Essence of SrI bhagavath gIthA – Chapter 1 (arjuna vishAdha yOga)

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Essence of SrI bhagavath gIthA

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In the fifth SlOkam of gIthArtha sangraham ALavandhAr (yAmunAchArya) mercifully explains the essence of first chapter as “arjuna stood bewildered due to having acquired the thought of the righteous battle being unrighteous, due to having affection and mercy towards inapt relatives. This gIthA SAsthram was commenced by bhagavAn to make him fight the battle”.

sarvESvaran, who is the divine consort of SrI mahAlakshmi, has two characteristics – being the opposite of all defects and the abode of all auspicious qualities. He has the two worlds as his possession, namely nithya vibhUthi which is known as paramapadham and leelA vibhUthi which is known as samsAram. He is known as nArAyaNan, purushOththaman, parabrahmam et al. He opened his divine mouth and mercifully spoke this gIthA SAsthram to uplift the bound jIvAthmAs in this world. The way he mercifully spoke this SAsthram was amazing.

First, he went as a messenger and ensured the possibility of the battle happening between pANdavas and dhuryOdhana et al. He became the sArathy (charioteer) for arjunan. Then, while the armies where gathered in the battlefield, he brought the chariot to the middle of the two armies based on the order of arjuna who was determined to fight the battle. As arjuna observed bhIshma, dhrONa et al who were gathered there, he started becoming bewildered. He became bewildered to question whether the battle should be fought and argued with bhagavAn explaining the evil effects of the battle.

All of these were witnessed by sanjaya who is a great devotee of krishNa, by the grace of his guru vyAsa, and narrates these aspects to dhritharAshtra, after seeing them with his internal eyes as if seeing directly.

All of these are present in the first chapter of SrI gIthA SAsthram.

Important SlOkams/Verses

SlOkam/Verse 1

dhritharAshtra uvAcha

dharmakshEthrE kurukshEthrE samavEthA yuyuthsuva: |
mAmakA: pANdavAschaiva kimakurvatha sanjaya ||

dhritharAshtra said – Oh sanjaya! Having assembled in the righteous land of kurukshEthra with the desire to fight, what did my sons and pANdu’s sons do?

Note: dhritharAshtra’s partiality towards his sons is revealed by how he separates them from pANdavas.

SlOkam/Verse 19

sa gOshO dhArtharAshtrANAm hrudhayAni vyadhArayath |
nabhaScha pruthivIm chaiva thumulO vyanunAdhayan ||

The sound of the conches blown together that filled the sky and the entire earth, broke the hearts of the sons of dhritharAshtra.

Note: Here itself the sound from krishNa’s conch ensured defeat and destruction of dhuryOdhana et al.

SlOkam/Verse 21

hrishIkESam thathA vAkyamidhamAha mahIpathE |
arjuna uvAchA –
sEnayOrubhayOr madhyE ratham sthApaya mE’chyutha ||

(sanjaya said) Oh dhritharAshtra, the leader of the earth! (arjuna) spoke the following words towards krishNa “Oh achyutha! position my chariot in between the line ups of both armies”.

Note: krishNa’s being subordinate to arjuna, is the manifestation of ASritha pArathanthryam (obedience towards devotees).

SlOkam/Verse 28

krupayA parayAvishtO vIshIdhannidham abravIth
arjuna uvAchA
dhrushtvEmam sva-janam krishNa yuyuthsum samupasthitham

Overwhelmed by compassion and being saddened, he spoke the following words “Oh krishNa! on seeing my own people who are standing in front of me with the desire to fight…”.

SlOkam/Verse 29

sIdhanthi mama gAthrANi mukam cha pariSushyathi |
vEpathuScha SarIrE mE rOmharshaScha jAyathE ||

My limbs are becoming weak, my mouth is drying up, my body is shivering and my hair is bristling.

SlOkam/Verse 30

gANdIvam sramsathE hasthAth thvak chaiva paridhahyathE |
na cha SaknOmyavasthAthum bhramadhIva cha mE mana: ||

My bow gANdiva is slipping from my hands; my skin is fully burning; I am having no strength to stand steadily; and my mind too seems to be spinning.

Note: In these three SlOkams, arjuna is speaking about his mind and body becoming weak looking at his relatives, teachers et al and his heart filled with compassion towards them.

In the next several SlOkams arjuna explains that he does not desire for the kingdom at the cost of killing his relatives and teachers. He goes on to say that wars will lead to destruction of traditions and inter-mingling of varNas, due to lack of strong leaders. He even says that he would not mind being killed there instead of having to fight such unrighteous battle.

SlOkam/Verse 47

EvamukthvArjuna: sankhyE rathOpastha upAviSath |
visrujya saSaram chApam SOkasmvignamAnasa: ||

Thus saying, arjuna with grief-stricken mind, dropped the arrows and bow and sat on his chariot in the battle field. Thus said sanjaya to dhritharAshtra.

Source –

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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