katham bhismam aham sankhye
dronam ca madhusudana
arjunah uvaca—Arjuna said; katham—how; bhismam—unto Bhisma; aham—I; sankhye—in the fight; dronam—unto Drona; ca—also, madhusudana—O killer of Madhu; isubhih—with arrows; pratiyotsyami—shall counterattack; puja-arhau—those who are worshipable; arisudana—O killer of the enemies.
Arjuna said: O killer of Madhu [Krsna], how can I counterattack with arrows in battle men like Bhisma and Drona, who are worthy of my worship?
Respectable superiors like Bhisma the grandfather and Dronacarya the teacher are always worshipable. Even if they attack, they should not be counterattacked. It is general etiquette that superiors are not to be offered even a verbal fight. Even if they are sometimes harsh in behavior, they should not be harshly treated. Then, how is it possible for Arjuna to counterattack them? Would Krsna ever attack His own grandfather, Ugrasena, or His teacher, Sandipani Muni? These were some of the arguments by Arjuna to Krsna.
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