धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः।
मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय।।1.1।।
1.1. Dhrtarastra said O Sanjaya, what did my sons (and others) and Pandus sons (and others) actually do when, eager for battle, they assembled on the sacred field, the Kuruksetra (Field of the Kurus)?
1.1 Dhritarashtra said What did my people and the sons of Pandu do when they had assembled together eager for battle on the holy plain of Kurukshetra, O Sanjaya.
1.1. Dhrtarastra said O Sanjaya ! What did my men and the sons of Pandu do in the Kuruksetra, the field of righteousness, where the entire warring class has assembled ? or O Sanjaya ! What did the selfish intentions and the intentions born of wisdom do in the human body which is the field-of-duties, the repository of the senseorgans and in which all the murderous ones (passions and asceticism etc.) are confronting [each other].
1.1 धर्मक्षेत्रे on the holy plain? कुरुक्षेत्रे in Kurukshetra? समवेताः assembled together? युयुत्सवः desirous to fight? मामकाः my people? पाण्डवाः the sons of Pandu? च and? एव also? किम् what? अकुर्वत did do? सञ्जय O Sanjaya.Commentary Dharmakshetra -- that place which protects Dharma is Dharmakshetra. Because it was in the land of the Kurus? it was called Kurukshetra.Sanjaya is one who has conered likes and dislikes and who is impartial.
1.1 Sri Sankaracharya did not comment on this sloka. The commentary starts from 2.10.
1.1 Dharmaksetre etc. Here some [authors] offer a different explanation as1 :-Kuruksetra : the mans body is the ksetra i.e., the facilitator, of the kurus, i.e., the sense-organs. 2 The same is the field of all wordly duties, since it is the cuse of their birth; which is also the field of the righteous act that has been described as : This is the highest righteous act viz., to realise the Self by means of the Yogas; and which is the protector4 [of the embodied Self] by achieving emancipation [by means of this], through the destruction of all duties. It is the location where there is the confrontation among all ksatras, the murderous ones-because the root ksad means to kill - viz, passion and asceticism, wrath and forbearance, and others that stand in the mutual relationship of the slayer and the slain. Those that exist in it are the mamakas,-i.e., the intentions that are worthy of man of ignorance and are the products of ignorance-and those that are born of Pandu: i.e., the intentions, of which the soul is the very knowledge itself5 and which are worthy of persons of pure knowledge. What did they do? In other words, which were vanished by what? Mamaka : a man of ignorance as he utters [always] mine6. Pandu : the pure one.7
1.1 - 1.19 Dhrtarastra said - Sanjaya said Duryodhana, after viewing the forces of Pandavas protected by Bhima, and his own forces protected by Bhisma conveyed his views thus to Drona, his teacher, about the adeacy of Bhimas forces for conering the Kaurava forces and the inadeacy of his own forces for victory against the Pandava forces. He was grief-stricken within. Observing his (Duryodhanas) despondecny, Bhisma, in order to cheer him, roared like a lion, and then blowing his conch, made his side sound their conchs and kettle-drums, which made an uproar as a sign of victory. Then, having heard that great tumult, Arjuna and Sri Krsna the Lord of all lords, who was acting as the charioteer of Arjuna, sitting in their great chariot which was powerful enough to coner the three worlds; blew their divine conchs Srimad Pancajanya and Devadatta. Then, both Yudhisthira and Bhima blew their respective conchs separately. That tumult rent asunder the hearts of your sons, led by Duryodhana. The sons of Dhrtarastra then thought, Our cause is almost lost now itself. So said Sanjaya to Dhrtarastra who was longing for their victory. Sanjaya said to Dhrtarastra: Then, seeing the Kauravas, who were ready for battle, Arjuna, who had Hanuman, noted for his exploit of burning Lanka, as the emblem on his flag on his chariot, directed his charioteer Sri Krsna, the Supreme Lord-who is overcome by parental love for those who take shelter in Him who is the treasure-house of knowledge, power, lordship, energy, potency and splendour, whose sportive delight brings about the origin, sustentation and dissolution of the entire cosmos at His will, who is the Lord of the senses, who controls in all ways the senses inner and outer of all, superior and inferior - by saying, Station my chariot in an appropriate place in order that I may see exactly my enemies who are eager for battle.
