Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 31

स्वधर्ममपि चावेक्ष्य न विकम्पितुमर्हसि ।
धर्म्याद्धि युद्धाच्छ्रेयोऽन्यत्क्षत्रियस्य न विद्यते ॥२-३१॥

svadharmam api cha vekshya na vikampitam arhasi
dharmyad dhi yuddha chhreyo anyat shatriyasya na vidyate ॥ 2-31 ॥



In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 31 Lord Krishna addresses Arjuna thus… as a Kshatriya (warrior clan), if you think indulgence in Dharma yuddha, war of dharma (righteousness) would make you a sinner in eyes of god… you were mistaken! To fight the enemy head-on is the Svadharma of every Kshatriya warrior. Moreover war of Mahabharata was initiated, heaped on Pandavas by Duryodhana of Kaurava clan. In such circumstances, how could a protector of dharma (righteousness) become a sinner?


When fighting enemy, it is duty of every Kshatriya warrior to keep the enemy at bay! No matter what the reason, one could never practice cowardice when facing enemy in battlefield! To remove evil forces of adharma (lawlessness) Arjuna indulging in war of dharma (righteousness) was the call of day. As per scriptures, nothing was most pious for a Kshatriya than indulging in a righteous war (Dharma yuddha).


As per Hindu practices, amongst all four varnas… it was Kshatriyas who were responsible for protecting the sovereignty of a nation, country from onslaught of enemies! In times of war, it becomes duty of every Kshatriya to fight the enemy. One could never expect a Brahmin, vaishya or shudra to indulge in warfare. Each category of varnas had their independent role to play in the society. Primarily, we were all governed by strict rules of Varna system. We could never abdicate our responsibility in times of need.


The Explanation:

In Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 31 Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in clear terms that as a Kshatriya (as a representative of warrior clan) it was his duty to indulge in yuddha (war) and that too a Dharma yuddha (war of righteousness). To root out evil from society, to eliminate followers of adharma (lawlessness) was Svadharma. As Kauravas represented evil, Arjuna must fight and defeat them in this just war of dharma.


Krishna tells Arjuna that killing followers of adharma (evil tendencies) never earned wrath of god almighty. One could never become a sinner by acting against practitioners of evil, lawlessness. For a Kshatriya, ones Svadharma were indulgence in war (yuddha). For a Kshatriya, Svadharma was fighting the enemy and killing evil doers. In times of war, a Kshatriya must never fear outcome of war. The Kshatriya dharma does not believe in this philosophy of life.


Rather it was contrary. Those siding evil must fear followers of path of dharma (righteousness). But here exactly opposite was happening. Arjuna feared killing of his maternal grandfather Bhishma Pitamah and guru Dronacharya at hands of Pandavas. When Bhishma Pitamah and guru Dronacharya sided adharma (evil) how could they be just in their actions? Krishna advises Arjuna to look upon Bhishma Pitamah and Dronacharya as his sworn enemies siding evil (lawlessness) and not as extended members of family.


As per Lord Krishna, nothing was more beneficial for a Kshatriya (member of warrior clan) than to indulge in Dharma yuddha (war of righteousness). Those opposing dharma (righteousness), those siding evil (lawlessness)… how could they be right from any perspective, questions Lord Krishna? In the present battle of Mahabharata… the enemies of Pandavas represent evil (negative forces of nature). By killing them, how could one become a sinner on scales of dharma (righteousness)?


Lord Krishna further tells Arjuna… if other party, the Kauravas was right and sided dharma (righteous forces of nature), the righteous battle of dharma would not have been necessary. The Kauravas were evil and followed adharmic practices. To forgive them was out of question. Dharma (righteousness) had to be re-established at all costs. Adharma (lawlessness) had to be nipped in the bud. Pandavas (the righteous) could not just become an onlooker in this game of evil.


Duryodhana, the representative of Kaurava camp had already declared his evil intentions to fight when he said, “suchyakrum nahi vadasyami bina yudhye na keshva”. Which simply means, for sake of justice, Duryodhana was not prepared to give Pandavas even an inch of land, what to talk of giving entire kingdom. Although the kingdom rightly belonged to Pandavas, but Duryodhana by his cunning means wanted to become sole emperor of entire kingdom. As Bhishma Pitamah, Dronacharya and Karna were in his camp, Duryodhana thought he would win this self-imposed war of dharma (righteousness) by evil means.


The saying… “suchyakrum nahi vadasyami bina yudhye na keshva” also confirms that proposal for war came from Kaurava camp and not Pandavas. The war of Mahabharata was forcibly inflicted upon Pandavas by Kauravas. Pandavas had only accepted this unjust war wrongly imposed on them. Pandavas were not to blame for starting this just war of dharma (righteousness). The Kauravas were all the time responsible for starting this uncalled for battle of Mahabharata. In the given circumstances, how could Pandavas be termed sinners?


As everything contained in Bhagavad Gita was an allegory to explain spiritual values of life… through Geeta chapter 2 verse 31 it becomes apparent that in ongoing battle of dharma (righteousness) that continues within every human being all the time… the duty of a Kshatriya, follower of warrior clan was following path of dharma (righteousness) all the time. In subtle termsChapter 2 Verse 31 clearly says… follow dictates of your soul atman, the spirit within to reach god in present life! Follow dictates of Lord Krishna that resides in your heart as your soul atman, the spirit within!


