Bhagavad Gita Chapter I - Verse 42 & Verse 43 Print E-mail

Verse 42



In the joint family system in earlier times, large families of 40 to 45 people lived under one roof. They had one head who was the role model and guide to all the members. He was their spiritual mentor too. Everyone would be treated with equal love and respect. Young and old, weak, infirm and aged would be taken care of by the family. It was an informal welfare state.


When the head of the family died the sraddha ceremony would be conducted and there would be 12 days’ mourning when there was no indulgence. This helped unite the family until the next head took charge. The family members expressed their gratitude to the patriarch and committed themselves to keep his ideals and principles alive. Thereafter the ceremony became an annual ritual of pinda, rice, and udaka, water, offerings.


Arjuna was oblivious of the significance and became superstitious. He thought his passage to heaven would be denied if there was nobody to conduct his last rites! Even an ordinary person does not think in such an irrational manner. It was ridiculous for a warrior of Arjuna’s calibre.



Verse 43



Arjuna is totally confused. He is focussing on trivial, unimportant things and misses the main issue. He continues to speak of family traditions getting destroyed. Krsna allows him to give vent to his feelings and does not interrupt.


The Pandavas were noble princes. However, they were by no means men of renunciation. It was their duty to fight the battle and regain their rightful kingdom.


Previous Next