Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):
yadi mām apratikāram
dhārtarāṣṭrā raṇe hanyus
tan me kṣemataraṁ bhavet
evam uktvārjunaḥ saṅkhye
visṛjya sa-śaraṁ cāpaṁ
Translation: “I would consider it better for the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra to kill me unarmed and unresisting, rather than fight with them.
“Sañjaya 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.”
Prabhupāda: Yadi māṁ apratikāram aśastram śastra-pāṇayaḥ. It is the custom between the kṣatriyas 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 Karṇa. Karṇa was without weapon, and he fell down from the chariot. Karṇa, after falling down from the chariot, and he was trying to raise the wheel of the chariot from the mud, so Kṛṣṇa 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 Kṛṣṇa. This is violating the laws.
So you can violate the laws on the order of Kṛṣṇa. You cannot do. This is surrender. When Kṛṣṇa 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 Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, he was advised by Kṛṣṇa that “Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, you go to Droṇācārya and inform him that ‘Your son is dead.’ ” It was a false information. Because Droṇācārya would not die if he is not affected with some lamentation. So Kṛṣṇa asked Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira that “You go because you are recognized truthful, Dharmarāja. So when you will say, this is also false, he will believe.” But Yudhiṣṭhira hesitated, “How can I tell lie?” He disobeyed the order of Kṛṣṇa, 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 Kṛṣṇa… 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 Kṛṣṇa is pleased. That’s all. If Kṛṣṇa is pleased by inducing me to do something wrong, I will not hesitate to do it. I will do it because it is Kṛṣṇa’s order. Tasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭam. My principle should be, “If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then everything is all right.” But while we are in the mundane platform, we should not concoct the idea that “Kṛṣṇa 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 Kṛṣṇa directly or… That is not possible because we are not in touch with Kṛṣṇa at the present moment.
We are trying to see Kṛṣṇa through the transparent medium of spiritual master. So we cannot manufacture that “This is Kṛṣṇa’s desire.” No. You have to get it confirmed from the transparent medium, spiritual master. These are the principles.
So Arjuna says, yadi mām apratikāram. Pratikāram, apratikāram. Pratikāram means counteraction, and apratikāram means without any counteraction. So he is informing Kṛṣṇa that “If the other party, dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ, the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, other party, they kill me while I am not prepared…” But that is not the regulation of fighting. So therefore he says apratikāram: “Whether if I am not prepared and they kill me all of a sudden, this is wrong. I accept, even they kill me, apratikāram, without I am fully equipped…” Aśastram. 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 pratikāram, counteraction. So even in this condition, they come and kill me,” yadi mām apratikāram aśastram, “I am not fully equipped with śastra, weapons,” aśastram and śastra-pāṇayaḥ, “and they are fully equipped with weapons,” dhārtarāṣṭrā raṇe hanyus, “so in this condition the other party, my cousin-brothers, sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, if they kill me,” raṇe hanyus, tan me kṣemataraṁ 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 Kṛṣṇa. He is already giving the counterargument, that “Kṛṣṇa, 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.” Sañjaya uvāca. So Sañjaya, the secretary of Dhṛtarāṣṭra… They were sitting in a room. So evam uktvā, “thus saying,” Arjuna, the person… Arjuna is nominative case. Arjuna, saṅkhye, “in the battlefield;” rathopastha, “on the chariot,” upāviśat. You have seen the picture. When Kṛṣṇa blew His conchshell and from the backside Arjuna is just trying to take his arrow and fight… But instead of fighting, he’s visṛjya sa-śaraṁ cāpam. “No, no, no. I am not going to…, giving up. Finished. I am no more going to fight.” Visṛjya sa-śaraṁ cāpam. Why it is? Śoka-saṁvigna-mānasaḥ. His mind was overwhelmed with lamentation, that “How can I kill my kinsmen?” This is the position.
So apratikāram, pratikāram. There are two things. Pratikāram 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 pratikāram. 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 pratikāram. Medicine, counteraction. Similarly, if somebody is coming to kill you, so you also become prepared to kill him. This is pratikāram. 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. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadam [SB 10.14.58]. Material world means step by step, simply danger. That is material world. So we have to find out pratikāram, 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 pratikāram, 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. Pratikāram, danger, vipadam. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadam. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadaṁ na teṣām. So samāśritā ye pada-pallavaṁ plavam. Anyone who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, samāśritā ye pada-pallavaṁ plavaṁ mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ. Murāri. Murāri means Kṛṣṇa. So puṇya-yaśo. He is simply glorified by pious activities. There is no impious activities in Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the purest. So whatever He does, that is pure. The rascals they do not know this. They think, “Kṛṣṇa is immoral.” And He has become a professor, teacher. He does not know, he does not understand Kṛṣṇa. So many big, big professors, learned scholars, they do not understand what is Kṛṣṇa. And they talking about Kṛṣṇa. They are taking the position of instructing about Kṛṣṇa. Just see how rascaldom. You do not know something perfectly, and still, you are talking about it. This is going on. Puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ. What is Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyante [Bg. 7.19]. We have to know Kṛṣṇa. Because as soon as you know Kṛṣṇa, you become immediately liberated.
