As I read Bhagavad Gita As It Is 1st chapter from here (http://asitis.com/) I stopped at the 8th verse and switched to this site (www.bhagavad-gita.org) and noticed that 8th verse is different in both the sites so I posted this question immediately.

Srila Prabhupada's BG As It Is says:

"bhavan bhismas ca karnas ca krpas ca samitim-jayah asvatthama vikarnas ca saumadattis tathaiva ca". (BG 1.8)

and bhagavad-gita.org says:

bhavan bhishmas ca karnas ca krpas ca samittinjaya ashvatthama vikarnas ca saumadattir jayadratah (BG 1.8).

Notice that the 1st verse contains "tathaiva ca" at end, and the 2nd verse says "jayadratah" at the end. I checked other sites as well (you can find them online easily) and BG from different authors also use either of the words. So it seems like there are different versions of the Gita.

Are there really different versions/recension of the Gita? If not, then is it "tathaiva ca" at the end or "jayadratah"? Or, are both of them acceptable and authentic? If not, then which one is correct and how can we know it is authentic?


In his footnote to this verse, Swami Gambhirananda writes in his translation of the Bhagavad Gita (p 14):

Asvatthama, son of Drona: Mention of Asvatthama before Karna's son Vikarna, and others, as also the mention of Drona before Bhisma and others, was for pleasing Drona.

Saumadatti: King of Balhika (of Punjab), son of Somadatta; known also as Bhurisrava because of his preeminence. Jayadratha: (some editions read tathaivaca in place of jayadrathah) King of Sindu (modern Sindh). The first line of the verse ennumerates the four principal leaders; the second verse names those next in status.

The recension of the Gita that uses Jayadratha is the same recension that was commented on by Sankara, but there are recensions with the alternative wording. In his introduction to his translation, Swami Gambhirananda writes (pp xvii-xviii):

According to the recension of the Gita commented on by Sankaracarya, the number of verses is 700. But there is evidence to show that some old manuscripts had 745 verses. The Gita published in Srinagar, Kashmir, with the annotation of Abhinavaguptacarya, contains the same number of verses. Other manuscripts have been discovered with variations both in the number of verses and the readings. Pusalkar is of the opinion that 'the additional stanzas effect no material addition; nor do they create any differences in the teaching or argument.' (Studies in Epics and Puranas, p. 144.) He further remarks that "Sankaracarya's testimony for the text of the Bhagavadgita is earlier than that of any other MS or commentator.' (ibid. p 147.) However that may be, after Sankaracarya wrote his Commentary, the Gita has taken a definite form with 700 verses, so far at least as the general public is concerned.

  • Thank you! So is it various commentators took different recensions of the Gita(Mahabharatha) for commenting? I also heard bagavath gita had 701 verses, did'nt really heard of 745 verses Gita before and Is it possible to get/read those too? – Vishu Jan 27 '16 at 11:47
  • @Vishu Yeah, you can see the extra verses in my answer here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/282/36 – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 27 '16 at 12:39
  • @Keshav Srinivasan- Hi keshav!earlier I thought of asking you to have a look at this question. So what do you think this 8th verse? – Vishu Jan 27 '16 at 14:33
  • @KeshavSrinivasan What is the Gitamana shloka? I read that it is from mahabharatha and it says that the Bhagavadgita has 745 verse. Is that true? – Vishu Feb 1 '16 at 17:01

1. Even in the site you linked, if you can read the Hindi/Sanskrit text above the transliteration, or just listen to the audio, there is no Jayadratha, it only says 'tathaiva cha'.
There are other, sites too, which only say 'tathaiva cha', not Jayadratha.

2. The son of Somadutta (Soumadatta) is Bhurishravas. Jaydratha's father is a sage Vridhakshtra, who was far away from battlefield.

3. Even if that was not the case, mentioning the same person twice (The son of Somadatta - jayadratha) would be redundant. He can either say Soumadatta, or Jayadratha. If you notice the previous shlokas where Duryodhana is mentioning other warriors, he only allocates one word to each. Jaydartha is not that great a fighter to deserve 2 words.

4. Following is my guess since I'm not Sanskrit Grammar proficient.
For the combining letter च (cha/and), there should normally be N-1 च if N people listed e.g. Ram and Lakshman and Bharath. or in some cases, N च for N people e.g. in Tamil we say 'Rama-num, Bharatha-num, Shatrughna-num', where னும் (num) is the combining letter.
But if you look at supposed version:

bhavān bhīṣmaś ca karṇaś ca kṛpaś ca samitiṃjayaḥ
aśvatthāmā vikarṇaś ca saumadattir jayadrathaḥ

The 1st sentence has 3 च for 4 people, while the 2nd sentence has only 1 च(ca) between 4 people (since soumadatta and jayadratha denote different persons)

5. 'Tathaiva' means - similarly / likewise. 8 is the last shloka where Duryodhana lists warriors. Normally we end a big list with 'etc.' if there are items remaining in the list. Ending a big list with a person's name, when there are many others left, would not be complete. So he is saying 'and others'.

