Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Slokas 4 to 6

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Arjuna uvacha
Arjuna said:

Sloka 4

KATHAM BHEESHMAM AHAM SANKHYE DRONAN CHA MADHUSUDHANA
ISHUBHIHI PRATIYOTSAMI POOJARHAV ARISUDHANA

O Krishna, Bhishma and Drona are fit to be worshipped. How can I fight with them in the battle?

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Arjuna continues to justify his decision not to fight.

Bhishma and Drona, the two senior most members in the opposite camp had declared their allegiance to Emperor Dhritarashtra. After having decided to fight, having taken the advice of Lord Krishna, the Pandavas had entered the battlefield.

Arjuna had no business to name the warriors in the opposite camp. He knew that only by killing Bhishma and Drona the Pandavas could regain the lost kingdom. Before the war, these two were fit to be worshipped with reverence but certainly not in the war. This was the fundamental flaw in his thinking.

When the cause is glorious, when one follows the path of dharma, the names and relations in the enemy rank do not carry any meaning.

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Sloka 5

GUROONA HATVA HI MAHANUBHAVAAN
SHREYO BHOKTUM BHAIKHYAM APEEHA LOKAM

HATVARTHA KAMASTU GUROONIHAIVA
BHUNJEEYA BHOGAAN RUDHIRA PRADAGDHAAN

Better is in this world to eat and live on food of beggars than to kill the most noble of the teachers. But if I kill them, I could enjoy only such pleasures as are stained with blood.

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With the incomplete knowledge of the sastras Arjuna continues his arguments supporting the decision he has taken. His main case is about killing the gurus and great men like Drona, Kripa and Bhishma. By withdrawing from fighting even at the 11th hour, he thinks unnecessary and sinful bloodshed could be avoided. The price for taking such decision is to forego the right to climb the throne by brother Dharmaraja and go back to the forest. He felt that he would rather take the second option.

He was sure that in order to win, the senior most elders in the opposite camp had to be dead. As long as they lived, Pandavas had no chance of winning the battle. He feels that the pleasures of ruling the kingdom on achieving victory would be tainted with the blood of the gurus and respected elders.

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Sloka 6

NA CHAITAT VIDMAHA KATARANNO GAREEYO YAD VA NO JAYEYEUHU
YANEVA HATVAN NA JIJIVISHASMAS TE’VASTITAHA PRAMUKHE DHARTRA RASHTRAHA

I can hardly say which will be better for us, whether we should conquer tem or whether they should conquer us. Those very people, sons of Dhritarashtra, slaying whom we do not wish to live, stand facing us.

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Arjuna’s mind which was tuned perfectly to the war against their cousins had suddenly gone out of tune. Having decided and prepared for the war, he keeps on expressing his feelings about the outcome of the war. The scriptures clearly state that there should be no thinking of the fruits of action, either good or bad, once a decision has been taken to undertake the task.

It is the turn of his guide, (sarathi) to retune his disciple’s mind to the right channel of understanding. He needs to bring out Arjuna’s personality to a higher intellectual level.

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

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