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2006-12-15

Bhagavat Gita Chapter 1  

CHAPTER 1:

The Yoga of Dejection

On the confrontation with the necessity to fight

(1) [Time: 3102 B.C.] Dhritarâshthra [the blind uncle of the Pândavas, the sons of king Pându] said: "At Kurukshetra, a place of pilgrimage, my party and the sons of Pându assembled desiring to fight. What did they do, o Sañjaya?"

(2) Sañjaya said: "After seeing the formation of the soldiers of the Pândavas, king Duryodhana [the chief of the sons of Dhritarâshthra, the Kurus] at that time approached his teacher [Dronâcârya] and said:

(3) ' Just see the sons of Pându [a brother of Dhritarâshthra and the father of the Pândavas], o teacher, arranged as a great military force by the son of Drupada [the father in law of Arjuna who leads the Pândavas], your intelligent disciple [Dhristadyumna].

(4) There are heroes and mighty bowmen equal in the fight to Bhîma and Arjuna [two of the five sons of Pându] like Yuyudhâna and Virata as also Drupada himself, who is also a great warrior.

(5) Dhrishthâketu, Cekitâna, Kâs'îrâja, and also the very powerful Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Saibya are there, who are all great heroes in human society.

(6), the mighty Uttamaujâ, the very powerful son of Subhadrâ [sister of Krishna, a wife of Arjuna] and the sons of Draupadî all certainly are great chariot fighters.

(7) But to your information, o best of the twice-born, let me tell you also about the specially powerful captains of our soldiers.

(8) Of your good self there are grandfather Bhîshma and also Karna, Kripa, and As'vatthâmâ, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta [Bhuris'ravâ], who are certainly also always victorious in battle.

(9) There are as well a great number of other heroes equipped with many weapons having combat experience, that are willing to risk their lives for my sake.

(10) Our strength is immeasurable being perfectly protected by Grandfather Bhîshma, but limited is all of this strength with the Pândavas carefully protected by Bhîma.

(11) Those everywhere strategically arranged to support Bhîshma certainly all respectively will give you their support'.

(12) To his greater joy, did the valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty, the grandfather, blew his conchshell very loudly vibrating like a roaring lion.

(13) Other conchshells as also large and small drums and horns all of a sudden were sounded together thereafter, which culminated into a tumultuous uproar.

(14) Thereupon Mâdhava [Krishna as the husband of the goddess of fortune] with Arjuna standing in a great chariot drawn by white horses, both confidently sounded their divine conchshells.

(15) Hrishîkes'a [Krishna as the Lord of the Senses] blew the Pâñcajanya, Arjuna the Devadatta and the herculean Bhîma, the voracious eater, blew the Paundra.

(16-17-18) The king, the son of Kuntî [Yudhishthhira, the eldest Pândava] blew Ananta-vijaya while Nakula and Sahadeva [the twin brother Pândava's] blew the Sughosha and Manipushpaka. So also the king of Kâs'î [Varanasi], the great archerer Sikhandî and the great warrior Dhristadyumna, Virâtha [who gave the Pândavas shelter], Sâtyaki [Yuyudhâna, the charioteer of Krishna] who was never defeated and, o King, Drupada together with all the sons of the Pândavas, and the mighty armed Abhimanyu [son of Subhadrâ], each blew their respective conchshells.

(19) That vibration tore the hearts of the sons of Dhritarâshthra as it resounded tumultuous in the sky and the earth.

(20) Then the son of Pându, whose flag was marked with Hanumân and who was looking from his chariot upon the sons of Dhritarâshthra in preparing to take up his bow and shoot his arrows, o King, at that time spoke the following words to Hrishîkes'a.

(21-22) Arjuna said: 'Please drive my chariot between both the armies, o Infallible One, for the time that I may look upon those desiring to fight arrayed on the battlefield with whom together I have to contend in this trial of arms.

(23) Let me see those who will be fighting and are assembled here wishing to please the evil minded son of Dhritarâshthra.'

(24) Sañjaya said: "O son of Bharata, thus being addressed by Arjuna, did Hrishîkes'a place the mighty fine chariot in the midst of the two armies.

