Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 25:2

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Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 25:2
Bhagavad Gita Chapter I


I will observe those who are assembled here and who are prepared to fight for doing what is agreeable in battle to the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra.

Sanjaya continued,—"Thus addressed by Gudakesa, O Bharata, Hrishikesa, placing that excellent car between the two armies, in view of Bhishma and Drona and all the kings of the earth, said,—'Behold, O Partha these assembled Kurus,'—And there the son of Pritha beheld, standing (his) sires and grandsons, and friends, and father-in-law and well-wishers, in both the armies. Beholding all those kinsmen standing (there), the son of Kunti, possessed by excessive pity, despondingly said (these words).

Arjuna said,—'Beholding these kinsmen, O Krishna, assembled together and eager for the fight, my limbs become languid, and my mouth becomes dry. My body trembles, and my hair stands on end. Gandiva slips from my hand, and my skin burns. I am unable to stand (any longer); my mind seems to wander. I behold adverse omens, too, O Kesava. I do not desire victory, O Krishna, not sovereignty, nor pleasures. Of what use would sovereignty be to us, O Govinda, or enjoyments, or even life, since they, for whose sake sovereignty, enjoyments, and pleasures are desired by us, are here arrayed for battle ready to give up life and wealth, viz., preceptors, sires, sons and grandsires, maternal uncles, father-in-laws, grandsons, brother-in-laws, and kinsmen. I wish not to slay these though they slay me, O slayer of Madhu, even for the sake of the sovereignty of the three worlds, what then for the sake of (this) earth?[1] What gratification can be ours, O Janardana, by slaying the Dhartarashtras? Even if they be regarded as foes,[2] sin will overtake us if we slay them. Therefore, it behoveth us not to slay the sons of Dhritarashtra who are our own kinsmen.[3] How, O Madhava can we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?

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References

  1. The meaning is that even for the sake of such a rich reward in prospect I would not kill persons so dear and near to me. I would much rather suffer them strike me, myself not returning their blows.
  2. The word is atatayinas.
  3. Most editions read savandhavam "with (their) kinsmen or friends," I think, however, that swa (own) for (with) is the correct reading. K. T. Telang adopts it in his translation published in Vol. VIII of the Sacred Books of the East.