Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 127

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

The Way of Knowledge

7. yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam, adharnnasya
tadd 'dtmano srjamy ham

(7) Whenever there is a decline of righteousness and rise of righteousness, 0 Bhãrata (Arjuna), then I send forth (create incarnate) Myself.

"Whenever righteousness wanes, and righteousness increases the Almighty Lord, Han, creates himself. "[1] Wherever there is a serious tension in life, when a sort of all-pervasive materialism invades the hearts of human souls, to preserve the equilibrium, an answering manifestation of wisdom and righteousness is essential. The Supreme, though unborn and undying, becomes manifest in human embodiment to overthrow the forces of ignorance and selfishness[2]

Avatar means descent, one who has descended. The Divine comes down to the earthly plane to raise it to a higher status. God descends when man rises. The purpose of the avatar is to inaugurate a new world, a new Adharma. By his teaching and example, he shows how a human being can raise himself to a higher grade of life. The issue between right and wrong is a decisive one. God works on the side of the right. Love and mercy are ultimately more powerful than hatred and cruelty. Sharma will conquer adharma, truth will conquer falsehood; the power behind death, disease and sin will be overthrown by the reality which is Being, Intelligence and Bliss.

Sharma literally means mode of being. It is the essential nature of a being that determines its mode of behaviour. So long as our conduct is in conformity with our essential nature, we are acting in the right way. dharma is nonconformity to our nature. If the harmony of the world is derived from the conformity of all beings to their respective natures, the disharmony of the world is due to their nonconformity. God does not stand aside, when we abuse our freedom and cause disequilibrium. He does not simply wind up the world, set it on the right track and then let it jog along by itself. His loving hand is steering it all the time.

The conception of Adharma is a development of the idea of rota which connotes cosmic as well as moral order in the Re. Veda. The rota which gives logical significance and ethical elevation to the world is under the protection of Varian. The god of the Gita, is the upholder of righteousness sasvatadharmagouti (XI, 18), not a God beyond good and evil, remote and unconcerned with man's struggle with unrighteonsness.


References and Context

  1. yada yadeha dharmasya ksayo vrddhis ca papananah tada tu bhagavan 'Ma atmanarh sriate harih. Rhagavata, IX, 24, 56.
  2. Cp. Visnu Purrna. yatr vatirnam krs eakhyarh Param Brahma narakrth