0101-RG–Vishada Yoga 1.1

Verse 1.1


Dhritaraashtra Uvaacha

Dharmakshetre kurukshetre

samavetaa yuyutsavah;

Maamakaah paandavaashchaiva

 kim akurvata sanjaya.


Dhritarashtra said:  What did the sons of Pandu and also my people do when they had assembled together, eager for battle on the holy plain of Kurukshetra, O Sanjaya?

RG Purport: The opening verse of Bhagavad Gita is the very premise on which the saga of right living is based. Srila Veda Vyasa and Lord Krishna has given due respect and consideration to Dhritarashtra by allowing the word “Dhritarashtra” to become the opening word of the Song of God, Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Although Dhritarashtra has been portrayed as the main antagonist of the ballad Mahabharata, he is one of the most revered characters of the saga because one may do without some characters in the Mahabharata but the character of Dhritarashtra is the single-most important character which gives shape to the Mahabharata. Right from an early age, owing to his inability to see, Dhritarashtra developed a high sense of insecurity. In life whenever we feel that we are being deprived of something which probably our competitors or even friends are lucky to possess, are we not filled with some remorse? Don’t we develop a bit of jealousy or distaste? Although Dhritarashtra started off as a normal, loving individual in his early years, he could not withstand the snatching away of his right to be king of Hastinapura owing to his blindness. He had to forsake his position to Pandu, his younger brother who was far more talented than Dhritarashtra. Later however by the arrangement of time, Dhritarashtra became king and yet the bitterness that he garnered in his heart remained. The saga of Mahabharata is simply an outpour of that bitterness that finally led to the devastating war of Kurukshetra which claimed millions of life and swallowed the Kuru dynasty itself. That which began as a spark of insecurity and dislike transformed into a raging war that ravaged a major section of humanity.

This opening verse sets the scene. Sanjaya, the official charioteer and friend of Dhritarashtra blessed with divine remote vision is seated along with his blind and fearful master. The war of Kurukshetra is about to commence. The master of Sanjaya enquires about the situation. Dhritarashtra is scared and pale as he clearly distinguishes between his hundred wayward sons and the sons of Pandu who have assembled on the battlefield. Sanjaya represents the pure intelligence having been blessed by Veda Vyasa. Dhritarashtra represents the sullied intellect which is gripped by fear having engaged his 100 sons in activities that are not in accordance with right action. The 100 sons represent the indulgences of the senses and wrong actions that a human being commits , having been overpowered by the distortions of a sick mind namely lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride and envy. The party of Dhritarashtra along with Shakuni and his 100 sons represent the domain of Jeeva Maya which attacks a living entity if the living entity does not take shelter of Krishna. The five Pandavas denote the highest ideals of right living which are achieved when one surrenders to Krishna. Dharma Kshetra means the Land of natural constitution, which is at the feet of the Lord. Kuru Kshetra means the Land of choice given to the Human Being where free-will is a major consideration. Here the living being can either take to “Adharma Kshetra”(Lap of Maya)  or “Dharma Kshetra” (Feet of the Lord).

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