Bg 1.1

धृतराष्ट्र उवाच ।
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः ।
मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय ॥१॥

Text

dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca
dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya

Synonyms

dhṛtarāṣṭraḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigdhṛtarāṣṭraḥ

Dhṛtarāṣṭra; King Dhṛtarāṣṭra; the father of Duryodhana.
—King Dhṛtarāṣṭra; uvācaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_biguvāca

answered; described; explained; he recited; he said; inquired; prayed; replied; said; she said; she spoke; spoke; talked with them.
—said; dharmaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigdharma

activities; acts of religion; by Mahārāja Dharma, or Dharmarāja; by their pious activities; characteristic function; characteristic nature; characteristics; characteristics of age; Dharmeyu; duties; duty; factual occupation; for the right cause; in religious activities; in the form of dedication to the husband, etc; My religion; O personality of religion; O personality of religious principles; O Vidura; occupation; occupational duties; occupational duty; of Dharma, the god of piety; of religious life; of religious principles; piety; principle; principles of devotional service; principles of religion; regular activities; religion; religiosity; religious; religious practice; religious principle; religious principles; religious procedures; the character; the duty; the occupation; the occupational duty; the principles; the religion; the religious principles; vow.
-kṣetreplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigkṣetre

at Jagannātha-kṣetra (Jagannātha Purī); at the place of pilgrimage; in the land; in the wife; in the wives and maidservant; in this tract of land; to Jagannātha Purī.
—in the place of pilgrimage; kuruplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigkuru

abide by; designate; do; do it; just do it; just execute; just perform; kindly do; Kuru; make; perform; please make; the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.
-kṣetreplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigkṣetre

at Jagannātha-kṣetra (Jagannātha Purī); at the place of pilgrimage; in the land; in the wife; in the wives and maidservant; in this tract of land; to Jagannātha Purī.
—in the place named Kurukṣetra; samavetāḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsamavetāḥ

assembled.
—assembled; yuyutsavaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigyuyutsavaḥ

desiring to fight.
—desiring to fight; māmakāḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigmāmakāḥ

having a relationship with me; my party (sons).
—my party (sons); pāṇḍavāḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigpandavah

Arjuna (the son of Pāṇḍu); Arjuna; the son of Pāṇḍu (Arjuna).
—the sons of Pāṇḍu; caplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigca

//ca//; all these; also; also other bodily forms; also that I have not been able to ask; and (the five gross material elements and the ten acting and knowledge-gathering senses); and; and also; and Devahūti; and for all; and the paraphernalia; as also; as much as; as well; as well as; but; certainly; either; however; indeed; only; or; over and above; respectively; the word //ca//; this word //ca//; thus; totally; unlimitedly; verily.
—and; evaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigeva

alone; also; also the word //eva//; although; as; as it is; as it were; as much as; as they are; at all; at that time; certainly; certainly,; certainty; completely; definitely; even; ever; exactly; exactly like; factually; Himself; immediately; in fact; in this way; indeed; it is all like that; just; just so; like; like that; like this; of course; on the very; only; quite; simply; so; surely; the word //eva//; they are; thus; truly; undoubtedly; very; without doubt.
—certainly; kimplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigkim

and what is the value of such happiness; anything; are you; either; how; how can he be; how much; is it; is it that; nothing; something; what; what benefit; what for; what is; what is that; what is the benefit; what is the difficulty; what is the meaning; what is the need; what is the use; what is the use of; what is the value; what is there; what is there to fear; what kind of; what need; what need is there; what sort of; what then; what to speak of; what use; where is the necessity; whether; who; who is there; why.
—what; akurvataplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigakurvata

did they do; executed; passed.
—did they do; sañjayaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsañjaya

O Sañjaya; of the name Sañjaya; Sañjaya.
—O Sañjaya.

Translation

Dhṛtarāṣṭra said: O Sañjaya, after assembling in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukṣetra, what did my sons and the sons of Pāṇḍu do, being desirous to fight?

Purport

Bhagavad-gītā is the widely read theistic science summarized in the Gītā-māhātmya (Glorification of the Gītā). There it says that one should read Bhagavad-gītā very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and try to understand it without personally motivated interpretations. The example of clear understanding is there in the Bhagavad-gītā itself, in the way the teaching is understood by Arjuna, who heard the Gītā directly from the Lord. If someone is fortunate enough to understand Bhagavad-gītā in that line of disciplic succession, without motivated interpretation, then he surpasses all studies of Vedic wisdom, and all scriptures of the world. One will find in the Bhagavad-gītā all that is contained in other scriptures, but the reader will also find things which are not to be found elsewhere. That is the specific standard of the Gītā. It is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

The topics discussed by Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Sañjaya, as described in the Mahābhārata, form the basic principle for this great philosophy. It is understood that this philosophy evolved on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, which is a sacred place of pilgrimage from the immemorial time of the Vedic age. It was spoken by the Lord when He was present personally on this planet for the guidance of mankind.

The word dharma-kṣetra (a place where religious rituals are performed) is significant because, on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was present on the side of Arjuna. Dhṛtarāṣṭra, the father of the Kurus, was highly doubtful about the possibility of his sons’ ultimate victory. In his doubt, he inquired from his secretary Sañjaya, “What did my sons and the sons of Pāṇḍu do?” He was confident that both his sons and the sons of his younger brother Pāṇḍu were assembled in that Field of Kurukṣetra for a determined engagement of the war. Still, his inquiry is significant. He did not want a compromise between the cousins and brothers, and he wanted to be sure of the fate of his sons on the battlefield. Because the battle was arranged to be fought at Kurukṣetra, which is mentioned elsewhere in the Vedas as a place of worship—even for the denizens of heaven—Dhṛtarāṣṭra became very fearful about the influence of the holy place on the outcome of the battle. He knew very well that this would influence Arjuna and the sons of Pāṇḍu favorably, because by nature they were all virtuous. Sañjaya was a student of Vyāsa, and therefore, by the mercy of Vyāsa, Sañjaya was able to envision the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra even while he was in the room of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. And so, Dhṛtarāṣṭra asked him about the situation on the battlefield.

Both the Pāṇḍavas and the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra belong to the same family, but Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s mind is disclosed herein. He deliberately claimed only his sons as Kurus, and he separated the sons of Pāṇḍu from the family heritage. One can thus understand the specific position of Dhṛtarāṣṭra in his relationship with his nephews, the sons of Pāṇḍu. As in the paddy field the unnecessary plants are taken out, so it is expected from the very beginning of these topics that in the religious field of Kurukṣetra where the father of religion, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, was present, the unwanted plants like Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s son Duryodhana and others would be wiped out and the thoroughly religious persons, headed by Yudhiṣṭhira, would be established by the Lord. This is the significance of the words dharma-kṣetre and kuru-kṣetre, apart from their historical and Vedic importance.