Chapter 2. Yoga of Wisdom: Verse 4

Sanskrit Verse

अर्जुन उवाच |
कथं भीष्ममहं सङ्ख्ये द्रोणं च मधुसूदन |
इषुभि: प्रतियोत्स्यामि पूजार्हावरिसूदन ||


Arjuna uvaacha
katham bheeshmam-aham sankhye dronam cha madhusoodana
Ishubhih pratiyotsyaami poojaarhaavari-soodana

English Translation

Arjuna said:
O Madhusudana(Krishna), how can I fight back (direct my arrows) to Bhishma & Drona. who are worthy of worship, in this war, O destroyer of foes (Krishna)

Commentary & Explanation

Arjuna sees grandfather Bhishma and Drona in the enemy camp and is over with sorrow again. "How can I even shoot back at them" he asks.

A wise man always reveres his elder, especially when they were Drona and Bhishma; those who practically raised Arjuna and taught him everything. Respecting and worshipping elder had been a part of Indians culture for long time. [Even when Arjuna had to fight against Bhishma and Drona previously when they had attacked Virata's Matysa Kingdom, Arjun had started the battle by shooting couple of arrows first at the feet of both Drona and Bhishma as a mark of respect for elders.]

Arjuna's father died when he was just a small boy, he was practically raised by Bhishma, Bhishma protected them throughout their child, Bhishma's love for Pandavas was abundant. Bhishma was a great personality too, he had given up his claim for the kingdom for the sake offufilling his father's wish, he had remained a celibate all his life.

Drona taught Pandavas the art of warfare from their childhood, Arjuna was Drona's most beloved student, he made Arjuna the world's greatest archer (he even took Ekalavya's thumb for it), Drona had taught Arjuna how to use Brahmastra, the most powerful weapon. He taught his own son Ashwathama, the secret of Brahmastra only partially. [Drona felt, no one among his students were fit to learn the secret of Brahmastra except Arjuna]

Arjuna's emotions towards Bhishma and Drona was natural. But does not behove the wise one. Their relationship in the past was very loving and good. But the present scenario is entirely different. They (Bhishma & Drona) have lost touch with the higher intelligence, they are siding with the Kauravas for petty reasons.

Arjuna is not understanding that he is not waging the war for the sake of the greed of wealth or any personal grudge, rather the war is to establish Dharma.



SankhyeIn battle
MadhusoodanaKiller of demon Madhu (Krishna)
IshubhihWith arrows
PratiyotsyaamiShall I counter
PoojaarhaauWorthy of worship; puja=worship, Arha=worthy, deserving