After that, the conchshells, drums, bugles, trumpets and horns were all suddenly sounded and the combined sound was tumultuous.
- tatah svetair hayair yukte
- mahati syandane sthitau
- madhavah pandavas caiva
- divyau sankhau pradadhmatuh
On the other side, both Lord Krishna and Arjun, stationed on a great chariot drawn horses, sounded their transcendental conchshells.
In contrast with the conch shell blown by Bhishmadeva, the conch shells in the hands of Krishna and Arjun are described as transcendental. The sounding of the transcendental conch shells indicated that there was no hope of victory for the other side because Krishna was on the side of the Pandavas. Victory is always with persons like the sons of Pandu because Lord Krishna is associated with them. And whenever and wherever the Lord is present, the goddess of fortune is also there because the goddess of fortune never lives alone without her husband. Therefore, victory and fortune were awaiting Arjun, as indicated by the transcendental sound produced by the conch shell of Vishnu, or Lord Krishna. Besides that, the chariot on which both the friends were seated had been donated by Agni (the fire-god) to Arjun, and this indicated that this chariot was capable of conquering all sides, wherever it was drawn over the three worlds.
- pancajanyam hrsikeso
- devadattam dhananjayah
- paudram dadhmau maha-sankham
- bhimma-karma vrkodarah.
Lord Krishna blew His conch shell, called Pancajanya; Alfuna blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhima, the voracious eater and performer-of Herculean tasks, blew his terrific conch shell called Paundra.
Lord Krishna is referred to as Hrisikesa in this verse because He is the owner of all senses. The living entities are part and parcel of Him, and therefore the senses of the living entities are also part and parcel of His senses. The impersonalists cannot account for the senses of the living entities, and therefore they are always anxious to describe all living entities as sense-less, or impersonal. The Lord, situated in the hearts of all living entities, directs their senses. But He directs in terms of the surrender of the living entity, and in the case of a pure devotee He directly controls the senses. Here on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra the Lord directly controls the transcendental senses of Arjun, and thus His particular name of Hrisikesa. The Lord has different names according to His different activities.
For example, His name is Madhusudana because He killed the demon of the name Madhu; His name is Govinda because He gives pleasure to the cows and to the senses; His name is Vasudeva because He appeared as the son of Vasudeva; His name is Devaki-nandana because He accepted Devaki as His mother; His name is Yashoda-nandana because He awarded His childhood pastimes to Yashoda at Vrdavan; His name is Partha-sarathi because He worked as charioteer of His friend Arjun. Similarly, His name is Hrsikesa because He gave direction to Arjun on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Arjun is referred to as Dhananjaya in this verse because he helped his elder brother in fetching wealth when it was required by the king to make expenditures for different sacrifices. Similarly, Bhima is known as Vrkodara because he could eat as voraciously as he could perform herculean tasks, such as killing the demon Hidimba. So the particular types of conchshell blown by the different personalities on the side of the Pandavas, beginning with the Lord's, were all very encouraging to the fighting soldiers. On the other side there were no such credits, nor the presence of Lord Krishna, the supreme director, nor that of the goddess of fortune. So they were predestined to lose the battle – and that was the message announc3ed by the sounds of the conch sheels.
Text 16 - 18
- anantavijayam raja
- kunti-putro yudhisthirah
- nakulah sahadevas ca
- kasyas ca paramesv-asah
- sikhandi ca maha-rathah
- dhrstadyumno viratas ca
- satyakis caparajitah.
- drupado draupadeyas ca
- sarvasah prthivi-pate
- saubhadras ca maha-bahuh
- sankhan dadhmuh prthak prthak
King Yudhisthir the son of Kunti blew his conch shell, the Ananta-vijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosa and Manipuspaka. That great archer the King of Kashi, the great fighter Sikhandi, Dhrstadyumna, Virat, the unconquerable Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and others, 0 King, such as the mighty-armed son of Subhadra, all blew their respective conch shells.
Sanjaya informed King Dhrtarashtra very tactfully that his unwise policy of deceiving the sons of Pandu and endeavoring to enthrone his own sons on the seat of the kingdom was not very laudable. The signs already clearly indicated that the whole Kuru dynasty would be killed in that great battle. Beginning with the grandsire, Bhisma, down to the grandsons like Abhimanyu and others—including kings from many states of the world—all were present there, and all were doomed. The whole catastrophe was due to King Dhrtarashtra, because he encouraged the policy followed by his sons.
- sa ghoso dhartarastranam
- hrdayani vyadarayat
- nabhas ca prthivim caiva
- tumulo bhyanunadayan
The blowing of these different conch shells became uproarious. Vibrating both in the sky and on the earth, it shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhrtarashtra.
