King Dhritarashtra asks this question of his secretary, Sanjay:
"Being desirous of fighting, what are my sons and the sons of Pāṇḍu doing
at on the battlefield of dharma-- Kurukṣetra?"
The question Dhritrasthra is really asking is, "who will emerge
Bhagavad Gita 1.1
dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva kim akurvata sañjaya
dhṛtarāṣṭraḥ uvāca — King Dhṛtarāṣṭra said; dharma-kṣetre — in the place of pilgrimage; kuru-kṣetre — in the place named Kurukṣetra; samavetāḥ — assembled; yuyutsavaḥ — desiring to ﬁght; māmakāḥ — my party (sons); pāṇḍavāḥ — the sons of Pāṇḍu; ca — and; eva — certainly; kim — what; akurvata — did they do; sañjaya — O Sañjaya
Translation King Dhṛtarāṣṭra said: O Sanjay, after my sons and the sons of Pandu assembled in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukṣetra desiring to fight, what did they do?
Duryodhana assesses the array of the top battlefield warriors and commanders of both sides. He speaks to his military guru Dronacharya and addresses his other battle commanders towards the end of his brief review. He asks that the venerable warrior grandfather of the Kurus--Bhishma pitamah, be protected. Bhishma cuts short Duryodhana's talk.
sañjayaḥ uvāca — Sañjaya said; dṛṣṭvā — after seeing; tu — but; pāṇḍava-anīkam — the Pāṇḍava army; vyūḍham — arranged in a battle formation; duryodhanaḥ —King Duryodhana; tadā — at that time; ācāryam — the teacher, Bhisma; upasaṅgamya — approaching; rājā — the king; vacanam — words; abravīt — spoke.
Translation Sanjay said to King Dhritrashtra: O King, after seeing the soldiers of the Pāṇḍavas arranged in a military formation, King Duryodhan approached his military teacher, Dronacharya, and
spoke the following words.
paśya — behold; etām — this; pāṇḍu-putrānām — of the sons of Pāṇḍu; ācārya — O teacher; mahatīm — great; camūm — military force; vyūḍhām — arranged; drupada-putreṇa — by the son of Drupada; tava — your; śiṣyeṇa — disciple; dhī-matā — very intelligent
Translation (King Duryodhana said) Behold the sons of Pāṇḍu my teacher! See this great army very expertly arranged by your very
intelligent disciple, Dhṛṣṭadyumna, the son of Dhrupad!
Bhagavad Gita 1.4
atra śūrā maheṣv-āsā bhīmārjuna-samā yudhi yuyudhāno virāṭaś ca drupadaś ca mahā-rathaḥ
atra — here; śūrāḥ — heroes; mahā-iṣu-āsāḥ — great mighty bowmen; bhīma-arjuna — to Bhīma and Arjuna; samāḥ — equal; yudhi — in the ﬁght; yuyudhānaḥ — Yuyudhāna; virāṭaḥ — Virāṭa; ca — also; drupadaḥ — Drupada; ca — also; mahā-rathaḥ — great ﬁghter.
Translation Here in this army are great bowmen equal to Bhīma and Arjuna in fighting prowess. There are also great ﬁghters like Yuyudhāna, Virāṭa and Drupada.
Bhagavad Gita 1.5
dhṛṣṭaketuś cekitānaḥ kāśirājaś ca vīryavān purujit kuntibhojaś ca śaibyaś ca nara-puṅgavaḥ
dhṛṣṭaketuḥ — Dhṛṣṭaketu; cekitānaḥ — Cekitāna; kāśirājaḥ — Kāśirāja; ca — also; vīrya-vān — very powerful; purujit — Purujit; kuntibhojaḥ — Kuntibhoja; ca — and; śaibyaḥ — Śaibya; ca — and; nara-puṅgavaḥ — hero in human society.
Translation There is Dhrshtaketu, Cekitana, Kasirajah and the very powerful Kurujeet. There are Kuntibhoj and Saibhya--all heroes in society and great powerful warriors.
