Chapter 1 Sloka 38
यद्यप्येते न पश्यन्ति लोभोपहतचेतसः।
कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं मित्रद्रोहे च पातकम्।।1.38।।
यद्यपि though एते these न not पश्यन्ति see लोभोपहतचेतसः with intelligence overpowered by greed कुलक्षयकृतम् in the destruction of families दोषम् evil मित्रद्रोहे in hostility to friends च and पातकम् sin
Swamiji explains that Vyasarcharya shows the intensity of Arjuna’s samsaara in the battlefield. Samsaara is raga, shoka and moha (attachment, sorrow and conflict).
Attachment was shown in the 1st line of Verse 28: कृपया परयाऽऽविष्टो विषीदन्निदमब्रवीत् The intensity of attachment grows in Arjuna when he thinks of the possible loss of his relatives that have assembled on the battlefield. He always had this attachment but it remained hidden. But once this attachment overpowers him, he suffers the immediate consequence of sorrow. Sorrow is directly proportional to the attachment. Hence, his sorrow was equally intense and it affected his physical body (his limbs were trembling, his arms are weak, etc.). This is shown starting with Verse 29. Vyasarcharya shows how raga and shoka is leading him to moha: conflict or confusion.
Moha is धर्म अधर्म अविवेकः “dharma adharma avivekaha” aviveka – absence of judgement or discrimination, not being able to judge between dharma and adharma. When there is a confusion, dharma appears as adharma and vice versa.
Arjuna’s duty as a kshatriya is to fight this war and this yuddham is dharma for Arjuna. But Arjuna sees this dharmayuddham as adharma. This is the first conflict.
Secondly, a kshatriya should never run away from the battlefield. This is shirking his duty. Arjuna is seeing अधर्म पलायन “adharma palaayanam” as punya karma. Arjuna’s confusion is complete.
When the emotional mind(attached and confused) begins to overpower a person, it stifles even the educated and well informed intellect. The intellect, not being able to overcome the emotional mind, begins to support the mental weakness. If the mind has a feeble addiction, the intellect can fight and overcome this weakness. If the addiction is intense, the intellect will justify the mental weakness.
From Verse 38 through 46, Arjuna, having been deceived by his intellect, talks about the evils of war. He says to Krishna, the Kauravas do not see the evils of war. कुलक्षयकृतम् दोषम् – heads of the family are killed, thus destroying the families, and the consequences of destroying families are terrible.
मित्र द्रोहे च पातकम् – hurting our own kith and kin; another mahapaapam which they are not seeing but we are seeing clearly. We should help our friends. Let us decide to withdraw from war.
Chapter 1 Sloka 39
कथं न ज्ञेयमस्माभिः पापादस्मान्निवर्तितुम्।
कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं प्रपश्यद्भिर्जनार्दन।।1.39।।
कथम् why न not ज्ञेयम् should be learnt अस्माभिः by us पापात् from sin अस्मात् this निवर्तितुम् to turn away कुलक्षयकृतम् in the destruction of families दोषम् evil प्रपश्यद्भिः clearly seeing जनार्दन O Janardana.
Arjuna, feels that the Kauravas are confused but now that his thinking is clear, he says to Krishna:
Hey Janardana, दोषम् प्रपश्यद्भिः we are able to clearly see the negative consequences of कुलक्षयकृतम् destroying families.
अस्माभिः अस्मात् पापात् निवर्तितुम् कथ न ज्ञेयम् Having seen this evil clearly, why can’t we withdraw? पाप a sin(this war) which involves कुलक्षय the destruction of families..
Why should we have a false ego? Regardless of what others may say, let us withdraw from war. Arjuna is pleading for Krishna’s support to retrieve. Krishna, however remains silent because he feels that Arjuna is not yet ready to hear his advice. Talking to a non receptive person is called वन रोदन vana rodana – crying in the forest.
Chapter 1 Sloka 40
कुलक्षये प्रणश्यन्ति कुलधर्माः सनातनाः।
धर्मे नष्टे कुलं कृत्स्नमधर्मोऽभिभवत्युत।।1.40।।
कुलक्षये in the destruction of a family प्रणश्यन्ति perish कुलधर्माः family religious rites सनातनाः immemorial धर्मे spirituality नष्टे being destroyed कुलम् कृत्स्नम् the whole family अधर्मः impiety अभिभवति overcomes उत indeed.
Arjuna further explains the consequences of family destruction. What are the consequences if there are no healthy families in society (have broken families)? Arjuna wants to say that without family life, dharma, religion and culture can never grow. Spirituality is never possible. These grow in a society where the family is strong, stable and long lasting.
Our scriptures give a lot of importance to family life. Without good family structure, cultural growth is inhibited. A stable family is required for Cultural/Ethical growth, Dharmic growth and Spiritual growth. These are known as कुलधर्म Kuladharma (practice or observance particular to a group or family).
So Arjuna says, कुलक्षये प्रणश्यन्ति without a stable family, kuladharma will perish.
धर्मे नष्टे – when this dharma is destroyed
अधर्मः अभिभवति – adharma (life in which importance is given to आर्थ and काम); only material values become important. This materialistic lifestyle will overpower all the good values.
