Bhagavad Gita 1.16 Explained: The Pandavas’ Clarion Call to Righteousness

अनन्तविजयं राजा कुन्तीपुत्रो युधिष्ठिरः।
नकुलः सहदेवश्च सुघोषमणिपुष्पकौ।

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता 1.16

Anantavijayam Raja Kuntiputro Yudhishthirah
Nakulah Sahadevashcha Sugoshamanipushpakau

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita 1.16

The King Dharmaraja, the son of Kunti, blew the Anantavijaya, Nakalu and Sahadeo, the Sugosh and Manipushpaka, respectively.

English Translation of BG 1.16

In this verse, the Bhagavad Gita shifts focus to the Pandavas, highlighting the distinct roles and contributions of each brother on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Through the symbolic act of blowing their conches, the Pandavas not only signal their readiness for battle but also affirm their commitment to dharma (righteousness).

Insights into BG 1.16: Reflecting on Swami Ramsukhdas Ji’s Divine Commentary

The Symbolism of the Conches

The conches of the Pandavas, each with its unique name, signify the individual qualities and divine attributes they bring to the fight against adharma (unrighteousness). Yudhishthira’s Anantavijaya, translating to “Endless Victory,” reflects his steadfast adherence to truth and righteousness. Nakula’s Sugosha, meaning “Producing a Pleasant Sound,” symbolizes harmony and balance, while Sahadeva’s Manipushpaka, translating to “Jewel and Flower,” represents purity and wisdom. These names are not just titles but encapsulate the essence of each warrior’s character and their role in the cosmic order.

The Unity of the Pandavas

The act of the Pandavas blowing their conches together serves as a powerful statement of unity and shared purpose. Despite their individual strengths and attributes, they stand united in their quest for justice and righteousness. This unity is a testament to the strength found in dharma and the power of collective resolve in the face of adversity.

The Role of Yudhishthira as Dharmaraja

Yudhishthira, being referred to as “Raja” (King) and “Kuntiputra” (son of Kunti), emphasizes his rightful place as the leader of the Pandavas and a paragon of dharma. His leadership is not based on birthright alone but on his unwavering commitment to righteousness. This distinction sets the tone for the Pandavas’ moral and ethical stance in the battle, reminding us of the importance of virtuous leadership in guiding others toward justice and righteousness.

The Divine Intervention

The description of the Pandavas’ conches also hints at the divine support backing their righteous cause. Each conch, blessed with unique attributes, symbolizes the divine favor and the cosmic alignment with their struggle. It underscores the message that when actions are aligned with dharma, the universe conspires to support those endeavors.


Verse 1.16 of the Bhagavad Gita illuminates the profound significance of unity, righteousness, and divine support in the quest for justice. The Pandavas’ readiness for battle, symbolized by the blowing of their conches, is not just a call to arms but a call to uphold dharma. As we reflect on this verse, let us remember the power of righteous action and the importance of unity in the pursuit of a just cause. The Pandavas’ example teaches us that when we stand firm in our values and work together for a righteous purpose, we align ourselves with the cosmic order and the path to victory.