By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
Arjuna was a great warrior, fighter, and for a ksatriya, to kill one is not a very difficult task. The ksatriyas are trained up. Hunting is allowed for the ksatriyas. Just like medical practitioners, they are trained up how to practice surgical operation on dead body. Of course, it is not possible for a gentleman, to push knife in someone’s body. It is naturally a very difficult thing. But rogues and thieves, they can stab. So as the doctors, medical men, surgeons are trained up to operate their knife on the dead body to see where are the nerves, similarly, ksatriyas are also allowed (to hunt) for being trained “how to kill”. Ksatriya means ksat. Ksat means injury. And tra means trāyate (saves). A ksatriya has to save the citizens from being injured by others. Brāhmana means one who knows brahma, the supreme. So brāhmana, ksatriya, vaiśya, śūdra – these divisions are there according to quality. Guna-karma-vibhāgaśah [Bg. 4.13]. By guna. Guna means quality. And karma means actual operation of the guna.
So Arjuna was a ksatriya, trained up by Dronacharya. “How to kill” – this is the (business of a ksatriya). Nonviolence is not the business of the ksatriya. That is cowardice. They are taught how to become violent. Otherwise, they cannot rule over. Formerly the judgement was given by the king, immediately finished. Not go to the court and wait for the judgement for ten years. In the meantime everything is finished. Not like that. Anything, there was regularly, the king used to sit in his assembly, and all the criminals, culprits, they were judged by the king himself. Sometimes the king had to kill personally with the sword. Even in European countries, the royal orders were trained up. Nowadays it is constitutional, democratic government. The king has no power. But this is not good for the people. The democracy is a farce. At least, I do not like it. Because so many rascals, simply by getting votes, go to the government, and what do they know how to rule over? Therefore, at the present moment, all over the world there is no good government. There is no good government. The America was considered to have very good government. Now we can see the behavior of Mr. Nixon. It is not possible. Formerly the ksatriyas, they were trained up how to govern. They were trained up by military men, just like Dronacharya trained Arjuna, Duryodhana. All the royal princes were trained up how to kill. Not only killing, but also how to rule over according to śāstra. The king’s business is to see that everyone in the country is properly employed and engaged in his own business. That is the king’s business. There was no question of unemployment. This is government’s first business. Because if a person is unemployed, then it is a devil’s workshop. If he hasn’t got to do anything… That is being done now. Rich man’s son, he hasn’t got to do anything, so his brain is devil’s workshop. They are manufacturing so many “isms.” But everyone should be engaged. This is government’s first business to see. A brāhmana is engaged as a brāhmana, a ksatriya is engaged as ksatriya.
[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, verse no. 28-29 in London on July 22, 1973]