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CHAPTER ONE

ARJUNA OBSERVES ARMIES
AT KURUKSETRA

King Dhrutrastra Said
‘O Sanjay, much, much eager I am to listen,
Through thy divine voice and vision,
The war on the battlefield of Kuruksetra’,
Impatiently asked, blind king Dhratarastra,
‘Fought between my brave sons Kauravas,
And my cousin Pandu’s sons Pandavas.’
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Sanjaya said
O King, there, wonderful Pandava’s war formation!
Stunned! Thus spoke to Guru Drona, Duryodhana.
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Duryodhana said
Guruji, behold! That incredible war formation,
By thy genius disciple, king Drupada’s son.
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Here are great warriors Bhima and Arjuna
And likes, Drupada, Virata, and Yuyudhana
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And powerful fighters Dhrustaketu, Kashiraja
And Purujit, Saibya, Chekitana, Kuntibhoja.
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And Subhadra’s son mighty young Abhimanyu,
And Draupadi’s sons and Uttamauja Yudhamanyu.
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But Guruji, we too here have warriors flooded,
With Horsemen, Bowmen, Charioteers loaded.
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Thou, thyself, O mighty warriors’ warrior!
Matchless victorious Bhisma Pitamaha the furor!
And bowman, the most generous, supreme Karna,
And Ashvatthama, Bhurishrava, great Vikarna.
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They all are very loyal to the throne,
And to lay their lives ready, O Guru Drona.
Our friends here are true heroes of war,
And superior to our foes far, far, far.
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Unlimited Pitamaha! A mountain invincible!
But limited is Bhima like a fig feeble.
When Pitamaha, the grandsire’s our chieftain,
Who on earth over us can victory attain?
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So Guruji! Must all rise to the occasion,
And provide Pitamaha full protection,
And must everyone fight place strategic,
And help write kuru’s history heroic.
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Then, Bhisma roared, his conch-shell blew.
There, Duryodhana cheered and almost flew,
Day dreaming the victory in the battle,
Ignorant, of Lord Krsna’s power to rattle.
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Sudden uproar of drums, bugles,
Trumpets and horns highly tumultuous,
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Filled the earth and sky with furor
Made them all tremble and shudder.
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Lord Krsna steered His chariot heavenly,
Drawn by white horses, looked lively n lovely.
The creator of the universe Himself there!
To help guide Arjuna, the great warrior,
Illuminated stars and the three skies,
Momentarily blinded every one’s eyes,
Caused the chill run up Kuru’s spines,
Made happy and joyous Pandava’s Lines.
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Lord Krsna blew Pancajanya, His conch-shell
That reverberated earth and sky as well,
Shattered the minds of Kurus as hell,
Caused Pandavas and their supporters to swell.
Then blew Arjuna, the Devadutta,
And blew Bhima, the Paundra,
Like a thunder storm with heavy hail.
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Then blew knights and kings one by one.
Prince Yudhisthira, Pandu’s eldest son
Blew his conch-shell, Anantvijaya,
Nukul, Sahadev: Sughosh, Manipushpaka
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Delighted were Pandavas their hearts littered,
Debilitated Kauravas, with hearts shattered.
Their moral doomed very, very, very low,
By almighty Lord Krsna’s cosmic glow.
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Armies on both sides in position,
And the war was about to be begun,
Gandiv readied by great Arjuna,
Saw soldiers, friends, kith and kin
Ready to fight and kill and win,
He spoke to Lord Krsna, following.
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Arjuna said
O Infallible! Place our divine chariot
Between our two armies and wait,
For me to see with whom to fight
And free them from earthly right.
Kauravas surely are evil minded
And their supporters misguided.
Our victory is sure and certain,
As Thou art our guru and chieftain
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When Krsna heard Arjuna’s request,
Swiftly He moved the devine chariot,
Between the armies to see everyone,
So that he could fight with no confusion.
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Lord of Lords said
O Partha, behold! Chieftains, Friends, Gurus,
Bhisma, Drone, Kith, Kin, Karna and Kurus.
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Arjuna saw friends, brethren, kith and kin
Gurus, sons, grandsons, gathered to win.
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Seeing Pitamaha and Guru Dronacharya,
Friends, well wishers and Guru Krupacharya,
Overwhelmed with woe and compassion,
Arjuna, the great soul and a godly person.
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Said to Lord Krsna! O mighty and pure!
Look at these poor soldiers and friends here,
Lined up to kill each other and perish;
My mouth’s is drying and limbs feverish!
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Nervous I am and my body trembling,
Weakness catching on me, my hairs rising.
Much loss of life be here on this land,
Gandiv, my bow, is slipping off my hand.
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My legs shivering, unable to stand,
And memory felling to understand.
We will, my Lord, face great misfortune,
Fearful is my mind and out of tune.
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Killing one’s own friends and kinsmen!
For happiness or even kingdom of heaven!
Don’t you feel is sin, O Madhusudan?
Doors of hell will welcome us, O Purest!
Prefer I to take to the forest,
And in seclusion rest of life waste.
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O Govind, of what avail is such kingdom or life,
If we have to live without them, whom we like.
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O Krsna! Friends, sons, grandsons, teachers,
Kinsmen and brethren are here to kill us,
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And are even ready to lay their lives.
Why kill them and widow their wives?
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O Krsna! Why this war should I fight?
Is killing friends and kinsmen right?
May be kingdom of three worlds bright,
I won’t but, even for it, this war fight.
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Impious we will be, if we kill them.
By killing them, what do we gain?
Unfortunate it’s to kill the brethren.
I want not kingdom nor name nor fame.
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O Keshava, these men are greedy and selfish
And stand ready to sin and to kill us.
But what has maligned our conscience?
To sin and kill why should we wish?
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Annihilation, clearly I see on the horizon,
And death blow to rich heavenly tradition,
And social downfall and rise of irreligion.
Where is, O Krsna, our vision to reason?
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Women become victim of irreligion,
And are mobbed by the wolfish men,
And are strayed, betrayed and slain,
Raising as rats unwanted population.
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Hell, certainly, will descend on earth,
And to anarchy and chaos give birth,
And leave no room for good old tradition,
And peace, happiness, truth and liberation.
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We, of all, to kill and sin here!
What’s wrong with us, O my Dear?
Greed for kingdom and worldly desires!
Should motivate us to kill near and dears!
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Killing is sinful and will take us to hell,
To dwell in there! We know it so horrible.
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O Lord! Let them kill me unarmed,
If they want, but they be not harmed.
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Sanjay said
O King! Overpowered by grief and sorrow,
Helpless, Arjuna set aside his bow and arrow.
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OM OM OM