Arjuna’s Arguments for not fighting and Lord Krishna’s Refutations – Part 1
At the crucial hour of fighting in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, we find that Arjuna refuses to fight presenting his four reasons for not fighting. The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna refutes all such arguments and encourages Arjuna to fight. In this article, let us see the four reasons put forward by Arjuna for not fighting and Lord Krishna’s refutations.
Arjuna’s Argument No. 1: In verse number 1.27 of Bhagavad-gita, we find the usage of words, “kripaya parayavisto” which Srila Prabhupada translates as “overwhelmed by high grade of compassion”. Arjuna sees various grades of his relatives, friends and well-wishers in the armies assembled to fight against him and his brothers , wishing to please Duryodana. Foreseeing their imminent death, he becomes compassionate towards them. The limbs of his body begin to quiver and his mouth becomes dry. Srila Prabhupada says, “Although it is not mentioned here, still one can easily imagine that not only were Arjuna’s bodily limbs quivering and his mouth drying up, but that he was also crying out of compassion”.
Krishna’s Refutation: Lord Krishna chastises Arjuna by calling him ‘anarya’ – one who does not know the progressive value of life and thus gives the knowledge about the soul. He tries to convince Arjuna by saying that He, Arjuna and all those Kings existed in the past, are existing at the present and will continue to exist in the future, as individuals. Further Lord explains that death is not the end but a new beginning in a new body, for the soul is eternal. Keeping the body as standard, the Lord explains the characteristics of the soul as eternal, indestructible, immeasurable, unborn, undying, ever-existing, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same. Thus He tries to convince Arjuna that by killing the material bodies of the warriors he is not killing the soul. Srila Prabhupada with a simple analogy further refutes this argument of Arjuna – “Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is senseless. A man fallen in the ocean of nescience cannot be saved simply by rescuing his outward dress – the gross material body”.
Arjuna’s Argument No. 2: In verse number 1.32 of Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna asks Lord Krishna, “what is the use of the kingdom, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed in this battlefield?”
Krishna’s Refutation: Lord Krishna condemns the attitude of Arjuna saying that the Ksatriyas are happy when fighting opportunities come unsought. Further Lord clarifies that either he will be killed on the battlefield and attain the heavenly planets or he will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom. Thus Lord asks Arjuna to get up and fight with determination.
….to be continued
Arjuna’s Argument No. 1 – Bhagavad-gita As it is 1.27
Krishna’s Refutation – Bhagavad-gita As it is 2.2, 2.11 to 2.25
Arjuna’s Argument No. 2 – Bhagavad-gita As it is 1.32
Krishna’s Refutation – Bhagavad-gita As it is 2.32 & 2.37