Bhagavad Gita 1.6
yudhāmanyuś ca vikrānta uttamaujāś ca vīryavān saubhadro draupadeyāś ca sarva eva mahā-rathāḥ
yudhāmanyuḥ — Yudhāmanyu; ca — and; vikrāntaḥ — mighty; uttamaujāḥ — Uttamaujā; ca — and; vīrya-vān — very powerful; saubhadraḥ — the son of Subhadrā; draupadeyāḥ — the sons of Draupadī; ca — and; sarve — all; eva — certainly; mahā-rathāḥ — great chariot ﬁghters.
Translation There are also mighty Yudhamanyu, the very
powerful Uttamaujah, son of Subhadra, and the sons of Draupadi. They are all great chariot fighters.
Bhagavad Gita 1.7
asmākaṁ tu viśiṣṭā ye tān nibodha dvijottama nāyakā mama sainyasya saṁjñārthaṁ tān bravīmi te
asmākam — our; tu — but; viśiṣṭāḥ — especially powerful; ye — who; tān — them; nibodha — just for your information; dvija-uttama — O best of brāhmaṇas; nāyakāḥ — captains; mama — my; sainyasya — of the soldiers; saṁjñā-artham — for information; tān — them; bravīmi — I am speaking; te — to you.
Translation Just for your information, O best of brāhmaṇas, let me tell you of the especially qualified and powerful military captains and commanders of my armies who are present.
Bhagavad Gita 1.8
bhavān bhīṣmaś ca karṇaś ca kṛpaś ca samitiṁ-jayaḥ aśvatthāmā vikarṇaś ca saumadattis tathaiva ca
bhavān — your good self; bhīṣmaḥ — Grandfather Bhīṣma; ca — also; karṇaḥ — Karṇa; ca — and; kṛpaḥ — Kṛpa; ca — and; samitim-jayaḥ — always victorious in battle; aśvatthāmā — Aśvatthāmā; vikarṇaḥ — Vikarṇa; ca — as well as; saumadattiḥ — the son of Somadatta; tathā — as well as; eva — certainly; ca — also..
Translation There are great personalities
like you,Grandfather Bhīṣma. Then there are Karṇa and Kṛpa, who are always victorious in battle, and certainly there are also these ever victorious warriors Aśvatthāmā, Vikarṇa and the son of Somadatta, known asBhūriśravā .
Bhagavad Gita 1.9
anye ca bahavaḥ śūrā mad-arthe tyakta-jīvitāḥ nānā-śastra-praharaṇāḥ sarve yuddha-viśāradāḥ
anye — others; ca — also; bahavaḥ — in great numbers; śūrāḥ — heroes; mat-arthe — for my sake; tyakta-jīvitāḥ — prepared to risk life; nānā — many; śastra — weapons; praharaṇāḥ — equipped with; sarve — all of them; yuddha-viśāradāḥ — experienced in the science of warfare
Translation Here are a great many other heroes who are prepared to lay down their lives for my sake. All of them are well equipped with different kinds of weapons, and all are experienced in the science of warfare.
Bhagavad Gita 1.10
aparyāptaṁ tad asmākaṁ balaṁ bhīṣmābhirakṣitam paryāptaṁ tv idam eteṣāṁ balaṁ bhīmābhirakṣitam
aparyāptam — immeasurable; tat — that; asmākam — of ours; balam — strength; bhīṣma — by Grandfather Bhīṣma; abhirakṣitam — perfectly protected; paryāptam — limited; tu — but; idam — all this; eteṣām — of the Pāṇḍavas; balam — strength; bhīma — by Bhīma; abhirakṣitam — carefully protected
Translation We have immeasurable military might perfectly protected by
Grandfather Bhīṣma, whereas the limited strength of the Pāṇḍavtrumpetas, carefully
protected by Bhīma.
