sañjaya uvāca —
dṛṣṭvā tu pāṇḍavānīkaṁ
vyūḍhaṁ duryodhanas tadā
ācāryam upasaṅgamya
rājā vacanam abravīt

Bhagavad-gītā 1.2

Sañjaya said: O King, after surveying the Pāṇḍava army arrayed in military formation, Duryodhana then approached Droṇācārya and spoke the following words.


This Bhagavad-gītā is the song of God. By hearing this song the living entities achieve liberation. Therefore this gītā appeared through the speech of Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇa observed, “Having come to the place of dharma, has anyone’s consciousness changed or not?”

Sanjaya witnessed the events unfolding on the battlefield. He saw Duryodhana observing the army of the Pāṇḍavas, and how he saw that they were very happy. There was no sign or symptom of sadness amongst them. The beloved associates of God are infused with God’s śakti, therefore how can any kind of sadness or fear come up from within them?

Seeing the happy state of the Pāṇḍavas, Duryodhana went to his Guru, Droṇācārya. Duryodhana new that in the war Droṇācārya was on his side, but his affection and partiality was with the Pāṇḍavas and that among the five brothers, he especially had affection for Arjuna.

Therefore, let us consider the nature of wicked people. Seeing anyone who is against their motive, they will attack them and try to cause them distress. Duryodhana went to Droṇācārya and tried to pain him with his sharp speech. He shot arrows with his words at the heart of Droṇācārya.

First Duryodhana saw the army of the Pāṇḍavas. Those people who are on the side of dharma and fight for its cause are called dharmic. Their nature and consciousness will be soft and full of rasa. If you go to any sādhu and see that he is very pleasant, humble, soft and bighearted, then you should understand that love of God is in his heart.

If in someone, you find traits like harsh speech, dirtiness, if he barks like a dog and is always absorbed in insignificant trivial matters, then you should understand that he is an enjoyer. It is not possible to cover one’s nature by the changing of dress.

mana na rangaya yogī rangaya yogī kapaḍa

The spiritual aspirant cannot change the tendency of his mind simply by coloring his cloth. The mind must be colored with love of God. Those people whose hearts and minds have not become colored with anurāga will always be restless, disturbed and full of agitation. Seeing the happiness of another makes them mad, crazy.

Duryodhana saw that the Pāṇḍava army was much smaller than his own, but all the soldiers were very pleasant and healthy looking. This internal satisfaction and happiness is not possible for anyone to have if he has not received love of God or vraja-rasa. Those who do not have this love will always burn within when seeing those with it. Wicked people cannot tolerate the happiness of others.

āmāra jīvana sadā pāpe rata,
nāhiko puṇyera leśa
parere udvega diyāchi je kato
diyāchi jīvere kleśa

“Throughout my whole life I have been addicted to sin, never performing any pious activities. I have simply been a source of disturbance and suffering for others.”

nija sukha lāgi’ pāpe nāhi ḍori’
doyā-hīna svārtha-paro
para sukhe duḥkhī, sadā mithyā-bhāṣī
para-duḥkha sukha koro

“For my own pleasure I never fear to commit any sin. I am devoid of pity and full of selfishness; I’m sorry at others’ happiness and am an inveterate liar. Indeed, I take delight in others’ miseries.”

They are so selfish that seeing the happiness of others, they feel great sadness and seeing the sadness of others, they feel great happiness. This was Duryodhana’s disposition that day.

Seeing the position of the Pāṇḍavas and their army, Duryodhana immediately went to Droṇācārya.

paśyaitāṁ pāṇḍu-putrāṇām
ācārya mahatīṁ camūm
vyūḍhāṁ drupada-putreṇa
tava śiṣyeṇa dhīmatā
Bhagavad-gītā 1.3

“O Ācārya! Behold this great army of the Pāṇḍavas, arranged in a military phalanx by your intelligent disciple Dhṛṣṭadyumna, son of Drupada.”


Duryodhana exclaimed, “Pasyaitam! Pasyaitam! Look! Look at the sons of Pāṇḍu!”

