Bhagavad-Gita:Chapters in Sanskrit


(All 18 chapters in Sanskrit, Transliteration, and Translation.)

Bhagavadgita in English





























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What is Mahabharata to histories, is butter in curd, Brahmana among bipeds, the Aranyaka among the Vedas and nectar among medicines, the sea among receptacles of water and the cow among Quadrupeds. Paraphrase. Vyasa's saying in Mahabharata as translated by Ganguli.

As butter is in curd, Brahmana among bipeds, the Aranyaka among the Vedas, and nectar among medicines; as the sea is eminent among receptacles of water, and the cow among quadrupeds; as are these (among the things mentioned) so is the Bharata said to be among histories.  as translated by Ganguli




Veeraswamy Krishnaraj: Tolerance with love is to speak in tongues of all faiths, hold in the heart the Truth of all faiths and see all faiths in the face of humanity.

About the author:

Veeraswamy Krishnaraj, M.D; F.R.C.P (Canada) is a board certified pediatrician in active practice until the end of 1998. He immersed himself in study of Hinduism in depth. He has sufficient knowledge and understanding of Hindu religion that he is confident to publish this book. He kept the words simple, supple, illuminating and to the point, while retaining the original flavor, beauty and grace. Compound words in Sanskrit are a nightmare for the beginner, as they are spliced together compactly in one continuous stretch of characters. He parsed the compound words into digestible syllables or words with superscripts and sequential numbers and rearranged the words in the verse in a readable form in English. In this book, he claims ownership of shortcomings and cedes the rest to Bhagavan. 

This book is good for students, and devotees reading the Bhagavad-Gita in Satsang (true company). Two verses nestle in two boxes in one page with no break or carry-over to the next page. Diacritics help the reader enunciate the words like a Sanskritist. The English words are reader-friendly. Wherever there is a need for elaboration, an addendum supports it.

Simplicity, authority, universality, and profundity are the hallmark of the Bhagavadgita, the Bible of the Hindus. The Bhagavadgita is the Song of the Lord. It provides guidelines for daily living with no dogmas and ritual overtones. It encourages and supports your individuality. It also explains the consequence of errant ways. Total surrender to Bhagavan releases the devotee from the ills of life on earth. Hinduism as a term is an external appellation from non-Hindus. Its true name is Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Law or Eternal Order) commensurate with Rta (Cosmic Order). The beauty about the Bhagavadgita is its appeal is universal.



Bhagavadgita in Sanskrit, Transliteration, and Translation
ISBN: 9781440176418.  Published Nov 2009
Available in bookstores (Barnes&Noble.com; Amazon.com....)





July 19, 2013: Krishna Bhagavan today is 5241 years of age.

Based on scriptural details and astrological calculations the date of Krishna's birth, known as Janmashtami,[59] is 19 July 3228 BCE and departed on 3102 BCE. Krishna belonged to the Vrishni clan of Yadavas from Mathura,[60] and was the eighth son born to the princess Devaki, and her husband Vasudeva.--Wikipedia

Krishna was born in Mathura on the banks of Yamuna India, three thousand years before Jesus Christ. His descent was to punish evil and uphold Dharma. His incarnation is whole and complete (Purnavatara of Vishnu). He was human in appearance but divine in his deportment. Many miracles are attributed to his childhood. He was born a prince in a prison cell, when, on the orders of his maternal uncle Kamsa, his father and mother were put in the prison.

His maternal uncle Kamsa believed a prediction that Krishna the eight child of Devaki would kill him. Devaki gave birth to Krishna in the prison cell. Bagavan was secretly transported out of the prison and was raised by the head of cow-herders across River Yamuna.

Later as a youth, Krishna killed Kamsa and reinstated Kamsa's father as the king.

In Kuruksetra war, The Pandavas chose Krishna and the Kauravas chose Krishna's army, since Krishna maintained neutrality. Bhagavad Gita (The Song of Bhagavan or the Song of the Divine) is the Philosophical and Theological treatise in the form of conversation between Krishna and prince Arjuna in the battlefield.








Tanjore painting of Mahabharata war


Karma Yoga: Doctrine of communion of individual consciousness with Universal Consciousness through deeds. Bhakti Yoga: Doctrine of Devotion in communion of individual soul with the World Soul. Jnana Yoga: Doctrine of Knowledge in communion of Jivatma with Paramatma.
BG1. Aruja's distress

BG 2 Samkhya Yoga

BG 3 Karma Yoga

BG 4 The Yoga of Knowledge

BG 5 Yoga of Renunciation of Action

BG 6 The Yoga of self-control

BG 7 Knowledge and Realization

BG 8 Brahman the Imperishable

BG 9 Yoga of Sovereign Knowledge and Sovereign Secret

BG 10 Manifestation

BG 11 The Grand Vision

BG 12 Bhakti


BG 13 The Knower, the Field, and the Nature

BG 14 The Three-Guna Psychology

BG 15 The Supreme Person

BG 16 The Divine and the Demon

BG 17 Gunas and Faith

BG 18 Renunciation and Liberation



Bhagavad-Gita is based on the inspired wisdom found in the Upanishads. Upa = near, ni=down, sad=sit.  The teacher taught Upanishads to the pupils sitting down near him.  Another explanation. Upa + ni + shadah. Shadah = (the Jnanam or knowledge that renders) the doubts, miseries, and karmic merits and demerits into dust.  The Bhagavad-Gita is considered as Gitopanishad.

Swami Vivekananda: The origin of ancient Sanskrit is 5000 B.C.; the Upanishads [are at least] two thousand years before that. Nobody knows [exactly] how old they are. The Gita takes the ideas of the Upanishads and in [some] cases the very words. They are strung together with the idea of bringing out, in a compact, condensed, and systematic form, the whole subject the Upanishads deal with.-- The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda  Volume 1  Page 446. 

The Hebrew word Yeshiva also means sitting (Sad in Sanskrit). Yeshiva is a Jewish school of religious learning.

BG is part of Mahabharata, and Vyasa was its author. It is claimed by the West that Vyasa was a generic name for an author, compiler, (editor) and or  "oral-aural-memory-scribe / writer /  publisher". The West surmises there were many Vyasas. ...Biardeau has remarked, "even the most staunch supporters of Western textual criticism in India would never dream of 'critically editing the Vedas. .., since they are absolutely authoritative as they are."


Aldous Huxley wrote: “The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity.” 


I read the Ph.D thesis manuscript of Professor Patricia Yvonne Mumme, The College of Wooster,  Wooster, Ohio 44691. It is treasure-trove of information, every Vaishnava should have.  The book "The Srivaisnava Theological Dispute: Manavalamamuni and Vedanta Deskia" is being reprinted and is forthcoming in 2008 from Navabharat Enterprises in Bangalore, India. The  book is authored by: Professor Patricia Yvonne Mumme, Ph.D, The College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio 44691 USA.


