The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 is called “The Yoga Of Arjuna’s Despair”. Arjun becomes restless after seeing his loved ones in the army of the Kauravas (opposition army) gathered for the war. This nervousness and uneasiness of Arjuna are very well depicted in Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1.
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 – An Introduction
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 describes the contradiction of the entire human race as Arjuna. Arjuna was the greatest bow-wielding warrior of that period. Despite being such a great warrior, he was defeated by the impulses of his mind.
In Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1, there are verses mostly spoken by Arjuna. From Chapter 2, Shri Krishna has started answering Arjuna’s questions. We find ourselves fully connected to the way Arjuna has expressed his disappointment in the verses of chapter 1.
By reading the verses of Arjuna, we get a thorough knowledge that the problems of the mind are all the time. There were these problems even 5000 years ago, today is still and will be tomorrow. Verses of Bhagavad Gita are also known as Quotes of Bhagavad Gita.
In this article, we will explain all the verses of Bhagavad Gita chapter 1 one by one. We will try to understand Arjun’s mind game hidden in the shlokas (verses) spoken by him.
Verses Of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1
Let us now understand all the verses of Bhagavad Gita chapter 1 one by one and try to know the disappointment and discomfort of Arjun, who is scared of war.
Dharmakshetre kurukshetre samavetaa yuyutsavah;
Maamakaah paandavaashchaiva kim akurvata sanjaya.
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः
मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत संजय।
Meaning: Dhritarashtra said- O Sanjay! Gathered at holy land Kurukshetra, what did my and Pandu’s sons wishing for war do?
Explanation: The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 starts with Dhritarashtra’s words. Dhritarashtra was blind since birth and was the king of Hastinapur. Sanjay was the minister of his state. Dhritarashtra was worried that his sons (Kauravas) should not be killed in the battle after being defeated by the Pandavas.
Sanjay had a boon that he could see the condition of the war directly with his divine eyes. That is why Dhritarashtra kept Sanjay with him to know the condition of the war and asked him this question.
Drishtwaa tu paandavaaneekam vyudham duryodhanastadaa;
Aachaaryam upasamgamya raajaa vachanam abraveet.
दृष्टवा तु पाण्डवानीकं व्यूढं दुर्योधनस्तदा
आचार्यमुपसंगम्य राजा वचनमब्रवीत्।
Meaning: Sanjay said – At that time, King Duryodhana saw the army of Pandavas and approached Dronacharya and said these words:
Explanation: In this verse of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1, Duryodhana is addressed with the word King. The fear of Duryodhana is depicted here. Although Duryodhana was the king, he was a little scared to see the huge and efficient army of Pandavas. So he immediately went to his mentor and commander Dronacharya to describe the army of Pandavas.
Note: Dronacharya was the mentor of both the Kauravas and the Pandavas, but he supported the Kauravas in this crusade. In this war of right and wrong, he supported the Kauravas.
Pashyaitaam paanduputraanaam aachaarya mahateem chamoom;
Vyoodhaam drupadaputrena tava shishyena dheemataa.
पश्यैतां पाण्डुपुत्राणामाचार्य महतीं चमूम्
व्यूढां द्रुपदपुत्रेण तव शिष्येण धीमता।
Meaning: Hey teacher! Look at this huge army of the sons of Pandu standing by your wise disciple Dhrishtadyum, the son of Drupada.
Explanation: Dhrishtadyumna was the son of King Drupada. He learned the art of war from Dronacharya. Dronacharya, like an ideal master, had taught Dhrishtadyumna all the skills of war. But now he was fighting on behalf of Pandavas in this war.
In this verse, Duryodhana has criticized Dronacharya by calling Dhritadhyum wise.
Atra shooraa maheshwaasaa bheemaarjunasamaa yudhi;
Yuyudhaano viraatashcha drupadashcha mahaarathah.
अत्र शूरा महेष्वासा भीमार्जुनसमा युधि
युयुधानो विराटश्च द्रुपदश्च महारथः।
Meaning: In this army, many brave bowmen fight like Bhima and Arjuna. Such as the great fighter Yayudhan, Virat, and Drupada.
Explanation: Although Dhrishtadyumna was not an important deterrent to the great power of Dronacharya in warfare, there were many warriors whom Duryodhana feared. Duryodhana describes them as very obstructive in the path of victory because each of these warriors was as formidable as Bhima and Arjuna. He knew Bhima and Arjuna’s strength, that’s why he compares others to these two.
Dhrishtaketush chekitaanah kaashiraajashcha veeryavaan;
Purujit kuntibhojashcha shaibyashcha narapungavah.
धृष्टकेतुश्चेकितानः काशिराजश्च वीर्यवान्
पुरुजित्कुन्तिभोजश्च शैब्यश्च नरपुङवः।
Meaning: Along with them, there are also great powerful warriors like Dhrishketu, Chekitan, Kashiraj, Purujit, Kuntibhoja, and Shaibya.
