Chapter 1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 1.45

yadi mām apratīkāram

aśastraḿ śastra-pāṇayaḥ

dhārtarāṣṭrā raṇe hanyus

tan me kṣemataraḿ bhavet


yadi — even if; māmme; apratīkāram — without being resistant; aśastram — without being fully equipped; śastra-pāṇayaḥ — those with weapons in hand; dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ — the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; raṇe — on the battlefield; hanyuḥ — may kill; tat — that; me — for me; kṣema-taram — better; bhavet — would be.


Better for me if the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, weapons in hand, were to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield.


It is the custom — according to kṣatriya fighting principles — that an unarmed and unwilling foe should not be attacked. Arjuna, however, decided that even if attacked by the enemy in such an awkward position, he would not fight. He did not consider how much the other party was bent upon fighting. All these symptoms are due to soft-heartedness resulting from his being a great devotee of the Lord.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness