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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 8

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 4 श्लोक 8

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे।।4.8।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

4.8 For the protection of the pious, the destruction of the evil-doers, and establishing virtue, I manifest Myself in every age.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

4.8 For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of righteousness, I am born in every age.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

4.8. For the protection of the good people, and for the destruction of evil-doers, and for the purpose of firmly establishing righteousness, I take birth in every age.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

4.8 परित्राणाय for the protection? साधूनाम् of the good? विनाशाय for the destruction? च and? दुष्कृताम् of the wicked? धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय for the establishment of righteousness? संभवामि (I) am born? युगे युगे in every age.Commentary Sadhunam The good who lead a life of righteousness? who utiles their bodies in the service of humanity? who are free from selfishness? lust and greed? and who devote their lives to divine contemplation.Dushkritam Evildoers who lead a life of unrighteousness? who break the laws of the society? who are vain and are dishonest and greedy? who injure others? who take possession of the property of others by force? and who commit atrocious crimes of various sorts.

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

4.8 Paritranaya, for the protection; sadhunam, of the pious, the followers of the virtuous path; vinasaya, for the destruction; duskrtam, of the evil-doers, of the sinful ones; and also dharmasamsthapanarthaya, for establishing virtue fully;-for that purpose, sambhavami, I manifest Myself; yuge yuge, in every age.

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

4.8 See Comment under 4.9

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

4.8 The good are those who follow the Dharma, as defined above. They are the foremost among the Vaisnavas, who have taken refuge in Me. While My name, acts and form are inaccessible to speech and thought, these devotees cannot get support, sustenance etc., for themselves without perceiving Me. They regard even a moments time without Me as a thousand Kalpas. They become broken in every limb because of the separation from Me. So I am born from age to age in the forms of gods, men etc., for protecting them by affording them the opportunity to behold My form and acts and to converse with Me. I am born also for the destruction of those who are opposed to such devotees and for the restoration of declining Vedic Dharma, which consists of My worship. The main purpose of incarnation is the revealing of His adorable form, so that all may worship Him. The destruction of the wicked is secondary only. There is no specific restrictions of the Yugas like Krta, Treta etc., for the appearance of Divine Incarnations.

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

“But your devotees, the rajarsis and brahmarsis can rectify the destruction of dharma and increase of adharma. Then why is it necessary that you make an appearance?” “That is true. But I come and perform feats which are very difficult for others to do.” That is expressed in this verse. I appear for delivering (tranaya) my dedicated devotees (sadhunam) whose hearts are bursting with longing, suffering due to their devotion; for destroying the evil-minded persons like Ravana, Kaihsa and Kesi, who give suffering to my devotees, and who cannot be killed except by me; and for establishing in a firm way, the supreme dharma of meditating on me, worshipping, serving me and singing about me, which cannot be instituted by anyone but me (samsthapanarthaya). I do this in every yuga in the day of Brahma, or in every kalpa (day of Brahma). In this act, one should not worry that the Lord is being prejudiced in punishing the evil-minded. By killing them, the Lord delivers even those most sinful asuras from samsara, from receiving hellish punishment due to their various sinful actions. The Lord’s punishment in the form of killing should thus be seen as his mercy.