6. Finally, I wouldn't consider http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/mbs/mbs06023.htm to be super authentic because the sanskrit words are missing 'halank' marks :

भवान भीष्मश च

should actually be :

भवान् भीष्मश् च
  • In roman-translit - Adi shankaracharyas gita shows as "Jayadratha, the son of somadatta". and prabhupadas gita manuscript says "the son of somadatta called Brishrava". – Vishu Jan 27 '16 at 5:42
  • Can you link the source ? Btw, even if the commentary says so, the original shloka does not mention Jayadratha. Commentaries are expansions of main verse so they could have additional meanings that the author (Vyasa) intended but did not specify. – mar Jan 27 '16 at 5:43
  • @ ram - Read the 8th verse hear (sankaracharya.org/gita_bhashya_1.php#1). It does'nt have devanagari though. – Vishu Jan 27 '16 at 5:53
  • like i said, that is the commentary, not the actual verse. You asked for the original source in Sanskrit. So far there is no contradiction on the original verse on any site. It only says 'tathaiva cha', even in the site you mentioned in your question. – mar Jan 27 '16 at 5:57
  • @ ram - yeah, but even then they are not commentaries. they are, what I think are, called roman-translitertion means, english equivalent to sanskrit shloka. Adi shankaracharyas commentary starts from 2nd chapter 10th verse. see here (sankaracharya.org/gita_bhashya_2.php#1) – Vishu Jan 27 '16 at 6:34

To check the originality of verse we can use chhanda rule. That verse of 1.8 is in Anushtup chhanda hence must be true when checked by rules of Anushtup chhanda.

I have mentioned about rules of Anushtup chhanda here[Are the words inside Bhagvad Gita exactly the same words used in actual conversation (ie, used By Lord Krishna and Arjuna)?.

The rule is seperate the quarters from verse and 5th letter of each quarter must be laghu (hraso) and 6th letter of each quarter must be guru (deergha). 7th letter of 4 quarters alternate as Guru Laghu Guru Laghu respectively.

Short sounding letters are counted as Laghu. Laghu letters are: क, कि, कु, क्र, अ, इ, उ, ऋ

Long sounding letters are counted as Guru. Guru letters are: का, की, कू, के, कै, को, कौ, कं, आ, ई, ऊ, ऐ, ओ, औ, अं

Letters before half letters are counted as Guru. For eg in 'अश्वत्थामा'। अ and व are counted as Guru as अ is before half letter श् and व is before half letter त्

Lets apply this in this case..

भवान् भीष्मश्च कर्णश्च कृपश्च समितिञ्जय: । अश्वत्थामा विकर्णश्च सौमदत्तिस्तथैव च ।। bhavān bhīṣmaś ca karṇaś ca kṛpaś ca samitiṃjayaḥ aśvatthāmā vikarṇaś ca saumadattistathaiva cha

Lets split verses in 4 quarters. Full letters are only counted as chhanda rule.

1st quarter: भवान् भीष्मश्च कर्णश्च [8 letters] 2nd quarter: कृपश्च समितिञ्जय: [8 letters ] 3rd quarter: अश्वत्थामा विकर्णश्च [8 letters] 4th quarter: सौमदत्तिस्तथैव च [8 letters]

The disputed quarter is 4th quarter:

        4th quarter: सौमदत्तिस्तथैव च [8 letters] 

Here, 5th letter is which is laghu(hraswo)
6th letter is थै which is guru (deergha)
7th letter is which is laghu (hraswo)
Hence this verse satisfies all rules of Anushtup chhanda.

       If  4th quarter: सौमदत्तिर् जयद्रथ [8 letters]

5th letter is which is Laghu. It satisfies the rule.

6th letter is but it is also laghu. It had to be Guru to satisfy it. Hence it fails.

7th letter is द्र which seems like Guru but it is Laghu in Chhanda rule. It satisfies.

Hence the verse containing सौमदत्तिर् जयद्रथ is not correct.

Hence the correct verse is

भवान् भीष्मश्च कर्णश्च कृपश्च समितिञ्जय: । अश्वत्थामा विकर्णश्च सौमदत्तिस्तथैव च ।।

  • I don't think the Laghu-Guru logic is correct because we don't split it as ja-Ya-Dra-Tha, we split it as Ja-Yad-Ra-Tha which goes perfectly with the Chhandas. – Surya Apr 10 '16 at 8:00
  • @Surya I think in written text we split as written.. and double consonant mixed with 'र' is counted as laghu... But as Mahabharat came as shruti after being written by Vyas so phonetics can also be given priority.. for eg. Gayatri mantra also doesn't exactly matches with Gayatri meter but matches as per phonetics... – Tezz Apr 10 '16 at 8:54
  • It fits in the Chhandas. Just say Tathaiva Ca. And say Jayadratha. Both have equal number of syllables and equal gap between sounds. And splitting is always done according to the sound not the word because script came FAR later than the verses themselves. – Surya Apr 10 '16 at 9:41
  • @Surya You are right... Do you know in which script Ganesha wrote the Mahabharat ? – Tezz Apr 10 '16 at 9:52
  • Sorry I am not aware of the script Ganesha wrote it - in any case it must be some script of the devas, because the complete version is only in Devaloka. – Surya Apr 10 '16 at 10:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .