1:35 These I do not wish to slay, even if I myself am slain. Not even for the kingdom of the three worlds, how much less for a kingdom of the earth!
1:36 If we kill these evil souls, evil shall fall upon us: what joy in their death could we have, O Janardana, mover of souls?
1:37 I cannot, therefore, kill my own kinsmen, the sons of King Dhrita-rashtra, the brother of my own father. What happiness could we ever enjoy, if we killed our own kinsmen in battle?
1:38 Even if they, with minds overcome by greed, see no evil in the destruction of a family, see no sin in the treachery to friends;
1:39 Shall we not, who see the evil of destruction, shall we not refrain from this terrible deed?
Arjuna begins a different rationalization here. He assumes the moral high ground. If we attack and kill them, he reasons, we will be just like them. He makes excuses for his enemy because he has already identified with his enemy. He has to distinguish himself and his own behavior from their behavior.
In the deeper struggle within, if he gives in to his darker thoughts, he will be consumed by his darker thoughts; he will become them. Arjuna fears the evil of the darker side of himself, the enemy within himself. He does not want to keep that part of himself, yet he thinks twice about destroying it.
1:40 "The destruction of a family destroys its rituals of righteousness, and when the righteous rituals are no more, unrighteousness overcomes the whole family.
1:41 When unrighteous disorder prevails, the women sin and are impure; and when women are not pure, Krishna, there is disorder of castes, social confusion."
Arjuna carries his argument further - like dominoes, the entire fabric of society fails.
1:42 "This disorder carries down to hell the family and the destroyers of the family. The spirits of their dead suffer in pain when deprived of the ritual offerings.
1:43 Those evil deeds of the destroyers of a family, which cause this social disorder, destroy the righteousness of birth and the ancestral rituals of righteousness.
1:44 And have we not heard that hell is waiting for those whose familiar rituals of righteousness are no more?"
For Arjuna, there is no solution. Either way, his society is condemned, or, if you will, his mind is condemned, for there is no answer for his conundrum. He is still the person he was, even if he expunges the evil thoughts, they will still be part of him.
1:45 "O day of darkness! What evil spirit moved our minds when for the sake of an earthly kingdom we came to this field of battle ready to kill our own people?"
This statement could be applied to many wars.
1:46 "Better for me indeed that the sons of Dhrita-rashtra, with arms in hand, had found me unarmed, unresisting, and killed me in the struggle of war.
1:47 Thus spoke Arjuna in the field of battle, and letting his fall his bow and arrows he sank down in his chariot, his soul overcome with grief and despair.
(end of chapter one)