When Krishna had said he wouldn’t lift weapons in the Kurukshetra war, why does he say in Gita 11.33 that the Kauravas are already killed by him?
From Sushant Kulkarni
Transcribed by: Argha Maji
Question: When Krishna had said he wouldn’t lift weapons in the Kurukshetra war, why does he say in Gita 11.33 that the Kauravas are already killed by him?
Answer: The very usage that Krishna is using mayaivaite nihatāh pūrvam eva, they have already been killed by me. Now already been killed is referring to a past tense. That they have already been killed. And actually the killing is going to happen in the future. The warriors are very much really there in front of Arjuna , at that time. So, its very clear that this is not a literal usage. So, they are not literally been already killed. So what Krishna is referring to over here is a figurative usage. Figurative usage means it is that, “I have already arranged for their destruction, their killing as a result of their own bad karma and Arjuna, you will be the instrument for doing that.” That’s why that verse also talks about nimitta-mātram bhava savya-sācin, Arjuna you be the instrument for executing my will. That means their destruction was ordained by Krishna and he did it through others, that is Arjuna and other Pandavas. So, now that was not against Krishna’s word which he had taken. His word was, “I will not personally lift weapons.” But Krishna did agree to be a counsellor for the Pandavas, charioteer and counsellor. And Krishna acted as a counsellor and he wanted Arjuna to act as his instrument for executing the will which he has ordained. So, this was giving a prophecy, although it is given in a past tense, to indicate the certainty of the prophecy. But the prophecy has to be executed by an agency and that agency has to be accepted. Agency is a person who does something. The agency is accepted not by Krishna but it is accepted by his devotee Arjuna. That’s why the two statements are not contradictory. Krishna only said, “I will not use the weapons.” And Krishna is saying over here that, “They are killed by my arrangement but it is you who will be doing the killing.” Thank you. Hare Krishna.