Srimad Bhagavad Gita, translated by Jagannatha Om Prakash (John of AllFaith)
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Srimad Bhagavad Gita

An Original Translation from the Sanskrit by Jagannatha Om Prakash aka John of AllFaith (© 1993)

Arjuna Vishada Yoga:

The Yoga of Arjuna's Sorrow

1:1: Dhritarastra asked: My people and the people of Pandu assembledon the field of righteousness known as Kuruksetra desiring to fight.What did they do, O Sanjaya?

1:2: Sanjaya replied: Having seen the Pandava army drawn intobattle array, King Duryodhana then approached his preceptor [Drona] andspoke the following words:

1:3: O master, behold this great military of the people of Pandu arrayed by your skillful disciple, the son of Drupada.

1:4: Here are heroes in battle, mighty archers equal to Bhima and Arjuna:Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada, each a maha-rathah [or great chariotfighter proficient in war and able to defeat ten thousand archerssingle-handedly].

1:5, 6: The greatest mortals of all, including Dhristaketu, Cekitana and the fearless Kasiraja, Purujit, also Kuntibhoja and Shaibya,

Yudhamanyu and the mighty Uttamauja, [Abhimanyu] the courageous son ofSubhadra [and Arjuna] and the sons of Draupadi; all of whom arecertainly great chariot fighters.

1:7: O best of the bramanas, all of my warriors are most powerful, but foryour information I will tell you only of the military leaders.

1:8: Your honored self, Bhishma, Karna and Kripa are victorious in battleeven as Ashvatthama, Vikarna and [Bhurishrava] the son of Somadatta are.

1:9: There are many other heroes as well who are prepared to sacrifice theirvery lives for my sake. They are armed with many weapons and missilesand all are well equipped for battle.1:10: [Behold] our unlimited forces, commanded by [venerable Grandfather] Bhishma and their limited army, commanded by Bhima.

1:11: "Everyone in this panoply of troops, divided by divisions and stations, defend [Grandfather] Bhishma!"

1:12: [Bhishma], the grand sire and elder of the Kuru dynasty, encouraged him[Duryodhana] by roaring like a lion and loudly sounding his mightyconch.

1:13: Then the conchs, kettledrums, tabors, small drums and cow-horns in unison quickly blared forth their tumultuous sounds.

1:14-19: Thereafter, seated on a great chariot drawn by white horses, Madava[Shri Krishna] and Pandava [Arjuna] likewise blew their celestialconchs.

Hrishikesha [Shri Krishna] blew Panchajanya, Dhananjaya [Arjuna] blewDevadatta and Bhima, 'whose actions inspire fear,' sounded the greatconch named Paundra. King Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, blew his conch, named Anantavijaya.Nakula and Sahadeva sounded Sughosa and Manipuspaka.

That expert archer the king of Kashi, Shikhandhi, the great chariotfighter, Dhristadyumna and Virata, as well as Satyaki the unconquerable -

O lord of the Earth [Dhritarastra] - and Drupada, the sons of Draupadiand the well armed son of Subhadra [Abhimanyu] all sounded theirrespective conchs.

That tumultuous uproar shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhritarastra and even oscillated the sky and earth.

1:20: Then, in battle array with the banner of Hanuman, the son of Pandu[Arjuna] prepared to engage. Beholding the sons of Dhritarastra, he tookup arrows and spoke these words unto Hrishikesha [Shri Krishna], O lordof the earth.

1:21-23: Arjuna said, O Unlapsing Vishnu, please place my chariot in the midst ofboth armies so that I may behold all those desiring to fight, boththose with me and those with whom I must enter into this strife of war.

I wish to look upon those assembled here by the evil minded son of Dhritarastra who are intent upon fighting to please him.

1:24: Sanjaya said: Thus addressed by Gudakesha [Arjuna], Hrishikesha [ShriKrishna], O descendant of Bharata, placed that best of chariots in themidst of the armies.

1:25: In the presence of [Grandfather] Bhishma and Drona, as well as all therulers of the earth, [the Lord] spoke these words: O child of Partha,behold all these Kurus who are thus gathered.

1:26: There the son of Partha [Arjuna] saw stationed before him fathers,grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons,friends and fathers-in-law; indeed well-wishers were in both armies.

1:27: Having seen all these relatives so situated, the son of Kunti [Arjuna]was filled with compassion and with deepest lamentation spoke thus:

1:28, 29: Arjuna said: O Krishna, seeing all these relatives standing ready and eager to fight, my limbs falter and my mouth is parched.

My body is trembling and my hairs are standing erect. Gandiva [my bow] is slipping from my hand and indeed, my skin is burning.

1:30-35: I am unable to stand; my mind seems to reel and I see adverse omens O Keshava [Krishna].

I see no benefit in killing my own relatives in battle, nor do I desirevictory or the kingdom nor [the subsequent] happiness, O Krishna.

O Govinda, what use to us is the kingdom? Where is the enjoyment inlife? For whose sake do we desire the kingdom, material enjoyment andhappiness?

Those for whom we desire these things - our teachers, fathers, sons,indeed, even our grandfathers - are standing ready to battle and give uptheir lives and wealth.

Other relations as well, including our maternal uncles, fathers-in-law,grandsons and brothers-in-law; all these I do not wish to kill, even if Iam killed by them, O Madhusudana [Krishna].

O Janardana [Krishna], what pleasure would there be, even if the threeworlds were given in exchange for a kingdom; how then for the sake ofthis earth shall I kill the sons of Dhritarastra?

1:36: Only guilt will cleave to us by killing these aggressors, therefore weare not justified in slaying the sons of Dhritarastra. Indeed, how canwe attain happiness by murdering our relations and relatives, O Madhava[Krishna]?

1:37, 38: Although these [Kauravas] do not see their fault - their minds beingoverpowered by greed - the destruction of families and the oppression offriends is a crime.

Why should we, who know the sin of destroying a dynasty, not cease from this crime, O Janardana [Krishna]?

1:39-42: With the destruction of a family its noble traditions perish. When itseternal rites and religious principles are destroyed, the whole dynastyis overtaken by irreligion.

O Krishna, irreligion having become prevalent the women of the familybecome adulterated. When the women become corrupt, O descendant ofVrishni, caste confusion is generated.

Such confusion brings to hell the slayers of the family and the familyitself. Then the ancestors are deprived of their sacrificial offeringsof rice cakes and water and hence they also fall.

By such faults on the part of the destroyers of the family, casteconfusion leads to the devastation of caste religious traditions as wellas the eternal family traditions.

1:43-45: We have heard, O Janardana [Krishna], that those who spoil family traditions have hell as their eternal abode.

Alas, due to greed for royal pleasures we have determined to commit a great sin and are prepared to kill our own relatives.

Even if the sons of Dhritarastra, weapons in hand, should kill meunarmed and without resistance in battle, for me, that would be better.

1:46: Sanjaya said: Having thus spoken, his mind overwhelmed with grief on thebattlefield, Arjuna sat down in his chariot and dropped his bow andarrows.

Here Ends Chapter One

Go to: Chapter Two.

Go to: Notes and References.

Go to: Cover Page.

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