अकीर्तिं चापि भूतानि कथयिष्यन्ति तेऽव्ययाम्।
।।2.34।। और सब लोग तुम्हारी बहुत काल तक रहने वाली अपकीर्ति को भी कहते रहेंगे और सम्मानित पुरुष के लिए अपकीर्ति मरण से भी अधिक होती है।।
Not only will happiness and fame elude him if he disregards his duty as a ksatriya but the world opinion of those competent to judge and those incompetent as well will chastise him and speak of his act of disgrace public and privately. They will say Arjuna was a coward for when the battle was about to begin he gave only excuses and retreated hastily from the battlefield. The Supreme Lord Krishna is telling him that forever history will brand him for cowardice. If Arjuna was to reply that what the public think is of no consequence to him, the Supreme Lord neutralises that by stating that for a person of honour possessing the qualities of heroism, determination, puissance, courage etc. which are all contrary to cowardice to have to accept infamy is worse than death. If he was to acquire disgrace of this kind death for him would certainly be much better. If reasoning further one was to present the question of how ignominy could attach itself to one who is already a renowned hero and whose resignation from the battle field is prompted only by motives of respect for elders and compassion to friends and relatives then the next verse 34 neutralises that argument.