Bhagavad Gita Today August 16, 2019

Date: 
Fri, 2019-08-16

Why things are the way they are, and what we can do about it.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 1.1 (Purport to 1.01 continued)

Dhritarashtra said: O Sanjaya, after my sons and the sons of Pandu assembled in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukshetra, desiring to fight, what did they do?

PURPORT (excerpt):

The word dharma-kshetra (a place where religious rituals are performed) is significant because, on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was present on the side of Arjuna. Dhritarashtra, the father of the Kurus, was highly doubtful about the possibility of his sons' ultimate victory. In his doubt, he inquired from his secretary Sanjaya, "What did they do?" He was confident that both his sons and the sons of his younger brother Pandu were assembled in that Field of Kurukshetra for a determined engagement of the war. Still, his inquiry is significant. He did not want a compromise between the cousins and brothers, and he wanted to be sure of the fate of his sons on the battlefield.

Because the battle was arranged to be fought at Kurukshetra, which is mentioned elsewhere in the Vedas as a place of worship--even for the denizens of heaven--Dhritarashtra became very fearful about the influence of the holy place on the outcome of the battle. He knew very well that this would influence Arjuna and the sons of Pandu favorably, because by nature they were all virtuous. Sanjaya was a student of Vyasa, and therefore, by the mercy of Vyasa, Sanjaya was able to envision the Battlefield of Kurukshetra even while he was in the room of Dhritarashtra. And so, Dhritarashtra asked him about the situation on the battlefield.

Both the Pandavas and the sons of Dhritarashtra belong to the same family, but Dhritarashtra's mind is disclosed herein. He deliberately claimed only his sons as Kurus, and he separated the sons of Pandu from the family heritage. One can thus understand the specific position of Dhritarashtra in his relationship with his nephews, the sons of Pandu.

As in the paddy field the unnecessary plants are taken out, so it is expected from the very beginning of these topics that in the religious field of Kurukshetra, where the father of religion, Sri Krishna, was present, the unwanted plants like Dhritarashtra's son Duryodhana and others would be wiped out and the thoroughly religious persons, headed by Yudhishthira, would be established by the Lord. This is the significance of the words dharma-kshetre and kuru-kshetre, apart from their historical and Vedic importance.