yadi mam apratikaram
dhartarastra rane hanyus
tan me ksemataram bhavet
evam uktvarjunah sankhye
visrjya sa-saram capam
Translation: "I would consider it better for the sons of Dhrtarastra to kill me unarmed and unresisting, rather than fight with them."
"Sanjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief."
Prabhupada: Yadi mam apratikaram asastram sastra-panayah. It is the custom between the ksatriyas that in the fighting, if the other party hasn't got weapon to fight, this party will supply him weapon, not that the other party without weapon and this party will take opportunity to kill him. This is not the rules and regulation of fighting. There are many rules and regulation of the fighting. Not that "Because he is my enemy, I shall kill him any way." No. There are rules and regulations. If the enemy has broken his chariot, he is fallen down on the ground, the other party also will immediately get down from the chariot. Suppose he is feeling... If one is on the foot and another on the chariot, so he will be in superior position. So therefore the opposite party must also get down from the chariot and walk with him. That means the defeated enemy should be given all opportunities so he may not think that unnecessarily, in weak position, he has been killed. No. So Arjuna says... Arjuna, of course, did later on. When he killed Karna. Karna was without weapon, and he fell down from the chariot. Karna, after falling down from the chariot, and he was trying to raise the wheel of the chariot from the mud, so Krsna asked Arjuna "That this is the opportunity to kill him. You kill him immediately." So at that time he had no weapons and he fell down from the chariot, and in that position he was killed by Arjuna by the order of Krsna. This is violating the laws.
So you can violate the laws on the order of Krsna. You cannot do. This is surrender. When Krsna says that "You do this," although it is wrong, you have to do it. There is no consideration. Just like in fight, the commander says to the soldiers, "Do this." His duty is to do that. He should not think at that time what is right or wrong. Just like Yudhisthira Maharaja, he was advised by Krsna that "Yudhisthira, Maharaja Yudhisthira, you go to Dronacarya and inform him that ‘Your son is dead.' " It was a false information. Because Dronacarya would not die if he is not affected with some lamentation. So Krsna asked Maharaja Yudhisthira that "You go because you are recognized truthful, Dharmaraja. So when you will say, this is also false, he will believe." But Yudhisthira hesitated, "How can I tell lie?" He disobeyed the order of Krsna, and he wanted to become very truthful. For this reason he had to see hell. So in the mundane consideration there are so many things, right and wrong. So long you are on the mundane platform, you have to obey all these right and wrong. But in the spiritual platform, when it is ordered by Krsna... He is above all this duality. He is Absolute. So even if He says to do something wrong... Because He cannot say anything which is wrong. God is all-good. If you discriminate God's order from the mundane platform, then you will be misguided. Anyone who has got firm and fixed up faith that whatever God does, whatever God orders, even from mundane calculation it may be wrong, that is right... That is absolute understanding. So those who are in the spiritual platform, for them, there is no such consideration, which is right and which is wrong. Their only consideration is whether Krsna is pleased. That's all. If Krsna is pleased by inducing me to do something wrong, I will not hesitate to do it. I will do it because it is Krsna's order. Tasmin tuste jagat tustam. My principle should be, "If Krsna is satisfied, then everything is all right." But while we are in the mundane platform, we should not concoct the idea that "Krsna is pleased; let me do that." No. That you, cannot do. You have to follow the rules and regulations. But if you think that it is... You cannot think; neither you can manufacture. So either you should hear from Krsna directly or... That is not possible because we are not in touch with Krsna at the present moment. We are trying to see Krsna through the transparent medium of spiritual master. So we cannot manufacture that "This is Krsna's desire." No. You have to get it confirmed from the transparent medium, spiritual master. These are the principles.
