Why does Arjuna not want to Fight?

arjuna ethical dilemma

What does the Gita say?

Right from the Vedas to the Gita and Ramayana, all scriptures proclaim that one should take to the exclusive surrender of God.

Vedic scriptures stress the word “exclusive” in many places.

Arjuna tells Lord Krishna “I surrender to you.”

He further denies the warring against the Kauravas on the battlefield.

The great warrior tries to prove his point by applying reason.

He says: “If I kill these men of the warring enemy, the whole of the female clan on the opposing side will be widows.

Many of the women, wives of men fighting on our side, shall also become widows.

With no male support, women shall slowly lose morality resulting in a collapse of the social order.

I will be responsible for this mayhem.

Thus sin shall infect me.”

Arjuna’s innate Intelligence

When Arjuna went to seek the help of the Lord in Dwaraka, was he unaware of the impending war?

He chose the” weaponless Sri Krishna” as his charioteer and friend to fight against the Kauravas.

Arjuna, confident about the Lord, even requested the Lord to hand over the Lord’s personal army to fight on behalf of the Kauravas.

His request led to the unimaginable inflation of strength in the opponent’s army.

Arjuna’s Ethical Dilemma in the Bhagavad Gita

bhishma niti

Pandava Army consisted of 7 akshauhinis (1,530,900 warriors), and Kaurava Army consisted of 11 akshauhinis (2,405,700 warriors).

The very fact that Arjuna readied himself to settle with such a deal has its basis on a deeper Truth.

Sri Krishna Supreme Lord Himself, unparalleled to any army in the world, symbolized that fundamental Truth.

Hence, Pandavas shall emerge as the victors finally, defeating the Kauravas.

The Lord on their side would be the only reason for their victory.

Then what happened to Arjuna at the onset of the war?

On seeing his blood relatives on either side, why did he ready himself to flee from the battlefield, in a fit of emotion?

The Bhagavad Gita delivered

The Lord then delivered the 18 Chapters and 700 verses, The Bhagavad Gita, The Song of Govinda, to Arjuna.

Arjuna remained disturbed till the last verse.

The word “sin” agitated and haunted him all the while, a word that the Vedic scriptures laid particular stress on.

The Lord tried to convince him in many ways, but Arjuna remained stuck to the single point of “sin”.

He did not want to get infected with “sin” at any cost.

‘Violence is Sinful’, claim many.

But, what does the Gita have to say about Violence?

Arjuna’s agitation existed because his acceptance of the Lord was inclusive, with everything else.

When do We Incur Sin?

Despite recognizing the Supremacy of the Lord, he failed to execute the Lord’s advice.

The reason, he considered the concept of “sin” greater than the Lord.

One should understand that a person who surrendered to the Lord, must only look forward to satisfying the Lord.

One must discard other considerations hindering this approach.

 Thus, Arjuna’s surrender to the Lord included many ifs and buts.

Arjuna’s own sullied intelligence and lack of depth in understanding the Scriptures infected his surrender to the Lord severely.

Arjuna’s confusion: “Won’t the words of the Vedas apply, if one dared to challenge its teachings, although at the behest of the Lord?”

The Lord reigns Supreme

The answer to this is:

Consider that someone tries to follow instructions of some kind, not in a surrendered mode.

Then the words of the Vedic scriptures shall directly apply and reign Supreme.

One should check and consult the scriptures, to see whether it goes against the Scriptures.

If it goes against the Scriptures, one should reject the instruction.


However, when one has developed exclusive surrender towards the Supreme Lord, only the words of the Lord’s shall stand Supreme.

No Scripture bears weight when compared with the Lord’s direct instructions.

Although the Lord’s instructions may appear wholly contrary to the teachings of the sacred Vedic scriptures, they must be given top priority.

This is the Lord’s verdict.

The word of the Lord is “Para Veda” (beyond and superior to Veda)

When one follows every single instruction of the Lord, however heinous they may seem, that individual can never incur sin.

Arjuna readies for the war

Only the  Lord qualifies as the final judge, dishing out the fruits of sin and goodness.

This, the Vedas directly proclaim.

In that case, how can the Lord punish anyone who follows every instruction of the Lord, in the mood of exclusive surrender?

At the clearance of this point, Arjuna immediately was rid of all worries.

He readied himself for war against the Kauravas.

There have been a million occasions when humans, in earlier lifetimes, have met the Lord, in some of their earlier incarnations.

Many of us have met sages in previous lifetimes and perhaps even in this lifetime.

The crowding of our heart

We have also prostrated and held the feet of great sages and the Lord and surrendered many times!

But in all those earlier and current lifetimes, our surrender was inclusive, it was never exclusive or one-pointed and that’s the irony.

We have wasted many lifetimes loving near and dear ones and thus have developed a very crowded heart.

That crowd also sadly includes the Lord.

Of what avail is such pointless surrender?

When one gets insulted by spouse, friends, parents, etc, we turn to the Lord.

With shallow minds, we say: “Only, the Lord is mine, everybody else is selfish”.

When situations around us improve, we return to those who insulted us and forget the Lord.

This is sheer hypocrisy.

We keep forgetting the Lord

When the doctors have raised their hands and say that the patient cannot be saved, relatives turn to the Lord.

When the patient is cured, one conveniently forgets the Lord.

The world has turned the Lord into a mere wish-fulfilling commodity.

Lord is included in our life, but not exclusively and that is our misfortune.

However, through the medium of Arjuna, the Gita delivers the message of exclusive surrender to commoners like us.

Thanks for reading!