Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Bhagvad Gita Chapter 1 Sloka 1

Dhrutarashtra Uvacha
dharmakshetre kurukshetre samaveda yuyutsava:
mamaka pandavaschaiva kimakurvata sanjaya --------1

Dhrutarashtra said, "Sanjaya ! What did my people and the sons of Pandu, assembled with the desire of fighting in theDharmabhumi of Kurukshetra do ?" ------------------- 1

My personal thoughts on of the first sloka are....

When people want to learn something they start with a question.
Likewise the Bhagavad-Gita starts with a very simple question.
"What did my sons do?"
It doesn't start with some great phrase or some grand explanation or some complex sentence or mantra.

Who is asking this question?
It is a blind King.
We were all blind when we were in search for the Truth.
We have all asked questions to help us see the Truth.

Who does he ask?
The popular phrase `a blind cannot lead the blind' comes to mind.
He is asking Sanjay who is about dispel his darkness by explaining the events as they progress. But who is Sanjay? A mere charioteer? NO.
At this moment in time he is more then just a charioteer.
He is the most enlightened soul on this planet.
He has been given the Divine sight of Past Present and Future.
The Knowledge supreme!
To hear from the mouth of one such as this we are all blessed today.

This may lead to some questions many will want to ask.
Whom should we approach today when want to learn about God?
How can we approach the right person to answer the questions ourheart desires to know?
Who is the right Guru?
Who is the right teacher for us?
Swami Vivekanada and Swami Narayana both had the same problem and after searching long and hard they found a Guru who could answer their questions.

It is not my job to answer this question for anyone.
Every soul reading this has to make this search by himself.
Today many Hindus are seeking Knowledge.
Learning through the internet like this or going to some satsang or reading a book by some good philosopher or some other means.
Whatever, way you choose, I guess the important thing is that you try and attempt to understand this vast ocean of Great Knowledge that is our inheritance.
We are so blessed that this Knowledge has come to us. It would be so sad if we did not attempt to read it and understand it.

How should we receive this Knowledge?
Do we just sit and accept it blindly or try and analyse, discussand question it?
As you will read later in the Bhagvada Gita it is better to analyse and question the answers to get a proper understanding then to just sit here blindly accepting whatever you are told.
A proper understanding in my opinion is one where you are satisfied with the answer and when the cloud of doubt has been cleared from your own mind.
Each of us will have different understanding of what we are taught but what is important is that we are happy with the end result.

What should be the end result?
A result that makes us do Good Karma. I guess it's a simple as that.

King Dhrithrastra is asking the question. "What did my sons do…..".
Only then he continues "…..and what did the sons of Pandu do?"
Does Dhrithrastra speak of the Pandava brothers as someone foreign tohim?
He calls them the sons of Pandu and not `my Nephews do'?
He does not even bother to say `….my brother Pandus sons do'.
Perhaps the war is imminent and he must choose the side he is on.
Perhaps he says this because he is asking as a King and not as a relative to both parties.
Perhaps he is just a concerned father.
Perhaps he thinks an enemy is an enemy even if that enemy is relatedto him.
Perhaps it is because there is great anger within him that does not allow him to recognise his cousins.

Consider our own lives. When we get into conflict or arguments we exchange bitter words with our relatives or friends or even wives; brothers and sisters or neighbours even.
How much are we concerned that they were once very close to us?
How much hatred and anger boils up?
Anger and hate blinds us to the fact that those we hate right now, were once very dear to us.
We forget all this and only remember the bad part of their lives and how much bad they have done to us and how much hurt they have caused you at this moment in time.