When Bhishma and the others on the side of Duryodhana blew their respective conch shells, there was no heart-breaking on the part of the Pandavas. Such occurrences are not mentioned, but in this particular verse it is mentioned that the hearts of the sons of Dhrtarashtra were shattered by the sounds vibrated by the Paridava’s party. This is due to the Pandavas and their confidence in Lord Krishna. One who takes shelter of the Supreme Lord has nothing to fear, even in the midst of the greatest calamity.
- atha vyavasthitan drstva
- dhartarastran kapi-dhvajah
- pravrtte sastra-sampate
- dhanur udyamya pandavah
- hrsikesam tada vakyam
- idam aha mahi-pate
At that time Arjuna, the son of Pandu seated in the chariot bearing the flag marked with Hanuman took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows. 0 King, after looking at the sons of Dhrtarashtra drawn in military array, Arjun then spoke to Lord Krishna these words.
The battle was just about to begin. It is understood from the above statement that the sons of Dhrtarashtra were more or less disheartened by the unexpected arrangement of military force by the
Pandavas who were guided by the direct instructions of Lord Krishna on the battlefield. The emblem of Hanuman on the flag of Arjun is another sign of victory because Hanuman cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and Lord Rama emerged victorious.
Now both Rama and Hanuman were present on the chariot of Arjun to help him. Lord Krishna is Rama Himself, and wherever Lord Rama is. His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Sita, the goddess of fortune, are present. Therefore, Arjun had no cause to fear any enemies whatsoever. And above all, the Lord of the senses. Lord Krishna, was personally present to give him direction. Thus, all good counsel was available to Arjun in the matter of executing the battle. In such auspicious conditions, arranged by the Lord for His eternal devotee, lay the signs of assured victory.
Text 21 - 22
- arjuna uvaca
- senayor ubhayor madhye
- ratham sthapaya me ’cyuta
- yavad etan nirikse ham
- yoddhu-kaman avasthitan
- kair maya saha yoddhavyam
- asmin rana-samudyame.
Arjun said: 0 infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see those present here, who desire to fight, and with whom I must contend in this great trial of arms.
Although Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, out of His causeless mercy He was engaged in the service of His friend. He never fails in His affection for His devotees, and thus He is addressed herein as infallible. As charioteer. He had to carry out the orders of Arjun, and since He did not hesitate to do so. He is addressed as infallible. Although He had accepted the position of a charioteer for His devotee. His supreme position was riot challenged. In all circumstances. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He Krishna, the Lord of the total senses.
The relationship between the Lord and His servitor is very sweet and transcendental. The servitor is always ready to render service to the Lord, and, similarly, the Lord is always seeking an opportunity to render some service to the devotee. He takes greater pleasure in His pure devotee's assuming the advantageous position of ordering Him than He does in being the giver of orders. Since He is master, everyone is under His orders, and no one is above Him to order Him. But when He finds that a pure devotee is ordering Him, He obtains transcendental pleasure, although He is the infallible master of all circumstances.
As a pure devotee of the Lord, Arjun had no desire to fight with his cousins and brothers, but he was forced to come onto the battlefield by the obstinacy of Duryodhana, who was never agreeable to any peaceful negotiation. Therefore, he was very anxious to see who the leading persons present on the battlefield were. Although there was no question of a peacemaking endeavor on the battlefield, he wanted to see them again, and to see how much they were bent upon demanding an unwanted war.
- yotsyamanan avekse ham
- ya ete tra samagatah
- dhartarastrasya durbuddher
- yuddhe priya-cikirsavah
Let me see those who have come here to fight, wishing to please the evil-minded son of Dhrtarshtra.
It was an open secret that Duryodhana wanted to usurp the kingdom of the Pandavas by evil plans, in collaboration with his father, Dhrtarashtra. Therefore, all persons who had joined the side of Duryodhana must have been birds of the same feather. Arjun 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 Krishna was sitting by his side.
- sanjaya uvaca
- evam ukto hrsikeso
- gudakesena bharata
- senayor ubhayor madhye
- sthapayitva rathottamam
Sanjaya said: 0 descendant of Bharata, having thus been addressed by Arjun, Lord Krishna drew up the fine chariot in the midst of the armies of both parties.
In this verse Arjun is referred to as Gudakesa. Gudaka means sleep, and one who conquers sleep is called gudakesa. Sleep also means ignorance. So Arjun conquered both sleep and ignorance because of his friendship with Krishna. As a true devotee of Krishna, he could not forget Krishna 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 Krishna's name, form, qualities and pastimes. Thus a devotee of Krishna can conquer both sleep and ignorance simply by thinking of Krishna constantly. This is called Krishna consciousness, or samadhi As Hrsikesa, or the director of the senses and mind of every living entity, Krishna could understand Arjun's purpose in placing the chariot in the midst of the armies. Thus He did so, and spoke as follows.