Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 25

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 25
Bhagavad Gita Chapter I

This where is the Bhagavad Gita proper starts. I have added the chapter headings to aid in comparison with other translations, they are not part of the original Ganguli text.—John Bruno Hare])

Dhritarashtra said,—"Assembled together on the sacred plain of Kurukshetra from desire of fighting what did my sons and the Pandavas do, O Sanjaya.

Sanjaya said,—"Beholding the army of the Pandavas arrayed, king Duryodhana, approaching the preceptor (Drona) said these words: 'Behold, O preceptor, this vast army of the son of Pandu, arrayed by Drupada's son (Dhrishtadyumna), thy intelligent disciple. There (in that army) are many brave and mighty bowmen, who in battle are equal to Bhima and Arjuna. (They are) Yuyudhana, and Virata, and that mighty car-warrior Drupada, and Dhrishtaketu, and Chekitana, and the ruler of Kasi endued with great energy; and Purujit, and Kuntibhoja, and Saivya that bull among men; and Yudhamanyu of great prowess, and Uttamaujas of great energy; and Subhadra's son, and the sons of Draupadi, all of whom are mighty car-warriors. Hear, however, O best of regenerate ones, who are the distinguished ones among us, the leaders of the army. I will name them to thee for (thy) information. (They are) thyself, and Bhishma, and Karna, and Kripa who is ever victorious; and Aswatthaman and Vikarna, and Saumadatta, and Jayadratha.[1] Besides these, are many heroic warriors, prepared to lay down their lives for my sake, armed with diverse kinds of weapons, and all accomplished in battle. Our army, therefore, protected by Bhishma, is insufficient. This force, however, of these (the Pandavas), protected by Bhima, is sufficient.[2] Stationing yourselves then in the entrances of the divisions that have been assigned to you, all of you protect Bhishma alone.'—(Just at this time) the valiant and venerable grandsire of the Kurus, affording great joy to him (Duryodhana) by loudly uttering a leonine roar, blew (his) conch. Then conches and drums and cymbals and horns were sounded at once and the noise (made) became a loud uproar. Then Madhava and Pandu's son (Arjuna), both stationed on a great car unto which were yoked white steeds, blew their celestial conches. And Hrishikesa blew (the conch called) Panchajanya and Dhananjaya (that called) Devadatta; and Vrikodara of terrible deeds blew the huge conch (called) Paundra. And Kunti's son king Yudhishthira blew (the conch called) Anantavijaya; while Nakula and Sahadeva, (those conches called respectively) Sughosa and Manipushpaka.[3] And that splendid bowman, the ruler of Kasi and that mighty car-warrior, Sikhandin, Dhrishtadyumna, Virata, and that unvanquished Satyaki, and Drupada, and the sons of Draupadi, and the mighty-armed son of Subhadra—all these, O lord of earth, severally blew their conches. And that blare, loudly reverberating through the welkin, and the earth, rent the hearts of the Dhartarashtras. Then beholding the Dhartarashtra troops drawn up, the ape-bannered son of Pandu, rising his bow, when, the throwing of missiles had just commenced, said these words, O lord of earth, to Hrishikesa.[4]

Arjuna said,—'O thou that knoweth no deterioration, place my car (once) between the two armies, so that I may observe these that stand here desirous of battle, and with whom I shall have to contend in the labours of this struggle.[5]



  1. The text of the Gita has come down to us without, it may be ventured to be stated, any interpolation. The difference of reading are few and far between. For Jayadratha some texts read tathaivacha.
  2. The words Aparyaptam and Paryaptam have exercised all commentators. If paryaptam is sufficient (as it certainly is), aparyaptam may mean either more or less than sufficient. The context, however, would seem to show that Duryodhana addressed his preceptor in alarm and not with confidence of success, I, therefore, take aparyaptam to be less than sufficient.
  3. It has been observed before that Schlegel renders the names of these conches as Gigantea, Theodotes, Arundinca, Triumpphatrix, Dulcisona, and Gemmiflora, and that Professor Wilson approves of them.
  4. It seems a fashion to doubt the etymology of this word, as if commentators of the learning of Sreedhara and Sankara, Anandagiri and Nilakantha even upon a question of derivation and grammar can really be set aside in favour of anything that may occur in the Petersburgh lexicon. Hrishikesa means the lord of the senses.
  5. Ranasamudyame may also mean "at the outset of battle.