aho bata mahat pāpaḿ
kartuḿ vyavasitā vayam
hantuḿ sva-janam udyatāḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 1.44
Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful acts. Driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness, we are intent on killing our own kinsmen.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Driven by selfish motives, one may be inclined to such sinful acts as the killing of one’s own brother, father or mother. There are many such instances in the history of the world. But Arjuna, being a saintly devotee of the Lord, is always conscious of moral principles and therefore takes care to avoid such activities.
Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur:
No commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
1.26 – 1.47 Arjuna said — Sanjaya said — Sanjaya continued: The high-minded Arjuna, extremely kind, deeply friendly, and supremely righteous, having brothers like himself, though repeatedly deceived by the treacherous attempts of your people like burning in the lac-house etc., and therefore fit to be killed by him with the help of the Supreme Person, nevertheless said, ‘I will not fight.’ He felt weak, overcome as he was by his love and extreme compassion for his relatives. He was also filled with fear, not knowing what was righteous and what unrighteous. His mind was tortured by grief, because of the thought of future separation from his relations. So he threw away his bow and arrow and sat on the chariot as if to fast to death.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Arjuna who was aggrieved by the Kauravas determination to slay their relatives said: Alas we are ready to slay our very own relatives by this heinous sin we are resolved to commit. What a pity!
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
As Arjuna has surmised in the previous verse it is not in his best interest to fight according to his understanding. Now it is seen that he repents the fact of even considering that it would be fruitful to fight a war that would bring such evil consequences. Thinking that his intelligence must be marred by delusion he sorrowfully speaks the words: aho bata alas how ironic it is. What is ironic? It is ironic to him that he has committed himself to great sin by his intention to slay friends and kinsman in the pursuit of royal pleasures and enjoyments.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
1.44 Sri Sankaracharya did not comment on this sloka. The commentary starts from 2.10.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
1.35 1.44 Nihatya etc. upto anususruma. Sin alone is the agent in the act of slaying these desperadoes. Therefore here the idea is this : These ememies of ours have been slain, i.e., have been take possession of, by sin. Sin would come to us also after slaying them. Sin in this context is the disregard, on account of greed etc., to the injurious consequences like the ruination of the family and the like. That is why Arjuna makes a specific mention of the [ruin of the] family etc., and of its duties in the passage ‘How by slaying my own kinsmen etc’. The act of slaying, undertaken with an individualizing idea about its result, and with a particularizing idea about the person to be slain, is a great sin. To say this very thing precisely and to indicate the intensity of his own agony, Arjuna says only to himself [see next sloka]:
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
aho bata mahat papam
kartum vyavasita vayam
hantum sva-janam udyatah
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
aho — alas; bata — how strange it is; mahat — great; pāpam — sins; kartum — to perform; vyavasitāḥ — have decided; vayam — we; yat — because; rājya-sukha-lobhena — driven by greed for royal happiness; hantum — to kill; sva-janam — kinsmen; udyatāḥ — trying.