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Another question may be postulated. For what purpose does Lord Krishna manifest Himself? Anticipating such a question Lord Krishna responds for the protection of the righteous and virtuous and for the annihilation of the sinful and evil. To uphold the tenants and precepts of righteousness that makes sanatan dharma or eternal righteousness invulnerable. For this reason the Supreme Lord incarnates from age to age on particular occasions. But one should not think that the Supreme Lord is biased against the wicked for it is not so, He being equal to all chastises them in the same way a father chastises his son while raising him as a necessary action to insure his proper development.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Actually there is no mandate that for the protection of the righteous and virtuous Lord Krishna must descend and save them. But by His causeless mercy and in some circumstances for sport He manifests Himself by His own sweet will. In the Rig Veda it is described that this will itself is as an inclination of the Lord. A comparison in human terms it is like the bliss that comes with spontaneous creativity. The Supreme Lord is complete within Himself so there is nothing to be gained for Him by any action; yet and still He still performs unlimited activities. Therefore those expert in bhagavat tattva or knowledge of the Supreme Lord Krishna declare that His impulses are all sublime and transcendental to prakriti or material nature. The word glanir in the previous verse does not mean decline as is often translated but glanir means obscure. If dharma meaning eternal righteous is a perennial principle then it must be devoid of any modification of decline. It has to exist eternally in pristine purity. What happens is that dharma becomes obscure to the masses due to material influences on the mind, agitated by the effects of sense gratification by the onslaught of maya or illusion. When such times arise the purpose of human existence becomes distorted and consequently the activities of humans become more and more degenerated and humans become degraded. At this time the dharma of human beings is said to be glanir or obscured. Therefore as far as dharma is concerned there is no possibility of their being any decline even as darkness is unable to hide sunlight. However even as large clouds are able to obscure the light of the sun from human vision in the same way non-awareness of the independent supremacy of the Supreme Lord and the human beings total dependency on the Supreme Lord consequently obscures the faith in the Supreme Lord as well as any perception of the Supreme Lord in human beings. So the sense is that glanir is referring to obscurity. The Supreme Lord Krishna is also designated as Brahman which means eternal in time and dynamic in creativity and is the all pervading luminosity of His effulgence. It is not inert or passive. The word Brahman which is derived from the root brh means to grow, to burst forth which infers constant, continuous creativity, perpetually manifesting. That which is dynamic and creative cannot remain static and passive. The dynamic, spontaneous, creative impulse is what is known as the Supreme Lord Krishnas lila or divine pastimes. The complete material creation and all its embodied beings is the result of one such impulse of the Supreme Lord Krishna and this is also known as lila. The reality of Lord Krishnas avatars or incarnations such as Rama or Buddha and the understanding of Lord Krishnas divine lilas has often been misconstrued and misinterpreted. But here in this verse He explicitly reveals that he comes to protect the righteous and to vanquish the sinful miscreants and to personally re-establish dharma or eternal righteousness. Sam-sthapana-arthaya- ca infers to establishing ones true nature. The Lords divine nature assumes His divine form. Because prakriti or material nature is understood as svabhava the word sam has been used referring to that. The word sva also refers Lord Krishnas essential svarupa or transcendental form as svabhava refers to the innate form or essence and creation is manifested by this essence being the impulse of His will. There is no difference between the form of Krishna and Himself neither is there any difference between the name of Krishna and Himself. In the Narayana Sruti is states that : the Supreme Lord Krishna is immutable yet through the course of creation He manifests Himself in inconceivable many ways in unlimited forms.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The word sadhunam meaning virtuous refers to the sadhus or the saintly devotees, the eminent Vaisnavas who diligently seek refuge in Lord Krishna in every thing they think and do. These persons feel that without seeing and perceiving the Supreme Lord, without chanting His names, without continuously reminiscing over His phenomenal pastimes and without meditating on Him that there lives are devoid and empty and they find it difficult to even carry on their existence. There are even those with whom a single moment of absence from the Lord is like a lifetime. For the protection of these virtuous and holy beings, lest they in their agony of separation from me expire from this world, Lord Krishna bequeaths upon them the privilege of being able to perceive His confidential appearances and pastimes and partake in communion with Him. So in summary the following reasons of Lord Krishnas avatars or incarnations is: 1) for protecting the virtuous 2) for destroying the wicked 3) for re-establishing dharma or eternal righteousness which had become obscured. As dharma to all beings is factually the primary mode of worship for the Supreme Lord Krishna and His authorised avatars in order to attain moksa or salvation from the cycle of birth and death in the material existence; it should be known as the highest good for all beings. The words yuge yuge meaning from millennium to millennium is to indicate that the Supreme Lords incarnations may appear at anytime not being limited to a particular yuga.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The word sadhunam meaning virtuous refers to the sadhus or the saintly devotees, the eminent Vaisnavas who diligently seek refuge in Lord Krishna in every thing they think and do. These persons feel that without seeing and perceiving the Supreme Lord, without chanting His names, without continuously reminiscing over His phenomenal pastimes and without meditating on Him that there lives are devoid and empty and they find it difficult to even carry on their existence. There are even those with whom a single moment of absence from the Lord is like a lifetime. For the protection of these virtuous and holy beings, lest they in their agony of separation from me expire from this world, Lord Krishna bequeaths upon them the privilege of being able to perceive His confidential appearances and pastimes and partake in communion with Him. So in summary the following reasons of Lord Krishnas avatars or incarnations is: 1) for protecting the virtuous 2) for destroying the wicked 3) for re-establishing dharma or eternal righteousness which had become obscured. As dharma to all beings is factually the primary mode of worship for the Supreme Lord Krishna and His authorised avatars in order to attain moksa or salvation from the cycle of birth and death in the material existence; it should be known as the highest good for all beings. The words yuge yuge meaning from millennium to millennium is to indicate that the Supreme Lords incarnations may appear at anytime not being limited to a particular yuga.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 4.8

Paritraanaaya saadhoonaam vinaashaaya cha dushkritaam; Dharma samsthaapanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 4.8

paritrāṇāya—to protect; sādhūnām—the righteous; vināśhāya—to annihilate; cha—and; duṣhkṛitām—the wicked; dharma—the eternal religion; sansthāpana-arthāya—to reestablish; sambhavāmi—I appear; yuge yuge—age after age