I am currently listening to some discourses on the Bhagavad Gita. Today I was learning the meaning of BG 1.9:

अन्ये च बहव: शूरा मदर्थे त्यक्तजीविता: |

नानाशस्त्रप्रहरणा: सर्वे युद्धविशारदा: || 9||

I have highlighted the phrase I am interested in. mad-artha tyakta-jIvitAh. Here, we have the speaker, talking about a war that hasn't even begun and yet says: "for my sake, they have laid down their lives". Note the past tense there (laid). I would like some clarification on whether tyakta-jIvitAh means "prepared to lay down their lives" or "laid down their lives"?

Please note that while a literal translation will be hugely helpful, I am trying to understand the sentence structure too -- namely, why the speaker is using past tense for people that are alive at that moment and like I mentioned above, especially given that the war hasn't even begun.

  • 1
    It is difficult to render sanskrit into english. First, there are no 'sentences' in sanskrit - there are stops, so to understand the sentence structure is a quest that cannot be fulfilled. Depending upon where the stop is can change the meaning of the verse. It is best to work with several translations to get a better understanding of an entire verse. Jan 7, 2022 at 6:43

1 Answer 1


Bg. 1.9.:

अन्ये च बहवः श‍ूरा मदर्थे त्यक्तजीविताः । नानाशस्त्रप्रहरणाः सर्वे युद्धविशारदाः ॥ ९ ॥

anye ca bahavaḥ śūrā mad-arthe tyakta-jīvitāḥ nānā-śastra-praharaṇāḥ sarve yuddha-viśāradāḥ


anye — others; ca — also; bahavaḥ — in great numbers; śūrāḥ — heroes; mat-arthe — for my sake; tyakta-jīvitāḥ — prepared to risk life; nānā — many; śastra — weapons; praharaṇāḥ — equipped with; sarve — all of them; yuddha-viśāradāḥ — experienced in military science.


There are many other heroes who are prepared to lay down their lives for my sake. All of them are well equipped with different kinds of weapons, and all are experienced in military science.

Check this site.

I hope this clarifies your queries.

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