10 May 2014

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4, Verse 7-8: Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya

Our this article's topic is Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on the verse number 7-8 of the fourth chapter (Jnana Yoga) of Bhagavad Gita.

We'll begin with discussing the original sloka

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 4, Verse: 7-8

Vishwarupa of Krishna
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The verse in Devanagari script—
यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत । 
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥४-७॥ 

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् । 
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥४-८॥

The verse in Roman script—
Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata
Abhythanamadharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham

Paritranaya sadhunang vinashay cha dushkritam
Dharmasangsthapanarthay sambhabami yuge yuge

The meaning of these two slokas is—[1]
Whenever there is decay of righteousness, O Bharata,
And there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth ;

For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, 
For the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.

Swami Vivekananda's translation—
This is how Swami Vivekananda himself translated the solkas—
  •  "Whenever virtue subsides and wickedness prevails, I manifest Myself. To establish virtue, to destroy evil, to save the good I come from Yuga (age) to Yuga."[Source]

Word meaning—

Verse 7

  • यदा/Yada= when
  • यदा/Yada = when
  • हि/Hi = indeed
  • धर्मस्य/Dharmasya = of religion/duty
  • ग्लानि/Glani = decay
  • भवति/Bhavati = is
  • भारत/Bharata = O Bharata (name of Arjuna)
  • अभ्युत्थानम्/Abhuthanam = rising up
  • अधर्मस्य/Adharmasya = of sin/chaos (note, the word "Dharma" means "religion", "a+dharma" means "not religion" or something against religion.)
  • तदा /Tada = Then
  • आत्मानं/Atmanam = Myself
  • सृजामि/Srijami = Create ("Srijami" means "I create")
  • अहम्/Aham = I

Verse 8

  • परित्राणाय/Paritranay= to protect/save
  • साधूनां/Sadhunang =of the good or good people
  • विनाशाय/Vinashay = to destroy/for the destruction
  • च/Cha = And
  • दुष्कृताम्/Dushkritam = of the evil or evil-doers
  • धर्म/Dharma = religion
  • संस्थापन/Sangsthapan = to establish
  • अर्थाय/Arthay = to/for the sake of
  • सम्भवामि/Sambhabami = I am born
  • युगे/Yuge = In age
  • युगे/Yuge = In age

Swami Vivekananda's commentaries

Now let's begin  our main section Swami Vivekananda's commentaries on the verse.
Swamji told—
  • A Hindu philosopher would say: These are the great souls; they are already free. And though free, they refuse to accept their liberation while the whole world is suffering. They come again and again, take a human embodiment and help mankind. They know from their childhood what they are and what they come for. ... They do not come through bondage like we do. ... They come out of their own free will, and cannot help having tremendous spiritual power. We cannot resist it. The vast mass of mankind is dragged into the whirlpool of spirituality, and the vibration goes on and on because one of these [great souls] gives a push. So it continues until all mankind is liberated and the play of this planet is finished.[Source]
  • In India they have the same idea of the Incarnations of God. One of their great Incarnations, Krishna, whose grand sermon, the Bhagavad-Gitâ, some of you might have read, says, "Though I am unborn, of changeless nature, and Lord of beings, yet subjugating My Prakriti, I come into being by My own Mâyâ. Whenever virtue subsides and immorality prevails, then I body Myself forth. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of Dharma, I come into being, in every age." Whenever the world goes down, the Lord comes to help it forward; and so He does from time to time and place to place.[Source]
  • Life is short, but the soul is immortal and eternal, and one thing being certain, death, let us therefore take up a great ideal and give up our whole life to it. Let this be our determination, and may He, the Lord, who "comes again and again for the salvation of His own people", to quote from our scriptures — may the great Krishna bless us and lead us all to the fulfilment of our aims![Source]
  • Nothing can bear out more clearly this position than the celebrated saying of Shri Krishna in the Gitâ: "Whenever virtue subsides and irreligion prevails, I create Myself for the protection of the good; for the destruction of all immorality I am coming from time to time." This is the idea in India.[Source]
  • Our prophet says that whenever evil and immortality prevail on earth, He will come down and support His children; and this He is doing from time to time and from place to place. And whenever on earth you see an extraordinary holy man trying to uplift humanity, know that He is in him.[Source]
  • Since the dawn of history, no missionary went out of India to propagate the Hindu doctrines and dogmas; but now a wonderful change is coming over us. Shri Bhagavân Krishna says, "Whenever virtue subsides and immorality prevails, then I come again and again to help the world." Religious researches disclose to us the fact that there is not a country possessing a good ethical code but has borrowed something of it from us, and there is not one religion possessing good ideas of the immortality of the soul but has derived it directly or indirectly from us.[Source]
  • The central figure of the Gita is Krishna. As you worship Jesus of Nazareth as God come down as man so the Hindus worship many Incarnations of God. They believe in not one or two only, but in many, who have come down from time to time, according to the needs of the world, for the preservation of Dharma and destruction of wickedness.[Source]
  • We read in the history of the world about prophets and their lives, and these come down to us through centuries of writings and workings by their disciples. Through thousands of years of chiselling and modelling, the lives of the great prophets of yore come down to us; and yet, in my opinion, not one stands so high in brilliance as that life which I saw with my own eyes, under whose shadow I have lived, at whose feet I have learnt everything —the life of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Ay, friends, you all know the celebrated saying of the Gitâ:
    यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत ।
    अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥
    परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् ।
    धर्मासंस्थापनार्थाय संभवािम युगे युगे ॥
    "Whenever, O descendant of Bharata, there is decline of Dharma, and rise of Adharma, then I body Myself forth. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of Dharma I come into being in every age."
  • "Whenever virtue subsides and vice prevails, I come down to help mankind," declares Krishna, in the Bhagavad-Gitâ. Whenever this world of ours, on account of growth, on account of added circumstances, requires a new adjustment, a wave of power comes; and as a man is acting on two planes, the spiritual and the material, waves of adjustment come on both planes.[Source]
  • "Whenever virtue subsides, and wickedness raises its head, I manifest Myself to restore the glory of religion" — are the words, O noble Prince, of the Eternal One in the holy Gitâ, striking the keynote of the pulsating ebb and flow of the spiritual energy in the universe.[Source]


