Bhagavad Gita Commentary, Chapter 1, verse 1

धृतराष्ट्र उवाच |
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः |
मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय ||

Dhritarashtra said: O Sanjay, after gathering on the holy field of Kurukshetra, and desiring to fight, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do?

Explanation:

King Dhritarashtra who was blind from birth also lent his blind eye to the misdeeds of his sons, out of his love for them. At a point of time he was bereft of any kind of spiritual wisdom. He knew in his heart that the kingdom of Hastinapura belonged to the Pandavas and yet he usurped and strayed from the path of virtue.

In some deep corner of his heart, he knew that he had wronged the Pandavas. Hence, out of a guilty conscience, he asked Sanjaya to tell him what was going on in the battlefield. In this verse, he asks Sanjaya regarding what his sons and the sons of Pandu are doing after they have gathered on the battlefield. Dhritarashtra already knew that their purpose was to fight each other, then why was he asking such a question?

This question has deep roots in the land of Kurukshetra itself. In his question, Dhritarashtra mentions the phrase ‘holy land’. This is because in the Shatapath Brahman, Kurukshetra is decribed as kurukshetram deva yajanam or the sacrificial arena of the celestial gods. Hence Dhritarashtra was worried that the power of the land would make the Kauravas reconsider their actions and come to a truce with the Pandavas.

If this happened then the Pandavas would, according to the thought process of Dhritarashtra, forever remain impediments in the path of success of the Kauravas. Thus out of the love for the Kauravas and curiosity, Dhritarashtra asked Sanjaya to narrate to him the events of the battlefield.

 

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