TEXT 4
arjuna uvāca
kathaṁ bhīṣmam ahaṁ saṅkhye
droṇaṁ ca madhusūdana
iṣubhiḥ pratiyotsyāmi
pūjārhāv ari-sūdana
SYNONYMS
arjunaḥ uvācaArjuna said; kathamhow; bhīṣmamunto Bhīṣma; ahamI; saṅkhyein the fight; droṇamunto Droṇa; caalso, madhusūdana—O killer of Madhu; iṣubhiḥwith arrows; pratiyotsyāmishall counterattack; pūjā-arhauthose who are worshipable; arisūdanaO killer of the enemies.
TRANSLATION
Arjuna said: O killer of Madhu [Kṛṣṇa], how can I counterattack with arrows in battle men like Bhīṣma and Droṇa, who are worthy of my worship?
PURPORT
Respectable superiors like Bhīṣma the grandfather and Droṇācārya 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 Kṛṣṇa ever attack His own grandfather, Ugrasena, or His teacher, Sāndīpani Muni? These were some of the arguments by Arjuna to Kṛṣṇa.

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