Updated: Aug 16, 2019
Om Śrī Kṛṣṇāya Paramātmane Namaḥ ||
|| Śloka of the Day ||
Arjuna Viṣhāda Yōgaḥ
The War begins: Hanuman is witness
Bhishma Pitāmaha, in order to bring confidence in him and start the war, roared like a lion
and blew his conch. When Bhishma Pitāmaha blew the conch, everyone knew that the war has begun. Sanjaya describes it as a tremendous sound. Sanjaya started answering the question by describing about Duryodhana then focussed his attention on Pāndava’s side. Sanjaya describes the beautiful chariot in which Arjuna and Bhagavān Shrī Krishna are seated. Sanjaya mentions names of warriors of Pāndava army and their respective conches. The sound of those conches and the instruments pierced through the hearts of Duryodhana and Kaurava army. Arjuna’s chariot had flag with Sri Hanumanji on it. It is believed that Hanumānji was seated on the chariot and watching the war. The war was about to begin. Arjuna held his bow ‘Gāndiva’ in his hand and was ready to fight. Bhagavān is right in the middle of the battlefield guiding His disciple as his charioteer. Bhagavān calls Arjuna his sakhā and bhakta. Bhagavān is protecting Arjuna.
senayorubhayor madhye rathaṃ sthāpayame’cyuta | Ch.1.21
yāvadetān nirῑkṣehaṃ yoddhukāmānavasthitān ||
Arjuna, great devotee
Arjuna had great love for Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Pandavas followed the path of Dharma. Their action followed their convictions. Shastra (scripture) à Convictions à feelings à actions. Many times our actions are determined by our inherent likes and dislikes. The same actions are also then conditioned by our attachment to the pleasures from worldly objects or our negative qualities like ego, pride, anger, jealousy etc. As such it becomes that our feelings are based on our actions. In this way, our convictions are formed based on our actions and then our philosophy is modified according to our action.
Firm convictions essential
A person on the right path should form proper conviction through Scriptures and guidance from Sadguru by understanding what is right. Important values like ahimsā (non-violence), satyam (truthfulness), asteya (not stealing) etc. are some of our firm convictions.
We should be convinced about their importance to take us towards the ultimate goal. Conviction is most important. Arjuna has such conviction.
Sadguru is our charioteer
Arjuna addresses Bhagavān as Achyuta. Achyuta means one who has never come down meaning that even though Sri Krishna appears like ordinary charioteer in that moment, He is direct personification of Ishvara. It is out great love, affection and compassion for His devotee, Arjuna that Sri Krishna has become his charioteer. So too, when we are on the path on righteousness and choose Sadguru over everything else, and all allow Sadguru to direct our life, He as though becomes our charioteer, guide, captain and steers us in the right direction always!
Now, Arjuna requests Bhagavān that he wants the chariot to be placed between the two armies facing each other on the battlefield. This was important event as many people were about to die. So Arjuna wanted to see the situation from a different point of view literally. Arjuna knew many members in both the armies well. He wanted to observe both the armies and their members for the last time before the war began. Also, Arjuna wanted to see those adhārmic people with whom he was to fight the war.
Witness, don't become attached
In verse 25 “uvāca pārtha paśyaitān samavetān kurūniti” give the first words spoken by Sri Krishna to Arjuna, telling Arjuna to observe both the armies. Sri Krishna is teaching us, that we are placed in this world and people to just Observe, to witness! We should not become attached or involved or get carried away by the situations! However, it is at this point Arjuna’s attachment puts him under delusion and confusion as he is caught in a whirlpool of emotions and thoughts gushing forth from these attachments….