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Symbolism in Arjuna’s name Gudakesha

Gudakesha means ‘the conqueror of sleep’. All beings fall victim to sleep when it overtakes them. Such is the power of this factor in life. But this ‘bull among men’ (Arjuna) has disciplined himself in such a way that sleep would come to him only when he made a decision to sleep.

When, where are and how long to sleep were all at his will.

In addition to the self-mastery of this type, he is always a terror to the foes; he is the subduer of baseness within and without.

A man of his caliber is not likely to beat a retreat.

The name was used by Sanjay to describe Arjuna in Chapter II verse 9.

After addressing the Lord of the senses (Hrishikesha – Bhagavan Sri Krishna) thus, Gudakesha, the terror of the foes, submitted to Govinda, ‘I shall not fight; and held silence.

Source - The Bhagavad Gita by Swami Chidbhavananda

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