1: Arjun vishaad Yoga “The Yoga of Dejection of Arjuna”

Sreemadh Bhagavad Gita

The Glories of Chapter One of the
Bhagavad Gita from the Padma Purana

Gita Mahathmya 1

Goddess Parvati said to Lord Shiva “My dear husband, You know all the transcendental truths, and by your mercy I have heard the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. Oh Lord, now I long to hear from You the glories of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, which was spoken by Lord Krishna, and by hearing which, one’s devotion to Lord Krishna increases”

Lord Shiva replied “That person, Whose body is the color of a dark rain cloud, whose carrier is the king of birds, Garuda, and Who is lying on Ananta-Sesha, the thousand headed serpent, that Lord Vishnu, Whose glories have no limit, I am always worshipping. My dear Parvati once after Lord Vishnu had killed the demon Mura, He was resting peacefully on Ananta-Sesha, when the bestower of all good fortune of the universe, Sri Lakshmi, respectfully inquired from Him.

“Bhagavan, You are the controller and maintainer of the whole universe, but yet You are sleeping unhappily on this ocean of milk What is the reason?”

Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, I am not sleeping, but I am watching how wonderfully My energy is working. It is by this wonderful energy of Mine, by which I am controlling all things, and yet remain separate. And it is by remembering these divine activities of Mine, that the great devotees and yogis manage to free themselves from the wheel of birth and death, and attain that transcendental nature of Mine, which is eternal and free from all qualities.”

Lakshmi said, “O, controller of all things. You are the goal of the meditation of great yogis. Nothing can go on without You. And yet You are separate. You are the cause of creation, maintenance and destruction of all the material universes. Kindly inform me about the workings of Your wonderful energies, which are so attractive, that even You are lying here, meditating upon them”

Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, the workings of My multi-fold energies, and how to become free from the bonds of birth and death, and attain My eternal Nature, can only be understood by one of pure intelligence, who has an inclination to render service unto Me. This transcendental knowledge is fully explained in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita”

Lakshmi inquired, “My dear Lord, if you yourself are amazed, by the workings of Your energies, and are ever trying to fathom their limit, then how is it possible that the Bhagavad-gita can describe those unlimited energies of Yours, and how to cross over them, and attain the transcendental nature?”

Lord Vishnu said, “I Myself have manifested in the Form of Bhagavad-gita. Please understand that the first five chapters are My five heads, the next ten chapters are My ten Arms, and the Sixteenth Chapter is My stomach. The last two chapters are My lotus-feet. In this way you should understand the transcendental Deity of the Bhagavad-gita. This Bhagavad-gita is the destroyer of all sins. And that intelligent man who daily recites one chapter or even one shloka, one half shloka, or at least one quarter shloka, will attain the same position as Susharma had attained.”

Lakshmi inquired, “Who was Susharma? What class did he belong to? And what destination did he attain?”

Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, Susharma was a very wicked and a most sinful man. Although he was born in a brahmana family, his family had no Vedic knowledge. And he only took pleasure from hurting others. He never engaged in the chanting of My names, in giving charity, or receiving guests. In fact, he never performed any pious activities. For his livelihood he collected leaves, and sold them in the bazaar. He especially enjoyed drinking wine, and eating flesh. In this way he passed his life.

“One day that foolish Susharma had gone to the garden of one sage for collecting leaves, when a snake came and bit him, and he died. After his death he was cast into many hells, where he suffered for a long time. After which he attained the body of a bull. That bull was purchased by a crippled man, who engaged him in his service. For about seven or eight years he was carrying extremely heavy loads. One day that crippled man had piled a very heavy load onto the back of his bull. Very quickly he was forcing that bull along when suddenly the bull fell over and became unconscious. Many persons gathered there, to see what was happening, feeling sorry for that bull. One pious man bestowed upon that bull the results of some of his pious activities. Seeing that, other persons standing there started remembering their pious activities, and offered the results of some of those activities to that bull. In that crowd there was also one prostitute who did not know if she had ever performed any pious activities, but seeing everyone else offering their pious credits to that bull, she also offered the results of any pious activities she might have performed After that, the bull died, and was taken to the abode of Yamaraja, the God of Death.

There, Yamaraja informed him, “You are now free from the reactions of all your previous sinful deeds, due to the pious credits given to you by that prostitute.” Then he took birth in a very high brahmana family. In that birth, he was able to remember his past lives. After many days, he decided to search out that prostitute, who had been the cause of freeing him from his hellish situation.

After he had found and introduced himself to that lady he inquired from her “What were the pious activities performed by you, the fruits of which freed me from my hellish situation?” The prostitute replied to him, “My dear sir, in that cage is one parrot, which recites something everyday. Hearing that recitation, my heart has become completely pure. The results of hearing that recitation I had given to you.” Thereafter they both inquired from that parrot about that recitation. That parrot, remembering his previous life, started to narrate his history. “Previously, I had been a very learned brahmana. But due to my pride, I used to insult other learned persons. I was also extremely jealous. After I died, I was cast into many hells, and after a long time of suffering, I achieved this body of a parrot. Due to my past sinful activities, my mother and father died while I was a baby. One day, while I was lying on the hot sands, with no protection, some rishis saw me, and took me to their ashram, and put me in a cage. At that same place, the children of those rishis were learning the recitation of the First Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Hearing them repeat those Shlokas, I also, started repeating those shloka along with them.

“Shortly after, one thief stole me from that place and sold me to this pious lady.” Lord Vishnu continued, “By reciting the First Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, that parrot had become completely pure. And by hearing that recitation that prostitute also became completely pure. And by receiving some of the pious results of hearing that recitation, Susharma also become completely pure.

After discussing for some time the glories of the first chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Susharma returned to his home, and the three of them individually engaged in reciting the First Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and very quickly attained the supreme destination, Vaikuntha.” Anyone who recites, who hears, or studies the First Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, will very easily cross over the ocean of material miseries, and attain the service of the lotus-feet of Lord Krishna.

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1: Arjun vishaad Yoga
“The Yoga of Dejection of Arjuna”

Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

Text 1

dhrtarastra uvaca
dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre
samaveta yuyutsavah
mamakah pandavas caiva
kim akurvata sanjaya

SYNONYMS

dhrtarastrah–King Dhrtarastra; uvaca–said; dharma-ksetre–in the place of pilgrimage; kuru-ksetre–in the place named Kuruksetra;samavetah–assembled; yuyutsavah–desiring to fight; mamakah–my party (sons); pandavah–the sons of Pandu; ca–and; eva–certainly;kim–what; akurvata–did they do; sanjaya–O Sanjaya.

TRANSLATION

Dhrtarastra said: O Sanjaya, after assembling in the place of pilgrimage at Kuruksetra, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do, being desirous to fight?

PURPORT
Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

Bhagavad-gita is the widely read theistic science summarized in the Gita-mahatmya (Glorification of the Gita). There it says that one should read Bhagavad-gita very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee of Sri Krishna and try to understand it without personally motivated interpretations. The example of clear understanding is there in the Bhagavad-gita itself, in the way the teaching is understood by Arjuna, who heard the Gita directly from the Lord. If someone is fortunate enough to understand Bhagavad-gita in that line of disciplic succession, without motivated interpretation, then he surpasses all studies of Vedic wisdom, and all scriptures of the world. One will find in the Bhagavad-gita all that is contained in other scriptures, but the reader will also find things which are not to be found elsewhere. That is the specific standard of the Gita. It is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

The topics discussed by Dhritarashtra and Sanjaya, as described in the Mahabharata, form the basic principle for this great philosophy. It is understood that this philosophy evolved on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra, which is a sacred place of pilgrimage from the immemorial time of the Vedic age. It was spoken by the Lord when He was present personally on this planet for the guidance of mankind.