Joseph Campbell (03/26/1904 -- 10/30/1987) was an American mythology professor, writer, and orator well-versed in comparative mythology and comparative religion. He is the most authentic erudite American professor in his field of study. He wanted to study Sanskrit, modern art, and Medieval literature for his Ph.D; his advisors did not support him. Then he followed his bliss. He did well without the Ph.D appendage to his name. Here is a man who went after true knowledge and not a Ph.D. His knowledge is so immense,  ten of the Ivory Tower Ph.Ds and professors cannot match him.  He was a heavy weight in his field and understood other religions and cultures very well. The light weights of today with rare exceptions are a curse to their profession. He was a professor at Sarah Lawrence college for 38 years from 1934 to 1972.

Joseph Campbell's life-altering encounter with Jiddu Krishnamurti.

In 1924 (Professor) Campbell traveled to Europe with his family. On the ship back, he encountered Jiddu Krishnamurti; they discussed Asian philosophy, sparking in Campbell a life-long interest in Hindu and  Indian thought. Following this trip, Campbell ceased to be a practicing Catholic. --Wikipedia



John A. Grimes received his B.A. in Religion from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Indian Philosophy from the University of Madras. He has taught at Universities in India, Canada, Singapore, and the United States. His book publications include: The Vivekacudamani: Sankara's Crown Jewel of Discrimination; Ramana Maharshi: Darshan in Darshana; Ganapati: Song of the Self; Problems and Perspectives in Religious Discourse: Advaita Vedanta Implications; Sapta Vidha Anupapatti: The Seven Great Untenables; Sankara and Heidegger: Being, Truth, Freedom; and The Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvara. He presently spends his time writing and traveling between California and Chennai.  Exoticindia.com

He claims he has the Samskaras to study and write on Indian philosophy, Indian mythology, Advaita Vedanta and the Hindu deities.  ஜான் கிறைம்ஸ்

The following is an extract from Wikipedia.

Hinduism Today Magazine is a quarterly magazine published by the Himalayan Academy in Kapaa, Hawaii, USA. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally, currently in 60 nations. Founded by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami in 1979, it is a public service of his monastic order to promote an understanding of the Hindu faith, culture, and traditions. Hinduism Today Magazine was launched in 1979 by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (Gurudeva), published by his non-profit organization Himalayan Academy.


Specific goals of the magazine include:

As a highly objective magazine with such a diverse presentation of thought, its appeal extends far beyond the Hindu community, especially to those interested in its portrayal of Hindu culture, as well as the thought processes and sentiment used to convey this content. (Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami is a white American, who in the tradition of Great Sages of India attained Realization of Siva.)



Nine Beliefs of Hinduism


Our beliefs determine our thoughts and attitudes about life, which in turn direct our actions. By our actions, we create our destiny. Beliefs about sacred matters--God, soul and cosmos--are essential to one's approach to life. Hindus believe many diverse things, but there are a few bedrock concepts on which most Hindus concur. The following nine beliefs, though not exhaustive, offer a simple summary of Hindu spirituality.
  1. Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.
  2. Hindus believe in the divinity of the four Vedas, the world's most ancient scripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God's word and the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion.
  3. Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.
  4. Hindus believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.
  5. Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha, liberation from the cycle of rebirth, is attained. Not a single soul will be deprived of this destiny.
  6. Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments and personal devotionals create a communion with these devas and Gods.
  7. Hindus believe that an enlightened master, or satguru, is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry, meditation and surrender in God.
  8. Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice ahimsa, noninjury, in thought, word and deed.
  9. Hindus believe that no religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine paths are facets of God's Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.

Hinduism, the world is oldest religion, has no beginning--it precedes recorded history. It has no human founder. It is a mystical religion, leading the devotee to personally experience the Truth within, finally reaching the pinnacle of consciousness where man and God are one. Hinduism has four main denominations--Saivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism and Smartism.

Dr. Mahadevan of Madras university (1972) quotes Bhāmati that Vyasa was the incarnation of Vishnu's Cognitive Energy (J˝ānaśakti-avatāra).

Robert Louis Stevenson  writes

To learn aright from any teacher, we must first of all , like a historical artist, think ourselves into sympathy with his position. If a saying is hard to understand, it is because we are thinking of something else. There is always a ruling spirit behind the code of rules, an attitude, a relation, a point of the compass, in virtue of which we conform or dissent.





Krishna's Gita Updesha


The Battlefield and Arjuna's depression

Kurukshetra War and Chennai connection

IT was a battle royal between Pandavas and Kauravas (Kurus). It was cousins against cousins. Pandu, the father of  five Pandavas died leaving the kingdom to his half-brother Dhrtarastra, who had one hundred sons. When Dhrtarastra decided to give the kingdom - what is rightfully theirs -to Pandavas,  Duryodhana, the eldest son of  Dhrtarastra took the throne for himself by enticing Yudhisthira, the eldest of Pandavas, to a game of dice and stacking all odds against him. The Pandavas lost  the kingdom in the game of dice, and were banished to the forest for twelve years. The last year - the thirteenth - was  spent incognito according to the agreement. Upon their return, Duryodhana wouldn't even give a land the size of a postage stamp - five villages.  Krishna tried to bring the cousins together in vain and offered the warring factions to choose either Him or his military machine  Krishna, the head of the Yadhava clan joined the Pandavas upon their choice and request, while the Kauravas opted for Krishna's army. Krishna refused to bear arms against the Kurus and made a promise to that effect. Bhishma the grandfather of the Kurus who wanted Krishna to break his vow and enter the war with weapons, sent rains of arrows on Krishna which drew blood and scarred his face for ever. Krishna stood there, took the assault and kept his promise. There is a temple in Chennai that celebrates Krishna in the form of Parthasarathy, meaning Partha's Charioteer. Partha =Arjuna.; Sārathy = charioteer. The Parthasarathy Temple (8th Century) in Chennai shows Krishna with scars on his face. The legend says that Krishna, after the Kurushetra war, came to a pond replete with Alli flowers. That site became the holy place and temple, Tiruvallikeni, which was corrupted to Triplicane by the British. The Parthasarathy  temple was built by a Pallava king.

Vishnu incarnates when Dharma is on descent. Vayu Purana Chapter 35 lists the Deva-Asura wars, Vishnu is involved in. The first war was Narasimha (caused by Man-Lion). The second war was Vamana as the Dwarf when He intervened in the war between Devas and Bali and restored the suzerainty of the gods. The 3rd, the 4th, the 5th were VArAha, the churning of the ocean, and the war of TArakAmaya on the abduction of TAtA by Candra. The 6th, 7th, the 8th and the 9th were Adhibaka, Traipura, AndhakAra and Dhvaja wars. The 10th, 11th, and the 12th were VArta, HalAhala and KolAhala. in all these wars Vishnu extracts victory over His opponents either alone by Himself, with others or through surrogate gods.

Krishna became the charioteer of Arjuna, one of the Pandavas. The war was fought in Kuruksetra.  In modern times the area would have been in the vicinity of Delhi. 


Kurukṣetra is land of Kuru, the territory around Thanesar  between Sarasvatī and Dṛṣadvatī rivers. This is where King Kuru did the plowing, meaning it is a cultivated land.  The uncultivated land was called Kuru-gla.  Prof. Shastri,  Śivapurāa  Motilal Banarsidass publishers.

