GeetA is considered to be the "moksha shAstra" mainly by the vedantins and they have also conferred it the title or Gitopanishad.

It also forms the core of Vedanta as it is the part of the prasthana trayi of the Vedanta. Hence gItA is believed to be the greatest of moksha shastra as it focuses on mukti/liberation.

As per Geeta none before Arjuna have ever seen the divine Vishvaroopam of Lord Krishna. So Arjuna was the lucky one who witnessed this for the first time ever.

However, as per the mahAbhArata, the pAndavas including Arjuna died in the himAlayas and ascended to hell and heaven respectively.

This is mentioned in swargArohana parva of MahAbharata,

"Yudhishthira, however, was exceedingly disconsolate and stupefied by the foul odour. Resolved to return, O Bharata, he retraced his steps. Afflicted by sorrow and grief, the righteous-souled monarch turned back. Just at that moment he heard piteous lamentations all around, ‘O son of Dharma, O royal sage, O thou of sacred origin, O son of Pandu, do thou stay a moment for favouring us. At thy approach, O invincible one, a delightful breeze hath begun to blow, bearing the sweet scent of thy person. Great hath been our relief at this. O foremost of kings, beholding thee, O first of men, great hath been our happiness. O son of Pritha, let that happiness last longer through thy stay here, for a few moments more. Do thou remain here, O Bharata, for even a short while. As long as thou art here, O thou of Kuru’s race, torments cease to afflict us.’ These and many similar words, uttered in piteous voices by persons in pain, the king heard in that region, wafted to his ears from every side.

"Hearing those words of beings in woe, Yudhishthira of compassionate heart exclaimed aloud, ‘Alas, how painful!’ And the king stood still. The speeches of those woe-begone and afflicted persons seemed to the son of Pandu to be uttered in voices that he had heard before although he could not recognise them on that occasion.

"Unable to recognise voices, Dharma’s son, Yudhishthira, enquired, saying, ‘Who are you? Why also do you stay here?’

"Thus addressed, they answered him from all sides, saying, ‘I am Karna!’ ‘I am Bhimasena!’ ‘I am Arjuna!’ ‘I am Nakula!’ ‘I am Sahadeva!’ ‘I am Dhrishtadyumna!’ ‘I am Draupadi!’ ‘We are the sons of Draupadi!’ Even thus, O king, did those voices speak.

"Hearing those exclamations, O king, uttered in voices of pain suitable to that place, the royal Yudhishthira asked himself ‘What perverse destiny is this? What are those sinful acts which were committed by those high-souled beings, Karna and the sons of Draupadi, and the slender-waisted princess of Pancala, so that their residence has been assigned in this region of foetid smell and great woe? I am not aware of any transgression that can be attributed to these persons of righteous deeds. What is that act by doing which Dhritarashtra’s son, king Suyodhana, with all his sinful followers, has become invested with such prosperity? Endued with prosperity like that of the great Indra himself, he is highly adored. What is that act through the consequence of which these (high-souled ones) have fallen into Hell? All of them were conversant with every duty, were heroes, were devoted to truth and the Vedas; were observant of Kshatriya practices; were righteous in their acts; were performers of sacrifices; and givers of large presents unto brahmanas. Am I asleep or awake? Am I conscious or unconscious? Or, is all this a mental delusion due to disorders of the brain?’

Now this raises a big question,

Why did not arjuna get moksha despite the great moksha upadesha from the lord himself?

His death and gati after death was pretty much like other mortals.

From the above mentioned scenario, there can be two scenarios,

1. Arjuna did not practice the given upadesham

2. The upadesham was not competent enough (which is unlikely as it was from Lord Krishna himself!).

But as per scenario 1. if arjuna did not intend to practice the spiritual discipline then why was he given upadesham at all? if he was not the sadpatra for atma vidya?

If he had practiced the upadesham in the precise manner then how come he not attain moksha?

