Gita Daily Readings

1st January
Chapter
I: 1-2
 

Dhritarashtra asked: What did the Pandavas and my sons do when they had assembled on the holy land of Kurukshetra, eager to fight, Oh Sanjaya?

Sanjaya replied: Seeing the army of the Pandavas drawn up in battle array, king Duryodhana approached the preceptor and addressed him thus:

Commentary

Dhritarashtra was the blind father of Duryodhana and his brothers. He was blind in his affection for his sons, blind to dharma (righteousness or duty) and had a blind faith that physical might would triumph. Bhishma's fall on the tenth day of the battle reminded him of the unalterable law - dharma or truth alone triumphs.

Sanjaya discreetly refers to Duryodhana as the king. It is the mark of a wise man that he does not wound anyone's feelings and sentiments under any circumstance. He does not take undue advantage of even an opponent's faults. He is full of sympathy even for the wicked in their physical and mental sufferings.

The Mahabharata paints Duryodhana as the villain. There was no great sin which he had not committed. He had no respect for the elders. He had great faith in the strength of the mighty and little in the goodness of the holy. Yet, at this eventful juncture when he is embarking on a war that could well mean life or death for him, the first person he thinks of is not his evil advisers nor even the great generalissimo, but his preceptor, Drona. Without the preceptor's grace and blessing no worldly undertaking or spiritual practice can ever bear fruit. This conviction was so deeply ingrained in the ancient Indian that even the wicked Duryodhana was full of it.

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