Yudhaamanyushcha vikraanta uttamaujaashcha veeryavaan;
Saubhadro draupadeyaashcha sarva eva mahaarathaah.
युधामन्युश्च विक्रान्त उत्तमौजाश्च वीर्यवान्
सौभद्रो द्रौपदेयाश्च सर्व एव महारथाः।
Meaning: The mighty Yudhamanyu, the most powerful Uttamauja, the son of Subhadra, and the son of Draupadi – they are all great warriors.
Asmaakam tu vishishtaa ye taan nibodha dwijottama;
Naayakaah mama sainyasya samjnaartham taan braveemi te.
अस्माकं तु विशिष्टा ये तान्निबोध द्विजोत्तम
नायका मम सैन्यस्य सञ्ज्ञार्थं तान्ब्रवीमि ते।
Meaning: But O best of the Brahmanas! For your information, I would like to tell you about those captains of my army who are particularly adept at operating my army.
Bhavaan bheeshmashcha karnashcha kripashcha samitinjayah;
Ashwatthaamaa vikarnashcha saumadattis tathaiva cha.
भवान्भीष्मश्च कर्णश्च कृपश्च समितिञ्जयः
अश्वत्थामा विकर्णश्च सौमदत्तिस्तथैव च।
Meaning: In my army, you, Bhishma, Karna, Kripacharya, Ashwatthama, Vikarna, and Bhurishrava, son of Somadatta, have always been victorious in the war.
Explanation: Duryodhana mentions unique warriors who have always been victorious. Vikarna is the brother of Duryodhana, Ashravatthama is the son of Dronacharya, and Somadatti or Bhurishrava is the son of the king of Bahlikas. Karna is Arjuna’s brother because he was born from Kunti’s womb before being married to King Pandu.
Anye cha bahavah shooraa madarthe tyaktajeevitaah;
Naanaashastrapraharanaah sarve yuddhavishaaradaah.
अन्ये च बहवः शूरा मदर्थे त्यक्तजीविताः
नानाशस्त्रप्रहरणाः सर्वे युद्धविशारदाः।
Meaning: There are other heroes who are willing to sacrifice their lives for me. They are equipped with a wide variety of weapons and are proficient in warfare.
Explanation: As far as others – Jayadratha, Kritavarma, and Shalya are concerned, they were all ready to sacrifice their lives for Duryodhana. In other words, they will certainly be killed in the battle of Kurukshetra by joining the team of sinner Duryodhana. Of course, due to the combined strength of his friends, Duryodhana was hopeful for his victory.
Aparyaaptam tad asmaakam balam bheeshmaabhirakshitam;
Paryaaptam twidam eteshaam balam bheemaabhirakshitam.
अपर्याप्तं तदस्माकं बलं भीष्माभिरक्षितम्
पर्याप्तं त्विदमेतेषां बलं भीमाभिरक्षितम्।
Meaning: Our power is sufficient and we are all well protected by the grandfather (Bhishma), while the power of the Pandavas is limited even by being well preserved by Bhima.
Explanation: Here Duryodhana has presented an estimate of comparative power. He thinks that the power of his armed forces is sufficient because of being specially protected by the most experienced general, Bhishma Pitamah.
On the other hand, the Pandavas’ armies are limited as they are guarded by a less experienced general Bhima who is negligible compared to Bhishma. Duryodhana was always jealous of Bhima because he knew that even if he ever died, it would be through Bhima.
Ayaneshu cha sarveshu yathaabhaagam avasthitaah;
Bheeshmam evaabhirakshantu bhavantah sarva eva hi.
अयनेषु च सर्वेषु यथाभागमवस्थिताः
भीष्ममेवाभिरक्षन्तु भवन्तः सर्व एव हि।
Meaning: Therefore, by standing on your fronts in the military view, you give full support to all Bhishma Pitamah.
Explanation: After praising the valor of Bhishma Pitamah, Duryodhana thought that no other warriors should understand that he was being given less importance, so Duryodhana said the above words to handle the situation in his easy diplomatic manner.
He forcefully said that Bhishma is undoubtedly the greatest warrior, but now that he is old, every soldier should take special care of their safety from all around. It may be that they are engaged in fighting in one direction and the enemy takes advantage of this busyness.
Therefore, it is necessary that other warriors remain fixed on their positions on the fronts and do not let the enemy break the array.
Tasya sanjanayan harsham kuruvriddhah pitaamahah;
Simhanaadam vinadyocchaih shankham dadhmau prataapavaan.