AUM is portrayed well in Krishna-Arjuna chariot, which is of the form of Pranavam. A is Krishna, Ma is Arjuna, everything else is U. A is in front; M is behind A. Paramatma the 26th Tattva is in front of the 25th Tattva, Arjuna the Jivatma.

Krishna, upon request from Arjuna, drove the chariot and stationed it between the two armies.  Arjuna took one look at the armies and immediately became disheartened. He saw his friends, relatives, and  teachers on either side. He couldn't  get himself to kill his near and dear just for the sake of gaining a kingdom or a piece of land. He would rather die in the hands of Kurus ( Kauravas) than to kill any of them. His body, mind, and heart sank in deep depression. He lost his will to kill his enemies. 


Throughout the battle between the Pandavas and Kauravas,  Sanjaya, a charioteer, a friend and secretary was acting as a reporter to the blind king Dhrtarastra, the father of Kauravas, on the battlefield happenings. Sanjaya had this  unique "Omnivision", by which he could see in his mind and narrate all  events  in real time on the battlefield, while staying close to the blind king in safety, away from the battlefield. He was in effect the seeing eyes of the blind king, with omnivision.  One compensated for the other more than one can imagine. The blind king Dhrtarastra didn't have the foresight to see the destruction of  his own sons, when he went along with his eldest son Duryodhana in the game of dice  and entrapment of Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandavas.

Krishna, related to both Pandavas and Kauravas, was neutral. Krishna tried his best to avert a war between Pandavas and Kauravas. When  imminence of war was in the horizon, He proposed that one party can get his military machine and the other can have Him. Duryodhana, in his egoistic ignorance, chose Krishna's military machine, while the Pandavas chose Krishna.  That clinched the outcome of the battle.

Krishna as Ambassador in the court of Kurus attempting to prevent war: Painting by Raja Ravi Varma. Credit www.kamat.com

The God in human form has dark blue skin like the nimbus clouds; there is no way one can miss Him.

Krishnajayanti is celebration of Krishna's birth.

Gita talks about Dharmaksetra and Kuruksetra in one breath. The former is a field of Dharma - duty and righteousness and the latter is a battleground in the land of the Kurus / Kauravas. It was a battle between the good and the evil.    The battleground itself is representative of  life's struggle and the desire of atman (self)  to merge with Brahman or Atman (Self).  Dharma is the underlying framework for that struggle. Life and struggle without Dharma are futile and even worse, the breeder of karma. The  body is the chariot  and the atman is  riding the chariot. Buddhi - intuitive intelligence -is the chariot driver. The mind is the reins and the senses are the horses.  Buddhi controls the mind and the senses. And Krishna is the Self or Brahman. This analogy is mentioned in the Upanishads.  The senses are compared to vicious horses in Sv. Up 2.9

Arjuna's unwillingness to go to war  and cause the death of his near and dear, was one of compassion, but in his confusion, did not address the duty he was sworn to as a Ksatriya. Arjuna worried about the death of his kith and kin and leaving so many widows, who without their husbands, brothers and fathers, were susceptible to deprivation and degradation of their status and moral values.

Krishna the Charioteer and Arjuna the Warrior Prince.

Chapter 1: Arjuna's Distress





धृतराष्ट्र उवाच 

धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः ।

मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय ॥१-१॥ 1.1

dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca
etre kuruketre samavetā yuyutsava
māmakāḥ pāṇḍ
avāś cai 'va kim akurvata sa˝jaya 1.1

1.1: Dhritarāstra said:

Assembled in Dharmaksetra and Kuruksetra eager for battle, what did my people and the sons of Pandu do, O Sanjaya? 

Dharmaksetra: The field of righteousness. Kuruksetra: The field of Kurus. The implication is that a battle is about to happen between the forces of right and wrong in the land of the Kurus.   



सञ्जय उवाच 

दृष्ट्वा तु पाण्डवानीकं व्यूढं दुर्योधनस्तदा ।

आचार्यमुपसंगम्य राजा वचनमब्रवीत्  ॥१-२॥ 1.2

sa˝jaya uvāca
vā tu pāṇḍavānīkaṁ vyūḍhaṁ duryodhanas tadā
ācāryam upasa
gamya rājā vacanam abravīt 1.2

1.2: Sanjaya said:

Seeing the Pandava army in battle formation, Duryodhana approached his teacher and spoke these words.

Drona was his Guru. 


पश्यैतां पाण्डुपुत्राणामाचार्य महतीं चमूम् ।

व्यूढां द्रुपदपुत्रेण तव शिष्येण धीमता ॥१-३॥ 1.3

paśyaitāṁ pāṇḍuputrāṇām ācārya mahatīṁ camūm
vyūḍhāṁ drupadaputreṇ
a tava śiṣyeṇa dhīmatā 1.3

1.3: Behold this great army of the sons of Pandu deployed in battle formation by the son of Drupada, your intelligent disciple, O teacher. 

अत्र शूरा महेष्वासा भीमार्जुनसमा युधि ।

युयुधानो विराटश्च द्रुपदश्च महारथः ॥१-४॥ 1.4

atra śūrā maheṣvāsā bhīmārjunasamā yudhi
yuyudhāno virā
aś ca drupadaś ca mahārathaḥ 1.4

1.4: Here are the heroes and the great archers equal to Bhima and Arjuna in battle: Yuyudhana, Virata, and Drupada, the great charioteer.   

धृष्टकेतुश्चेकितानः काशिराजश्च वीर्यवान् ।

पुरुजित्कुन्तिभोजश्च शैब्यश्च नरपुङ्गवः ॥१-५॥ 1.5

dhṛṣṭaketuś cekitānaḥ kāśirājaś ca vīryavān
purujit kuntibhojaś ca śaibyaś ca narapungavaḥ 1.5

1.5: Dhristaketu, Cekitana, valiant Kasiraja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja, and Saibya, the foremost among men.   

युधामन्युश्च विक्रान्त उत्तमौजाश्च वीर्यवान् ।

सौभद्रो द्रौपदेयाश्च सर्व एव महारथाः  ॥१-६॥ 1.6

yudhāmanyuś ca vikrānta uttamaujāś ca vīryavān
saubhadro draupadeyāś ca sarva eva mahārathāḥ 1.6

1.6: Yudhamanyu the valiant, Uttamauja the powerful, the son of Subhadra, and the sons of Draupadi are great chariot fighters.   

अस्माकं तु विशिष्टा ये तान्निबोध द्विजोत्तम ।

नायका मम सैन्यस्य संज्ञार्थं तान्ब्रवीमि ते  ॥१-७॥ 1.7

asmākaṁ tu viśiṣṭā ye tān nibodha dvijottama
nāyakā mama sainyasya saṁj˝ārthaṁ tān bravīmi te 1.7

1.7: Know also, O Dvija Uttama, the leaders of the army, who are distinguished. I will name them for your information.   

Dvija-Uttama: The “twice-born supreme,” the best of the Brahmanas.   

भवान्भीष्मश्च कर्णश्च कृपश्च समितिंजयः ।

अश्वत्थामा विकर्णश्च सौमदत्तिस्तथैव च  ॥१-८॥ 1.8

bhavān bhīṣmaś ca karaś ca kpaś ca samitiṁjayaḥ
aśvatthāmā vikarṇ
aś ca saumadattis tathai 'va ca 1.8

1.8: (Like) yourself, Bhishma, Karna, Kripa, Asvatthama. Vikarna, and the sons of Somadatta as well, ever victorious in battle.