Bhagavad Gita 2 31 also clearly confirms that path of spirituality; spiritual journey was indeed mandated for Kshatriyas alone. It was not for Brahmins, Vaishyas or Shudras to follow path of spirituality to reach god in their lifetime. The sacrifices, patience… journey of spiritual path demands can only be met by a Kshatriya… never a Brahmin, vaishya or shudra. In the entire history of mankind… all human beings who reached god in their lifetime were primarily Kshatriyas… kings and princes of their era. As is normally observed… most Brahmins, Vaishyas and Shudras preferred path of religion (path of rituals) than path of spirituality to reach god.


In present times, in present Kali Yuga… Dark Age, metal age none could reach god via path of religion (rituals) alone. Unless we learnt to contemplate, unless we indulged in deeper meanings of life… we could never unearth realities of abstract inner life. Our soul atman, the spirit within… Lord Krishna within us can only be reached by practicing absolute truthfulness always and ever in life. We can hear the sweet small inner voice of our soul atman, the spirit within is only by practicing absolute truthfulness all the time. In a materialistic world dominated by bloated egos, how could one expect to reach god by following path of religion alone? As detailed in bhagavad gita chapter 2 verse 31, so could never be!


Chapter 2 Verse 31 also confirms the hidden subtle truth of life… goal of human life on mother earth always was following path of Svadharma (righteousness) by tackling evil at all stages of life. In a limited time span of 70 to 80 years of earthly life, where was the time for indulgence in rituals that carried no meaning on spiritual path! The journey of spirituality always was travelled all alone… prime reason why entire teachings of Bhagavad Gita were directed towards Arjuna, and not all chieftains in the Pandavas camp! In times of Mahabharata, as Arjuna was the only rightful candidate to decipher sayings of Lord Krishna… on path of pure spirituality, only a seeker who understood importance of contemplation succeeded in reaching God.


Sacred scriptures of Hinduism, all sacred texts of different religions of world had only one meaning to convey… goal of human life was to gain enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) and finally reach stage of moksha salvation so that our soul atman, the spirit within could gain liberation from cycle of birth and death forever. This was our Svadharma (path of dharma) that was required to be followed by each and every human being on mother earth wanting to reach god in present life. When confronted with evil tendencies… even as a spiritual seeker, it becomes our duty to fight evil (adharma) head-on. But people world over who indulged in spirituality thought otherwise.


As is common belief, a spiritual seeker must never indulge in violence even when faced with evil. This was a totally wrong surmise as indicated by Lord Krishna. Even for a spiritual seeker… fighting adharma (lawlessness) was part of life, in absence of which one could never reach god in present life. Just by abandoning our responsibility, just by touching feet of wife and child… Siddhartha Gautama could have never gained enlightenment (kaivalya jnana) and finally moksha salvation in his life. We need cutting shackles of karma, negating karma to zero before successfully reaching stage of Nirvikalpa Samadhi (absolute nothingness)… when not a single thought entered our brain uninvoked!


The journey of spiritual life is always travelled all alone like Arjuna. Lord Krishna always rested in our heart all the time. By remaining truthful all throughout life, by following dictates of Lord Krishna from within… we can easily cross ocean of Samsara (worldly life) to reach god in present life. For a commoner, one from masses… the journey of spirituality almost seemed impossible. But for one possessing will power exhibited by Swami Vivekananda, nothing was impossible in field of pure spirituality! Does it mean to reach god in present life our becoming a Swami Vivekananda in present life was necessitated… yes, teachings of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita say so!


Something destined to be achieved in a time span of 1.1 million manifestations in human form… achieving the same in a limited time span of 70 to 80 years of earthly life is nothing short of a miracle. Only a very ardent seeker of spirituality gained success in spiritual life. Highest practice of patience, persistence and perseverance was necessitated to reach god in present life. Journey of spirituality was like travelling razor’s edge. Without a preceptor in physical life, we had all the time to depend upon dictates of Lord Krishna residing in our heart. For this we had to become truthful in life always and ever. Practicing total truthfulness in present times was really a difficult task… something most people world over found really difficult to practice!


If we want to reach god in present life… we have to follow laid down rules of spirituality. We had to realize that we were primarily a spirit, a soul atman on its cosmic journey of 8.4 million manifestations. We were cosmic energy, a consciousness manifesting human form in order to work out its karma… remove dross impurities within! Journey in human form was the most pleasant experience for every soul atman. Human form was the highest manifest stage in cosmic life cycle. It was only in human form our soul atman, the spirit within finally liberated self from cycle of birth and death forever. In no other form of life could a soul atman liberate self from cycle of birth and death. As a human being, as detailed in Bhagavad Gita chapter 2 verse 31… We must make all-out efforts to reach god in present life.


Commentary by: Vijay Kumar “Atma Jnani”… The Man who Realized God in 1993 – Sep 22, 2014

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