Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized
akirtim capi bhutani
kathayisyanti te ‘vyayam
Both as friend and philosopher to Arjuna, Lord Krsna now gives His final judgement regarding Arjuna’s refusal to fight. The Lord says, “Arjuna, if you leave the battlefield, people will call you a coward even before your actual flight. And if you think that people may call you bad names but that you will save your life by fleeing the battlefield, then My advice is that you’d do better to die in the battle. For a respectable man like you, ill fame is worse than death. So, you should not flee for fear of your life; better to die in the battle. That will save you from the ill fame of misusing My friendship and from losing your prestige in society.”
So, the final judgement of the Lord was for Arjuna to die in the battle and not withdraw.
bhayad ranad uparatam
mamsyante tvam maha-rathah
yesam ca tvam bahu-mato
bhutva yasyasi laghavam
Lord Krsna continued to give His verdict to Arjuna: “Do not think that the great generals like Duryodhana, Karna, and other contemporaries will think that you have left the battlefield out of compassion for your brothers and grandfather. They will think that you have left out of fear for your life. And thus their high estimation of your personality will go to hell.”
avacya-vadams ca bahun
nindantas tava samarthyam
tato duhkhataram nu kim
Lord Krsna was astonished in the beginning at Arjuna’s uncalled-for plea for compassion, and He described his compassion as befitting the non-Aryans. Now in so many words, He has proved His statements against Arjuna’s so-called compassion.
hato va prapsyasi svargam
jitva va bhoksyase mahim
tasmad uttistha kaunteya
Even though there was no certainty of victory for Arjuna’s side, he still had to fight; for, even being killed there, he could be elevated into the heavenly planets.
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