krishna is ticking Arjuna off for thinking of surrendering to the Kauravas. For a Kshatriya, in the olden days, it is the worst form of criticism. It is like saying “you are impotent.”

This state of mental weakness made Arjuna drop his weapon of action and slump to the floor. What a sorry state to see of a great warrior?

So, Sri.Krishna uses the next word: Uttishta.
It means “get up.”

It is not physically getting up from the state of slumping down to the floor.
It is getting the mental strength back and determination to take up the task of fighting for the war of righteousness.

In our life, each one of us is expected to fulfil certain duties by the members of our own family and the society in general. We are after all prone to states of grief for some reason or other.

During such times, we must remember this sloka which is a “Mantra” and the words “Klaibyam and Uttishta.” We must with determination bounce back and take up our ordained duties for the welfare of the society.

We must awaken, arise, stand up and fulfil our duties till the goal is reached.
The most important goal of our life is to achieve “Liberation.” No matter what happens in our life, we must not stop proceeding in the spiritual path.

Another word used in this sloka is the title of “Parantapa”. Arjuna was given this title because he was a “scorcher of enemies.”

All our enemies in the spiritual battle are within us. They are “Kama (desire), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha (delusion), Mada (pride) and Matsarya (enmity).” When they dominate, the consequence of their predominance is “grief.”

We should learn to scorch these enemies out and do not let grief dominate our life.

There is a famous Upanisad statement: “Nayam Atma Balahenena Labhyate.”
It means “This Atman cannot be attained by the weak.”

We, in the process of realising our true identity with the “Atman” within, should not succumb to grief and develop the weakness.

The entire philosophical text is meant to give us the mental strength to overcome “grief.”

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK.
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at ““.

Find out more at
Follow us on Twitter: or
Follow us on Posterous:

Posted via email from International Gita Foundation Trust