Arjuna is famous as a great fighter. Not only that, he is personal friend of Krsna, so much so that Krsna has agreed to become his chariot driver. Just try to understand what is his position. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, who is worshiped by Lord Brahma, govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami, He has agreed to drive the chariot of Arjuna on account of friendship. Now, we have to imagine how much famous he is. "Everyone will say, 'Oh, Krsna is his so intimate friend that He has agreed to drive his chariot!' This is your reputation all over the world." So sambhavitasya cakirtih. "And if you don't fight now, what people will say? Better you die." Krsna is advising that "Instead of becoming a very good man, nonviolent, you lay down your life. That is My advice. You die. I shall see that you have died. I will be very much pleased." This is Krsna's advice. How much He has become, I mean to say, dissatisfied with the decision of Arjuna, "Krsna, I am not going to fight this battle." So Krsna's last advice is that if you don't fight, better you die before him. I shall be very much pleased."
Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 2.33-35, London, 3 September, 1973