Chapter 1. Despondency of Arjuna: Verse 1

Sanskrit Verse

धृतराष्ट्र उवाच:
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः
मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय


Dhritarashtra uvaca:
dharmakshetre kurukshetre samaveta yuyutsavah
mamakah pandavashchaiva kimAkurvata sanjaya

English Translation

Dhrtarastra said: O Sanjaya, after gathering in the holy field of Kuruksetra with the intent to fight, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do?

Commentary & Explanation

Sanjaya imparting his Vision to Dhritarashtra

Dhritarashtra, the blind king was the father of Kauravas and the uncle of Pandavas. He was knowledgeable on the topics of administration, warfare and so on. He knew Pandavas were righteous and their intentions were good, however because of his blind attachment to his sons he rarely admonished them for their wicked acts, encouraged by this the Kauravas became more and more arrogant and freely did wicked things to Pandavas.

Sanjaya, the son of Gavalgani the charioteer was a disciple of sage Vyasa.

Dhritarashtra being a blind man wanted to know what was happening on the battle field, sage Vyasa offers him vision of the battlefield, however Dhritarashtra fearing the results (as he was biased towards Kauravas) did not want to see the battle live. Sage Vyasa grants his disciple Sanjaya (and devoted assistant of King Dhritarashtra) the vision of the Battle field.

Kurukshetra is the name of the place of Kurus, ancestors of both Kauravas & Pandavas. (A Village by the name Kurukshetra exists even today in the Northern part of India), this is where the battle is happening, thus named Battle of Kurukshetra.

Spiritual View: The mind(Dhritarashtra) being blind is attached to its limited identity of self (Sons), though it is taught right knowledge, disciplined through right meditation because of residual clinging to limited identity it will side itself with the lower qualities.



DhritarashtrahKing dhritarashtrah
Dharma-kshetreIn the holy place
KurukshetraKurukshetra (Kshetra=place) is a place in the northern part of India; Place of Kurus
SamavetahDesiring to fight
MamakahMy party (sons)
PandavahThe sons of Pāṇḍu
AkurvataDid they do
SanjayaO sanjaya