Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 1.20, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 20 from the chapter 1 called “Sainya-Darshana (Observing the Armies)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 1.20:

अथ व्यवस्थितान् दृष्ट्वा धार्तराष्ट्रान् कपि-ध्वजः ।
प्रवृत्ते शस्त्र-सम्पाते धनुर् उद्यम्य पाण्डवः ।
हृषीकेशं तदा वाक्यम् इदम् आह मही-पते ॥ २० ॥

atha vyavasthitān dṛṣṭvā dhārtarāṣṭrān kapi-dhvajaḥ |
pravṛtte śastra-sampāte dhanur udyamya pāṇḍavaḥ |
hṛṣīkeśaṃ tadā vākyam idam āha mahī-pate || 20 ||

atha–thereupon; vyavasthitān–situated; dṛṣṭvā–seeing; dhārtarāṣṭrān–the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; kapi-dhvajaḥ–(Arjuna) whose flag was marked with Hanumān;pravṛtte–while about to embark; śastra-sampāte–in releasing his arrows; dhanuḥ–bow; udyamya–taking up; pāṇḍavaḥ–Arjuna, the son of Pāṇḍu; hṛṣīkeśam–unto Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the master of the senses; tadā–then; vākyam–words; idam–these; āha–spoke; mahī-pate–O King.

O King, after seeing your sons in military array, Kapi-dhvaja Arjuna raised his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows. He then spoke the following words to Śrī Hṛṣīkeśa (Kṛṣṇa).

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

(By Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja; the explanation that illuminates the commentary named Sārārtha-varṣiṇī)

Kapi-dhvaja: Kapi-dhvaja is a name for Arjuna that denotes the presence of the mighty monkey (kapi) Hanumān on the flag (dhvaja) of Arjuna’s chariot. Arjuna was very proud of his skill in archery. Once, he was strolling on the bank of a river carrying his Gāṇḍīva bow. There he saw an old monkey. Paying obeisances to him, Arjuna asked, “Who are you?”

The monkey politely replied, “I am Hanumān, servant of Śrī Rāma.”

Arjuna then asked, “Are you the servant of the same Rāma who, unable to make a bridge of arrows over the ocean, employed monkeys to build a bridge of stones? It was only then that His army could cross the ocean. If I had been there at that time, I would have built such a strong bridge of arrows that the entire army could have easily crossed over.”

Hanumān replied very politely, “But your bridge would not have endured the weight of even the weakest monkey in Śrī Rāma’s army.”

Arjuna said, “I am going to make a bridge of arrows over this river and you may cross it with as heavy a load as you can carry.”

Hanumān then expanded himself into a huge form and jumped towards the Himālayan mountains. He returned with heavy stones tied to every hair on his body. As soon as he placed one foot on the bridge, it started to quiver, but surprisingly enough, it did not break.

Arjuna trembled in fear. Remembering his worshipable deity, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he prayed, “O Lord! The honour of the Pāṇḍavas is in Your hands.”

When Hanumān put the full weight of both his feet on the bridge, he was astonished to find that it did not break. If the bridge did not break, it would be a matter of great shame for him. Within his heart, Hanumān remembered his worshipable Lord, Śrī Rāmacandra. Meanwhile, his glance fell below the bridge, where he saw not water flowing but streams of blood. Hanumān immediately jumped off the bridge and peered below it. “Oh! What is this?” he cried. “My worshipable Lord, Śrī Rāmacandra, is personally supporting the bridge of sharp arrows on His back!” He at once fell at the lotus feet of Śrī Rāmacandra.

At this same moment, Arjuna saw the Lord not as Śrī Rāma but as Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Both Hanumān and Arjuna lowered their heads in shame before their worshipable Lord, who said, “There is no difference between these two forms of Mine. I, Kṛṣṇa, in the form of Śrī Rāma, come to establish the limit of morality and proper religious conduct (maryādā), and in this very form of līlā-puruṣottama Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord who enjoys transcendental pastimes, I am the personification of the nectar of all rasas. From today onward, you, who are both My servants, should become friends. In a battle in the near future, the mighty Hanumān, situated on the flag of Arjuna’s chariot, will give him protection in all respects.”

For this reason, Hanumān graced the flag of Arjuna’s chariot in the battle of Mahābhārata. Arjuna thus received the name Kapi-dhvaja, or one who has a monkey on his flag.

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