तस्य सञ्जनयन्हर्षं कुरुवृद्धः पितामहः
सिंहनादं विनद्योच्चैः शंख दध्मो प्रतापवान्।
Meaning: Then the supremely aged grandfather of the Kuru dynasty played his conch with a loud sound that sounded like a lion-roar, which made Duryodhana happy.
Explanation: The eldest father of the Kuru dynasty came to know the sentiment of his grandson Duryodhana and with his natural kindness towards him, he shouted his conch with a very high tone which was in line with his lion-like condition.
Indirectly, through the conch shell, he symbolically told his desperate grandson Duryodhana that he did not have the hope of victory in the war because the other side is Lord Krishna. Nevertheless, it was his duty to guide the war and he would not take any effort in this regard.
Tatah shankhaashcha bheryashcha panavaanakagomukhaah;
Sahasaivaabhyahanyanta sa shabdastumulo’bhavat.
ततः शंखाश्च भेर्यश्च पणवानकगोमुखाः
सहसैवाभ्यहन्यन्त स शब्दस्तुमुलोऽभवत्।
Meaning: Then the conch, the drum, the trumpet, the tabor and the horn sounded simultaneously. That chorus was very noisy.
Tatah shvetair hayair yukte mahati syandane sthitau;
Maadhavah paandavashchaiva divyau shankhau pradadhmatuh.
ततः श्वेतैर्हयैर्युक्ते महति स्यन्दने स्थितौ
माधवः पाण्डवश्चैव दिव्यौ शंखौ प्रदध्मतुः।
Meaning: On the other hand, Krishna and Arjuna, on a huge chariot pulled by white horses, played their divine conch shells.
Explanation: The conch shells of Krishna and Arjuna are said to be divine as compared to the conch shell by Bhishmadeva. Due to the sound of the divine conch shells, it was reported that there was no hope of victory for the other side because Krishna was in favor of the Pandavas. Victory always belongs to Pandavas as Lord Krishna is with him.
So, as indicated by the divine sound produced by the conch of Vishnu or Lord Krishna, Victory was waiting for Arjuna. In addition, the chariot in which the two friends were sedentary was provided by the GOD OF FIRE to Arjuna and it was being informed that wherever it would go in the three worlds, victory is certain.
Paanchajanyam hrisheekesho devadattam dhananjayah;
Paundram dadhmau mahaashankham bheemakarmaa vrikodarah.
पाञ्चजन्यं हृषीकेशो देवदत्तं धनञ्जयः
पौण्ड्रं दध्मौ महाशंख भीमकर्मा वृकोदरः।
Meaning: Lord Krishna played his Panchajanya conch, Arjuna played Devdatta conch, and Bhima who did superhuman work played a conch called Poundra.
Explanation: In this verse, Lord Krishna is called Hrishikesh because he is the master of all the senses. All organisms are his part, so the senses of the organisms are also part of their senses.
God resides in the hearts of all living beings and directs their senses. But he directs in such a way that the living beings take refuge in him and he directs the senses of the pure devotee.
Here on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna directs the divine senses of Arjuna, that is why he has been called Hrishikesh. Lord Krishna has different names according to the various works done by him.
In this verse, Arjuna has been called Dhananjaya because when his elder brother needed money to perform various yajnas, he helped in getting it. Similarly, Bhima is called Vrikodar because as he eats more, similarly he does superhuman works, like killing Hidimbasur.
Verse 16, 17, And 18
Anantavijayam raajaa kunteeputro yudhishthirah;
Nakulah sahadevashcha sughoshamanipushpakau.
अनन्तविजयं राजा कुन्तीपुत्रो युधिष्ठिरः
नकुलः सहदेवश्च सुघोषमणिपुष्पकौ।
Kaashyashcha parameshwaasah shikhandee cha mahaarathah;
Dhrishtadyumno viraatashcha saatyakishchaaparaajitah.
काश्यश्च परमेष्वासः शिखण्डी च महारथः
धृष्टद्युम्नो विराटश्च सात्यकिश्चापराजितः।
Drupado draupadeyaashcha sarvashah prithiveepate;
Saubhadrashcha mahaabaahuh shankhaan dadhmuh prithak prithak.
द्रुपदो द्रौपदेयाश्च सर्वशः पृथिवीपते
सौभद्रश्च महाबाहुः शंखान्दध्मुः पृथक्पृथक्।
Meaning: King Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, played a conch named Anantavijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva played the Sughosh and Manipushpak conch.
The great archer Kashiraj, the ultimate warrior Shikhandi, Dhrishtadyumna, Virat, the invincible Satyaki, Drupada, the son of Draupadi, and the great son of Subhadra, etc., everyone played their conch.
Explanation: Sanjay very cleverly told King Dhritarashtra that the prudent policy of betraying the sons of Pandu and putting his sons on the throne was not contemptible.
