akirtim capi bhutani
kathayisyanti te ’vyayam
People will always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonor is worse than death.
Both as friend and philosopher to Arjuna, Lord Krsna now gives His ﬁnal judgment regarding Arjuna’s refusal to ﬁght. The Lord says, “Arjuna, if you leave the battleﬁeld before the battle even begins, people will call you a coward. And if you think that people may call you bad names but that you will save your life by ﬂeeing the battleﬁeld, then My advice is that you’d do better to die in the battle. For a respectable man like you, ill fame is worse than death. So, you should not ﬂee for fear of your life; better to die in the battle. That will save you from the ill fame of misusing My friendship and from losing your prestige in society.”
So, the ﬁnal judgment of the Lord was for Arjuna to die in the battle and not withdraw.
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