|| Shree Hari ||
II 2:5 II
gurun ahatvaa hi mahaanubhaavan
sreyo bhoktum bhaiksyam apeeha loke
bhunjiya bhogaan rudhira-pradigdhaan
"Better it is to live on alms in this world than to slay these noble elders, because after killing them we could enjoy only blood-stained pleasures, in the form of wealth and sense-objects.
From Gita Prabodhani in Hindi pg. 19 by Swami Ramsukhdasji
Chapter 2, Verse 5 is as follows;
Ahatvaa = instead of slaying
Hi = indeed
Mahaa-Anubhaavan = having many experiences and the most noble hearted
ShreyaH = better
Bhoktum = to eat
Bhaiksham = alms
Api = even
Eha Loke = in this world
Hatvaa = having slain
Arthkaamaan = wealth and desires
Tu = indeed
Gurun = teachers
Eha = here
Eva = also
Bhunjeeya = enjoy
Bhogaan = enjoyments
Rudhir- Pradigdhaan = stained with blood
Better indeed is to live on alms in this world than to slay these noble-hearted teachers and great souls with exemplary performances and a variety of experiences. But if I kill them, then my enjoyments of wealth and desires in this world, will be stained with their blood.
Arjuna is still entangled in his personal role and personal relationships with Grandsire Bheeshmaachaarya and Guru Dronaachaarya. He is unable to capture the big picture. He is unable to comprehend the basic fact that the impending battle is not to settle personal scores but to ascertain the supremacy of righteousness over unrighteousness.
Arjuna continues to argue that he has no axe to grind with Grandsire Bheeshmaachaarya and Guru Dronaachaarya.
"Chastity is either abstinence or continence: while abstinence is that of virgins or widows; continence is that of married persons."
It reminds me of a Shloka of Santa Raamadaasa in Marathi language;
"Shukaa Saarikhe PoorNa Vairaagya Jyaache, VashishThaa Pari Dnyaana Yogeshwaraache" i.e. while Shukaachaarya, the son of Maharshee Veda Vyaasa was an eloquent example of a man of complete abstinence & great knowledge and Brahmarshee VashisTha was an epitome of the complete knowledge of the Self; Yogeshwara Lord Krishna excels both of them.
Both Bheeshmaachaarya and Dronaachaarya represented the very top of the ladder and were towering personalities in the Kuru kingdom.
Bheeshmaachaarya had taken a vow that he will never marry and will never sire any children and he will always defend Kuru kingdom at any costs and consequences. His mother Satyavati had earnestly urged Bheeshma to sire children out of wedlock with Amba, Ambika and Ambaalika so that there will be a successor to the throne of Kuru kingdom. Bheeshma politely refused and suggested Maharshee Veda Vyaasa to sire them.
Drona, the son of Rishi Bhaaradvaaja, even though Brahmin by birth was the most respected expert in every aspect of warfare and their finest techniques. Before the arrival of Drona, Guru Krupa used to teach the Pandavaas and the Kauravaas. Drona proved himself to be far superior to all the contemporary experts in the art and science of military and therefore he was revered by all as `Guru Dronaachaarya'
Bheeshmaachaarya proved his mettle by fighting like a ferocious lion for the first ten days similarly Dronaachaarya proved his worth by fighting tirelessly for the next five days out of the total eighteen days of the royal battle.
Arjuna's argument is, "What is the point in such bloodstained conquests if they ultimately result in the elimination of such finest of men like Bheeshmaachaarya and Dronaachaarya? And even if I succeed in eliminating them, what is the fun and enjoyment in the worldly delights, which are smeared with their blood? Even though both have their own personal compulsions to represent the Kauravaas against us, I beg to differ with you Lord Krishna and I prefer begging than slaying these noblest men; as in any case I will be impoverished by the heartless squandering away of their precious lives. At least, I do not want to be blamed for their slaughter in the annals of the history."
Arjuna continues his earnest appeal to Lord Krishna to sanction the exit or escape route for him. Lord Krishna has earned a title of `Rana-Chhodadaasa' i.e. one who ran away from the battlefield while fighting with King Jarasandha, as a tactical retreat. Arjuna thinks the he also does not mind a similar title as it is a path of the least efforts and softest option for him.
Lord Krishna patiently waits till Arjuna concludes his stellar arguments as if being himself a person endowed with the finest knowledge in the world.
Thanks & Best Regards,
FROM SADHAK SANJIVANI (partial)
II 2:5 II
An Exceptional Fact
Lord Krsna, in the second and the third verses, orders Arjuna to array himself by casting off, petty faint-heartedness and fight. But Arjuna gets him wrong, because he thinks that Lord Krsna had ordered him to wage war, so that he might enjoy the pleasure of kingship.* Arjuna however perceived only evil, in waging the war. He said that it would be better for him, if his opponents killed him in the war. So with his mind affected by grief he sat slumped on the seat of the chariot (1/47). He had also said, that Duryodhana and his companions being goaded by greed, were prepared to wage war. Now Arjuna says, for himself that if he
When an evil comes to us, in the form of an evil, it is easier to do away with it, than when it comes in the garb of something good. Ravana and devil Kalanemi, could not be recognized by Sita, and Hanuman respectively, because both of them disguised themselves, as sages. Similarly, Arjuna perceives that it is virtuous not to wage war and it is an evil to wage the war, but he is completely mistaken. Hence, even Lord Krsna, finds it difficult and time consuming, to bring Arjuna round, to the realization of this fact.
Today in the name of unity in society, people are determined to abolish caste, stage of life system (Varna Asrama) thinking of their action, as virtuous. But they are not thinking about the disastrous consequences, that this abolition would force the people, to lead a degraded and demoniacal life. In the same way, in the accumulation of wealth, people do not perceive falsehood, fraud, dishonesty, knavery and treachery etc., as evils. Thus, here for Arjuna also, an evil of unmanliness has disguised itself, as righteousness and thus he says how he can slay his noble elders. It means, that whatever Arjuna considers a virtue, is in fact, an evil. But, it does not appear to him, to be an evil, as in the abandonment of his duty, has crept in the guise of virtue of nonviolence, because of his attachment for his relatives.
AppendixThe feelings of elders and preceptors such as Bhisma and Drona etc., are noble and pure because even while waging the war, they have no partiality.
From "The Bhagavad Gita - Sadhak Sanjivani" by Swami Ramsukhdasji pg 77-78 in English.
Thank you Shri Shrikantji Joshi for taking the initiative to support
this divine work and to Mrs. K Asani for requesting shloka
explanation on a daily basis.
From Gita Talk Moderators