Tuesday, December 24, 2013

BHAGAVAD GITA - THE COMPLETE YOGA SASTRA - Ch.1-sL.27to29- Why is Gaandeevam, the divine Bow slipping away from Arjuna's Hands?






Taan sameekshya sa Kaunteyah sarvaanbandhoonavasthitaan |

kripayaa parayaavishto visheedannidamabraveet  ||

Meaning :

 "Arjuna, the son of Kunti, gazing at all those so dear to him standing thus in the battle-field, was filled with deep pity and said sorrowfully (as follows)."

Arjuna was ready to kill lakhs of people with no mercy at all in his heart. Battle was his profession as kshatriya - and sentiment has no place in it.

But, all his readiness for this war melted like ice in presence of the warm Sun, when he saw some of the persons dearest to him, and very close to his heart, arrayed against him on the side of the Kauravas, and some others, on his own side, ready to die, for no fault of theirs.

Many of them were obviously going to die in the Battle-field. This thought filled him with great pity for them - and he was sorrowful that he had to kill such people.


Arjuna Uvaacha (Arjuna spoke - as follows) : 
Dristvemam svajanam Krishna yuyutsum samupasthitam   |

Seedanti mama gaatraani mukham cha parisushyathi   ||  

Meaning :
"O Krishna! looking at all these kinsmen of mine, standing here and eager to fight this war, my  limbs are all failing and my mouth is parching."

At whom was Arjuna looking now?  He was looking at His beloved Gurus, brothers, sons, grandsons, Grand fathers and so on - all of whom were very dear to him before this war. It was just fate that brought them all into this war. Even their being on Kaurava's side or Pandava's side was not out of love or Hatred, but just destiny. Arjuna knew this well.

The very thought of their getting killed in this war was unpalatable and unacceptable to his mind now. 

What mind feels, it conveys to the body automatically. 

Therefore, Arjuna's mouth was parching up in sheer moroseness and sorrow. His body parts were not co-operating with him now ; Could his hands handle the Bow and arrows now? Could his mind get ready to release arrows the way people knew him to be capable of? No way.

Arjuna was called Savyasachi - one who could release his arrows effortlessly with both hands. His left hand was as swift and accurate as his right hand. But now, both his hands were refusing to cooperate to handle the Bow and arrows.His legs were infirm and not having the strength to stand up for the war. Arjuna was deep in pensive and sorrowful mood now. This is Vishaada, the sorrowful state.

Krishna means - one who is a combination of existence and Bliss. He signifies all the existence and all the Bliss in himself. Thus, he is the very definition of Brahman, the supreme.

Arjuna means -  a person who is shining like silver - and taintless in body and mind. Ayurveda says that the bark of Arjuna tree strengthens the heart and the circulatory system. Arjuna is thus taintless and strong at heart.

But such an Arjuna is now weak, looking at "svajanam" - or "my own people", in the war-field.

As the reader might remember - the same "my own people" syndrome was affecting Dhritaraashtra also - and that was the starting point of the Bhagavad Gita .


Vepathuscha  Sareere me romaharshascha  jaayathe    ||

Gaandeevam sramsathe hastaathtvakchaiva paridahyathe    |

Meaning :

"My body is quivering; my hair is standing on edge; my bow, the Gaandeevam, is slipping from my hands and my skin is burning .  "

Arjuna was describing his physical and mental state to Lord Krishna. His body was trembling and his skin was burning from head to foot. The hair all over his body was standing on edge. And, his Divine Bow, Gaandeevam was slipping away from his hands - due to the weakness that has enveloped his Body and Mind. 

Gaandeevam had an illustrious history - before it was gifted to Arjuna.

It was a Divine Bow created by Brahma, the Creator himself. Brahma held it first for 1000 years, then Prajapati held it for 503 years, Indra, for 580 years, and Soma for 500 years. Then, Varuna held it for a 100 years. It was gifted by Varuna to Arjuna along with a divine chariot, and two inexhaustible quivers, as requested by Agni during the Khandava-dahana episode. Arjuna used it in Kurukshetra war. It was said that, beside Lord Krishna no mortal other than Arjuna could wield this divine bow. When its string was pulled and released, it made a huge sound like a thunder.  After the war, Arjuna returned them back to Agni and Varuna.

Such a Divine Bow could never be handled by a mentally weak person. That was the state of Arjuna's Mind now - and hence, the gaandeevam was slipping away from his hands.

.....Will Continue.

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