Discussion on Bhagwad Gita: Chapter 1; Verse 10 through 18

gita1.jpgToday, we go in as the war is about to start.

अयनेषु च सर्वेषु यथाभागमवस्थिताः।
भीष्ममेवाभिरक्षन्तु भवन्तः सर्व एव हि॥१-११॥

Hindi
इसलिये सब लोग जिन जिन स्थानों पर नियुक्त हों वहां से सभी हर ओर से भीष्म पितामह की रक्षा करें।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा
अथ भीष्म पितामह की रक्षा,
संकोच बिनु सब भाँती करें,
सब आपुनि – आपुनि ठॉव रहें,
सहयोग सबहीं बहु भांति करें

And Duryodhan said to his warriors that they may secure their areas and places and cover against attacks on Bheeshm Pitamah from all the sides.

तस्य संजनयन्हर्षं कुरुवृद्धः पितामहः।
सिंहनादं विनद्योच्चैः शङ्खं दध्मौ प्रतापवान्॥१-१२॥

Hindi
तब कुरुवृद्ध प्रतापवान भीष्म पितामह ने दुर्योधन के हृदय में हर्ष उत्पन्न करते हुये उच्च स्वर में सिंहनाद किया और शंख बजाना आरम्भ किया।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा
कुरु वृद्ध पितामह भीषम ने,
गर्जन करि शंख बजायौ है.
भयो सिंह नाद जस, तांसो हिया.
दुरजोधन को हरषायो है

Then the elder amongst the Kauravs, Bheeshm Pitamah blew his conch like a loud roar of a lion.

ततः शङ्खाश्च भेर्यश्च पणवानकगोमुखाः।
सहसैवाभ्यहन्यन्त स शब्दस्तुमुलोऽभवत्॥१-१३॥

Hindi
तब अनेक शंख, नगारे, ढोल, शृंगी आदि बजने लगे जिनसे घोर नाद उत्पन्न हुआ।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा
उपरांत नगाड़े शंख बज्यो,
बहु ढोल मृदंग निनाद भयौ .
सब एकहिं साथ बज्यो सो घन्यो,
कि तांसो भयंकर नाद भयौ

Thereafter many conchs, drums, and instruments were used to create a loud roaring sound.

ततः श्वेतैर्हयैर्युक्ते महति स्यन्दने स्थितौ।
माधवः पाण्डवश्चैव दिव्यौ शङ्खौ प्रदध्मतुः॥१-१४॥

Hindi
तब श्वेत अश्वों से वहित भव्य रथ में विराजमान भगवान माधव और पाण्डव पुत्र अर्जुन नें भी अपने अपने शंख बजाये।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा
रथ साज रह्यो जो तुरंगन सों,
माधव तस् मांहीं विराज रहे .
अर्जुन हूँ दिव्य अलौकिक शंख को,
वेगि सों वेगि बजाय रहे

And then, seated on the chariot with white horses, Shri Krishna (Madhav) and Arjun also blew ther conchs.

पाञ्चजन्यं हृषीकेशो देवदत्तं धनञ्जयः।
पौण्ड्रं दध्मौ महाशङ्खं भीमकर्मा वृकोदरः॥१-१५॥

Hindi
भगवान हृषिकेश नें पाञ्चजन्य नामक अपना शंख बजाया और धनंजय (अर्जुन) ने देवदत्त नामक शंख बजाया। तथा भीम कर्मा भीम नें अपना पौण्ड्र नामक महाशंख बजाया।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा
शंख पाञ्चजन्य श्री माधव ने,
देवदत्त बजायो धनञ्जय ने .
पौण्ड्र शंख तो भीमा ने ,
अथ दृश्य सुनायौ संजय ने

Hrishikesh (Shri Krishna) blew the conch named Panchjanya and Dhananjaya (Arjun) blew conch named Devdutt and the terrible Bheem blew the Paundra conch.

अनन्तविजयं राजा कुन्तीपुत्रो युधिष्ठिरः।
नकुलः सहदेवश्च सुघोषमणिपुष्पकौ॥१-१६॥

Hindi
कुन्तीपुत्र राजा युधिष्ठिर नें अपना अनन्त विजय नामक शंख, नकुल नें सुघोष और सहदेव नें अपना मणिपुष्पक नामक शंख बजाये।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा
अनंत विजय के नाम को शंख ,
तो कुंती के पुत्र युधिष्ठिर ने.
सहदेव नकुल मणिपुष्पक शंख,
सुघोष बजयौ महीधर ने

Kunti’s son, Yudhishtra blew his Anant Vijay (Eternal victory) conch, Nakul blew the Sughosh (Sound of Purity), and Sahdev blew the Manipushpak conch.