Or was some chapters of gita were interpolated as asked in this question?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Pandya
    Oct 24, 2018 at 2:04

3 Answers 3


Arjun forgotted geeta told by krishna accrording to The Mahabharata Book 14: Aswamedha Parva: SECTION XVI (Anugita Parva) :—

Vaisampayana said, "The son of Pritha (Arjuna), having recovered his own kingdom, joyously spent his time, without doing anything else, in the company of Krishna, his heart filled with delight, in that palace of celestial beauty. One day, those two listlessly proceeded to a particular part of the palace that looked, O king, like a veritable portion of Heaven. Themselves filled with delight, they were then surrounded by their relatives and attendents. Pandu's son, Arjuna, filled with joy in the company of Krishna, surveyed that delightful mansion, and then addressed his companion, saying, 'O--mighty-armed one, thy greatness became known to me upon the approach of the battle. O son of Devaki, thy form also, as the Lord of the universe, then became known to me! What thy holy self said unto me at that time, O Kesava, through affection, has all been forgotten by me, O chief of men, in consequence of the fickleness of my mind. Repeatedly, however, have I been curious on the subject of those truths. Thou again, O Madhava, wilt repair to Dwaraka soon.' Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed by him, Krishna of mighty energy, that foremost of speakers, embraced Phalguna and replied unto him as follows.

'Vasudeva said, 'I made thee listen to truths that are regarded as mysteries. I imparted to thee truths that are eternal. Verily, I discoursed to thee on Religion in its true form and on all the eternal regions. It is exceedingly disagreeable to me to learn that thou didst not, from folly, receive what I imparted. The recollection of all that I told thee on that occasion will not come to me now. Without doubt, O son of Pandu, thou art destitute of faith and thy understanding is not good. It is impossible for me, O Dhananjaya, to repeat, in detail, all that I said on that occasion. That religion (about which I discoursed to thee then) is more than sufficient for understanding Brahma. I cannot discourse on it again in detail. I discoursed to thee on Supreme Brahma, having concentrated myself in Yoga. I shalt now, however, recite to thee an old history upon the same topic. O foremost of all persons, observant of duty, listen to everything I now say, so that, .....

— The Mahabharata Book 14: Aswamedha Parva: SECTION XVI (Anugita Parva)

source:— http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m14/m14016.htm

Another here:—

"Beholding Nakula and the others fall down, Pandu’s son Arjuna of white steeds, that slayer of hostile heroes, fell down in great grief of heart. When that foremost of men, who was endued with the energy of Shakra, had fallen down, indeed, when that invincible hero was on the point of death, Bhima said unto the king, ‘I do not recollect any untruth uttered by this high-souled one. Indeed, not even in jest did he say anything false. What then is that for whose evil consequence this one has fallen down on the Earth?’

"Yudhishthira said, ‘Arjuna had said that he would consume all our foes in a single day. Proud of his heroism, he did not, however, accomplish what he had said. Hence has he fallen down. This Phalguna disregarded all wielders of bows. One desirous of prosperity should never indulge in such sentiments.’"

— The Mahabharata:Book 17:Mahaprasthanika Parva:section2

source:— http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m17/index.htm


Dear rakesh joshi the first refrence in answer was your query regarding bhagawata geeta please have look on the second refrence too as you can see in ( The Mahabharata:Book 17:Mahaprasthanika Parva:section2 ) yudhisthir told bhima that arjun fell because he said he will consume all the enemies in one day and that he couldn't (read full passage above) as per my knowledge he claimed it before the war and the knowledge of bhagawata geeta was imparted at the starting of the war at bhishma parva so why arjun fell was because of his mistake done before impartaion of knowledge of bhagawata geeta as far as i know.

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    its making mockery of whole geeta... it was imparted mainly for arjuna and he did not remember it at all .. what for then he was given this upadesha? raises question on guruhood it self and whole Geeta.. Jan 9, 2018 at 21:54
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    If a drunk man listens a verse of geeta he gets renunciation from the world for a second or minute if he has a good fortune he will through the bottel into the drain otherwise will say,"Leave it!! the life is to enjoy" according to me the geeta was imparted to arjun to feel everything is born and dissolved in god so no bad in killing bad people becouse they will be killed anyway If it is raining and you have dug only 20 inches of land and then when you do not get required water then you say rain was not good then whose fault it is rain or the man man who dug so little? according to me man Jan 10, 2018 at 8:32
  • once there is jnana.it cant be forgotten. Further unworthy should not be given jnana Jan 10, 2018 at 9:53
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    That is not our problem arjun accrording to me is much better than most of the people living on earth today. Jan 10, 2018 at 9:57
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    @Fiercelord when atma gyana is attained then where is the question of previous karmas? Being free from sanchita and prarabdha means mukti right? Its flawed logic. Past karmas dont matter after enlightenment. Oct 22, 2018 at 21:56

