CHAPTER 1: THE YOGA OF DEJECTION
Filognostic* understanding of the Bhagavad Gîtâ of Order
Dhritarâshthra [the blind uncle of the Pândavas, the sons of king Pându] said: "At Kurukshetra, a place of pilgrimage, my party and the sons of Pându assembled desiring to fight. What did they do, oh Sañjaya?"
The blind uncle and head of the family Dhritarâshthra said: "At Kurukshetra, the place of pilgrimage where we normally pray for our well-being and dominion, assembled my family members and my nephews the Pândavas to fight for justice, what exactly took place there, my dearest Sañjaya? (Sanskrit & tradition)
Sañjaya said: "After seeing the formation of the soldiers of the Pândavas, King Duryodhana [the leader of the sons of Dhritarâshthra, the Kurus] at that time approached his teacher [Dronâcârya] and said:
Sañjaya said: "Duryodhana, that noble and distinguished son of yours, being faced with the forces of the assembled army in support of your nephews the Pândavas, at that time consulted his former martial teacher Dronâcârya, and said to him: (Sanskrit & tradition)
"Just see the sons of Pându [a brother of Dhritarâshthra and the father of the Pândavas], oh teacher, arranged as a great military force by the son of Drupada [the father in law of Arjuna who leads the Pândavas], your intelligent disciple [Dhrishthadyumna].
'Dear master Drona, now consider this mighty army of the sons of Pându assembled here by your so very intelligent disciple the son of Drupada (Dhrishthadyumna)! (Sanskrit & tradition)
"There are heroes and mighty bowmen equal in the fight to Bhîma and Arjuna [two of the five sons of Pându] like Yuyudhâna and Virâtha as also Drupada himself, who is also a great warrior.
They managed to get together some people of stature as there are Arjuna's father-in-law Drupada as also some other great warriors like Yuyudhâna and Virâtha who are just as skilled in the art of war as Bhîma and Arjuna. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Dhrishthaketu, Cekitâna, Kâs'irâja, and also the very powerful Purujit, Kuntibhoja and S'aibya are there, who are all great heroes in human society.
And we may also fear their support group of fighters consisting of Dhrishthaketu, Cekitâna, Kâs'ârâja, the very powerful Purujit, Kuntibhoja and the eminent man S'aibya. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Yudhâmanyu, the mighty Uttamaujâ, the very powerful son of Subhadrâ [sister of Krishna, a wife of Arjuna] and the sons of Draupadî all certainly are great chariot fighters.
Yudhâmanyu, the mighty Uttamaujâ, the very powerful son of the sister of Krishna, Subhadrâ, and the sons of Draupadî: they are all truly great chariot fighters. (Sanskrit & tradition)
But to your information, oh best of the twice-born, let me tell you also about the specially powerful captains of our soldiers.
But rest assured, we are no less directly and faithfully supported by the qualities of the warriors at our side. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Of your good self there are grandfather Bhîshma and also Karna, Kripa, and As'vatthâmâ, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta [Bhuris'ravâ], who are certainly als always victorious in battle.
To the support of your goodness are there grandfather Bhîshma as also Karna, Kripa, and As'vatthâmâ, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta, who all, most certainly, are always victorious in battle as well. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
And there are many other heroes experienced in combat who, equipped with all kinds of weapons, are prepared to risk their lives for my sake. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Our strength is immeasurable being perfectly protected by Grandfather Bhîshma, but limited is all of this strength with the Pândavas carefully protected by Bhîma.
Under the care of our gray eminence, grandpa Bhîshma we have, unlimited in our opulence and influence, nothing to fear from the but limited power and control of Bhîma and his Pândava brothers. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Those everywhere strategically arranged to support Bhîshma should certainly all respectively give you their support."
Surely none of our allies will, from the undisputed sovereignty of our position, ever let you down!' (Sanskrit & tradition)
To his greater joy, the valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty, the grandfather, blew his conchshell very loudly, vibrating like a roaring lion.
Duryodhana was glad to hear a lion's roar on the conchshell delivered by grandfather Bhîshma to the commencement of the battle. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Other conchshells as also large and small drums and horns all of a sudden were sounded together thereafter, which combined into a tumultuous uproar.
Directly thereafter suddenly from all sides of the Kaurava array the sound was heard of their conches, horns and drums, which combined grew into a tumultuous uproar. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Thereupon Mâdhava [Krishna as the husband of the goddess of fortune] with Arjuna standing in a great chariot drawn by white horses, both self-confident sounded their divine conchshells.
