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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 1, Verse 16

Chapter 1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra
Verse: 16
Verse 16-18
anantavijayam raja
kunti-putro yudhishthirah
nakulah sahadevas ca
sughosha-manipushpakau
kasyas ca parameshv-asah
sikhandi ca maha-rathah
dhrishtadyumno viratas ca
satyakis caparajitah
drupado draupadeyas ca
sarvasah prithivi-pate
saubhadras ca maha-bahuh
sankhan dadhmuh prithak prithak

Translation:
King Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, blew his conchshell, the Ananta-vijaya, and Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sughosa and Manipuspaka. That great archer the King of Kasi, the great fighter Sikhandi, Dhrishtadyumna, Virata, the unconquerable Satyaki, Drupada, the sons of Draupadi, and the others, O King, such as the mighty-armed son of Subhadra, all blew their respective conchshells.

Explanation:
At the time it was customary for prominent personalities to have personal paraphernalia that was often named. The conch shell were unique to each warrior and could be often recognized just by the sound. In the battle of Virata where Arjuna was disguised, he was immediately recognized by the Kurus when he blew his conch shell.

It is also interesting to note that only those warriors whose concshells have been named in the last three verses survived (with the exception of Satyaki who is called unconquerable). All the other warriors, from Bhisma to Abhimanyu were slain in the battle.

Srila Prabhupada comments, "Sanjaya informed King Dhritarashtra very tactfully that his unwise policy of deceiving the sons of Pandu and endeavoring to enthrone his own sons on the seat of the kingdom was not very laudable. The signs already clearly indicated that the whole Kuru dynasty would be killed in that great battle."

Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.

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