ArjunaVishada Yoga

No knowledge is to be found without seeking, no tranquility without travail, no happiness except through tribulation. Every seeker has, at one time or another, to pass through a conflict of duties, a heart-churning.

Dhritarashtra Said:
01. Tell me, O Sanjaya, what my sons and Pan­du’s assembled, on battle intent, did on the field of Kuru, the field of duty.

dhṛitarāśhtrauvācha
dharma&kṣhetrekuru&kṣhetresamavetāyuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥpāṇḍavāśhchaivakimakurvatasañjaya

The human body is the battlefield where the eternal duel between right and wrong goes on. Therefore it is capable of being turned into a gateway to Freedom. It is born in sin and becomes the seed-bed of sin. Hence it is also called the field of Kuru. The Kuravas represent the forces of Evil, the Pandavas the forces of Good. Who is there that has not experienced the daily conflict within himself between the forces of Evil and the forces of Good?

Arjuna Said:
28-29. As I look upon these kinsmen, O Krishna, assembled here eager to fight, my limbs fail, my mouth is parched, a tremor shakes my frame and my hair stands on end.

arjunauvācha
dṛiṣhṭvemaṁsva-janaṁkṛiṣhṇayuyutsuṁsamupasthitam
sīdanti mama gātrāṇimukhaṁ cha pariśhuṣhyati
vepathuśh cha śharīre me roma-harṣhaśh cha jāyate
gāṇḍīvaṁsraṁsatehastāttvakchaivaparidahyate

30. Gandiva slips from my hand, my skin is on fire, I cannot keep my feet, and my mind reels.

न च शक्नोम्यवस्थातुंभ्रमतीव च मेमन: || 30||
निमित्तानि च पश्यामिविपरीतानिकेशव |
न च श्रेयोऽनुपश्यामिहत्वास्वजनमाहवे || 31||

31. I have unhappy forebodings, O Keshava; and I see no good in slaying kinsmen in battle.

32. I seek not victory, nor sovereign power, nor earthly joys. What good are sovereign power, worldly pleasures and even life to us, O Govinda?

न काङ्क्षेविजयंकृष्ण न च राज्यंसुखानि च |
किंनोराज्येनगोविन्दकिंभोगैर्जीवितेनवा || 32||
येषामर्थेकाङ्क्षितंनोराज्यंभोगा: सुखानि च |
त इमेऽवस्थितायुद्धेप्राणांस्त्यक्त्वाधनानि च || 33||

33. Those for whom we would desire sovereign power, earthly joys and delights are here arrayed in battle, having renounced life and wealth.

34. Preceptors, sires, grandsires, sons and even grandsons, uncles, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, and other kinsmen.

आचार्या: पितर: पुत्रास्तथैव च पितामहा: |
मातुला: श्वशुरा: पौत्रा: श्याला: सम्बन्धिनस्तथा || 34||
एतान्नहन्तुमिच्छामिघ्नतोऽपिमधुसूदन |
अपित्रैलोक्यराज्यस्यहेतो: किंनुमहीकृते || 35||

35. These I would not kill, O Madhusudana, even though they slay me, not even for kingship of the three worlds, much less for an earthly kingdom.

36. What pleasure can there be in slaying these sons of Dhritarashtra, O Janardana? Sin only can be our lot, if we slay these, usurpers though they be.

निहत्यधार्तराष्ट्रान्न: काप्रीति: स्याज्जनार्दन |
पापमेवाश्रयेदस्मान्हत्वैतानाततायिन: || 36 ||
तस्मान्नार्हावयंहन्तुंधार्तराष्ट्रान्स्वबान्धवान् |
स्वजनंहिकथंहत्वासुखिन: स्याममाधव || 37||

37. It does not therefore behove us to kill our kins¬men, these sons of Dhritarashtra. How may we be happy, O Madhava, in killing our own kins?

38. Even though these, their wits warped by greed, see not the guilt that lies in destroying the family, nor the sin of treachery to comrades;

यद्यप्येते न पश्यन्तिलोभोपहतचेतस: |
कुलक्षयकृतंदोषंमित्रद्रोहे च पातकम् || 38||
कथं न ज्ञेयमस्माभि: पापादस्मान्निवर्तितुम् |
कुलक्षयकृतंदोषंप्रपश्यद्भिर्जनार्दन || 39||

39. How can we, O Janardana, help recoiling from this sin, seeing clearly as we do the guilt that lies in such destruction?

40. With the destruction of the family perish the eternal family virtues, and with the perishing of these virtues unrighteousness seizes the whole family.

कुलक्षयेप्रणश्यन्तिकुलधर्मा: सनातना: |
धर्मेनष्टेकुलंकृत्स्नमधर्मोऽभिभवत्युत || 40||

kula-kṣhayepraṇaśhyantikula-dharmāḥsanātanāḥ
dharmenaṣhṭekulaṁkṛitsnamadharmo ’bhibhavatyuta

41. When unrighteousness prevails, O Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt, and their corruption, O Varshneya, causes a confusion of varnas.


अधर्माभिभवात्कृष्णप्रदुष्यन्तिकुलस्त्रिय: |
स्त्रीषुदुष्टासुवार्ष्णेयजायतेवर्णसङ्कर: || 41||


42. This confusion verily drags the family-slayer, as well as the family, to hell, and for want of obsequies offerings and rites their departed sires fall from blessedness.

सङ्करोनरकायैवकुलघ्नानांकुलस्य च |
पतन्तिपितरोह्येषांलुप्तपिण्डोदकक्रिया: || 42||


43. By the sins of these family-slayers resulting in confusion of varnas, the eternal tribal and family virtues are brought to naught.

दोषैरेतै: कुलघ्नानांवर्णसङ्करकारकै: |
उत्साद्यन्तेजातिधर्मा: कुलधर्माश्चशाश्वता: || 43||

44. For we have had it handed down to us, O Janardana, that the men whose family virtues have been ruined are doomed to dwell in hell.

उत्सन्नकुलधर्माणांमनुष्याणांजनार्दन |
नरकेऽनियतंवासोभवतीत्यनुशुश्रुम || 44||


45. Alas! What a heinous sin we are about to commit, in that, from greed of the joy of sovereign power, we are prepared to slay our kith and kin!

अहोबतमहत्पापंकर्तुंव्यवसितावयम् |
यद्राज्यसुखलोभेनहन्तुंस्वजनमुद्यता: || 45||
यदिमामप्रतीकारमशस्त्रंशस्त्रपाणय: |
धार्तराष्ट्रारणेहन्युस्तन्मेक्षेमतरंभवेत् || 46||


46. Happier far would it be for me if Dhritarash¬tra’s sons, weapons in hand, should strike me down on the battlefield, unresisting and unarmed.

Sanjaya Said:
47. Thus spakeArjuna on the field of battle, and dropping his bow and arrows sank down on his seat in the chariot, overwhelmed with anguish.

सञ्जयउवाच |
एवमुक्त्वार्जुन: सङ्ख्येरथोपस्थउपाविशत् |
विसृज्यसशरंचापंशोकसंविग्नमानस: || 47||

Thus ends the first discourse, entitled ‘ArjunaVishada Yoga’ in the converse of Lord Krishna and Arjuna, on the science of Yoga as part of the knowledge of Brahman in the Upanishad called the Bhagavad Gita.