First of all there are some points in your question which are not completely true:

As per Brahma-Sutra 3.3.32:

यावदधिकारमवस्थितिराधिकारिकाणाम् ॥ ३२ ॥

yāvadadhikāramavasthitirādhikārikāṇām || 32 ||

  1. Of those who have a mission to fulfil (there is corporeal) existence, so long as the mission is not fulfilled.

Here is Shankara Bhashya on the above verse:

Rishi Apantaratama was born again as Vyasa. Sanatkumara was born as Skanda. So also other Rishis like Vasishtha and Narada were born again. Now these Rishis had attained the knowledge of Brahman, and yet they had to be reborn. If that is so, what is the utility of such knowledge of Brahman?—says the opponent. This Sutra refutes it and says that ordinarily a person after attaining Knowledge is not reborn. But the case of those who have a divine mission to fulfil is different. Those perfected sages have one or more births until their mission is fulfilled, after which they are not born again. But then they never come under the sway of ignorance although they may be reborn. Their case is analogous to that of a Jivanmukta, who even after attaining Knowledge continues his corporeal existence as long as the Prarabdha Karma lasts. The divine mission of these people is comparable to the Prarabdha Karma.

And as mentioned in Mahabharata: Karna Parva: Section 87:

When the two Krishnas (Arjuna and Vasudeva) are excited with wrath, they show regard for nothing. These two bulls among beings are the Creators of all real and unreal things. These two are Nara and Narayana, the two ancient and best of Rishis. There is none to rule over them. They are rulers over all, perfectly fearless, they are scorchers of all foes. In heaven or among human beings, there is none equal to either of them. The three worlds with the celestial Rishis and the Charanas are behind these two. All the gods and all creatures walk behind them. The entire universe exists in consequence of the power of these two.

From this, it's pretty much clear that Arjuna was not an ordinary soul but indeed the divine being (Adhikarika). Ordinarily a person after attaining knowledge of Brahman gets Moksha but case of Adhikarikas is different, they might not get Moksha immediately even after attaining the knowledge of Brahman and can take more births, go in heaven etc, till their mission is not fulfilled.


What does the term "Adhikarika Purusha" mean?

  • But if he was divine and enlightened then how.come he died like mortals and his gati after death was also like ordinary mortals. Do you want to say Arjuna was god ? Same like Krishna and creator !!!! Oct 23, 2018 at 10:09
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    Arjuna being an incarnation of sage Nara is widely accepted...I m not sure how u r deciding death and gati a factor here...bdw Pandavas never went in hell...whatever u hv mentioned in Ur Q was illusion...Pls read the next chapter of what u hv linked...
    – YDS
    Oct 23, 2018 at 17:21
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    Bcz his divine mission might not hv completed by then so he went Sawarga and might reincarnate again...also it should be clear that none of the Pandavas went in hell, whatever Yudhishthir saw was just illusion...
    – YDS
    Oct 23, 2018 at 17:31
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    @Rakesh ... in this world so that Arjuna can ask a questions like an ignorant, and so that Krishna can teach Bhagavad-gita. It is because Krishna and Arjuna acted in a pastime or lila of Lord Krishna to teach fallen souls of Kali yuga Vedic knowledge in the form of conversation called Bhagavad-gita. So that we can read and learn Bhagavad-gita. It's all Krishna's lila to fulfill that specific purpose. And Arjuna was really never an ignorant but was allways, eternally liberated soul. That is an explanation of all that. Oct 23, 2018 at 19:09
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    @Rakesh ... Since Arjuna and Krishna are always together as Nara Narayana Rishi, and also together as Arjuna and Krishna when speaking the Gita, we can say that Arjuna has fulfilled the requirement stated in the Bg verses I quoted above which say what is the highest and most perfect goal. It is to attain Krishna. Thus it make no sense to say that Arjuna was one ignorant in this world, but instead he was eternally liberated soul situated in the highest perfection of yoga, ie surrendered soul and attendant of Krishna. Oct 23, 2018 at 21:06

