kulakshaye pranashyanti kuladharmaaha sanaatanaaha |
dharme nashte kulam kritstramadharmobhibhavatyuta || 40 ||
 
As society gets destroyed, its timeless laws and traditions erode. Once that happens, lawlessness begins to dominate the entire society.
 
kula-kshaye : destruction of society
pranashyanti : gets destroyed
kula-dharmaaha : societal laws
sanaatanaaha : timeless
dharme : rules
nashte : after getting destroyed
kulam : society
kristram : total
adharmaha : lawless
abhibhavati : dominates
 
We are nearing the end of the first chapter, and have just begun examining the last set of verses.
 
Here, Arjuna’s deluded mind began to spin out of control, and the scale of his delusion became progressively magnified. He began enumerating how the act of warfare between the two warring factions will ultimately result in the destruction of civilization.
 
Infighting has caused the downfall of empires and civilizations, the most notable example being the Roman empire. When the upholders of the law, namely the statesmen and the warriors, fight among themselves, a breakdown of law and order takes place.
 
But here, Arjuna looked only at the worst case scenario, totally ignoring the possibility that the war could result in restoration of peace, order and prosperity to the kingdom. His mind had begun a downward slide of negativity that only became worse as he spoke more.

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