So Arjuna says, yadi mam apratikaram. Pratikaram, apratikaram. Pratikaram means counteraction, and apratikaram means without any counteraction. So he is informing Krsna that "If the other party, dhartarastrah, the sons of Dhrtarastra, other party, they kill me while I am not prepared..." But that is not the regulation of fighting. So therefore he says apratikaram: "Whether if I am not prepared and they kill me all of a sudden, this is wrong. I accept, even they kill me, apratikaram, without I am fully equipped..." Asastram. In the fight, one must be equipped with all weapons. "But when I am not equipped with weapons or I am not willing to fight... Because I am not willing to fight." This has been decided: "I cannot kill my kinsmen. Therefore I am not going to take the step of pratikaram, counteraction. So even in this condition, they come and kill me," yadi mam apratikaram asastram, "I am not fully equipped with sastra, weapons," asastram and sastra-panayah, "and they are fully equipped with weapons," dhartarastra rane hanyus, "so in this condition the other party, my cousin-brothers, sons of Dhrtarastra, if they kill me," rane hanyus, tan me ksemataram bhavet, "I shall prefer that. I am not going to fight. If you think that ‘If you don't fight, then they will take the opportunity...' " He is talking with Krsna. He is already giving the counterargument, that "Krsna, if you think that I don't fight, but they will take the opportunity and kill me immediately, that also I shall prefer, but I am not going to fight. This is my decision." Sanjaya uvaca. So Sanjaya, the secretary of Dhrtarastra... They were sitting in a room. So evam uktva, "thus saying," Arjuna, the person... Arjuna is nominative case. Arjuna, sankhye, "in the battlefield;" rathopastha, "on the chariot," upavisat. You have seen the picture. When Krsna blew His conchshell and from the backside Arjuna is just trying to take his arrow and fight... But instead of fighting, he's visrjya sa-saram capam. "No, no, no. I am not going to..., giving up. Finished. I am no more going to fight." Visrjya sa-saram capam. Why it is? Soka-samvigna-manasah. His mind was overwhelmed with lamentation, that "How can I kill my kinsmen?" This is the position.
So apratikaram, pratikaram. There are two things. Pratikaram means counteraction. Here in this material world, for everything there is counteraction. Just like if you are diseased, so you have to take the medicine. That is pratikaram. The disease is caused by some, what is called, disarrangement within the body. So we have to arrange, we have to set up the disarrangement within the body. That is pratikaram. Medicine, counteraction. Similarly, if somebody is coming to kill you, so you also become prepared to kill him. This is pratikaram. If somebody is drowning in the sea, then you have to give him some help, send some boat or some lifeboat so that he can be saved. So we have got so many... This material world is going on. It is full of dangers. Padam padam yad vipadam. Material world means step by step, simply danger. That is material world. So we have to find out pratikaram, counteraction, how to save yourself from danger. Just like when we walk, we see in so many doors, "Danger." So that you are warned. Sometimes the doors are: "Beware of the dog." So you have to take care, "No, I shall not enter." So everything there is danger, and there is pratikaram, counter, counteraction, how to save yourself from it. This is called struggle for existence. In this material world, there is only this danger and counteraction. I am unhappy; so just to become happy I have to work, I have to get money. Whatever I want... So this is going on. Pratikaram, danger, vipadam. Padam padam yad vipadam. Padam padam yad vipadam na tesam. So samasrita ye pada-pallavam plavam. Anyone who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna, samasrita ye pada-pallavam plavam mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh. Murari. Murari means Krsna. So punya-yaso. He is simply glorified by pious activities. There is no impious activities in Krsna. Krsna is the purest. So whatever He does, that is pure. The rascals they do not know this. They think, "Krsna is immoral." And He has become a professor, teacher. He does not know, he does not understand Krsna. So many big, big professors, learned scholars, they do not understand what is Krsna. And they talking about Krsna. They are taking the position of instructing about Krsna. Just see how rascaldom. You do not know something perfectly, and still, you are talking about it. This is going on. Punya-yaso murareh. What is Krsna? Krsna says, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyante [Bg. 7.19]. We have to know Krsna. Because as soon as you know Krsna, you become immediately liberated.
So knowing Krsna is not so easy thing. Therefore Krsna says, manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. First of all you become siddha, perfect. Perfect means perfect knowledge. That is called siddha. And another siddha means very powerful, master of all yogic perfection. That is also siddha. Yogic perfection, eight kinds of perfection,
prakamyam mahima yatha
isitvam ca vasitvam ca
So they obtain eight kinds of siddhis. They are also called siddhas. From material point of view, a perfect yogi can counteract anything, and whatever he likes, he can do. That is called siddhi, asta-siddhi. But still, he is not as siddha as Krsna. Krsna's name is Yogesvara. He is the master of all the yogis. Yogesvara. Yatra yogesvarah krsnah. The yogis also, they are deficient with Krsna's power. Still, some rascals, without any yoga siddhi, they claim that "I have become God." What is your qualification? Have you got all the yoga-siddha? Then how you claim that you are... But rascals, they claim to become God, and other rascals, they also believe that "Here is God." Both of them are animals. Sva-vid-varahostra-kharaih samstutah purusah pasuh [SB 2.3.19]. One who does not know actually what is Krsna, if he accepts somebody, some rascal as God, then he is also animal. That is also animal. One who is claiming that "I am as good as Krsna," he is certainly animal, crazy. He does not know what is the power of Krsna, how much He is Yogesvara. Still, he is falsely claiming to become Krsna. And one who accepts him as Krsna... So Krsna, one should understand first of all Krsna. Without understanding Krsna, if somebody remarks, if he thinks Krsna as ordinary human being, avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam [Bg. 9.11], that is the mudha's business, rascals' business. Krsna, because He comes as ordinary human being, manusya-lila, if we take Him, Krsna, as like me, like ordinary, than I am a mudha. How a human child at the age of six or seven years, one can lift the whole mountain Govardhana? First of all try to understand Krsna, how much powerful He is. How a three-month-old child can kill a big demon, Putana. These things are there in the Bhagavatam about Krsna's life. How do you claim to become as good as Krsna? This is crazy. Animalism.
