I am sure people of my age (in late 30’s), must have seen Mahabharat during our childhood days on Doordarshan. But being just kids then, we hardly followed the epic series and all that fascinated as a kid were arrows and thunderbolts being shot in all directions. 

So somewhere in the year 2008, during my stay in the United Kingdom there was an urge to re-look at the popular series. I still can’t recollect what led to the urge, but just felt it. I downloaded the entire series and completed watching the series in less than a months time. It was truly engrossing, in a way addictive. But what particularly drew my attention was the message Shri Krishna gave to Arjun, i.e. The Bhagavad Gita.  

My curiosity to know more about Bhagavad Gita grew louder. I downloaded its audio version and heard the entire Gita for the first time.  Since then I have heard and read Bhagavad Gita on numerous occasions and while I understand the gist and essence of it, somehow I remained perplexed about what lies beneath each of the 18 chapters. (i.e. the central message contained in each of the chapters). It could be because I have either read/heard Bhagavad Gita all at once or not in continuation. But nonetheless, I consider Bhagavad Gita to be the most sacred Hindu scriptures for the immense knowledge it contains. It is like a lifelong guide and I frequently keep referring to it, especially when the going gets tough.

So just this year i.e. in 2021, I thought of writing notes with a short summary of each chapter. And while doing so, I felt – why not share the same with others. It might be of some help to people who are in the same boat as mine. So in this series, I intend to share the summary of each of the 18 chapters. Hopefully it proves to be helpful.  

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Here is the Chapter 1 Summary – 

Dhrirashtra’s son – Duryodhana, tells his guru – please look at the mighty army of Pandavas comprising of great warriors like Arjun, Bheema, Dhrupad, sons of Dhruapati and many others. He then mentions about his army and its warriors, he says – we have respected you, Bhishma Pitamaha, Karna, Ashvaththama, Kripacharya and others, who are willing to sacrifice their lives in this battle.

Then everyone starts to blow their conches. Bhishma Pitamaha, Shri Krishna, Arjun, Yudhistar, Nakul, Sahdev, Shikandi, Dhrupad, Bheema and others blow their conches respectively. With numerous conches, drums & screams of humans, the whole atmosphere becomes vibrant, which fills Duryodhana with excitement.

Arjun, who is seated on the chariot hoisting the flag of Hanuman emblem, requests Shri Krishna to take his chariot in between the two armies. Arjun, upon seeing his respected grandfathers, father’s younger and elder brothers, mother’s brothers, sons, grandsons, friends and other relatives becomes sentimental and emotional. His mouth starts drying, his body starts getting goosebumps, his head starts dwindling and he begins to see only misfortune.

Arjun, couldn’t see any good in having this battle. He then says to Shri Krishna – even if the Kauravas were to kill him, he still doesn’t see any good in fighting. Such a battle will lead to destruction of the clan, which in turn will lead to unrighteous children. Such children will stop offering water and food to the ancestors, which will will attract them curse and they will ultimately land in hell. He says – rather than performing such a heinous act, it is better that Dhrirashtra’s sons were to kill him unarmored. Upon saying this, Arjun keeps his archer aside and sits down laden with immense grief.

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