Monday, August 11, 2008

Arjuna's Questions in the Gita

In this old post, Shri Sunder-ji lists the questions and self-descriptions of Arjuna in the GIta. They are the following:

  • nimittaani cha pashyaami vipariitaani keshava .
    na cha shreyo.anupashyaami hatvaa svajanamaahave .. 1\.31..

    1.31 Besides, I do not see any good (to be derived) from killing my own people in battle. O Krsna, I do not hanker after victory, nor even a kingdom nor pleasures.

  • nihatya dhaartaraashhTraannaH kaa priitiH syaajanaardana .
    paapamevaashrayedasmaanhatvaitaanaatataayinaH .. 1\.36..

    1.36 O Janardana, what happiness shall we derive by killing the sons of Dhrtarastra? Sin alone will accrue to us by killing these felons.

  • yadyapyete na pashyanti lobhopahatachetasaH .
    kulakshayakR^ita.n doshhaM mitradrohe cha paatakam.h .. 1.38..

    katha.n na GYeyamasmaabhiH paapaadasmaannivartitum.h .
    kulakshayakR^ita.n doshhaM prapashyadbhirjanaardana .. 1\.39..

    1.38-39 O Janardana, although these people, whose hearts have become perverted by greed, do not see the evil arising from destroying the family and sin in hostility towards, friends, yet how can we who clearly see the evil arising from destroying the family remain unaware of (the need of) abstaining from this sin?

  • kaarpaNyadoshhopahatasvabhaavaH
    pR^ich{}chhaami tvaaM dharmasaMmuuDhachetaaH .
    yach{}chhreyaH syaannishchitaM bruuhi tanme
    shishhyaste.aha.n shaadhi maa.n tvaaM prapannam.h .. 2\.7..

    2.7 With my nature overpowered by weak commiseration, with a mind bewildered about duty, I supplicate You. Telll me for certain that which is better; I am Your disciple. Instruct me who have taken refuge in You.

  • sthitapraGYasya kaa bhaashhaa samaadhisthasya keshava .
    sthitadhiiH kiM prabhaashheta kimaasiita vrajeta kim.h .. 2\.54..

    2.54 O kesava, what is the description of a man of steady wisdom who is Self-absorbed? How does the man of steady wisdom speak? How does he sit? How does he move about?

  • jyaayasii chetkarmaNaste mataa buddhirjanaardana .
    tatki.n karmaNi ghore maa.n niyojayasi keshava .. 3\.1..

    3.1 O Janardana (krsna), if it be Your opinion that wisdom is superior to action, why they do you urge me to horrible aciton, O Kesava ?

  • aparaM bhavato janma para.n janma vivasvataH .
    kathametadvijaaniiyaa.n tvamaadau prok{}tavaaniti .. 4\.4..

    4.4 Your birth was later, (whereas) the birth of Vivasvan was earlier. How am I to understand this that You instructed (him) in the beginning?

  • sa.nnyaasaM karmaNaa.n kR^ishhNa punaryoga.n cha sha.nsasi .
    yach{}chhreya etayorekaM tanme bruuhi sunishchitam.h .. 5\.1..

    5.1. O Krsna, You praise renunciation of actions, and again, (Karma-) yoga. Tell me for certain that one which is better between these two.

  • yo.ayaM yogastvayaa prok{}taH saamyena madhusuudana .
    etasyaahaM na pashyaami cha.nchalatvaatsthiti.n sthiraam.h .. 6\.33..

    cha.nchalaM hi manaH kR^ishhNa pramaathi balavad.h dR^iDham.h .
    tasyaahaM nigrahaM manye vaayoriva sudushhkaram.h .. 6\.34..

    6.33. O Madhusudana (Krsna), this Yoga that has been spoken of by You as sameness, I do not see its steady continuance, owing to the restlessness (of the mind).
    6.34. For, O Krsna, the mind is unsteady, turbulent, strong and obstinate. I consider its control to be as greatly difficult as of the wind.

  • ayatiH shraddhayopeto yogaach{}chalitamaanasaH .
    apraapya yogasa.nsiddhi.n kaa.n gati.n kR^ishhNa gach{}chhati ..

    kach{}chinnobhayavibhrashh{}Tashchhinnaabhramiva nashyati .
    apratishhTho mahaabaaho vimuuDho brahmaNaH pathi .. 6\.38..

    etanme sa.nshayaM kR^ishhNa chhettumarhasyasheshhataH .
    tvadanyaH sa.nshayasyaasya chhettaa na hyupapadyate .. 6\.39..

    6.37. O krsna, failing to achieve perfection in Yoga, what goal does one attain who, though possessed of faith, is not diligent and whose mind becomes deflected from Yoga?
    6.38. O Mighty-armed one, fallen from both, without support, deluded on the path to Brahman, does he not get ruined like a scattered cloud?
    6.39. O Krsna, You should totally eradicate this doubt of mine. For, none other than Yourself can be the dispeller of this doubt!

