Wednesday, December 18, 2013

BHAGAVAD GITA - CHAPTER-1. Arjuna Vishaada Yoga - SLOKA.7, 8 & 9 - Duryodhana and Fate






Asmaakam thu visishtaa ye thaannibodha Dvijottama
Naayakaa mama sainyasya samjnaartham thaan  braveemi te ||

Meaning :

Duryodhana says to Acharya Drona further :"Oh, the best of the twice born (Oh Brahmana)! now, you must know the best and the distinguished leaders in my army. I shall name them for your information."  
Duryodhana had befriended many kings in preparation for this war, even before the completion of the Aranyavasam and Ajnaata vaasam  by the Pandavas. Therefore, many kings were now aligning with Duryodhana in this Great war.
Now, as part of his SWOT analysis, Duryodhana was naming the Great warriors in his army also, for the benefit of his Acharya.
The major feature of Mahabharata war was that - Males from all castes were participating in it. No able bodied man was barred from it. 

Brahmanas, traditionally, taught the skills of warfare to Kshatriyas - but did not themselves participate in wars.  They were not expected to kill anybody for any reason. Killing - even for crimes committed by others against themselves -  was to be left to the Kings and Kshatriyas - even though Brahmanas themselves were capable of doing it. 
Earlier on, even Drona was living such a simple, pious life in poverty. When his wife goaded him (as wives do) to approach his childhood friend, King Drupada , for getting out of their poverty,  he went and approached Drupada who laughed at him, derided him and humiliated him. Unable to bear this humiliation, Drona turned back and was going towards Hastinapur. On the way, he came in contact with Pandavas, Kauravas, and their Grand Sire, Bhishma - and eventually, at the request of Bhishma, became the Guru for Pandavas, Kauravas and other Kshatriyas, for teaching the skills of warfare to them. 
Had he wanted to avenge the humiliation he suffered at the hands of Drupada, Drona could have done it easily. He had all the capability to defeat and kill Drupada and his army and annexe his Kingdom. But, at that point of time, his mindset was still that of a Brahmana. The thought of fighting and killing Drupada did not at all enter his mind.

Now, after being in constant contact with Kauravas, and living under King Duryodhana in Hastinapur, Drona's mindset turned from that of a Brahmana into that of a Kshatriya-brahmana. Like him, his brother-in-law, kripacharya, who was also a Guru for Pandavas and Kauravas,  was also in this war, on the side of Duryodhana.
Duryodhana knew the extraordinary prowess and skills of Drona, Kripa and Drona's son, Aswatthaama. Hence, he always made efforts to woo them and keep these great persons on his side. Drona loved Pandavas a lot; he loved Arjuna, much more than his own son and taught him many Astras not taught to his son also. Drona considered Arjuna a more consummate and righteous warrior compared to his own son, Aswatthaama.

But, as fate would have it, he now found himself and his son on the side of Duryodhana  in this great war. Inwardly, he knew that this was not a winnable war for Duryodhana - as Lord Krishna was with Arjuna on the opposite side. He also knew that Drushtadyumna, the son of Drupada, who was born to kill Drona, was on the Opposite side.
His wife's simple request eventually made Drona into a warrior - and stand on the side opposite to his most loved disciple, Arjuna. Such are the ways of fate.

Bhavaan Bheeshmascha Karnascha Krupascha Samitimjayah

Aswatthaamaa Vikarnascha Soumadatthisthathaiva cha   || 

Meaning :

Now, Duryodhana was naming the great warriors on his side :"You (Drona), Bhishma, Karna, Kripa, Awatthaama, the great winner of wars, Vikarna, and the son of Somadatta.   "

Duryodhana named Drona himself - as the first warrior in the list of Great warriors who are on his side. Thus, he showed his willing to go all out, to win Drona's heart and his total support in the war. Next in the list was Bhishma, who despite his age, was still the best of all warriors on his side. Next, he named his great friend Karna.  Then came Kripa, Aswatthaama, Vikarna and Soumadatta in his list. Duryodhana considered that with these Great warriors on his side, there was no way of losing this war.


Anye cha bahavah sooraa madarthe tyakta Jeevitaah
Naanaa sasthra praharanaah Sarve yuddha Visaaradaah|| 

Meaning :

"And, there are many other warriors who are well trained in the skills of warfare, and having many weapons, all willing to lay down their lives for my sake."

Duryodhana felt great about having such an array of great warriors on his side. He told his Acharya, that these great warriors had assembled in the filed of war, to lay down their lives for his sake.

Inadvertantly, he told that they had assembled there to "lay down their lives for his sake."

Could he have said "to win the war and make him the king forever"  ?

Perhaps, he could say that so positively. But, a selfish man like Duryodhana, could not think of his warriors coming out victorious and living well thereafter. He could only think of his own selfish aims of becoming King ; not even of the welfare of his own well-wishers, who had assembled there on his side.

Perhaps, he was right in his statement to a great extent. Great men like Bhishma and Drona were on his side, but they knew very well that it was impossible even for them, to win a war - standing against Lord Krishna who was on Arjuna's side in this war. In other words, they were all there, " to lay down their lives for the sake of Duryodhana."

How else could words come from the mouth of Duryodhana, when fate was pursuing him thus?

.....Will Continue.

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