अन्ये च बहवः शूरा मदर्थे त्यक्तजीविताः ।

नानाशस्त्रप्रहरणाः सर्वे युद्धविशारदाः  ॥१-९॥ 1.9

anye ca bahavaḥ śūrā madarthe tyaktajīvitāḥ
nānāśastrapraharaṇāḥ sarve yuddhaviśāradāḥ 1.9

1.9: Many other heroes have risked their lives for my sake. They are equipped with many  weapons, and all of them are skilled in war.   

अपर्याप्तं तदस्माकं बलं भीष्माभिरक्षितम् ।

पर्याप्तं त्विदमेतेषां बलं भीमाभिरक्षितम्  ॥१-१०॥ 1.10

aparyāptaṁ tad asmākaṁ balaṁ bhīṣmābhirakṣitam
ṃ tv idam eteṣāṁ balaṁ bhīmābhirakṣitam 1.10

1.10: Our strength is unlimited, protected by Bhisma. Protected by Bhima, the strength of Pandavas is limited.  


अयनेषु च सर्वेषु यथाभागमवस्थिताः ।

भीष्ममेवाभिरक्षन्तु भवन्तः सर्व एव हि  ॥१-११॥ 1.11

ayaneṣu ca sarveṣu yathābhāgam avasthitāḥ
bhīṣmam evā  'bhirakṣantu bhavantaḥ sarva eva hi 1.11

1.11: All of you, stationed everywhere on all fronts in your respective positions, protect Bhishma without remiss.

तस्य संजनयन्हर्षं कुरुवृद्धः पितामहः ।

सिंहनादं विनद्योच्चैः शङ्खं दध्मौ प्रतापवान्  ॥१-१२॥ 1.12

tasya sa˝janayan harṣaṃ kuruvṛddhaḥ pitāmahaḥ
siṃhanādaṃ vinadyocchaiḥ śaṅkhaṃ dadhmau pratāpavān 1.12

1.12: The valiant Bhishma, the elder of the Kurus and the grandfather, roared like a lion and blew his conch loudly to cheer up Duryodhana.


ततः शङ्खाश्च भेर्यश्च पणवानकगोमुखाः ।

सहसैवाभ्यहन्यन्त स शब्दस्तुमुलोऽभवत्  ॥१-१३॥ 1.13

tataḥ śaṅkhāś ca bheryaś ca paṇavānakagomukhāḥ
sahasai  'vā  'bhyahanyanta sa śabdas tumulo 'bhavat 1.13

1.13: Thereafter, conches, kettledrums, trumpets, tabors, and horns were sounded all together. It was a tumultuous riot.


ततः श्वेतैर्हयैर्युक्ते महति स्यन्दने स्थितौ ।

माधवः पाण्डवश्चैव दिव्यौ शङ्खौ प्रदध्मतुः  ॥१-१४॥ 1.14

tataḥ śvetair hayair yukte mahati syandane sthitau
mādhavaḥ pāṇḍ
avaś cai 'va divyau śakhau pradaghmatuḥ 1.14

1.14: Thereafter, Madhava and Pandava (Lord Krishna and Arjuna) sitting on the great chariot yoked with white horses sounded the divine conches.  


पाञ्चजन्यं हृषीकेशो देवदत्तं धनञ्जयः ।

पौण्ड्रं दध्मौ महाशङ्खं भीमकर्मा वृकोदरः  ॥१-१५॥ 1.15

pā˝cajanyaṁ hṛṣīkeśo devadattaṁ dhana˝jayaḥ
pauṇḍraṁ dadhmau mahāśaṅkhaṁ bhīmakarmā vṛkodaraḥ 1.15

1.15: Hrisikesa blew His conch, Pāchajanya; Dhanajaya blew his conch, Devadatta; and Bhima the big eater and formidable doer of deeds blew his big conch, Paundra.

  Hrisikesa is Lord Krishna, Dhananjaya is Arjuna and Virokdara [Bhima] is Arjuna's sibling. Panchajanya, Devadatta and Paundram are the names of conches of the respective personas.

Bhima means 'The Terrible', and thus are the epithet Bhima and eponymous acts, Bhima Karma (= terrible deeds).  


अनन्तविजयं राजा कुन्तीपुत्रो युधिष्ठिरः ।

नकुलः सहदेवश्च सुघोषमणिपुष्पकौ  ॥१-१६॥ 1.16

anantavijayaṁ rājā kuntīputro yudhiṣṭhiraḥ
nakulaḥ sahadevaś ca sughoṣamaṇipuṣpakau 1.16

काश्यश्च परमेष्वासः शिखण्डी च महारथः ।

धृष्टद्युम्नो विराटश्च सात्यकिश्चापराजितः  ॥१-१७॥ 1.17

kāśyaś ca parameṣvāsaḥ śikhaṇḍī ca mahāratha
adyumno virāaś ca sātyakiś cā 'parājitaḥ 1.17

द्रुपदो द्रौपदेयाश्च सर्वशः पृथिवीपते ।

सौभद्रश्च महाबाहुः शङ्खान्दध्मुः पृथक्पृथक्  ॥१-१८॥ 1.18
drupado draupadeyāś ca sarvaśaḥ pṛthivīpate
saubhadraś ca mahābāhu
ḥ śaṅkhān dadhmuḥ pṛthak-pṛthak 1.18

1.16-18: Yuddhisthira, Nakula and Sahadeva, Sikhandin, Dhristadyumna, Virata, Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and the son of Subhadra all blew their respective conches.  

The verses were condensed to convey the meaning only. Nakula and Sahadeva are twins.


स घोषो धार्तराष्ट्राणां हृदयानि व्यदारयत् ।

नभश्च पृथिवीं चैव तुमुलो व्यनुनादयन्  ॥१-१९॥ 1.19

sa ghoṣo dhārtarāṣṭrāṇāṁ hṛdayāni vyadārayat
nabhaś ca pṛthivīṁ cai 'va tumulo vyanunādayan 1.19

1.19: The tumultuous roar (of the conches), reverberating through the sky and the earth, tore the hearts of the sons of Dhritarastra (the Kauravas).


अथ व्यवस्थितान्दृष्ट्वा धार्तराष्ट्रान्कपिध्वजः ।

प्रवृत्ते शस्त्रसंपाते धनुरुद्यम्य पाण्डवः  ॥१-२०॥ 1.20

atha vyavasthitān dṛṣṭvā dhārtarāṣṭrān  kapidhvaja
tte śastrasapāte dhanur udyamya pāṇḍava1.20

1.20: O King, thereupon Arjuna, whose flag bore the crest of Hanuman, seeing the sons of Dhritarastra ready for battle, took up his bow, and spoke these words to Lord Krishna.


The insignias (limbs) of a king are the following: NAdu = Country, Mala = mountain, Nadi = River, Ijru = Village, Kottara = Palace, Kutira = Horse, Ana = Elephant, Murasu = War Drum, Koji = Flag, CenkOl (Scepter).  The only thing Arjuna was left with was his chariot, his horses, his bow and arrows, and his flag. More importantly, Arjuna had Krishna on his side and front as his Charioteer. His final victory was made possible by Krishna, his friend, relative (brother-in-law) and Bhagavan. Arjuna married Krishna's sister and his cousin Subhadra.


