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You are here: Religion Gita Geeta Chapter 1 - Arjuna's Grief

Geeta Chapter 1 - Arjuna's Grief

Krsna GitaDhritarashtra said:

  1. Tell me, O Sanjaya! Assembled on Kuruksetra, the center of religious activity Desirous to fight what indeed did my people and Pandavas do?

Sanjaya said:

  1. But then king Duryodhana, having seen Pandava forces in battle array, approached his teacher Drona, and spoke these words:

  2. Behold, O Teacher! This mighty army of the sons of Pandu, arrayed by the son of Drupada, your gifted pupil.

4-6. Here are heroes, mighty archers, the equals in battle of Bhima and Arjuna-the great warriors Yuyudhana, Virata, Drupada; the valiant Dhrstaketu, Cekitana, and king of Kasi; the best of men, Purujit, Kuntibhoja, and Saibya; the powerful Yudhamanyu, and the brave Uttamaujas, the son of Subhadra and the sons of Draupadi-all of whom are lords of great chariots.

7. Hear, also, O Best of the twice born! The names of those who (are) distinguished amongst ourselves, the leaders of my army. These I relate for your information.

  1. Youreself and Bhishma and Karna and Kripa, the victorious in war, Asvtthama and Vikarna and Jayadratha, the son of Somdatta.

  2. And many other heroes also, well skilled in fight, and armed with many kinds of weapons, are here, determined to lay down their lives for my sake.

  3. This our army defended by Bhisma is impossible to be counted, but that army of theirs, defended by Bhima is easy to number.

  4. Now do, being stationed in your proper places in the divisions of the army, support Bhisma alone.

  5. That powerful, oldest of Kurus, Bhishma the grandfather, in order to cheer Duryodhana, now sounded aloud a lion-roar and blew his conch.

  6. Then following Bhishma, conchs, and kettledrums, tabors, trumpets, and cow horns blared forth suddenly from Kaurava side, and noise was tremendous.

  7. Then, also, Madhava and Pandava, stationed in their magnificent chariot yoked with white horses, blew their divine conchs with furious noise.

  8. Hrsikesa blew Panchajanya, Dhananjaya, the Devadutta, and Vrkodara, the doer of terrific deeds, his large conch Paundra.

  9. King Yudhisthira, son of Kunti, blew the conch named Anantavijaya, and Nakul and Sahadeva, their Sughosa and Manipuspaka.

  10. The expert bowman, king of Kasi, and the great warrior Sikhandi, Dhrsta-dyumna, and Virata and the unconquered Satyaki;

  11. Drupada, and the mighty-armed son of Subhadra, all; also blew each his own conch.

  12. And the terrific noise resounding throughout heaven and earth rent the hearts of Dhrtarastra’s sons.

  13. Then, O Lord of Earth, seeing Dhrtarastra’s side standing arranged and the shooting about to begin, Arjuna, whose emblem was the monkey, raising his bow, said the following words to Krsna:

21-22. Place my chariot, O Acyuta! Between the two armies so that I may see those who stand here ready for the war, and (let me know) with whom I have to fight.

23. For I wish to see those who are with Duryodhana by taking his side on this battlefield.

24-25. O Bharata, commanded thus by Gudakesa, Hrisikesa drove that magnificient chariot to a place between the two armies, facing Bhisma, Drona, and all the kings; and then spoke thus, “ Behold, O Partha, all the Kurus gathered together”!

26. Then Arjuna saw, grandfathers-in-law, and uncles, brothers and cousins, his own and their sons and grandsons, and comrades, teachers, and other friends as well.

27. Seeing all those kinsmen stationed in their ranks, he spoke thus, sorrowfully and filled with deep compassion.

28-29. Seeing, O Krisna, these my kinsmen gathered here to fight, my limbs fail me, and my mouth is parched up. I shiver all over, and my hair stands on end. The bow Gandiva slips from my hand, and my skin burns.

30. O Kesava, I cannot stand up right. My mind is confused. And I see bad omens.

31. O Kesava, do not I see any purpose in killing my own people in battle, and I do not desire victory, or empire, or pleasure.

32-34. Of what avail is kingdom to us, as those for whose sake we desire kingdom, luxuries and pleasure are all arrayed here risking their life.

35. Even though they were to kill me, I could not wish to kill them –not even for the sake of dominion over the three worlds, how much less for the sake of the earth!

36. What pleasure indeed could be gained, by killing these sons of Dhrtarastra? Sin only would take hold of us by the killing these felons.

37. Therefore we ought not to kill our kinsmen, the sons of Dhrtarastra. For how could we, gain happiness by the slaying of our own kinsmen?

38-39. Though these people blinded by greed, perceive no evil in destroying own race, and no sin in hostility to friends, why should we, who see clearly the evil due to the destruction of families, not turn away from this sin?

40. On the decay of a family the age-old family traditions disappear. And virtue having lost, vice takes hold of entire race.

41. On the prevalence of vice, the women of the family become corrupt; and with corruption of women there arises, intermingling of castes.

42. Admixture of castes, indeed, is for the hell of the race and destroyer of the family; their ancestors are deprived of the offerings of rice-ball and water.

43. This evil of the destroyer of race brings about confusion of castes, and the immemorial religious rites of the race and the family are destroyed.

44. We have heard, O Janardana, that dwelling in the hell is inevitable for those men in who lost their family traditions.

45. It is pity, we are involved in great sin, in that we are prepared to slay our kinsmen, out of greed for a kingdom!

46. Certainly, if the sons of Dhratrastra, armed with weapons, were to slay me, even if I were unresisting and unarmed, in the battle that would be better for me.

Sanjaya said:

47. Speaking thus in the midst of the battle- field, Arjuna, casting away his bow and arrows, sank down on the seat of his chariot, with his mind distressed with grief.

The end of chapter one, designated as The Grief of Arjuna.