Chapter 1 Sloka 41
अधर्माभिभवात्कृष्ण प्रदुष्यन्ति कुलस्त्रियः।
स्त्रीषु दुष्टासु वार्ष्णेय जायते वर्णसङ्करः।।1.41।।
अधर्माभिभवात् from the prevalence of impiety कृष्ण O Krishna प्रदुष्यन्ति become corrupt कुलस्त्रियः the women of the family स्त्रीषु in women दुष्टासु (being) corrupt वार्ष्णेय O Varshneya जायते arises वर्णसङ्करः caste mixture.
Swamiji first explains the importance of a stable family for cultural growth.
A stable family is needed for a cultural or a healthy personality trait to be formed in a child. This needs to be done at a very early stage in life. A baby or young child does not have the capacity to discriminate/judge what is important or valuable. A child learns to value things based upon the set of values of the parents(god like to the child). While child is developing values for various things, the respect it develops towards itself (self value) is also learned. The self image development is also very important. A newborn does not have an idea about itself – “am I a wonderful child or useless child; respectable or a rejected child”. This self opinion is developed based on the parent’s opinion of the child. If the life of the mother is centered on the child; parents respect the child; treat as a VIP in the first 5 years of life; be at his beck and call; with all the needs fulfilled; etc., then the child develops a beautiful self image, self worth and self confidence. This self opinion developed within the first 5 years can never be erased. If this is not developed within those few years, the child will condemn itself and develop inferiority complex, lacking self confidence. This negative value is developed not due to the child’s mistake – but they are the values the parents have imparted. A healthy mind is one which has self respect.
Swamiji refers to Chapter 6, Verse 5 where Krishna says:
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः।।6.5।।
“Arjuna, once you condemn yourself, no one can help you”.
If you don’t have self-confidence, no God, Guru, or Shastra can help. Ishvara kripa, Guru kripa, and Shastra kripa are secondary. These graces will be valid only when the most important grace “atma kripa” आत्म कृपा – is there (self respect/self image/self confidence). This must be formed within the first 5 years of life with the help of a stable family and parents who respect the child. Therefore, family life is very important to develop psychologically healthy children that will become self respecting citizens in a society.
This is “ego nourishment” but nourishing the ego will enable the ego to grow, and as the ego grows it ripens, then the ripened ego can drop(like a ripened fruit falls from a tree, when it is ready)…. leading to moksha.
The second importance of family is to impart cultural values, again done early in a child’s life(nonverbal communication). The child learns by observing and imitating the parents. Even a newborn gets influenced by the thought of the mother during pregnancy, the manner in which the mother welcomes the child, the manner in which the family greets the child, etc. All these nonverbal communications have a psychological impact on the child. Every word and action of the parents are being imbibed by the child. Parents have to serve as a model to teach the cultural values.
Matha, Pitha, Guru, Devyam….. Mother is the first model, then the father. If the parents are not available as the models, then they seek for a model elsewhere.
The parents(models) should be consistent and constant in their lives. The parents should have trust, understanding and harmony between themselves to provide a suitable and nurturing environment. A father or mother should not contradict each other in front of the child. This causes confusion to the child since both parents are Godlike and both are correct.
Here Arjuna says, among the parents, the mother is more important – because the mother is intimately attached with the child. And if the head of the families are destroyed, the women may become corrupt. A young girl growing up in a broken home does not develop cultural values. And when she becomes a mother without values, she will not be able to teach her children. Hence a vicious cycle is created where the generations to come have no values. All values will be utterly destroyed.
अधर्माभिभवात् कृष्ण प्रदुष्यन्ति कुलस्त्रियः When the families are destroyed, a girl child gets spoiled, she will become an unhealthy mother.
स्त्रीषु दुष्टासु corrupt women (destruction of entire society)
वार्ष्णेय addressing Krishna, as descendant of Vrishni. वृष्णि कुल समुद्भूत “vrishni kula samudbhoota”; you are born in a beautiful family; and know the importance of family
जायते वर्णसङ्करः there will be utter confusion in regards to varnaashrama dharma.
Sankara means confusion.
Varnashrama dharma – In varna dharma, the veda prescribes certain duties for each class of people. Brahmana have certain cultural duties, Kshatriya have political duties, Vysya have economic duties, Sudra have supporting duties towards the other three. All these duties are important for the growth of a society.
Veda says that everyone has to take one of these duties(profession) based on birth or based on character i.e. choose to be a politician, business man etc.
Imagine a society which values money. This will lead to everyone choosing a profession based on whichever brings them maximum money. Once a society is materialistic, a class that was devoted to cultural growth of a nation will diminish. Learning dharma shastra & the scriptures and following & propagating the dharma shastra will not thrive.
Varna sankara – everyone will take every other profession but no one will come forward to study the scriptures. There will be confusion among the duties and no one will preserve and propagate the religious and spiritual culture. Society will be corrupt leading to destruction of humanity.
All these will happen when families become unstable…due to the war….so lets abolish war….drive chariot away from battlefield.