Bhagavad Gita 1.47 Explained: Arjuna’s Moment of Despair and Reflection

सञ्जय उवाच
एवमुक्त्वाऽर्जुनः संख्ये रथोपस्थ उपाविशत्।
विसृज्य सशरं चापं शोकसंविग्नमानसः।।

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता 1.47

Sanjaya Uvacha
Evamuktvā’rjunah Sankhye Rathopastha Upavishat
Visrijya Sasharam Chapam Shokasamvignamanasah

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita 1.47

Sanjaya said: “Having spoken thus, in the midst of the armies, Arjuna sank on the seat of the chariot, casting away his bow and arrow; heartbroken with grief.”

English Translation of BG 1.47

In this poignant verse, we witness the climax of Arjuna’s moral and emotional turmoil as he confronts the harsh reality of war. Sanjaya’s narration captures a moment of profound introspection and despair, where Arjuna, unable to bear the weight of his emotions, chooses to lay down his weapons, overwhelmed by the thought of causing destruction to his own kin.

Insights into BG 1.47: Reflecting on Swami Ramsukhdas Ji’s Divine Commentary

The Burden of Sorrow

Arjuna’s decision to sit down on the battlefield, relinquishing his bow and arrows, symbolizes the heavy burden of sorrow that clouds his judgment. This sorrow is not just a reaction to the imminent physical conflict but a deeper, existential anguish over the ethical and spiritual implications of the war. Swami Ramsukhdas Ji emphasizes that such sorrow, while paralyzing, is a testament to Arjuna’s inherent compassion and righteousness. It underlines the struggle every individual faces when confronted with decisions that challenge their core values and beliefs.

The Consequence of Attachment

Swami Ramsukhdas Ji points out that Arjuna’s grief is amplified by his attachments to family and kin, illustrating the profound impact of personal relationships on our decisions. This attachment, while human, becomes a barrier to fulfilling one’s dharma or duty. The Gita teaches that understanding and overcoming these attachments are crucial steps towards spiritual growth and the performance of one’s duty without personal bias.

The Role of the Guide

In this moment of despair, Lord Krishna’s presence as Arjuna’s charioteer becomes significantly more relevant. Swami Ramsukhdas Ji highlights that Krishna represents divine guidance and wisdom, waiting patiently for Arjuna to realize the limitations of his current perspective. This verse sets the stage for the profound spiritual discourse that follows, where Krishna imparts the timeless wisdom of the Gita, guiding Arjuna (and humanity) towards a deeper understanding of duty, righteousness, and the nature of the self.

The Path to Liberation

Arjuna’s act of laying down his weapons, driven by sorrow and confusion, is a critical juncture that leads to his eventual spiritual awakening. Swami Ramsukhdas Ji elucidates that moments of deep despair can become catalysts for seeking higher knowledge and truth. Arjuna’s journey from despondency to enlightenment embodies the soul’s quest for liberation, illustrating that true wisdom often emerges from the depths of doubt and sorrow.


Verse 1.47 of the Bhagavad Gita, through Swami Ramsukhdas Ji’s interpretation, serves as a powerful reminder of the inner conflicts that define the human condition. Arjuna’s moment of vulnerability reveals the complexity of dharma and the pain that often accompanies the pursuit of righteousness. This verse invites us to reflect on our own attachments, sorrows, and the moments of indecision that challenge our understanding of duty. It teaches us that in the presence of divine guidance, every crisis of the soul can be transformed into a journey towards self-realization and eternal wisdom. As we navigate the battlefields of our lives, let us seek the guidance of our inner Krishna, striving for actions that are aligned with our highest truth and dharma.

In this manner, with the utterance of the divine names “Om, Tat, Sat,” the first chapter named ‘The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna,’ which is imbued with the knowledge of Brahman and the science of Yoga, within the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, is concluded.

Conclusion of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1