Gita Daily Readings

4th January
Chapter
I: 11-13
Therefore, do ye all, stationed in your respective positions, in the several divisions of the army, protect Bhishma alone.

Duryodhana's glorious grandsire (Bhishma), the oldest of the Kauravas, in order to cheer him, now roared like a lion and blew his conch.

Then, conches and kettledrums, tabors, drums and cowhorns blared forth quite suddenly and the sound was tumultuous.

Commentary

Forgetting to whom he is talking, Duryodhana instructs the venerable teacher: "Protect the commander-in-chief." The righteous impulse of turning to the teacher at the crucial hour is smothered by accumulated evil tendencies strengthened by frequent repetitions and reinforced by insatiable lust for power. Even in the hour of danger the wicked man's haughty head refuses to bow, and his heart refuses to pray. Adversity often turns a man away from the evil path, but that is true only of one who is on the borderline between good and evil. We have seen that the same calamity which compels one to abandon the evil path and to strive to become a saint, goads another into the darker mazes of vice. Only deliberate cultivation of good habits and tendencies can effect a healthy conditioning of our heart which, even if it is not naturally bent Godward, will turn to him the moment it is given shock.

Duryodhana speaks to Drona. The latter does not reply! The insulting and impudent behavior of the wicked deserves only one treatment - indifference. The commander-in-chief, however, steps in, and, without a word, signals the commencement of the battle.

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