As in my last blog post I said that I am going to start studying Bhagvad Gita, the holy book of Hindus. I have read the first chapter of the holy book and in this post I am writing the summary of the first chapter that can be marked as “The Lamentations of Arjuna.”
The chapter begins with Dhritrashtra, the King of Bharata (historical name of country India) asking Sanjay, king’s associate, about what is going on in the battlefield of Kurukshetra where a huge battle is about to begin. The battle of Kurukshetra is between Kauravas (sons of Dhritrashtra) and the Pandavas (sons of Pandu). Sanjay, who has been blessed with foresightedness, gives the king the description of all that is happening in the battlefield. Below is the description of the events by Sanjay to the King.
In the battlefield Duryodhan, son of Dhritrashtra inspects the enemy phalanx formation by Pandavas in the battlefield. He looks at the enemies and tells his master, Dronacharya how well the formations are made by the enemies and praises Arjuna, Bhima and all other great warriors ready to fight by side of the Pandavas. Then he tells his master how the commanders by his side are specifically able to lead the troops. He refers to his master Dronacharya, Bheeshm, Karna, Kripacharya and other commanders who have never lost any battle. He says that the commanders by his side are well qualified with all the weaponry and the presence of Bheeshm Pitamah, the eldest and grand-uncle of both Kauravas and Pandavas, by his side will have them well-protected.
Then Bhishma Pitamah blows his Conch that has the sound like a roaring Lion which makes Duryodhan proud and delighted. Then followed the beating of Drums, blowing of Conchs, Bugles and Trumpets altogether making a clamor. Then comes the chariot drawn by white horses on which Lord Krishna and Arjuna are seated, they blow their divine Conchs followed by Bhima’s blowing of his horrendous Conch followed by Conch blowing by Yudishthir, Nakul, Sehdev and other commander. All these sounds of the Conchs together torn the hearts of Kauravas and made them afraid.
Then Sanjay with his foresightedness sees the chariot on which Lord Krishna and Arjuna are seated. Arjuna lifts his bow and requests Lord Krishna who is Arjuna’s Charioteer in the battle, to take the chariot in to the middle from where he can examine the formations of Kauravas’ armies. He wanted to see those who are here to make Dhritrashtra’s foolish son happy. Lord Krishna takes the chariot in the middle of the battlefield taking it in front of Bhishma, Dronacharya and other kings who came to fight by the side of Kauravas.
Among the enemies Arjuna looks upon his uncles, grand-uncles, masters, brothers, grand-sons and many of his relatives. Looking upon them he speaks to Lord Krishna and tells him that seeing friends and relative as enemies to fight is making his body shiver, his tongue parched, he can no longer hold firm his bow, his skin is burning, he is unable to stand his ground and foresees something unfortunate.
He tells Lord Krishna that killing his dear ones will do no good to him, nor does he want to claim victory, empire or happiness with this. He says that there is no good in winning the empire and happiness when the dear ones are not there to enjoy these. He questions Lord Krishna why he should kill his uncles, masters, grand-uncles, brothers, grandsons and other relatives who are in front of him ready to die regardless of their will to kill him. He says that he will not fight them even if he is given everything, what good he will get killing Kauravas, his brothers. It would be a sin to kill his kinsmen, he asks Lord Krishna what good is there in it and what kind of happiness he will have with this.
Arjuna says that may the others do not see anything wrong in killing their friends and relatives, but he sees it as a sin then why should he do such a crime, why should he be a part of this sin. Doing such thing destroy the generation and iniquity gets enforced. In such enforced iniquity the descendants also get plagiarized. Such iniquity in the descendants destroys the values of tradition in them and therefore the roots of ancestry weakens. The existence of the destroyers of ancestry makes social and familial welfare difficult. Arjuna says that he heard from his masters that those who destroys the ancestry go forever to hell.
He laments that everyone is curious to commit this sinful deed, everyone is ready to kill their kinsmen so as to win the empire. He says it would be delightful for him to be killed by sons of Dhritrashtra while he would be without defense and resistance. Saying all this Arjuna places his bow aside and sits on his chariot left bereaved.
And thus ends the Chapter 1 of the Bhagvad Gita. The next Chapter will have the teachings of Lord Krishna to Arjuna after he is left dejected.