Shrimad Bhagwad
War starts on the battle feild of Kurukshetra

 


Dhritarashtra the blind king of Karuvas asks his deputy and charioteer the state of the rediness of war, what the two armies were like in their strength and enormous might. Sanjay describes the fanfare and fearful armies gathered on the feilds of Kurukshetra.

 

Having seen arrayed the army of the Pandavas, the Prince Duryodhana approached his teacher, 'Behold this mighty host of the sons of Pandu, O teacher, arrayed by the son of Drupada, thy wise disciple. Heroes are these, mighty bowmen, Bhima and Arjuna equal in battle; Yuyudhana, Virata,and Drupada of the great cars. Yudhamanyu the strong, and Uttamaujas the brave; Saubhadra and the Draupadeyas, all of great cars. Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana and the valiant King of Kashi, Purujit ,Kuntibhoja and Shaibya, bull among men.

Know further all those who are our chiefs, O best of the twice born, the leaders of my army; these I name to thee for thy information: Thou, Lord, and Bhishma, Karna and Kripa, conquering in battle, Ashvatthama, Vikarna, and Saumadatti also. And many others, heroes, for my sake renouncing their lives, with diverse weapons and missiles, and all well skilled in war.

Therefore in the rank and file let all, standing firmly in their respective divisions, guard Bhishma, even all the Generals.The Ancient of the Kurus, the Grandsire, the glorious, blew his conch, sounding on high a lion's roar. Then conches and kettledrums, tabors and drums and cowhorns, suddenly blared forth, and the sound was tumultuous.

Then, stationed in their great war chariot, yoked to white horses, Madhava, and the son of Pandu, blew their divine conches. Drupada and the Draupadeyas, O Lord of earth, and Saubhadra, the mighty armed, on all sides their several conches blew.

Panchajanya by Hrishikesha, and Deva datta by Dhananjava, Vrikodara of terrible deeds, blew his mighty conch, Paundra; The King Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, blew Anantavijaya ; Nakula and Sahadeva, Sughosha and Manipushpaka. Kashya, of the great bow, and Shikhandi, the mighty car warrior, Dhrishta dyumna and Virata and Satyaki, the unconquered.

That tumultuous uproar rent the hearts of the sons of Dhritalashtra, filling the earth and sky with sound. Then, beholding the sons of Dhritarashtra standing arrayed, and the flight of missiles about to begins he whose crest is an ape, the son of Pandu, took up his bow.



Arjuna said to Lord Krishna: Lord of earth. In the midst, between the two armies, stay my chariot. That I may behold these standing, longing for battle, with whom I must strive in this outbreaking war, And gaze on those here gathered together, ready to fight, desirous of pleasing in battle the evil minded son of Dhrltarashtra.

Hrishikesha said: O Bharata, having stayed that best of chariots in the midst, between the two armies, Bhishma, Drona and all the rulers of the world, behold these Kurus gathered together.



Then Partha sawstanding there, uncles and grandfathers, teachers, mother's brothers, cousins, sons and grandsons, comrades, fathers-in-law and benefactors also in both armies; seeing all these kinsmen thus standing arrayed, Kaunteya,

Deeply moved to pity, thus uttered in sadness Arjuna said Seeing these my kinsmen, O Krishna, arrayed, eager to fight, My limbs fail and my mouth is parched, my body quivers, and my hair stands on end. My Bow slips from my hand, and my skin burns all over; I am not able to stand,my mind is whirling, And I see adverse omens, O Krishna. Nor do I foresee any advantage from slaying kinsmen in battle.

This sight, brought to his mind, the full realisation of the tragedies of a fratricidial war. As a warrior and a man of action,he did not till then fully realize the extent of the sacrifrice that society would be called upon to make in order that his ambition might be fulfilled and Duryodhana's cruelties avenged. Whatever might have been the cause, the sight brought into his mind a flood of pity and compassion.


I desire not victory, O Krishna, nor kingdom, nor pleasures Of what is kingdom to us, O Govinda?Of what enjoyment, or even life? They for whose sake we desire kingdom, enjoyments and pleasures, they stand here in battle, abandoning life and riches? Teachers, fathers, sons, as well as grand fathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other relatives.

These I do not wish to kill, though they may kill me, O Krishna, even for the sake of the dominion over the three worlds; how much less for the sake of earth. Slaying these sons of Dhritarashtra what pleasure can be ours, O Janardana? Sin alone will be our gain by killing these felons.

Therefore we should not kill the sons of Dhritarashtra, our relatives; for how, killing our kinsmen, may we be happy.Although these, with intelligence overpowered by greed, see no guilt in the destruction of a familiesin the society, no crime in hostility to friends. Why should not we, who clearly see evil in the destruction of the family units, learn to turn away from this sin?

In the destruction of a family, the immemorial religious rites of that family traditions perish; in the perishing of tradition, lawlessness overcomes the whole family. Owing to predominance of lawlessness, O Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt, women corrupted, there ariseth caste and confusion. This confusion draggeth to hell the slayers of the family, for their ancestors fall, deprived of (Pinda)riceballs and (Water) libations.

By these caste confusing misdeeds of the slayers of the family, the everlasting caste customs,and family customs are abolished. We have heard, that it is enevitable for those men in whose families the religious practiseshave been destroyed,to dwell in hell for a unknown period of time. Alas! in committing a great sin are we engaged. We are endeavouring to kill our kindred from greed of the pleasures of kingship. If the sons of Dhritarashtra, weapon in hand, should slay me, unresisting, unarmed in the battle, that would better for me.

Having thus spoken on the battlefield, Arjuna sank down on the seat of the chariot, casting away his bow and arrow, his mind overborne by grief.



 
Chapter11th


 

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