Chapter 1 in English

  Sep 23, 2018   By: Shivam Dhuria


Dhritrashtra said: Sanjaya, gathered on the holy land of Kurukshetra, eager to fight, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do?

Sanjaya said: At that time, seeing the army of the Pandavas drawn up for battle and approaching Dronacharya, King Duryodhana spoke the following words, “This army of ours fully protected by Bhishma is unconquerable while that army of theirs guarded in every-way by Bhima is easy to conquer”. The grand old man of the Kaurava race, their glorious grand - patriarch Bhishma cheering up Duryodhana roared terribly like a lion and blew his conch. Seated in a glorious chariot drawn by white horses, Krishna as well as Arjuna also blew their celestial conches. Conches, kettledrums, tabors, drums and trumpets blared forth all at once and the noise was tumultuous. Now seeing your sons arrayed against him and when missiles were ready to be hurled, Arjuna, who had the figure of Hanuman on the fag of his chariot took up his bow and then addressed the following words to Krishna:

Arjun said: Krishna, place my chariot between the two armies and keep it there till I have carefully observed the warriors drawn up for battle and have seen with whom I have to engage in this fight.

Sanjaya said: O king , thus addressed by Arjuna, Krishna placed the magnificent chariot between the two armies in front of Bhishma, Drona and all the kings and said, “ Arjuna, behold these Kauravas assembled here”. Now Arjuna saw stationed there, in both the armies, his uncles, grand-uncles, teachers, great grand-uncles, maternal uncles, brothers, cousins, sons, nephews, grand-nephews, friends, fathers-in-law and well-wishers as well. Seeing all the relatives present there, Arjuna was overcome with deep compassion and spoke thus in sorrow.

Arjuna said: Krishna, as I see these kinsmen arrayed for battle, my limbs give way, my mouth is getting parched, a shiver runs through my body and hair stands on end. The bow slips from my hand, my skin burns all over, my mind is whirling and I can no longer hold myself steady. Keshava, I don't see any good in killing my own kinsmen in battle. I do not want to kill them even for the sovereignty over the three worlds, how much lesser is the kingdom here on earth! Krishna, how can we hope to be happy slaying the sons of Dhritrashtra, sin will surely accrue to us. Even though these people with their mind blinded by greed perceive no evil in treasoning and destroying their own race, why should not we, O Krishna. Age-long family traditions disappear with the destruction of a family, virtue having been lost and vice will take the hold of the entire race. Krishna, we hear that men who have lost their family traditions, dwell in hell for an indefinite period of time. It would be better for me if the sons of Dhritrashtra kill me in the battle while I am unarmed and unresistant.

Sanjaya said: Arjuna, whose mind was agitated by grief on the battlefield having spoken thus and having cast aside his bow and arrows sank into the hinder part of his chariot.