atha cet tvam imaḿ dharmyaḿ
sańgrāmaḿ na kariṣyasi
tataḥ sva-dharmaḿ kīrtiḿ ca
hitvā pāpam avāpsyasi
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 2.33
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.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Arjuna was a famous fighter, and he attained fame by fighting many great demigods, including even Lord Shiva. After fighting and defeating Lord Shiva 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 adopted father Indra, the heavenly king. But if he abandoned the battle, not only would he neglect his specific duty as a kshatriya, 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.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
In four verses he describes the fault in doing the opposite.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
2.33 If in delusion, you do not wage this war, which has started and which is the duty of a Ksatriya, then, owing to the non-performance of your immediate and incumbent duty, you will lose the immeasurable bliss which is the fruit of discharging your duty and the immeasurable fame which is the fruit of victory. In addition, you will incur extreme sin.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
This verse illustrates the disadvantage of Arjuna acting contrary to his duty as a ksatriya.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Now Lord Krishna responds to Arjunas previous distress of not wanting to slay his enemies such as Bhishma and Drona but instead to allow his enemies to slay him. The use of the word atha is to emphasise another point of view that if Arjuna declines to fight this righteous war and chooses to disregard the acquisition of happiness in either this world or the heavenly worlds as enjoined in the Vedic scriptures which state that the royal orders should conquer over his enemies and rule over the earth. Then by refusing to accept his responsibility and avoiding the battle Arjuna would be abandoning his duty which brings rewards and boundless glory and thus losing his reputation both worldly and divine which results from the victory of a great warrior Arjuna would in fact incur great sin.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
2.33 Atha, on the other hand; cet, if; tvam, you; na karisyasi, will not fight; even imam, this; dharmyam, righteous; samgramam, battle, which has presented itself as a duty, which is not opposed to righteousness, and which is enjoined (by the scriptures); tatah, then, because of not undertaking that; hitva, forsaking; sva-dharmam, your own duty; ca, and; kritim, fame, earned from encountering Mahadeva (Lord Siva) and others; avapsyasi, you will incur; only papam, sin.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
2.33 See Comment under 2.37
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
atha cet tvam imam dharmyam
sangramam na karisyasi
tatah sva-dharmam kirtim ca
hitva papam avapsyasi
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
atha — therefore; cet — if; tvam — you; imam — this; dharmyam — as a religious duty; sańgrāmam — fighting; na — do not; kariṣyasi — perform; tataḥ — then; sva-dharmam — your religious duty; kīrtim — reputation; ca — also; hitvā — losing; pāpam — sinful reaction; avāpsyasi — will gain.