The storm within rages on. Having voiced his despair and questioned the very foundations of his duty, Arjuna now plunges into a deeper contemplation of the consequences of inaction.
Shlokas 41-47 of the Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 delves into the chilling ramifications of his refusal to fight, painting a bleak picture of social, spiritual, and cosmic decay.
No longer does Arjuna merely wrestle with personal anguish; he grapples with the potential collapse of order itself. Here, we witness the ripple effect of his inaction, threatening the destruction of his lineage, the erosion of dharma, and the unsettling of the balance between good and evil.
Prepare to descend further into this spiraling contemplation, where inaction morphs into a potential catalyst for chaos, and the weight of responsibility for universal equilibrium sits heavily upon Arjuna’s shoulders.
Are his fears overblown, or is there truth in the terrifying vision of a world unraveling due to his hesitation? These verses hold the key to unlocking the next stage of his inner struggle, where personal anxieties intertwine with the fate of the universe.
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 – Shlokas 41 to 47
Now without further ado, let’s dive into the next shlokas of Bhagawad Gita Chapter 1.
If you haven’t read the previous ones, find them here:
Gita Chapter 1 Shloka 41:
अधर्माभिभवात्कृष्ण प्रदुष्यन्ति कुलस्त्रिय:|
स्त्रीषु दुष्टासु वार्ष्णेय जायते वर्णसङ्कर: || 1.41||
adharmaabhibhavaat krishna pradushyanti kulastriyaha
streeshu dushtasu varshneya jayate varnasankarah
Shloka 41 Translation:
With the preponderance of vice, O Krishna, the women of the family become immoral; and from the immorality of women, O descendent of Vrishni, unwanted progeny are born.
Shloka 41 Meaning and Context:
In this Shloka, Arjun became concerned and started comprehending, “What would happen to the society in the absence of guidance and protection of elders? The women of the family may get misled.”
Therefore, Arjun said to Shree Krishna that if the women of the family turn towards immorality, and commit adultery, they would bear illegitimate children. This would not only destroy the peace and happiness of future generations but also deprive the ancestors of their Vedic rites. Family traditions will be abandoned and the welfare of society will be at stake.
Shloka 41 Teachings and Insights:
Dharma is essential for the well-being of society– When dharma declines, it leads to social chaos and instability.
Women play an important role in maintaining dharma- When women are immoral, it leads to a decline in dharma.
Live a moral life– This means following the principles of dharma, such as truthfulness, non-violence, and compassion.
Gita Chapter 1 Shloka 42:
सङ्करो नरकायैव कुलघ्नानां कुलस्य च|
पतन्ति पितरो ह्येषां लुप्तपिण्डोदकक्रिया: ||1. 42||
sankaro narakayaiva kulaghnanam kulasya cha
patanti pitaro hyesham luptapindodakakriyaha
Shloka 42 Translation:
An increase in unwanted children results in a hellish life for the family. The destruction of a family is like hell for the family and its ancestors. They fall into hell, having lost the merit of their good deeds.
Shloka 42 Meaning and Context:
Arjuna is worried that the consequences of inaction are far worse than the consequences of action. If Arjuna does not fight, he will be responsible for the destruction of his lineage, and he will also be responsible for the suffering of his ancestors.
Shloka 42 Teachings and Insights:
Promote peace and non-violence– This means speaking out against violence and working to create a more peaceful world.
Educate yourself about the importance of family– The more we understand the importance of family, the more we will be motivated to protect it.
In real life, this verse can be applied to any situation where inaction could lead to the destruction of something important to us. By taking action to protect the things that are important to us, we can help to create a better world for ourselves and future generations.
Gita Chapter 1 Shloka 43:
दोषैरेतै: कुलघ्नानां वर्णसङ्करकारकै:|
उत्साद्यन्ते जातिधर्मा: कुलधर्माश्च शाश्वता: ||1. 43||
doshairetaikh kulaghnanam varnasankarakarakaihi
utsadyante jatidharmakh kuladharmash cha shashvataha
Gita Chapter 1 Shloka 44:
उत्सन्नकुलधर्माणां मनुष्याणां जनार्दन|
नरकेऽनियतं वासो भवतीत्यनुशुश्रुम || 1.44||
utsanna kuladharmanam manushyanain janardana
narake niyatam vaso bhavateetyanu shushruma
Shloka 43, 44 Translation:
Through the evil deeds of those who destroy the family tradition and thus give rise to unwanted progeny, a variety of social and family welfare activities are ruined.
O Janardan (Krishna), I have heard from the learned that those who destroy family traditions dwell in hell for an indefinite period of time.
Shloka 43, 44 Meaning and Context:
In these verses, Arjuna is describing the consequences of the destruction of family traditions and values. He is concerned about the breakdown of Dharma (righteousness) within the society and the potential consequences for those who contribute to such disruption.
The shloka suggests that when the family traditions and values are destroyed or abandoned, leading to the decline of Dharma, the people responsible for such actions will be destined to live in hell.
Shloka 43, 44 Teachings and Insights:
Caste and family are important social institutions– They provide us with a sense of identity, purpose, and belonging.
We have a responsibility to uphold dharma. When we do not act to uphold it, we contribute to its destruction.