Hanuman means that he is heavy-jawed; he is the chief of Vānarās, ape-like beings, which helped Rama fight Ravana, the demon-king of Sri Lanka. The latter abducted the wife, Sita, of Lord Rama; when Rama sent Lord Hanuman to look for Sita, he reached Lanka in one long jump. Ravana ordered his servants (Raksasas/devils or demons) to set Lord Hanuman’s tail on fire, and paraded Hanuman on the streets of Lanka with his tail in blaze; abducted Sita, knowing this, invoked Agni, the Lord of Fire, who let the end of the tail glow in the flame, but not burn and stay fire-resistant.

Hanuman, in the spirit of teaching a lesson to Ravana and Indrajit, set the city on fire. Lord Hanuman's services are recognized and celebrated by man and God and He is always imaged along with Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana, Rama's brother. Hanuman claims His lineage from Vayu (Enlil of Summeria), the wind God and A˝janā, an apsarasa. An apsarasa is a celestial nymph and dancer and is usually a mistress of Gandharva living in Svarga, Indira's paradise. Lord Hanuman's image adorns Arjuna’s flag.  


Author's note: Smokes, flags, and drums have been in use for a long time. It is claimed that Egyptians used the flags as early as 4000 B.C., on their ships identifying its registry. Vexillum is the Latin word for flag. A flag historian is called Vexillologist. Sanskrit word for flag is Dhvaga. Flags were used in ancient India in front of liquor stores, announcing they were open for business.

In Summerian mythology, the god of wind (Air, Airspace) is Enlil, the second most powerful god of Sumerians. Enlil was born of ANU (heaven) and KI (earth) and became the chief of gods (the Indra of Hindu mythology). He also put together the Laws of the Universe, ME known in Hindu mythology as RTA. Sanskrit Rta, English Right, Persian arta, and Latin ritus are cognate.









हृषीकेशं तदा वाक्यमिदमाह महीपते । 

अर्जुन उवाच सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये रथं स्थापय मेऽच्युत  ॥१-२१॥ 1.21

hṛṣīkeśaṁ tadā vākyam idam āha mahīpate
senayor ubhayor madhye rathaṁ sthāpaya me 'cyuta 1.21

यावदेतान्निरिक्षेऽहं योद्‌धुकामानवस्थितान् ।

कैर्मया सह योद्धव्यमस्मिन् रणसमुद्यमे  ॥१-२२॥ 1.22

yāvad etān nirikṣehaṁ yoddhukāmān avasthitān
kair mayā saha yoddhavyam asmin raṇasamudyame 1.22

1.21- 22: O Acyuta (Krishna), stand my chariot between the two armies in order for me to look upon those who are eager for a battle and with whom I have to fight.   

The meaning of the verses are condensed to convey the meaning only.


योत्स्यमानानवेक्षेऽहं य एतेऽत्र समागताः ।

धार्तराष्ट्रस्य दुर्बुद्धेर्युद्धे प्रियचिकीर्षवः  ॥१-२३॥ 1.23

yotsyamānān avekṣe 'haṁ ya ete 'tra samāgatāḥ
dhārtarāṣṭrasya durbuddher yuddhe priyacikīrṣavaḥ 1.23

1.23: I wish to see those assembled here willing to fight and serve the evil-minded son of Dhrtarāstra.


सञ्जय उवाच 

एवमुक्तो हृषीकेशो गुडाकेशेन भारत ।

सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये स्थापयित्वा रथोत्तमम्  ॥१-२४॥ 1.24

Sa˝jaya Uvāca:

evam ukto hṛṣīkeśo guḍākeśena bhārata
senayor ubhayor madhye sthāpayitvā rathottamam 1.24

1.24: Sanjaya said:

O Bharata (Dhrtarāstra), having been addressed by Gudakesana (Arjuna), Hrsikesa (Lord Krishna) placed the best of chariots in the midst of both armies. 


भीष्मद्रोणप्रमुखतः सर्वेषां च महीक्षिताम् ।

उवाच पार्थ पश्यैतान्समवेतान्कुरूनिति  ॥१-२५॥ 1.25

bhīṣmadroṇapramukhataḥ sarveṣāṁ ca mahīkṣitām
uvāca pārtha paśyai 'tān samavetān kurūn iti 1.25

1.25: Facing Bhisma, Drona, and all great chiefs (the Lord) said to Partha: Behold (all of) the Kurus gathered thus.


तत्रापश्यत्स्थितान्पार्थः पितॄनथ पितामहान् ।

आचार्यान्मातुलान्भ्रातॄन्पुत्रान्पौत्रान्सखींस्तथा  ॥१-२६॥ 1.26

tatrā  'paśyat sthitān pārthaḥ pitṛn atha pitāmahān
ācāryān mātulān bhrāt
n putrān pautrān sakhīs tathā 1.26

श्वशुरान्सुहृदश्चैव सेनयोरुभयोरपि ।

तान्समीक्ष्य स कौन्तेयः सर्वान्बन्धूनवस्थितान्  ॥१-२७॥ 1.27

śvaśurān suhṛdaś cai 'va senayor ubhayor api
tān samīkṣya sa kaunteyaḥ sarvān bandhūn avasthitān 1.27

कृपया परयाविष्टो विषीदन्निदमब्रवीत् । 

अर्जुन उवाच दृष्ट्वेमं स्वजनं कृष्ण युयुत्सुं समुपस्थितम्  ॥१-२८॥ 1.28

kṛpayā parayā 'viṣṭo viīdann idamabravīt
ṛṣṭve 'maṁ svajanaṁ kṛṣṇa yuyutsuṁ samupasthitam 1.28

सीदन्ति मम गात्राणि मुखं च परिशुष्यति ।

वेपथुश्च शरीरे मे रोमहर्षश्च जायते  ॥१-२९॥ 1.29

sīdanti mama gātrāṇi mukhaṁ ca pariśuṣyati
vepathuś ca śarīre me romahar
aś ca jāyate 1.29


Beholding these my relatives arrayed

Before my eyes in serried line of battle,

Preparing for the deadly fray, my limbs

Are all relaxed, my blood dries up, a tremor

Palsies my frame, the hairs upon my skin

Bristle with horror, all my body burns

As if with fever, and my mind whirls round,

So that I cannot stand upright, nor hold

The bow Gāṇḍīva slipping from my hand.

I cannot — will not fight — mighty Krishna.

I seek not victory, I seek no kingdom.

"What shall we do with regal pomp and power,

What with enjoyments or with life itself,

When we have slaughtered all our kindred here?

Indian Wisdom by Monier Monier-Williams Verse 1.28-33

page 139. Note dated July 8, 2015



1.26-29: Partha could see standing there (on the battlefield) fathers, also grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends too, fathers-in-law, well-wishers and the armies of both sides. Kaunteya, after seeing all of them, and all kinds of relatives, overwhelmed by compassion and lamentation spoke. Arjuna said: O Krishna, after seeing all the relatives present before me all ready and eager to fight, I feel the limbs of (my) body shake, (my) mouth dry, my body quiver, and my hair stand on end.


