31 Jul 2014

Chapter 1: Bhagavad Gita Course with Swami Vishwananda

The much expected day has finally arrived: The beginning of the exquisite Commentary by Sri Swami Vishwananda of the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita, the eternal Word of Lord Sri Krishna. It will take place over 18 consecutive days, and each day will cover one chapter. Guruji will give his commentary with a particular Bhakti perspective.

For now, we will provide a small portion of the commentary on this blog for those who could not attend the course. At a later stage, we will offer the full length of the Gita commentary as a book and also as CD and DVD sets.

On July 30th, 2014 Swamiji covered Chapter 1 of the Bhagavad Gita, titled: Arjuna Vishaada Yoga.

Quick overview of the Chapter:
  • Chapter one contains 47 verses.
  • The two armies are ready on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
  • The Pandavas led by Yudhishthira and the Kauravas led by Duryodhana.
  • On the Kurukshetra Battlefield are 4 million soldiers.
  • The blind Dritharasthra, who is the father of the Kauravas, and who would like that his son Duryodhana stays king of Hastinapura asks Sanjaya, his charioteer, to tell him what was happening.
  • Sanjaya (who has the gift of seeing events at a distance, granted by the sage Vyasa) tells that Duryodhana after seeing the Pandhava army went to his teacher Drona and tells him the names of all the great warriors in both armies.
  • Duryodhana was concerned, that his army is inadequate, while the army of the Pandavas is adequate.
  • Then Bhishma blew his conch to encourage Duryodhana, all started blowing their conches, playing the drums e.t.c.
  • Then Arjuna took up his bow and requested Krishna to move his chariot between the two armies. When he saw all the relatives and friends in both armies, he was filled with compassion.
  • Arjuna threw aside his bow and arrows, and sat grief striken down.
  • The extremely kind Arjuna, in spite of the repeated attempts of the Kauravas to destroy him and his brothers, which would have justified revenge of his part, nevertheless declined to fight.
  • Arjuna was also filled with fear, not knowing what was Dharma (righteous) and what was Adharma (unrighteous)
Excerpt commentary from Swamiji:

sa ghoṣo dhārtarāṣṭrāṉāṁ
hṛdayāni vyadārayat
nabhaśca pṛthivīṁ caiva

That tumultuous uproar, resounding through earth and sky, tore the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra.

"When the conches of all the heroes of the Pandavas sounded all together, the sound was so powerful, so deep and dreadful that it filled all regions of heaven and earth. Like I said earlier, even Indra was scared. So this sound echoed spreading in all regions. It resounded throughout the earth and sky and caused such a terror and fright to all the sons of Dhritarashtra and other warriors, that they all felt, “Oh my goodness this sound is too strong!” At that moment, the soul inside of them knew that it was the end. That's how they felt. They felt that their heart had been torn. 

When you go on your spiritual path with full force, this is the power which will remove all negative things. If you don't let the negativity take control, if you don't concentrate on the negativity, but you concentrate on moving forward on your spiritual path – that strength will erase everything. There is not much to do, really, just one thing: have confidence, have trust and the rest He will take care of. This is the assurance that He gives. In the Bhakti Yoga (chapter), later on, Krishna says, “Whoever surrenders to me, I am (even) more surrendered to them and I will give them strength and power.”

Whereas here, the sons of Dhritarashtra are looking at their weaknesses. When they see this power arising, they start to compare - comparison starts happening, “Where am I? Why is that person far in spirituality? Why is he beaming with so much joy and life?” There is this comparison which starts happening. But when there is comparison then you don't move; you are frozen, you have fear inside of you! That's what happened in the heart of the sons of Dhritarashtra when they saw how great the Pandavas were and how they were moving forward: they started to have fear. Fear nothing!"


“Excellent. Really enriching. Swami has gone very deep in the first chapter. He has gone through each and every word of each verse. I hope tomorrow is going to be the same!” - Ravi, Mauritius