(25) In front of Bhîshma, Drona and all the military leaders of the world the Lord said: 'O son of Prithâ, just see how all the members of the Kuru-dynasty are assembled here'.

(26) There he indeed could see standing both parties of the armies: his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends and also his fathers-in-law and well-wishers.

(27) Seeing all kinds of relatives he, the son of Kunti got overwhelmed by a high degree of compassion and lamenting he thus spoke.

(28) Arjuna said: 'The look of all these kinsmen, o Krishna, all present in a fighting spirit, makes the limbs of my body quiver and my mouth dry up.

(29) My body trembles and my hair stands on end, my Gândiva [his bow] is slipping from my hand and my skin certainly is burning.

(30) Nor am I able to keep standing, my mind goes and I see just the opposite, o Kes'ava [Krishna as the killer of the the mad horse Kes'î].

(31) Nor do I forsee any good in killing my own kinsmen in the fight, and I do not desire the victory either, o Krishna, nor do I expect a happy kingdom thereof.

(32-35) What use is the kingdom to us, Govinda? What joy or life is there either if the kingdom is desired by us for the sake of those who want that material pleasure and happiness also, while they have all taken positions on the battlefield and are willing to give up their lives: our teachers, fathers, sons as well as certainly also our grandfathers. All these maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers and other relatives I never wish to kill nor get killed, o Madhusûdana [Krishna who defeated Madhu]. Not even in exchange for the three worlds I want the kingdom not to speak about having it for the sake of the earth - what pleasure will there be in killing the sons of Dhritarâshthra, o Janârdana [Krishna as maintainer of the three worlds]?

(36) For sure sin will come upon us by killing all these aggressors and therefore we should never kill the sons of Dhritarâshthra along with the friends and kinsmen. How can we become happy by killing others, o Mâdhava?

(37-38) Even if they do not see with their hearts overpowered by greed the fault to kill one's family, the quarreling with friends and having to suffer the reactions - why should we, who see the crime of destroying a dynasty, not turn us away from such sins, o Janârdana?

(39) Destroying the family, its eternal traditions of religion will vanish as a consequence of which the whole family will lose its sense of duty, it is said.

(40) With the prominence of this lack of responsibility, o Krishna, the women of the family will become spoiled and from that corruption of womanhood there will be a confusion of identity in society.

(41) Such a confusion will certainly turn the life of the family members of those who killed their family to hell, as with the fall of their forefathers they also will have stopped with the offerings of food and water.

(42) Such faults of all those who destroyed the family and became confused in their identity, will devastate the continuation of the righteousness of status orientations and family traditions in society.

(43) Of those men who spoiled the family traditions, o Janârdana, one will always turn out to reside in hell, thus I heard from the learned.

(44) Alas, oddly we have decided to perform great sins in trying to kill kinsmen in our being driven by greed for royal happiness.

(45) It would rather be better for me to give up my resistance and arms and have me killed by the weapons in the hands of the sons of Dhritarâshthra on the battlefield'."

(46) Sañjaya said: "Thus having spoken on the battlefield, Arjuna sat down on the seat of his chariot putting aside his bow and arrows, in distress with a mind full of lamentation."

Chapter 1


Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra
Verse 1-5

Dhrtarastra Uvaca

Dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre
Samaveta yuyutsavah
Mamakah pandavas caiva
Kim akurvata sanjaya

Dhrtarashtra said: O Sanjaya , after my sons and the sons of Pandu assembled in the place of pilgimage at Kuruksetra,desiring to fight , what did they do?

Sanjaya Uvaca

Drstva tu pandavanikam
Vyudham duryodhanas tada
Acaryam upasangamya
Raja vacanam abravit

Sanjaya said: O King, after looking over the army arranged in military formation by the sons of Pandu, King Duryodhana went to his teacher and spoke the following words

Pasyaitam pandu-putranam
Acarya mahatim camum
Vyudham drupada- putrena
Tava sisyena dhimata

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

Atra sura mahesv-asa
Bhimarjuna-sama yudhi
Yuyudhano viratas ca
Drupadas ca maha-rathah

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

Dhrstaketus cekitanah
Kasirajas ca viryavan
Purujit kuntibhojas ca
Saibyas ca nara-pungaavaah

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

Verse 6-10

Yudhamanyus ca vikranta
Uttamaujas ca viryavan
Saubhadro draupadesyas ca
Sarva eva maha-rathah

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.