The word dharma-kshetra (a place where religious rituals are performed) is significant because, on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was present on the side of Arjuna. Dhritarashtra, the father of the Kurus, was highly doubtful about the possibility of his sons’ ultimate victory. In his doubt, he inquired from his secretary Sanjaya, “What did they do?” He was confident that both his sons and the sons of his younger brother Pandu were assembled in that Field of Kurukshetra for a determined engagement of the war. Still, his inquiry is significant. He did not want a compromise between the cousins and brothers, and he wanted to be sure of the fate of his sons on the battlefield. Because the battle was arranged to be fought at Kurukshetra, which is mentioned elsewhere in the Vedas as a place of worship – even for the denizens of heaven – Dhritarashtra became very fearful about the influence of the holy place on the outcome of the battle. He knew very well that this would influence Arjuna and the sons of Pandu favorably, because by nature they were all virtuous. Sanjaya was a student of Vyasa, and therefore, by the mercy of Vyasa, Sanjaya was able to envision the Battlefield of Kurukshetra even while he was in the room of Dhritarashtra. And so, Dhritarashtra asked him about the situation on the battlefield.

Both the Pandavas and the sons of Dhritarashtra belong to the same family, but Dhritarashtra’s mind is disclosed herein. He deliberately claimed only his sons as Kurus, and he separated the sons of Pandu from the family heritage. One can thus understand the specific position of Dhritarashtra in his relationship with his nephews, the sons of Pandu. As in the paddy field the unnecessary plants are taken out, so it is expected from the very beginning of these topics that in the religious field of Kurukshetra, where the father of religion, Sri Krishna, was present, the unwanted plants like Dhritarashtra’s son Duryodhana and others would be wiped out and the thoroughly religious persons, headed by Yudhishthira, would be established by the Lord. This is the significance of the words dharma-kshetre and kuru-kshetre, apart from their historical and Vedic importance.

Commentary by Sri Vishwanatha Chakravarthi Thakur

How did Arjuna become bewildered and fall into ignorance? The speaker of the Mahabharata, Vaisampayana, started explaining the topic to Janmejaya in the Bhisma Parva, with the following words.

Dhritarashtra said, “Please tell me what my sons, headed by Duryodhana, and the sons of Pandu, headed by Yudhisthra were doing, having gathered together for fighting at Kuruksetra?”

“But you yourself have said that they were desirous of fighting, so why are you asking what they did?”

This place is a holy place (dharma ksetra). Sruti says:

kuruksetram deva yajanam

Kuruksetra is a place for worshipping the Lord. Satapatha Brahmana, Madhyandinlya 14.1.1.2

“It is famous as a place which produces dharma. Due to association with this great place, the evil Duryodhana and company could give up their anger and take to the path of dharma. The Pandavas are naturally following dharma. Then both sides would have intelligence to see that they should not kill their own relatives and friends, and would negotiate peace.”

Externally, he desired to show Sanjaya that he would be relieved if this were so. Internally, however, he found it hard to restrain his depression, for if there was conciliation, then, it would be difficult for his sons to claim the kingdom. “As Bhisma, who is on our side cannot be defeated by Arjuna, it is better that we fight. Let that happen!” It was not suitable however to show such desires externally.

There is a hidden meaning in the word ksetra (field) in the phrase dharma-ksetra. The field was a place for growing the grains of dharma, in the form of pious Yudhisthira along with his group, who was the very incarnation of dharma.1 The field, a place for exerting oneself in the work of cultivating, was the place in which Krishna, the nourisher of dharma, would encourage Yudhisthira. The field, a place for many projects like blocking irrigation dykes and watering, was the place where Krishna would assist Yudhisthira in many ways to establish the grains of dharma. The same field is also a place for weeds to grow. The weeds, enemies of the grains, in the form of Duryodhana and others, also grew there, but would be destroyed by Krishna.

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TEXT 2

sanjaya uvaca
drstva tu pandavanikam
vyudham duryodhanas tada
acaryam upasangamya
raja vacanam abravit

SYNONYMS

sanjayah–Sanjaya; uvaca–said; drstva–after seeing; tu–but;pandava-anikam–the soldiers of the Pandavas; vyudham–arranged in military phalanx; duryodhanah–King Duryodhana; tada–at that time;acaryam–the teacher; upasangamya–approaching nearby; raja–the king; vacanam–words; abravit–spoke.

TRANSLATION

Sanjaya said: O King, after looking over the army gathered by the sons of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to his teacher and began to speak the following words:


PURPORT

Dhritarashtra was blind from birth. Unfortunately, he was also bereft of spiritual vision. He knew very well that his sons were equally blind in the matter of religion, and he was sure that they could never reach an understanding with the Pandavas, who were all pious since birth. Still he was doubtful about the influence of the place of pilgrimage, and Sanjaya could understand his motive in asking about the situation on the battlefield. Sanjaya wanted, therefore, to encourage the despondent king and thus assured him that his sons were not going to make any sort of compromise under the influence of the holy place. Sanjaya therefore informed the king that his son, Duryodhana, after seeing the military force of the Pandavas, at once went to the commander in chief, Dronacarya, to inform him of the real position. Although Duryodhana is mentioned as the king, he still had to go to the commander on account of the seriousness of the situation. He was therefore quite fit to be a politician. But Duryodhana’s diplomatic veneer could not disguise the fear he felt when he saw the military arrangement of the Pandavas.

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TEXT 3

pasyaitam pandu-putranam
acarya mahatim camum
vyudham drupada-putrena
tava sisyena dhimata

SYNONYMS

pasya–behold; etam–this; pandu-putranam–of the sons of Pandu; acarya–O teacher; mahatim–great; camum–military force;vyudham–arranged; drupada-putrena–by the son of Drupada; tava–your; sisyena–disciple; dhi-mata–very intelligent.

TRANSLATION

O my teacher, behold the great army of the sons of Pandu, so expertly arranged by your intelligent disciple, the son of Drupada.

PURPORT

Duryodhana, a great diplomat, wanted to point out the defects of Dronacarya, the great brahmana commander-in-chief. Dronacarya had some political quarrel with King Drupada, the father of Draupadi, who was Arjuna’s wife. As a result of this quarrel, Drupada performed a great sacrifice, by which he received the benediction of having a son who would be able to kill Dronacarya. Dronacarya knew this perfectly well, and yet, as a liberal brahmana, he did not hesitate to impart all his military secrets when the son of Drupada, Dhrstadyumna, was entrusted to him for military education. Now, on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, Dhrstadyumna took the side of the Pandavas, and it was he who arranged for their military phalanx, after having learned the art from Dronacarya. Duryodhana pointed out this mistake of Dronacarya’s so that he might be alert and uncompromising in the fighting. By this he wanted to point out also that he should not be similarly lenient in battle against the Pandavas, who were also Dronacarya’s affectionate students. Arjuna, especially, was his most affectionate and brilliant student. Duryodhana also warned that such leniency in the fight would lead to defeat.

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TEXT 4

atra sura mahesvasa
bhimarjuna-sama yudhi
yuyudhano viratas ca
drupadas ca maha-rathah

SYNONYMS

atra–here; surah–heroes; maha-isu-asah–mighty bowmen;bhima-arjuna–Bhima and Arjuna; samah–equal; yudhi–in the fight;yuyudhanah–Yuyudhana; viratah–Virata; ca–also; drupadah–Drupada; ca–also; maha-rathah–great fighter.

TRANSLATION

Here in this army there are many heroic bowmen equal in fighting to Bhima and Arjuna; there are also great fighters like Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada.

PURPORT

Even though Dhrstadyumna was not a very important obstacle in the face of Dronacarya’s very great power in the military art, there were many others who were the cause of fear. They are mentioned by Duryodhana as great stumbling blocks on the path of victory because each and every one of them was as formidable as Bhima and Arjuna. He knew the strength of Bhima and Arjuna, and thus he compared the others with them.

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TEXT 5

dhrstaketus cekitanah
kasirajas ca viryavan
purujit kuntibhojas ca
saibyas ca nara-pungavah

SYNONYMS

dhrstaketuh–Dhrstaketu; cekitanah–Cekitana; kasirajah–Kasiraja; ca–also; virya-van–very powerful; purujit–Purujit;kuntibhojah–Kuntibhoja; ca–and; saibyah–Saibya; ca–and; nara-pungavah–heroes in human society.

