As a lead-up to the war, under the guidance of Shri Krishna, Pandavas had tried every possible option to avoid this war. They were even ready to accept just five villages as a settlement.
They were ready for this paltry settlement, even though Kauravas had tried to kill them many times, insulted Draupadi in court, forced them to spend 12 years in exile and 1-year in incognito exile.
They were ready to let go of everything just to avoid the loss of life that would have happened in the war.
But, Duryodhan was not ready even for such a minor settlement and instead chose to go to war.
When all the efforts to avoid a war fail, it becomes the duty of the warriers to fight the war. That’s why the Kurukshetra war became a dharma Yuddha (धर्म युद्ध) or an unavoidable war.
Arjun was ready to fight before the war started. But, when he saw the most revered Bhishma and Drona on the opposing side, he developed cold feet. He couldn’t fathom the fact that he has to kill them to win the war.
He cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down in his chariot, trembling, crying, and told Krishna he won’t fight this war.
When someone acts irrational, out of their character, and is trying to give up things that they are expected to do, what do we do?
Yes, exactly, we scold them and tell them how wrong they are. We make them realize the consequences of their irresponsible actions.
That’s what Shri Krishna also did. His first reaction to Arjun was, don’t be a fool.
Below are the first words spoken by Shri Krishna in Bhagavad Gita.
कुतस्त्वा कश्मलमिदं विषमे समुपस्थितम् |
Shri Krishna Bhagwan said, “My dear Arjun, from where did you get into this kind of delusion? This will tarnish your reputation and also will not help you go to higher heavens. It will bring you disgrace.”
क्लैब्यं मा स्म गम: पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते |
क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप || 3||
O’ Parth (Arjun), falling for this kind of weakness does not suit a worrier like you. So, O’ vanquisher of enemies, give up such petty weakness, arise and fight the war.
This way, Shri Krishna made Arjun aware of the consequence and suggested it might be better to fight instead.
But, did Shri Krishna’s scolding work? Let’s find out in the next post.
BTW, please note, Shri Krishna did not start telling Arjun Bhagavad Gita (or ब्रह्म ज्ञान) immediately. That’s because not everyone is ready to receive and understand it. We will know more about the criteria in coming posts