Gita  Chapter -1

Arjuna Vishada Yoga

This is the chapter describing Arjuna's sorrow. First we will see what happens in the first day of the Mahabharata war. Equally we will discuss the symbolism of Mahabharat or Mahabharatham.

Essence of the chapter - 1.

         The two armies of Pandavas and kav-ravas met in the battle field. Arjuna asked Krishna to stop the chariot between the armies so that he could take a close look at the warriors with whom he had to contend. When Krishna placed the chariot between the two armies, Arjuna  saw his grandfathers, uncles, teachers, brothers, sons, dear friends and relatives in the enemy's side.  He was suddenly overcome with grief and deep sorrow filled his heart. He took his head in his hands while the body shivered with anguish and so left the weapons slip out of his hands.  Tears filled his eyes and so sat down on the chariot.

        He said to Krishna, "Looking at the honoured elders and teachers of mine, who are eager for battle against us. I am being weakened in my heart of what use will be any kingdom or wealth obtained by killing them? What enjoyment can one find in the kingdom of the world, which is smeared with the blood of one’s close relatives, sons, friend, teachers etc? I would rather be killed by the sons of Dhritarastra than laying my hands on them. I do not want to fight. It is a great sin to kill my teachers and relatives. If I kill them, family traditions will perish.  The slayer of the families will go to hell .  Arjuna was overwhelmed with grief. He threw away his bow and arrows and sank down on the seat of the chariot.

First day of Mahabharata war

        The two paternal cousin brother familes (Pandavas and Kav-ravas) with their allies stood in the battle field in Kururshetra to fight.  When Arjuna took a glance at the enemy, he saw his own relatives and became emotionally disturbed. Arjuna expressed his grief to Krishna  who was  his own maternal cousin, brother-in-law, friend as well his charioteer. Arjuna was reluctant to fight his relatives even though they had caused immense trouble in his life. Krishna cleared Arjuna's doubts and dilemma and made him to fight the war. What he spoke is what we now read as Bhagavad Gita.

           Before the two armies signaled for attacking each other,  an interesting incident happened. Yudhistra ,the eldest Pandava announced that whomsoever want to change sides of the armies can do it right then. Surprisingly, Yuyutsu,  one of the 100 sons in the kav-ravas left his side and joined the Pandavas. Duryodhana was furious with his younger brother Yuyutsu and screamed at him as a coward and a betrayer. Then began the war.

Please click here to continue to exercise on chapter-1.  


 Source of Gita and Mahabharata war is adapted with modifications from

3Home Study Gita by Swami Dayananda Saraswati.

3Gita for Busy People by Swami Shivananda.

3"Mahabharata" by

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