How did Arjuna become bewildered and fall into ignorance? The speaker of the Mahabharata, Vaisampayana, started explaining the topic to Janmejaya in the Bhisma Parva, with the following words. Dhritarashtra said, “Please tell me what my sons, headed by Duryodhana, and the sons of Pandu, headed by Yudhisthra were doing, having gathered together for fighting at Kuruksetra?” “But you yourself have said that they were desirous of fighting, so why are you asking what they did?” This place is a holy place (dharma ksetra). Sruti says: kuruksetram deva yajanam Kuruksetra is a place for worshipping the Lord. Satapatha Brahmana, Madhyandinlya 188.8.131.52 “It is famous as a place which produces dharma. Due to association with this great place, the evil Duryodhana and company could give up their anger and take to the path of dharma. The Pandavas are naturally following dharma. Then both sides would have intelligence to see that they should not kill their own relatives and friends, and would negotiate peace.” Externally, he desired to show Sanjaya that he would be relieved if this were so. Internally, however, he found it hard to restrain his depression, for if there was conciliation, then, it would be difficult for his sons to claim the kingdom. “As Bhisma, who is on our side cannot be defeated by Arjuna, it is better that we fight. Let that happen!” It was not suitable however to show such desires externally. There is a hidden meaning in the word ksetra (field) in the phrase dharma-ksetra. The field was a place for growing the grains of dharma, in the form of pious Yudhisthira along with his group, who was the very incarnation of dharma.1 The field, a place for exerting oneself in the work of cultivating, was the place in which Krishna, the nourisher of dharma, would encourage Yudhisthira. The field, a place for many projects like blocking irrigation dykes and watering, was the place where Krishna would assist Yudhisthira in many ways to establish the grains of dharma. The same field is also a place for weeds to grow. The weeds, enemies of the grains, in the form of Duryodhana and others, also grew there, but would be destroyed by Krishna.
In this very first verse of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita beginning with dharma- ksetra-kuru-ksetra, avatar Krsna Dwaipayana Vyasadeva has used this narrative form: assembled in the place of righteousness Kuruksetra etc.; to properly introduce the location, the action and the theme. Thereafter when King Dhritarastra in Hastinapura asks his minister, Sanjaya who had received clairvoyance by the grace of Vyasadeva as to what happened on the battlefield, Sanjaya related all the events exactly as they happened by having the clairvoyant ability to witness them directly within his mind as if he was there present. Srila Vyasadeva to properly introduce their dialogue begins with the narrative form with: having seen the army of the sons of Pandu etc. After this until the end of the chapter the subtle intricacies of duty are delineated. As has been stated in the ancient Vedic scriptures concerning the greatness of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita and that is the words that emanate from the transcendental mouth of the Supreme Lord Krishna when well assimilated precludes the necessity of various other scriptures.
Madhvacarya has no commentary so we present Baladeva Vidyabhusanas. To properly illustrate the consistency in the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield, Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa has quoted the first 27 verses in chapter one beginning dharma-ksetra kuru- ksetra refering to Kuruksetra as the land of righteousness. Now when King Dhritarastra learned that Lord Krishna had accepted the position of chariot driver for Arjuna, he immediately was suspicious and became doubtful of his son, Duryodhanas chances for victory. At that time he asked his minister Sanjaya a redundant question as what did his sons and the son of his brother do in the first verse of chapter one. It should be understood in the correct context that the revelatory instructions given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the 700 verses of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita that is revealed within Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasas monumental, historical epic, Mahabharata; as to what was being told by Sanjaya to Dhritarastra is actually a conversation described to Arjunas great, grandson, Emperor Janamejaya by Vaisampayana Muni and it is he who is expressing the words dhritarastra uvaca meaning Dhritarastra said. Srimad Bhagavad-Gita begins with Dhritarastra asking Sanjaya: What did my sons and the sons of Pandu, assembled at the righteous land of Kuruksetra desirious of battle do? Now the question which arises, is what was the necessity of Dhritarastra asking Sanjaya what did they do; when he himself in the same verse says: they are assembled desirous of battle. The reason he is asking is because Kuruksetra is the land of righteousness. Dhritarastra was thinking: Kuruksetra is famous as the land of sacrifice for the demigods and also the abode of brahma-jnana, knowledge of the Ultimate Truth for all living entities. He was worried that under the potent influence of Kuruksetras righteous land, his sons would have decided to return half of the kingdom back unto the sons of Pandu now being free from all jealously? Or is it that the sons of Pandu fearing that the destruction of a dynasty is an unrighteous act in a holy place like Kuruksetra and have decided that its best to retire to the forest and live as renunciates for the rest of their lives? By addressing Sanjaya, Dhritarastra means that by the mercy of Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa, Sanjaya has become free from attachment and aversion and thus he will certainly speak the truth. By using the word mamakah and pandavah in referring to his sons and the sons of Pandu indicates disparity and shows that Dhritarastra did not accept the sons of his deceased brother Pandu as he did his own sons and this reveals his enmity towards them. Ksetra also means field of cultivation. Just as in a rice field there are unwanted grasses looking exactly like the rice paddy which must be uprooted. Similarly the use of the word dharma-ksetra is indicative that the unrighteous sons of Dhritarastra will also be uprooted.
