Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 7-13

Arjuna’s Depression


Duryodhana – King and chief of the Kuru army, the eldest of one hundred brothers. The name means, ‘dirty fighter, wicked, sneaky, a cheat’. He represents the ego.

Drona – The archery guru who taught the art of war to the major players on both sides of the conflict. The name means ‘wooden bucket’ (it is said that he was born outside of the womb in a bucket). He represents the neutral aspects of the mind and its contents (manas), and its ability to judge (buddhi). Drona represents the intellect.

Also know, O best of the twice-born, the leaders of our own army. I will name those who are most distinguished that you may recognize them all.

Duryodhana is speaking to his archery guru, Drona, whom he refers to as ‘twice-born’ (brahmin, ‘God-person’), signifying his high standing. Duryodhana now moves from pointing out all those he is up against among his enemies in the previous verses, to noting the warriors fighting on his own side.

You [Drona] and Bhishma (the terrible vow), and Karna (having ears), and Kripa (pity) who is victorious in battle, and Ashvatthama (strength of a horse; he is Drona’s son), and Vikama (without passion), and the son of Somadatta (soma-giver),

The terrible vow — celibaicy for life.

Somadatta — giver of the nectar (soma) of immortality. Soma is identified with the moon (the pineal gland) which produces (gives) the soma. Somadatta’s son, whose name is Bhurishrava (bhuri – earth, shrava – glory = glorification of the earth, the body), is his progeny, immortality.

And many other heroes are here who will risk their lives for me. All of them are armed with many weapons and all are well skilled in war.

These fellows are risking their lives to save the ego (Duryodhana) in order to win the war so ego can maintain control.

Inadequate is this army of ours protected by Bhishma (terrible vow), while the army led by Bhima (formidable strength) is indeed adequate for victory.

So the fellows in verse eight who are risking their lives to save the ego may be experts, but in this verse, even though Duryodhana’s forces are greater in number than his enemy, he finds them wanting. However, he has noticed something important: He has identified what is protecting his own army, Bhishma, the ‘terrible vow’, and he has also identified the biggest threat from the enemy army: Bhima, ‘formidable strength’.

Therefore, stationed in your respective strategic positions and formations, you must now support and protect Bishma on all fronts!

To Duryodhana’s great joy, the old Kuru, the Grandsire [Bishma], powerfully blew his conch horn like the roaring of a lion.

Immediately, conches, kettledrums, cymbals, trumpets and horns all sounded simultaneously, with a tremendous uproar.


Duryodhana and Drona are Kurus of the lunar race. The Pandavas, their enemy, are of the race of the sun. While it is only natural to see this as the Bad Guys versus the Good Guys, or the Dark Side versus the Light, let us not forget that Krishna (God/Guru), the main speaker and star of the show throughout the Bhagavad Gita, is of the lunar race. Krishna drives Arjuna’s chariot, placing himself in the position of serving Arjuna. In other words, Arjuna has put God in the driver’s seat.

So these two, sun and moon, have come together on the field of dharma, creating a huge tumult with the sounding of their various instruments. This tells us that this epic concerns hatha yoga (sun-moon union) for the purpose of taking back the throne of authority, raja yoga (royal union), and it all begins in ernest with a loud confusion of sound.

We see here that yoga is of two kinds, one leading to the next, and that, even though the players are all well versed in spiritual and religious teachings and practices, this ‘battle’ is really just the beginning.

Contemplate the Sun and the Moon 















seen by means of direct light

seen by means of indirect light












For ideas on how to understand these verses and relate them to yourself and your own sadhana, consult the last portion of the previous installment on the Bhagavad Gita, the Song Of God

Durga Ma

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