Chapter 1. Despondency of Arjuna: Verse 20

Sanskrit Verse

अथ व्यवस्थितान्दृष्ट्वा धार्तराष्ट्रान् कपिध्वज: |
प्रवृत्ते शस्त्रसम्पाते धनुरुद्यम्य पाण्डव: ||
हृषीकेशं तदा वाक्यमिदमाह महीपते |


Atha vyavasthitaan drishtvaa dhaartaraashtraan kapi-dhwajah
pravritte shastra-sampaate dhanurudyamya paandavah
hrisheekesham tadaa vaakyamidamaaha mahee-pate

English Translation

O King, Thereupon seeing the Army of Kauravas positioned (in the battle formations), Arjuna who lifted his Bow readying for battle said these words to Krishna.

Commentary & Explanation

Arjuna now readying himself for the battle lifts his bow, and says these words to Krishna.

Hanuman Flag

[Arjuna and Krishna with Hanuman Flag on top of the Chariot]

Verse refers to Pandava he who had Hanuman(monkey) in his flag, we know from the Mahabharata that it was Arjuna (among Pandavas) who had Hanuman in his flag.

Arjuna means 'he who makes sincere efforts', Hanuman as we know from Ramayana is famous for his devotion to Lord Rama, he was pivotal in defeating Ravana because of the inner strength he had attained through his one-pointed devotion towards Lord Rama.

Arjuna plays a similar role to that of Hanuman in Ramayana, Arjuna dedicated himself to Lord Krishna for the sake of righteousness just like Hanuman to Lord Rama.

Stories of the Hanuman Flag

Story 1: Arjuna once while discussing story of Rama with Krishna talks of Rama-Setu(Bridge of Rama) and says he would have created a bridge of arrows instead of stones if he had lived in the time of Rama. Krishna asks Arjuna to build a bridge of arrows, Arjuna builds one. Krishna calls upon Lord Hanuman to test the quality of the bridge by walking on it. Hanuman takes a step on the bridge and soon the bridge collapses.

Seeing this Arjuna becomes humbled, he realizes how strong the army of Rama was, he apologises for his pridefulness, Hanuman blesses him and assures him to support him in war by staying on top of his chariot (as the emblem)

Story 2: Bhima once walking up the mountain finds an old monkey lying across the narrow road, irritated, Bhima asks the monkey to take its tail away so that he can walk up, the monkey appearing too weak to lift its own tail asks Bhima to move it, Bhima tries to move the tail but he could not move it an inch, he tries multiple times before concluding this must be some extraordinary monkey.

When he asks the monkey about his real nature, the monkey reveals that it was Hanuman who had come to teach Bhima a lesson in humility, Bhima elated to see Hanuman asks him to join his side in the war, Hanuman assures him that he will be watching the war sitting in Arjuna's flag.



DhaartaraashtraanSons of Dhritarashtra
Kapi-DhwajahHaving Monkey(God Hanuman) Flag
Shastra-sampaateWeapon wielding; shastra=weapon, sampaate=holding
UdyamyaTaking (bow) up
PaandavahArjuna (that Pandava who has Hanuman in his flag)
HrishikeshaKrishna, Lord of Senses
TadaAt that time
VaakyamWords/ sentences
Mahee-pateKing; lord of the earth