It was already being indicated by the symptoms that in this great war, the whole Kuruvansh would be killed. From Bhishma Pitamah to Abhimanyu and other grandchildren, the destruction of all the people present, including the kings of many countries of the world, was certain.
Sa ghosho dhaartaraashtraanaam hridayaani vyadaarayat;
Nabhashcha prithiveem chaiva tumulo vyanunaadayan.
स घोषो धार्तराष्ट्राणां हृदयानि व्यदारयत्
नभश्च पृथिवीं चैव तुमुलो व्यनुनादयन्।
Meaning: The sound of these different conchs became noisier, which began to echo the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra, uttering the sky, and the earth.
Explanation: When Bhishma and other heroes of Duryodhana’s side played their conch shells, the hearts of the Pandavas did not dissolve. There is no description of such incidents, but in this specific verse, it is said that the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra were distorted by the sound of conch in the Pandava side.
The reason for this is Pandav’s faith in Lord Krishna. There is no fear of anyone taking refuge in God, no matter how bad he is.
Atha vyavasthitaan drishtwaa dhaartaraashtraan kapidhwajah;
Pravritte shastrasampaate dhanurudyamya paandavah.Hrisheekesham tadaa vaakyamidamaaha maheepate.
अथ व्यवस्थितान्दृष्ट्वा धार्तराष्ट्रान् कपिध्वजः
प्रवृत्ते शस्त्रसम्पाते धनुरुद्यम्य पाण्डवः
हृषीकेशं तदा वाक्यमिदमाह महीपते।
Meaning: At that time, Arjun, the son of Pandu, sitting on the chariot bearing the flag of Lord Hanuman, raised his bow and started to shoot the arrow. Seeing the sons of Dhritarashtra standing in the array, O King, Arjuna said these words to Shri Krishna.
Verse 21 And 22
Senayor ubhayormadhye ratham sthaapaya me’chyuta.
Yaavad etaan nireekshe’ham yoddhukaamaan avasthitaan.(21)
Kair mayaa saha yoddhavyam asmin ranasamudyame.(22)
सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये रथं स्थाप्य मेऽच्युत
कैर्मया सह योद्धव्यमस्मिन्रणसमुद्यमे।२२।
Meaning: Arjun said – O Krishna! Please take my chariot between the two armies so that I can see here those who aspire for war and in this great test of weapons, which I have to fight.
Explanation: Although Shri Krishna is the supreme Lord, he was kindly engaged in the service of his friend. As a charioteer, he had to follow the orders of Arjuna and he did not hesitate in this.
Being a pure devotee of God, Arjuna did not have any desire to fight with his brothers, but due to Duryodhana, he was forced to come to the battlefield.
He was very keen to know which leading men are present on the battlefield. Although there was no question of peace efforts on the battlefield, he wanted to see them again and to see to what extent they were bent on this unwanted war.
Yotsyamaanaan avekshe’ham ya ete’tra samaagataah;
Dhaartaraashtrasya durbuddher yuddhe priyachikeershavah.
योत्स्यमानानवेक्षेऽहं य एतेऽत्र समागताः
धार्तराष्ट्रस्य दुर्बुद्धेर्युद्धे प्रियचिकीर्षवः।
Meaning: Let me see those people who have come here to fight with the desire to please the unintelligent son (Duryodhana) of Dhritarashtra.
Explanation: It was well known that Duryodhana wanted to usurp the kingdom of Pandavas by making sinful plans from the nexus of his father Dhritarashtra. Therefore, all the people who took the side of Duryodhana must have been equal to him.
Before the war started, Arjun wanted to know which people have come. But he had no plans to propose a compromise before him.
There was also the fact that he wanted to see their power, which he had to face, to guess from the point of view, though he believed in his victory because Krishna was seated next to him.
Evamukto hrisheekesho gudaakeshena bhaarata;
Senayor ubhayormadhye sthaapayitwaa rathottamam.
एवमुक्तो हृषीकेशो गुडाकेशेन भारत
सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये स्थापयित्वा रथोत्तमम्।
Meaning: Sanjay said – O Dhritrashtra! When Arjuna addressed him in this way, Lord Krishna brought that perfect chariot between the two armies.
Explanation: In this verse, Arjuna is called Gudakesh. Gudaka means sleep and the person who conquers sleep is Gudakesh. Sleep also means ignorance. Therefore, Arjuna conquered both sleep and ignorance due to Krishna’s friendship.
As a devotee of Krishna, he could not forget Krishna even for a moment because the nature of the devotee is like this. Even while walking or sleeping, a devotee can never remain free from thinking about Krishna’s name, form, and qualities.
As the director of each sense and mind, ie Hrishikesh, Krishna understood Arjuna’s intentions as to why he wants to put the chariot in the middle of the armies. So they did that and then they spoke like this.
