etatchchutvaa vachanam keshavasya kritaanjalirvepamaanaha kireetee |
namaskritvaa bhooya evaaha krishnam sagadgadam bheetabheetaha pranamya || 35 ||
Hearing this statement of Keshava, the crowned one with folded palms, trembling, offered salutations, bowed, and even though fear struck, addressed Krishna in a choked voice.
etat : this
shrutvaa : hearing
vachanam : statement
keshavasya : of Keshava
kritaanjalihi : folded palms
vepamaanaha : trembling
kireetee : the crowned one
namaskritvaa : offered salutations
bhooyaha : then
eva : even
aaha : addressed
krishnam : Krishna
sagadgadam : choked voice
bheetabheetaha : fear struck
pranamya : bowed
While Arjuna experienced a high degree of fear mixed with confusion in the first chapter, he now demonstrated tremendous gratitude and joy after knowing that the war had been pre-ordained in his favour. The fear had not subsided fully, that is why his voice was choked and his body was trembling. Since there was a bit of a gap between Shri Krishna proclamation and Arjuna’s next statement, Sanjaya stepped in to narrate this shloka.
Shri Shankaraachaarya in his commentary adds an extra dimension to Sanjaya’s interjection. Since Shri Krishna had already declared the upcoming death of the Kaurava army’s star warriors, Dhritraashtra could still have had one last opportunity to end the war at this very moment. Without saying it explicitly, Sanjaya asked: would he issue a command to stop the war now? He used the word “crown” to imply that Arjuna’s coronation as the crown prince of the kingdom was not too far away.
Unfortunately, Sanjaya’s plea fell on deaf ears. Dhritraashtra’s attachment to his sons was so great that even a revelation from Ishvara himself could not unsettle it. But even he knew that the fate of his sons was already sealed. The downward spiral caused by attachment has been illustrated with several examples in earlier chapters of the Gita. Perhaps this example of Dhritraashtra is one of the most hard hitting ones, since attachment to family is something that all of us identify with.
So then, what did Arjuna say to Shri Krishna? We shall see next.