Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 2.4, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 4 from the chapter 2 called “Sankhya-yoga (Yoga through distinguishing the Soul from the Body)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 2.4:

अर्जुन उवाच–
कथं भीष्मम् अहं सङ्ख्ये द्रोणं च मधुसूदन ।
इषुभिः प्रतियोत्स्यामि पूजार्हाव् अरिसूदन ॥ ४ ॥

arjuna uvāca
kathaṃ bhīṣmam ahaṃ saṅkhye droṇaṃ ca madhusūdana |
iṣubhiḥ pratiyotsyāmi pūjārhāv arisūdana || 4 ||

arjunaḥ uvāca–Arjuna said; katham–how?; bhīṣmam–against Grandsire Bhīṣma; aham–I; saṅkhye–in battle; droṇam–Droṇācārya; ca–and; madhusūdana–O Madhusūdana; iṣubhiḥ–with arrows; pratiyotsyāmi–shall fight against; pūjā-arhāu–worthy of my worship; arisūdana–slayer of the enemy.

Arjuna said: O Madhusūdana, slayer of the enemy, how can I fight with arrows in battle against Grandfather Bhīṣma and Droṇācārya, who are my worshipful superiors?

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

(By Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura; the innermost intention of the commentary named ‘the shower of essential meanings’)

In answering the question as to why he is not fighting, Arjuna claims that according to the scriptures that deal with morality, it brings inauspiciousness to violate the honour of a worshipable personality. “Therefore, I shall not fight.” To support his action, he speaks this verse beginning with katham. Kṛṣṇa may say, “Bhīṣma, Droṇa and others are fighting against you, so can you not fight back?” Arjuna may answer, “What You say is true. However, I cannot fight against them because I consider them to be worshipful. It is therefore right that I don't fight them. Is it proper for me to angrily pierce with sharp arrows those persons at whose feet I desire to lovingly offer flowers? No, it is not proper.”

By addressing Śrī Kṛṣṇa as Madhusūdana, Arjuna is giving moral instruction to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. “O dear friend, You have also killed enemies in battle, but You have not killed Your guru, Sāndīpani Muni, nor Your relatives, the Yadus. If You say that Madhusūdana (the killer of Madhu) means that madhus (enemies) are Yadus (your relatives), then no, this is not so. Madhu was Your enemy (ari), therefore I have addressed You as Arisūdana, the killer of enemies. That is, the demon named Madhu was Your enemy. I am saying this only.”

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

(By Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja; the explanation that illuminates the commentary named Sārārtha-varṣiṇī)

Sāndīpani Muni was a famous sage, belonging to the dynasty of the great sage Kaśyapa. He lived in the city of Avanti, the present-day Ujjain. While the spiritual masters of the whole universe, Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva, were enacting Their human-like pastimes in order to set an example for others, They accepted Sāndīpani Muni as Their instructing spiritual master (śikṣā-guru). While living in his āśrama, They performed the pastime of learning the sixty-four arts in sixty-four days. In his Sārārtha-darśinī commentary on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has indicated that Sāndīpani Muni was a Śaivite, a follower of Lord Śiva. Why, then, did Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva accept him as Their guru? In answer to this, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura writes that if They had accepted a Vaiṣṇava guru, he would have immediately recognized Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Kṛṣṇa’s pastime of learning would not have taken place. Therefore, these two brothers intentionally went to the devotee of Lord Śiva, Sāndīpani Muni, son of the renowned Yogamāyā-Paurṇamāsī of Vraja. Madhumaṅgala and Nāndīmukhī, the famous friends of Kṛṣṇa, are the son and daughter of Sāndīpani Muni.

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