So Krsna's order must be final. If He says then everything is all right. So here Arjuna's position is: Krsna has already arranged the battle, and he knows that Krsna wants this battle; still, he says that yadi mam apratikaram, he decides in his own way. This is called maya. He knows what is Krsna's desire, and still, he is speaking his own philosophy. That means Arjuna is placing himself on the position of ordinary man. Ordinary man does not know what is Krsna and what is Krsna's desire, and he manufactures his own philosophy and thoughts. That is ordinary man. But Arjuna, he is always friend of Krsna, constant friend. His name is Gudakesa, above all darkness. Certainly he must be. One who is Krsna's friend directly, how there can be ignorance? There cannot be. Then why Arjuna is playing that part? He knows Krsna's desire; still, he says that yadi mam apratikaram asastram sastra-panayah. And no... Tan me ksemataram bhavet. He is playing like that. Because without Arjuna's playing like that, how this Bhagavad-gita will come? This is just like playing on the stage. One very rich man, he is, in a drama, he is playing the part of a very poor man. But actually, he is not poor man. But in the stage he is playing the part of a poor man. Similarly, Arjuna is not bewildered, but for the time being he appears to be bewildered by Krsna's maya, because Krsna wants to speak Bhagavad-gita, for the benefit of the whole world, that what is spiritual knowledge. Therefore this is a stage arrangement.
So pratikaram and apratikaram. Whatever we have manufactured, pratikaram, counteraction, that will be also failure if Krsna does not sanction it. That is realized by Prahlada Maharaja. He says "My dear Lord," Hiranyakasipu, that "people have manufactured so many pratikaram, counteraction." But tanu-bhrtam, "Those who have accepted this material body, they are simply manufacturing things to counteract dangers. But even though they have all this counteracting machine or counteracting agents, still, without Your sanction, this counteracting machine or agent will not be fruitful." So similarly, Arjuna is being protected by Krsna. So even though Arjuna is not well-equipped, apratikaram, still he will be saved. Because Krsna is there. Tavad vibho tanu-bhrtam tvad-upeksitanam. And even one is well-equipped and if Krsna does not like to save him, he'll not be saved. Always mind this. Rakse krsna mare ke, mare krsna rakse ke. This is ordinary, that if Krsna wants to kill you, nobody can save you. And if Krsna wants to save you, nobody can kill you. This is the position. So the examples are given by Prahlada Maharaja: balasya neha saranam pitarau nrsimha. "My Lord Nrsimhadeva, the parents of children, they are not actually protector of the children." Because generally we think that "This child, this boy has got his father, mother, he is well-protected." No. Father and mother... Every father and mother wants to protect the child, but still, the child has to meet some danger and dies. There are so many experience. Similarly, balasya neha saranam pitarau nrsimha. The father and mother is a counteraction for the dangers of the child. But Prahlada Maharaja said, "No, they are not counteraction." It is not that if a child is in danger, because the father and mother is very strong, very rich, he will be able to give protection to the child. No. That is not possible. Then nartasya cagadam. The medicine... A person is suffering from some disease, some fatal disease. If you think "I shall engage first-class physician and I shall supply first-class medicine," if you think, "Then the patient will be saved," no, that is not possible. That is not possible. We have got many experiences like that. Then no rich man would have died. Because he has got money, he can employ first-class physician, first-class medicine, and simply by engaging such things, counteracting, pratikaram, he cannot be saved. There are many examples like that. So the conclusion is tavad vibho tanu-bhrtam tvad-upeksitanam: "If You neglect, if You have decided that this person, this child cannot be saved, then any amount of pratikaram will not help, will not help."
Therefore real pratikaram is Krsna. Real pratikaram is Krsna, counteractive. So better we take shelter of Krsna as Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. You must always know that no counteraction will be beneficial for us unless we are protected by Krsna. So therefore our business is fully surrender to Krsna and seek His protection. Krsna says, "Yes," aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami, "I shall give you protection." This is Bhagavad-gita philosophy. We have to believe on the assertion of Krsna that "He is prepared to give me all protection, provided I have fully surrendered unto His lotus feet."
Thank you very much. (end)
Bhagavad-gita 1.45-46 -- London, August 1, 1973