Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 1 (Part-1)- Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna

Two  armies

sanjaya  uvaacha
drishtwaa tu  paandavaaneekam vyoodham duryodhanastadaa
aachaaryam  upasamgamya raajaa vachanam abraveet  //  2 //
Sanjaya said
Having seen the army of Pandavas drawn up in battle  array, King Duryodhana then approached his teacher, Drona, and spoke these  words.

Duryodhana  was thinking all along that it might not be possible for the Pandavas to mobilize  forces strong enough to face his own huge army.   But what he saw on the battlefield unnerved his position and hence he rushed  to his teacher and exclaimed:

pashyaitaam  paanduputraanaam aacharya mahateem chamoom
vyoodhaam  drupadaputrena tava shishyena dheemataa   // 3 //

Behold, O Teacher, this mighty army of the sons of  Pandu, arrayed by the son of Drupada, your wise disciple.

atra shooraa  maheshwaasaa bheemaarjunasamaa yudhi
yuyudhaano  viraatashcha drupadashcha mahaarathah  //  4 //

Here are heroes, mighty archers, equal in battle to  Bhima and Arjuna, Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada, the great chariot warrior.

dhrishtaketush  chekitaanah kaashiraajascha veeryavan
purujit  kuntibhojashcha  shaibhyashcha  narapungavah  // 5 //

Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana and the valiant king of  Kasi, Purujit,  Kuntibhoja and Saibya,  the best among men.

yudhaamanyushcha  vikraanta uttamaujaashcha veeryavan
saubhadro  draupadeyaashcha sarva eva mahaarathaah   // 6 //

The courageous Yudhamanyu, the brave Uttamauja,  Saubhadra and the sons of Draupadi - all great chariot-warriors.

asmaakam tu  vishishtaa ye taan nibodha dwijottama
naayakaa mama  sainyasya samjnaartham taan braveemi te   // 7 //

Know  also, O the best among the twice born, the names of those who are most  distinguished amongst ourselves, the leaders of my army.  These I relate to you for your information.

bhavaan  bheeshmashcha karnashcha kripashcha samitinjayah
ashwatthaamaa  vikarnashcha saumadattis tathaiva cha  //  8 //

Yourself and Bhishma and Karna and Kripa, the  victorious in war, Aswatthama and Vikarna and Jayadratha, the son of Somadatta.

anye cha  bahavah shooraa madarthe tyaktajeevitaah
naanaashastrapraharanaah  sarve yuddhavishaaradaah  // 9 //

And many other heroes also, well-skilled in warfare  and armed with many kinds of weapons are here; ready to lay down their lives  for my sake.

aparyaaptam  tad asmaakam balam bheeshmaabhirakshitam
paryaaptam  twidam eteshaam balam bheemaabhirakshitam   // 10 //

Our army defended by Bhishma is insufficient but  the army of theirs defended by Bhima is sufficient.

ayaneshu cha  sarveshu yathaabhaagam avasthitaah
bheeshmam  evaabhirakshantu bhavantah sarva eva hi   // 11 //

Now all of you being stationed in your respective  positions in the divisions of the army guard Bhishma alone by all means.

By  using the words `your talented pupil' Duryodhana sarcastically told Drona that  he was a mere simpleton to teach the art of warfare to the son of Drupada  [Drstadyumna] who was standing before him to kill no other person than his  teacher himself.

Duryodhana  perceived the army of Pandavas as formidable because of his own guilty  consciousness and doubts about the loyalty of his chief warriors. A list of all  the names of the mighty warriors in the Pandava army was given.

Dwijottama  means ‘twice born' which refers to the Brahminical background of Drona.  Duryodhana implied that Drona, a Brahmin and therefore being timid by nature  and given to peaceful life, might be soft towards his students no matter to  whichever side they may belong to.

