TEXTS 37-38
yady apy ete na paśyanti
lobhopahata-cetasaḥ
kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ
mitra-drohe ca pātakam
kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ
pāpād asmān nivartitum
kula-kṣaya-kṛtaṁ doṣaṁ
prapaśyadbhir janārdana
SYNONYMS
yadiif; apicertainly; etethey; nado not; paśyantisee; lobhagreed; upahataoverpowered; cetasaḥthe hearts; kula-kṣayain killing the family; kṛtamdone; doṣamfault; mitra-drohequarreling with friends; caalso; pātakamsinful reactions; kathamwhy; nashall not; jñeyamknow this; asmābhiḥby us; pāpātfrom sins; asmātourselves; nivartitumto cease; kula-kṣayathe destruction of a dynasty; kṛtamby so doing; doṣamcrime; prapaśyadbhiḥby those who can see; janārdanaO Kṛṣṇa.
TRANSLATION
O Janārdana, although these men, overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one's family or quarreling with friends, why should we, with knowledge of the sin, engage in these acts?
PURPORT
A kṣatriya is not supposed to refuse to battle or gamble when he is so invited by some rival party. Under such obligation, Arjuna could not refuse to fight because he was challenged by the party of Duryodhana. In this connection, Arjuna considered that the other party might be blind to the effects of such a challenge. Arjuna, however, could see the evil consequences and could not accept the challenge. Obligation is actually binding when the effect is good, but when the effect is otherwise, then no one can be bound. Considering all these pros and cons, Arjuna decided not to fight.

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