na chaitvidmaha kataranno gareeyo
yadvaa jayeema yadi vaa no jayeyuhu |
yaaneva hatvaa na jijeevishaamstevasthitaaha
pramukhe dhaartaraashtraaha || 6 ||
To conquer them, or to be conquered by them, I do not know which is the better of the two. Dhritraashtra’s kinsmen, after killing whom we certainly don’t wish to live, stand here before us.
na cha : do not
vidmaha : know
naha : for us
katarat : of two which is
gareeyaha : better
te yat-vaa : whether
jayem : conquer them
yadi-vaa : or
naha : we
jayeyuhu: they conquer us
yaan : whom
eva : certainly
hatvaa : by killing
na jijeevishaa-maha : we don’t wish to live
eva : certainly
asthitaaha : standing here
pramukhe : opposite us
dhaartaraashtraaha : Dhritaraashtra’s kinsmen
Here we see Arjuna move away from the all-or-nothing position of “I will not fight”. His hardline position morphed into a dilemma. And the dilemma was as follows: “Should I or should I not fight? I do not know which is correct.” This question is the fundamental question that provoked the message of the Gita that we shall see very shortly.
We face questions like this all the time – this was alluded to in an earlier post. A boss may like an employee, but the business will tank if he does not fire the employee. Should he fire him or not? Questions like this arise all the time. Life is nothing but a series of actions driven by the day-to-day decisions we take.
Here’s another important point. Arjuna’s teachers and elders were revered and respected by him, they gave him pleasure, but here they were in front of him, ready to kill him. Similarly, behind every pleasure-filled person, experience or object we encounter in life lies its negative aspect. This is an interesting insight about life. It is rare to find people, experiences or objects that give us pleasure all of the time. Here’s an example that resonates with us: a new house that was a source of joy in the beginning, will cause grief when one has to pay for its maintenance.