Chapter 1. Despondency of Arjuna: Verse 44

Sanskrit Verse

उत्सन्नकुलधर्माणां मनुष्याणां जनार्दन |
नरकेऽनियतं वासो भवतीत्यनुशुश्रुम ||


Utsanna-kula-dharmaanaam manushyaanaam janaardana
Narake-aniyatam vaaso bhavateetyanushushruma

English Translation

O Janardana(Krishna), I have heard that those men who are devoid of family religious rites go to hell and reside there indefinitely.

Commentary & Explanation

There are various levels of people, each society will have varying teachings for the sake of finding relevance across broader group. Different kinds of teachings exist so that everyone finds some teaching that resonates with him. For example:

  • Some accept if you say "if you do good, good happens to you." (regardless of that being the truth)
  • It would makes sense to some if you say "God is Love, and can be easily reached through Love." (If love is the quality that person easily resonates with)
  • Some others would consider God to be a strict disciplinarian (the God fearing ones)
  • Some others if you say he resides within and has to be found in inner silence.

There are 2 kinds of people, those who have their locus of control within themselves and those whose locus of control is outside:

  • External Locus of control: These people are easily believing, these are often easily controlled through either Fear or Desire. Those teachings which scare them into right behavior make sense to them, they easily believe in Heaven and Hell, and thus it is easy to convince them to behave in an expected (social norm of the time) way by scaring them of hell or by enticing them of heavenly things. These people are of lower intelligence, in modern psychology these are those who can be controlled through Stick and Carrot principle.
  • Internal Locus of Control: These people are not controlled by external aspects, their behavior is controlled by qualities of Love, empathy, wisdom, rationality.

Arjuna being a royalty has received higher knowledge from the teachers, but in his state of emotion he is taking help of whatever is coming to his help.



KulaClan; family
DharmaanaamDuties; religious rites
ManushyaamOf those men
JanaardanaOne who helps people (Krishna)
NarakeIn hell
VaasahDwell; reside
BhavatiIs; it becomes; it happens
AnushushrumaI have heard from the learned