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

Do you like this article? Please post your feedback.

This page was last updated on: 10 May 2014, 8:59 am IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
Number of revisions in this page: 1


  1. Rajesh Kumar1 August 2014 18:35

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Ari5 August 2014 18:41

    Jay Shree Khrisna....!!!

  3. Anonymous6 August 2014 09:39

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


Comment policy