aho kastam aho 'nyayyam
yad yuyam dharma-nandanah
jivitum narhatha klistam
aho—oh; kastam—what terrible sufferings; aho—oh; anyayyam—what terrible injustice; yat—because; yuyam—all of you good souls; dharma-nandanah—sons of religion personified; jivitum—to remain alive; na—never; arhatha—deserve; klistam—suffering; vipra—brahmanas; dharma—piety; acyuta—God; asrayah—being protected by.
Bhismadeva said: Oh, what terrible sufferings and what terrible injustices you good souls suffer for being the sons of religion personified. You did not deserve to remain alive under those tribulations, yet you were protected by the brahmanas, God and religion.
Maharaja Yudhisthira was disturbed due to the great massacre in the Battle of Kuruksetra. Bhismadeva could understand this, and therefore he spoke first of the terrible sufferings of Maharaja Yudhisthira. He was put into difficulty by injustice only, and the Battle of Kuruksetra was fought just to counteract this injustice. Therefore, he should not regret the great massacre. He wanted to point out particularly that they were always protected by the brahmanas, the Lord and religious principles. As long as they were protected by these three important items, there was no cause of disappointment. Thus Bhismadeva encouraged Maharaja Yudhisthira to dissipate his despondency. As long as a person is fully in cooperation with the wishes of the Lord, guided by the bona fide brahmanas and Vaisnavas and strictly following religious principles, one has no cause for despondency, however trying the circumstances of life. Bhismadeva, as one of the authorities in the line, wanted to impress this point upon the Pandavas.
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