Understanding Gita – 26

Second episode/adhyaya – Sankhya yoga

Shloka 31-32

TEXT 31

sva-dharmam api cāvekya
na vikampitum arhasi
dharmyād dhi yuddhāc chreyo ‘nyat
katriyasya na vidyate

SYNONYMS

svadharmamone’s own religious principles; apialso; caindeed; avekyaconsidering; nanever; vikampitumto hesitate; arhasiyou deserve; dharmyātfrom religious principles; hiindeed; yuddhātof fighting; śreyabetter engagements; anyatanything else; katriyasyaof the katriya; nadoes not; vidyateexist.

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

Considering one’s own Swadharma also you shouldn’t hesitate as there is no better engagements for a kshatriya other than fighting for a religious cause.

Sri Krishna so far told the characteristics of a soul and says how there is no need to lament as soul is indestructible.

Now he says even if you consider your dharma of a Kshatriya(protect your people), there is no other better disposal of duty than fighting for a religious cause.

For Kshatriyas fighting for righteousness is a virtuous duty. It is his dharma to protect others. That’s what soldiers do for a country. They protect civilians.

The other thing that comes to mind is how extremists are taking lives of innocent civilians in the name of religion. They can also state the same logic, that they are fighting for what they believe to be right for upholding their religion. So what is the difference between the two? I think here one should develop the quality of discrimination. One should be able to differentiate what is right and what is wrong.

May be killing an enemy who has come to attack you, who has waged a war on you, is okay. But instead of fighting upfront in a battle, resorting to means of killing innocent and unarmed people, and people who are incapable of fighting back, is not okay.

*********

TEXT 32

yadcchayā copapanna
svarga-dvāram apāvtam
sukhina katriyā pārtha
labhante yuddham īdśam

SYNONYMS

yadcchayāby its own accord; caalso; upapannamarrived at; svargaheavenly planet; dvāramdoor; apāvtamwide open; sukhinavery happy; katriyāthe members of the royal order; pārthaO son of Pthā; labhantedo achieve; yuddhamwar; īdśamlike this.

Text Source – “http://prabhupadabooks.com/bg

By its own accord the doors of heaven are wide open. Happy/Lucky are those Kshatriyas, O Partha, who get to fight a war like this.

This golden opportunity for any Kshatriya, which has opened the doors of heaven, has come upon to Arjuna unsought.

Kshatriyas who die in a war are believed to go to heaven directly. In heaven they enjoy all good things. Then again after their punya is over they have to come back to earth to experience good or bad karma, depending on their deeds.

Arjuna in the first chapter tries to reason out with Krishna that he will go to hell if he wages this war. So Krishna is telling him that fighting in this war will indeed take you directly to heaven and not hell.

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