In response the husband of the goddess of fortune and the son of Pându together sounded their divine conches. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Hrishîkes'a [Krishna as the Lord of the Senses] blew the Pâñcajanya, Arjuna the Devadatta and the herculean Bhîma, the voracious eater, blew the Paundra. The king, the son of Kuntî [Yudhishthhira, the eldest Pândava] blew Ananta-vijaya while Nakula and Sahadeva [the twin brother Pândava's] blew the Sughosha and Manipushpaka. So also the king of Kâs'î [Varanasi], the great archerer Sikhandî and the great warrior Dhrishthadyumna, Virâtha [who gave the Pândavas shelter], Sâtyaki [Yuyudhâna, the charioteer of Krishna] who was never defeated and, oh King, Drupada together with all the sons of the Pândavas, and the mighty armed Abhimanyu [son of Subhadrâ], each blew their respective conchshells.
Krishna, the lord of the senses, blew the Pâñcajanya, Arjuna the Devadatta and the herculean Bhîma, the voracious eater, blew the great conch named the Paundra. King Yudhishthhira, the eldest Pândava, blew Ananta-vijaya while Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosha and Manipushpaka. So also were the conchshells blown by the king of Kâs'î the great archer S'ikhandî and the great warrior Dhrishthadyumna, Virâta, Sâtyaki who was never defeated and, oh King, Drupada together with all the men of Drupadî and the skillful Abhimanyu. (Sanskrit & tradition)
That vibration tore the hearts of the sons of Dhritarâshthra as it resounded tumultuous in the sky and the earth.
The response of their opponents, which just as tumultuous as theirs resounded in the sky and the earth, tore the hearts of the terrified Kauravas. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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, oh King, at that time spoke the following words to Hrishîkes'a [Krishna as the Lord of the senses].
When the son of Pându, Arjuna, ready with his bow and arrows, saw how the opposition of the repressive forces of Dhritarâshthra's sons prepared to fight them in battle, he addressed, with Krishna at the reigns standing in his chariot marked with the flag of Hanumân, the sense master, his divine friend. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Arjuna said: 'Please drive my chariot between both the armies, oh 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.
Arjuna said: 'Please Perfect-aim, as he also called Krishna, drive the chariot to the middle of the battlefield to face the warriors who, to my support and the support of our opponents, are there arrayed for a final showdown. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Let me see those who will be fighting and are assembled here wishing to please the evil minded son of Dhritarâshthra.'
Let me on this battlefield face my Kaurava opponents who are so convinced of their acquired privileges in pleasing that crooked Dhritarâshthra who's supposed to be our uncle.' " (Sanskrit & tradition)
Sañjaya said: "Oh son of Bharata, thus being addressed by Arjuna, Hrishîkes'a placed the mighty fine chariot in the midst of the two armies.
Sañjaya said: "Oh desendant of Bharata, thus requested Krishna drove the chariot to the middle of Kurukshetra, and stopped He right in between the warriors positioned there in opposition. (Sanskrit & tradition)
In front of Bhîshma, Drona and all the military leaders of the world the Lord said: 'Oh son of Prithâ, just see how all the members of the Kuru-dynasty are assembled here '.
With before his eyes grandfather Bhîshma, Drona and all the leaders of the world gathered there for the unique event of the final battle, d the fortunate one. said: 'Oh son of aunt Kuntî, see how all the members of the Kaurava family are gathered here.' (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
And there at Kurukshetra, the original place of pilgrimage of the Kuru dynasty, Arjuna saw indeed standing both the parties of his fathers, grandfathers, uncles, nephews, friends, well-wishers and alike. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Seeing all kinds of relatives he, the son of Kuntî got overwhelmed by a high degree of compassion and lamenting he thus spoke.
Right in the middle of them faced with the huge gathering of his family, the son of aunt Prithâ wasoverwhelmed by an avalanche of conflicting feelings and he stood perplexed, unable to move one more step. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Arjuna said: 'The sight of all these kinsmen, oh Krishna, all present in a fighting spirit, makes the limbs of my body quiver and my mouth dry up.
Arjuna said: 'The sight of all these kinsmen, oh Krishna, my dear friend, ready to fight each other to the bone, gives me the jitters and frightens me terribly. (Sanskrit & tradition)
My body trembles and my hair stands on end, my Gândîva [his bow] is slipping from my hand and my skin certainly is burning.
My sweat turns cold and my body refuses to obey, I don't know what to say anymore and I feel a fever burning inside. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Nor am I able to keep standing, my mind goes and I see just the opposite, oh Kes'ava [Krishna as the killer of the the mad horse Kes'î].