TRANSLATION

There are also great, heroic, powerful fighters like Dhrstaketu, Cekitana, Kasiraja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Saibya.

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TEXT 6

yudhamanyus ca vikranta
uttamaujas ca viryavan
saubhadro draupadeyas ca
sarva eva maha-rathah

SYNONYMS

yudhamanyuh–Yudhamanyu; ca–and; vikrantah–mighty;uttamaujah–Uttamauja; ca–and; virya-van–very powerful;saubhadrah–the son of Subhadra; draupadeyah–the sons of Draupadi; ca–and; sarve–all; eva–certainly; maha-rathah–great chariot fighters.

TRANSLATION

There are the mighty Yudhamanyu, the very powerful Uttamauja, the son of Subhadra and the sons of Draupadi. All these warriors are great chariot fighters.

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TEXT 7

asmakam tu visista ye
tan nibodha dvijottama
nayaka mama sainyasya
samjnartham tan bravimi te

SYNONYMS

asmakam–our; tu–but; visistah–especially powerful; ye–those;tan–them; nibodha–just take note, be informed; dvija-uttama–the best of the brahmanas; nayakah–captains; mama–my; sainyasya–of the soldiers; samjna-artham–for information; tan–them; bravimi–I am speaking; te–your.

TRANSLATION

O best of the brahmanas, for your information, let me tell you about the captains who are especially qualified to lead my military force.

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TEXT 8

bhavan bhismas ca karnas ca 
krpas ca samitim-jayah 
asvatthama vikarnas ca 
saumadattis tathaiva ca

SYNONYMS

bhavan–your self; bhismah–Grandfather Bhisma; ca–also;karnah–Karna; ca–and; krpah–Krpa; ca–and; samitim-jayah–always victorious in battle; asvatthama–Asvatthama; vikarnah–Vikarna; ca–as well as; saumadattih–the son of Somadatta; tatha–and as; eva–certainly; ca–and.

TRANSLATION

There are personalities like yourself, Bhisma, Karna, Krpa, Asvatthama, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta called Bhurisrava, who are always victorious in battle.

PURPORT

Duryodhana mentioned the exceptional heroes in the battle, all of whom are ever-victorious. Vikarna is the brother of Duryodhana, Asvatthama is the son of Dronacarya, and Saumadatti, or Bhurisrava, is the son of the King of the Bahlikas. Karna is the half brother of Arjuna, as he was born of Kunti before her marriage with King Pandu. Krpacarya married the twin sister of Dronacarya.

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TEXT 9

anye ca bahavah sura 
mad-arthe tyakta-jivitah 
nana-sastra-praharanah 
sarve yuddha-visaradah

SYNONYMS

anye–many others; ca–also; bahavah–in great numbers; surah–heroes; mad-arthe–for my sake; tyakta-jivitah–prepared to risk life;nana–many; sastra–weapons; praharanah–equipped with; sarve–all of them; yuddha–battle; visaradah–experienced in military science.

TRANSLATION

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.

PURPORT

As far as the others are concerned–like Jayadratha, Krtavarma, Salya, etc.–all are determined to lay down their lives for Duryodhana’s sake. In other words, it is already concluded that all of them would die in the Battle of Kuruksetra for joining the party of the sinful Duryodhana. Duryodhana was, of course, confident of his victory on account of the above-mentioned combined strength of his friends.

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TEXT 10

aparyaptam tad asmakam 
balam bhismabhiraksitam 
paryaptam tv idam etesam 
balam bhimabhiraksitam

SYNONYMS

aparyaptam–immeasurable; tat–that; asmakam–of ours; balam–strength; bhisma–by Grandfather Bhisma; abhiraksitam–perfectly protected; paryaptam–limited; tu–but; idam–all these; etesam–of the Pandavas; balam–strength; bhima–by Bhima; abhiraksitam–carefully protected.

TRANSLATION

Our strength is immeasurable, and we are perfectly protected by Grandfather Bhisma, whereas the strength of the Pandavas, carefully protected by Bhima, is limited.

PURPORT

Herein an estimation of comparative strength is made by Duryodhana. He thinks that the strength of his armed forces is immeasurable, being specifically protected by the most experienced general, Grandfather Bhisma. On the other hand, the forces of the Pandavas are limited, being protected by a less experienced general, Bhima, who is like a fig in the presence of Bhisma. Duryodhana was always envious of Bhima because he knew perfectly well that if he should die at all, he would only be killed by Bhima. But at the same time, he was confident of his victory on account of the presence of Bhisma, who was a far superior general. His conclusion that he would come out of the battle victorious was well ascertained.
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TEXT 11

ayanesu ca sarvesu 
yatha-bhagam avasthitah 
bhismam evabhiraksantu 
bhavantah sarva eva hi

SYNONYMS

ayanesu–in the strategic points; ca–also; sarvesu–everywhere;yatha-bhagam–as they are differently arranged; avasthitah–situated;bhismam–unto Grandfather Bhisma; eva–certainly; abhiraksantu–support may be given; bhavantah–all of you; sarve–respectively;eva–certainly; hi–and exactly.

TRANSLATION

Now all of you must give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, standing at your respective strategic points in the phalanx of the army.

PURPORT

Duryodhana, after praising the prowess of Bhisma, further considered that others might think that they had been considered less important, so in his usual diplomatic way, he tried to adjust the situation in the above words. He emphasized that Bhismadeva was undoubtedly the greatest hero, but he was an old man, so everyone must especially think of his protection from all sides. He might become engaged in the fight, and the enemy might take advantage of his full engagement on one side. Therefore, it was important that other heroes would not leave their strategic positions and allow the enemy to break the phalanx. Duryodhana clearly felt that the victory of the Kurus depended on the presence of Bhismadeva. He was confident of the full support of Bhismadeva and Dronacarya in the battle because he well knew that they did not even speak a word when Arjuna’s wife Draupadi, in her helpless condition, had appealed to them for justice while she was being forced to strip naked in the presence of all the great generals in the assembly. Although he knew that the two generals had some sort of affection for the Pandavas, he hoped that all such affection would now be completely given up by them, as was customary during the gambling performances.

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TEXT 12

tasya sanjanayan harsam 
kuru-vrddhah pitamahah 
simha-nadam vinadyoccaih 
sankham dadhmau pratapavan

SYNONYMS

tasya–his; sanjanayan–increasing; harsam–cheerfulness; kuru-vrddhah–the grandsire of the Kuru dynasty (Bhisma); pitamahah–the grandfather; simha-nadam–roaring sound, like a lion; vinadya–vibrating; uccaih–very loudly; sankham–conchshell; dadhmau–blew;pratapa-van–the valiant.

TRANSLATION

Then Bhisma, the great valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty, the grandfather of the fighters, blew his conchshell very loudly like the sound of a lion, giving Duryodhana joy.

PURPORT

The grandsire of the Kuru dynasty could understand the inner meaning of the heart of his grandson Duryodhana, and out of his natural compassion for him he tried to cheer him by blowing his conchshell very loudly, befitting his position as a lion. Indirectly, by the symbolism of the conchshell, he informed his depressed grandson Duryodhana that he had no chance of victory in the battle, because the Supreme Lord Krsna was on the other side. But still, it was his duty to conduct the fight, and no pains would be spared in that connection.
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TEXT 13

tatah sankhas ca bheryas ca 
panavanaka-gomukhah 
sahasaivabhyahanyanta 
sa sabdas tumulo ‘bhavat

SYNONYMS

tatah–thereafter; sankhah–conchshells; ca–also; bheryah–bugles; ca–and; panava-anaka–trumpets and drums; go-mukhah–horns; sahasa–all of a sudden; eva–certainly; abhyahanyanta–being simultaneously sounded; sah–that; sabdah–combined sound;tumulah–tumultuous; abhavat–became.

TRANSLATION

After that, the conchshells, bugles, trumpets, drums and horns were all suddenly sounded, and the combined sound was tumultuous.