Bheeshmadronapramukhatah sarveshaam cha maheekshitaam;
Uvaacha paartha pashyaitaan samavetaan kuroon iti.
भीष्मद्रोणप्रमुखतः सर्वेषां च महीक्षिताम्
उवाच पार्थ पश्यैतान् समवेतान् कुरूनिति।
Meaning: In front of Bhishma, Drona, and all the other kings of the world, Krishna said, “O Arjuna! Look at all the kurus collected here.”
Tatraapashyat sthitaan paarthah pitrin atha pitaamahaan;
Aachaaryaan maatulaan bhraatrun putraan pautraan sakheemstathaa.
तत्रापश्यत्स्थितान् पार्थः पितृनथ पितामहान्
श्वशुरान् सुहृदश्चैव सेनयोरुभयोरपि।
Meaning: Arjuna saw his uncles, grandfathers, mentors, brothers, sons, grandchildren, friends, fathers-in-law and well-wishers among the armies of both sides there.
Taan sameekshya sa kaunteyah sarvaan bandhoon avasthitaan;
avasthitaan.Kripayaa parayaa’vishto visheedannidam abraveet.
तान्समीक्ष्य स कौन्तेयः सर्वान्बन्धूनवस्थितान्
कृपया परयाविष्टो विषीदन्निदमब्रवीत्।
Meaning: When Arjuna, the son of Kunti, saw these friends and relatives, he was overwhelmed with compassion and thus spoke.
Drishtwemam swajanam krishna yuyutsum samupasthitam.
दृष्टेवमं स्वजनं कृष्ण युयुत्सुं समुपस्थितम्।
Meaning: Arjuna said – O Krishna! seeing friends and relatives who are desirous of war, present in front of me.
Seedanti mama gaatraani mukham cha parishushyati;
Vepathushcha shareere me romaharshashcha jaayate.
सीदन्ति मम गात्राणि मुखं च परिशुष्यति
वेपथुश्च शरीरे में रोमहर्षश्च जायते।
Meaning: My body parts are shivering and my mouth is being drained and my hair is standing.
Explanation: A person with true devotion has all the virtues that are found in the gods, whereas the non-devotee is devoid of these divine qualities, no matter how advanced in physical abilities through his education or culture.
Arjuna was overwhelmed with compassion for all those who had decided to fight each other as soon as he saw relatives, friends, and relatives on the battlefield.
As far as his own soldiers were concerned, he was kind to them from the beginning, but seeing the impending death of the soldiers of the opposition party, he was also feeling pity for them.
When he was thinking like this, his body started vibrating and the mouth became dry. He was also surprised to see them all facing war. Often the whole family, relatives of Arjuna, came to fight with him.
Although it is not mentioned, yet it can be easily inferred that not only his limbs were shivering and the face was drying but he was also crying. In Arjuna, such symptoms were not due to any weakness, but due to the tenderness of the heart, which is a symptom of a pure devotee of God.
Gaandeevam sramsate hastaat twak chaiva paridahyate;
Na cha shaknomyavasthaatum bhramateeva cha me manah.
गाण्डीवं स्रंसते हस्तात्वक्चैव परिदह्यते
न च शक्नोम्यवस्थातुं भ्रमतीव च मे मनः।
Meaning: My Gandeev (bow) is sliding with my hand and my skin is burning. I am unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself and my head is spinning.
Explanation: There are two types of vibrations in the body and the hair also stands in two ways. This happens either during times of spiritual ecstasy or due to excessive fear in physical conditions.
The symptoms of Arjuna in this state are due to material fear ie loss of life. It is also evident from other symptoms that he became so impatient that his famous Dhanush Gandiv was sliding with his hands and his skin was burning.
Due to his impatience, Arjun was unable to stand on the battlefield and due to this weakness of his mind, he was becoming unconscious. Due to excessive attachment to material things, the man falls into such a tempting state.
Nimittaani cha pashyaami vipareetaani keshava;
Na cha shreyo’nupashyaami hatwaa swajanam aahave.
निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव
न च श्रेयोऽनुपश्यामि हत्वा स्वजनमाहवे।
Meaning: O Krishna! I can only see the inauspicious. I do not see any goodness in killing my own kin in this war.
Explanation: Fear and mental disturbance occur in those people who are attached to the materialistic world. Arjun could see only grief on the battlefield. When a man sees only disappointment in his hopes, he thinks “Why am I here?”
Every creature is interested in itself and its selfishness. Nobody is interested in God. With Krishna’s desire, Arjuna is showing ignorance towards his selfishness. Arjuna thought that his victory could only cause his grief.
Without knowing that man’s selfishness is in Vishnu (or Krishna), all intellectuals are attracted to physical relationships thinking that they will be happy in such circumstances. Due to such ignorance, they also forget the reasons for material happiness. Arjuna had also forgotten the moral duty of a warrior.