गाण्डीवं स्रंसते हस्तात्त्वक्चैव परिदह्यते ।

न च शक्नोम्यवस्थातुं भ्रमतीव च मे मनः  ॥१-३०॥ 1.30

gāṇḍīvaṁ sraṁsate hastāt tvak cai 'va paridahyate
na ca śaknomy avasthātuṁ bhramatī 'va ca me manaḥ 1.30

निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव ।

न च श्रेयोऽनुपश्यामि हत्वा स्वजनमाहवे  ॥१-३१॥ 1.31

nimittāni ca paśyāmi viparītāni keśava
na ca śreyo 'nupaśyāmi hatvā svajanam āhave 1.31

1.30-31: My bow, Gandiva, is slipping from my hand. My skin is burning. I am not able to stand steadily. I am forgetting myself. My mind is reeling. O Kesava, I see adverse omens; I foresee no good by killing my own people in battle.


न काङ्क्षे विजयं कृष्ण न च राज्यं सुखानि च ।

किं नो राज्येन गोविन्द किं भोगैर्जीवितेन वा  ॥१-३२॥ 1.32

na kāṅkṣe vijayaṁ kṛṣṇa na ca rājyaṁ sukhāni ca
kiṃ no rājyena govinda kiṁ bhogair jīvitena vā 1.32

1.32: O Krishna, I long neither for victory, nor for kingdom and nor for happiness. O Govinda, of what use is the kingdom, enjoyment, or living?


येषामर्थे काङ्क्षितं नो राज्यं भोगाः सुखानि च ।

त इमेऽवस्थिता युद्धे प्राणांस्त्यक्त्वा धनानि च  ॥१-३३॥ 1.33

yeṣām arthe kāṅkṣitaṁ no rājyaṁ bhogāḥ sukhāni ca
ta ime 'vasthitā yuddhe prāṇāṁs tyaktvā dhanāni ca 1.33

1.33: They, for whose sake kingdom, enjoyment, and happiness are desired, are standing here in the battlefield ready to give up their lives and riches.


आचार्याः पितरः पुत्रास्तथैव च पितामहाः ।

मातुलाः श्वशुराः पौत्राः श्यालाः संबन्धिनस्तथा  ॥१-३४॥ 1.34

ācāryāḥ pitaraḥ putrās tathai 'va ca pitāmahāḥ
mātulāḥ śvaśurāḥ pautrāḥ śyālāḥ sambandhinas tathā 1.34

1.34: Teachers, fathers, sons, as well as grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other relatives.


एतान्न हन्तुमिच्छामि घ्नतोऽपि मधुसूदन ।

अपि त्रैलोक्यराज्यस्य हेतोः किं नु महीकृते  ॥१-३५॥ 1.35

etān na hantum icchhāmi ghnato 'pi madhusūdana
api trailokyarājyasya hetoḥ kiṁ nu mahīkṛ
te 1.35

1.35: I do not want to kill them, though they (want to) kill me, O Madhusudhana, even for the three worlds, not to speak of an earthly kingdom.  


निहत्य धार्तराष्ट्रान्नः का प्रीतिः स्याज्जनार्दन ।

पापमेवाश्रयेदस्मान्हत्वैतानाततायिनः  ॥१-३६॥

nihatya dhārtarāṣṭrān naḥ kā prītiḥ syāj janārdana
pāpam evā 'śrayed asmān hatvai 'tān ātatāyinaḥ 1.36

1.36: By killing the sons of Dhrtrastra, what pleasure can there be? O Janardhana, upon killing these heinous sinners, sin will descend on us. 


तस्मान्नार्हा वयं हन्तुं धार्तराष्ट्रान्स्वबान्धवान् ।

स्वजनं हि कथं हत्वा सुखिनः स्याम माधव  ॥१-३७॥ 1.37

tasmān nā 'rhā vayaṃ hantuṁ dhārtarāṣṭrān svabāndhavān
ṁ hi kathaṁ hatvā sukhinaḥ syāma mādhava 1.37

1.37: Therefore, it is not becoming of us that we kill the sons of Dhritrastra. How, by killing kinsmen, can we become happy O Madhava?


यद्यप्येते न पश्यन्ति लोभोपहतचेतसः ।

कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं मित्रद्रोहे च पातकम्  ॥१-३८॥ 1.38

yady apy ete na paśyanti lobhopahatacetasaḥ
kulakṣayakṛtaṁ doṣaṁ mitradrohe ca pātakam 1.38

1.38:  Even if they, whose minds are overwhelmed by greed, do not see sin in the ruin of the family, or crime in treachery to friends…  

Even if they, whose greed overwhelms their mind, do not see sin in the ruin of the family, or crime in treachery to friends…


कथं न ज्ञेयमस्माभिः पापादस्मान्निवर्तितुम् ।

कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं प्रपश्यद्भिर्जनार्दन  ॥१-३९॥ 1.39

kathaṁ na j˝eyam asmābhiḥ pāpād asmān nivartitum
kulakṣayakṛtaṁ doṣaṁ prapaśyadbhir janārdana 1.39

1.39: Why should not we have the wisdom to see the crime in the ruin of the family O Janardhana, and turn away from the sins?


कुलक्षये प्रणश्यन्ति कुलधर्माः सनातनाः ।

धर्मे नष्टे कुलं कृत्स्नमधर्मोऽभिभवत्युत  ॥१-४०॥ 1.40

kulakṣaye praṇaśyanti kuladharmāḥ sanātanāḥ
dharme naṣṭe kulaṃ kṛtsnam adharmo 'bhibhavaty uta 1.40

1.40: With the ruin of the family, the eternal kula dharma is destroyed. When dharma is destroyed, the whole family turns to adharma.  

Kula dharma: Established order of the family, family institution. Dharma: Established order. Adharma: Unrighteousness.


अधर्माभिभवात्कृष्ण प्रदुष्यन्ति कुलस्त्रियः ।

स्त्रीषु दुष्टासु वार्ष्णेय जायते वर्णसंकरः  ॥१-४१॥ 1.41

adharmābhibhavāt kṛṣṇa praduyanti kulastriya
u duṣṭāsu vārṣṇeya jāyate varṇasaṁkaraḥ 1.41

1.41: When Adharma prevails, O Krishna, the women of the family become morally corrupt, and when women are tainted, O Varsneya (Krishna), Varna Samkara comes into existence.


To this day in India, women bear the heavier burden than men in guarding  morality and any scrofulousness on their part brings disproportionably erosive shame to the family.  


Adharma: Unrighteousness. Varna Samkara: mixture of castes by intermarriage.


रो नरकायैव कुलघ्नानां कुलस्य च ।

पतन्ति पितरो ह्येषां लुप्तपिण्डोदकक्रियाः  ॥१-४२॥ 1.42

sakaro narakāyai 'va kulaghnānāṃ kulasya ca
patanti pitaro hy eṣāṁ luptapiṇḍodakakriyāḥ 1.42

1.42:  Commingling (of castes) brings hell to the family and those who destroyed the race. The spirits of the ancestors fall, deprived of their offerings of food and water.


