Categories: Hindu Scripture

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1:Arjuna Vishada Yoga

The Bhagavad Gita is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the Indian epic, the “Mahabharata.” It is a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna, who serves as his charioteer and divine guide. Chapter One of the Bhagavad Gita (Arjuna Vishada Yoga or the Yoga of Arjuna’s Dejection) sets the scene for the battle of Kurukshetra, where the Pandavas and Kauravas are about to engage in a war. Arjuna, one of the Pandava princes and a great warrior, is filled with doubt and moral confusion about fighting in the war, leading him to express his despondency to Krishna. Let’s explore the verses of Chapter 1 of the Bhagavad Gita one by one to gain a comprehensive understanding.

Krishna and Arjuna

Verse 1

Dhritraashtra uvaacha:
dharmakshetre kurukshetre samavetaa yuyutsavaha ;
maamakaaha paandavaashchaiva kimakurvata sanjaya.

Translation: Dhritarashtra said: O Sanjaya, assembled in the holy land of Kurukshetra and desirous of battle, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do?

Verse 2

Sanjaya Uvaacha:
Drishtwaa tu paandavaaneekam vyudham duryodhanastadaa;
Aachaaryam upasamgamya raajaa vachanam abraveet.

Translation: Sanjaya said: O King, after observing the Pandava army arranged in military formation, King Duryodhana approached his teacher Drona and spoke the following words.

Verse 3

Pashyaitaam paanduputraanaam aachaarya mahateem chamoom;
Vyoodhaam drupadaputrena tava shishyena dheemataa.

Translation: O my teacher, behold the mighty army of the sons of Pandu, arrayed by the son of Drupada, your wise disciple.

Verse 4

Atra shooraa maheshwaasaa bheemaarjunasamaa yudhi;
Yuyudhaano viraatashcha drupadashcha mahaarathah.

Translation: Here in this army, there are many heroic bowmen equal in fighting to Bhima and Arjuna; there are also great fighters like Yuyudhana, Virata, and Drupada, the maharatha (great chariot-warrior).

Verse 5

Dhrishtaketush chekitaanah kaashiraajashcha veeryavaan;
Purujit kuntibhojashcha shaibyashcha narapungavah.

Translation: There are also accomplished heroes like Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana, and the brave King of Kashi, as well as Purujit, Kuntibhoja, and Shaibya, the best among men.

Verse 6

Yudhaamanyushcha vikraanta uttamaujaashcha veeryavaan;
Saubhadro draupadeyaashcha sarva eva mahaarathaah.

Translation: The powerful Yudhamanyu, the brave Uttamauja, the son of Subhadra, and the sons of Draupadi, all of whom are great chariot-warriors.

Verse 7

Asmaakam tu vishishtaa ye taan nibodha dwijottama;
Naayakaah mama sainyasya samjnaartham taan braveemi te.

Translation: O revered Brahmin, now I shall tell you about the distinguished generals on our side, the ones most qualified to lead. Listen as I recount their names to you.

Verse 8

Bhavaan bheeshmashcha karnashcha kripashcha samitinjayah;
Ashwatthaamaa vikarnashcha saumadattis tathaiva cha.

Translation: Among them are personalities like yourself, Bheeshma, Karna, Kripa, Ashwatthama, Vikarn, and Bhurishrava, all renowned for their invincibility in battle.

Verse 9

Anye cha bahavah shooraa madarthe tyaktajeevitaah;
Naanaashastrapraharanaah sarve yuddhavishaaradaah.

Translation: In addition, there are numerous other brave warriors, ready to lay down their lives for my cause. They are all skilled in the art of warfare and equipped with various weapons.

Verse 10

Aparyaaptam tad asmaakam balam bheeshmaabhirakshitam;
Paryaaptam twidam eteshaam balam bheemaabhirakshitam.

Translation: Our army is vast and unstoppable, led by Grandsire Bheeshma, while the Pandava army, under the careful leadership of Bheem, is limited in strength.

Verse 11

Ayaneshu cha sarveshu yathaabhaagam avasthitaah;
Bheeshmam evaabhirakshantu bhavantah sarva eva hi.

Translation: Our army is vast and unstoppable, led by Grandsire Bheeshma, while the Pandava army, under the careful leadership of Bheem, is limited in strength.

Verse 12

Tasya sanjanayan harsham kuruvriddhah pitaamahah;
Simhanaadam vinadyocchaih shankham dadhmau prataapavaan.

Translation: Then, the venerable patriarch of the Kuru dynasty, the glorious Bheeshma, roared like a lion and blew his conch shell loudly, filling Duryodhan’s heart with joy.

Verse 13

Tatah shankhaashcha bheryashcha panavaanakagomukhaah;
Sahasaivaabhyahanyanta sa shabdastumulo’bhavat.

Translation: Following his lead, conches, kettledrums, bugles, trumpets, and horns resounded, their combined sound overwhelming.

Verse 14

Tatah shankhaashcha bheryashcha panavaanakagomukhaah;
Sahasaivaabhyahanyanta sa shabdastumulo’bhavat.

