atha cet tvam imam dharmyam
sangramam na karisyasi
tatah sva-dharmam kirtim ca
hitva papam avapsyasi
If, however, you do not perform your religious duty of ﬁghting, then you will certainly incur sins for neglecting your duties and thus lose your reputation as a ﬁghter.
Arjuna was a famous ﬁghter, and he attained fame by ﬁghting many great demigods, including even Lord Siva. After ﬁghting and defeating Lord Siva in the dress of a hunter, Arjuna pleased the lord and received as a reward a weapon called pasupata-astra. Everyone knew that he was a great warrior. Even Dronacarya gave him benedictions and awarded him the special weapon by which he could kill even his teacher. So he was credited with so many military certiﬁcates from many authorities, including his adoptive father Indra, the heavenly king. But if he abandoned the battle, not only would he neglect his speciﬁc duty as a ksatriya, but he would lose all his fame and good name and thus prepare his royal road to hell. In other words, he would go to hell not by ﬁghting but by withdrawing from battle.
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