Monday, October 5, 2009




Strength ofPanavas Army

Duryodhana spoke to Dronacharya about the strength of Pandavas Army in the battlefield at Dharmakhesthra Kurukshethra.

Behold Master, the mighty army of the sons of Pandu arrayed for battle by talented pupil Dhrstadyumna, son of Drupada – ( 1-3 )

Dhuryodhana is fully aware of the strength of his opponents in this battle.

There are in Pandavas Army heroes wielding mighty bows and equal in military prowess to Bhima and Arjuna-Satyaki, Virata, Maharathi Drupada, Dhrastaketu, King of kasi, kuntibhoja, Yudamanyu, Abhimanyu and the five sons of Draupadi- all are expert warriors- ( 4,5,6 )

Dhuryodhana then explains to Dronacharya the warriors in his side.

Guru-thyself, Bhishma, Karna and Krpa, Aswathama, Vikarna and Bhurisrava – (1-8)

This Army of us is well protected by Bhishma is unconquerable; while that army of theirs guarded by Bhima in every way is easy to conquer (1-10)

As if agreeing the estimate of Dhuryodhana Bhishma blew his conch

The grand old man of Kaurava race, their glorious grand-uncle Bhishma-cheering up Dhuryodhana roared like a lion and blew his conch (1-12)

Reacting to this sound……

Sri Krishna blew his conch-Panchajanya Arjuna-Devadatta, Bhima-Paundra – (1-15)

Arjuna asks Krishna to place his chariot between the two Armies.

O! Lord of the Earth-seeing the Dhuyodhana army ready to fight Arjuna requested Krishna to place his chariot between the two armies to observe the strength and weakness of his opponent army (1-20, 21, 22)

Now Arjuna saw stationed there in both the armies his uncles, grand uncles, teachers, great grand uncles, maternal uncles, brothers and cousins, sons and nephews, friends and ell wishers ( 1-26, 27 )

Seeing all those relations present there, Arjuna was filled with deep compassion and uttered these words in sadness (1-27, 28)

Arjuna said to Krishna: At the sight of these relations ready to fight in this battle, my limbs give way and my mouth is parching: nay a shiver runs through my body and hair stands upright (1- 28, 29)

The bow-Gandiva- slips from my hand and in my skin too burns all over, my brain is whirling, as it were and I can stand no longer (1-30)

And Kesava! I see such omens of evil, not do I see any good in killing these kinsmen in battle (1-31)

Krishna, I do not covet victory; nor kingdom, nor pleasures. Govinda-of what use will kingdom or luxuries or even life be to us. (1-32)

The very persons for whose sake we covet the throne, luxuries, pleasures-teachers, uncles, sons and all our relations-are here arrayed on the battlefield risking their lives and wealth (1-32, 34)

O Slayer of Madhu! I do not want to kill them, though they should slay me, even for the throne of three worlds: how much the less for earthly lordship!

Krishna, How can we happy by slaying the sons ofDhrtarashtra, killing these desperadoes sin will surely take hold of us. (1-36)

Arjuna then describes the scene after the war.

Age long family traditions disappear with the destruction of a family; and virtue having been lost vice takes hold of the entire race.

With preponderance of vice, Krishna, the women of the family becomes corrupt: and with corruption of women, there ensure intermixture of castes

Admixture of blood damns the destroyers of the race as well as the race itself; deprived of the offerings of rice and water (shradda, tarpana etc) the manes of their race also fall

Through these evils bringing about an intermixture of castes, the age long caste-traditions and family customs of the killers of relatives get extinct

Oh! What a pity! Though possessed of intelligence we have set our mind on the commission of a great sin that due to lust for throne and enjoyment we are intent in killing our own kinsmen.

It would be better for me if the sons of Dhrtarastra armed with weapons killed me in battle while I was unarmed and unresisting. (1-38, 39, 41, 42 to 46)

In 47 slokas, the first chapter of Bhagavath Gita vividly portrays the picture of Arjuna’s mindset and his predicament and the disastrous consequences of war.

The stage is set perfectly for the battle of good over evil. Gita begins with-
Dharmakshethrae Kurushtrae.

In those days, war was fought away from cities so that the normal life and the city are not affected.

Here the place of battle is mentioned as Dharmakshethrae Kurushtrae

What is Dharma? Dharma is a Sanskrit expression of widest meaning. It cannot be defined but only can be explained. It has a wide variety of meaning. Dharma is called Justice. Bhishma explains dharma:

It is most difficult to define Dharma. Dharma has been explained to be that which helps the upliftment of living beings. Therefore that which ensures the welfare of living being Dharma. Rishis have declared that which sustains is Dharma.

In Karna Parva Dharma has been explained as

Dharma sustains the Society
It maintains the social order
It ensures the well being and progress of humanity
It is that which fulfils these objectives

Bhagavat Gita beautifully begins the chapter with Dharma as the principal player in this war.

Manu says:

There is no act of man, which is free from desire: whatever
A man does is the result of the impulse of desire.

Force behind every action of a human is his desire- Kama.
The desire to have enjoyment of wealth-material pleasure-Artha.
The desire of human is influenced by impulses like anger- Kroda.
Passion-Moha, Greed- Lobha, Infatuation-Mada, and enmity- Matsarya.

These six natural impulses were considered as six internal enemies of man, which allowed to act uncontrolled could instigate in man to entertain evil thoughts in his mind.

Dharma was evolved as a solution to these impulses.

Bhishma states that when a few persons began to deflect from the path of Dharma being overpowered by sensual desires, passion and greed for wealth- being physically stronger began to harass weaker ones-then comes into play the ideals of three-fold ideals called Dharma, Artha and kama were laid down for the welfare and happiness of the people of the State with the King as its head. The king was empowered to ensure the implementation of this Trivarga Doctrine.

Thus Bhagavat Gita starts with the Science of Dharma as the main plank for this battle and the battle field is called Dharma kshthram.

In this chapter there many secrets embedded:

1.Before a war commences, the first thing to do is to access the strength of the opposing army.
2.Battle is fought away from cities to avoid hardships to people.
3.Is there any way to avoid the war and prevent catastrophe?
4.Consequences of war-destruction of race, intermingling of castes and resultant evils.
5.Ethics in war.


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