Asmakam tu visista ye
Tan nibodha dvijottama
Nayaka mama sainyasya
Samjnartham tan bravimi te

But for your information, O best of the b rahmanas, let me tell you about the captains who are especially qualified to lead my military force।

Bhavan bhismas ca
Karnas ca krpas ca samitim-jayah
Asvatthama vikarnas ca
Saumadattis tathaiva ca

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

Anye ca bahavah sura
Mad-arthe tyakta-jivitah
Nana-sastra-praharanah
Sarve yuddha-visaradah

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.

Aparyaptam tad asmakam
Balam bhismabhirakshitam
Paryaptam tv idam etesam
Balam bhimabhirakshitam

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

Verse 11-15

Ayanesu ca sarvesu
Yatha- bhagam avasthitah
Bhismam evabhirakshantu
Bhavantah sarva eva hi

All of you must now give full support to Grandfather Bhisma, as you stand at your respective strategic points of entrance into the phalanx of the army

Tasya sanjanayan harsam
Kuru-vrddhah pitamahah
Simha-nadam vinadyoccaih
Sankham dadhmau pratapavan

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

Tatah sankhas ca bheryas ca
Panavanaka- gomukhah
Sahasaivabhyahanyanta
Sa sabdas tumulo bhavat

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

Tatah svetair hayair yukte
Mahati syandane sthitau
Madhavah pandavas caiva
Divyau sankhau pradadhmatuh

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

Pancajanyam hrshikesho
Devadattam dhananjayah
Paundram dadhmau maha-shankham
Bhima-karma vrkodarah

Lord Krsna blew his conchshell , called Panchajanya; Arjuna blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhima , the voracious eater and performer of herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell called Paundra

Verse 16-20

Anantavijayam raja
Kunti-putro yudhisthirah
Nakulah sahadevas ca
Sughosa-manipuspakau

King Yudhishtira, the son of Kunti, blew his conchshell, the Anantavijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosha and Manipushpaka.

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

That great archer the King of Kashi, the great fighter Shikhandi, Dhrstadyumna, Virata, the unconquerable Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and the others , O King, such as the mighty-armed son of Subhadra, all blew their respective conchshells.

Sa ghoso dhartarashtranam
Hrdayani vyadaarayat
Nabhas ca prthivim caiva
Tumulo ‘bhyanunaadayan

The blowing of these different conchshells became uproarious Vibrating both in the sky and on the earth, it shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhrtarashtra

Atha vyavasthitan drstva
Dhartarashtran kapi-dhvajah
Pravrtte sastra-sampaate
Dhanur udyamya pandavah
Hrsikesam tada vakyam
Idam aha mahi-pate

At that time Arjuna, the son of Pandu, seated in the chariot bearing the flag marked with Hanuman, took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows.
O King, after looking at the sons of Dhrtarashtra drawn in military array, Arjuna then spoke to Lord Krsna these word

Verse 21-26

Arjuna Uvaca

Senayor ubhayor madhye
Ratham sthapaya me ‘cyuta
Yavad etan nirikshe ham
Yoddhu-kaman avasthitan
Kair maya saha
Yoddhavyam asmin rana-samudyame

Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see those present here, who desire to fight, and with whom I must contend in this great trial of arms.

Yotsayamanan avekse 'ham
Ya ete 'tra samagatah
Dhartarastrasya durbuddher
Yuddhe priya-cikirsavah

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

Sanjaya Uvaca

Evam ukto hrsikeso
Gudakesena bharata
Senayor ubhayor madhye
Sthapayitva rathottamam

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।

Bhisma-drona-pramukhatah
Sarvesam ca mahi-ksitam
Uvaca partha pasyaitan
Samavetan kurun iti

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

Tatrapashyat sthitaan parthah
Pitrn atha pitamahan
Acharyan matulan bhratrn
Putran pautran sakhims tatha
Svashuran suhrdas caiva
Senayor ubhayor api

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 fathers-in-law and well –wishers

Verse 27-30

Tan samikshya sa kaunteyah
Sarvan bandhun avasthitan
Krpaya parayavishto
Visidann idam abravit

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

Arjuna uvaca

Drstvemam sva-janam krsna
Yuyutsum samupasthitam
Sidanthi mama gaatrani
Mukham cha parishushyati

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 is drying up

Vepathus cha sharire me
Roma-harshash cha jaayate
Gandivam sramsate hastaat
Tvak chaiva paridahyate

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

Na cha shaknomy avasthaatum
Bhramativa cha me manah
Nimittani cha pashyami
Vipareetani keshav

I am now unable to stand here any longer . Iam forgetting myself,and my mind is reeling. I see only causes of misfortune, O krsna, killer of the Keshi demon.

