ŚLŌKA NO.11

The next proclamation of Duryōdhana is in line with this.

Duryōdhana having expressed his deep concern to Drōṇa, finishes his talk with this cautionary statement –

अयनेषु च सर्वेषु यथाभागमवस्थिताः |

भीष्ममेवाभिरक्षन्तु भवन्तः सर्व एव हि ||११||

ayanēṣu ca sarvēṣu yathābhāgamavasthitāḥ |
bhīṣmamēvābhirakṣantu bhavantaḥ sarva ēva hi ||11||

[All of you, manning at your designated positions at those possible points where the enemy army is capable of making its foray in the path of Kurus, surround Bhīṣma and stand guard together].

अयन (ayana) means all those strategic inroads that the enemy could possibly use to invade. Prominent regions as well as the important landmarks of the army too.

Who should be stationed at the prominent places; who should guard the important landmarks of the army was an issue that is relevant to Bhīṣma. But, Duryōdhana’s trust in him has started to wane. His becoming the commander is a big misfortune, has already been stated by him. In line with this thought is this summing up.

Duryōdhana is playing the role of setting up Drōṇa against Bhīṣma. He is not aware that this would lead him to further disaster.

All of you should monitor the strategic locations. Whatever needs to be done to prevent the enemy from raiding us, you should do it. Do not wait for instructions from Bhīṣma. Along with this, I am also entrusting the responsibility of guarding with alacrity, Bhīṣma who is biased towards the Pāndavas – Duryōdhana is saying here.

Duryōdhana deceit reaches a peak here as he says this in the presence of Drōṇa in such a way that Bhīṣma who is just adjacent can hear all of it.

भवन्तः (bhavantaḥ) = you; सर्व+एव (sarva+ēva) = everyone,  सर्वेषु (sarvēṣu) = all, अयनेषु+च (ayanēṣu+ca)= in strategic places too; यथा+भागं(yathā+bhāgaṁ) = shared, as applicable;  अवस्थिताः (avasthitāḥ) = positioned thus;

भीष्ममेव (bhīṣmamēva) = Bhīṣma only; अभिरक्षन्तु हि (abhirakṣantu hi) = do protect.
Eleven ślōkas of Gītā have been completed by now. Having assembled 11 akṣōhiṇi army as he stood in the war, the part which depicts the psychological state of Duryōdhana and his father Dhr̥tarāṣṭra culminates here. In the next 8 ślōkas the psychological state of both the armies is picturised. Thereafter till the end of the chapter, it is an analyses of the psychology of Arjuna. In the remaining 17 chapters, it is ‘psychotherapy’ from Kṛṣṇa.

For these initial 11 ślōkas neither Ācārya Śaṅkara nor Ācārya Madhva have composed commentaries. They did not compose the commentary as they thought that for those who know the background, this part will be clear. Having covered the entire essence of this part in their preface, they composed their commentary only for the part that contained Kṛṣṇa’s advices. Ācārya Rāmānuja however compiled his comments for this group of 11 ślōkas, beautifully as under –

Śrī Rāmānuja Bhaṣya

Duryōdhana who compared his army which was under Bhīṣma’s protection and the Pāndava army which was under Bhīma’s protection, saw that the Pāndava army was capable of winning over his army, his own army was not properly organised to defeat the Pāndava army, this he apprised Ācārya Drōṇa and in the process, turned gloomy within himself.

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About Dr. Bannanje Govindacharya