4.7 yadhA yadhA hi dharmasya

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Chapter 4

<< Chapter 4 verse 6

SlOkam – Original

yadhA yadhA hi dharmasya glAnir bhavathi bhAratha |
abhyuththAnam adharmasya thadhAthmAnam srujAmyaham ||

word-by-word meaning (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)

bhAratha – Oh descendant of bharatha clan!
yadhA yadhA hi – whenever
dharmasya – for dharma (virtue)
glAni: bhavathi – decline occurs
adharmasya – for adharma (vice)
abhyuththAnam (bhavathi) – is on the rise
thadha – at those times
aham – I
AthmAnam – myself
srujAmi – create

Simple Translation (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)

Oh descendant of bharatha clan! Whenever dharma declines and adharma is on the rise, at those times I create myself [manifest myself in various incarnations].

Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam

‘Whensoever and wheresoever, Bhārata1!, virtue wanes and vice waxes, then (and there) do I create Myself.’

No fixed periods are appointed for My Avatāras. Whensoever dharma (righteousness etc.,) as is ordained to be practised by the four varṇas2 and the four āśramās3 decline, and wheresoever its opposite adharma increases, then do I manifest Myself in Incarnations, of My own free will, in the manner explained already (verse 7, ante).

The purpose of the Avatāras is now stated:—

>> Chapter 4 verse 8

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  1. Descendent of Bharata=Arjuna (see Geneological Tree at end of Lecture I).
  2. The four varṇas are Brāhmaṇa, Kshatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra.
  3. The four aśramas are Brahmacharya (bachelor and student), Gārhastya (married life), Vānaprastha (retired forest life) and Sanyāsa (monastic or ascetic life).

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