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TEXT 14

tatah svetair hayair yukte 
mahati syandane sthitau 
madhavah pandavas caiva 
divyau sankhau pradadhmatuh

SYNONYMS

tatah–thereafter; svetaih–by white; hayaih–horses; yukte–being yoked; mahati–in a great; syandane–chariot; sthitau–so situated;madhavah–Krsna (the husband of the goddess of fortune); pandavah–Arjuna (the son of Pandu); ca–also; eva–certainly; divyau–transcendental; sankhau–conchshells; pradadhmatuh–sounded.

TRANSLATION

On the other side, both Lord Krsna and Arjuna, stationed on a great chariot drawn by white horses, sounded their transcendental conchshells.

PURPORT

In contrast with the conchshell blown by Bhismadeva, the conchshells in the hands of Krsna and Arjuna are described as transcendental. The sounding of the transcendental conchshells indicated that there was no hope of victory for the other side because Krsna was on the side of the Pandavas. Jayas tu pandu-putranam yesam pakse janardanah. Victory is always with persons like the sons of Pandu because Lord Krsna is associated with them. And whenever and wherever the Lord is present, the goddess of fortune is also there because the goddess of fortune never lives alone without her husband. Therefore, victory and fortune were awaiting Arjuna, as indicated by the transcendental sound produced by the conchshell of Visnu, or Lord Krsna. Besides that, the chariot on which both the friends were seated was donated by Agni (the fire-god) to Arjuna, and this indicated that this chariot was capable of conquering all sides, wherever it was drawn over the three worlds.

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TEXT 15

pancajanyam hrsikeso 
devadattam dhananjayah 
paundram dadhmau maha-sankham 
bhima-karma vrkodarah

SYNONYMS

pancajanyam–the conchshell named Pancajanya; hrsika-isah–Hrsikesa (Krsna, the Lord who directs the senses of the devotees);devadattam–the conchshell named Devadatta; dhanam-jayah–Dhananjaya (Arjuna, the winner of wealth); paundram–the conch named Paundra; dadhmau–blew; maha-sankham–the terrific conchshell; bhima-karma–one who performs herculean tasks; vrka-udarah–the voracious eater (Bhima).

TRANSLATION

Then, Lord Krsna blew His conchshell, called Pancajanya; Arjuna blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhima, the voracious eater and performer of Herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell called Paundram.

PURPORT

Lord Krsna is referred to as Hrsikesa in this verse because He is the owner of all senses. The living entities are part and parcel of Him, and, therefore, the senses of the living entities are also part and parcel of His senses. The impersonalists cannot account for the senses of the living entities, and therefore they are always anxious to describe all living entities as sense-less, or impersonal. The Lord, situated in the hearts of all living entities, directs their senses. But, He directs in terms of the surrender of the living entity, and in the case of a pure devotee He directly controls the senses. Here on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra the Lord directly controls the transcendental senses of Arjuna, and thus His particular name of Hrsikesa. The Lord has different names according to His different activities. For example, His name is Madhusudana because He killed the demon of the name Madhu; His name is Govinda because He gives pleasure to the cows and to the senses; His name is Vasudeva because He appeared as the son of Vasudeva; His name is Devaki-nandana because He accepted Devaki as His mother; His name is Yasoda-nandana because He awarded His childhood pastimes to Yasoda at Vrndavana; His name is Partha-sarathi because He worked as charioteer of His friend Arjuna. Similarly, His name is Hrsikesa because He gave direction to Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. 
Arjuna is referred to as Dhananjaya in this verse because he helped his elder brother in fetching wealth when it was required by the king to make expenditures for different sacrifices. Similarly, Bhima is known as Vrkodara because he could eat as voraciously as he could perform herculean tasks, such as killing the demon Hidimba. So, the particular types of conchshell blown by the different personalities on the side of the Pandavas, beginning with the Lord’s, were all very encouraging to the fighting soldiers. On the other side there were no such credits, nor the presence of Lord Krsna, the supreme director, nor that of the goddess of fortune. So, they were predestined to lose the battle–and that was the message announced by the sounds of the conchshells.

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TEXT 16-18

anantavijayam raja 
kunti-putro yudhisthirah 
nakulah sahadevas ca 
sughosa-manipuspakau
kasyas ca paramesv-asah 
sikhandi ca maha-rathah 
dhrstadyumno viratas ca 
satyakis caparajitah
drupado draupadeyas ca 
sarvasah prthivi-pate 
saubhadras ca maha-bahuh 
sankhan dadhmuh prthak prthak

SYNONYMS

ananta-vijayam–the conch named Ananta-vijaya; raja–the king;kunti-putrah–the son of Kunti; yudhisthirah–Yudhisthira; nakulah–Nakula; sahadevah–Sahadeva; ca–and; sughosa-manipuspakau–the conches named Sughosa and Manipuspaka; kasyah–the King of Kasi (Varanasi); ca–and; parama-isu-asah–the great archer;sikhandi–Sikhandi; ca–also; maha-rathah–one who can fight alone against thousands; dhrstadyumnah–Dhrstadyumna (the son of King Drupada); viratah–Virata (the prince who gave shelter to the Pandavas while they were in disguise); ca–also; satyakih–Satyaki (the same as Yuyudhana, the charioteer of Lord Krsna); ca–and; aparajitah–who were never vanquished before; drupadah–Drupada, the King of Pancala; draupadeyah–the sons of Draupadi; ca–also; sarvasah–all;prthivi-pate–O King; saubhadrah–the son of Subhadra (Abhimanyu); ca–also; maha-bahuh–mighty-armed; sankhan–conchshells; dadhmuh–blew; prthak prthak–each separately.

TRANSLATION

King Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, blew his conchshell, the Ananta-vijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosa and Manipuspaka. That great archer the King of Kasi, the great fighter Sikhandi, Dhrstadyumna, Virata and the unconquerable Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and the others, O King, such as the son of Subhadra, greatly armed, all blew their respective conchshells.
PURPORT
Sanjaya informed King Dhrtarastra very tactfully that his unwise policy of deceiving the sons of Pandu and endeavoring to enthrone his own sons on the seat of the kingdom was not very laudable. The signs already clearly indicated that the whole Kuru dynasty would be killed in that great battle. Beginning with the grandsire, Bhisma, down to the grandsons like Abhimanyu and others–including kings from many states of the world–all were present there, and all were doomed. The whole catastrophe was due to King Dhrtarastra, because he encouraged the policy followed by his sons.

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TEXT 19

sa ghoso dhartarastranam 
hrdayani vyadarayat 
nabhas ca prthivim caiva 
tumulo ‘bhyanunadayan

SYNONYMS

sah–that; ghosah–vibration; dhartarastranam–of the sons of Dhrtarastra; hrdayani–hearts; vyadarayat–shattered; nabhah–the sky; ca–also; prthivim–the surface of the earth; ca–also; eva–certainly; tumulah–uproarious; abhyanunadayan–by resounding.

TRANSLATION

The blowing of these different conchshells became uproarious, and thus, vibrating both in the sky and on the earth, it shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhrtarastra.

PURPORT

When Bhisma and the others on the side of Duryodhana blew their respective conchshells, there was no heart-breaking on the part of the Pandavas. Such occurrences are not mentioned, but in this particular verse it is mentioned that the hearts of the sons of Dhrtarastra were shattered by the sounds vibrated by the Pandavas’ party. This is due to the Pandavas and their confidence in Lord Krsna. One who takes shelter of the Supreme Lord has nothing to fear, even in the midst of the greatest calamity.
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TEXT 20

atha vyavasthitan drstva 
dhartarastran kapi-dhvajah 
pravrtte sastra-sampate 
dhanur udyamya pandavah 
hrsikesam tada vakyam 
idam aha mahi-pate

SYNONYMS

atha–thereupon; vyavasthitan–situated; drstva–looking upon;dhartarastran–the sons of Dhrtarastra; kapi-dhvajah–one whose flag is marked with Hanuman; pravrtte–while about to engage; sastra-sampate–the arrows released; dhanuh–bow; udyamya–after taking up; pandavah–the son of Pandu (Arjuna); hrsikesam–unto Lord Krsna; tada–at that time; vakyam–words; idam–these; aha–said;mahi-pate–O King.

