Bhagavad Gita Chapter Two Slokas 31 to 38 Kshatriya Dharma http://ancientindians.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/gitatwo31to38.mp3
“Considering even your own swadharma, you must not be shaky. There is nothing better for a Kshatriya than a dharma yuddha (a just war!).”
The Valmiki Ramayana speaks in one or two places of kSatra, the word kSatriya is clearly used in Bhagavad Gita. It refers to the warrior class or varNa. Throughout history, many castes have taken to arms and fought wars and many have ruled the land including the mlecchAs (foreigners). But not all of them have called themselves as kshatriyas. (Other posts : Caste, Indian Caste System: Then and Now: Jati, Varna, Kula, Brahmans Then and Brahmins Now, Kshatriyas, Some Jathis).
The meaning of the gita is well served by treating the word kshatriya as warrior.
“O son of pRthA (kuntI), Only fortunate kshatriyas will get such a war, so easily, which is like an open door to heaven that has come near.”
In the software corporate world engineers are always looking for good projects in which they can prove their capability. Researchers are always looking for a great problem to devote their lives to. But most people don’t get excellent projects, or excellent causes. Those who do consider themselves lucky. For a Kshatriya, a dharma yuddha is such an opportunity. If you compare the unhappy US soldiers who were drafted to the Vietnam war, which they felt was adharma, with the warriors of the Kargil War, which they felt was just and in the interest of their country, it is easy to understand. A warrior may die in any battle he is drafted to fight, but if it is a noble cause like defending your motherland, that is a dharmayuddha.
“If you don’t fight this dharma yuddha now, you will have ruined your fame and svadharma and attain pApam. For an honourable person, infamy is worse than death.”
pApam is loosely translated into english as sin and puNyam as virtue. People like to bathe in Ganga, read Gita, visit temples, give charity etc to gain puNyam. No one wants pApam. No one wants infamy. A soldier who applies for leave when his country needs defending is not going to be worshipped as a hero.
“Great warriors will think you turned away from battle out of fear. Having been so far been highly regarded you will now be belittled. Your enemies will say many words that should not be said about you. They will insult your competence. What can be sadder than that?”
“If you are killed (in war), you will attain svarga, if you win, you will enjoy the earth (as it’s ruler), therefore O son of Kunti, rise! determined to fight”.
svarga is generally translated as heaven, it is the lOka or the world where the dEvAs or the luminaries reside. If you are open to fun with words please see : Svarga Naraka Paraloka. If you are open to alternate interpretations of dEvAs please see : Devas: Human or Divine?
“Treating as equal comfort and sorrow, as well as profit and loss, victory and defeat, fight for the sake of the war, then you will not acquire any pApam!”
Summary : Kshatriyas who turn away from just wars will acquire infamy and sin, and those who fight them will either get svargam or victory with honour.
How hard this is. We who are afraid to speak the truth to friends for fear of the consequences, who are afraid to complain about corruption for fear of authorities, who are attached to comfort, to profit and to winning, to surviving, cannot conceive what Arjuna felt like with Bhishma and Drona on the other side of the battle.
In this context how awesome were those who fought for the freedom of our country! And how awesome are those who defend it!
(In our own lives to there are some occasions where we have to stand up and fight for what is right may be with words and not with arms. Then we should forget about winning or losing and fight for the cause. That is if we have any Kshatriya or Virya etc in us. If we are, to quote Upendra, “nirjIva, nirvIrya sat-prajegaLu, then we need do nothing” and we can try claiming that as a virtue.)
Other Posts By Me :
Sankara’s Gita Bhasyam (My translation and explanation. Work in Progress.)
- Bhagavad Gita : Chapter Two : Slokas 31 to 38 : Kshatriya Dharma : Audio (Sloka, split sandhis and prose order))
- Bhagavad Gita : Chanting: Chapter Two : Slokas 11 to 20 : Krishna Teaches Arjuna about the Eternal Self : (With pada chheda and anvyaya) : Audio
- Bhagavad Gita : Chanting : Chapter Two : Slokas : 1 to 10: Arjuna’s Sorrow at having to kill elders and relatives deepens, he seeks Krishna’s guidance : Audio
- Bhagavad Gita : Chanting : Chapter One : Slokas : 24 to End: Arjuna’s Fear that fighting relatives is adharma and will have bad consequences : Audio
- Bhagavad Gita : Chanting : Chapter 1 : Slokas 20 to 23 : Request to assess situation : Audio
- Bhagavad Gita : Chanting : Chapter 1 : Slokas 1 to 19 : Battle Preparation : Audio
- Bhagavad Gita : Chanting : Karanyasa, hrudyaadi nyaasa, dhyana sloka : Audio
As the author of this content I give you permission to reproduce the material on any media as long as you give me credit as the author/photographer/artist and give a link back to this web-site : Satya Sarada Kandula.