Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 108:5

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 108:5

One that hath thrown away his weapons, one that hath fallen down, one whose armour hath slipped off, one whose standard is down, one who is flying away, one who is frightened, one who says—"I am thine"—one who is a female, one who beareth the name of a female, one no longer capable of taking care of one's self, one who hath only a single son, or one who is a vulgar fellows,—with these I do not like to battle. Hear also, O king, about my resolve formed before. Beholding any inauspicious omen I would never fight. That mighty car-warrior, the son of Drupada, O king, whom thou hast in thy army, who is known by the name of Sikhandin, who is wrathful in battle, brave, and ever victorious, was a female before but subsequently obtained manhood. How all this took place, ye all know it truly. Brave in battle and clad in mail, let Arjuna, keeping Sikhandin before him, attack me with his sharp shafts. When that inauspicious omen will be there, especially in the form of one that was a female before, I will never seek, though armed with bow and arrow, to strike him. Obtaining that opportunity, let Dhananjaya the son of Pandu quickly pierce me on every side with his shafts, O bull of Bharata's race. Except the highly blessed Krishna, and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, I do not behold the person in the three worlds who is able to slay me while exerting myself in battle. Let Vibhatsu, therefore, armed with weapons, struggling carefully in battle, with his excellent bow in hand, placing (Sikhandin or) something else before, throw me down (from my car). Then the victory will be certain. Do this, O great king, even this that I have said unto thee, O thou of excellent vows. Thou wilt then be able to slay all Dhartarashtras assembled together in battle.

Sanjaya continued, "The Parthas then, having ascertained all this went back to their tents, saluting the Kuru grandsire, viz., the high-souled Bhishma. After Ganga's son, prepared to go to the other world, had said this, Arjuna, burning with grief and his face suffused in shame, said these words, 'How, O Madhava, shall I fight in battle with the grandsire who is my senior in years, who is possessed of wisdom and intelligence, and who is the oldest member of our race? While sporting in days of childhood, O Vasudeva, I used to smear the body of this high-souled and illustrious one with dust by climbing on his lap with my own filthy body. O elder brother of Gada, he is the sire of my sire Pandu. While a child, climbing on the lap of this high-souled one I once called him father. I am not thy father but thy father's father, O Bharata!—even this is what he said to me (in reply) in my childhood. He who said so, Oh, how can he be slain by me. O, let my army perish. Whether it is victory or death that I obtain I will never fight that high-souled person. (Even this is what I think). What dost thou think, O Krishna!'