Translation: Then, from amidst the Pandava army, seated in a glorious chariot drawn by white horses, Madhav (Krishna) and Arjun blew their divine conch shells.

Verse 15

Paanchajanyam hrisheekesho devadattam dhananjayah;
Paundram dadhmau mahaashankham bheemakarmaa vrikodarah.

Translation: Hrishikesh (Krishna) blew his conch named Panchajanya, and Arjun blew the Devadutta. Bheem, the mighty and voracious warrior, blew his powerful conch, called Paundra.

Verse 16-18

Anantavijayam raajaa kunteeputro yudhishthirah;
Nakulah sahadevashcha sughoshamanipushpakau.

Kaashyashcha parameshwaasah shikhandee cha mahaarathah;
Dhrishtadyumno viraatashcha saatyakishchaaparaajitah.

Drupado draupadeyaashcha sarvashah prithiveepate;
Saubhadrashcha mahaabaahuh shankhaan dadhmuh prithak prithak.

Translation: King Yudhishthir blew the Anantavijay, while Nakul and Sahadev blew the Sughosh and Manipushpak. The excellent archer and king of Kashi, the great warrior Shikhandi, Dhrishtadyumna, Virat, and the invincible Satyaki, Drupad, the five sons of Draupadi, and the mighty-armed Abhimanyu, son of Subhadra, all blew their respective conch shells, O Ruler of the earth.

Verse 19

Sa ghosho dhaartaraashtraanaam hridayaani vyadaarayat;
Nabhashcha prithiveem chaiva tumulo vyanunaadayan.

Translation: The tremendous sound echoed through the sky and the earth, shaking the hearts of your sons, O Dhritarashtra.

Verse 20

Atha vyavasthitaan drishtwaa dhaartaraashtraan kapidhwajah;
Pravritte shastrasampaate dhanurudyamya paandavah.Hrisheekesham tadaa vaakyamidamaaha maheepate.

Translation: At that moment, Arjun, the son of Pandu, whose chariot bore the insignia of Hanuman on its flag, picked up his bow. Seeing your sons arrayed against him, O King, Arjun spoke these words to Lord Krishna.

Verse 21-22

Arjuna Uvaacha:
Senayor ubhayormadhye ratham sthaapaya me’chyuta.
Yaavad etaan nireekshe’ham yoddhukaamaan avasthitaan.

Kair mayaa saha yoddhavyam asmin ranasamudyame.

Translation: Arjun said: O Infallible One, please place my chariot in the middle of both armies so that I may observe the warriors eager to fight in this great battle.

Verse 23

Yotsyamaanaan avekshe’ham ya ete’tra samaagataah;
Dhaartaraashtrasya durbuddher yuddhe priyachikeershavah.

Translation: I wish to see those who have assembled here to fight alongside the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra, desiring to please him.

Verse 24

Sanjaya Uvaacha:
Evamukto hrisheekesho gudaakeshena bhaarata;
Senayor ubhayormadhye sthaapayitwaa rathottamam.

Translation: Sanjay said: O Dhritarashtra, upon hearing Arjun’s words, the conqueror of sleep, Lord Krishna, skillfully drove the magnificent chariot to the center of the battlefield, positioned between the two armies.

Verse 25

Bheeshmadronapramukhatah sarveshaam cha maheekshitaam;
Uvaacha paartha pashyaitaan samavetaan kuroon iti.

Translation: In the presence of Bheeshma, Dronacharya, and all the other kings, Lord Krishna said, “O Parth (Arjun), behold these Kurus gathered here.”

Verse 26

Tatraapashyat sthitaan paarthah pitrin atha pitaamahaan;
Aachaaryaan maatulaan bhraatrun putraan pautraan sakheemstathaa.

Translation: There, Arjun could see stationed in both armies his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, cousins, sons, nephews, grand-nephews, friends, fathers-in-law, and well-wishers.

Verse 27

Taan sameekshya sa kaunteyah sarvaan bandhoon avasthitaan;
avasthitaan.Kripayaa parayaa’vishto visheedannidam abraveet.

Translation: Seeing all his relatives present there, Arjun, the son of Kunti, was overwhelmed with compassion and deep sorrow, and he spoke the following words.

Verse 28

Arjuna Uvaacha:
Drishtwemam swajanam krishna yuyutsum samupasthitam.

Translation: Arjun said: O Krishna, seeing my own kinsmen assembled here for battle, my resolve weakens, and my mouth dries up.

Verse 29-31

Seedanti mama gaatraani mukham cha parishushyati;
Vepathushcha shareere me romaharshashcha jaayate.

Gaandeevam sramsate hastaat twak chaiva paridahyate;
Na cha shaknomyavasthaatum bhramateeva cha me manah.

Nimittaani cha pashyaami vipareetaani keshava;
Na cha shreyo’nupashyaami hatwaa swajanam aahave.

