Chapter one discusses Arjuna’s doubts and grief to Lord Krishna on the battlefield.
After the conch shells have been heard all over the battlefield, Arjuna asks Lord Krishna to place his chariot between the two armies. When Arjuna sees his uncles, grand-uncles, teachers, brothers, cousins, sons, nephews and many more he becomes overcome with deep compassion and says: “when I see these kinsmen arrayed for battle, my limbs give way and my mouth getting parched, my hair stands on end and a shiver runs all over my body”.
“Na kaankshe vijayam Krishna na cha raajyam sukhani cha, kim no raajyana govinda kim bhogairjeevitena vaa” (ch.1, 32)
“Krishna I do not covet victory, nor kingdom, nor pleasures, Govinda, of what use will kingdom, or luxuries, or even life be to us”.
By this sentebce we can see arjuna’s grief and his rejection to go on with the war which is inevitable. Arjuna thinks of the benefits which will eventually be won by the successors of this war. Arjuna also sees the grief of killing family members, teachers, friends, he will not win heaven if he will do so. Another issue seen here, is Arjuna is afraid of killing, as it is a big crime, the karma is hard on him.
“Utsannakuladharmaanaam manushyaanaam janaardana narake’niyatam vaaso bhavateetyanushushruma” (ch.1, 44)
“Krishna we hear that even men who have lost their family tradition (Dharma) dwell in hell for an indefinite period of time”
You can see Arjuna is worried of the outcome of his deeds, about his Karma, and of course about his future life. With eyes full of tears and agitated he sits and is not willing to fight!
• This may sound like a criticism on Arjuna, but it isn’t so, it just comes to show how he felt in the battlefield, and what were his reasons for not fighting.
In the next post, Lord Krishna starts his teachings to Arjuna.