Gita 1.7

asmakam tu visista ye

tan nibodha dvijottama

nayaka mama sainyasya

samjnartham tan bravimi te

Meaning – “know also, O best among twice born, the names of those who are the most distinguished among ourselves, the leaders of my army, these I name to thee for thy information”.

Explanation – In this verse, Duryodhana probably wants to say, that his side is in no way weaker than that of the Pandavas, but is rather stronger, yet according to political prudence however weak the army of an enemy may be; it should not be regarded as weak. Therefore, one should not have in the least, a feeling of neglect and indifference, towards the enemy. So Duryodhana already described the warriors of the other side, to make Drona careful and now he is giving the names of the warriors of his army.

However by addressing Dronacharya as “Dvijottama”, twice born, means a Brahmin, Duryodhana hints that as a Brahmin he may not be fit to lead an army of Kshatriyas. A kind of insulting statement and doubts the Gurus ability to fight as Brahmins basically adhere to the principles of the Vedas and practise Sanatana Dharma. Vedic Brahmin’s have six occupational duties, of which three are compulsory — studying the Vedas, performing Vedic rituals and practicing dharma. Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness are the qualities by which the Brahmins work. Also by saying “my army” to the Guru, Duryodhana is displaying arrogance of the highest order.

There are managers who suspect the loyalties of their own staff and this is mainly due to their weakness or fear of failure. Passing on confidential information, not doing enough to be successful, demotivating others, etc. could be the charges that they frame against anyone when failure looms large across the horizon.

Gita 1.8

bhavan bhismas ca karnas ca

krpas ca samitim-jayah

asvatthama vikarnas ca

saumadattis tathaiva ca

Meaning – There are personalities like yourself, Bhishma, Karna, Kripa, Ashvatthama, Vikarna and the son of Somadatta called Bhurisrava, who are always victorious in battle.

Explanation – “O Acharya, in our army, there are so many valiant warriors, such as you, Bhishma, Karma, Kripacharya etc., while in the army of the Pandavas, such valiant warriors are not seen. In our army, two great warriors named Kripacharya and Ashvatthama are immortal, while in the army of the Pandavas there is none. Moreover, in our army there is no scarcity of righteous persons, therefore, we need not be afraid of them.

Duryodhana mentioned the exceptional heroes in the battle, all of whom are ever-victorious. Vikarna is the brother of Duryodhana, Ashvatthama is the son of Dronacharya, and Saumadatti, or Bhurisrava, is the son of the King of the Bahlikas. Karna is the half-brother of Arjuna, as he was born of Kunti before her marriage with King Pandu. Kripacharya is the brother in law of Dronacharya.

Once again Duryodhana is displaying his arrogance and lack of respect to elders and teachers by telling Dronacharya the members of his army that includes himself and the Grandfather Bhishma, indicating that they all are his employees and nothing more.

Gita 1.9

anye ca bahavah sura

mad-arthe tyakta-jivitah


sarve yuddha-visaradah

Meaning – There are many other heroes who are prepared to lay down their lives for my sake. All of them are well equipped with different kinds of weapons, and all are experienced in military science.

Explanation – Here Duryodhana inadvertently hits upon the fate of Kaurava army in saying that they are ready to give up their lives but the word ‘tyakta-jivita’ may also be construed to mean that they are all as good as dead.

Who would like to work in an organization where the Chief Executive Officer himself is not sure about the success and indicates that all might lose their job in due course of time as the company is destined to fail?



Gita 1.10

aparyaptam tad asmakamm

balam bhismabhiraksitam

paryaptam tv idam etesam

balam bhimabhiraksitam

Meaning – Our strength is immeasurable, and we are perfectly protected by Grandfather Bhishma, whereas the strength of the Pandavas, carefully protected by Bhima, is limited.

Explanation – Duryodhana thinks that the strength of his armed forces is immeasurable, being specifically protected by the most experienced general, Grandfather Bhishma. On the other hand, the forces of the Pandavas are limited, being protected by a less experienced general, Bhima. In fact Bhima is not the Commander in Chief of the Pandava army, yet Duryodhana has mentioned his name. This is because of the fact that Duryodhana was always envious of Bhima as he knew perfectly well that if he should die at all, he would only be killed by Bhima.

The word used by Duryodhana has double meaning and he cleverly expresses his lack of confidence in his army commandeered by grandsire Bhishma. “Aparyaptam” means unlimited, but could also mean inadequate. While the obvious meaning could be that the Kaurava army is unlimited and big compared to that of the Pandava army, it is not adequate to ensure victory as there is no unity of purpose in the Kaurava side. None of the senior generals in the Kaurava army is totally and unequivocally committed to their success like that of the Pandava generals or army.

Gita 1.11


ayanesu ca sarvesu

yatha-bhagam avasthitah

bhismam evabhiraksantu

bhavantah sarva eva hi

Meaning – Now all of you must give full support to Grandfather Bhishma, standing at your respective strategic points in the phalanx of the army.

Explanation – Duryodhana clearly felt that the victory of the Kauravas depended on the presence of Bhishma and Dronacharya in the battlefield. Although he knew that the two generals had some sort of affection for the Pandavas, he hoped that all such affection would now be completely given up by them. By saying the above words, Duryodhana wants to please Bhishma, so that he may be partial to his army. Secondly, he gives instruction to the warriors of his army, to see that Sikhandi should not face Bhishma. If Sikhandi comes in front of Bhishma, the latter will not use his arms and weapons against him, because he was a woman in the previous birth.

If anything happens to the leader, it could have a devastating impact on the morale of the entire army. They might think that if Pandavas can kill the mighty Bhishma, others are like dry grass in front of a raging fire and will be eliminated in matter of minutes.


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