|Arjuna's Conversion: |
1. O Sanjaya! What indeed did my people and the followers of the Pandavas do after having
assembled in the holy land of Kurukshetra, eager to join battle?
2. Then seeing the army of the Pandavas arrayed in battle order. King Duryodhana for his
part approached the teacher Drona and spoke to him the following words:
3. O Teacher! Behold this great army of the sons of Pandu, arrayed in battle order by your
talented disciple, the son of Drupada.
4. Here (in that army) are many brave bow-men of note who are equal to Bhima and
Arjuna in battle - great car-warriors like Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada;
5. Dhrishtaketu, Chekitana and the brave king of Kashi; Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Shaibya
the best of men;
6. The powerful Yudhamanyu, the brave Uttamauja, the son of Subhadra, and the sons of
Draupadi - all these are indeed noted car-warriors.
7. O best of Brahmanas, I shall mention for your information the names of the
distinguished leaders of our army.
8. Yourself, Bhishma and Karna, the victorious Kripa, Ashwatthama, Vikarna and
Jayadratha the son of Somadatta.
9. These and many more brave men, who are ready to lay down their lives for my sake and
who fight with various types of weapons, are present here. All of them are seasoned
10. Though numerically superior, inadequate is the army of ours defended by Bhishma,
while theirs guarded by Bhima is adequate.
11. Therefore do ye all protect Bhishma remaining in appropriate positions in your
12. Cheering him up, the valiant grandfather Bhishma, the oldest of the Kurus, sounded a
lion-roar loudly and blew his conch-shell horn.
13. Thereupon, conchs, kettle-drums, tabors, trumpets, and cowhorns all blared out
suddenly causing a tremendous sound.
14. Then Shri Krishna and Arjuna, seated in a great chariot with white horses yoked to it,
blew their celestial conch-shell horns.
15. Shri Krishna blew his conch Panchajanya, Arjuna blew Devadatta, and Bhima of terrible
deeds sounded his great conch Paundra.
16. Raja Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, blew his conch Anantavijaya, and Nakula and
Sahadeva, Sughosha and Manipushpaka respectively.
17. The great archer, king of Kashi, the mighty car-warrior Shikhandi and Dhrishtadyumna
and invincible Satyaki;
18. The King of Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, the mighty armed son of Subhadra - all
these, O king, sounded their conchshell horns again and again everywhere.
19. That tumultuous uproar, resounding in the sky and over the land, pierced the hearts of
the followers of Dhrtarashtra.
20-21. O King! Arjuna, the Pandava-leader with the banner crest of a Hanuman, on seeing
the followers of Dhritarashtra arrayed for battle and the clash of weapons about to start,
held up his bow and said the following words to Shri Krishna:
21-22. O Achyuta! Please station my chariot between the two armies so that I may have a
view, on the eve of this battle, of all those standing ready to fight, and learn who all are the
persons with whom I have to contend.
23. Let me see all those who have arrived to favour the evil-minded son of Dhritarshtra in
war and are standing ready to join battle.
24-25. O King Dhritarashtra! Shri Krishna, to whom Arjuna addressed these words,
stationed that most splendid of chariots at a place between the two armies, confronting
Bhishma, Drona and all those chiefs, and said: "O Arjuna! See these men of the Kuru horde
assembled for battle."
26-27. There he saw standing in both the armies - fathers, grand-fathers, uncles, brothers,
sons, grandsons, comrades, fathers-in-law and bosom friends. Seeing all these kinsmen
arrayed, Arjuna was overcome with great pity, and said sorrowing:
28-29. Seeing these relatives standing eager to join battle, my limbs are giving way, my
mouth is parching. I get trembling of the body and horripilations.
30. My bow Gandiva is slipping from my hand. My skin too is burning. I find it impossible
to stand firm, and my mind is, as it were, reeling.
31. O Kesava! I see adverse omens. I do not feel that any good will come by killing all one's
kinsmen in battle.
32. O Krishna! I do not long for victory, or kingdom, or enjoyments. O Govinda! Of what
use is kingdom, enjoyments or even life itself?
33-34. Those for whose sake kingdoms, enjoyments, and pleasures are desired - those very
teachers, fathers and sons, as also grandfathers, uncles, fathers-in-law and other relatives
are here stationed in battle ready to give up their lives and possessions.
35. Even for the sovereignty of the three worlds, I do not desire to kill them, though myself
killed - how much less then for this earthly kingdom!
36. What joy can there be for us by killing these sons of Dhritarashtra? Though they are
murderous villains, only sin will accrue to us by killing them.
37. Therefore, O Madhava! it is not befitting that we kill our relations, the sons of
Dhritarashtra. How could one be happy by the slaughter of one's own kinsmen?
38-39. O Janardana! Even if these people, with their intelligence overpowered by greed, do
not see any evil in the decay of families and any sin in the persecution of friends, why
should not we, who are aware of the evil of such decay of families, learn to desist from that
40. When a clan becomes decadent, its ancient traditions (laws) perish. When traditions
perish, the entire clan is indeed overcome by lawlessness.
41. O Krishna! When lawlessness prevails, the women of the clans become corrupt. O scion
of the Vrishnis! When women are corrupted, mixture of classes (promiscuity) prevails.
42. Promiscuity results only in hell to those destroyers of the clans, as also to the members
of the clan. For (being without legitimate progeny to perform obsequies), the spirits of
their ancestors fall, deprived of the offerings of rice ball and water.
43. By the misdeeds of these ruiners of clans and promoters of promiscuity, the
immemorial traditions of the communities and clans are uprooted.
44. O Janardana! We have heard that residence in hell awaits men, the religious traditions
of whose clans have been destroyed.
45. Alas! What great sin have we resolved to commit when we prepared ourselves to
destroy our kinsmen out of greed for the pleasures of a kingdom!
46. Far better would it be for me if the sons of Dhritarashtra, with weapons in hand, kill
me in battle, unarmed and unresisting!
47. So saying, Arjuna, with his mind overwhelmed with sorrow, abandoned his bow and
arrows and sat down on the chariot seat.