Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, Sloka 7, part 2 & Sloka 8, part 1

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath
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Sloka 7


O Bharata, whenever there is decline of righteousness and rise of evil, I manifest Myself.


***   continuation from last week   ***

If there is majority of those who break the law of the land and/or the law of the divine, it leads to acts of evil. This in turn leads to doom of the society. Anarchy destroys the society. It becomes act of self-destruction.

During such times, when there is great danger of anarchy and destruction of society, the Lord says “I Manifest.” (Srujami)

We need to understand this word clearly. It means “He” shows His presence. As God is considered to be good and divine, we can say “Good and Divine manifest” instead of saying “I manifest.” This in turn will kill evil and bring in turn peace and prosperity.

The next question is “which God” comes out and manifests?

There are two ways in which we can approach this issue of “Manifest.”

First one is to see the extra ordinary divinity in a human form who lived/lives/will live the life of a sthitaprajna/jivanmukta.

The second one is actual incarnation of Lord on earth who takes birth for namesake but actually out of His free will and not due to any vasanas from previous births like us.

The sastras clearly state that he who works selflessly and not looking for fruits of action is actually divinity on earth. He who dedicates his life for the welfare of all is said to be God on earth for that period.

During evil times there will arise someone who will reach Godhood by his actions and becomes God Himself and destroys evil. The history has many examples of men/women who are considered as Gods by generations that come later on.

As the learned scholars say, at every time adharma prevails and prevents man’s evolution, the Parabrahman embodies Himself.

What will He do?
This theme is taken up in the next Sloka.


Sloka 8


For the protection of the righteous, for the destruction of wicked, and for the establishment of Dharma, I am born in every age.


There are three promises by the Lord in this Sloka. It is a promise by the Lord who created the life on earth. As it is He who created the life, He has to take full responsibility of its protection. This is His promise for all of us.

We should make a note that He does not bring out the Hindus or the Indians in His statement of protection. Also He has omitted caste, sex, religion, creed of any kind. He has not shown any partiality. We should therefore understand that His promise is for the entire life on earth. Hence, it is one more assertion that the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita is a universal philosophical message by the Lord of the Universe.

The three promises are:
–  Protection of the good.
–  Destruction of the wicked.
–  Upholding the dharma.

Let us look into the meaning of some of the words used in this verse.

The word “Trana” means “protection.”  “Pari” means “total, full.” The word “Pari” is prefixed to “Trana” to stress the total protection.
Similarly, “Nasha” means “destruction”. “Vi” means “intensely”.  “Vinashaya” means “intensely destroying”.
Finally, “Sthapana” means “to establish” and “Sam” means “well, very much”. “Samsthapana” means “very much established.”

“Yuga” refers to the four periods of time concerning the world’s existence according to the Hindu sastras. These comprise of:
–  Krita yuga  –  duration of 1,728,000 years
–  Treta yuga  –  duration 1,296.000 years
–  Dwapara yuga  –  duration 864,000 years
–  Kali yuga  –  duration  432,000 years.
The four yugas together represent one “Maha Yuga.”

The present eon is Kali yuga. Starting from the Krita yuga, the duration is reduced by one fourth/third/half at every yuga. It is supposed to represent a similar reduction of the physical and moral decline in every Yuga.

The Hindu scriptures say that:
–  In Krita Yuga He manifested as Narasimha and Vamana to destroy demon Hiranyakashipu and the asura Bali. The incarnations were only for protection of the righteous.
–  In Treta Yuga He manifested as Rama to destroy Ravana. All the three promises in this Sloka apply aptly to incarnation as Rama.
–  In Dwapara Yuga He manifested as Krishna to destroy Shishupala and Dantavakra and uproot the entire Kaurava clan.
–  In Kali Yuga, we are told that He will be born as Kali to uproot evil. They say He will come as a sword wielding warrior on a white horse from the Himalayan region and destroy the evil.

***   will be continued   ***

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