The world is spinning before my eyes, I have to sit down, I'm losing it completely and see nothing in all of this, oh great beauty! (Sanskrit & tradition)
Nor do I foresee any good in killing my own kinsmen in the fight, and I do not desire the victory either, oh Krishna, nor do I expect a happy kingdom thereof.
What's the use of killing these opposing family members! I'm not after a victory at all, Krishna, what kind of world would that lead to? (Sanskrit & tradition)
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, oh Madhusûdana [Krishna who defeated Madhu]. 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, oh Janârdana [Krishna as maintainer of the three worlds]?
Oh friend of the women, what does world dominion mean to us? What happiness can we find in desiring a rule of our own design to hold sway over those friends and family members who have now all taken opposing positions to rule each other out to the point of extinction? They are our fathers, teachers, sons, uncles and grandfathers for God's sake! I do not wish to kill any of them, nor that they would kill any of us, oh devil's despair! Never ever I would wish such a thing, not even in my dreams! I'm not interested in a battle to defeat the sons of uncle Dhritarâshthra oh keeper of the world! (Sanskrit & tradition)
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 as the question is certainly: how will we become happy by killing, oh Mâdhava?
Such a thing of fighting your own kind wouldn't be anything less than madness! How can one become happy ending the lives of others, oh sweetest of them all? Isn't that sheer suicide? Doesn't that give bad karma? (Sanskrit & tradition)
Even if they do not see with their hearts overpowered by greed the fault to kill one's family quarreling with friends and suffer the reactions, why should we, who see the crime of destroying a dynasty, not turn us away from such sins, oh Janârdana?
And even if they are as blind as uncle Dhritarâshthra in denying and defying in their greed, in fighting and quarreling with friends whatever the consequences that might have; why would we, who see how sinful this all is, not turn away from such a stupendous self-betrayal oh winner of the wealth? (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
Destroying the family this way, all its traditions and hard won respect will vanish and the entirety of the remaining family will lose its sense of duty, so will each and everyone confirm. (Sanskrit & tradition)
With the prominence of this lack of responsibility, oh Krishna, the women of the family will become spoiled and from that corruption of womanhood there will be a confusion of identity in society.
With such an irresponsible attitude, dear Krishna, the women of the family will lose their respect for us. Thus fallen out of grace, will no man know who he is anymore. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Such a confusion will certainly turn the life of the family members of those who killed their family to hell, as from the fall of their forefathers they also will have stopped with the offerings of food and water.
Also the chance for a good life of our offspring will thus be spoiled because they, with us having fallen in mutual disrespect, will also fail to know how to exercise respect or confide in any reciprocally healthy and cultured humanity any longer. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
From these faults made by all who ruined the family, and because of which confusion rose in society, will thus the righteousness of all classes and age groups be lost. Also every good habit with the ether we had in the community will be lost. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Of those men who spoiled the family traditions, oh Janârdana, one will always turn out to reside in hell, thus I heard from the learned.
As they always say: those who spoiled the traditions, oh spur of man, always turn out to land in hell. (Sanskrit & tradition)
Alas, oddly we have decided to perform great sins in trying to kill kinsmen in our being driven by greed for royal happiness.
Greedy for the supreme rule and its privileges we've oddly enough decided to act against our better knowledge. (Sanskrit & tradition)
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.
I'd rather give up our resistance right now and grant them the victory of the battle.' " (Sanskrit & tradition)
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. "
Sañjaya said: "And so, there, right in between the armies ready on both sides, sat Arjuna down in the chariot, forgetting about the fight with a mind full of doubts and sadness." (Sanskrit & tradition)
Versions consulted:- A Song of Fortune One - A modern Gîtâ - the modern version of filognosy (also in mp3-audio).
- A Song of Fortune - A Classical Gîtâ - the classical version of filognosy.
- The Bhagavad Gîta-as-it-is by Swami Bhaktivedânta Prabhupâda (PDF-download).
- The Bhagavad Gîtâ-as-it-is: online (version 1.0).
- The Bhagavad Gita As It Is By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (pdf-download).
- The Bhagavad Gita by the Bhagavad Gita Trust.
- Bhagavad Gita by Sanderson Beck.
- Bhagavad Gita by Ramanad Prasad (American Gita society).
- Srimad Bhagavad-gita - The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute (from the Vaishnav' S'rî Caitanya Saraswath math).
Sanskrit dictionary: (Monier-Williams' 'Sanskrit-English Dictionary').
The filognostic translations are of the same author.