Some insights into the mood and behavior of kings, or state executive heads
King Yudhisthira , the son of Kunti , blew his conchshell, the Anantavijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosa and Manipuspaka. That great archer the King of Kasi , the great fighter Sikhandi , Dhrstadyumna , Virata and the unconquerable Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and the others, O King, such as the son of Subhadra, greatly armed, all blew their respective conchshells.
Here Dhatarasora is addressed as prthivi-pati, the lord of the world. Prthivi means this planet. Five thousand years ago, the king of Hastinapura was the emperor of the whole world. The whole planet was being governed by one emperor or king, and other kings in different parts of the world were subordinate to this emperor. Some of these kings were Drupada, Virata, Kasya, who had joined in the battle. And each and every one of them possessed a different kind of bugle, saikha. So they declared that now we are ready to fight.
And another significance of this verse is, Yudhisthira is also described here as raja. In the beginning Sanjaya informed Dhatarasora that Duryodhana is raja. So actually the fight is between the two kings. One side Duryodhana, another side Yudhisthira. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, Yudhisthira is particularly mentioned here as kunti-putra. Maharaja Drupada is the father of Draupadi, who was gained by Arjuna in competition. And her sons they are draupadeya.
So grandfathers, grandsons – all of them were present, because they were allies. When the Pandavas were banished for twelve years, they lived one year incognito in the kingdom of Maharaja Virata. During this period, Arjuna acted as a dance teacher for Uttara, Virata’s daughter. When Virata later discovered that Arjuna was not a dancing teacher, but a great hero, he wanted to offer his daughter to Arjuna in marriage. But Arjuna said, “How can I marry this girl? I am her teacher. A teacher is like the father, so I cannot marry her. If you like I can get this girl married with my son Saubhadra (Abhimanyu), Subhadra’s son.”
Subhadra, sister of Krishna , was another wife of Arjuna. Krishna wanted to hand over Subhadra to Arjuna, and Balarama wanted to hand over Subhadra to Duryodhana. So Krishna could not say anything – the elder brother has decided. Therefore Krishna advised Arjuna to kidnap Subhadra. Just see how much Krishna was affectionate to Arjuna. Arjuna was eager to marry Subhadra, and Subhadra also liked Arjuna, but the elder brother did not agree. So they made this plan.
This kidnapping and fighting was allowed among the ksatriyas. That is ksatriya marriage. Unless there is fight, that marriage is not complete. The red vermillion which we apply – that is ksatriya principle. After killing the opposite party, the blood will be smeared over the hair of the bride. That is conquer, victory. So in every marriage – Krishna had 16,108 wives – and each wife was married by fighting, beginning from Rukmini. When Krishna became the king of Dvaraka, Rukmini was the first queen. Rukmini was settled up to be married with sisupala. sisupala also happened to be Krishna ’s cousin-brother, and Rukmini did not like that she would be handed over to sisupala. She wanted to marry Krishna . So she sent a letter to Krishna through a brahmana and explained her position. “My brother Rukmi has decided to hand over me to sisupala, but I don’t like. So please arrange for kidnapping me.”
That is also another responsibility of ksatriya. If a girl proposes, “I want to marry you,” a ksatriya cannot refuse. He must marry that girl, even at the risk of life. This is ksatriya spirit. One raksasi wanted to marry Bhima. But Bhima refused because she was a raksasi. So she complained to Maharaja Yudhisthira. Yudhisthira Maharaja then compelled Bhima, “You must marry. Even though she is raksasi, you are ksatriya, you cannot refuse.” This was the system, a very nice system.
So all these kings on the side of the Pandavas blew their different conchshells. Upon hearing this sound, the other side trembled: “Oh, they have gathered so much strength.” Duryodhana thought that since Pandavas were banished to the forest for thirteen years, they would not be able to gather any good amount of soldiers. But when they saw that so many kings from different parts of the world have joined them, the Kauravas became frightened. That is described in the next verse, sa ghoso dhartarastranam hadayani vyadarayat. They are just like heart-broken: “What is this? They have gathered so much great, great fighters.” Nabhas ca prthivim caiva tumulo ‘bhyanunadayan.
A well-equipped, strong army breaks the heart of the enemy. When the Pandavas blew their conshells, it broke the hearts of the dhartarastranam, the one hundred sons of Dhatarasora . The sound resounded both in the sky and on the surface.
Thank you very much.