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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 1, Verse 32

Chapter 1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra
Verse: 32
Verses 32-35:
kim no rajyena govinda
kim bhogair jivitena va
yesham arthe kankshitam no
rajyam bhogah sukhani ca
ta ime 'vasthita yuddhe
pranams tyaktva dhanani ca
acaryah pitarah putras
tathaiva ca pitamahah
matulah svasurah pautrah
syalah sambandhinas tatha
etan na hantum icchami
ghnato 'pi madhusudana
api trailokya-rajyasya
hetoh kim nu mahi-krite
nihatya dhartarashtran nah
ka pritih syaj janardana

O Govinda, of what avail to us are a kingdom, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed on this battlefield? O Madhusudana, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and other relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, why should I wish to kill them, even though they might otherwise kill me? O maintainer of all living entities, I am not prepared to fight with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth. What pleasure will we derive from killing the sons of Dhritarashtra?

Arjuna in these verses again brings forth the topic of his personal enjoyment. He specifically mentions his inability to enjoy in the absence of his kinsmen and other persons he considers worthy of worship. He extrapolates that even the possible happiness of ruling three worlds would not justify the killing of these people.

Arjuna addresses Sri Krishna as Madhusudana, the killer of the Madhu demon So Arjuna is hinting that Krishna should kill all these demoniac people and relieve him of all these misgivings. Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport that here Arjuna is trying to use Krishna as an 'order supplier,' that is he wants Krishna to take care of all his problems, not understanding that it is the position of a living entity to serve Sri Krishna and not the other way around.

Arjuna also calls Sri Krishna Govinda, One who give pleasures to the senses. He is thus implying that as Govinda, Krishna should be aware of what pleases his senses and what does not. So it does not behoove Him to engage Arjuna in such a ghastly warfare that would cause him so much distress. On a material platform Krishna satisfies the senses of every one to the extend they deserve, but not to the extend that they covet. Here Arjuna is again thinking of himself not realizing that Govinda really means that by satisfying the senses of Krishna one's own senses are automatically and completely satisfied.

Arjuna addresses Krishna as Janardhana which means the 'maintainer of all living entities.' Thus Arjuna is wondering how Krishna who maintains every one could encourage him to kill so many people. Baladeva Vidyabhushana indicates there is another meaning for Janardhana which is jana (people) and ardhana (killer) and Arjuna is again subtly hinting that since Krishna is above all kinds of reactions He should be the one killing the enemies.

So Arjuna on a material plane is thinking of his own happiness and distress and is expecting Krishna to fulfill his desires. He thinks that planning for short-term enjoyment while overlooking future long-term suffering is foolishness and continues on this theme in the next verse.

Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.


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