अर्जुन उवाच कथं भीष्ममहं संख्ये द्रोणं च मधुसूदन । इषुभिः प्रतियोत्स्यामि पूजार्हावरिसूदन ॥४॥
arjuna uvāca kathaḿ bhīṣmam ahaḿ sańkhye droṇaḿ ca madhusūdana iṣubhiḥ pratiyotsyāmi pūjārhāv ari-sūdana
arjunaḥ uvāca — Arjuna said; katham — how; bhīṣmam — Bhīṣma; aham — I; saṅkhye — in the fight; droṇam — Droṇa; ca — also; madhu-sūdana — O killer of Madhu; iṣubhiḥ — with arrows; pratiyotsyāmi — shall counterattack; pūjā-arhau — those who are worshipable; ari-sūdana — O killer of the enemies.
Arjun said: O Madhusudan, how can I shoot arrows in battle on men like Bheeshma and Dronacharya, who are worthy of my worship, O destroyer of enemies?
Respectable superiors like Bhīṣma the grandfather and Droṇācārya the teacher are always worshipable. Even if they attack, they should not be counterattacked. It is general etiquette that superiors are not to be offered even a verbal fight. Even if they are sometimes harsh in behavior, they should not be harshly treated. Then, how is it possible for Arjuna to counterattack them? Would Kṛṣṇa ever attack His own grandfather, Ugrasena, or His teacher, Sāndīpani Muni? These were some of the arguments offered by Arjuna to Kṛṣṇa.