(THE COMPLETE YOGA SASTRA)
Ta imevasthitaa yuddhe praanaansthyaktvaa dhanaani cha ||
Did Arjuna not know - how much preparation had both sides made for this war? How much reconciliation effort had been done by Pandavas before feeling compelled to wage this war?
Did Arjuna not remember - How many vows were taken 15 years ago - by Bheema and Arjuna, and in what extenuating circumstances - to kill Duryodhana and Dussaasana?
Did it not strike Arjuna - How much humiliation was heaped on their consort, Draupadi - by Duryodhana, Karna and the Kauravas in the Hastinapur Court, in full view of all the eminent people of the Kingdom?
Now, there were 11 Akshouhinis of army and illustrious warriors assembled on the side of Duryodhana to wage war with the Pandavas. This did not happen on a single day. Duryodhana was preparing for this war all the 15 years that Pandavas were out of the Kingdom. Did Arjuna not know that?
Even if Pandavas could not make that much preparation for the war, many kings joined them with their armies - after the reconciliation efforts by Krishna failed.And their army also was now 7 Akshouhinis Big.
Evidently, all this had been done with full knowledge of the consequences of the war. Surely, all this was in Arjuna's full knowledge.
Duryodhana was one who would say unabashedly : " Jaanaami Dharmam, Nachame Pravrittihi; Jaanaamyadharmam, nachame Nivrittihi." which means, I know Dharma, but I would not follow it; I know what is adharma, but, I would not get out of it. It is not that Arjuna did not know Duryodhana's unrighteous nature. Could Arjuna allow such a Duryodhana to be King by getting out of this war?
Arjuna had not gone deep into the Himalayas and its forests to perform great penances and please the Gods of Heaven, including Lord Siva himself, and secure all the Divine Astras, Sastras including the most infallible Paasupataastra from Lord Siva himself - merely to keep it in his quiver as a monument or memorabilia - just to show it off all other warriors? He knew, their very purpose was this war.
All this Grand Preparation was done by Arjuna with the full knowledge that war was inevitable finally , given Duryodhana's disposition towards Pandavas and his penchant for unrighteous acts. In the final analysis, it was Arjuna only, and only Arjuna, who had prepared so much for the war, so thoroughly, so convincingly, and for so long, compared to any other warrior on either side.
So, did Arjuna enter this war only for the sake of the kingdom and its Pleasures?
Non-violence and forgetting injustice done to one's own self was 'Dharma' for all other people. But, this saamaanya Dharma did not apply to a kshatriya or a King. They had the bounden duty to fight all Adharma and restore Dharma. They should not shy away from this Raja Dharma and Kshatriya Dharma.
Especially, when serious adharma and deep humiliation had happened to their own consort - at the hands of the Kauravas, the Pandavas were expected to punish such adharma and its perpetrators.
Maathulaah svasuraah pauthraah syaalaah sambandhinsthathaa ||
Arjuna was looking at each of the great warriors on either side and recalling his relationship of them with himself.
Drona and Kripa were his Acharyas and he was their most beloved Sishya. Drona especially loved him more than his own son. How could he fight such an Acharya now? But, his Acharyas were now on the side of Duryodhana!
The grandsire, Bheeshma loved Arjuna especially among his grand children. How could he fight him, in whose lap, he had learnt so many valuable lessons of life?But, this most beloved Grandsire of the Kuru dynasty was on Duryodhana's side, bound by his own vow taken generations ago.
Api trailokya raajyasya hetoh kim nu Maheekrute ||