|Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized|
atha cet tvam imam dharmyam
sangramam na karishyasi
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.
This verse specifically defeats Arjuna's argument that he will incur sinful reactions if he fights. In the previous verses Krishna had described the glories that Arjuna would achieve by performing his prescribed duty. In the next four verses Krishna will describe the losses Arjuna will have to suffer if he neglects to do his duty. In addition to the sinful reactions of neglecting his duty, Arjuna would also loose his fame as a fighter. Arjuna was famous in the three worlds are powerful archer. At various times he had fought and defeated great kings, gandharvas, rakshasas and yakshas. He had even defeated Indra and was able to please Lord Shiva with his fighting skills. For such a great fighter, it would be a terrible loss of reputation if he were to run away from the battle field in apparent fear.
Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.