Bhagavad Gita 1.11
ayaneṣu ca sarveṣu yathā-bhāgam avasthitāḥ bhīṣmam evābhirakṣantu bhavantaḥ sarva eva hi
ayaneṣu — in the strategic points; ca — also; sarveṣu — everywhere; yathā-bhāgam — as differently arranged; avasthitāḥ — situated; bhīṣmam — unto Grandfather Bhīṣma; eva — certainly; abhirakṣantu — should give support; bhavantaḥ — you; sarve — all respectively; eva hi — certainly.
Translation Commanders, as you stand at your respective strategic points on the battlefield and elsewhere in your military divisions you should all give your support and protection to Grandfather Bhīṣma.
tasya — his; sañjanayan — increasing; harṣam — cheerfulness; kuru-vṛddhaḥ — the grandsire of the Kuru dynasty (Bhīṣma); pitāmahaḥ — the grandfather; siṁha-nādam — roaring sound, like that of a lion; vinadya — vibrating; uccaiḥ — very loudly; śaṅkham — conchshell; dadhmau — blew; pratāpa-vān — the valiant.
Translation Bhīṣma, the greatly powerful and valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty blew his conchshell and the sound reverberated like a great lion's roar, gladdening the heart of Duryodhana.
Bhagavad Gita 1.13
tataḥ śaṅkhāś ca bheryaś ca paṇavānaka-gomukhāḥ sahasaivābhyahanyanta sa śabdas tumulo ’bhavat
tataḥ — thereafter; śaṅkhāḥ — conchshells; ca — also; bheryaḥ — large drums; ca — and; paṇava-ānaka — small drums and kettledrums; go-mukhāḥ — horns; sahasā — all of a sudden; eva — certainly; abhyahanyanta — were simultaneously sounded; saḥ — that; śabdaḥ — combined sound; tumulaḥ — deafening; abhavat — became.
Translation After that, the conchshells, drums, bugles, trumpets and horns were all suddenly sounded simultaneously with a deafening sound.
tataḥ — thereafter; śvetaiḥ — with white; hayaiḥ — horses; yukte — being yoked; mahati — in a great; syandane — chariot; sthitau — situated; mādhavaḥ — Kṛṣṇa (the husband of the goddess of fortune); pāṇḍavaḥ — Arjuna (the son of Pāṇḍu); ca — also; eva — certainly; divyau — transcendental; śaṅkhau — conchshells; pradadhmatuḥ — sounded.
Translation After the sounding of conchshells, drums, bugles, and horns from Kaurava's army, being firmly situated on a wonderful transcendental chariot drawn by white horses, Lord Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, sounded their transcendental conchshells.
pāñcajanyam — the conchshell named Pāñcajanya; hṛṣīka-īśaḥ — Hṛṣīkeśa (Kṛṣṇa, the Lord who directs the senses of the devotees); devadattam — the conchshell named Devadatta; dhanam-jayaḥ — Dhanañjaya (Arjuna, the winner of wealth); pauṇḍram — the conch named Pauṇḍra; dadhmau — blew; mahā-śaṅkham — the terriﬁc conchshell; bhīma-karmā — one who performs herculean tasks; vṛka-udaraḥ — the voracious eater (Bhīma)
Translation Lord Kṛṣṇa, the master of the senses and all living beings, blew His conchshell, called Pāñcajanya. Arjuna blew his conchshell, Devadatta, and Bhīma, the voracious eater and performer of herculean tasks, blew his terriﬁc conchshell, called Pauṇḍra.
Bhagavad Gita 1.16-18
anantavijayaṁ rājā kuntī-putro yudhiṣṭhiraḥ nakulaḥ sahadevaś ca sughoṣa-maṇipuṣpakau
kāśyaś ca parameṣv-āsaḥ śikhaṇḍī ca mahā-rathaḥ dhṛṣṭadyumno virāṭaś ca sātyakiś cāparājitaḥ
drupado draupadeyāś ca sarvaśaḥ pṛthivī-pate saubhadraś ca mahā-bāhuḥ śaṅkhān dadhmuḥ pṛthak pṛthak
ananta-vijayam — the conch named Ananta-vijaya; rājā — the king; kuntī-putraḥ — the son of Kuntī; yudhiṣṭhiraḥ — Yudhiṣṭhira; nakulaḥ — Nakula; sahadevaḥ — Sahadeva; ca — and; sughoṣa-maṇipuṣpakau — the conches named Sughoṣa and Maṇipuṣpaka; kāśyaḥ — the King of Kāśī (Vārāṇasī); ca — and; parama-iṣu-āsaḥ — the great archer; śikhaṇḍī — Śikhaṇḍī; ca — also; mahā-rathaḥ — one who can ﬁght alone against thousands; dhṛṣṭadyumnaḥ — Dhṛṣṭadyumna (the son of King Drupada); virāṭaḥ — Virāṭa (the prince who gave shelter to the Pāṇḍavas while they were in disguise); ca — also; sātyakiḥ — Sātyaki (the same as Yuyudhāna, the charioteer of Lord Kṛṣṇa); ca — and; aparājitaḥ — who had never been vanquished; drupadaḥ — Drupada, the King of Pāñcāla; draupadeyāḥ — the sons of Draupadī; ca — also; sarvaśaḥ — all; pṛthivī-pate — O King; saubhadraḥ — Abhimanyu, the son of Subhadrā; ca — also; mahā-bāhuḥ — mighty-armed; śaṅkhān — conchshells; dadhmuḥ — blew; pṛthak pṛthak — each separately
Translation King Yudhiṣṭhira, the son of Kuntī, sounded his conchshell, Ananta-vijaya. Nakula and Sahadeva sounded Sughoṣa and Maṇipuṣpaka, and then one by one the other great warriors on the side of the Pāṇḍavas blew their conchshells —the great archer the King of Kāśī, the great ﬁghters Śikhaṇḍī, Dhṛṣṭadyumna, King Virāṭa, the unconquerable Sātyaki, King Drupada, the sons of Draupadī, and among others, O King, Abhimanyu the mighty-armed son of Subhadrā.
Bhagavad Gita 1.19
sa ghoṣo dhārtarāṣṭrāṇāṁ hṛdayāni vyadārayat nabhaś ca pṛthivīṁ caiva tumulo ’bhyanunādayan
saḥ — that; ghoṣaḥ — vibration; dhārtarāṣṭrāṇām — of the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; hṛdayāni — hearts; vyadārayat — shattered; nabhaḥ — the sky; ca — also; pṛthivīm — the surface of the earth; ca — also; eva — certainly; tumulaḥ — uproarious; abhyanunādayan — resounding
Translation The combined vibration of the conchshells shattered the hearts of the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and reverberated in the sky and on the earth with an auproarious sound.
atha — thereupon; vyavasthitān — situated; dṛṣṭvā — looking upon; dhārtarāṣṭrān — the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; kapi-dhvajaḥ — he whose ﬂag was marked with Hanumān; pravṛtte — while about to engage; śastra-sampāte — in releasing his arrows; dhanuḥ — bow; udyamya — taking up; pāṇḍavaḥ — the son of Pāṇḍu (Arjuna); hṛṣīkeśam — unto Lord Kṛṣṇa; tadā — at that time; vākyam — words; idam — these; āha — said; mahī-pate — O King.
Translation At that time Arjuna, the son of Pāṇḍu, seated in the chariot bearing the ﬂag marked with Hanumān, took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows. O King, after looking at the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra drawn in military formation, Arjuna then spoke these words to Lord Hṛṣīkeśa (Kṛṣṇa).
arjunaḥ uvāca — Arjuna said; senayoḥ — of the armies; ubhayoḥ — both; madhye — between; ratham — the chariot; sthāpaya — please keep; me — my; acyuta — O infallible one; yāvat — as long as; etān — all these; nirīkṣe — may look upon; aham — I; yoddhu-kāmān — desiring to ﬁght; avasthitān — arrayed on the battleﬁeld; kaiḥ — with whom; mayā — by me; saha — together; yoddhavyam — have to ﬁght; asmin — in this; raṇa — strife; samudyame — in the attempt.