  1. Annie Besant and Bhagavan Das' translation, 1905 edition

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This page was last updated on: 10 May 2014, 8:59 am IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Jay Shree Khrisna....!!!

  3. This is d beauty of INDIA. The greats were born here n taught us d prospects of lyf..

  4. Excellent article. Thank you.

  5. So, where is your so called Krishna in these days?

    1. Krishna is everywhere. Read Gita.

    2. Krishna is watching you and smiling. Dont be scared though, HE loves evrybody, each one of us, including you because HE is inside us and we are a part of HIM. :-)

    3. We are all Krishna today to change our destiny and take care of our problems & resolve with our wisdom n courage.

    4. We are all Krishna today to solve our problems with our wisdom

  6. Can you share a copy of Annie Besant's 1905 Bhagavad Gita translation, the book you have used as a reference in your essay?

  7. You may download from here: https://archive.org/details/bhagavadgitawith00londiala

    1. Thank you very much. I have downloaded PDF e-book.

  8. Excellenat article, please write Hindi meaning too

    1. We have already included Devanagari scripts. Do you want a separate article or more details in Hindi?

  9. Wow. Jai shri krishna,

  10. Read Bible, read New Testament. Jesus will show you the way.
    Do not follow idol worship or superstition.
    Gita is a great book, but, the New Testament is the best.

    I read about problems of India, corruption, crimes against women and children, dowry, untouchability, if "Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya " is really true, where is your krishna now to fight against these?

    Where is your kirishna now to save those thousands of people and specially children who die everyday because of hunger and poverty?

    1. O lord Krishna Save whole world and Humanity from this evil of abrahamic cult and misleading book of bible.

    2. that is incorrect, there are many religions, all are true, all lead us to our goal, we should not hate each other. let's unite.

    3. Why are you brining Bible here? How is Bible or New Testament relevant to this article?

    4. j a radjane dessama14 August 2015 at 11:37

      I agree with the previous post

      i too am christian, but the comment of By Lord is impertinent and irrelevant, to say the least

      why, and how, does the truth of the bible automatically lead to the conclusion that the bhagavad gita is false?

      i personally see intense harmony and concordance between the teachings of jesus and the message of the bhagavad gita, far more so than in the old testament

      and most importantly, if you call yourself a true follower and a believer of christ, where is your compassion, your empathy, your "love of your neighbour", your respect for the feelings of others? are your being a good samaritan, as dictated by jesus?

      is this the behaviour advocated, recommended or commanded by christ?