Na kaangkshe vijayam krishna na cha raajyam sukhaani cha;
Kim no raajyena govinda kim bhogair jeevitena vaa.
न काङ्क्षे विजयं कृष्ण न च राज्यं सुखानि च
किं नो राज्येन गोविंद किं भोगैर्जीवितेन वा।
Meaning: O Krishna! I neither want victory nor state and happiness. Hey Krishna! What purpose do we have from such a state or benefit from such pleasures and life?
Explanation: Arjuna is dissuaded from killing his enemies. He thinks that by killing kins, he will not get happiness in life, so he is not willing to fight.
The only opportunity for him to get the kingdom is to fight with his brothers and get the inheritance of his father’s kingdom, which he does not want to do.
Here Arjuna’s deep affection towards family is due to his natural compassion towards all of them. Therefore, he is not ready to fight. Everyone wants to show his glory in front of his friends and family, but Arjun fears that all his friends and family will be killed on the battlefield and he will not be able to use his glory with him after victory.
Yeshaam arthe kaangkshitam no raajyam bhogaah sukhaani cha;
Ta ime’vasthitaa yuddhe praanaamstyaktwaa dhanaani cha.||33||
येषामर्थे काङक्षितं नो राज्यं भोगाः सुखानि च
त इमेऽवस्थिता युद्धे प्राणांस्त्यक्त्वा धनानि च।
Meaning: O Krishna! What do we get from empire, happiness, or this life! Because all the people for whom we want this are standing on this battleground.
Explanation: Arjuna addressed Lord Krishna as Govinda because he is the subject of all the happiness of the cow and the senses. By using this specific word, Arjuna indicates that Krishna should understand how Arjuna’s senses will be satisfied.
In the materialistic world, every person wants to satisfy his senses and wants God to act like his obedient.
But when someone takes the opposite path, that is, when he tries not to satisfy the satisfaction of his senses, he tries to appease the senses of Govinda (Krishna), then by the grace of Govinda (Krishna), all the desires of the living being are fulfilled.
Here Arjuna’s deep affection towards family is due to his natural compassion towards all of them. Therefore, he is not ready to fight.
Everyone wants to showcase his glory in front of his friends and family, but Arjun fears that all his friends and family will be killed on the battlefield and he will not be able to use his glory with him after victory. This is a general account of material life.
Aachaaryaah pitarah putraastathaiva cha pitaamahaah;
Maatulaah shwashuraah pautraah shyaalaah sambandhinas tathaa.
आचार्याः पितरः पुत्रास्तथैव च पितामहाः
मातुलाः श्वशुराः पौत्राः श्यालाः संबंधिनस्तथा।
Meaning: There are mentors, uncles, sons, and likewise dad, father-in-law, grandson, brother-in-law, and more related people.
Etaan na hantum icchaami ghnato’pi madhusoodana;
Api trailokya raajyasya hetoh kim nu maheekrite.
एतान्न हन्तुमिच्छामि घ्नतोऽपि मधुसूदन
अपि त्रैलोक्यराज्यस्य हेतोः किं नु महीकृते।
Meaning: O Krishna! Even after killing me or even for the kingdom of the three worlds, I do not want to kill them, then what is there to say for the Earth?
Explanation: Seeing his loved ones in the opposition army and the idea of killing them made Arjun weak from inside. He felt so helpless from inside that he did not want to fight this war even after getting the wealth of the whole universe.
In this verse of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1, Arjuna depicts the agony inside the common man. We all get so much indulge in relationships that we are not able to perform even our ultimate duties.
Arjuna was the great archer warrior of that time. War was his ultimate duty. Even knowing that he is on the right side in this war of right and wrong, yet he was forced against the weakness inside him.
Nihatya dhaartaraashtraan nah kaa preetih syaaj janaardana;
Paapam evaashrayed asmaan hatwaitaan aatataayinah.
निहत्य धार्तराष्ट्रान्न का प्रीतिः स्याज्जनार्दन
Meaning: O Krishna! What will make us happy by killing Dhritarashtra’s sons? By killing these felons, we will only commit sin.
Explanation: Killing the felons in this way can suit a normal person, but Arjun is not a normal person. He is a monk by nature, so he wanted to deal with them saintly.
But this type of behavior is not suitable for a warrior. Although the person responsible for the administration of the state should be saintly, he should not be a coward.
In the context of Arjuna, there are special types of felons – these are his grandfather, mentor, friend, son, grandson, etc. That is why Arjun thought that he should not act harshly towards them like ordinary felons. Additionally, sage men are advised to forgive.
Tasmaan naarhaa vayam hantum dhaartaraashtraan swabaandhavaan;
Swajanam hi katham hatwaa sukhinah syaama maadhava.
