pāpam evāśrayed asmān
tasmān nārhā vayaṁ hantuṁ
sva-janaṁ hi kathaṁ hatvā
sukhinaḥ syāma mādhava
Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not proper for
us to kill the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and our friends. What should we gain, O
Kṛṣṇa, husband of the goddess of fortune, and how could we be happy by killing
our own kinsmen?
RG Purport: Aggressor is a person who intrudes into the territory of another living entity. An aggressor can be a person who derives sadistic pleasure by throwing stones at an innocent street dog or by harassing a living entity of lesser consciousness given the fact that a person can never cause harassment to an entity of higher consciousness; because forgiveness is natural for a being of higher consciousness. A person who transgresses the rights of a lower being is verily a candidate for providential punishment. In the case of Arjuna and his brothers, they were situated on a higher consciousness platform as compared to the Kauravas; keeping this viewpoint it was easier for the Pandavas of high spiritual attainment to let go of their kingdom in favor of the unruly and relentless Kauravas. Yudhisthira was a king who considered Forgiveness and sacrifice as the greatest virtue.
However the set scene of the battlefield of Kurukshetra transpired at the fag-end of Dwapara Yuga , at the onset of the dark age of Kaliyuga. The Lord wanted a basis to endow mankind with the highest aspects of true religion. For example in the life of the great sage Jamadagni, the transgressor called Kartyaveera Sahasrarjuna was pardoned time and again ; where the sage displayed the qualities of a truly enlightened being. Arjuna seems to talk the same language and the situation of the Kauravas transgressing over the rights of the Pandavas also appears to be similar; however the Lord wanted to establish the fact through the Gita that it is foolishness to allow a mad dog to continue biting off chunks of flesh from one’s body ; it is intelligence to shoot down the dog even if the dog happened to be our pet in the past. Arjuna was identified too much with his body and the relations that the body had in the form of Kauravas. He felt that hunting blood-relatives would only bring pain to one and even if the kingdom is won what would be its use if one had to shed tears at the loss of one’s blood-relatives although these relatives had inflicted unpardonable pain on oneself. Total identification with the body and forgetfulness of the immutable self would generate similar thoughts in the mind of a human being just the way Arjuna now feels. He addresses the Lord as the husband of the Goddess of fortune. This address is very significant because in the context of the 4 basic achievements of human life namely Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha; are in fact the greatest fortune and the person who is involved with materialistic life considers his social life to be one of the fortunes. If this is lost then how could one be happy? It was an irony for Arjuna that the husband of the Goddess of fortune seems to be on a mission to end the fortune of Arjuna in the form of his blood relatives.