Gita Series – 122: Bhagavad Gita Chapter XI. Verse 32 – 34

Krishna answers Arjuna’s queries. “I am the mighty time that is capable of destroying the worlds and I am out to destroy these men. Even without you, all the warriors in the enemy’s camp will die. Therefore, you fight, conquer your enemies and enjoy the glory of being victorious and enjoy the pleasures of kingdoms. Your enemies have already been killed by Me and you are only an instrument. I have already slain Bhīṣma, Droṇa, Jayadratha, Karṇa and other brave warriors. Do not be afraid. Just fight and you will win the battle.”

Krishna answers to Arjuna’s main question “who are you?” Krishna says that He is time, the exclusive factor that determines every moment of individual beings. Time in association with karma decides the creation, the nature of sustenance and the mode of death of every individual. But the time factor is applicable only to mortals. The duration of a period of time is said to vary, depending upon the planes in which one lives. For example, one day for a human could be just an hour at the astral level. There are several astral planes. When one goes still further, one day of earth could be one minute and one second, etc. Only the Lord is beyond time. Those who are bonded by time are bound to die at some point of time. That is why, scriptures determine the time period even for the creator god, Brahmā. Only the Brahman alone is beyond time, as time also, like the rest, originates from Him. Brahman is the Reality that cannot be controlled by anything else, basically because, everything else only originates from Him and sustained by Him. Brahman is called compassionate because, He not only creates, but also sustains what is created by Him. He sustains all His creations with great love and care. If His love is reciprocated, the award is liberation.

The next statement of Krishna is very significant. Arjuna while witnessing the cosmic form of the Lord had said that he saw his spiritual masters and preceptors entering into the ghastly mouth of the Lord with their cadavers. What Arjuna saw inside the cosmic form of the Lord was the omen of death of these warriors. Therefore, it implies that the Lord is aware of what is in store for the future of every single being. It also means that the Lord is so compassionate by taking care of every single individual. The Lord makes a reference to only four of the warriors, who are closely associated with Arjuna. Krishna says that the time had come to end the lives of the four along with many other soldiers who took part in the battle. Arjuna is being used by the Lord only as a tool to slain them. If it was not Arjuna, the Lord would have used someone else in his place. Their life span will not cross that particular time limit, irrespective of who is going to slain them. In a war like situations, for example floods, volcanoes, draught, etc we see many people die at the same time. When many are killed at the same time, not only their individual karma-s manifest, but their group karma-s also manifest in causing huge causalities. Arjuna was not aware of these facts at that time, as Krishna had not told Arjuna all this in detail before unraveling His cosmic form.

Since the time to shed their gross bodies had already matured for these warriors, Krishna says that Arjuna’s karmic account will not affected by killing his preceptors, gurus, relatives, etc. It is always considered that killing one’s own guru attracts the severest punishment under karmic law. Krishna says that Arjuna is not going to kill them in this battle, as their time of death has already been decided by their karmic account and at the appointed time they have to necessarily die. Hence it is believed that the Lord acts through someone to execute all His acts. On the other hand, if Arjuna takes credit for killing his masters and relatives, he will be bound by karma, as he takes unlawful credit. All the credit should go to the Brahman is one of the foundational principles of spirituality.

Jayadratha was married to the only daughter of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. The latter’s sons were engaged in the battle with Arjuna and his brothers. Jayadratha kidnapped their wife, when Arjuna and his brothers were away. However, she was safely rescued and as a punishment, he was tonsured and let out with a stern warning by Pāṇḍava brothers.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XI. 14 - 31

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XI. 35 - 46

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XI. 47 - 55