There is no commentary for this verse.
The Supreme Lord Krishna in order to mitigate Arjunas lamentation tells him that he grieves for that which is not worthy of sorrow in answer to the cause of Arjuna woes as has been described in the first chapter which began by the blind Dhrtarastra inquiring about his hoped for sons victory; yet internally in doubt due to Arjunas unsurpassable valour revealed in his aquisition of divine weapons by satisfying Shiva, also this was proved when Arjuna defeated the Gandharvas and released Duryodhana even though the latter had come to cause he and his brothers mischief, also by Arjunas removing of the Kauravas crowns and ornaments when he defeated them recapturing the cowherd of the king at the city of Virata. All these events flashed through Dhritarastras mind and with a heavy heart he asked Sanjaya who had been bequeathed with clairvoyance byVedavyasa giving him the capacity to envision everything that was happenning on the battlefield of Kuruksetra between the army of his sons the Kauravas and the army of the Pandavas. The Mahabharata records these events from a conversation between the holy sage Vaisampayana and Arjunas great-grandson Janamejaya and begins the Bhagavad-Gita with Dhritarastra spoke. In this very first verse the question is placed within the sentence thus: In the holy land of Kuruksetra what did my sons and the sons of Pandu desiring battle do? Kuruksetra is the place of the origin of dharma or righteousness. The Vedic scriptures declare that Kuruksetra is a place for performing sacrifice. Its signifigance is well known and recorded. All through the ages Kuruksetra has been a place for performing sacrifice, sacred and holy, resided at by the Brahma-rishis. Those who depart this world at Kuruksetra should not be grieved for under any circumstances. The suggested question that Dhritarastra is inwardly posing is whether or not his sons observing the powerful warriors in the enemy ranks such as the mighty Bhima and the intrepid Arjuna who is a perfect master in the use of celestial weapons, were still determined to fight or reconsidering did they give up all thoughts of warfare and instead call a truce and make a peace settlement. The phrase dharma-ksetra kuru-ksetra used by Dhritarastra signifies two things. The first is that he is inwardly thinking that his sons who are not righteous might give back the kingdom to the Pandavas which they appropriated by fraudulent means, due to being influenced by the righteousness and holy acts of sanctity performed in sacred sacrifice for the satisfaction of Bhrigu Muni and as well as the potent act of atonement performed by avatar Parasurama which He offered on five altars as expiation for his fathers death. The second is that Dhritarastra was contemplating that Kuruksetra being the the place where dharma originated is inherently powerfully potent in virtue and righteousness. If the Pandavas who are virtuous by nature, increase in righteousness due to contact with the holiness of Kuruksetra and thereby lose all desire in regaining the kingdom after duly weighing the sinful consequences of slaying their kinsman and relatives then I would be very pleased with them.
Dhritaraashtra Uvaacha: Dharmakshetre kurukshetre samavetaa yuyutsavah; Maamakaah paandavaashchaiva kim akurvata sanjaya.
dhṛitarāśhtraḥ uvācha—Dhritarashtra said; dharma-kṣhetre—the land of dharma; kuru-kṣhetre—at Kurukshetra; samavetāḥ—having gathered; yuyutsavaḥ—desiring to fight; māmakāḥ—my sons; pāṇḍavāḥ—the sons of Pandu; cha—and; eva—certainly; kim—what; akurvata—did they do; sañjaya—Sanjay