Because of commingling of castes, the family and the destroyers of the race go to hell. The spirit of the ancestor falls, deprived of the offerings of food and water.


Question ID: 522 - NAMASKARA! According to shastras, is a Brahmin male allowed to marry a Kshatriya female as a primary and only wife ? If so (or if not so), are the resultant progeny considered Brahmins ?

Sri U. Ve Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy  answers:


Varna sankaram is a papa as per first chapter of Gita.

Meaning: Marriage between castes (Intermarriage) is sin according to Bhagavadgita, chapter 1, Verse 42.



Sankara: Commingling of castes looked down upon at that time as miscegenation was looked down upon in the west in the past. Kula-ghnānām: destruction of race.

Many of the commentators have deliberately altered the meaning of the Sanskrit word, Sankara. In keeping with the modern view of equality of races, many of the commentators on this verse conveniently do not address this issue of commingling of races out of embarrassment, common courtesy and decency. Commingling of races is deliberately altered to such word as confusion. If one wants to get a correct translation of this verse, one has to read Sankara and Ramanuja.

Sankara's commentary in Sanskrit as translated by Swami Ghambirananda:

And the intermingling in the family leads the ruiners of the family verily into hell. The forefathers of these fall down (into hell) because of being deprived of the offering of rice-balls and water.

Ramanuja's commentary in Sanskrit as translated by Svami Adidevananda:

This mixing of classes (castes) leads to hell the clan itself and its destroyers; for the spirits of their ancestors fall degraded, deprived of the ritual offering of food and water.


The confusion verily drags the family-slayer, as well as the family, to hell, and for want of obsequial offerings and rites their departed sires fall from blessedness.

Gandhi's comment:  Hindu Dharma by M.K.Gandhi page 56-65.

Gandhi is a firm believer in Varnasrma Dharma. Gandhi admits he was born of Vaishya (Traders) parents, 3rd down the line. Gandhi says, "I as a Vaisya would be earning my bread by selling drugs (pharmacist) or groceries. Vaisya Varna includes all professions.  A tailor may not become a blacksmith although both may be and should be called as Vaisyas. No one is superior to any other (among the four varnas). A scavenger has the same status as a Brahmin. He endorses the view of Max Muller by quoting him: In Hinduism more than any other religion that life was no more and no less than DUTY. Varna does not make life dull and rob it of all ambition. Under the cover of Varna, hideous inequalities and tyrannies are practiced at the present day in Hinduism. Varna is not a mere institution made by man but it is a law discovered by him. The evil lies in the doctrine of superiority and inferiority superadded to it. I do regard Varnashrma as a healthy division of work based on birth. The present idea of caste is a perversion of the original. He (a non-Brahmin) who performs the duty of a Brahmin will easily  become one in the next incarnation.

It appears that according to Gandhi, any Varna can do any work suited to his temperament, training, intellect, aptitude, and education, as long as he or she does not call himself or herself  by other than his Birth-Varna.


Apart from four main castes, Brahmin, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra, there is the fifth class, Antyaja. Antya (last in order) + Ja (caste) = the lowest caste. The Antyajas are the washer men, tanners, mimics (actor), Varudas (cane-weavers), Kaivartas (fishermen), Bhedas*, and Bhillas (hill tribes).

Bhedas*: name of certain tribe.

Below these people, there are the Mlecchas and Dumbas. Mlecchas generally are the foreigners, barbarians, non-Aryans and those who do not speak Sanskrit. Dumbas are basket and rope makers, cremation workers,  street musicians and dancers.  

The view from the west.

A note on cremation: Cremation of the dead as a Hindu custom came down from the Indo-Aryan Agni (Fire-god) worshippers in the Vedic age. Modes of disposal of the dead have been passed from antiquity: Agni Dagdhah (burning by fire), An-Agni Dagdhah (not burnt but buried), Paroptah (casting off), Uddhitah (Exposure of the dead).  The Persian fire-worshippers exposed the dead to the vultures in the tower of silence,  the custom practiced by Zoroastrians (Parsees).  The cremation custom spread to Europe later.  In olden days in Europe, the wealthy dead were reduced to ashes; the poor were buried. The Aryans invading into Europe introduced this custom. Since the Aryans were nomads, they cremated the dead.  Burial place and the relatives, according to belief, were haunted and threatened by spirits of Pitris or ancestors; therefore, the nomads cremated their near and dear to avoid haunting by the ghosts, which ran away because the fire took the souls to Hades, a welcome house for the departed souls of the earth.  The Indo-Aryans were of the belief that the dead take the path of Agni to the world of forefathers and Yama (god of death), live in splendor like the gods, leave behind all the miseries and evils of the earth-life, live a better and more perfect life, receive solace and recognition from Yama, enjoy fulfillment of all desires, and move among gods. Sanskrit Yama, Tamil Yaman, Persian Yima, Nordic Ymir, and Canaanite god Yam are one and the same god.

Agni, glorified by gods and men, is invoked by them to make the path of the departed fathers straight and trouble-free, show kindness and carry the oblations. The Dead make their journey to Yama on foot. Yama and His sister Yami are no different from the twins, Persian Yima and Yimeh, whose parents are Vivahvant as the Indian counterparts had Vivasvat as their parent. Yami woos Yama (!), who rejects her proposal outright. Yama wears blood-red garments and sports a glittering sable hue and appearance. He rides a buffalo and holds a club and noose. Yami is identified with post-Vedic River Goddess, Yamuna. Yama has two grey dogs, each with four eyes ( four eyes = two physical eyes and a yellow pigmented fur by each eye), and two messengers, owl and pigeon. The Dead, who faithfully fulfilled all religious observances, are welcomed and assured of their original shining form without the sin, shame and taint of the earth.  Yama is Dharma Raja, King Righteousness, and Pitrapathi, Lord of the fathers, Samavurti, the Impartial Judge, Kritana, the Finisher, Antaka, He who Ends Life, and Samana, the Leveler. (Death is a Leveler.) His Minister and chronicler keeps a record of the deeds of men in a book called Agra SamAdhanA (a Register of Human Actions) from which he reads out a litany of bad (and also good) acts, which demand suitable rewards or punishments. Post-Vedic Yama is the Chief Executive of a complicated system of Hells and goes also by the name of Dandadhara, the Wielder of the rod or mace.  He binds the souls with the noose and carries out the decrees of gods (an exclusive franchise) and takes charge of the soul of the size of a thumb at the appointed time. (Vaishnavas are of the belief that Yama and his minions show deference to Vishnu's devotees, irrespective of their caste or any other terrestrial differences.)

Commentary section following chapter and verse 5.18, describes mixed castes according to Garuda Purana 1.96-1-73, as narrated by Yajnavalkya.