There are consequences for our inaction. When we do not act to uphold our values, we suffer the consequences, both in this life and the afterlife.
These shlokas emphasize the importance of upholding Dharma and preserving the values that bind families and society together, warning about the serious consequences that may follow if these values are neglected or destroyed.
Gita Chapter 1 Shloka 45:
अहो बत महत्पापं कर्तुं व्यवसिता वयम्|
यद्राज्यसुखलोभेन हन्तुं स्वजनमुद्यता: || 1.45||
aho bata mahatpapam kartum vyavasitavayam
yadrajyasukhalobhena hantum svajanamudyataha
Gita Chapter 1 Shloka 46:
यदि मामप्रतीकारम अशस्त्रं शस्त्रपाणय:|
धार्तराष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस्तन्मे क्षेमतरं भवेत् ||1. 46||
yadi maamapratikaram ashastram shastrapanayah
dhartarashtrarane hanyus tanme kshemataram bhavet
Shloka 45, 46 Translation:
How strange it is that we have set our minds to perform this great sin with horrifying consequences. Driven by the desire for kingly pleasures, we are intent on killing our kinsmen.
It would be better if, with weapons in hand, the sons of Dhritarashtra killed me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield.
Shloka 45, 46 Meaning and Context:
A wave of astonishment washed over Arjuna. He knew the battle would be a harbinger of pain, casting a shadow of grief and misfortune over warriors and families alike. Yet, they seemed to crave this grim fate, a macabre yearning etched on their faces.
He uttered a heavy “Alas,” the echo of his warnings about impending doom fading in the face of this perverse anticipation. But a chilling truth pierced through his despair: failing to confront the wrongdoers would unleash a far more devastating storm upon society.
Shloka 45, 46 Teachings and Insights:
We often point fingers at external forces or others to explain our shortcomings, conveniently overlooking our flaws.
When Arjuna refused to fight his greedy cousins and relatives, his reasoning stemmed from his personal attachment and misplaced compassion. He believed it was wrong to kill them, despite their greed, because they were family.
However, he failed to recognize the materialism inherent in his feelings, which masked a lack of true spiritual understanding. Blinded by his misguided empathy, he neglected his duty as a warrior, forgetting that his true self transcended the physical realm. His delusion reached a peak when he contemplated laying down his arms and allowing his enemies to vanquish him in an unarmed state.
The story of Arjuna serves as a powerful reminder that true growth necessitates self-reflection and the courage to confront our internal demons. Only by acknowledging our limitations and embracing our true purpose can we overcome the obstacles that hinder our progress.
Gita Chapter 1 Shloka 47:
सञ्जय उवाच |
एवमुक्त्वार्जुन: सङ्ख्ये रथोपस्थ उपाविशत् |
विसृज्य सशरं चापं शोकसंविग्नमानस: || 1.47||
evamuktvaarjunas sankhye rathopastha upavishat
visrijya sasharain chapam shokasamvignamanasah
Shloka 47 Translation:
Having said this, Arjuna sat down on his chariot in the midst of the battlefield, putting away his bow and arrows, his mind in distress and overwhelmed with sorrow.
Shloka 47 Meaning and Context:
Arjuna is overcome by despair. He refused to fight the upcoming war, weighed down by grief and sadness.
This hesitation seemed strange for someone so dedicated to duty and faith. Remember before the battle, when he could have chosen a whole army, he picked Lord Krishna as his guide, showing his strong commitment. But now, fear and sadness made him forget his responsibilities.
Shloka 47 Teachings and Insights:
Attachment can lead to dereliction of duty. Arjuna’s attachment to his family and friends clouds his judgment and prevents him from seeing the bigger picture. This is a reminder that we all have attachments that can sometimes lead us astray, and it is important to be aware of them so that we can make choices that are aligned with our higher purpose.
Grief can paralyze us. Arjuna’s grief over the impending bloodshed is understandable, but it prevents him from taking action. This is a reminder that it is important to allow ourselves to feel our emotions, but not to let them control us. We need to find healthy ways to process our grief so that we can move forward.
Appearances can be deceiving. Even though Arjuna is known for his devotion to God, he is still susceptible to human emotions like fear and doubt. This is a reminder that we should not judge others based on their outward appearances and that everyone is capable of making mistakes.
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 End:
As the curtain closes on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1, Arjuna remains slumped in his chariot, his bow and arrows discarded, his heart heavy with doubt and despair. Yet, amidst the emotional turmoil, a seed of hope has been sown. Krishna’s words, though stern, have pierced through the fog of Arjuna’s anxieties, planting the seeds of introspection and a yearning for a higher understanding.
The journey ahead for Arjuna is arduous, fraught with moral dilemmas and the specter of violence. But with each subsequent chapter, Krishna will unravel the layers of ignorance, illuminating the path of Dharma and revealing the true warrior within.
The Bhagavad Gita, in its profound verses, serves as a timeless guide, not just for Arjuna, but for all humankind, beckoning us to confront our inner demons, embrace our duties, and strive towards spiritual liberation.
With this message of hope and guidance, Chapter 1 concludes, setting the stage for a transformative dialogue that will echo through the ages.