Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Arjuna Mean?

Arjuna is one of the five brothers who are heroes in the Hindu epic, the “Mahabharata.” His story illustrates devotion to Lord Krishna, and their relationship symbolizes the inseparability of Universe and Soul. The name, Arjuna, comes from the Sanskrit meaning “bright,” “silver” or “shining.”

In yoga, Arjuna is celebrated in dhanurasana, or bow pose, referring to Arjuna’s bow in the battlefield. The pose is believed to build stamina, courage and grace.


Yogapedia Explains Arjuna

Son of the god Indra, Arjuna was the third of five Pandava brothers and was renown for his archery skills. But Arjuna is most remembered for the ethical dilemma he faced during a battle involving a branch of his family. In a story told in the sacred text, the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains to the hesitant Arjuna the nature of the universe, devotion and the right course of action (dharma). All actions must be approached as a form of service to the Divine, Krishna explained.

Arjuna’s willingness to accept the word of Krishna, even though it involved fighting members of his own family, exemplifies true devotion to the Supreme God. Likewise, the relationship between Krishna and Arjuna symbolizes the unity of Brahman (Absolute Reality) and Atman (the Self or Soul), one of the fundamental principles of Hinduism.

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