TRANSLATION

O King, at that time Arjuna, the son of Pandu, who was seated in his chariot, his flag marked with Hanuman, took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows, looking at the sons of Dhrtarastra. O King, Arjuna then spoke to Hrsikesa [Krsna] these words:

PURPORT

The battle was just about to begin. It is understood from the above statement that the sons of Dhrtarastra were more or less disheartened by the unexpected arrangement of military force by the Pandavas, who were guided by the direct instructions of Lord Krsna on the battlefield. The emblem of Hanuman on the flag of Arjuna is another sign of victory because Hanuman cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and Lord Rama emerged victorious. Now both Rama and Hanuman were present on the chariot of Arjuna to help him. Lord Krsna is Rama Himself, and wherever Lord Rama is, His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Sita, the goddess of fortune, are present. Therefore, Arjuna had no cause to fear any enemies whatsoever. And above all, the Lord of the senses, Lord Krsna, was personally present to give him direction. Thus, all good counsel was available to Arjuna in the matter of executing the battle. In such auspicious conditions, arranged by the Lord for His eternal devotee, lay the signs of assured victory.

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TEXT 21-22

arjuna uvaca 
senayor ubhayor madhye 
ratham sthapaya me ‘cyuta 
yavad etan nirikse ‘ham 
yoddhu-kaman avasthitan
kair maya saha yoddhavyam 
asmin rana-samudyame

SYNONYMS

arjunah–Arjuna; uvaca–said; senayoh–of the armies; ubhayoh–of both the parties; madhye–in between them; ratham–the chariot;sthapaya–please keep; me–my; acyuta–O infallible one; yavat–as long as; etan–all these; nirikse–may look; aham–I; yoddhu-kaman–desiring to fight; avasthitan–arrayed on the battlefield; kaih–with whom; maya–by me; saha–with; yoddhavyam–to fight with; asmin–in this; rana–strife; samudyame–in the attempt.

TRANSLATION

Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see who is present here, who is desirous of fighting, and with whom I must contend in this great battle attempt.

PURPORT

Although Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, out of His causeless mercy He was engaged in the service of His friend. He never fails in His affection for His devotees, and thus He is addressed herein as infallible. As charioteer, He had to carry out the orders of Arjuna, and since He did not hesitate to do so, He is addressed as infallible. Although He had accepted the position of a charioteer for His devotee, His supreme position was not challenged. In all circumstances, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hrsikesa, the Lord of the total senses. The relationship between the Lord and His servitor is very sweet and transcendental. The servitor is always ready to render a service to the Lord, and, similarly, the Lord is always seeking an opportunity to render some service to the devotee. He takes greater pleasure in His pure devotee’s assuming the advantageous position of ordering Him than He does in being the giver of orders. As master, everyone is under His orders, and no one is above Him to order Him. But when He finds that a pure devotee is ordering Him, He obtains transcendental pleasure, although He is the infallible master of all circumstances. 
As a pure devotee of the Lord, Arjuna had no desire to fight with his cousins and brothers, but he was forced to come onto the battlefield by the obstinacy of Duryodhana, who was never agreeable to any peaceful negotiation. Therefore, he was very anxious to see who the leading persons present on the battlefield were. Although there was no question of a peacemaking endeavor on the battlefield, he wanted to see them again, and to see how much they were bent upon demanding an unwanted war.

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TEXT 23

yotsyamanan avekse ‘ham 
ya ete ‘tra samagatah 
dhartarastrasya durbuddher 
yuddhe priya-cikirsavah

SYNONYMS

yotsyamanan–those who will be fighting; avekse–let me see;aham–I; ye–who; ete–those; atra–here; samagatah–assembled;dhartarastrasya–the son of Dhrtarastra; durbuddheh–evil-minded;yuddhe–in the fight; priya–well; cikirsavah–wishing.

TRANSLATION

Let me see those who have come here to fight, wishing to please the evil-minded son of Dhrtarastra.

PURPORT

It was an open secret that Duryodhana wanted to usurp the kingdom of the Pandavas by evil plans, in collaboration with his father, Dhrtarastra. Therefore, all persons who had joined the side of Duryodhana must have been birds of the same feather. Arjuna wanted to see them in the battlefield before the fight was begun, just to learn who they were, but he had no intention of proposing peace negotiations with them. It was also a fact that he wanted to see them to make an estimate of the strength which he had to face, although he was quite confident of victory because Krsna was sitting by his side.
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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 24

sanjaya uvaca 
evam ukto hrsikeso 
gudakesena bharata 
senayor ubhayor madhye 
sthapayitva rathottamam

SYNONYMS

sanjayah–Sanjaya; uvaca–said; evam–thus; uktah–addressed;hrsikesah–Lord Krsna; gudakesena–by Arjuna; bharata–O descendant of Bharata; senayoh–of armies; ubhayoh–of both;madhye–in the midst of; sthapayitva–by placing; ratha-uttamam–the finest chariot.

TRANSLATION

Sanjaya said: O descendant of Bharata, being thus addressed by Arjuna, Lord Krsna drew up the fine chariot in the midst of the armies of both parties.

PURPORT

In this verse Arjuna is referred to as Gudakesa. Gudaka means sleep, and one who conquers sleep is called gudakesa. Sleep also means ignorance. So Arjuna conquered both sleep and ignorance because of his friendship with Krsna. As a great devotee of Krsna, he could not forget Krsna even for a moment, because that is the nature of a devotee. Either in waking or in sleep, a devotee of the Lord can never be free from thinking of Krsna’s name, form, quality and pastimes. Thus a devotee of Krsna can conquer both sleep and ignorance simply by thinking of Krsna constantly. This is called Krsna consciousness, orsamadhi. As Hrsikesa, or the director of the senses and mind of every living entity, Krsna could understand Arjuna’s purpose in placing the chariot in the midst of the armies. Thus He did so, and spoke as follows.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 25

bhisma-drona-pramukhatah 
sarvesam ca mahi-ksitam 
uvaca partha pasyaitan 
samavetan kurun iti

SYNONYMS

bhisma–Grandfather Bhisma; drona–the teacher Drona;pramukhatah–in front of; sarvesam–all; ca–also; mahi-ksitam–chiefs of the world; uvaca–said; partha–O Partha (son of Prtha);pasya–just behold; etan–all of them; samavetan–assembled; kurun–all the members of the Kuru dynasty; iti–thus.

TRANSLATION

In the presence of Bhisma, Drona and all other chieftains of the world, Hrsikesa, the Lord, said, Just behold, Partha, all the Kurus who are assembled here.

PURPORT

As the Supersoul of all living entities, Lord Krsna could understand what was going on in the mind of Arjuna. The use of the word Hrsikesa in this connection indicates that He knew everything. And the word Partha, or the son of Kunti or Prtha, is also similarly significant in reference to Arjuna. As a friend, He wanted to inform Arjuna that because Arjuna was the son of Prtha, the sister of His own father Vasudeva, He had agreed to be the charioteer of Arjuna. Now what did Krsna mean when He told Arjuna to “behold the Kurus”? Did Arjuna want to stop there and not fight? Krsna never expected such things from the son of His aunt Prtha. The mind of Arjuna was thus predicted by the Lord in friendly joking.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 26

tatrapasyat sthitan parthah 
pitrn atha pitamahan 
acaryan matulan bhratrn 
putran pautran sakhims tatha 
svasuran suhrdas caiva 
senayor ubhayor api

SYNONYMS

tatra–there; apasyat–he could see; sthitan–standing; parthah–Arjuna; pitrn–fathers; atha–also; pitamahan–grandfathers; acaryan–teachers; matulan–maternal uncles; bhratrn–brothers; putran–sons;pautran–grandsons; sakhin–friends; tatha–too; svasuran–fathers-in-law; suhrdah–well-wishers; ca–also; eva–certainly; senayoh–of the armies; ubhayoh–of both parties; api–including.

TRANSLATION

There Arjuna could see, within the midst of the armies of both parties, his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, and also his father-in-law and well-wishers–all present there.