Na cha shreyo anupashyami
Hatva sva-janam aahave
Na kankshe vijayam krsna
Na cha rajyam sukhani cha

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.

Verse 31-35

Kim no rajyena govinda
Kim bhogair jivitena va
Yesham arthe kankshitam no
Rajyam bhogah sukhani cha

Ta ime avasthita yuddhe
Praanaams tyaktva dhanaani cha
Acharyah pitarah putras
Tathaiva cha pitamahah

Maatulah shvashurah pautrah
Shyalaah sambhandinas tatha
Etaan na hantum icchaami
Ghnato api madhusudana

O Govinda, of what avail to us are a kingdom, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed on this battlefield?

O Madhusudana, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers- in-law , grandsons, brothers-in-law and other relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, why should I wish to kill them, even though they might otherwise kill me?


Api trailokya-rajyasya
Hetoh kim nu mahi-krte
Nihatya dhartaraashtran nah
Ka pritih syaaj janaardana

O Janaardana, maintainer of all living entities, I am not prepared to fight with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth. What pleasure will we derive from killing the sons of Dhrtarashtra?


Paapam evashrayed asmaan
Hatvaitaan aatataayinah
Tasmaan naarhaa vayam hantum
Dhaartaraashtraan sa-baandhavaan
Sva-janam hi katham hatvaa
Sukhinah syaama madhava

Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhrtaraashtra 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?

Verse 36-40

Yady apy ete na pashyanti
Lobhopahata- cetasah
Kula-kshaya-krtam dosham
Mitra- drohe ca paatakam

Katham na jneyam asmaabhih
Paapaad asmaan nivartitum
Kula-kshaya-krtam dosham
Prapashyadbhir janardana

O Janardana, although these men , their hearts overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one’s family or quarrelling with friends, why should we, who can see the crime in destroying a family, engage in these acts of sin?

Kula-kshaye pranashyanti
Kula-dharmah sanatanah
Dharme nashte kulam krtsnam
Adharmo abhibhavaty ut

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

Adharmaabhibhavaat krsna
Pradushyanti kula-striyah
Strishu dushtaasu vaarshneya
Jaayate varna-sankaarah

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

Sankaro narakaayaiva
Kula-ghnaanam kulasya ca
Patanti pitaro hy esaam
Uptapindodaka-kriyaaha

An increase of unwanted population certainly causes hellish life both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition.
The ancestors of such corrupt families fall down, because the rituals for offering them food and water are entirely stopped.

Verse 41-46

Doshair etaih kula-ghnaanam
Varna-sankara-kaarakaih
Utsaadyante jaati-dharmaah
Kula-dharmas ca shashvatah

By the evil deeds of those who destroy the family tradition set forth by sanaatana dharma, and thus give rise to unwanted children, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities of varnaashrama-dharma are devastated.

Utsanna-kula-dharmaanaam
Manushyaanaam janaardana
Narake niyatam vaaso
Bhavatity anushushruma

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

Aho bata mahat paapam
Kartum vyavasitaa vayam
Yad rajya-sukha-lobhena
Hantum sva-janam udyataah

Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful acts.Driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness,we are intent on killing our own kinsmen.

Yadi maam apratiikaaram
Ashastram shastra-paanayah
Dhaartaraashtraa raney hanyus
Tan me kshemataram bhavet

Better for me if the sons of Dhrtarashtra, weapons in hand, were to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battle field.

Sanjaya uvaca

Evam uktvaarjunah sankhye
Rathopastha upaavishat
Visrjya sa-sharam chaapam
Shoka-samvigna-maanasah

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

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