That hath bested gods and demons alike.
This cowardice is unbecoming for
A champion of your caliber. Was
It not you, O best of the Bharatas,
Whose martial prowess humbled the mighty
Indradeva himself at Khandava?
Are you not the same Arjuna who wields
The celestial bow Gandiva, and has
Mastered all manner of divine weapons?
Most favored student of Dronacharya,
You have nothing to fear from this battle.
It is your duty as a kshatriya
To fight; Therefore, O son of Pritha, fight,
And pay no heed to the outcome. Carry
Out your duty with righteous heart and mind.
Be not afraid of action, Arjuna.
Only the truly ignorant doth dwell
On the consequences of their action.
The righteous fulfill their obligations
With no regard for the result. Act for
The sake of action, and your soul shall be
Ever free of sin, O illustrious one.
Noble Arjuna, stand and grip your bow
And fulfill your duty as a warrior.
(Thus spake Lord Krishna on the fields of Kurukshetra)
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(blank verse, iambic pentameter) This poem describes an episode from the ancient Indian epic Mahabharat. On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, prince Arjuna, the greatest warrior of his generation, falters. He is overcome by grief that he is about to fight and slay his own kin in battle. His friend, confidant, and charioteer Krishna, the divine manifestation of godhead, bids Arjuna to take up his arms and fight. Krishna reminds Arjuna of his dharma (divine duty) as a warrior and a kshatriya.