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On the confrontation with the necessity to fight

(1) Dhritarâshthra said: "At Kurukshetra, a place of pilgrimage, my party and the sons of Pându assembled desiring to fight. What did they do, o Sañjaya?"

(2) Sañjaya said: "After seeing the formation of the soldiers of the Pândavas, king Duryodhana at that time approached his teacher and said: (3) 'Just see the sons of Pându, o teacher, arranged as a great military force by the son of Drupada. (4) There are heroes and mighty bowmen equal in the fight to Bhîma and Arjuna like Yuyudhâna and Virata as also Drupada himself, who is also a great warrior. (5) Dhrishthâketu, Cekitâna, Kâs'îrâja, and also the very powerful Purujit, Kuntîbhoja and Saibya are there, who are all great heroes in human society. (6) Yudhâmanyu, the mighty Uttamaujâ, the very powerful son of Subhadrâ and the sons of Draupadî are certainly all great chariot fighters. (7) But to your information, o best of the twice-born, let me tell you also about the specially powerful captains of our soldiers. (8) Of your good self there are grandfather Bhîshma and also Karna, Kripa, and As'vatthâmâ, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta, who are certainly also always victorious in battle. (9) There are as well a great number of other heroes equipped with many weapons having combat experience, that are willing to risk their lives for my sake. (10) Our strength is immeasurable being perfectly protected by Grandfather Bhîshma, but limited is all of this strength with the Pândavas carefully protected by Bhîma. (11) Those everywhere strategically arranged to support Bhîshma certainly all respectively will give you their support.

(12) To his greater joy, blew the valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty, the grandfather, his conchshell very loudly vibrating like a roaring lion. (13) Other conchshells as also large and small drums and horns all of a sudden were sounded together thereafter, which culminated into a tumultuous uproar. (14) Thereupon Mâdhava with Arjuna standing in a great chariot drawn by white horses, both confidently sounded their divine conchshells. (15) Hrishîkes'a blew the Pâñcajanya, Arjuna the Devadatta and the herculean Bhîma, the voracious eater, blew the Paundra. (16-17-18) The king, the son of Kuntî blew Ananta-vijaya while Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosha and Manipushpaka. So also the king of Kâs'î, the great archerer Sikhandî and the great warrior Dhristadyumna, Virâtha, Sâtyaki who was never defeated and, o King, Drupada together with all the sons of the Pândavas, and the mighty armed Abhimanyu, each blew their respective conchshells. (19) That vibration tore the hearts of the sons of Dhritarâshthra as it resounded tumultuous in the sky and the earth. (20) Then the son of Pându, whose flag was marked with Hanumân and who was looking from his chariot upon the sons of Dhritarâshthra in preparing to take up his bow and shoot his arrows, o King, at that time spoke the following words to Hrishîkes'a.

(21-22) Arjuna said: 'Please drive my chariot between both the armies, o Infallible One, for the time that I may look upon those desiring to fight arrayed on the battlefield with whom together I have to contend in this trial of arms. (23) Let me see those who will be fighting and are assembled here wishing to please the evil minded son of Dhritarâshthra.' "

(24) Sañjaya said: "O son of Bharata, thus being addressed by Arjuna, did Hrishîkes'a place the mighty fine chariot in the midst of the two armies. (25) In front of Bhîshma, Drona and all the military leaders of the world the Lord said: 'O son of Prithâ, just see how all the members of the Kuru-dynasty are assembled here'. (26) There he indeed could see standing both parties of the armies: his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends and also his fathers-in-law and well-wishers. (27) Seeing all kinds of relatives he, the son of Kuntî got overwhelmed by a high degree of compassion and lamenting he thus spoke.

(28) Arjuna said: 'The look of all these kinsmen, o Krishna, all present in a fighting spirit, makes the limbs of my body quiver and my mouth dry up. (29) My body trembles and my hair stands on end, my Gândiva is slipping from my hand and my skin certainly is burning. (30) Nor am I able to keep standing, my mind goes and I see just the opposite, o Kes'ava. (31) Nor do I foresee any good in killing my own kinsmen in the fight, and I do not desire the victory either, o Krishna, nor do I expect a happy kingdom thereof. (32-35) What use is the kingdom to us, Govinda? What joy or life is there either if the kingdom is desired by us for the sake of those who want that material pleasure and happiness also, while they have all taken positions on the battlefield and are willing to give up their lives: our teachers, fathers, sons as well as certainly also our grandfathers. All these maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers and other relatives I never wish to kill nor get killed, o Madhusûdana. Not even in exchange for the three worlds I want the kingdom not to speak about having it for the sake of the earth - what pleasure will there be in killing the sons of Dhritarâshthra, o Janârdana? (36) For sure sin will come upon us by killing all these aggressors and therefore we should never kill the sons of Dhritarâshthra along with the friends and kinsmen. How can we become happy by killing others, o Mâdhava?

(37-38) Even if they do not see with their hearts overpowered by greed the fault to kill one's family, the quarreling with friends and having to suffer the reactions - why should we, who see the crime of destroying a dynasty, not turn us away from such sins, o Janârdana? (39) Destroying the family, its eternal traditions of religion will vanish as a consequence of which the whole family will lose its sense of duty, it is said. (40) With the prominence of this lack of responsibility, o Krishna, the women of the family will become spoiled and from that corruption of womanhood there will be a confusion of identity in society. (41) Such a confusion will certainly turn the life of the family members of those who killed their family to hell, as with the fall of their forefathers they also will have stopped with the offerings of food and water. (42) Such faults of all those who destroyed the family and became confused in their identity, will devastate the continuation of the righteousness of status orientations and family traditions in society. (43) Of those men who spoiled the family traditions, o Janârdana, one will always turn out to reside in hell, thus I heard from the learned. (44) Alas, oddly we have decided to perform great sins in trying to kill kinsmen in our being driven by greed for royal happiness. (45) It would rather be better for me to give up my resistance and arms and have me killed by the weapons in the hands of the sons of Dhritarâshthra on the battlefield'."

(46) Sañjaya said: "Thus having spoken on the battlefield, Arjuna sat down on the seat of his chariot putting aside his bow and arrows, in distress with a mind full of lamentation."


Taken from the Bhagavad Gîtâ of Order Spoken by Anand Aadhar Prabhu