Translation Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot in the middle of these two armies so that I may see all those present here who desire to do battle, and also see those with whom I and my army must attempt to fight.
yotsyamānān — those who will be ﬁghting; avekṣe — let me see; aham — I; ye — who; ete — those; atra — here; samāgatāḥ — assembled; dhārtarāṣṭrasya — for the son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; durbuddheḥ — evil-minded; yuddhe — in the ﬁght; priya — well; cikīrṣavaḥ — wishing.
Translation Let me see those who will be fighting, as well as those who have assembled here to ﬁght wishing to please the evil-minded son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.
All the great warriors of the Kauravas and Pandavas are gathered on the battlefield of kurukshetra.
The resounding battle-cry of the Kauravas is countered by the transcendental conch shells sounds of Krishna and Arjun's conch-shell. These sounds from the Pandavas shatters the hearts of the Kaurava's even before the battle has begun.
sañjayaḥ uvāca — Sañjaya said; evam — thus; uktaḥ — addressed; hṛṣīkeśaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa; guḍākeśena — by Arjuna; bhārata — O descendant of Bharata; senayoḥ — of the armies; ubhayoḥ — both; madhye — in the midst; sthāpayitvā — placing; ratha-uttamam — the ﬁnest chariot.
Translation Sañjaya said: Being addressed thus by Arjuna the conqueror of ignorance, Lord Kṛṣṇa—Hṛṣīkeśaḥ,
the master of the senses who is also the master of all living beings,
drew up their wonderful chariot in the middle of both the armies.
Bhagavad Gita 1.25
bhīṣma-droṇa-pramukhataḥ sarveṣāṁ ca mahī-kṣitām uvāca pārtha paśyaitān samavetān kurūn iti
bhīṣma — Grandfather Bhīṣma; droṇa — the teacher Droṇa; pramukhataḥ — in front of; sarveṣām — all; ca — also; mahī-kṣitām — chiefs of the world; uvāca — said; pārtha — O son of Pṛthā; paśya — just behold; etān — all of them; samavetān — assembled; kurūn — the members of the Kuru dynasty; iti — thus.
Translation There in front of Bhīṣma, Droṇa and all the other chieftains of the world, Lord Hṛṣīkeśaḥ said, “My dear cousin Pārtha, son of my aunt Kuntī, just behold all the members of the Kuru dynasty assembled here.”
tatra — there; apaśyat — he could see; sthitān — standing; pārthaḥ — Arjuna; pitṝn — fathers; atha — also; pitāmahān — grandfathers; ācāryān — teachers; mātulān — maternal uncles; bhrātṝn — brothers; putrān — sons; pautrān — grandsons; sakhīn — friends; tathā — too; śvaśurān — fathers-in-law; suhṛdaḥ — well-wishers; ca — also; eva — certainly; senayoḥ — of the armies; ubhayoḥ — of both parties; api — including.
Translation Within both the armies Arjuna could see his fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, and friends standing there, including his fathers-in-law and his well-wishers and relatives.
Bhagavad Gita 1.27
tān samīkṣya sa kaunteyaḥ sarvān bandhūn avasthitān kṛpayā parayāviṣṭo viṣīdann idam abravīt
tān — all of them; samīkṣya — after seeing; saḥ — he; kaunteyaḥ — the son of Kuntī; sarvān — all kinds of; bandhūn — relatives; avasthitān — situated; kṛpayā — by compassion; parayā — of a high grade; āviṣṭaḥ — overwhelmed; viṣīdan — while lamenting; idam — thus; abravīt — spoke.
Translation When the son of Kuntī, Arjuna, saw all these varieties of friends and relatives, he became overwhelmed with great compassion for them and spoke thus.
