धार्तराष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस्तन्मे क्षेमतरं भवेत् ॥ ४५ ॥
dhārtarāṣṭrā raṇe hanyus
tan me kṣema-taraṁ bhavet
yadi — even if; mām — me; apratīkāram — without being resistant; aśastram — without being fully equipped; śastra-pāṇayaḥ — those with weapons in hand; dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ — the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; raṇe — on the battlefield; hanyuḥ — may kill; tat — that; me — for me; kṣema-taram — better; bhavet — would be.
Better for me if the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, weapons in hand, were to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield.
It is the custom – according to kṣatriya fighting principles – that an unarmed and unwilling foe should not be attacked. Arjuna, however, decided that even if attacked by the enemy in such an awkward position, he would not fight. He did not consider how much the other party was bent upon fighting. All these symptoms are due to soft-heartedness resulting from his being a great devotee of the Lord.
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