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Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 2, Verse 4

Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized
Verse: 4
arjuna uvaca
katham bhishmam aham sankhye
dronam ca madhusudana
ishubhih pratiyotsyami
pujarhav ari-sudana

Arjuna said: O killer of enemies, O killer of Madhu, how can I counterattack with arrows in battle men like Bhishma and Drona, who are worthy of my worship?

Prabhupada comments, "Respectable superiors like Bhishma the grandfather and Dronacarya the teacher are always worshipable. Even if they attack, they should not be counterattacked. It is general etiquette that superiors are not to be offered even a verbal fight. Even if they are sometimes harsh in behavior, they should not be harshly treated. Then, how is it possible for Arjuna to counterattack them? Would Krishna ever attack His own grandfather, Ugrasena, or His teacher, Sandipani Muni? These were some of the arguments offered by Arjuna to Krishna."

Arjuna calls Krishna Madhusudana (killer of the Madhu demon) and Arisudana (killer of enemies). The names implies that Krishna is famous for killing demons and enemies, not loved ones and respectable members of His own family, so He should not expect Arjuna to do some thing so fallen.

Arjuna, in his state of confusion addresses Krishna twice in succession, as Madhusudana and Arisudana. It reflects his state of confusion. Srila Vishwantha Chakravarti Thakura reveals a subtle interplay here:

Krishna may say to the name Madhusudana: "But I am a descendent of Madhu, therefore called Madhava, in the ancient lineage of the Yadu dynasty. How could I have killed Madhu?" Arjuna responds: "No, I do not mean that Madhu. I am speaking about the demon named Madhu who was your enemy (ari sudana)."

Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.


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