तस्मान्नार्हा वयं हन्तुं धार्तराष्ट्रान्स्वबान्धवान्
स्वजनं हि कथं हत्वा सुखिनः स्याम माधव।
Meaning: Therefore, O Madhav (Krishna)! We are not qualified to kill sons of Dhritarashtra because how will we be happy by killing our own family?
Explanation: In this verse of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1, Arjun remembers his relatives on the battlefield. It is a habit of man to find new excuses to hide his cowardice.
Even in this verse, Arjun is hiding his cowardice under the guise of relationships.
Verse 38 And 39
Yadyapyete na pashyanti lobhopahatachetasah;
Kulakshayakritam dosham mitradrohe cha paatakam.(38)
Katham na jneyam asmaabhih paapaad asmaan nivartitum;
Kulakshayakritam dosham prapashyadbhir janaardana.(39)
यद्यप्येते न पश्यन्ति लोभोपहतचेतसः
कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं मित्रद्रोहे च पातकम् ।३८।
कथं न ज्ञेयमस्माभिः पापादस्मान्निवर्तितुम्
कुलक्षयकृतं दोषं प्रपश्यद्भिर्जनार्दन।३९।
Meaning: O Janardan (Krishna)! Although these people, overwhelmed by greed, do not see any fault in killing their family or rebuking their friends, but why should we, who can see the crime in destroying the family, indulge in such sinful acts?
Explanation: The warrior is not expected to refuse the invitation to go to war by his opposition party. In such inevitability, Arjuna could not refuse to fight because he was challenged by the team of Duryodhana.
In this context, Arjun thought that maybe the other side is ignorant of the consequences of this challenge. But Arjuna was seeing ill effects, so he cannot accept this challenge.
Kulakshaye pranashyanti kuladharmaah sanaatanaah;
Dharme nashte kulam kritsnam adharmo’bhibhavatyuta.
कुलक्षये प्रणश्यन्ति कुलधर्माः सनातनाः
धर्मे नष्टे कुलं कृत्स्नमधर्मोऽभिभवत्युत।
Meaning: When the total family is destroyed, the eternal clan tradition is destroyed and in this way, the rest of the clan is also prone to unrighteousness.
Explanation: There are many rules of religious traditions, with the help of which family members can progress properly and attain spiritual values. Veterans are responsible for all the rites in the family from birth to death.
But after the death of these elders, the family traditions related to the rituals cease, and the young members of the family who are left may be deprived of the benefits of liberation from inculcation in iniquitous addictions. Hence, there is no killing of elders of the family for any reason.
In this verse of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1, Arjuna is speaking the things written in the scriptures. He is resorting to what is written in the scriptures to not fight this war. He is hiding his cowardice under the guise of these things.
Adharmaabhibhavaat krishna pradushyanti kulastriyah;
Streeshu dushtaasu vaarshneya jaayate varnasankarah.
अधर्माभिभवात्कृष्ण प्रदुष्यन्ति कुलस्त्रियः
स्त्रीषु दुष्टासु वार्ष्णेय जायते वर्णसंकरः।
Meaning: O Krishna! When unrighteousness becomes dominant in the clan, then the women of the clan get corrupted and by the fall of femininity, O Vrishnivanshi (Krishna)! Unwanted children are born.
Explanation: The main principle of peace, happiness, and spiritual progress in life is to have good children in human society. The rules were made in such a way that good children are born into society for the spiritual advancement of the state and caste.
Such children depend on the integrity of a woman in society. Just as children easily become misguided, similarly women can also be. Therefore, both boys and women need the protection of the elders of society.
Women will not be characterless if they engage in various religious practices. Therefore, they should be engaged in various clans-traditions and thus their saintliness and affection will lead to such children who will be able to participate in tasks that make society better.
Sankaro narakaayaiva kulaghnaanaam kulasya cha;
Patanti pitaro hyeshaam luptapindodakakriyaah.
संकरो नरकायैव कुलघ्नानां कुलस्य च
पतन्ति पितरो ह्येषां लुप्तपिण्डोदकक्रियाः।
Meaning: The growth of unwanted children certainly creates a hellish life for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. The forefathers of such fallen clans fall because the religious activities of water and rice balls to them cease.
Doshair etaih kulaghnaanaam varnasankarakaarakaih;
Utsaadyante jaatidharmaah kuladharmaashcha shaashwataah.
दोषैरेतैः कुलघ्नानां वर्णसंकरकारकैः
उत्साद्यन्ते जातिधर्माः कुलधर्माश्च शाश्वताः।
Meaning: All kinds of community schemes and family welfare works are destroyed by the misdeeds of those who destroy the tradition and thus give birth to unwanted children.
Explanation: In this verse of Bhagavad Gita chapter 1, Arjuna is telling Krishna about the ill effects of unwanted offspring in society. Such children do not follow the customs and traditions that have been in place for years. People also get misguided by coming in contact with them and in this way the society gets degraded.
