न चैतद्विद्मः कतरन्नो गरीयो
यद्वा जयेम यदि वा नो जयेयुः।
यानेव हत्वा न जिजीविषाम
स्तेऽवस्थिताः प्रमुखे धार्तराष्ट्राः।।2.6।।
2.6 We do not know this as well as to which is the better for us, (and) whether we shall win, or whether they shall coner us. Those very sons of Dhrtarastra, by killing whom we do not wish to live, stand in confrontation.
2.6 I can hardly tell which will be better, that we should coner them or that they should coner us. Even the sons of Dhritarashtra, after slaying whom we do not wish to live, stand facing us.
2.6. Whether we should coner [in the battle], or they should coner us-we do not know this viz., which [of those two] is better for us. [For], having killed whom, we would not wish to live at all, the same persons stand before us as Dhrtarastras men.
2.6 न not? च and? एतत् this? विद्मः (we) know? कतरत् which? नः for us? गरीयः better? यत् that? वा or? जयेम we should coner? यदि if? वा or? नः us? जयेयुः they should coner? यान् whom? एव even? हत्वा having slain? न not? जिजीविषामः we wish to live? ते those? अवस्थिताः (are) standing? प्रमुखे in face? धार्तराष्ट्राः sons of Dhritarashtra.No commentary.
2.6 Sri Sankaracharya did not comment on this sloka. The commentary starts from 2.10.
2.4-6 Katham etc. upto Dhartarastrah. By the portion Bhisma and Drona in war etc., and by the portion I would [not] enjoy the objects of pleasure, the Sage indicates that in Arjunas objection, the intention for a particular act and the intention for a particular result are the points deserving rejection. By the portion We do not know this etc., he speaks of the intention for a particular action. For, without intention no action is possible. Certainly one does not proceed on a war with an intention of getting defeated. [In the present war] even our victory would be surely our misfortune. This he says by the portion It is good even to go about begging without killing the elders. It is also impossible to conclude Whether we desire victory or defeat; for even in the case of our victory our relatives would perish totally.
2.6 - 2.8 If you say, After beginning the war, if we withdraw from the battle, the sons of Dhrtarastra will slay us all forcibly, be it so. I think that even to be killed by them, who do not know the difference between righteousness and unrighteousness, is better for us than gaining unrighteous victory by killing them. After saying so, Arjuna surrendered himself at the feet of the Lord, overcome with dejection, saying. Teach me, your disciple, who has taken refuge in you, what is good for me.
Moreover I do not know if I shall be victorious or defeated even if I am prepared to kill them. And I do not know which will be better, victory or defeat: if I conquer them or they conquer me. And even if I am victorious, that also is defeat, for I will not want to live.
Morever even if we could choose the path of unrighteousness in this matter, we cannot determine which is better for us, victory or defeat. These two alternatives are pointed out, whether the Pandavas should conquer the Kauravas or be conquered by them. But even in conquering them the victory would still be virtually a defeat because it is stated here by Arjuna that: slaying those very persons whom after there would be no desire to live. So win or lose was defeat in his eyes.
There is no commentary for this verse.
There is no commentary for this verse.
It may be questioned how can Arjuna abandon his duty to fight as a ksatriya which is prescribed in the Vedic scriptures and believe that begging which is one of the duties of a brahmana is better? To counter this Arjuna is stating that he does not know which one is better or if its even better to be victorious or be vanquished as victory itself could seem like defeat for by being forced into the situation of having to slay his relatives in the Kaurava army he would not wish to live any longer.
Na chaitad vidmah kataran no gareeyoYadwaa jayema yadi vaa no jayeyuh; Yaan eva hatwaa na jijeevishaamasTe’vasthitaah pramukhe dhaartaraashtraah.
na—not; cha—and; etat—this; vidmaḥ—we know; katarat—which; naḥ—for us; garīyaḥ—is preferable; yat vā—whether; jayema—we may conquer; yadi—if; vā—or; naḥ—us; jayeyuḥ—they may conquer; yān—whom; eva—certainly; hatvā—after killing; na—not; jijīviṣhāmaḥ—we desire to live; te—they; avasthitāḥ—are standing; pramukhe—before us; dhārtarāṣhṭrāḥ—the sons of Dhritarashtra