Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 1, Verse 45-46

अहो बत महत्पापं कर्तुं व्यवसिता वयम् |
यद्राज्यसुखलोभेन हन्तुं स्वजनमुद्यता: || 45||
यदि मामप्रतीकारमशस्त्रं शस्त्रपाणय: |
धार्तराष्ट्रा रणे हन्युस्तन्मे क्षेमतरं भवेत् || 46||

aho bata mahat pāpaṁ kartuṁ vyavasitā vayam
yad rājya-sukha-lobhena hantuṁ sva-janam udyatāḥ
yadi mām apratīkāram aśhastraṁ śhastra-pāṇayaḥ
dhārtarāṣhṭrā raṇe hanyus tan me kṣhemataraṁ bhavet

ahoalas; batahow; mahatgreat; pāpamsins; kartumto perform; vyavasitāḥhave decided; vayamwe; yatbecause; rājya-sukha-lobhenadriven by the desire for kingly pleasure; hantumto kill; sva-janamkinsmen; udyatāḥintending; yadiif; māmme; apratīkāramunresisting; aśhastramunarmed; śhastra-pāṇayaḥthose with weapons in hand; dhārtarāṣhṭrāḥthe sons of Dhritarashtra; raṇeon the battlefield; hanyuḥshall kill; tatthat; meto me; kṣhema-tarambetter; bhavetwould be


BG 1.45-46: Alas! How strange it is that we have set our mind to perform this great sin. Driven by the desire for kingly pleasures, we are intent on killing our own kinsmen. It will be better if, with weapons in hand, the sons of Dhritarashtra kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield.


Arjun mentioned a number of evils that would come from the impending battle, but he was not able to see that evil would actually prevail if these wicked people were allowed to thrive in society. He uses the word aho to express surprise. The word bata means “horrible results”. Arjun is saying, “How surprising it is that we have decided to commit sin by engaging in this war, even though we know of its horrifying consequences.”

As often happens, people are unable to see their own mistakes and instead attribute them to situations and to others. Similarly, Arjun felt that the sons of Dhritarashtra were motivated by greed, but he could not see that his outpouring of compassion was not a transcendental sentiment, but materialistic infatuation based on the ignorance of being the body. The problem with all of Arjun’s arguments was that he was using them to justify his delusion that had been created from his bodily attachment, weakness of heart, and dereliction of duty. Shree Krishna explains the reasons why Arjun’s arguments were defective in subsequent chapters.