  • ki.n tad.h brahma kimadhyaatma.n kiM karma purushhottama .
    adhibhuuta.n cha kiM prok{}tamadhidaivaM kimuchyate .. 8\.1..

    adhiyaGYaH kathaM ko.atra dehe.asminmadhusuudana .
    prayaaNakaale cha kathaM GYeyo.asi niyataatmabhiH .. 8\.2..

    8.1. O supreme person, what is that Brahman? What is that which exists in the individual plane? What is action? And what is that which is said to exist in the physical plane? What is that which is said to be existing in the divine plane?
    8.2. O Madhusudana, how, and who, is the entity existing in the sacrifice here in this body? And at the time of death, how are You to be known by people of concentrated minds?

  • kathaM vidyaamahaM yogi.nstvaa.n sadaa parichintayan.h .
    keshhu keshhu cha bhaaveshhu chintyo.asi bhagavanmayaa .. 10\.17..

    vistareNaatmano yogaM vibhuuti.n cha janaardana .
    bhuuyaH kathaya tR^ip{}tirhi shR^iNvato naasti me.amR^itam.h ..

    10.17. O Yogi, [Here yoga stands for the results of yoga, viz omniscience, omnipotence, etc.; one possessed of these is a yogi. (See Comm. on 10.7)] how shall I know You by remaining ever-engaged in meditation? And through what objects, O Lord, are You to be meditated on by me?
    10.18. O Janardana, narrate to me again [In addition to what has been said in the seventh and ninth chapters.] Your onw yoga and (divine) manifestations elaborately. For, while hearing (Your) nectar-like (words), there is no satiety in me.

  • evametadyathaattha tvamaatmaanaM parameshvara .
    drashhTumich{}chhaami te ruupamaishvaraM purushhottama .. 11\.3..

    manyase yadi tach{}chhak{}yaM mayaa drashhTumiti prabho .
    yogeshvara tato me tva.n darshayaatmaanamavyayam.h .. 11\.4..

    11.3. O supreme Lord, so it is, as You speak about Yourself. O supreme Person, I wish to see the divine form of Yours.
    11.4. O Lord, if You think that it is possible to be seen by me, then, O Lord of Yoga, You show me Your eternal Self.

  • aakhyaahi me ko bhavaanugraruupo
    namo.astu te devavara prasiida .
    viGYaatumich{}chhaami bhavantamaadya.n
    na hi prajaanaami tava pravR^ittim.h .. 11\.31..

    11.31. Tell me who You are, fierce in form. Salutation be to you, O supreme God; be gracious. I desire to fully know You who are the Prima One. For I do not understand Your actions!

  • evaM satatayuk{}taa ye bhak{}taastvaaM paryupaasate .
    ye chaapyaksharamavyak{}taM teshhaa.n ke yogavittamaaH .. 12\.1..

    12.1. Those devotees who, being thus ever dedicated, meditate on You, and those again (who meditate) on the Immutable, the Unmanifested-of them, who are the best experiencers of yoga [(Here) yoga means samadhi, spiritual absorption.] ?

  • kairliN^gaistriinguNaanetaanatiito bhavati prabho .
    kimaachaaraH katha.n chaitaa.nstriinguNaanativartate .. 14\.21..

    14.21. O Lord, by what signs is one (known) who has gone beyond these three qualities? What is his behaviour, and how does he transcend these three qualities?

  • ye shaastravidhimutsR^ijya yajante shraddhayaanvitaaH .
    teshhaa.n nishhThaa tu kaa kR^ishhNa sattvamaaho rajastamaH .. 17\.1..

    17.1. But, ['But' is used to present a standpoint distinct from the earlier ones understand from 16.23-4.-S.] O Krsna, what is the state [i.e., where do the rites undertaken by them end?] of those who, endued with faith, adore [Adore-perform sacrifices, distribute wealth etc. in honour of gods and others.] by ignoring the injunctions of the scriptures? Is it sattva, rajas or tamas?

  • sa.nnyaasasya mahaabaaho tattvamich{}chhaami veditum.h .
    tyaagasya cha hR^ishhiikesha pR^ithak{}keshinishhuudana .. 18\.1..

    18.1. O mighty-armed Hrsikesa, O slayer of (the demon) Kesi, I want to know separately the truth about sannyasa as also about tyaga.

Question: Is there any repetition in these questions? What is the essence behind such questions? Why this particular order?

1 comment:

Sudhir said...

After reading the Mahabharat one gets a feeling that Arjun's question was more emotional than intellectual. That is why, even after listening to all that Krishna preached, he did not exert to his full extent in the Kurukshetra war. Indeed, Krishna himself took up weapons twice to kill Bhishm to motivate Arjun. Yudhishthir also reprimanded him. And after the war Arjun confessed that he had not understood the Geeta and Krishna had to tell him Anugeeta. I have written about the difference between Arjun's and Yudhishthir's character on my blog. I hope it is ok to post a link instead of writing all over again.