Chapter I: Arjuna Vishad Yoga (The Yoga of Dejection of Arjuna)
1 Dhrtarastra said: Sanjay, assembled on the holy field of Kuruksetra, eager to fight, what did my children and the children of Pandu do?
2 Sanjaya said: At that time, seeing the army of the Pandavas drawn up for battle and approaching Dronacharya, Prince Duryodhana spoke these words:
3 “Behold, Master, the mighty army of the sons of Pandu arrayed for battle by your talented pupil, Dhrstadymna, the son of Drupada.
4 “There are in this army heroes wielding mighty bows and equal in military prowess to Bhima and Arjuna, such as Satyaki and Virata, and Maharathi Drupada;
5 “Dhrstaketu, Chekitana and the valiant King of Kasi, and Purujit, Kuntibhoja, and Saibya, the best of men;
6 “And mighty Yudhamanu, and valiant Uttamauja, Abhimanu, the son of Subhadra, and the 5 sons of Drapadi, all of them Maharathis.
7 “O best of Brahmans, know them also who are the principal warriors on our side, the generals of my army. For your information, I mention them below:-
8 “Yourself and Bhisma and Karana and Krpa, who is ever victorious in battle; and even so Aswatthama, Vikarna, and Bhurisrava, the son of Somadatta;
9 “And many other heroes, equipped with various weapons and missiles, who have staked their lives for me, all skilled in warfare.
10 “This army of ours, fully protected by Bhisma, is unconquerable; while that army of theirs, guarded in every way by Bhisma is easy to conquer.
11 “Therefore, stationed in your respective positions on all fronts, do you all guard Bhisma in particular on all sides.”
12 The grand old man of the Kaurava race, their glorious granduncle Bhisma, cheering up Duryodhana, roared terribly like a lion and blew his conch.
13 Then conches, kettledrums, tabors, drums and trumpets suddenly blared forth and the noise was tumultuous.
14 Then, seated in a glorious chariot drawn by white horses, Sri Krsna as well as Arjuna blew their celestial conches.
15 Sri Krsna blew his conch names Panchajanya; Arjuna, his conch called Devadatta; while Bhima of terrible deeds blew his mighty conch Paundra.
16 King Yudhisthira, son of Kunti, blew his conch Anantavijaya; while Nakula and Sahadev blew theirs, the Sughosa and Manipuspaka respectively.
17 And the King of Kasi, the excellent archer, and Sikhandi, the Maharathi, Dhrstadymna and Virata and invincible Satyaki did likewise.
18 O lord of the earth, Drupada as well as the five sons of Draupadi, and the mighty-armed Abhimanyu, son of Subhadra, all of them severally blew their respective conches.
19 And the terrible sounds, echoing through heaven and earth, rent the hearts of Dhrtarastra’s sons.
20 Now, O lord of the earth, seeing your sons arrayed against him, and when missiles were ready to be hurled, Arjuna, son of Pandu, tool up his bow and then addressed the following words to Sri Krsna:
21 “Krisna, place my chariot between the two armies.
22 “And keep it there till I have carefully observed these warriors drawn up for battle, and have seen with whom I have to engage myself in this fight.
23 “I shall scan the well-wishers in this war of evil-minded Duryodhana, who have assembled here and are ready for the fight.”
24 Sanjaya said: O King, thus addressed by Arjuna, Sri Krsna placed the magnificent chariot between the two armies.
25 Then facing Bhisma, Drona and all the kings, Sri Krsna said “Arjuna, behold these Kauravas assembled here.”
26 Now Arjuna saw stationed there in both the armies his uncles and granduncles, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers and cousins, sons and grandsons, friends,
27 And father-in-laws and well-wishers as well. Seeing all these relations present there,
28 he was possessed by extreme compassion, and uttered these words in sadness.
29 Krsna, at the sight of these kinsmen thus arrayed and longing for battle my limbs give way, and my mouth is parched; nay, my frame shakes and hair stands on end.
30 The bow, Gandiva, drops from my hand and my skin burns all over; my mind is reeling, as it were, and I am not able even to stand.
31 And Kesava, I see the omens also inauspicious; nor do I see any good in killing my kith and kin in battle.
32 Krsna, I covet not victory, nor kingdom, nor pleasures. Govinda, of what use will kingdom, or luxuries, or even life be to us.
33 Those for whose sake we covet the throne, luxuries and pleasures, --
34 teachers, uncles, sons and even so granduncles, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and other relations, -- are here arrayed on the battle-field staking their lives and riches.
35 Krsna, I do not want to kill them, though they may kill me, even for the sovereignty of the three worlds; how, then, for this earth.
36 Krsna, what joy can we derive through slaying the sons of Dhrtarastra? Sin alone will accrue to us as the result of killing these desperadoes.
37 Therefore, Krsna, it does not behoove us to kill our relations, the sons of Dhrtarastra. For how shall we be happy after killing our won kinsmen?
38 Although these people, with minds blinded by greed, do not perceive the evil of destruction of one’s own race and the sin accruing from enmity towards friends;
39 why should not we, O Krsna, who see clearly the sin involved in the destruction of one’s family, think of turning away from this crime?
40 Age-long family traditions disappear with the destruction of a family; and virtue having been lost, sin takes hold of the entire family.
41 With the preponderance of vice, Krsna, the women of the family becomes corrupt; and with the corruption of women, O Varsneya (descendent of Vrsni), there ensues an intermixture of castes.
42 Intermixture of castes leads the destroyer of the race as well as the race itself to hell. Deprived of the offerings of lumps of rice and water (Sraddha, Tarpana, etc.), the manes of their race also fall.
43 Through these evils bringing about an intermixture of castes, the age-long caste-traditions and family customs of the destroyers of the race get extinct.
44 Krsna, we hear that men who have lost their family traditions dwell in hell for an indefinite period of time.
45 Alas! Though possessed of intelligence we have set our mind on the commission of a great sin in that due to lust for throne and enjoyment we are intent on killing our own kinsmen.
46 It would be better for me if the sons of Dhrtarastra, armed with weapons, killed me in battle while I was unarmed and unresisting.
47 Sanjay said: Arjuna, with his mind agitated by grief on the battle-field, having spoken thus, and having laid down his bow and arrows, sank into the hinder part of his chariot.