ಸಂಭಾವಿತಸ್ಯ ಚಾಕೀರ್ತಿರ್ಮರಣಾದತಿರಿಚ್ಯತೇ ॥೩೪॥
akīrtiṃ cāpi bhūtāni kathayiṣyaṃti teSvyayām |
saṃbhāvitasya cākīrtirmaraṇādatiricyate ||34||
Gist of the sloka:
People would only talk about your last war where you withdrew. For a person, his reputation is more important than actual death.
Talking about the impact on the society, Lord explains to Arjuna the consequences of his action of withdrawal from the war. The society would not understand that Arjuna has withdrawn from the war due to value he had in the relationships with his relatives and friends. They [society] would only recognize it as cowardly action. They would show Arjuna as an example to their children as to how not to behave as a coward.
They would scold him and disrespect him even when he is alive. For a leader who sets example to the society, good reputation is most important. Destroying such a good reputation is worse than death.