Bhagavad Gita 1.28
dṛṣṭvemaṁ sva-janaṁ kṛṣṇa yuyutsuṁ samupasthitam sīdanti mama gātrāṇi mukhaṁ ca pariśuṣyati
arjunaḥ uvāca — Arjuna said; dṛṣṭvā — after seeing; imam — all these; sva-janam — kinsmen; kṛṣṇa — O Kṛṣṇa; yuyutsum — all in a ﬁghting spirit; samupasthitam — present; sīdanti — are quivering; mama — my; gātrāṇi — limbs of the body; mukham — mouth; ca — also; pariśuṣyati — is drying up.
Translation Arjuna said: My dear Kṛṣṇa, seeing my friends and kinsmen present before me in such an eager ﬁghting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.
Bhagavad Gita 1.29
vepathuś ca śarīre me roma-harṣaś ca jāyate gāṇḍīvaṁ sraṁsate hastāt tvak caiva paridahyate
vepathuḥ — trembling of the body; ca — also; śarīre — on the body; me — my; roma-harṣaḥ — standing of hair on end; ca — also; jāyate — is taking place; gāṇḍīvam — the bow of Arjuna; sraṁsate — is slipping; hastāt — from the hand; tvak — skin; ca — also; eva — certainly; paridahyate — is burning.
Translation My whole body is trembling, my hair is standing on end, my bow the great Gāṇḍīva is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning.
Bhagavad Gita 1.30
na ca śaknomy avasthātuṁ bhramatīva ca me manaḥ nimittāni ca paśyāmi viparītāni keśava
na — nor; ca — also; śaknomi — am I able; avasthātum — to stay; bhramati — forgetting; iva — as; ca — and; me — my; manaḥ — mind; nimittāni — causes; ca — also; paśyāmi — I see; viparītāni — just the opposite; keśava — O killer of the demon Keśī (Kṛṣṇa).
Translation I am unable to stay here any longer. I am forgetting myself, and my mind is spinning and I see only the cause of great misfortune, O Kṛṣṇa, killer of Keśī, the demon of attachment.
Bhagavad Gita 1.31
na ca śreyo ’nupaśyāmi hatvā sva-janam āhave na kāṅkṣe vijayaṁ kṛṣṇa na ca rājyaṁ sukhāni ca
na — nor; ca — also; śreyaḥ — good; anupaśyāmi — do I foresee; hatvā — by killing; sva-janam — my own kinsmen; āhave — in the ﬁght; na — nor; kāṅkṣe — do I desire; vijayam — victory; kṛṣṇa — O Kṛṣṇa; na — nor; ca — also; rājyam — kingdom; sukhāni — happiness thereof; ca — also.
Translation Nothing good do I see coming from killing my own kinsmen in this battle, nor do I desire any subsequent victory, kingdom or happiness out of this my dear Kṛṣṇa.
Bhagavad Gita 1.32-35
kiṁ no rājyena govinda kiṁ bhogair jīvitena vā yeṣām arthe kāṅkṣitaṁ no rājyaṁ bhogāḥ sukhāni ca
ta ime ’vasthitā yuddhe prāṇāṁs tyaktvā dhanāni ca ācāryāḥ pitaraḥ putrās tathaiva ca pitāmahāḥ
api trailokya-rājyasya hetoḥ kiṁ nu mahī-kṛte nihatya dhārtarāṣṭrān naḥ kā prītiḥ syāj janārdana
kim — of what use; naḥ — to us; rājyena — is the kingdom; govinda — O Kṛṣṇa; kim — what; bhogaiḥ — enjoyment; jīvitena — living; vā — either; yeṣām — of whom; arthe — for the sake; kāṅkṣitam — is desired; naḥ — by us; rājyam — kingdom; bhogāḥ — material enjoyment; sukhāni — all happiness; ca — also; te — all of them; ime — these; avasthitāḥ — situated; yuddhe — on this battleﬁeld; prāṇān — lives; tyaktvā — giving up; dhanāni — riches; ca — also; ācāryāḥ — teachers; pitaraḥ — fathers; putrāḥ — sons; tathā — as well as; eva — certainly; ca — also; pitāmahāḥ — grandfathers; mātulāḥ — maternal uncles; śvaśurāḥ — fathers-in-law; pautrāḥ — grandsons; śyālāḥ — brothers-in-law; sambandhinaḥ — relatives; tathā — as well as; etān — all these; na — never; hantum — to kill; icchāmi — do I wish; ghnataḥ — being killed; api — even; madhusūdana — O killer of the demon Madhu (Kṛṣṇa); api — even if; trai-lokya — of the three worlds; rājyasya — for the kingdom; hetoḥ — in exchange; kimnu — what to speak of; mahī-kṛte — for the sake of the earth; nihatya — by killing; dhārtarāṣṭrān — the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; naḥ — our; kā — what; prītiḥ — pleasure; syāt — will there be; janārdana — O maintainer of all living entities.
