Sunday, 9 September 2007

Bhagvad Gita Chapter 1 Sloka 2

Sanjaya Uvacha
drushtva tu pandavaneekam vyudam duryaodhanastada
acharyamupasangamya raja vachanamabraveet------------- 2.

“Sanjaya said: At that time, seeing the army of the Pandavas drawn up for battle and approaching Dronacharya, King Duryodhan spoke these words:” ---2

After the first question we are taken to a point of time and place
that should be no surprise to anyone reading this. We go to the front
line of Duryodhana.
Why did Sanjay take him there?

Sanjay is wise. Knowing the Kings desire he does not describe the
scenes of Krishna or Arjuna or Yudisthira (as much as he may want to)
but immediately takes him on the front line to Duryodhana.
Afterall it is his son to whom he had been attached to since the day he
was born.
Dhrithrastra had all these years been trying to fulfil the ambitions of his own lifetime through his son.
Is that ambition so wrong?
Before we judge the blind King too harshly perhaps those fathers
reading this will empathise with Dhrithrastra. Im sure one time or
another we have all tried to fulfil our own desires through our own
Not all fathers can be like King Bharata who put the good of the
nation before the good of his sons.
Not all sons can be like Bhisma who put his fathers happiness before
his own.

"What did my sons do…..?".
Which father does not thirst of their sons News from any frontline
battles that is going on around the world today? So we should not
look upon too harshly at Dhrtirashtra.

Its not just a matter of the war.
A father thirst for News from a son who is on a business trip aboard,
a son on his first job, a son on his honeymoon, a son on his first
school trip out of the town, a son on his first driving test, a son
in his important exam, a son away at some university studying etc…..
What father would NOT be eager to know how his son is doing?

Understanding our own desires as fathers we can understand the desire
of Dhritrashtras thirst for knowledge and actions of his sons first.

Today the mobile phone has made our connection so much easier and
comfortable. Its so easy to forget the days without this facility.

Just as we are blessed today by the invention of the radio (perhaps
listening to the imminent world cup cricket match result which we are
listening to in our cars as we journey home) Dhrithrastra too must
have felt blessed to know the commentaries from Sanjay of what is
happening on the battlefield.
Perhaps knowing the final result he might even have called it a curse.

Sanjay was blessed by the Divine sight given by Ved Vyas.
Ved Vyas had offered it to Dhrithrastra but he had refused since he
had been blind all his life and how would he know who is who? Perhaps
he thought, what would be the point of seeing his sons only to see
them killed before his eyes.

In the sloka it is written that ‘King Duryodhan’ approaches

Great respect is given to Duryodhan because here he is given the
status of a King.

He does not go to his Commander in Chief of his huge army -the Great
BHISMA but instead he goes to his Guru.
There are a couple of thoughts that comes to mind.

Firstly we know that Bhisma was unable to kill the Pandavs and this
angered Duryodhan very much. Perhaps he thought there was no point in
talking to Bhisma about the war. Yet he also knew that he had to keep
Bhisma on his side because he was the most powerful man on that
battlefield and no warrior was capable of killing him.
Infact even Arjuna with all his might could only wound him
For 10 days Bhisma kept the Pandav army at bay.
Single handily he was winning the war.
It was only when the Pandavs decided to return his blessing of
Victory back to him did Bhisma show them the way of removing him from
the battlefield.
I use the word removing him --Not killing- because Bhisma had
the power to choose the time of his death.

So Duryodhana felt a little cheated here but there was nothing he
could do since Bhisma was also very popular throughout the land. And
because of his name and fame many Kings came to support Bhisma.
Duryodhana was able to gather such a huge army partly because of
Without Bhisma he may have lost a lot of alliance.

The second thought that comes to mind is that perhaps it was his
sense of Duty to always to take blessings of his Guru first and all
else to take secondary precedence.


Perhaps thirdly he just wants to please his teacher of his
He perhaps wanted his teacher to be proud of his achievements. He
thought the war was already won because he had invincible warriors on his side.
The saying "Don't count your chickens before they are hatched" comes
to mind. Unfortunately this is exactly what Duryodhan was about to do.

These are just some of my interpretations of the event that is
unfolding before us.

Just pausing to reflect on this thought.
We sometimes achieve something great in our life and we feel proud to
have achieved it. Do we not feel the urge to share it with others?
Is there anything wrong in that? Is then what Duryodhan was doing

I think sharing your good news or fortune is not always a bad thing.
It just depends on how you go about celebrating it. Being boastful,
taunting or saying it with pride are the wrong ways to speak of your

This then is another lesson we can learn from the Bhagvad Gita and
adopt it.

Duryodhana had four people whom he could boast to about his army.
They were
1) His father,
2) Bhisma
3) Dronacahray and
4) Karna (his best friend).

Since Karna and his Father were not on the battle field he could not
tell them about his mighty army.
Bhisma he did not get along with, so he approaches his Guru.

If we were to come across such a situation in our lives who would we
go to first and why?
For example if we went to receive our graduation certificate at the
University. Who would you go and approach first with the graduation
certificate? Your parents, teachers or friends?

Perhaps Duryodhan is in this very same situation and he has chosen to
go to his Guru first. The Guru Disciple relationship is adhered to
even at times of war. Let us not forget Duryodhan was an intelligent
and generous man but unfortunately for him he fell into bad company
from birth, namely his mama Sakhuni.

I want to expand on this situation which Duryodhan has put before us
from a different angle.
Hi ignores his commander and speaks to his Guru.

If someone did that to us, ie ignored us or told us some News lastly,
`How do we receive such NEWS?'

In Sloka 12 we infact see Bhisma is encouraging Duryodhana and is not
at all angry that Duryodhana did not approach him first.

Do we get upset if we are told some important news last? Perhaps a
wedding date of your neighbours children, invitation to a party told
last, promotion not told about, a new house someone bought but you dod not find out till many months later, some News you find out through gossip, etc etc

How do we receive certain News?
Was your ego playing up?
"You didn't tell us first. Are we not important to you?"
"You told us last when we should have been told first!"
"How is it that you told them first?"

The way receive the News is very important.
If we allow ourselves to get upset then I it will often results
in many unnecessary family arguments and ultimately break ups.

Kiran Parmar

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Always yours,
miss MW