काश्यश्च परमेष्वासः शिखण्डी च महारथः।
धृष्टद्युम्नो विराटश्च सात्यकिश्चापराजितः॥१-१७॥
द्रुपदो द्रौपदेयाश्च सर्वशः पृथिवीपते।
सौभद्रश्च महाबाहुः शङ्खान्दध्मुः पृथक्पृथक्॥१-१८॥

Hindi
धनुधर काशिराज, महारथी शिखण्डी, धृष्टद्युम्न, विराट तथा अजेय सात्यकि, द्रुपद, द्रोपदी के पुत्र तथा अन्य सभी राजाओं नें तथा महाबाहु सौभद्र (अभिमन्यु) नें – सभी नें अपने अपने शंख बजाये।

brajbhasha / ब्रजभाषा
अपराजित सात्यकि, नृप विराट,
शिखंडी महारथी वीर मही .
इन वीरहूँ शंख निनाद कियौ,
बहु शंख बजाय रह्यौ सबहीं ॥१-१७॥

सुत पाँचों द्रुपद नृप, द्रौपदी कौ,
महाबाहु अभिमन्यु उत है,
सुनि राजन ! आपुनि – आपुनि ही,
निज शंख को आपु बजाउत हैं ॥१-१८॥

Then Kashiraj, great warrior Shikhandi, Dhrishtadhyum, Virat, Satyaki, Drupad, Draupadi’s sons, other kings and the powerful Abhimanyu blew their own conchs.

Discussion

One finds it interesting that there is a method to even the war. War maybe an admission that every way to solve an issue with discussion has failed and therefore, one will use force and violence; but even that violence should have a way that is decent and not damning. Even when one is ready to fight and kill the other, one does that act with a certain discipline.

Up until the foreign invaders came to India – and specially when the Islamic hordes rushed in from Persia and Arabia – war did not take the toll of property or people that was not involved in the war. If the farmers were tilling the land or pilgrims going from one state to another, they were not used as collaterals or negotiating points. They were not touched. That, many of the Islamic invaders killed in thousands after the war suggests that those were not involved in the war. This was even the case with someone as eulogized as Akbar. They did not spare even the priests who ran the temple administration.

When war becomes an expression of the deepest and the darkest evil as opposed to “a” way forward despite one’s unwillingness to go that way, then you have lost the battle with your self. India’s spirituality was hounded by Islamic invaders and British with a view to exterminate it. But every time Indian spiritual tradition was hurt, it invoked the highest in itself and rejuvenated.

Conch or Shankh (in Hindi / Sanskrit) is known as the manifestation of the sound, Aum. Blowing of the conch is to align one self along that sound.

Conchs are blown at auspicious occasions when something nice is being attempted. So, why would someone blow the conch at the beginning of arguably the most terrible war in history?

In a way, it is also an admission that Aum – a sound which combined the Brahm (Creator), Vishnu (Maintainer), and the Shiv (Destroyer); encapsulates not just what is good, but also what is terrible and even what we consider to be ugly about this creation.

Shankham” comes from the two Sanskrit words “Shum” which means something good and the “Kham” means water. Shankham, therefore means “Holder of good water”.

Story of the Conch: the demon Shankhaasura had defeated the (elevated beings) devas. And then he proceeded to the bottom of the ocean.

The devas went to Lord Vishnu and appealed to Him for help. Lord Vishnu incarnated as Matsya Avataara – the “fish incarnation” and killed Shankhaasura. The Lord blew the conch-shaped bone of his ear and head after killing the demon. That created the Aum sound emanated, from which emerged the Vedas.

Now, this story may not be a “fact”, but it is the “Truth”.

When the “good” in us (the devas) is rendered ineffective against the “bad” in us, then we have to rise above both. The access to our higher self – that which is beyond the good, the bad and the ugly, ultimately destroys the negativity of bad and the ego of the good.

For, it must have been instructive for the devas to know that the sound of Aum ultimately was created out of the remains of a demon they wanted to kill. The sound of Creation, from which all Vedas emanated did not arise from the devas but from the remains of the demon.

When the ego of good is no more and good in us is ineffective in handling the necessities of living, and the bad has been vanquished; then from that comes the path to our liberation.


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