Lord Krishna’s Message – English

THE MESSAGE OF STRENGTH

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श्री भगवानुवाच

कुतस्त्वा कश्मलमिदं विषमे समुपस्थितम्।

अनार्यजुष्टमस्वर्ग्यमकीर्तिकरमर्जुन॥२॥

क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युप्पद्यते।

क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्य्क्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप॥३॥

Sri BhagavAn uvAcha

kutas tvA kasmalam idam vishamE samupasthitam |

anAryajushtam asvargyam akIrtikaram arjuna || 2 ||

klaibyam mA sma gama: pArtha nai tat tvayy upapadyate |

kshudram hrudaya daurbalyam tyaktvo ttishtha paramtapa || 3 ||

Lord Sri Krishna, in first chapter who was silent all this while now deigns to speak. The Gita proper, therefore, commences here. In the very first utterance in these two stanzas, the core of the everlasting message is delivered.

Pithily putting the fundamental at the outset is characteristic of a classical literature. An example may be cited.

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते।

पूर्ण्स्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते॥

Om pUrNamada: pUrNamidam pUrNAt pUrNamudachyatE |

pUrNasya pUrNamAdAya pUrNamEvAvasishyatE ||

“The Invisible is the Whole, the Visible is the Whole. From the Whole, the visible universe has come out. The Whole remains ever Itself even though the infinite universe has come out of It.” This is the fundamental in the Upanishads. Nothing but the elaboration of this truism is found in all of them. The Lord’s teachings are also after this pattern.

श्री भगवानुवाच

कुतस्त्वा कश्मलमिदं विषमे समुपस्थितम्।

अनार्यजुष्टमस्वर्ग्यमकीर्तिकरमर्जुन॥२॥

Sri BhagavAn uvAcha

kutas tvA kasmalam idam vishamE samupasthitam |

anAryajushtam asvargyam akIrtikaram arjuna || 2 ||

  1. श्री भगवान् उवाच – shri bhagavAn uvAcha – Sri Bhagavan Said.
  2. कुतः – kutah – whence.
  3. त्वा – tvA – upon thee.
  4. कश्मलं – kasmalam – dejection.
  5. इदं – idam – this.
  6. विषमे – vishamE – in perilous strait.
  7. समुपस्थितं – samupasthitam – comes.
  8. अनार्यजुष्टम् – anAryajushtam – unworthy(unaryanlike).
  9. अस्वर्ग्यं – asvargyam – heaven excluding.
  10. अकीर्तिकरं – akIrtikaram – disgraceful.
  11. अर्जुन – arjuna – O Arjuna.

Meaning of the stanza:

The Blessed Lord said:

Whence has this unmanly, heavn-barring and shameful dejection come upon you, at this juncture, O Arjuna?

Commentary:

The term Arya in our sacred books does not refer to any race or stock. It only refers to a highly evolved and cultured man. It connotes much more than referring to somebody as a perfect gentleman. An Aryan is one who scrupulously adheres to dharma. Manu Smriti has it that children born of parents imbued with self-control and austerity are Aryans; and those others born of lust are non-Aryans. The function of the Vedanta philosophy is to induce man to become Aryan in all respects. Arjuna in whom manliness was writ large all along, has now suddenly and unexpectedly sunk into unmanliness. The Lord rouses him up from this set-back.

When the defect in a balance is pointed out the weights taken in it get themselves automatically annulled. A confused mind is very much like a defective balance. It is incapable of inquiring into truth. Sri Krishna classifies Arjuna’s mind as confused. Consequently his utterances are all meaningless. Anyone devoid of discrimination is not an Aryan.

There is neither this world nor the next to the confused and dejected in mind. Kirti or fame attends on one given to a laudable life on earth; but Arjuna’s way is unfortunately shameful. For him who is shamefully incompetent for this world, the question of the attainment of heaven does not arise. He is no Aryan who fails to face a juncture; and he is unfit for the here and the hereafter.


क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युप्पद्यते।

क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्य्क्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप॥३॥

klaibyam mA sma gama: pArtha nai tat tvayy upapadyate |

kshudram hrudaya daurbalyam tyaktvo ttishtha parantapa || 3 ||

  1. क्लैब्यं – klaibyam – impotence.
  2. मा स्म गमः – mA sma gamah – do not get.
  3. पार्थ – pArtha – O Partha.
  4. न – na – not.
  5. एतत् – etat – this.
  6. त्वयि – tvayi – in thee.
  7. उपपद्यते – upapadyatE – is fitting.
  8. क्षुद्रम् – kshudram – mean.
  9. हृदयदौर्बल्यं – hrudaya daurbalyam – weakness of the heart.
  10. त्यक्त्वा – tyaktvA – having abandoned.
  11. उत्तुष्ठ – uttishTa – stand up.
  12. परन्तप – parantapa – O scorcher of foes.

Meaning of the stanza:

Yield not, O Partha, to feebleness. It does not befit you. Cast off this petty faint-heartedness. Wake up, O vanquisher of foes!

Commentary:

The man who fails to face a crisis, speaking and acting irrelevantly, is denounced as a dolt. But Arjuna is not made of that inferior stuff; the training that he has received is superb. He is literally a vanquisher of foes. Poles apart are the feebleness of a coward and the boldness of Arjuna who successfully combated Siva, the Great God. The Lord simply chides him for the momentary weakness that has come upon his comrade and seeks to make him whole again.

The manifest world is comprised of two categories – Purusha and Prakriti, the noumenon and the phenomenon. One becomes feeble to the extent one depends on the phenomenon; one becomes manly and courageous to the extent one identifies oneself with the noumenon. This identification is Atmabodham. Strength and Atmabodham are identical. Weakness is condemned downright by the Lord. नायमात्मा बलहीनेन लभ्यः – nAyamAtmA balahInEna laBhyah – This Atman cannot be attained by the weak – is the Upanishadic pronouncement. And the message of Sri Krishna is based on this fundamental principle. To be firm of body, formidable of mind, constant of character – excellences like these are all born of strength. This world and the next one too are fro the strong alone. Right conduct originates from strength; straightforwardness comes from it; enjoyment traces itself to it; practise of yoga is possible because of it; attainment of moksha is enabled by it; reaching Godhood is impossible with out it; all divine traits have their source in it. In strength lie the key and the clue to all the teachings of the Lord. Exalted life begins with Atmabodham, which expresses itself as strength. Strength is life; weakness is death.


(This special article published here for Sri Krishna Jayanthi occasion. This article taken from the book ‘THE BHAGAVAD GITA’ commentary by Swami Chidbhavananda.)

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