Translation: My entire body trembles, and my hair stands on end. My bow, the Gaṇḍiv, slips from my hand, and my skin burns all over. My mind is in turmoil, and I cannot stand steady any longer. O Krishna, slayer of the Keshi demon, I foresee only misfortune. I do not see any good in killing my own relatives in this war.

Verse 32-33

Na kaangkshe vijayam krishna na cha raajyam sukhaani cha;
Kim no raajyena govinda kim bhogair jeevitena vaa.

Yeshaam arthe kaangkshitam no raajyam bhogaah sukhaani cha;
Ta ime’vasthitaa yuddhe praanaamstyaktwaa dhanaani cha.

Translation: O Krishna, I do not desire victory, kingdom, or the pleasures that come with it. What use is a kingdom, pleasures, or even life itself, when those for whom we seek these rewards stand here before us ready to be killed?

Verse 34-35

Aachaaryaah pitarah putraastathaiva cha pitaamahaah;
Maatulaah shwashuraah pautraah shyaalaah sambandhinas tathaa.

Etaan na hantum icchaami ghnato’pi madhusoodana;
Api trailokya raajyasya hetoh kim nu maheekrite.

Translation: Teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, grandsons, fathers-in-law, grand-nephews, brothers-in-law, and other kinsmen are present here, risking their lives and riches. O Madhusudan (Krishna), I do not wish to slay them, even if they attack me. If we kill the sons of Dhritarashtra, what joy can we find in ruling over the three worlds, let alone this Earth?

Verse 36-37

Nihatya dhaartaraashtraan nah kaa preetih syaaj janaardana;
Paapam evaashrayed asmaan hatwaitaan aatataayinah.

Tasmaan naarhaa vayam hantum dhaartaraashtraan swabaandhavaan;
Swajanam hi katham hatwaa sukhinah syaama maadhava.

Translation: O Sustainer of all living beings, what pleasure can we derive from killing the sons of Dhritarashtra? Even though they may be our adversaries, committing this act will surely bring sin upon us. Therefore, it is not appropriate for us to kill our own cousins and friends. O Madhav (Krishna), how can we expect happiness by killing our own kinsmen?

Verse 38-39

Yadyapyete na pashyanti lobhopahatachetasah;
Kulakshayakritam dosham mitradrohe cha paatakam.

Katham na jneyam asmaabhih paapaad asmaan nivartitum;
Kulakshayakritam dosham prapashyadbhir janaardana.

Translation: Their minds are clouded by greed, and they fail to see the wrong in destroying family bonds or acting deceitfully towards friends. However, O Janardan (Krishna), why should we, who clearly understand the evil of killing our relatives, not turn away from this sin?

Verse 40

Kulakshaye pranashyanti kuladharmaah sanaatanaah;
Dharme nashte kulam kritsnam adharmo’bhibhavatyuta.

Translation: When a dynasty is destroyed, its traditions are lost, and the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligion.

Verse 41

Adharmaabhibhavaat krishna pradushyanti kulastriyah;
Streeshu dushtaasu vaarshneya jaayate varnasankarah.

Translation: With the increase of vice, O Krishna, the women of the family become immoral, and from the immorality of women, unwanted progeny are born.

Verse 42

Sankaro narakaayaiva kulaghnaanaam kulasya cha;
Patanti pitaro hyeshaam luptapindodakakriyaah.

Translation: An increase in unwanted children results in a hellish life for both the family and those who destroy the family. Deprived of the offerings of food and water, the ancestors of such corrupt families also suffer.

Verse 43

Doshair etaih kulaghnaanaam varnasankarakaarakaih;
Utsaadyante jaatidharmaah kuladharmaashcha shaashwataah.

Translation: By the evil deeds of those who destroy family traditions and give rise to unwanted progeny, various social and family welfare activities are ruined.

Verse 44

Utsannakuladharmaanaam manushyaanaam janaardana;
Narake’niyatam vaaso bhavateetyanushushruma.

Translation: O Janardan (Krishna), I have heard from the learned that those who destroy family traditions dwell in hell for an indefinite period.

Verse 45-46

Aho bata mahat paapam kartum vyavasitaa vayam;
Yadraajya sukhalobhena hantum swajanam udyataah.

Yadi maam aprateekaaram ashastram shastrapaanayah;
Dhaartaraashtraa rane hanyus tanme kshemataram bhavet.

Translation: Alas! How strange it is that we have set our minds on committing this great sin, which will bring horrifying consequences. Driven by the desire for kingly pleasures, we are determined to kill our own kinsmen. It would be better if, with weapons in hand, the sons of Dhritarashtra killed me unarmed and defenseless on the battlefield.

Verse 47

Sanjaya Uvaacha:
Evamuktwaa’rjunah sankhye rathopastha upaavishat;
Visrijya sasharam chaapam shokasamvignamaanasah.

Translation: Sanjaya said, “Speaking thus, Arjun cast aside his bow and arrows, and sank into the seat of his chariot, his mind in distress and overwhelmed with grief.”

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Krishna Das is an experienced article writer. He writes about Hinduism in his spare time.

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