There is a Gita-Dhyana shloka by Madhusudana Saraswati in Gudartha Deepika

Sarvopanishado Gavo Dogdha Gopalanandana
Parthovatsa Sudheerbhoktha Dugdham Gitamrutam Mahat

Upanishads are like cows.
Milker is Gopalanandana (Krishna).
Partha (Arjuna) is calf.
Good intellectuals are drinkers.
Milk is nectar of Gita.

  1. It is the highest of knowledge. The main recipient was not Arjuna though. He was an excuse to impart forgotten knowledge to world.

  2. Why did Krishna choose Arjuna as patra ?

Krishna answers this himself in BG 9.1

इदं तु ते गुह्यतमं प्रवक्ष्याम्यनसूयवे

Arjuna, because you are not envious of Me, I shall now impart to you this very confidential knowledge and wisdom.

  1. But Arjuna did not use it to full benefit. He even forgot and asked Krishna to repeat (Anu Gita). That is Arjuna's own decision. He has jiva-svatantra (independence, up to an extent). Brahma Sutra 1.34 clearly mentions that Bhagavan does not interfere without compassion. Krishna also says this at the end in BG 18.63 :

विमृश्यैतदशेषेण यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु

Ponder over it completely, and then do as you wish.

  1. But why Arjuna specifically and not others ?

Your premise is that because the student did not attain Moksha, something is wrong. Scientifically, there are only 2 possibilities - either the student attained Moksha, or he did not attain Moksha.

Let's say Krishna taught it to someone else (say Vidura), and Vidura attained Moksha at end of his life because of it. Then you know what people will ask ?

Why did Krishna teach it to Vidura, who was already advanced in Jnana, which is why he was able to make use of Gita to attain Moksha. Why did he not teach it to someone less spiritual, like Arjuna, so that he also could have attained Moksha.

If Bhagavan teaches a student, if the student fails because he didn't study properly, they will find fault with Bhagavan for not teaching properly. If the student succeeded because he studied properly, they will find fault with Bhagavan for not teaching weaker students. If Bhagavan tries to teach weaker students through acharyas and shastras, people will find fault with Bhagavan for using proxy and not teaching directly. If Bhagavan directly comes down during avatara and leads by example, people will say 'Well he is all-powerful Bhagavan so he was able to follow Dharma, how can we ordinary mortals be expected to follow it.'

No matter what, people will find fault. Bhagavan is completely impartial (again, Brahma Sutra 1.34). He is simply going to do what he wants. And what he wants will be the best for everyone. He knows what's good for us better than us. The sooner we accept it the better.

  • Only those with less intellect would ask why vidur was given upadesham. He had inclination for spirituality and was not initiated into brahma vidya so he deserved the upadesh and also subsequent enlightenment. Upadesha is not for random people but only who have real jijnasa and dedication. Oct 22, 2018 at 23:41
  • They won't ask why Vidura was given upadesam. Rather they would ask why Arjuna was not given.
    – ram
    Oct 23, 2018 at 1:26
  • dude i m commenting on your answer only. First be sure what you want to say. In answer your post something and deny in comments then better delete the answer. Oct 23, 2018 at 1:31
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    Another reason is Arjuna is an incarnation of Nara. His destination after Kurukshetra was reaching his original abode. That is what Vishnu said when he called up Krishna and Arjuna to Vaikuntha. Oct 23, 2018 at 4:09
  • @RakeshJoshi, i don't think you understand purva-paksha and uttara. Your problem is that Krishna advised Arjuna who, according to you is not a sad-patra. To make you happy, let's say Krishna advised Vidura instead, and Vidura got moksha. You will not complain that Krishna advised Vidura, instead you will complain why Krishna did not advise Arjuna. Whether Krishna adivses Vidura or Arjuna, you will complain why he did not advise the other student. Either way, you'll complain.
    – ram
    Oct 23, 2018 at 6:13

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