PURPORT

On the battlefield Arjuna could see all kinds of relatives. He could see persons like Bhurisrava, who were his father’s contemporaries, grandfathers Bhisma and Somadatta, teachers like Dronacarya and Krpacarya, maternal uncles like Salya and Sakuni, brothers like Duryodhana, sons like Laksmana, friends like Asvatthama, well-wishers like Krtavarma, etc. He could see also the armies which contained many of his friends.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 27

tan samiksya sa kaunteyah 
sarvan bandhun avasthitan 
krpaya parayavisto 
visidann idam abravit

SYNONYMS

tan–all of them; samiksya–after seeing; sah–he; kaunteyah–the son of Kunti; sarvan–all kinds of; bandhun–relatives; avasthitan–situated; krpaya–by compassion; paraya–of a high grade; avistah–overwhelmed by; visidan–while lamenting; idam–thus; abravit–spoke.

TRANSLATION

When the son of Kunti, Arjuna, saw all these different grades of friends and relatives, he became overwhelmed with compassion and spoke thus:

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 28

arjuna uvaca 
drstvemam sva-janam krsna 
yuyutsum samupasthitam 
sidanti mama gatrani 
mukham ca parisusyati

SYNONYMS

arjunah–Arjuna; uvaca–said; drstva–after seeing; imam–all these; sva-janam–kinsmen; krsna–O Krsna; yuyutsum–all in fighting spirit; samupasthitam–all present; sidanti–quivering; mama–my;gatrani–limbs of the body; mukham–mouth; ca–also; parisusyati–drying up.

TRANSLATION

Arjuna said: My dear Krsna, seeing my friends and relatives present before me in such a fighting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.

PURPORT

Any man who has genuine devotion to the Lord has all the good qualities which are found in godly persons or in the demigods, whereas the nondevotee, however advanced he may be in material qualifications by education and culture, lacks in godly qualities. As such, Arjuna, just after seeing his kinsmen, friends and relatives on the battlefield, was at once overwhelmed by compassion for them who had so decided to fight amongst themselves. As far as his soldiers were concerned, he was sympathetic from the beginning, but he felt compassion even for the soldiers of the opposite party, foreseeing their imminent death. And so thinking, the limbs of his body began to quiver, and his mouth became dry. He was more or less astonished to see their fighting spirit. Practically the whole community, all blood relatives of Arjuna, had come to fight with him. This overwhelmed a kind devotee like Arjuna. Although it is not mentioned here, still one can easily imagine that not only were Arjuna’s bodily limbs quivering and his mouth drying up, but that he was also crying out of compassion. Such symptoms in Arjuna were not due to weakness but to his softheartedness, a characteristic of a pure devotee of the Lord. It is said therefore:
yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana 
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah 
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna 
mano-rathenasati dhavato bahih

“One who has unflinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead has all the good qualities of the demigods. But one who is not a devotee of the Lord has only material qualifications that are of little value. This is because he is hovering on the mental plane and is certain to be attracted by the glaring material energy.” (Bhag. 5.18.12)

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 29

vepathus ca sarire me 
roma-harsas ca jayate 
gandivam sramsate hastat 
tvak caiva paridahyate

SYNONYMS

vepathuh–trembling of the body; ca–also; sarire–on the body;me–my; roma-harsah–standing of the hair on end; ca–also; jayate–is taking place; gandivam–the bow of Arjuna; sramsate–is slipping;hastat–from the hands; tvak–skin; ca–also; eva–certainly;paridahyate–burning.

TRANSLATION

My whole body is trembling, and my hair is standing on end. My bow Gandiva is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning.

PURPORT

There are two kinds of trembling of the body, and two kinds of standings of the hair on end. Such phenomena occur either in great spiritual ecstasy or out of great fear under material conditions. There is no fear in transcendental realization. Arjuna’s symptoms in this situation are out of material fear–namely, loss of life. This is evident from other symptoms also; he became so impatient that his famous bow Gandiva was slipping from his hands, and, because his heart was burning within him, he was feeling a burning sensation of the skin. All these are due to a material conception of life.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 30

na ca saknomy avasthatum 
bhramativa ca me manah 
nimittani ca pasyami 
viparitani kesava

SYNONYMS

na–nor; ca–also; saknomi–am I able; avasthatum–to stay;bhramati–forgetting; iva–as; ca–and; me–my; manah–mind;nimittani–causes; ca–also; pasyami–I foresee; viparitani–just the opposite; kesava–O killer of the demon Kesi (Krsna).

TRANSLATION

I am now unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself, and my mind is reeling. I foresee only evil, O killer of the Kesi demon.

PURPORT

Due to his impatience, Arjuna was unable to stay on the battlefield, and he was forgetting himself on account of the weakness of his mind. Excessive attachment for material things puts a man in a bewildering condition of existence. Bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah: such fearfulness and loss of mental equilibrium take place in persons who are too affected by material conditions. Arjuna envisioned only unhappiness in the battlefield–he would not be happy even by gaining victory over the foe. The word nimitta is significant. When a man sees only frustration in his expectations, he thinks, “Why am I here?” Everyone is interested in himself and his own welfare. No one is interested in the Supreme Self. Arjuna is supposed to show disregard for self-interest by submission to the will of Krsna, who is everyone’s real self-interest. The conditioned soul forgets this, and therefore suffers material pains. Arjuna thought that his victory in the battle would only be a cause of lamentation for him.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 31

na ca sreyo ‘nupasyami 
hatva sva-janam ahave 
na kankse vijayam krsna 
na ca rajyam sukhani ca

SYNONYMS

na–nor; ca–also; sreyah–good; anupasyami–do I foresee;hatva–by killing; sva-janam–own kinsmen; ahave–in the fight; na–nor; kankse–do I desire; vijayam–victory; krsna–O Krsna; na–nor;ca–also; rajyam–kingdom; sukhani–happiness thereof; ca–also.

TRANSLATION

I do not see how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in this battle, nor can I, my dear Krsna, desire any subsequent victory, kingdom, or happiness.

PURPORT

Without knowing that one’s self-interest is in Visnu (or Krsna), conditioned souls are attracted by bodily relationships, hoping to be happy in such situations. Under delusion, they forget that Krsna is also the cause of material happiness. Arjuna appears to have even forgotten the moral codes for a ksatriya. It is said that two kinds of men, namely the ksatriya who dies directly in front of the battlefield under Krsna’s personal orders and the person in the renounced order of life who is absolutely devoted to spiritual culture, are eligible to enter into the sun-globe, which is so powerful and dazzling. Arjuna is reluctant even to kill his enemies, let alone his relatives. He thought that by killing his kinsmen there would be no happiness in his life, and therefore he was not willing to fight, just as a person who does not feel hunger is not inclined to cook. He has now decided to go into the forest and live a secluded life in frustration. But as a ksatriya, he requires a kingdom for his subsistence, because the ksatriyas cannot engage themselves in any other occupation. But Arjuna has had no kingdom. Arjuna’s sole opportunity for gaining a kingdom lay in fighting with his cousins and brothers and reclaiming the kingdom inherited from his father, which he does not like to do. Therefore he considers himself fit to go to the forest to live a secluded life of frustration.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 32-35

kim no rajyena govinda 
kim bhogair jivitena va 
yesam arthe kanksitam no 
rajyam bhogah sukhani ca
ta ime ‘vasthita yuddhe 
pranams tyaktva dhanani ca 
acaryah pitarah putras 
tathaiva ca pitamahah
matulah svasurah pautrah 
syalah sambandhinas tatha 
etan na hantum icchami 
ghnato ‘pi madhusudana
api trailokya-rajyasya 
hetoh kim nu mahi-krte 
nihatya dhartarastran nah 
ka pritih syaj janardana

SYNONYMS

kim–what use; nah–to us; rajyena–is the kingdom; govinda–O Krsna; kim–what; bhogaih–enjoyment; jivitena–by living; va–either;yesam–for whom; arthe–for the matter of; kanksitam–desired; nah–our; rajyam–kingdom; bhogah–material enjoyment; sukhani–all happiness; ca–also; te–all of them; ime–these; avasthitah–situated;yuddhe–in this battlefield; pranan–lives; tyaktva–giving up; dhanani–riches; ca–also; acaryah–teachers; pitarah–fathers; putrah–sons;tatha–as well as; eva–certainly; ca–also; pitamahah–grandfathers;matulah–maternal uncles; svasurah–fathers-in-law; pautrah–grandsons; syalah–brothers-in-law; sambandhinah–relatives; tatha–as well as; etan–all these; na–never; hantum–for killing; icchami–do I wish; ghnatah–being killed; api–even; madhusudana–O killer of the demon Madhu (Krsna); api–even if; trai-lokya–of the three worlds; rajyasya–of the kingdoms; hetoh–in exchange; kim–what to speak of; nu–only; mahi-krte–for the sake of the earth; nihatya–by killing; dhartarastran–the sons of Dhrtarastra; nah–our; ka–what;pritih–pleasure; syat–will there be; janardana–O maintainer of all living entities.