Duryodhana did not refer to his master as Guru, rather he sarcastically called him ‘Ācārya’. Duryodhana taunted his Guru in this way as if to say, “You are not worthy of being called a brāhmaṇa or a Guru, you are merely an Ācārya—a preceptor. To fill your belly, you left the dharma or duty of a brāhmaṇa and came to work for kṣatriyas. You serve us like a slave, eating our grains to maintain your life. You showed our enemies more affection than to us, yet you have no fixed position. Today you are the Ācārya here, tomorrow you may be elsewhere as you have no fixed loyalty.”

Duryodhana further taunted his Guru, “How is this?”

vyūḍhāṁ drupada-putreṇa

“You fought with Drupada, bound him and brought him to your feet. After you released him, he had a son named Dhrstadyumna who was born with the sole purpose of killing you, but you are so foolish that you accepted him as your disciple and taught him all you knew. Oh, just see your magnanimity! Now this disciple of yours is standing opposite you to fight. Still, you have not awakened! You don’t support our side. You have affection for them. You don’t accept me as your disciple, yet you think of the Pāṇḍavas as your disciples!”

This behavior is called “shooting arrows at another with one’s words.” People speak like this to enrage another, like an elephant driver who prods his steed with a sharp instrument to agitate him and make him ready to trample anything in his path. Duryodhana was similarly trying to enrage Droṇācārya so that he would fight with more intensity.

Some people taunt sincere Vaiṣṇavas with their arrow-like words, trying to destroy their enthusiasm for service and their faith in devotees. This was the nature of Duryodhana. Here we see the nature of gross sense-enjoyers and wicked men.

Therefore it is imperative to stay far away from those who are wicked and antagonistic to devotion.

Asat sāṅga visrayam sat-saṅga sevadhir nrnam

Serving devotees or those who are pure is beneficial. If one cannot serve those who appear before him as embodiments of truth, then one achieves no benefit.

Duryodhana confronted his Guru Droṇācārya. He said, “Look at the great army of the Pāṇḍavas.”

Duryodhana teased Droṇācārya by saying, “Look at the immense army of the Pāṇḍavas.” Why was he saying this? So that Droṇācārya would become angry towards all those on the opposing side. Duryodhana didn’t want Droṇācārya to feel any compassion towards the Pāṇḍavas and their army. For instance, if those who were once very dear and had received so much affection suddenly became oppositional and stood ready to fight, then anger would naturally come. The feeling of, “I gave you so much love and kindness, and now you have become my enemy!” would surely arise. This especially when one is senior, a guardian and one’s juniors are on the opposing side.

Duryodhana is implying, “Look, this Arjuna was your dearest disciple and now he is ready to kill you!” though he did not name Arjuna directly. Duryodhana used the name of all the Pāṇḍavas collectively–Pāṇḍu putranam. He endeavored to incite Droṇācārya’s anger with the Pāṇḍavas as a whole.

Anyone with love for God will be peaceful, pure, and tranquil. Enjoyers on the other hand become agitated and maddened when there is any interruption to their sense gratification. Such sense enjoyers disturb others, trying to manipulate them into helping fulfill their own sensual desires.

Now Duryodhana is urging his guru Droṇācārya, “Kill them all! Leave no one. Show no mercy and give no quarter. Don’t delay!” he says, “Destroy them all.”

What is his intention? He wanted to make Droṇācārya enthusiastic to fight, because if he won, then all the Pāṇḍavas wealth, property and women would be his own to enjoy. Therefore he went to his Guru and began to entice him into battle. He did not call him Guru, or brāhmaṇa-deva. He called out to him, “Hey Ācārya,” like one taunts an ordinary man. The nature and consciousness of sense enjoyers is always impure. Such a wicked person can never give proper respect to another because there is a fire burning within him.

Kṛṣṇa thus shows the difference between the nature of prema; love, and the nature of gross sense enjoyers. Kṛṣṇa showed the distinction between the path of love and the path of lust.

Although Sanjaya described this in an indirect way to Dhṛtarāṣṭra since he was materially and spiritually blind from birth, such words paid no heed to his ears.

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