Reflections on The Gita – Chapter 1, Verse 2

This is an ongoing series on my reflections on The Bhagavad Gita. I will post 2-5 posts a week, each post talking about 1 verse. You can find links for the entire series here.

Chapter 1 – Arjun Viṣhād Yog (अर्जुन विषाद योग) – Lamenting the Consequence of War – Verse 2

This post talks about the second verse of the first chapter.

Verse:

सञ्जय उवाच ।

दृष्ट्वा तु पाण्डवानीकं व्यूढं दुर्योधनस्तदा ।

आचार्यमुपसङ्गम्य राजा वचनमब्रवीत् ।। 2।।

Translation:

Sanjay said:

Upon seeing the Pandavas’ army standing in military formation, King Duryodhana went to his teacher Guru Drona or Dronacharya, and said the following words.

Reflection:

In the last verse, the blind king Dhritarashtra had asked Sanjaya about the goings-on at the battlefield of Kurukshetra. In this verse, Sanjaya replies to him.

King Dhritarashtra was not concerned with dharma (or righteousness) and selfishly wanted the material benefits for him and his sons. He wanted the battle to be fought and didn’t want his sons to reach a compromise with the Pandavas. His guilty conscience forced him to make this enquiry.

As Sanjaya was neutral and had the gift of insight, he could read between the lines and understand the deeper meaning behind Dhritarashtra’s question. To placate Dhritarashtra, Sanjay promptly answered his question about the happenings at the battlefield. He told Dhritarashtra that the soldiers of the Pandavas were standing in military formation and were ready to fight.

When King Duryodhana saw the army formation of Pandavas, he went to his teacher Drona. He may have gone to discuss strategy or just pay his respects before the start of the war but his action right after seeing the might of the army suggests that he was somewhat unnerved by the seeming strength of the army and went to the teacher to allay his own fears.

Note – King Duryodhana was the eldest son of King Dhritarashtra and his wife Gandhari. He was heading the Kuru army.

Dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra from The San Diego Museum of Art Collection

Image Credits – The San Diego Museum of Art Collection, Public domain

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