Posted by: Venkat | April 16, 2008

Srimad Bhagavad Gita chapter 1, sloka 8

Priya Sadhaks,
( As always I request you to recite the Gita Dhyana Slokas and (if
possible) all the slokas of this chapter studied so far.). Please memorize this sloka as you study it.

Gita Chapter 1, Sloka 8

B=v==n=< B=I{m=xc= k:[=*xc=, k&:p=xc= s=im=it=]j=y=/ +

axv=tq==m== iv=k:[=*xc=, s==Em=diT=s=< t=q=Ev= c= ++â.è++

Sloka transliteration- Sanskrit to English

bhavAn bheeshmascha karnascha , krupascha samitinjaya |
aswatthAma vikarnascha , sowmadattistathaivacha ||

sloka word to word meaning;

B=v==n=< (bhavan)- (On our side) yourself); B=I{m=/ c= (bheeshma: cha)- Bheeshma; k:[=*/ c=, (karna: cha) – Karna, k&:p=/ c= (krupa: cha)- Krupa, s=im=it=]j=y=/ (samitinjaya:) – (who)attains only victory in battles; t=q== Av= (tathA eva)- and also; axv=tq==m== (aswatthAma)- Aswattama; iv=k:[=*/ c=, (vikarna: cha) – vikarna; s==Em=diT=/ (somadatti:) – Somadatti’s son (Bhurisravas)(are there)

Sloka short meaning;

On our side, yourself, Bheeshma, Karna, Krupa, who attains only victory in battles and also Aswattama, Vikarna and Somadatti’s son (Bhurisrawas) (are there).


I have seen one edition (Pujya Swamy Chidbhavananda) in which the last word of the second line of this sloka is given like this

aswattama vikarnascha sowmadattirjayadratha:

The name of Jayadratha is also added to the sloka. I did not see this addition in Jayadayal Goendkaji, Swamy Ramsukhdas, Ramakrishna matt,and Srila Prabhupada’s works – (All that I have.)

Duryodhan, on feeling that he had offended Drona much, now is on a soothing approach and says Drona is the first in the line of heroes of the Kaurava Army. Next comes Bheeshma, an automatic choice. But the next choice shows Duryodhan’s bias. Karna is mentioned ahead of Krupa. Being a great admirer of Karna, who became his friend by the ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ calculation, Duryodhan mentions Karna’s name. But, realising the mistake, he now adds up the title of ‘the warrior who always attains victorious in battles’ to Kripa.

Now, to these personalities:

Drona- Needs little introduction. He is the Guru of both Pandavas and Kauravas. A brahman by birth, but a great warrior nevertheless. Greatly fond of Arjuna because of the latter’s devotion to his subject, he even assured Arjuna that he will not allow anyone to
become equal to him in archery. Thus that sad event in which Drona asked for the right thumb from Aekaliva, the uninitiated genius of an archer who learnt the art by simply watching Drona teaching to others. But, out of faithfulness to the Kaurava king Dhrutharashtra, he had to fight against his favoured disciple, by whose hands he had to die ultimately.

Bheeshma- The most upright, honest, learned, righteous and supremely disciplined character in the entire Mahabharata. Son of Mata Ganga and Santanu and a legal heir to the throne, he gave up that in order to satisfy the conditions of his stepmother who insisted that she would marry Santanu, Bheeshma’s father, only if he assured that their heirs would rule.

Also, he declared that he would never marry and thus came to be called as Deva Vrata. His bravery and valour are unprecedented and he was literally unconquerable. He even fought with his preceptor, Parasurama, for many days and even Parasurama could not do anything to Bheeshma.

Out of righteousness, he was averse to fighting with women, and this led to his downfall. Amba, who wanted to marry Bheeshma in a previous birth, was born as Shikhandi
who has many feminine features besides being a maharathi. Arjuna, with the help of Bhagavan Krishna , sent Sikhandi breaking the vyuha (formation) in front of Bheeshma and Bheeshma threw down his weapons.

Arjuna rained arrows on Bheeshma. Even while being hit, Bheeshma identified each arrow and uttered ‘this is from Arjuna’ , ‘this is from Shikhandi’. He fell down completely pierced by arrows.

The blessing from his mother that he can die only by his will kept his alive. Since the war took place in Daskhinayana, when the sun travels southwards, he decided he will give up life in Uttarayana, the punya kala where the blessed give up life and pass on to higher divine lokas.

Karna- The eldest son of Kunti who was born when she was still a virgin, by chanting a divine mantra and praying to Sun god. Born with kavacha and kundala ( armour and earrings),he was let into the river in a small casket by his mother fearing she will be accused.Karna was a great warrior, and studied under Parasurama.

He was greatly insulted by the Pandavas and Drona himself saying he was a sudra since he was brought up by a charioteer. Duryodhan made him King on the spot of Anga kingdom and made him a friend for life and a confirmed enemy of the pandavas. Fell to Arjuna, though with the clever help of Sri Krishna.

Krupa- Brother in law of Drona, a Chiranjeevi according to Padmapurana.

aswatthAma balirvyaso hanumAnscha vibheeshana:
krupa; parasurAmascha saptaite chirajeevina:

Aswattama- A great warrior in his own right and the dear son of drona. Also , a chiranjeevi. Knowing his father was killed unjustly in battle, went in anger and haste and killed many sons of pandavas and also Yudhamanyu and Uttamouja while they were asleep- one of the ugliest acts of Mahabharata.

Vikarna- Brother of Duryodhan. The only person in the Kourava court who opposed the forced disrobing of Pandava Queen Drowpadi, and a great warrior. Was killed by Bheema in battle.

Sowmadatti’s son Bhurisravas- Grand son of Bahleeka, brother of Santanu and son of Sowmadatti, was a noble person, who conducted many yagyas and gave many gifts during them. A maharathi. Was killed by Satyaki in battle.

Hare Krishna

Please download the Sanskrit font here

Please download the Gita Audio here


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