Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gitabhasya of Jagannatha Prakasa: 1:14-23

The Gitabhasya
Of Jagannatha Prakasa

Translation and Commentary by Jagannatha Prakasa (John of AllFaith © 1993/2008)

Arjuna Vishada Yoga:
The Yoga of Arjuna's Sorrow

1:14-19: Thereafter, seated on a great chariot drawn by white horses Madhava [Sri Krsna] and Pandava [Arjuna] likewise blew their celestial conchs.
    Bhagavan Sri Krsna is no mere human! Whereas the Kauravas and their supporter sounded their mighty horns as warriors of great prowess, when Sri Krsna sounded His horn it was a celestial blast, a divine utterance! Because Arjuna was on the side of the Lord his horn was likewise empowered with divine potency.

    The various names of the Lord and His associates refer to various past times and glories. For instance here the Lord is referred to as Madhava which references Sri Krsna as Master of all energies. When Sri Madhava sounded his transcendental conk He did so as the Lord of all such sound vibrations. In the same way as you read the text be mindful of the names and attributes because they tell us so much!

Hrishikesha [Sri Krsna] blew Panchajanya, Dhananjaya [Arjuna] blew Devadatta and Bhima (whose actions inspire fear), sounded the great conch named Paundra.

King Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, blew his conch, named Anantavijaya. Nakula and Sahadeva sounded Sughosa and Manipuspaka.

    The Pandavas:
      Sons of Goddess Kunti (Devi Kunti)
    • King Yudhisthira
    • Bima
    • Arjuna
      Sons of Goddess Madri (Devi Madri)
    • Nakula
    • Sahadeva

That expert archer the king of Kashi named Shikhandhi, the great chariot fighter Dhristadyumna and Virata, as well as Satyaki the unconquerable --

O lord of the Earth [Dhritarashtra] -- and Drupada, the sons of Draupadi and the well armed son of Subhadra [Abhimanyu] all sounded their respective conchs.

That tumultuous uproar shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra and even oscillated the sky and earth!

    King Dhritarashtra had chosen to rely on material power and force. Given the choice between having Sri Krsna Personally among his companions or controlling the Lord's wealth he had chosen the way of material illusion rather than the way of spiritual potency. He did not understand that Lord's very name Hrishikesha signified that Sri Krsna is the Master of the senses! Now as the transcendental conks of the Pandava forces sounded the hearts of the Kauravas sank! The King's mind questioned his decision however it was too late, his course was set and his duty drove him forward. He was ready for war even if that meant fighting against God Himself!

1:20: Then adorned in battle attire and bearing the banner of Hanuman, the son of Pandu [Arjuna] prepared to engage. Beholding the sons of Dhritarashtra, he took up his arrows and spoke these words unto Hrishikesha [Sri Krsna], O lord of the earth.

1:21-23: Arjuna said, O Unlapsing Vishnu, please place my chariot in the midst of both armies so that I may behold all those desiring to fight, both those with me and those with whom I must enter into this strife of war.

I wish to look upon those assembled here by the evil minded son of Dhritarashtra who are intent upon fighting to please him.

    Bhagavan Sri Krsna is no mere human! Here Arjuna glorifies the Lord as none other than Lord Vishnu Himself! It is Lord Vishnu who preserves all life. As Kali Yuga was dawning Arjuna realized that as a consequence of this horrific war all life was in jeopardy. As we will see below Arjuna, the greatest of warriors, feared for the very continuance of life itself! And if the earth did survive this ghastly war, what would that life be like! Would it be worth living in the aftermath of Kuruksetra? Thus Arjuna appeals to Sri Krsna as Unlapsing Vishnu, "acyuta visnu," he in whose hands alone is the continuation of life itself.

Jai Jagannatha!
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