na caitad vidmah kataran no gariyo
yad va jayema yadi va no jayeyuh
yan eva hatva na jijivisamas
te ’vasthitah pramukhe dhartarastrah
Word for word:
na — nor; ca — also; etat — this; vidmah — do we know; katarat — which; nah — for us; gariyah — better; yat va — whether; jayema — we may conquer; yadi — if; va — or; nah — us; jayeyuh — they conquer; yan — those who; eva — certainly; hatva — by killing; na — never; jijivisamah — we would want to live; te — all of them; avasthitah — are situated; pramukhe — in the front; dhartarastrah — the sons of Dhrtarastra.
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Nor do we know which is better – conquering them or being conquered by them. If we killed the sons of Dhrtarastra, we should not care to live. Yet they are now standing before us on the battleﬁeld.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Arjuna did not know whether he should ﬁght and risk unnecessary violence, although ﬁghting is the duty of the ksatriyas, or whether he should refrain and live by begging. If he did not conquer the enemy, begging would be his only means of subsistence. Nor was there certainty of victory, because either side might emerge victorious. Even if victory awaited them (and their cause was justiﬁed), still, if the sons of Dhrtarastra died in battle, it would be very difﬁcult to live in their absence. Under the circumstances, that would be another kind of defeat for them. All these considerations by Arjuna deﬁnitely proved that not only was he a great devotee of the Lord but he was also highly enlightened and had complete control over his mind and senses. His desire to live by begging, although he was born in the royal household, is another sign of detachment. He was truly virtuous, as these qualities, combined with his faith in the words of instruction of Sri Krishna (his spiritual master), indicate. It is concluded that Arjuna was quite ﬁt for liberation. Unless the senses are controlled, there is no chance of elevation to the platform of knowledge, and without knowledge and devotion there is no chance of liberation. Arjuna was competent in all these attributes, over and above his enormous attributes in his material relationships.