pāñcajanyaṁ hṛṣīkeśo
devadattaṁ dhanañjayaḥ
pauṇḍṛaṁ dadhmau mahā-śaṅkhaṁ
bhīma-karmā vṛkodaraḥ
Bhagavad-gītā 1.15

Hṛṣīkeśa Śrī Kṛṣṇa blew his conch-shell known as Pancajanya; Dhanaïjaya blew his conch known as Devadatta; and Bhīma, the performer of herculean tasks, blew his great conch known as Paundra.”

Kṛṣṇa’s conch shell is named Pancajanya. Why? The sound of this Pancajanya purifies the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. Impurities can come within these five elements because they are material. So that these elements, present in the bodies of the devotees would not get any contamination, Kṛṣṇa blew his Pancajanya conch shell. Thus all hearts became clear.

The blowing of the Kauravas conch shells causes greed to satisfy sensual urges, and lust to awaken and grow in the heart. The hearing of that sound is contaminating. Envy, hate and anger increase at this sound, as well as lust. Therefore, immediately after the Kaurava soldiers blew their conch shells, Kṛṣṇa blew His conch shell and instructed Arjuna and the other Pāṇḍavas to blow theirs.

By doing this, the sound of the Kaurava conch shells would not be able to enter into the ears of their soldiers. If sound from materialists and wicked people fall into the ears of the pious, then their consciousness becomes contaminated and one becomes absorbed in lamentation. Therefore Kṛṣṇa and the Pāṇḍavas loudly blew their conch shells.

anantavijayaṁ rājā
kuntī-putro yudhiṣṭhiraḥ
nakulaḥ sahadevaś ca
Bhagavad-gītā 1.16

“Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, the son of Kuntī, blew the conch named Anantavijaya; Nakula blew the Sughoṣa conch and Sahadeva blew the conch known as Maṇipuṣpaka.”

Kṛṣṇa blew His Pancajanya, Arjuna blew his Devadatta, Bhīma blew his great conch known as Paundra, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira blew the conch named Anantavijaya, Nakula blew the Sughoṣa conch and Sahadeva blew the conch known as Manipuspaka.

What resulted from the blowing of their conch shells? All the devotees were filled with great enthusiasm and great potency arose within them. All misconceptions left them and they felt great strength.

Many impurities are inside the five elements. Therefore it is important to always cleanse them. Just as different metals can get tarnished on their surfaces, in the same way the five elements in the body can become contaminated at any time. Thus, transcendental sound, sabda-brahma is very helpful and should be always used to purify the body and environment.

Therefore, to purify the warriors on their side and to give them fresh enthusiasm, Kṛṣṇa and the Pāṇḍavas blew their conch shells.

kāśyaś ca parameṣvāsaḥ
śikhaṇḍī ca mahā-rathaḥ
dhṛṣṭadyumno virāṭaś ca
sātyakiś cāparājitaḥ
drupado draupadeyāś ca
sarvaśaḥ pṛthivī-pate
saubhadraś ca mahā-bāhuḥ
śaṅkhān dadhmuḥ pṛthak pṛthak

Bhagavad-gītā 1.17-18

“O King of the earth, Dhṛtarāṣṭra! That great archer the King of Kāśī, the mahārathī Sikhaṇḍī, Dhṛṣṭadyumna, Virāṭa-rāja, the unconquerable Sātyaki, King Drupada, the sons of Draupadī, and Abhimanyu the son of Subhadrā, then loudly resounded their respective conch-shells on all sides.”

Upon the blowing of these auspicious conch shells, all the other pious kings and warriors on the side of the Pāṇḍavas responded with their own conch shells. Sanjaya described all this to Dhṛtarāṣṭra.

Hṛṣīkeśa, the protector and master of all the senses gave nourishment and energy to the Pāṇḍavas’ soldiers by the blowing of the conch shells. Thus, He gave fresh śakti to the devotees.

As ācāryas and gurus bestow their potency within the hearts of their disciples by their divine words making them very powerful, in this way Kṛṣṇa gave potency to all the Pāṇḍavas and their soldiers by this sounding of the conch shells.

sa ghoṣo dhārtarāṣṭrāṇāṁ
hṛdayāni vyadārayat
nabhaś ca pṛthivīṁ caiva
tumulo ’bhyanunādayan

Bhagavad-gītā 1.19

“Reverberating between the earth and sky, the tumultuous sound of those conches shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.”

As those on the side of Duryodhana and Dhṛtarāṣṭra heard the sounds of the Pāṇḍavas and their soldiers blowing their conch shells, their hearts began to quake as they trembled. The grip on their weapons loosened. Some began to faint while standing in their chariots. Some soldiers’ armor slipped from their bodies, while others simply sat down and began to weep.

The earth and sky itself began to shake from the loud reverberation of the conch shells. Wherever this sound went, the atmosphere was shaken. This is the power of God. This power is also present with the devotees.

For instance, a materialist studies very hard and becomes quite learned, but still cannot maintain with ease a family, a home or a property. The devotee of God however, shakes the entire earth with his potency and personality. He makes the whole world spin because he has the potency of God present within him. When Kṛṣṇa and the Pāṇḍavas blew their respective conch shells the earth, the sky and the clouds all shook.

Where is rasa? How far is the potency of mundane rasa and how much effect or potency does transcendental rasa have? What is transcendental śakti called and what is its ability, and what is the nature of mundane rasa where its śakti has no power?

Bhīṣma-pitāmaha blew his conch shell for the happiness of Duryodhana and many other instruments were also played, but what power does this have? Just as materialists are seen to create big music festivals with such loud music, but what potency does it have? It is very insignificant. However, the kīrtana of the devotees has a transcendental power which can rock the world. The distinction between mundane rasa and its power, and transcendental rasa and its power is shown here.

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