bhavaanibheeshmashcha karnashcha kripashcha samitinjayaha |
ashvaththaama vikarnashcha soumaduttistathaiva cha || 8 ||
We have victorious warriors such as yourself, Bheeshma, Kripaachaarya and Karna on our side. Similarly, we also have Ashvaththaama, Vikarna and Bhoorishrava.
bhavaan: yourself
cha: and
bheeshmaha: Bheeshma
karna: Karna
samitinjayaha: victorious
kripaha: Kripaachaarya
tathaa eva: and similarly
ashvaththaama: Ashvaththaama
vikarnaha: Vikarna
soumaduttihi: son of Somadutta, Bhoorishrava
Having conducted an assessment of the warriors on the Pandava’s side, Duryodhana began to conduct a similar assessment of his side.
Throughout the last few verses we were observing Duryodhana’s emotional state. After having lobbed an insult at Drona, and not having heard a response back, Duryodhana now became scared that he had angered his army’s main commander and his teacher. So he wanted to say something to appease Drona. Hence he began his assessment of powerful warriors by putting Drona first in this verse.
What does this tell us about Duryodhana’s personality? Sometimes we tend to view people as either good or evil, and by that logic Duryodhana would be considered evil. But this temporary outpouring of reverence for his teacher shows that Duryodhana had some good qualities in him, although in lower proportion to his bad qualities.
Later the Gita will provide a detailed explanation of types of qualities that all individuals have. At this point, let us consider that all individuals have a mix of three qualities or tendencies: a tendency that draws us towards inertia, another that draws us to action, and another that draws us to equanimity or harmony. Usually, one or two tendencies tend to dominate the other in us.
You may know some people who have a tendency to be lazy and sleep all the time. Or there may be someone who cannot rest and has to keep doing something or the other. Or, there are some who do what’s needed to run their lives and are not lazy, and also deal with severe setbacks and challgenges while managing to stay calm, collected and even-keel.
What do we think is our most dominant tendency? Are there external factors that change it temporarily? For example, if you find that your most dominant tendency is towards action, are there factors that make you stable and peaceful?