yadi mām apratīkāram
dhārtarāṣṭrā raṇe hanyus
tan me kṣemataraḿ bhavet
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 1.45
Better for me if the sons of Dhritarashtra, weapons in hand, were to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
It is the custom—according to kshatriya fighting principles—that an unarmed and unwilling foe should not be attacked. Arjuna, however, decided that even if attacked by the enemy in such an awkward position, he would not fight. He did not consider how much the other party was bent upon fighting. All these symptoms are due to soft-heartedness resulting from his being a great devotee of the Lord.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
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:
Lamenting thus and even welcoming death itself, Arjuna said: If the sons etc. If they should slay me unresisting meaning sitting quietly, them that death would be extremely beneficial for me, since it would stop me from contracting the reaction of committing this heinous sin.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
It may be put forth that although Arjuna disregarding ksatriya ethics might refrain from battle out of deluded compassion for friends and kinsman; but as far as the enemy is concerned they will not refrain themselves from battle; but are determined to fight for dominion of the kingdom. Being fully intent on victory the sons of Dhritarastra may slay you even if you do not fight. Then what is the use of not fighting? In answer to this Arjuna states that even if the sons of Dhritarastra being devoid of wisdom and obsessed by greed would slay him unarmed and unresisting, this would still be more preferable than perpetuating sin by slaying friends and kinsman and permanently going to hell as a result. What Arjuna is practically saying is that if he refrains from fighting then at the deaths of his physical body there would be no feelings of guilt or repentance from committing such a sin.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
1.45 Sri Sankaracharya did not comment on this sloka. The commentary starts from 2.10.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
1.45 Aho bata etc. We denotes one and all who were divided [into the opposite campus] by the division among the Kauravas and the Pandavas. When every one is indiscriminate, what act is proper for me, while I am endowed with the faculty to discriminate? Of course, it is proper to turn back from the battle. Yet, says [Arjuna], what is much more proper is this [see next sloka]:
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
yadi mam apratikaram
dhartarastra rane hanyus
tan me ksemataram bhavet
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
yadi — even if; mām — me; apratīkāram — without being resistant; aśastram — without being fully equipped; śastra-pāṇayaḥ — those with weapons in hand; dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ — the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; raṇe — on the battlefield; hanyuḥ — may kill; tat — that; me — for me; kṣema-taram — better; bhavet — would be.