TRANSLATION

O Govinda, of what avail to us are kingdoms, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed in this battlefield? O Madhusudana, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and all relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, then why should I wish to kill them, though I may survive? O maintainer of all creatures, I am not prepared to fight with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth.

PURPORT

Arjuna has addressed Lord Krsna as Govinda because Krsna is the object of all pleasures for cows and the senses. By using this significant word, Arjuna indicates what will satisfy his senses. Although Govinda is not meant for satisfying our senses, if we try to satisfy the senses of Govinda then automatically our own senses are satisfied. Materially, everyone wants to satisfy his senses, and he wants God to be the order supplier for such satisfaction. The Lord will satisfy the senses of the living entities as much as they deserve, but not to the extent that they may covet. But when one takes the opposite way–namely, when one tries to satisfy the senses of Govinda without desiring to satisfy one’s own senses–then by the grace of Govinda all desires of the living entity are satisfied. Arjuna’s deep affection for community and family members is exhibited here partly due to his natural compassion for them. He is therefore not prepared to fight. Everyone wants to show his opulence to friends and relatives, but Arjuna fears that all his relatives and friends will be killed in the battlefield, and he will be unable to share his opulence after victory. This is a typical calculation of material life. The transcendental life is, however, different. Since a devotee wants to satisfy the desires of the Lord, he can, Lord willing, accept all kinds of opulence for the service of the Lord, and if the Lord is not willing, he should not accept a farthing. Arjuna did not want to kill his relatives, and if there were any need to kill them, he desired that Krsna kill them personally. At this point he did not know that Krsna had already killed them before their coming into the battlefield and that he was only to become an instrument for Krsna. This fact is disclosed in following chapters. As a natural devotee of the Lord, Arjuna did not like to retaliate against his miscreant cousins and brothers, but it was the Lord’s plan that they should all be killed. The devotee of the Lord does not retaliate against the wrongdoer, but the Lord does not tolerate any mischief done to the devotee by the miscreants. The Lord can excuse a person on His own account, but He excuses no one who has done harm to His devotees. Therefore the Lord was determined to kill the miscreants, although Arjuna wanted to excuse them.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 36

papam evasrayed asman 
hatvaitan atatayinah 
tasman narha vayam hantum 
dhartarastran sa-bandhavan 
sva-janam hi katham hatva 
sukhinah syama madhava

SYNONYMS

papam–vices; eva–certainly; asrayet–must take upon; asman–us; hatva–by killing; etan–all these; atatayinah–aggressors; tasmat–therefore; na–never; arhah–deserving; vayam–we; hantum–to kill;dhartarastran–the sons of Dhrtarastra; sa-bandhavan–along with friends; sva-janam–kinsmen; hi–certainly; katham–how; hatva–by killing; sukhinah–happy; syama–become; madhava–O Krsna, husband of the goddess of fortune.

TRANSLATION

Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhrtarastra and our friends. What should we gain, O Krsna, husband of the goddess of fortune, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?

PURPORT

According to Vedic injunctions there are six kinds of aggressors: 1) a poison giver, 2) one who sets fire to the house, 3) one who attacks with deadly weapons, 4) one who plunders riches, 5) one who occupies another’s land, and 6) one who kidnaps a wife. Such aggressors are at once to be killed, and no sin is incurred by killing such aggressors. Such killing of aggressors is quite befitting for any ordinary man, but Arjuna was not an ordinary person. He was saintly by character, and therefore he wanted to deal with them in saintliness. This kind of saintliness, however, is not for a ksatriya. Although a responsible man in the administration of a state is required to be saintly, he should not be cowardly. For example, Lord Rama was so saintly that people were anxious to live in His kingdom (Rama-rajya), but Lord Rama never showed any cowardice. Ravana was an aggressor against Rama because he kidnapped Rama’s wife, Sita, but Lord Rama gave him sufficient lessons, unparalleled in the history of the world. In Arjuna’s case, however, one should consider the special type of aggressors, namely his own grandfather, own teacher, friends, sons, grandsons, etc. Because of them, Arjuna thought that he should not take the severe steps necessary against ordinary aggressors. Besides that, saintly persons are advised to forgive. Such injunctions for saintly persons are more important than any political emergency. Arjuna considered that rather than kill his own kinsmen for political reasons, it would be better to forgive them on grounds of religion and saintly behavior. He did not, therefore, consider such killing profitable simply for the matter of temporary bodily happiness. After all, kingdoms and pleasures derived therefrom are not permanent, so why should he risk his life and eternal salvation by killing his own kinsmen? Arjuna’s addressing of Krsna as “Madhava,” or the husband of the goddess of fortune, is also significant in this connection. He wanted to point out to Krsna that, as husband of the goddess of fortune, He should not have to induce Arjuna to take up a matter which would ultimately bring about misfortune. Krsna, however, never brings misfortune to anyone, to say nothing of His devotees.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 37-38

yady apy ete na pasyanti 
lobhopahata-cetasah 
kula-ksaya-krtam dosam 
mitra-drohe ca patakam
katham na jneyam asmabhih 
papad asman nivartitum 
kula-ksaya-krtam dosam 
prapasyadbhir janardana

SYNONYMS

yadi–if; api–certainly; ete–they; na–do not; pasyanti–see;lobha–greed; upahata–overpowered; cetasah–the hearts; kula-ksaya–in killing the family; krtam–done; dosam–fault; mitra-drohe–quarreling with friends; ca–also; patakam–sinful reactions; katham–why; na–shall not; jneyam–know this; asmabhih–by us; papat–from sins; asmat–ourselves; nivartitum–to cease; kula-ksaya–the destruction of a dynasty; krtam–by so doing; dosam–crime;prapasyadbhih–by those who can see; janardana–O Krsna.

TRANSLATION

O Janardana, although these men, overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one’s family or quarreling with friends, why should we, with knowledge of the sin, engage in these acts?

PURPORT

A ksatriya is not supposed to refuse to battle or gamble when he is so invited by some rival party. Under such obligation, Arjuna could not refuse to fight because he was challenged by the party of Duryodhana. In this connection, Arjuna considered that the other party might be blind to the effects of such a challenge. Arjuna, however, could see the evil consequences and could not accept the challenge. Obligation is actually binding when the effect is good, but when the effect is otherwise, then no one can be bound. Considering all these pros and cons, Arjuna decided not to fight.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 39

kula-ksaye pranasyanti 
kula-dharmah sanatanah 
dharme naste kulam krtsnam 
adharmo ‘bhibhavaty uta

SYNONYMS

kula-ksaye–in destroying the family; pranasyanti–becomes vanquished; kula-dharmah–the family traditions; sanatanah–eternal;dharme–in religion; naste–being destroyed; kulam–family; krtsnam–wholesale; adharmah–irreligious; abhibhavati–transforms; uta–it is said.

TRANSLATION

With the destruction of dynasty, the eternal family tradition is vanquished, and thus the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligious practice.

