I know this is a surprise to you, to see a GitaDiscussion update. I apologize for my lack of updates. My husband and I will be regularly updating this as a service, and hope to inspire some nice comments from you. Hare Krsna!
Your aspiring servant,
Bhargavi devi dasi.
PS- This entry is long, but it is full of nectar!
CHAPTER ONE, TEXT 23
yotsyamanan avekse 'ham
ya ete 'tra samagatah
Let me see those who have come here to fight, wishing to please the evil-minded son of Dhrtarastra.
PURPORT by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
It was an open secret that Duryodhana wanted to usurp the kingdom of the Pandavas by evil plans, in collaboration with his father, Dhrtarastra. Therefore, all persons who had joined the side of Duryodhana must have been birds of the same feather. Arjuna wanted to see them on the battlefield before the fight was begun, just to learn who they were, but he had no intention of proposing peace negotiations with them. It was also a fact that he wanted to see them to make an estimate of the strength which he had to face, although he was quite confident of victory because Krsna was sitting by his side.
drstva tu pandavanikam
vyudham duryodhanas tada
raja vacanam abravit
Sanjaya said: O descendant of Bharata, having thus been addressed by Arjuna, Lord Krsna drew up the fine chariot in the midst of the armies of both parties.
In this verse Arjuna is referred to as Gudakesa. Gudaka means sleep, and one who conquers sleep is called gudakesa. Sleep also means ignorance. So Arjuna conquered both sleep and ignorance because of his friendship with Krsna. As a great devotee of Krsna, he could not forget Krsna even for a moment, because that is the nature of a devotee. Either in waking or in sleep, a devotee of the Lord can never be free from thinking of Krsna's name, form, qualities and pastimes. Thus a devotee of Krsna can conquer both sleep and ignorance simply by thinking of Krsna constantly. This is called Krsna consciousness, or samadhi. As Hrsikesa, or the director of the senses and mind of every living entity, Krsna could understand Arjuna's purpose in placing the chariot in the midst of the armies. Thus He did so, and spoke as follows.
sarvesam ca mahi-ksitam
uvaca partha pasyaitan
samavetan kurun iti
In the presence of Bhisma, Drona and all the other chieftains of the world, the Lord said, Just behold, Partha, all the Kurus assembled here.
As the Supersoul of all living entities, Lord Krsna could understand what was going on in the mind of Arjuna. The use of the word Hrsikesa in this connection indicates that He knew everything. And the word Partha, or the son of Kunti, or Prtha, is also similarly significant in reference to Arjuna. As a friend, He wanted to inform Arjuna that because Arjuna was the son of Prtha, the sister of His own father Vasudeva, He had agreed to be the charioteer of Arjuna. Now what did Krsna mean when He told Arjuna to "behold the Kurus"? Did Arjuna want to stop there and not fight? Krsna never expected such things from the son of His aunt Prtha. The mind of Arjuna was thus predicted by the Lord in friendly joking.
tatrapasyat sthitan parthah
pitrn atha pitamahan
acaryan matulan bhratrn
putran pautran sakhims tatha
svasuran suhrdas caiva
senayor ubhayor api
There Arjuna could see, within the midst of the armies of both parties, his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, friends, and also his fathers-in-law and well-wishers.
On the battlefield Arjuna could see all kinds of relatives. He could see persons like Bhurisrava, who were his father's contemporaries, grandfathers Bhisma and Somadatta, teachers like Dronacarya and Krpacarya, maternal uncles like Salya and Sakuni, brothers like Duryodhana, sons like Laksmana, friends like Asvatthama, well-wishers like Krtavarma, etc. He could see also the armies which contained many of his friends.
tan samiksya sa kaunteyah
sarvan bandhun avasthitan
visidann idam abravit
When the son of Kunti, Arjuna, saw all these different grades of friends and relatives, he became overwhelmed with compassion and spoke thus.
drstvemam sva-janam krsna
sidanti mama gatrani
mukham ca parisusyati
Arjuna said: My dear Krsna, seeing my friends and relatives present before me in such a fighting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.
Any man who has genuine devotion to the Lord has all the good qualities which are found in godly persons or in the demigods, whereas the nondevotee, however advanced he may be in material qualifications by education and culture, lacks in godly qualities. As such, Arjuna, just after seeing his kinsmen, friends and relatives on the battlefield, was at once overwhelmed by compassion for them who had so decided to fight amongst themselves. As far as his soldiers were concerned, he was sympathetic from the beginning, but he felt compassion even for the soldiers of the opposite party, foreseeing their imminent death. And while he was so thinking, the limbs of his body began to quiver, and his mouth became dry. He was more or less astonished to see their fighting spirit. Practically the whole community, all blood relatives of Arjuna, had come to fight with him. This overwhelmed a kind devotee like Arjuna. Although it is not mentioned here, still one can easily imagine that not only were Arjuna's bodily limbs quivering and his mouth drying up, but he was also crying out of compassion. Such symptoms in Arjuna were not due to weakness but to his softheartedness, a characteristic of a pure devotee of the Lord. It is said therefore:
yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
mano-rathenasati dhavato bahih
"One who has unflinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead has all the good qualities of the demigods. But one who is not a devotee of the Lord has only material qualifications that are of little value. This is because he is hovering on the mental plane and is certain to be attracted by the glaring material energy." (SB. 5.18.12)