What happens after the heat of the moment?
In our hate and anger we, may swear back or lash out or by way of other means.
Once this awful deed is done we no longer feel those hate and anger.
We sometimes feel sad, sorrow some may even feel relief if the hate is strong.
It is a temporary emotional outburst.
Some take longer to get over the anger-- days, months or even years.
But once the anger and hate is gone and we think back as to what it was all about and what the purpose was, of all that fighting and say `What did I achieve with all that hate and anger?.'
We may feel remorse, guilt and disappointment to the point of crying about it.
We find that Dhritrastra too is building up with hate and anger. So much so that when Bhima comes before him after the great war, Krishnaplaces a stone image in front of the blind king knowing how much anger is built up in the King.
Dhrithrastra does not even realise that he is embracing a stone and squeezes it till it is crushed into many pieces!

How should we deal with anger?
We are all enlightened souls now and with the Knowledge of the Gita --perhaps when someone makes us angry or upsets us, hopefully we will be in a betterposition to control that hate and anger.

Don’t crush your lives, family, hopes and dreams by a moment of insanity.
If we can remember that this anger, this hate is only temporary,
if we can remember the love and affection, then perhaps we might not be so angry or spiteful to our loved ones or close friends when such a disagreement does occur.
This is a good lesson of the Bhagvad Gita to take, to practice and to adopt in our lives.

God spoke to Arjuna but it is Sanjay who is telling us the dialogue.
In the history of Bharata we have been lucky enough to receive countless Gurus Saints Teachers, Wise men, Mahatmas etc who have hallowed our land and who have in their own respective ways spread the wisdom of God through their Divine insight.
A few saints are listed below.

Today those who are reading this let us pray to each and everyone of these Godmen.
Let us remember all the Gurus big and small for their selfless action, wisdom and service to Sanatana Dharma.


Adi Shankracharya (788-820)
Bhagwan Ramji b.1937
Akka Mahadevi
Amar Jyoti
Anand mayee Amma b.1896
Anandmurti Gurumaa
Annada Thakur
Appayya Dikshidar
Aurobindo.Baba Lokenath (1730-1890) Bengali Mystic.
Bhadrachala Ramadas.
Bhaskara Raya 1690-1785.Bodhendra Saraswati 17th century.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 18th of February 1484-1527.
Chandidasa 14th century.
Dada Bhagwan aka Shri Ambalal Muljibhai Patel.
Dr Niruben Amin.Dadu Dayal.
Dariya Saheb.Dayanand Saraswati.
Eknath 1533-1599.
Franklin Merrell-Wolff.
Gautam Buddha.
Gopi Krishna.
Guru Nanak 1469-1538.
Gurudev Jangalidas Maharaj [Vishwatmak Gurudev].
Indira Devi.
Jadunath Sinha was born in 1892.
Jaggi Vasudev.
Jayadeva 12th century.
Jnaneshwar 1275-1298.
Kabir 1398-1518.
Krishnamacharya b 1888.
Madhwacharya 1199-1278.
MahaMahopadhyaya Pt Gopinath Kaviraj ji.
Maharish Mahesh yogi b.1917.
Maharishi Vedvyasa.
Mahavir.Manav Dharma Shri Satpal Ji Maharaj.
Meherbaba.Mira Bai 1498-1547.
Morari Bapu.
Muktananda (1908 - 1982).
Muthuswami Dikshidar 1775-1835.
Nadamuni (825-918).
Namadeva 1270-1350.
Narayana Bhattadri.
Nardanand b.1958.
Narsi Mehta 1414-1481.
Neem Karoli Baba Maharajji.
Nityananda b. about 1896.
Nityananda (d. 1961).
Osho Rajneesh.
Pandurang Shastri Athavale b. Oct. 19, 1920 –2003.
Paramsant Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahai Ji.
Parmahansa Yogananda.
Paul Twitchell.
Pillai Lokacharya 1264-1327.
Prahlad Chandra Brahmachari [b. between 1900 and 1910?].
Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya.
Pujya Asaram Ji Bapu.
Purandara Dasa 1480-1564.
Raidas or Ravidas 15th century.
Rama of the Himalayas.
Rama Tirtha.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa 1836-1886.
Ramakrishna Parmahamsa 1836-.
Ramana Maharshi 1879-1950.
Ramananda 1299-1410.
Ramaprasad 1718-1775.
Ramdev Ji Maharaj.
Ramesh Balsekar.
Rameshbhai Oza.
Rawatpura Sarkar.
Sadasiva Brahmendra.
Sadhu Vaswani.
Sai Baba.
Samarth Ramdas 1608-1682.
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.
Sathya Sai Maharaj.
Shivom Tirth was born in 1924.
Shri Shri Ravi Shankar.
Shriram Sharma Acharya B 1911.
Shyama Sastri 1762-1827.
Sri Sri Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar.
Sridhar Swami Maharaj.
Srila Prabhupada September 1st, 1896 --- 14 November 1977.
Surdas 1478-1581.
Swami Radha B. 1911.
Swami Narayan 1781-1830.
Swami Satchidananda.
Swami Tapovan Maharaj of Uttarkasi.
Talapaka Annamacharya 15th century.
Ten Gurus of Sikhism.
Thayumanavar 1705-1742.
The Twelve Alwars.
Thiru Muruga Kirupanandha Variyar, Variyar Swamigal.
Thyagaraja Swami 1759-1547.
Tukaram 1598-1650.
Tulsidas 1497-1623.
Dada Vasvani.
Vallabhacharya 1473-1531.
Vamaksepa b.1837 - Bengali saint.
Vedanta Desikacharya 1269-1369.
Swami Venkatesananda.
Vidyapati 1350-1450.
Vidyaranya 14th century.
Vinoba Bhave September 11, 1895.
Walt Baptiste.
The Sixty-three Saiva Saints (Nayanmars).

