Chapter 1. Despondency of Arjuna: Verse 10

Sanskrit Verse

अपर्याप्तं तदस्माकं बलं भीष्माभिरक्षितम् |
पर्याप्तं त्विदमेतेषां बलं भीमाभिरक्षितम् ||


Aparyaaptam tadasmaakam balam bheeshmaabhirakshitam
paryaaptam tvidameteshaam balam bheemaabhirakshitam

English Translation

These forces of ours protected by Bhishma are unlimited in numbers (but may be inadequate)
The forces of those(Pandavas) protected by Bhima is limited(but may be adequate)

Commentary & Explanation

Duryodhana is saying that his army commanded by Bhishma is large compared to the army of Pandavas commanded by Bhima, which was small.

Dull minded people rate quantity over quality. Duryodhana is rejoicing that he has a larger army of 11 Akshauhini compared to mere 7 Akshauhini of Pandava army. He is forgetting the quality of warriors on the side of Pandavas and whose side is Righteous and spirited.

1 Akshauhini Consists of:

  • 21,870 chariots
  • 21,870 elephants
  • 65,610 horses
  • 109,350 infantry

In Sanskrit, word Apryaptam means unlimited as well as inadequate, same way Pryaptam means limited as well as adequate.

Here the poet Vyasa is playing with words to indicate the irony that superior number may not necessarily mean superiority.

It can also indicate that Duryodhana was having self doubts despite the larger number of soldiers. Self-doubt, desire, fear, inferiority complex are so closely related and intertwined.

There are two perspectives:

  • Right Perspective: is born of rationality, mental equanimity and its characteristic is acceptance of reality.
  • Wrong Perspective: is born of Arishadvargas(Six Enemies=Desire, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Pride, Envy), it is boosted by fantasizing, i.e not set in reality.

Wrong perspective makes a man prone to both:

  • Superiority complex: born of imagining reality in good light, it exists only as long it is countered with reality or opposing view.
  • Inferiority complex: born of imagining reality in bad light, it exists only as long it is countered with reality or opposing view.

Duryodhana is often seen alternating between both Superiority Complex and Inferiority Complex. 

Whereas a warrior whose intention for fight is not born of Arishadvargas but righteousness is neither troubled inferiority complex nor is he elated by the superiority complex. He will accept both victory and defeat equanimously.



BheeshmaabhirakshitamProtected by Bhishma; Rakshitam=protected; Abhi=oneself
IdamAll of this
EteshaamTheirs (Pandavas)
BheemaabhirakshitamProtected by Bhima