Chapter 1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra
yadi mam apratikaram
dhartarastra rane hanyus
tan me ksemataram bhavet
yadi—even if; mam—unto me; apratikaram—without being resistant; asastram—without being fully equipped; sastra-panayah—those with weapons in hand; dhartarastrah—the sons of Dhrtarastra; rane—in the battlefield; hanyuh—may kill; tat—that; me—mine; ksemataram—better; bhavet—become.
I would consider it better for the sons of Dhrtarastra to kill me unarmed and unresisting, rather than fight with them.
It is the custom—according to ksatriya 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.