So knowing Kṛṣṇa is not so easy thing. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid 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,
prākāmyaṁ mahimā yathā
īśitvaṁ ca vaśitvaṁ 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, aṣṭa-siddhi. But still, he is not as siddha as Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa’s name is Yogeśvara. He is the master of all the yogis. Yogesvara. Yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bg. 18.78]. The yogis also, they are deficient with Kṛṣṇa’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. Śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ [SB 2.3.19]. One who does not know actually what is Kṛṣṇa, 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 Kṛṣṇa,” he is certainly animal, crazy. He does not know what is the power of Kṛṣṇa, how much He is Yogeśvara. Still, he is falsely claiming to become Kṛṣṇa. And one who accepts him as Kṛṣṇa… So Kṛṣṇa, one should understand first of all Kṛṣṇa. Without understanding Kṛṣṇa, if somebody remarks, if he thinks Kṛṣṇa as ordinary human being, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam [Bg. 9.11], that is the mūḍha’s business, rascals’ business. Kṛṣṇa, because He comes as ordinary human being, manuṣya-līlā, if we take Him, Kṛṣṇa, as like me, like ordinary, than I am a mūḍha. 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 Kṛṣṇa, how much powerful He is. How a three-month-old child can kill a big demon, Putana. These things are there in the Bhāgavatam about Kṛṣṇa’s life. How do you claim to become as good as Kṛṣṇa? This is crazy. Animalism.
So Kṛṣṇa’s order must be final. If He says then everything is all right. So here Arjuna’s position is: Kṛṣṇa has already arranged the battle, and he knows that Kṛṣṇa wants this battle; still, he says that yadi mām apratikāram, he decides in his own way. This is called māyā. He knows what is Kṛṣṇa’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 Kṛṣṇa and what is Kṛṣṇa’s desire, and he manufactures his own philosophy and thoughts. That is ordinary man. But Arjuna, he is always friend of Kṛṣṇa, constant friend. His name is Gudakesa, above all darkness. Certainly he must be. One who is Kṛṣṇa’s friend directly, how there can be ignorance? There cannot be. Then why Arjuna is playing that part? He knows Kṛṣṇa’s desire; still, he says that yadi mām apratikāram aśastram śastra-pāṇayaḥ. And no… Tan me kṣemataraṁ bhavet. He is playing like that. Because without Arjuna’s playing like that, how this Bhagavad-gītā 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 Kṛṣṇa’s māyā, because Kṛṣṇa wants to speak Bhagavad-gītā, for the benefit of the whole world, that what is spiritual knowledge. Therefore this is a stage arrangement.
So pratikāram and apratikāram. Whatever we have manufactured, pratikāram, counteraction, that will be also failure if Kṛṣṇa does not sanction it. That is realized by Prahlāda Mahārāja. He says “My dear Lord,” Hiraṇyakaśipu, that “people have manufactured so many pratikāram, counteraction.” But tanu-bhṛtām, “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 Kṛṣṇa. So even though Arjuna is not well-equipped, apratikāram, still he will be saved. Because Kṛṣṇa is there. Tāvad vibho tanu-bhṛtāṁ tvad-upekṣitānām [SB 7.9.19]. And even one is well-equipped and if Kṛṣṇa does not like to save him, he’ll not be saved. Always mind this. Rakṣe kṛṣṇa mare ke, mare kṛṣṇa rakṣe ke. This is ordinary, that if Kṛṣṇa wants to kill you, nobody can save you. And if Kṛṣṇa wants to save you, nobody can kill you. This is the position. So the examples are given by Prahlāda Mahārāja: bālasya neha śaraṇaṁ pitarau nṛsiṁha. “My Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, 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, bālasya neha śaraṇaṁ pitarau nṛsiṁha. The father and mother is a counteraction for the dangers of the child. But Prahlāda Mahārāja 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 nārtasya cāgadam. 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, pratikāram, he cannot be saved. There are many examples like that. So the conclusion is tāvad vibho tanu-bhṛtāṁ tvad-upekṣitānām: [SB 7.9.19] “If You neglect, if You have decided that this person, this child cannot be saved, then any amount of pratikāram will not help, will not help.”
Therefore real pratikāram is Kṛṣṇa. Real pratikāram is Kṛṣṇa, counteractive. So better we take shelter of Kṛṣṇa as Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. You must always know that no counteraction will be beneficial for us unless we are protected by Kṛṣṇa. So therefore our business is fully surrender to Kṛṣṇa and seek His protection. Kṛṣṇa says, “Yes,” ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi, “I shall give you protection.” This is Bhagavad-gītā philosophy. We have to believe on the assertion of Kṛṣṇa that “He is prepared to give me all protection, provided I have fully surrendered unto His lotus feet.”
Thank you very much. (end)