Chapter 1. Despondency of Arjuna: Verse 46

Sanskrit Verse

यदि मामप्रतीकारमशस्त्रं शस्त्रपाणय: |
धार्तराष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस्तन्मे क्षेमतरं भवेत् ||


Yadi maam-aprateekaaram-ashastram shastra-paanayah
Dhaartaraashtraa rane hanyus-tan-me kshemataram bhavet

English Translation

If the armed Kauravas kill me in the battlefield after I give up my arms without any resistance even that would be better for me.

Commentary & Explanation

Arjuna has so far listed:

  • Social reasons (destruction of society)
  • Religious reasons (discontinuation of rites)
  • Spiritual reasons (non-attainment of higher worlds or liberation)
  • Worldly reasons (death and bloodshed)
  • Psychological reasons (no happiness in wealth)

Arjuna has come to the end of his wits, he has decided to abandon the war, his emotions have hijacked his intelligence. When there is bias in the mind decisions will of course be biased, when emotions have gripped the mind rationality will only be a tool for mind to self-justify. When Virus is powerful enough to enter the Anti-virus, Anti-Virus becomes useful.

Story of how a demon tricked the Pandit:

There was a Pandit in a village in India, he was very popular in his locality, people from far away villages would bring patients to him that were  possessed of ghosts.

Pandit was very skilled in Mantras, he would chant the Mantras swiftly and throw ritual rice (Akshata) on the possessed, the ghosts would run away instantly.

Once, a man possessed of a ghost was brought to him, unlike other ghosts this one laughed at the Pandit. The furious Pandit threw the rice at its face chanting some Mantras, but it did not work. The Pandit was surprised, he had never failed. He tried many times after that but failed every time, the Ghost was laughing loudly, Pandit was puzzled, he went to the Ghost and asked how it could escape his magic.

The ghost replied: Even before you could chant your mantras I got myself into it, so your Mantras could not work on me, I was already part of it.

Moral of the story: It is not possible to make a rational decision using an already corrupt intellect.

This happens to everyone at some point to varying extent, giving up is never the solution.

Arjuna is just thinking of getting out of his torturous state even if that means running out of the battlefield, he thinks running away is the solution for the crisis. Being a great warrior it is his duty to fight the unjust and establish righteousness, if he is unwilling to fight against the mighty unrighteous it is as if he is siding with them.



YadiEven if
ShastraArm; weapon
DhaartaraashtraaThe sons of Dhritarashtra
RaneOn the battlefield
HanyuhMay kill
MeFor me
KshemataramBetter; kshema=safe, taram=way,kind,type