PURPORT

In the system of the varnasrama institution there are many principles of religious traditions to help members of the family grow properly and attain spiritual values. The elder members are responsible for such purifying processes in the family, beginning from birth to death. But on the death of the elder members, such family traditions of purification may stop, and the remaining younger family members may develop irreligious habits and thereby lose their chance for spiritual salvation. Therefore, for no purpose should the elder members of the family be slain.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 40

adharmabhibhavat krsna 
pradusyanti kula-striyah 
strisu dustasu varsneya 
jayate varna-sankarah

SYNONYMS

adharma–irreligion; abhibhavat–having become predominant;krsna–O Krsna; pradusyanti–become polluted; kula-striyah–family ladies; strisu–of the womanhood; dustasu–being so polluted;varsneya–O descendant of Vrsni; jayate–it so becomes; varna-sankarah–unwanted progeny.

TRANSLATION

When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny.

PURPORT

Good population in human society is the basic principle for peace, prosperity and spiritual progress in life. The varnasrama religion’s principles were so designed that the good population would prevail in society for the general spiritual progress of state and community. Such population depends on the chastity and faithfulness of its womanhood. As children are very prone to be misled, women are similarly very prone to degradation. Therefore, both children and women require protection by the elder members of the family. By being engaged in various religious practices, women will not be misled into adultery. According to Canakya Pandita, women are generally not very intelligent and therefore not trustworthy. So, the different family traditions of religious activities should always engage them, and thus their chastity and devotion will give birth to a good population eligible for participating in the varnasramasystem. On the failure of such varnasrama-dharma, naturally the women become free to act and mix with men, and thus adultery is indulged in at the risk of unwanted population. Irresponsible men also provoke adultery in society, and thus unwanted children flood the human race at the risk of war and pestilence.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 41

sankaro narakayaiva 
kula-ghnanam kulasya ca 
patanti pitaro hy esam 
lupta-pindodaka-kriyah

SYNONYMS

sankarah–such unwanted children; narakaya–for hellish life; eva–certainly; kula-ghnanam–of those who are killers of the family;kulasya–of the family; ca–also; patanti–fall down; pitarah–forefathers; hi–certainly; esam–of them; lupta–stopped; pinda–offerings; udaka–water; kriyah–performances.

TRANSLATION

When there is increase of unwanted population, a hellish situation is created both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. In such corrupt families, there is no offering of oblations of food and water to the ancestors.

PURPORT

According to the rules and regulations of fruitive activities, there is a need to offer periodical food and water to the forefathers of the family. This offering is performed by worship of Visnu, because eating the remnants of food offered to Visnu can deliver one from all kinds of sinful actions. Sometimes the forefathers may be suffering from various types of sinful reactions, and sometimes some of them cannot even acquire a gross material body and are forced to remain in subtle bodies as ghosts. Thus, when remnants of prasadam food are offered to forefathers by descendants, the forefathers are released from ghostly or other kinds of miserable life. Such help rendered to forefathers is a family tradition, and those who are not in devotional life are required to perform such rituals. One who is engaged in the devotional life is not required to perform such actions. Simply by performing devotional service, one can deliver hundreds and thousands of forefathers from all kinds of misery. It is stated in the Bhagavatam:
devarsi-bhutapta-nrnam pitrnam 
na kinkaro nayam rni ca rajan 
sarvatmana yah saranam saranyam 
gato mukundam parihrtya kartam

“Anyone who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, the giver of liberation, giving up all kinds of obligation, and has taken to the path in all seriousness, owes neither duties nor obligations to the demigods, sages, general living entities, family members, humankind or forefathers.” (Bhag. 11.5.41) Such obligations are automatically fulfilled by performance of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 42

dosair etaih kula-ghnanam 
varna-sankara-karakaih 
utsadyante jati-dharmah 
kula-dharmas ca sasvatah

SYNONYMS

dosaih–by such faults; etaih–all these; kula-ghnanam–of the destroyer of the family; varna-sankara–unwanted children; karakaih–by the doers; utsadyante–causes devastation; jati-dharmah–community projects; kula-dharmah–family traditions; ca–also;sasvatah–eternal.

TRANSLATION

Due to the evil deeds of the destroyers of family tradition, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated.

PURPORT

The four orders of human society, combined with family welfare activities as they are set forth by the institution of the sanatana-dharmaor varnasrama-dharma, are designed to enable the human being to attain his ultimate salvation. Therefore, the breaking of the sanatana-dharma tradition by irresponsible leaders of society brings about chaos in that society, and consequently people forget the aim of life–Visnu. Such leaders are called blind, and persons who follow such leaders are sure to be led into chaos.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 43

utsanna-kula-dharmanam 
manusyanam janardana 
narake niyatam vaso 
bhavatity anususruma

SYNONYMS

utsanna–spoiled; kula-dharmanam–of those who have the family traditions; manusyanam–of such men; janardana–O Krsna; narake–in hell; niyatam–always; vasah–residence; bhavati–it so becomes;iti–thus; anususruma–I have heard by disciplic succession.

TRANSLATION

O Krsna, maintainer of the people, I have heard by disciplic succession that those who destroy family traditions dwell always in hell.

PURPORT

Arjuna bases his argument not on his own personal experience, but on what he has heard from the authorities. That is the way of receiving real knowledge. One cannot reach the real point of factual knowledge without being helped by the right person who is already established in that knowledge. There is a system in the varnasrama institution by which one has to undergo the process of ablution before death for his sinful activities. One who is always engaged in sinful activities must utilize the process of ablution called the prayascitta. Without doing so, one surely will be transferred to hellish planets to undergo miserable lives as the result of sinful activities.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 44

aho bata mahat papam 
kartum vyavasita vayam 
yad rajya-sukha-lobhena 
hantum sva-janam udyatah

SYNONYMS

aho–alas; bata–how strange it is; mahat–great; papam–sins;kartum–to perform; vyavasitah–decided; vayam–we; yat–so that;rajya–kingdom; sukha-lobhena–driven by greed for royal happiness;hantum–to kill; sva-janam–kinsmen; udyatah–trying for.

TRANSLATION

Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful acts, driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness.

PURPORT

Driven by selfish motives, one may be inclined to such sinful acts as the killing of one’s own brother, father, or mother. There are many such instances in the history of the world. But Arjuna, being a saintly devotee of the Lord, is always conscious of moral principles and therefore takes care to avoid such activities.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 45

yadi mam apratikaram 
asastram sastra-panayah 
dhartarastra rane hanyus 
tan me ksemataram bhavet

SYNONYMS

yadi–even if; mam–unto me; apratikaram–without being resistant; asastram–without being fully equipped; sastra-panayah–those with weapons in hand; dhartarastrah–the sons of Dhrtarastra;rane–in the battlefield; hanyuh–may kill; tat–that; me–mine; ksema-taram–better; bhavet–become.

TRANSLATION

I would consider it better for the sons of Dhrtarastra to kill me unarmed and unresisting, rather than to fight with them.

PURPORT

It is the custom–according to ksatriya fighting principles–that an unarmed and unwilling foe should not be attacked. Arjuna, however, in such an enigmatic position, decided he would not fight if he were attacked by the enemy. He did not consider how much the other party was bent upon fighting. All these symptoms are due to soft-heartedness resulting from his being a great devotee of the Lord.

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Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 46

sanjaya uvaca 
evam uktvarjunah sankhye 
rathopastha upavisat 
visrjya sa-saram capam 
soka-samvigna-manasah

SYNONYMS

sanjayah–Sanjaya; uvaca–said; evam–thus; uktva–saying;arjunah–Arjuna; sankhye–in the battlefield; ratha–chariot; upasthe–situated on; upavisat–sat down again; visrjya–keeping aside; sa-saram–along with arrows; capam–the bow; soka–by lamentation;samvigna–distressed; manasah–within the mind.

TRANSLATION

Sanjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.

PURPORT

While observing the situation of his enemy, Arjuna stood up on the chariot, but he was so afflicted with lamentation that he sat down again, setting aside his bow and arrows. Such a kind and soft-hearted person, in the devotional service of the Lord, is fit to receive self-knowledge.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the First Chapter of theSrimad Bhagavad-gita in the matter of Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra.