[Advaita-l] GITA - 2.32 - 37

Amuthan aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Tue Mar 7 10:49:41 CST 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

kRShNa gives additional reasons why arjuna should

yadRchChayA chopapannaM svargadvAramapAvRtam.
sukhinaH kShatriyAH pArtha labhante yuddhamIdRsham..

O arjuna, happy (or fortunate) indeed are the
kShatriya-s who get (an opportunity to fight in) a war
like this, which comes unsought and is an open gateway
to heaven.

rare indeed are opportunities for a kShatriya to fight
in a righteous battle against brave men like bhIShma,
droNa etc. a true kShatriya rejoices on getting such
an opportunity since if he wins the battle, he enjoys
rulership over a kingdom whereas if he loses, he
immediately reaches heaven. no sin whatsoever accrues
because of killing enemies in the battle if the battle
is fought fairly. this being the case, there is no
reason to desist from fighting. moreover, 

atha chetvimaM dharmyaM saMgrAmaM na kariShyasi.
tataH svadharmaM kIrtiM cha hitvA pApamavApsyasi..

on the other hand, if you do not fight this righteous
war, by forsaking your own duty and fame, you will
(only) incur sin .

desisting from a righteous battle is prohibited for a
kShatriya. it is imperative for a kShatriya to do his
svadharma - fighting a battle for establishing dharma.
an opportunity like this comes because of puNya done
in previous lives. it is said that a kShatriya who
retreats from battle and dies in the process loses his
puNya-s to his king and worse, gets the pApa-s of his
king too. thus, sin alone would accrue if the battle
is not fought. 

moreover, retreating from the battle would cause great
infamy to arjuna, who is well known for having fought
with mahAdeva Himself and consequently obtaining the
pAshupata astra from Him. 

for such a brave person like you (arjuna), 

akIrti~nchApi bhUtAni kathayiShyanti te.avyayam.
saMbhAvitasya chAkIrtirmaraNAdatirichyate.. 2.34

people will talk about your terrible infamy. for a
honourable (or self-respecting) person, death is
preferable to being infamous.   

if the battle is not fought, great infamy would result
for arjuna and people, in the course of their
conversations, would talk about his act as being
cowardly and as not being fit for a person of his
calibre, for a long time to come. for someone like
arjuna, who is well known for his prowess and who is
used to being treated with respect, such talk would
bring great misery. 

even great warrious like bhIShma would think lowly of
arjuna if he did not fight,

bhayAdraNAduparataM maMsayante tvAM mahArathAH.
yeShAM cha tvaM bahumato bhUtvA yAsyasi lAghavam..

the great warriors, who hold you in great esteem,
would think that you fled the battle out of fear and
look down upon you with contempt. 

none of the great warriors would think that arjuna
fled the battle because of compassion. instead, they
would lose their respect for arjuna thinking that he
ran away from the battle because of fear of losing his
life. thereafter,

avAchyavAdAMshcha bahUnvadiShyanti tavAhitAH.
nindantastava sAmarthyaM tato duHkhataraM nu kim..

they would talk untolerable words (about you) and
denounce your skill. what can be more painful than

for a great warrior like arjuna, such unfitting words
would indeed bring great misery. hence, even
considering this reason alone, it would be appropriate
for arjuna to fight.  

thus, in every way, kRShNa teaches arjuna that he
should not withdraw from the war. at first, He taught
him the imperishable nature of the self, then the
perishable nature of the body, then the
appropriateness of fighting a righteous battle based
on dharma shAstra-s and finally, by making him aware
of the infamy that would immediately result if he
retreated from the battle. having answered all the
questions that arjuna raised in the first adhyAya,
kRShNa now advises arjuna to fight the battle by
summing up all the benefits that would accrue,

hato vA prApsyasi svargam jitvA vA bhokShyase mahIm.
tasmAduttiShTha kaunteya yuddhAya kRtanishchayaH..

if you are slain in battle, you will acquire heaven.
if you win, you will enjoy rulership over the earth.
therefore, arise, O arjuna, with a firm resolution to

whether he loses or wins the battle, it is of great
benefit to arjuna. hence, kRShNa advises him in very
clear words to shed his false compassion and fight the
battle with a firm resolution like 'i will either kill
the enemies or die in the process, but i will never

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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