Daily Dose of Bhagavad Gita

Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized

TEXT 34

akirtim capi bhutani
kathayisyanti te ‘vyayam
sambhavitasya cakirtir
maranad atiricyate

Chapter 2 Verse 34-37

TRANSLATION

People will always speak of your infamy, and for one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death.

PURPORT

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.

TEXT 35

bhayad ranad uparatam
mamsyante tvam maha-rathah
yesam ca tvam bahu-mato
bhutva yasyasi laghavam

TRANSLATION

The great generals who have highly esteemed your name and fame will think that you have left the battlefield out of fear only, and thus they will consider you a coward.

PURPORT

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.”

TEXT 36

avacya-vadams ca bahun
vadisyanti tavahitah
nindantas tava samarthyam
tato duhkhataram nu kim

TRANSLATION

Your enemies will describe you in many unkind words and scorn your ability. What could be more painful for you?

PURPORT

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.

TEXT 37

hato va prapsyasi svargam
jitva va bhoksyase mahim
tasmad uttistha kaunteya
yuddhaya krta-niscayah

TRANSLATION

O son of Kunti, either you will be killed on the battlefield and attain the heavenly planets, or you will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom. Therefore get up and fight with determination.

PURPORT

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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