The spirits of the ancestors fall, deprived of their offerings of food and water. (Read the Verse 1.42)

There is a beautiful description about CirArtham (Sraddha), offering of food to the ancestors (manes) in Book 6 KuraiOnrumIllai -குறையொன்றுமில்லை- by Mukkur Lakshmi Narasimhachariar.  Achariar quotes Pitru-Gitam in Vishnupuranam. Cirartham (சிரார்த்தம்) is a two-way fare. The manes are pleased with the offering from their descendants, who offer blessings to their progeny who perform the ceremony. The ceremony is presided by a deity, Harshana. The offered food is called Pinda and the act is Sraddha.  The following is an extract from Vishnu Puranam, translated from Sanskrit to English by H.H.Wilson. They who are desirous of worshipping their Pitrs or the gods can do Sraddha on a day of new moon when the stars Dhanishtha, PurvaBhadraPada or Sata-Bhisha. Another class of Sraddha is done on the third lunar day of the month of VaisAkha (April, May) and the ninth of Kartika (October-November) in Sukhla Paksha (Bright Fortnight). Other dates are 13th of  Nabha (July-August) and the 15th of Magha (Jan-February) in Krishna Paksha (Dark Fortnight). They are the first days of a Yuga (age) and most sacred.  On these above days; solar and lunar eclipses; and 8th lunations of the Dark Fortnight of Agrahanya, Magha, and Phalguna (Dec-Feb); the days commencing  the solstices, when the nights and the days alternately begin to diminish; the anniversaries of manvantaras; the day, the sun is in the path of the goat; days of meteoric occurrences;  Sesamum seeds and water are offered to the progenitors of the mankind. A Sraddha on these days and seasons gives happiness to the Manes for a thousand years. The songs of the forefathers give the descendants purity of heart, integrity of wealth, prosperous seasons, perfect rites,  devout faith, and all that men desire. That blessed descendant will be born in a distinguished family. If the descendant cannot afford elaborate food items and gifts of wealth, jewels, clothes, land, conveyances, and any valuable gifts to the officiating Brahmana priest, there are alternatives in the descending order: 1) unboiled grain, affordable gifts, plantain, dal; 2) a fistful of sesame seeds; 3) about ten to fifteen sesame seeds stuck on a wet thumb; 4) one day's worth of  grass for the cow; 5) going to the forest, throwing the hands up in the air to the sun and other celestials and declaring that he cannot afford anything to the forefathers and the officiating Brahmana. Actually these are the words and recommendations of the manes themselves to their descendants.

Narasimhachariar adds no one should think of Sraddha as wasteful. We have seen how Sastras made Sraddha simple.

Pitru Devatas are RudrAs, Vasus, and Adityas. Sraddha offers contentment to the Devatas and not to the departed parents. Their blessing and grace give prosperity to the progeny. Some of the Devatas are wandering without receiving the Sraddha. They desire that one of their progeny would perform Sraddha and make them happy and contented and thus facilitate liberation.  That is why one should do Sraddha on a the day Bhishma attained liberation. The Devatas will be supremely happy upon receiving Pitru Karyam (Sraddha= பித்ரு காரியம்) and send their Anugraha. The descendants will also attain liberation just like Bhishma.



Swami Sivananda says the following on offering of food to manes (Sraddha).

The Pitrus are forefathers who dwell in Pitru-loka. They possess clairvoyance and clairaudience. Recitation of Mantras exercises tremendous influence through their vibration. The Pitrus hear the sounds through the power of clairaudience and they are pleased. They bless those who offer the oblation. In Sraddha, the essence of food offerings is taken up by sun’s rays to Suryaloka and the departed souls are pleased with the offerings. Even in the West many persons perform Tarpana and Sraddha. They have scientifically investigated into the beneficial effects of such oblations. It is the imperative duty of all householders to perform Sraddha and Tarpana to please the Rishis and the Pitrus. It is only the deluded souls with perverted intellects who misconstrue things and neglect to perform the sacred ceremonies and consequently suffer. 

दोषैरेतैः कुलघ्नानां वर्णसरकारकैः ।

उत्साद्यन्ते जातिधर्माः कुलधर्माश्च शाश्वताः  ॥१-४३॥ 1.43

doṣair etaiḥ kulaghnānāṁ varṇasaṁkarakārakaiḥ
utsādyante jātidharmāḥ kuladharmāś ca śāśvatāḥ 1.43

1.43: By such evil deeds such as kula ghānām and Varna Sankara, eternal Jāti dharmā and kula dharmā are destroyed.


Kula ghānām: destruction of race.  Varna Sankara: mixture of castes by intermarriage. Jāti dharmā: established order of caste or institution of caste.  Kula dharmā: established order of the family, family institution, practice or observance peculiar to a tribe or family, peculiar duty of a caste or race.  Sivapurana (Rudrasamhita Section II,Chapter 13, V35) mentions the three debts that Brahmanas, Ksatriyas and Vaisyas owe, to which two more are added later. The first debt is Brahmacharya or study of Vedas owed to the Rsis; second, sacrifice and worship owed to the gods; third, begetting a son owed to the manes; fourth, benevolence owed to humanity; fifth, hospitality owed to guests.


उत्सन्नकुलधर्माणां मनुष्याणां जनार्दन ।

नरकेऽनियतं वासो भवतीत्यनुशुश्रुम  ॥१-४४॥ 1.44

utsannakuladharmāṇāṁ manuṣyāṇāṁ janārdana
narake niyataṁ vāso bhavatī  'ty anuśuśruma 1.44

1.44: We have heard it said (by the learned) that those men, whose kula dharma is destroyed, O Janardana, would always dwell in hell.

  Purport: O Janardana, we heard it said (by the learned): once kula dharma is annihilated, hell is the habitation for these men.


अहो बत महत्पापं कर्तुं व्यवसिता वयम् ।

यद्राज्यसुखलोभेन हन्तुं स्वजनमुद्यताः  ॥१-४५॥ 1.45

aho bata mahat pāpaṁ kartuṁ vyavasitā vayam
yad rājyasukhalobhena hantuṁ svajanam udyatāḥ 1.45

1.45: Alas! We have decided to commit great sins, by getting ready to kill our kinsmen because of greed for the pleasures of kingdom.


Rājya-sukha-lobha: kingdom-pleasure-greed: greed for the pleasures of kingdom.


यदि मामप्रतीकारमशस्त्रं शस्त्रपाणयः ।

धार्तराष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस्तन्मे क्षेमतरं भवेत्  ॥१-४६॥ 1.46

yadi mām apratīkāram aśastraṁ śastrapāṇayaḥ
rā rae hanyus tan me kṣemataraṁ bhavet 1.46

1.46: Better would it be for me, if the sons of Dhritrastra with weapons on hand were to kill me on the battlefield, while I, unarmed, offer no resistance.


Purport: It is better for me that the sons of Dhritrastra kill me on the battlefield with weapons on hand, while I am unarmed and offer no resistance.


सञ्जय उवाच 

एवमुक्त्वार्जुनः सख्ये रथोपस्थ उपाविशत् ।

विसृज्य सशरं चापं शोकसंविग्नमानसः  ॥१-४७॥ 1.47

Saṅjaya uvāca

evam uktvā 'rjunaḥ sakhye rathopastha upāviśat
jya saśaraṁ cāpaṁ śokasaṁvignamānasaḥ 1.47

1.47: Sanjaya said:

Thus saying in the battlefield, Arjuna sat down on the seat of the chariot, laying aside his bow and arrow with his mind taken over by sorrow.

End BG Chapter 1 



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