Utsannakuladharmaanaam manushyaanaam janaardana;
Narake’niyatam vaaso bhavateetyanushushruma.
उत्सन्नकुलधर्माणां मनुष्याणां जनार्दन
नरकेऽनियतं वासो भवतीत्यनुशुश्रुम।
Meaning: O Krishna! I have heard from the teachers that those who destroy tradition and religion, they and their families always dwell in hell.
Explanation: Arjuna based his arguments on what he had heard from the teachers, not based on his personal experience. This is the method of acquiring real knowledge. No one can reach real knowledge without the help of the person who has already acquired knowledge.
According to a method of religion, a person has to make atonement for sinful works before death. One who is a sinner must use this method. Without doing this man will surely be sent to hell where he will have to spend a miserable life for his sins.
Aho bata mahat paapam kartum vyavasitaa vayam;
Yadraajya sukhalobhena hantum swajanam udyataah.
अहो बत महत्पापं कर्तुं व्यवसिता वयम्
यद्राज्यसुखलोभेन हन्तुं स्वजनमुद्यताः।
Meaning: Alas! It is so surprising that we are all getting ready to commit heinous sins. Inspired by the desire to enjoy the kingdom, we are bent upon killing our relatives.
Explanation: Subjected to selfishness, a person can become involved in sinful acts like killing his brother, father, or mother. Many such examples are found in the history of the world. But Arjuna is aware of virtue because he is a saintly devotee of God. Therefore, he is trying to avoid such works.
Yadi maam aprateekaaram ashastram shastrapaanayah;
Dhaartaraashtraa rane hanyus tanme kshemataram bhavet.
यदि मामप्रतीकारमशस्त्रं शस्त्रपाणयः
धार्तराष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस्तन्मे क्षेमतरं भवेत्।
Meaning: If the sons of Dhritarashtra, with weapons in hand, slay me in battle, unresisting and unarmed, that would be better for me.
Explanation: In this verse of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1, Arjuna has fully expressed his inner weakness. One of the important rules of war is that in any case, the unarmed warrior is not attacked. Arjun was so distraught that even if he was killed unarmed, he was ready to die.
Evamuktwaa’rjunah sankhye rathopastha upaavishat;
Visrijya sasharam chaapam shokasamvignamaanasah.
एवमुक्त्वार्जुनः सङ्ख्ये रथोपस्थ उपाविशत्
विसृज्य सशरं चापं शोकसंविग्नमानसः।
Meaning: Sanjay said – Arjuna put his bow and arrow aside on the battlefield saying this and sat down on the chariot seat with the mournful mind.
Explanation: This is the last verse of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 spoken by Sanjay. Arjun was afraid of war. He gave many reasons for not fighting the war. In the end, when he had no words left to hide his cowardice, he put his bow arrow down and sat on the chariot in distraction.
- Who Wrote Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1?
Ans: Maharishi Vyasa has written all the chapters of the Bhagavad Gita.
- What Do We Learn From Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1?
Ans: Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 shows us the weakness of the human mind. The mind has nothing to do with the strength of the body. Arjun was powerful. Knowing that he could win this war, he was showing cowardice. This chapter depicts the weakness of our mind as Arjuna.
- How Many Chapters Are There In Bhagavad Gita?
Ans: 18 Chapters.
- How Many Years Ago This Conversation Between Krishna And Arjuna Took Place In Kurukshetra?
Ans: About 5000 years ago.
- How To Understand Bhagavad Gita More Deeply?
Ans: ISKCON is an organization that organizes a lot of lectures on the Bhagavad Gita on its premises. You can go there and listen to those lectures on the Bhagavad Gita. There the meanings of the verses of Bhagavad Gita are explained in detail.
The early verses of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1 describe the Kaurava and Pandava forces before the war began. Along with a detailed description of the armies of both sides, their powers are also depicted beautifully.
Before the war starts, Arjun forgets his duty by seeing his loved ones in the opposition army. The fear of losing his loved ones is so ingrained in him that his hands and feet start to tremble.
He starts giving many arguments to hide his fear and cowardice. He does not want to fight the war by resorting to what is written in the scriptures. If we read the Bhagavad Gita chapter 1 carefully, then we see Arjuna as a symbol.
In the form of Arjuna, a very big problem of humans is depicted. Arjuna was afraid of war even though he was a great warrior.
All of us, despite being capable, are not able to succeed in our life. The reason for all this is inside us and not outside. In Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2, we will hear the answer to Arjuna’s questions from Krishna.
Many versions of Bhagavad Gita are available today. If you want to understand the meaning of verses of the Bhagavad Gita in detail, you can hear the lectures given on Bhagavad Gita at ISKCON.
Thanks for reading Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1.