Bhagavad Gita 1.10 Explained: The Real Measure of Strength

अपर्याप्तं तदस्माकं बलं भीष्माभिरक्षितम्।
पर्याप्तं त्विदमेतेषां बलं भीमाभिरक्षितम्।।

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता 1.10

Aaparyaaptam Tadasmaakam Balam Bheeshmaabhirakshitam
Paryaaptam Tvidametesham Balam Bheemaabhirakshitam

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita 1.10

“Yet our army seems the weaker, though commanded by Bheeshma; their army seems the stronger, though commanded by Bheema.”

English Translation of BG 1.10

In this verse, Duryodhana expresses his concerns about the adequacy of his army despite its large size and the protection of Bheeshma, contrasting it with the perceived sufficiency of the Pandava’s forces under Bhima’s guard. This reflection reveals deeper layers of psychological warfare and the significance of leadership and unity in determining the strength of an army.

Insights into BG 1.10: Reflecting on Swami Ramsukhdas Ji’s Divine Commentary

The Illusion of Quantity Over Quality

Duryodhana’s doubt in his own army’s sufficiency, despite its numerical superiority, underscores a vital lesson: true strength lies not in numbers but in unity, morale, and righteous purpose. Bheeshma, despite being a formidable warrior and leader, is seen as a lesser assurance due to his inner conflict and partiality towards the Pandavas. This internal discord within the Kaurava camp highlights the consequences of moral ambiguity and the lack of a unified vision.

Bhima as a Symbol of Determination and Strength

On the other side, Bhima represents more than just physical strength; he embodies determination, unwavering resolve, and a clear moral direction. His commitment to justice for the Pandavas instills confidence and unity among their forces. This reflects the principle that leadership infused with clarity of purpose and righteousness can amplify the strength of any group, making them “fully sufficient” despite apparent numerical inferiority.

The Role of Morale and Righteousness in Battle

Duryodhana’s assessment speaks volumes about the psychological state of the Kaurava army and its leadership. The fear and insecurity stemming from moral ambiguity and internal divisions sap the strength of Duryodhana’s forces. In contrast, the Pandava’s morale is bolstered by their righteous cause and the unity under Bhima’s indomitable spirit, illustrating the Bhagavad Gita’s teaching that righteousness (Dharma) is the ultimate source of strength in any endeavor.

Unity and Leadership: The Core of Strength

This verse teaches us that the essence of strength lies in the unity and moral clarity of a group. A leader’s virtues, or lack thereof, directly influence the morale and effectiveness of their followers. Leadership that embodies righteousness, courage, and a commitment to justice can transform even a smaller force into a formidable one, capable of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.


Through Duryodhana’s reflections, the Bhagavad Gita imparts wisdom on the true sources of strength in any collective endeavor: unity, righteous leadership, and moral clarity. As we navigate the challenges of life, this verse serves as a reminder to prioritize these qualities in our teams, organizations, and communities. Let us draw inspiration from Bhima’s example to lead with integrity, foster unity, and pursue our goals with unwavering resolve and righteousness.