Receiving  no response from Drona despite his long speech and to make amends for his  censuring him, Duryodhana enumerated the names of the warriors of his side also  exaggerating their qualities in order to look self-confident and hide his  nervousness. Duryodhana felt that his army led by Bhishma was insufficient  because of the latter's softness towards Pandavas and the other led by Bhima as  sufficient because of its high morale and efficiency.  He ordered full protection to Bhishma from  all sides and by all means not only to please him but to emphasize his  important place in the entire Kaurava army.   He was fully aware that once Bhishma were to be eliminated his whole  edifice would collapse.

Sounding  of the conch shells

tasya  sanjanayan harsham kuruvriddhah pitaamahah
simhanaadam vinadyocchaih  shankham dadhmau prataapavaan // 12 //

Then the powerful Bhishma, grandsire and oldest of  the Kauravas, roared like a lion and blew his conch in order to cheer up  Duryodhana.

tatah  shankaashcha bheryashcha panavaanakagomukhaah
sahasaivaabhyahanyanta  sa shabdastumulo bhavat  // 13 //

Then (following Bhishma) conches, kettle drums,  tabors, trumpets and cow-horns suddenly blared forth from the Kaurava side  creating a tumultuous noise.

tatah shvetair hayair yukte mahati syandane sthitau
maadhavah paandavashchaiva divyau shankhau pradadhmatuh  // 14 //

Then stationed in their magnificent chariot, yoked  with white horses, Madhava (Krishna) and the son of Pandu (Arjuna) also blew  their divine conches with a furious noise.

paanchajanyam  hrisheekesho devadattam dhananjayah
paundram  dadhmau mahaashankham bheemakarmaa vrikodarah   // 15 //

Hrishikesha (Krishna) blew the conch, Panchajanya,  Dhananjaya (Arjuna) blew the Devadatta and Bhima, the doer of terrible deeds,  blew the great conch, Paundra.

anantavijayam  raajaa kunteeputro yudhishthirah
nakulah  sahadevashcha sughoshamanipushpakau  //  16 //

King Yudhishtira, the son of Kunti, blew the  Anantavijaya, Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosha and Manipushpaka conches  respectively.

kaashyashcha  parameshwaasah shikhandee cha mahaarathah
dhrishtadyumno  viraatashcha saatyakishchaaparaajitah // 17 //

The king of Kasi, an excellent archer, Sikhandi,  the mighty chariot-warrior, Dhrshtadyumna, Virata and Satyaki, the unconquered.

drupado  draupadeyaashcha sarvashah prithiveepate
saubhadrashcha  mahaabaahuh shankhaan dadhmuh prithak prithak //18 //

Drupada and the sons of Draupadi, O Lord of the  earth, and the son of Subhadra, the mighty armed, blew their respective  conches.

sa ghosho  dhaartaraashtraanaam hridayaani vyadaarayat
nabhashcha  prithiveem chaiva tumulo vyanunaadayan   // 19 //

The tumultuous sound of the conches pierced the  hearts of the members of the Dhritarashtra's side, making both the sky and  earth resound.

Bhishma  understood the mental agony of Duryodhana. In order to cheer him up he roared  like a lion and blew his conch which was misunderstood as a signal for  commencement of war.  The Kaurava army  blared forth their various conches and martial musical instruments signifying  the declaration of war from the side of Kauravas.

In  these verses Sanjaya had given the reaction of Pandavas to the war-cry raised  from the opposite side and the names of various conches blown by the respective  heroes.   The most famous among them is the conch  `Panchajanya' blown by Krishna.  The  uproar seemed to penetrate the hearts of Kauravas deeply and abnormally because  of their guilty conscience.

Metaphorically,  the chariot represents the human gross body, the horses are the senses and  their reins are the mind that controls the senses. The charioteer is the  guiding spirit or the Self or Atman in the human beings.  Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the divine charioteer,  is the Self in all of us.

By  addressing Dhritarashtra as the lord of the earth (Verse 18) and hinting about  the superiority of the Pandava side Sanjaya implied that as the ruling monarch  he would take a decision even at that catastrophic moment to preserve the  integrity of the country from the impending ruinous warfare. But that was not  to be.

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