Posted by: Venkat | March 3, 2009

Srimad Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1, sloka 31

Jai Sri Ram

Priya Sadhaks,

I am writing this after reciting the Dhyana slokas and the entire first chapter. The peace that falls on one after such recital is unexplainable. I request you to be steadfast in loud recital of the dhyana slokas and the slokas studies so far. (your loud chanting might kindle at least one thirsty soul in this earth which is being rapidly depleted of spirituality)

Gita Chapter 1, sloka 31

Sloka in devanagari

in=im=T==in= c= p=xy==im=, iv=p=rIt==in= ke:x=v= +

n= c= Xeey==eCn=up=xy==im=, htv== sv=j=n=m=< a=hv=e ++â.àâ++

sloka Sanskrit to english transliteration:

nimittAni cha pashyAmi vipareetAni kesava |

na cha sreyonupashyAmi hatvA swajanamAhave ||———–31

sloka word to word meaning:

ke:x=v= (kesava)- Oh Kesava ! ; p=xy==im= (pashyAmi )- (I) see ; iv=p=rIt==in= c= (vipareetAni cha)-  adverse ; in=im=T==in= (nimittAni )- omens ; n= an=up=xy==im= (na anupashyAmi)- I do not see ;  Xeey=/  c= (sreya cha)- any good ; htv== (hatvA)- (by) killing ; sv=j=n=m=< (swajanam)- (my) kinsmen ; a=hv=e (Ahave)- (in) battle

Sloka meaning:

Oh Kesava ! I  see adverse omens.  Also, I do not see any good in killing my kinsmen in battle.


`vipareetani nimittani cha pashyami’

This is Arjuna’s excuse, but somehow he finds it genuine. This is his confused mind at work shifting part of the blame (for not fighting)  to the powers that are above us. In this case , these are omens.

Omens are usually not creators or the reasons for the coming events. But they are mere pointers for such happenings.

I do not know what precisely Arjuna calls `omens’ here. The previous sloka’s sensations in his body and mind cannot be taken as omens. Can we safely take it as ` he knew there were omens , but did not tell them out’ ?

`sreya: na anupasyami hatva swajanam Ahave’-

This is Arjuna’s first observation on the war. An opinion.  Not a question though. That he finds it futile to kill his own kinsmen in battle. This feeling has not out of any cowardice since Arjuna says `no good in killing’- he was sure of winning. But this is real despondency, (Chambers dictionary gives the meaning of despondency as -low spiritedness, losing heart)- vishada is despondency.(name of this chapter).

Arjuna’s theme for this chapter and part of second is `swajanam’. If we go back 5000 and odd years , and step into Arjuna’s position, we might realize the scenario vividly. Family ties were stronger those days. Righteousness in public and private life was the norm. Teachers and elders were treated with high esteem. It is not at all Arjuna’s fault that he fell into these delusions.

Kesava:- This is one of krishna’s famous names. The first of the vyuha names. The first name to be chanting in the nyasa during Achamanam.

Kesava:- One who has beautiful hair(kesa)

Kesava =  ka:  (Brahma) + a: (Vishnu) + esa: ( Siva)- Who has amsas

of  trimurtis. Who can materialize in the respective forms

Kesava:- One who killed Kesi, the asura

Kesava:- One who removes mental stress ( Kesava: klesa nasana:)

Hare Krishna


Please download the Sanskrit font here

Please download the Gita Audio here


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