kiṁ no rājyena govinda
kiṁ bhogair jīvitena vā
yeṣām arthe kāṅkṣitaṁ no
rājyaṁ bhogāḥ sukhāni ca
ta ime ’vasthitā yuddhe
prāṇāṁs tyaktvā dhanāni ca
ācāryāḥ pitaraḥ putrās
tathaiva ca pitāmahāḥ
mātulāḥ śvaśurāḥ pautrāḥ
śyālāḥ sambandhinas tathā
etān na hantum icchāmi
ghnato ’pi madhusūdana
“O Govinda! Of what use to us is a kingdom, enjoyment or even life itself when those for whom we desire them; teachers, uncles, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and other relatives, are all standing before us in battle array, ready to give up their lives and wealth? Therefore O Madhusūdana, even if they kill me, I still do not wish to kill them.”
Arjuna lamented, “O Govinda, You certainly care for the gopīs, cows, cowherd boys, and Gokula itself. You protect them all, so why then are You not protecting me? Please tell me. Where is my fault? I do not want to kill anyone. What would I then do with myself? What use would there be in maintaining my life? How would I become happy by killing my gurus and kin such as cousins, uncles, in-laws, grandfather and so forth? O Janardana, what will I attain by killing the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra? Your name is Janardana, You are known to be very merciful and You have love for all. Did You ever kill Your parents or in-laws? Did You kill Your Guru? Did You ever do anything like that in Your life? If You did not, then why are You pushing me forward to do so now? Your name is Janardana; You break the pride of all. Those who are proud, arrogant, terrorists and so forth, You give them all punishment. You are the rectifier of all. You are not ordinary. Why don’t You perform this act; killing all these sinful people? Why are You instructing me to do so? Why should I knowingly perform such heinous acts as killing my uncles, cousins, gurus, grandfather and all others with my own hand?”
God gives all potency to the living entities, such as Bhīṣma-pitāmaha, Droṇācārya and all the other warriors. He gives them all potency, but they use this potency for bad activities. They want to use God’s śakti for wrongful acts, therefore this fight arises over strength. If they loved God, did not have arrogance and did not pray to God for strength to fight with others, then there would be no question of a war. When does a fight or competition arise? When someone has qualification, strength, great knowledge, wealth and followers, then he is capable of fighting and will assert himself over a competitor or enemy.
hetoḥ kiṁ nu mahī-kṛte
nihatya dhārtarāṣṭrān naḥ
kā prītiḥ syāj janārdana
“O Janārdana, if we kill the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, even for the sake of sovereignty over the three worlds, what to speak of this earth, what satisfaction will we derive?”
pāpam evāśrayed asmān
tasmān nārhā vayaṁ hantuṁ
svajanaṁ hi kathaṁ hatvā
sukhinaḥ syāma mādhava
“O Mādhava, we will only incur sin by killing all these aggressors. Therefore, it is improper to kill Duryodhana and our other relatives. How could we become happy from slaying our own kinsmen?
Arjuna asked, “What happiness would come to me by killing my Ācārya, gurus and relatives?”
Arjuna had this doubt. He had no confidence in Kṛṣṇa. He had no understanding of what is true and proper, therefore he suffered. If one goes far away from God, Guru, Vaiṣṇavas and the Vraja-devīs, then at once confidence will be lost. Therefore the Srimad-Bhagavad-gītā has appeared. This is the most important thing.
First, without saintly association, one will not understand what is proper action and what is improper action.
“O Prabhu, You are Govinda and my dear friend. If anyone is elderly, one’s seniors or great scholars and gurus, if they sometimes perform wrongly, they should be forgiven. If juniors, orphans, the poor and the ignorant always cause disturbances and they don’t choose a peaceful life, what should be done?”
The Pandavas never want to disturb anyone, but Duryodhana always made politics and tried to kill or harm them. Arjuna knew all of this, but he had lost his memory. Why was this? The shadow of those persons’ evil character covered him, reflected upon him by being near them. Now it appeared within him, so how could he now destroy it or throw it out?
If one likes certain people and someone advises, “They are very evil people, have no relation with them.” One will become upset, “Why are you speaking bad against them?” He might consider that the advisor who had told him that the people he had made a relation with were enemies – himself to be the actual enemy. Why? The so-called “wicked person” is the one sitting in his own heart, and cannot be ignored. Therefore, when one hears good advice, he may think it is bad when it burns his heart. This was Arjuna’s position. How then could Kṛṣṇa give him effective advice? In this way, Kṛṣṇa Himself thought how to help Arjuna. The position of conditioned souls is very pathetic and painful. It is very fragile; like if you just touch it, it will break. When someone has bad personality traits, yet somehow acquires a place in someone else’s heart, it becomes very difficult to remove. If it were something external it could be easily cast out, but when it is hidden deep within, it is very difficult to remove. If someone speaks against the quality of that person; those who love him become angry. This is a big punishment. Crossing that situation is very difficult.
This test will come for all sādhakas. When one is near Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, all sorts of people will come including many wicked people. They will try to steal and divide him from Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. Śrīla Gurudeva has told us about how one servant of a Guru gave prasadam and a room to some ordinary people who had come to see his Guru. He exchanged sweetly with them, gradually lost affection for his Guru, and eventually gave up his guru-seva.
He thought, “They are devotees, I should serve them.” However, he did not realize that these material enjoyers were somehow stealing his heart and affection away from Śrī Guru. If one meets with a real devotee, such a devotee would not steal his heart away from his service to God, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, and would never himself grow distant from them. Yet criminals try to steal others away by hook or crook, making them distant from Śrī Guru in the Vaiṣṇavas. If we allow this to happen to us, we will gradually give up all harinama, bhakti, mahā-prasāda and so forth.
This position came to Arjuna. Now Kṛṣṇa thought, “How shall I help Arjuna, My near and dear friend?”
People do not understand the hazards of misused independence. Even when they are punished or put in jail, they do not understand. They will cry day and night in prison, but not for God; they will cry for the fulfillment of their material desires and for association with materialistic relatives. This is called bad illusory attachment. The sādhakas must be ready for this to come in their own lives. Pray deeply to Guru and Vaiṣṇavas for protection.
egoa egoa mora vaisnava gosai karuṇā jala sena tabe raksha pai
If Guru-pāda-padma protects the sādhaka, he can be saved from this dangerous situation. This is called the fight, battle or war. On one side, enemies are attacking us, and on the other side there is God and goodness. This is a very, very dangerous situation. Even if one gives sweet and good advice, it will fall mostly upon deaf ears. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa did not say anything.