June 2, 2020
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Bhagavad-Gita – CH 1.2 to 1.7 – Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra


Text 1.2

sañjaya uvāca
dṛṣṭvā tu pāṇḍavānīkaṁ
vyūḍhaṁ duryodhanas tadā
ācāryam upasaṅgamya
rājā vacanam abravīt

sañjayaḥ uvāca—Sañjaya said; dṛṣṭvā—after seeing; tu—but; pāṇḍava-anīkam—the soldiers of the Pāṇḍavas; vyūḍham—arranged in a military phalanx; duryodhanaḥ—King Duryodhana; tadā—at that time; ācāryam—the teacher; upasaṅgamya—approaching; rājā—the king; vacanam—words; abravīt—spoke.

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

Dhṛtarāṣṭra 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 Pāṇḍavas, who were all pious since birth. Still he was doubtful about the influence of the place of pilgrimage, and Sañjaya could understand his motive in asking about the situation on the battlefield. Sañjaya 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. Sañjaya therefore informed the king that his son, Duryodhana, after seeing the military force of the Pāṇḍavas, at once went to the commander in chief, Droṇācārya, 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 Pāṇḍavas.

TEXT 1.3
paśyaitāṁ pāṇḍu-putrāṇām
ācārya mahatīṁ camūm
vyūḍhāṁ drupada-putreṇa
tava śiṣyeṇa dhīmatā

paśya—behold; etām—this; pāṇḍu-putrāṇām—of the sons of Pāṇḍu; ācārya—O teacher; mahatīm—great; camūm—military force; vyūḍhām—arranged; drupada—putreṇa—by the son of Drupada; tava—your; śiṣyeṇa—disciple; dhī-matā—very intelligent.

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


Duryodhana, a great diplomat, wanted to point out the defects of Droṇācārya, the great brāhmaṇa commander in chief. Droṇācārya had some political quarrel with King Drupada, the father of Draupadī, 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 Droṇācārya. Droṇācārya knew this perfectly well, and yet as a liberal brāhmaṇa he did not hesitate to impart all his military secrets when the son of Drupada, Dhṛṣṭadyumna, was entrusted to him for military education. Now, on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, Dhṛṣṭadyumna took the side of the Pāṇḍavas, and it was he who arranged for their military phalanx, after having learned the art from Droṇācārya. Duryodhana pointed out this mistake of Droṇācārya’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 Pāṇḍavas, who were also Droṇācārya’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

TEXT 1.4
atra śūrā maheṣv-āsā
bhīmārjuna-samā yudhi
yuyudhāno virāṭaś ca
drupadaś ca mahā-rathaḥ

atra—here; śūrāḥ—heroes; mahā-iṣu-āsāḥ—mighty bowmen; bhīma-arjuna—to Bhīma and Arjuna; samāḥ—equal; yudhi—in the fight; yuyudhānaḥ—Yuyudhāna; virāṭaḥ—Virāṭa; ca—also; drupadaḥ—Drupada; ca—also; mahā-rathaḥ—great fighter.

Here in this army are many heroic bowmen equal in fighting to Bhīma and Arjuna: great fighters like Yuyudhāna, Virāṭa and Drupada.

Even though Dhṛṣṭadyumna was not a very important obstacle in the face of Droṇācārya’s very great power in the military art, there were many others who were causes 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 Bhīma and Arjuna. He knew the strength of Bhīma and Arjuna, and thus he compared the others with them.

TEXT 1.5
dhṛṣṭaketuś cekitānaḥ
kāśirājaś ca vīryavān
purujit kuntibhojaś ca
śaibyaś ca nara-puṅgavaḥ

dhṛṣṭaketuḥ—Dhṛṣṭaketu; cekitānaḥ—Cekitāna; kāśirājaḥ—Kāśirāja; ca—also; vīrya-vān—very powerful; purujit—Purujit; kuntibhojaḥ—Kuntibhoja; ca—and; śaibyaḥ—Śaibya; ca—and; nara—puṅgavaḥ—hero in human society.

There are also great, heroic, powerful fighters like Dhṛṣṭaketu, Cekitāna, Kāśirāja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Śaibya.

yudhāmanyuś ca vikrānta
uttamaujāś ca vīryavān
saubhadro draupadeyāś ca
sarva eva mahā-rathāḥ

yudhāmanyuḥ—Yudhāmanyu; ca—and; vikrāntaḥ—mighty; uttamaujāḥ—Uttamaujā; ca—and; vīrya-vān—very powerful; saubhadraḥ—the son of Subhadrā; draupadeyāḥ—the sons of Draupadī; ca—and; sarve—all; eva—certainly; mahā-rathāḥ—great chariot fighters.

There are the mighty Yudhāmanyu, the very powerful Uttamaujā, the son of Subhadrā and the sons of Draupadī. All these warriors are great chariot fighters.

asmākaṁ tu viśiṣṭā ye
tān nibodha dvijottama
nāyakā mama sainyasya
saṁjñārthaṁ tān bravīmi te

asmākam—our; tu—but; viśiṣṭāḥ—especially powerful; ye—who; tān—them; nibodha—just take note of, be informed; dvija—uttama—O best of the brāhmaṇas; nāyakāḥ—captains; mama—my; sainyasya—of the soldiers; saṁjñā-artham—for information; tān— about them; bravīmi—I am speaking; te—your.

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

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