Lord Krishna’s Promise in the Gita

In celebration of Gita Jayanti, it is perhaps appropriate to look at what the Bhagavad Gita teaches us about the “the promise of Lord Krishna to his faithful” . This is best explained in an often quoted verse (Chapter IV, Verse 7) of the Gita:

yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya, glaanirbhavati bhaarata.
Abhyutthaanam.h adharmasya, tadaatmaanM sRRijaamyaham.h..

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्या, ग्लानिर्भवति भारत । अभ्युत्थानम् अधर्मस्या, तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ।।

Whenever there is a decline of righteousness, and the rise of unrighteousness, then I re-incarnate myself to teach Dharma. Dr. Radhakrishnan explains that Dharma literally means – mode of being. It is the essential nature of a being that determines its mode of behavior. So what is our dharma? So long as our conduct is in conformity with our essential nature, we are acting in the right way. That is our dharma. The harmony of society and the world depends on individuals abiding by their dharma.

Lord Krishna promises that He will return to the physical world to restore this harmony whenever it is deemed that evil is weighing heavily on his devotees. Gita Jayanti can perhaps be viewed as a day to celebrate the renewal of this promise?

For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of righteousness, I am born in every age!
– Gita IV.7

The following verse (Chapter IV, Verse 8 ) further expands on the reason for this promise.

paritrANAya sAdhUnA.n vinAshAya cha duShkRRitAm.h.
dharmasa.nsthApanArthAya sa.nbhavAmi yuge yuge..

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् ।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे ।।

For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of righteous Dharma, I come into being from age to age. It is the function of God as Vishnu, the protector of the world, to keep the world going on the lines of righteousness. He assumes birth to re-establish right when wrong prevails. Lord Krishna further renews his promise to his devotees in this verse – have faith, I will always be there to help you restore your faith and put you back on the correct path by removing your wrong tendencies!

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