Translation Of what use is this kingdom O Govinda? What enjoyment or happiness will I get even from life itself when all those for whom I may desire these things for, are now arrayed on this battleﬁeld? O Madhusūdana, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and other relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, why should I wish to kill them, even though they might otherwise kill me? O maintainer of all living entities, I am not prepared to ﬁght with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth. What pleasure will there be from killing the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra?
On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, seeing his relatives and associates arrayed against him, and overcome by compassion for them, Arjun loses heart to fight. He relies on scriptural teachings to take the high moral ground to support his not wanting to fight and appeals to Kṛṣṇa to clear his doubts.
pāpam — vices; eva — certainly; āśrayet — must come upon; asmān — us; hatvā — by killing; etān — all these; ātatāyinaḥ — aggressors; tasmāt — therefore; na — never; arhāḥ — deserving; vayam — we; hantum — to kill; dhārtarāṣṭrān — the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; sa-bāndhavān — along with friends; sva-janam — kinsmen; hi — certainly; katham — how; hatvā — by killing; sukhinaḥ — happy; syāma — will we become; mādhava — O Kṛṣṇa, husband of the goddess of fortune.
Translation We will be taking shelter of sinful activities by killing these aggressors. Therefore it is certainly not deserving that we kill the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and our friends and relatives. What should we gain and be happy O Kṛṣṇa, husband of the goddess of fortune, by killing our own kinsmen?
Bhagavad Gita 1.37-38
yady apy ete na paśyanti lobhopahata-cetasaḥ kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ mitra-drohe ca pātakam
yadi — if; api — even though; ete — they; na — do not; paśyanti — see; lobha — by greed; upahata — overpowered; cetasaḥ — their hearts; kula-kṣaya — in killing the family; kṛtam — done; doṣam — fault; mitra-drohe — in quarreling with friends; ca — also; pātakam — sinful reactions; katham — why; na — should not; jñeyam — be known; asmābhiḥ — by us; pāpāt — from sins; asmāt — these; nivartitum — to cease; kula-kṣaya — in the destruction of a dynasty; kṛtam — done; doṣam — crime; prapaśyadbhiḥ — by those who can see; janārdana — O Kṛṣṇa.
Translation O Janārdana, although these men are overtaken by greed their hearts and see no fault in killing one’s family or quarreling with friends, why should we, who can see the crime in destroying an entire dynasty, engage in these criminal sinful acts?
kula-kṣaye — in destroying the family; praṇaśyanti — become vanquished; kula-dharmāḥ — the family traditions; sanātanāḥ — eternal; dharme — religion; naṣṭe — being destroyed; kulam — family; kṛtsnam — whole; adharmaḥ — irreligion; abhibhavati — transforms; uta — it is said
Translation It is said that in the destruction of the family and dynasty, the eternal family dharma tradition is destroyed completely and that transforms to irreligious practice for the family.
adharma — irreligion; abhibhavāt — having become predominant; kṛṣṇa — O Kṛṣṇa; praduṣyanti — become polluted; kula-striyaḥ — women of the family; strīṣu — by the womanhood; duṣṭāsu — being so polluted; vārṣṇeya — O descendant of Vṛṣṇi; jāyate — comes into being; varṇa-saṅkaraḥ — unwanted progeny.
Translation When irreligion becomes prominent in the family, O Kṛṣṇa, the women of the family become polluted, and from this degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, comes unwanted progeny (living an animal-like life of wanton sense-gratification.)
Bhagavad Gita 1.41
saṅkaro narakāyaiva kula-ghnānāṁ kulasya ca patanti pitaro hy eṣāṁ lupta-piṇḍodaka-kriyāḥ
saṅkaraḥ — such unwanted children; narakāya — make for hellish life; eva — certainly; kula-ghnānām — for those who are killers of the family; kulasya — for the family; ca — also; patanti — fall down; pitaraḥ — forefathers; hi — certainly; eṣām — of them; lupta — cease; piṇḍa — of offerings of food; udaka — and water; kriyāḥ — performances.
Translation An increase of unwanted population certainly causes hellish life both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. The ancestors of such corrupt families fall down, because the performances for offering them piṇḍa—food and water, cease.
Arjun is convinced that by fighting his relatives, the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, and friends and others gathered on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra he will be committing many sinful acts for which they will all go to the various hells* for punishment reserved for those who commit such criminal acts. Overwhelmed by grief, Arjuna sets aside his bow and declines to fight.
*The 28 major hells described
Bhagavad Gita 1.42
doṣair etaiḥ kula-ghnānāṁ varṇa-saṅkara-kārakaiḥ utsādyante jāti-dharmāḥ kula-dharmāś ca śāśvatāḥ
doṣaiḥ — by such faults; etaiḥ — all these; kula-ghnānām — of the destroyers of the family; varṇa-saṅkara — of (unqualified) unwanted children; kārakaiḥ — which are causes; utsādyante — are ruined; jāti-dharmāḥ — social and religious community duties; kula-dharmāḥ — family duties; ca — also; śāśvatāḥ — eternal.
Translation By the evil deeds of those who destroy the noble civilized culture of family traditions and thus give rise to unqualified unwanted children, all kinds of social and familial duties and welfare activities are ruined.
utsanna — spoiled; kula-dharmāṇām — of those who have the family traditions; manuṣyāṇām — of such men; janārdana — O Kṛṣṇa; narake — in hell; niyatam — always; vāsaḥ — residence; bhavati — it so becomes; iti — thus; anuśuśruma — I have heard by disciplic succession.
Translation O Kṛṣṇa, Janārdana, maintainer of all people, I have heard by disciplic succession that those whose family traditions are destroyed always dwell in hell.
Bhagavad Gita 1.44
aho bata mahat pāpaṁ kartuṁ vyavasitā vayam yad rājya-sukha-lobhena hantuṁ sva-janam udyatāḥ
aho — alas; bata — how astonishing it is; mahat — grave, great; pāpam — sins; kartum — to perform; vyavasitāḥ — have decided; vayam — we; yat — because; rājya-sukha-lobhena — driven by greed for royal happiness; hantum — to kill; sva-janam — kinsmen; udyatāḥ — preparing.
Translation Alas! how astonishing it is that we have decided to commit such grave sinful acts! Driven by the greed to enjoy royal happiness, we are prepared to kill our own kinsmen.
yadi — even if; mām — me; apratīkāram — without resising; aśastram — weaponless; 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.
Translation Even if I stand un-resisting and weaponless in front of the fully armed sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and be killed by them on the battlefield, it would be far better for me.
añjayaḥ uvāca — Sañjaya said; evam — thus; uktvā — saying; arjunaḥ — Arjuna; saṅkhye — in the battleﬁeld; ratha — of the chariot; upasthe — on the seat; upāviśat — sat down again; visṛjya — putting aside; sa-śaram — along with arrows; cāpam — the bow; śoka — by lamentation; saṁvigna — distressed; mānasaḥ — within the mind.
Translation Sañjaya said: Having spoken like this, Arjuna cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.