TEXT 45
yadi mām apratīkāram
aśastraṁ śastra-pāṇayaḥ
dhārtarāṣṭrā raṇe hanyus
tan me kṣemataraṁ bhavet
SYNONYMS
yadieven if; māmunto me; apratīkāramwithout being resistant; aśastramwithout being fully equipped; śastra-pāṇayaḥthose with weapons in hand; dhārtarāṣṭrāḥthe sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; raṇein the battlefield; hanyuḥmay kill; tatthat; me—mine; kṣematarambetter; bhavetbecome.
TRANSLATION
I would consider it better for the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra to kill me unarmed and unresisting, rather than fight with them.
PURPORT
It is the custom—according to kṣatriya fighting principles—that an unarmed and unwilling foe should not be attacked. Arjuna, however, in such an enigmatic position, decided he would not fight if he were attacked by the enemy. He did not consider how much the other party was bent upon fighting. All these symptoms are due to softheartedness resulting from his being a great devotee of the Lord.

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