I have not commented on the words used by Dhrthrastra with regards to the battlefield being sacred.
Please leave your thoughts on this meaning.

Kiran Parmar

Discuss this sloka on


durgavani said...

that was a very good one

Anonymous said...

Nityananda's name should be removed from the List.He doesn't deserve to be in the above list.

Anonymous said...

dharamashethre because we are made from yajna or dharma....kurushetre symbolises the materialistic structure of our desires.
mamaka:my people(desires has took shape of induviduality or ego in the mind of the king. His ego ie. his children are the symbol of the 101 or infinite delusions we have.) while pandava means the five true bhaavaa s in us
dharmaputra denotes dharma
bhneema denotes karma
arjuna denotes rijitva guna(straight forwardness)
nakula denotes no creed
sahadeva denotes satsang
The king who should c all citizens as his people has developed a delusion (identity crisis)of his people as his children. whenever the war start in our mind asking of this question to sanjaya(victorious /our true self/ consciousness )is the only way to get to know whats going on in there. if we don't ask this question to ourselves then the war will defenitely come and go but we will never know who lost the battle and why.

Anonymous said...

good interpretations!

Pardeep Arora said...

This really helped. thanks for adding the details ..

rathankar rao said...

What i learnt from these discussions are:
The first shloka, depicts about the character of a person. The war is a consequence of a person, who is blind in mind with three beliefs namely: arrogance, greed and being biased. The result, he loses everything in life. please correct me if i am wrong

Kiran said...

rathankar rao :-
In my opinion the Mahabharata and Ramayana and other slokas and stories can be interpreted in many different ways. This is the beauty of Hindu philosophy.
We all seek the best from each sloka and try to learn the best.

Anyone who extracts goodness and positive and righteous nectars and applies them to his/her life then they have rightly understood the texts. They cannot be wrong.

See Bhagvad Gita
Chapter 16, Verse 1-3
The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness, purification of one's existence, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity and simplicity; nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger; renunciation, tranquility, aversion to faultfinding, compassion and freedom from covetousness; gentleness, modesty and steady determination; vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and the passion for honor-these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature.

Chapter 16, Verse 4
Arrogance, pride, anger, conceit, harshness and ignorance-these qualities belong to those of demonic nature, O son of Pṛthā.

Chapter 16, Verse 5
The transcendental qualities are conducive to liberation, whereas the demonic qualities make for bondage.