Venu Payyanur

Gita 1.3

pasyaitam pandu-putranam

acarya mahatim camum

vyudham drupada-putrena

tava sisyena dhimata


 “O my teacher, behold the great army of the sons of Pandu, so expertly arranged by your intelligent disciple, the son of Drupada”.

Duryodhana is thinking that Drona might decline to fight in the battle, out of affection for the Pandavas who is considered more righteous and had been his best disciples. So trying to create some anger in Drona towards them, Duryodhana sneered and exclaimed “pasyaitam: Behold these! Implying that the same Pandavas whom you love so much are preparing to fight against their own preceptor. Then to incite Drona further Duryodhana says that the military formation of the Pandava army has been arrayed by another one of his disciples, the intelligent son of Drupada. Duryodhana could have called the son of Drupada by his name Dhristadyumna; but he purposely used drupada-putra because it would remind Drona of his bitter enemy, King Drupada, who performed a sacrifice specifically to get a son who would be the slayer of Drona. This son was Dhristayumna. Duryodhana is also calling Dristadyumna intelligent because he had learned the science of warfare from the very person he was born to kill. Furthermore Duryodhana is implying that it was imprudent of Drona to teach the science of archery to the very person who was destined to kill him and who was known to be his enemy.

Though the army of the Kauravas was larger than that of the Pandavas, Duryodhana felt the Pandava army was big and formidable. This was because:-

(i) It was arrayed in such a manner, that even a small army seemed larger to Duryodhana.

(ii) All the warriors of the Pandavas army, were united and of one mind. So it seemed greater in strength and enthusiasm.

Drawing Drona’s attention to the army of the Pandavas, Duryodhana wants to say to Dronacharya, that he should not regard the army of the rival group as ordinary (small). He should fight with all his might and it would not be difficult for him to defeat the son of Dhrupad, because he was his pupil.

The leader, Duryodhana, is clearly confused. He is doubting the integrity of seniors in his team and even questioning their loyalty and judgment. If the intended purpose is to motivate and make them work harder, the result could be quite the opposite. One has to display highest level of maturity in dealing with senior managers in the team, both by experience, qualification, age, etc.

Gita 1. (4/5/6)

atra sura mahesvasa

bhimarjuna-sama yudhi

yuyudhano viratas ca

drupadas ca maha-rathah


dhrstaketus cekitanah

kasirajas ca viryavan

purujit kuntibhojas ca

saibyas ca nara-pungavah


yudhamanyus ca vikranta

uttamaujas ca viryavan

saubhadro draupadeyas ca

sarva eva maha-rathah

Here are heroes, mighty archers, equal in fighting to Bhima and Arjuna; there are also great fighters like Yuyudhana, Virata and Drupada.

There are also great, heroic, powerful fighters like Dhristaketu, Chekitana, Kasiraja, Purujit, Kuntibhoja and Saibya.

There are the mighty Yudhamanyu, the very powerful Uttamauja, the son of Subhadra and the sons of Draupadi. All these warriors are great chariot fighters.

Duryodhana’s use of the words “atra surah” in addressing Drona is an innuendo meaning: If you are thinking that the Pandavas army commanded by Dhristayumna are less than ours, they can easily be defeated and there is nothing to worry about, you are mistaken. These warriors are all mighty bowmen and equal to that of Bhima and Arjuna. Yuyudhana who is also known as Satyaki, Virata and Drupada are distinguished as “Maharathi” meaning the mightiest of chariot warriors.

Yuyudhana (Satyaki), learnt the science and art of warfare, from Arjuna, thus he was obliged to him, that he did not go to the side of Duryodhana, even though Lord Krishna had given Duryodhana, his Narayani army. In order to arouse malice in the mind of Dronacharya, Duryodhana, first of all, mentions the name of Yuyudhana, the disciple to Arjuna. He means to say, “You have taught Arjuna archery and granted him the boon that he would be a matchless archer, in this world. Thus you have so much love for him. But he is so ungrateful, that he is arrayed in the army against you, while Arjuna’s disciple Yuyudhana is arrayed on his side.”

Dronacharya had no enmity or malice against king Virata, But Duryodhana thinks that if he names Drupada after Yuyudhana, Dronacharya may think, that Duryodhana is instigating him to fight against the Pandavas, and he is arousing feelings of enmity with them. So Duryodhana names Virata before Drupada, so that Dronacharya may not see through his trick, and may fight bravely. King Virata and his three sons, named Uttara, Sveta, and Sankha were killed, in the war of Mahabharata.

How foolish this Dhrstaketu is, that he is fighting on the side of Sri Krishna, who killed his father Sisupala, with his Sudarshana, in the assembly. [Dhrstaketu was killed by Dronacharya.]

‘Chekitana- The entire yadava-army is ready to fight on our side, but that solitary yadava is fighting on the side of Pandavas. [Chekitana was killed by Duryodhana.]

The king of Kasi is very valiant, a great chariot-warrior and is fighting on the side of the Pandavas, so be careful, as you have a very formidable foe to deal with [The king of Kasi was killed, in the battle of Mahabharata.]

Though both Purujit and Kuntibhoja, being Kunti’s brothers, are maternal uncles to us and the Pandavas, yet being partial, they are arrayed to fight against us. [Purujit and Kuntibhoja-both were killed at the hands of Dronacharya,]

Saibya is the father-in-law of Yudhishthira. He is noble and very powerful. He is also our relative, but he is on the side of the Pandavas,

Yudhamanyu and Uttamauja, who are very strong and valiant warriors, have been assigned the task of protecting the wheels of my enemy Arjuna’s chariot. So keep an eye on them. [Yudhamanyu and· Uttamauja, were slain in their sleep, by Ashvatthama,]

Abhimanyu, the son to Krishna’s sister named Subhadra. He is very brave. He learnt the art of piercing and entering the “Chakravyuha”, while in his mother’s womb. So beware of him.

Draupadi gave birth to five sons named Prativindhya, Sutasoma, Srutakarma, Satanika and Srutasena respectively, from Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Watch her five sons, carefully. She openly insulted me in the assembly. So avenge that insult, by killing her five sons. [Ashvatthama killed the five sons, while they were asleep at night.]

All of them are great chariot warriors. They are well-versed in the scripture and in the use of arms (A Maharathi is one who can manage ten thousand archers). There are a large number of such great chariot warriors, in the army of the Pandavas.

Here Duryodhana is explaining the strength of his enemy and at times it looked like he is praising them and admiring their competence and capabilities. May be he was so much worried about the strength of his enemy that he is confused about his own strengths and ability to win the war. While it is important to make correct assessment about our competitors, their strengths and weakness, being obsessed with them does not help.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *