Chapter 1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra
yadi mam apratikaram
dhartarastra rane hanyus
tan me ksemataram bhavet
yadi—even if; mām—unto me; apratīkāram—without being resistant; aśastram—without being fully equipped; śastra-pāṇayaḥ—those with weapons in hand; dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ—the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; raṇe—in the battlefield; hanyuḥ—may kill; tat—that; me—mine; kṣemataram—better; bhavet—become.
I would consider it better for the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra to kill me unarmed and unresisting, rather than fight with them.
It is the custom-according to kṣatriya fighting principles-that an unarmed and unwilling foe should not be attacked. Arjuna, however, in such an enigmatic position, decided he would not fight if he were attacked by the enemy. He did not consider how much the other party was bent upon fighting. All these symptoms are due to softheartedness resulting from his being a great devotee of the Lord.