aho kaṣṭam aho 'nyāyyaṁ
yad yūyaṁ dharma-nandanāḥ
jīvituṁ nārhatha kliṣṭaṁ
aho—oh; kaṣṭam—what terrible sufferings; aho—oh; anyāyyam—what terrible injustice; yat—because; yūyam—all of you good souls; dharma-nandanāḥ—sons of religion personified; jīvitum—to remain alive; na—never; arhatha—deserve; kliṣṭam—suffering; vipra—brāhmaṇas; dharma—piety; acyuta—God; āśrayāḥ—being protected by.
Bhīṣmadeva 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 brāhmaṇas, God and religion.
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was disturbed due to the great massacre in the Battle of Kurukṣetra. Bhīṣmadeva could understand this, and therefore he spoke first of the terrible sufferings of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. He was put into difficulty by injustice only, and the Battle of Kurukṣetra 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 brāhmaṇas, the Lord and religious principles. As long as they were protected by these three important items, there was no cause of disappointment. Thus Bhīṣmadeva encouraged Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira to dissipate his despondency. As long as a person is fully in cooperation with the wishes of the Lord, guided by the bona fide brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas and strictly following religious principles, one has no cause for despondency, however trying the circumstances of life. Bhīṣmadeva, as one of the authorities in the line, wanted to impress this point upon the Pāṇḍavas.
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