    5. j a radjane dessama14 August 2015 at 12:22

      i agree with the previous post

      i too am christian, but i believe the comments of By Lord are impertinent, unwarranted and utterly irrelevant to the discussion

      and what is more, they are also untrue

      why should the truth of the message of christ lead to the automatic and inevitable conclusion that the Bhagavad Gita is false?

      i personally find profound concordance between the teachings of jesus and, not just the bhagavad gita, but the upanishads as well, far more so than in the old testament

      the teachings of jesus are far more harmonious and in sync with the bhagavad gita and the upanishads than they are with the narrow-minded, "we-them" mentality that pervades the old testament

      and again, if you call yourself a follower of christ, By Lord, where is your compassion, your "love-thy-brother-as-thyself" empathy, your respect for the feelings and beliefs of your neighbours, all of which are recommended, nay COMMANDED by jesus?

      do you think jesus would be pleased by your rudeness, your callous discourtesy, your callow ignorance of the value system of the hindus?

      are you being a good samaritan, as dictated by jesus?

  11. You mean your Jesus have all these solution ? then why he was sentenced to death and hanged.

    Poor guy not even save himself...

    And why Bible's god is changing his statements every time (Old Testament,New testament bla bla bla).
    Does Bible's god speaking untruth or he doesn't have full knowledge while speaking old testament ?!!!!

  12. Note Please try to avoid anonymous comment, if you don't want to sign into your accounts, try Name/URL option (you can leave "URL" option blank), and please avoid personal attack

  13. Why are you including only Swami Vivekananda's quotes?

    1. This site is on Swami Vivekananda Quotes. :)

  14. No, it is not true. You pray to god/krishna a thousand times, but god/krishna does not reply.

    why does not krishna reply when we really need his guidance?

    1. Krishna, No; not the Lord :)11 December 2014 at 18:48

      Hear this, seriously: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awM3d9VAjbU
      I hope that would help your question :)

  15. God Morning.

    God is All Powerful. He does not need to be born as a man to eradicate the sins. His power is pervaded in every particle of creation that is why he is called All-Pervading. Lauding His authority, the Vedas say:

    Indeed He is capable of this. Only He, who by himself (without being born to any one) alone is present, is One. (A.V. 13:4:12)

    All these planets including moon are under his ordinance. ( A.V. 13:4:28)

    He created the day, created night, created space, created air, created heaven, created directions, created earth, fire and water. by manifesting these (as if) He (himself) became manifest.(A.V. 13:4:29-37)

    It is only him who makes the plants grow, showers rain for fertility and who nurtures the human race. (A.V. 13:4:43)

  16. "जब भी धर्म की गिरावट और अधर्म की वृद्धि होती है, तब तब अच्छाई के संरक्षण के लिए एवं दुष्टों के विनाश के लिए और धर्म की स्थापना के लिए मैं इस भूलोक में आता रहूँगा।"

  17. God helps each one of us if we pray wholeheartedly, he will definitely lead us and guide.Self Realisation is the sole purporse of us born as human beings.Krishna or Christ would never see if we were a Hindu or Christian if we pray to one of them and ask for guidance.What God looks for is"righteousness", be it Krishna or Christ.There is only one God with many forms.We should learn to live in harmony and Love eachother.

    1. Very rightly said.

  18. This is kaliyuga, all these ill things are bound to happen and it Is already said that by the end of kaliyuga there will be no religion, no yagya and many ill activities will happen and we all are aware of all these dirty things that are happening. this age is meant to be ugly and in the end supreme lord vishnu will manifest himself as lord kalki and then lord kalki will eliminate adharmis just like lord krishna said. see because the morality and righteousness is lowest in kaliyuga because in kaliyuga the adharmis will take birth again and again. and this is wheel of time, earth is going through this phase, and to wipe this dirt at once kalki will appear and then a new yuga will begin. and for those who are saying where is krishna? let me tell you that the creation of your religion is the effect of kaliyuga as you are looking away from vishnu and following false religion this is adharma. and what krishna said is true.

  19. Na Tu Mandir Mein Hein
    Na tu Masjid Mein Hein
    Na tu Girzze mein Hei

    Bhagaban Hein tu Kaha?
    where is God?

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