Sanjaya states the Supreme Lord spoke these words to Arjuna who was agitated and overwhelmed with pity, whose eyes were filled with tears in bewilderment and was full of sorrow and this refers to the inability of Arjuna to see the situation in the correct perspective By addressing the Lord with the vocative Madhusudana indicates that just as He destroyed the demon Madhu in times of yore by descending in the royal dynasty as a kshatriya, He should destroy all the demoniac and evil elements which are burdening the Earth. The pity of Arjuna has nothing in common with Divine compassion. It is a form of self-indulgence, a shrinking of the nerves which requires him to hurt his own people. Arjuna recoils from his task in a mood of self-pity and his teacher the Supreme Lord rebukes him in words like he had known before that the Kauravas were his kinsmen. The Lord enquires from Arjuna where has this delusion arisen which afflicts those who do not comprehend the value of human existence. The Supreme Lord said; “Arjuna how has this infatuation overtaken you at this odd hour, from where has this dejection in this hour of crisis come to you; this crisis is unknown to men of noble mind, it is shunned by noble souls; neither will it bring heaven nor fame to you; it causes disgrace it is unrighteous and thus guarantees infamy.” In his attempt to release Arjuna from his doubts, the Lord refers to the theory of indestructibility of the self, appeals to his sense of honour and martial traditions, reveals to him God’s purpose and points out how action is to be undertaken in this world.
The Supreme Lord says to Arjuna; “Your attitude at the call of battle is incomprehensible, wake up, take courage, live up to your reputation, kindness towards adversaries in battle is misplaced”. You did know Kauravas were your kinsmen; there is no use of thinking of your opponents at this moment; you should have thought of all this before. It is an old standing quarrel and in this last possible moment your diffidence fixed firmly to misplaced compassionate ideals will destroy your reputation, fame, and happiness. You grieve for those who are not worthy of grief and yet speak words of wisdom. The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead Fighting is not new to you. You should have thought of all your principles before; retreat in a battle for a warrior is as bad as death. Arjuna instead of being cowed by them, justifies himself further in a manner that reflects a certain state of negative response. The Supreme Lord instructs Arjuna, “yield not to unmanliness, do not be overcome by cowardice O scorcher of enemies; it is unworthy of a Kshatriya you should immediately cast off this unseemly, contemptible faint heartedness and prepare for battle.” The Lord intends to convey to Arjuna that he (Arjuna) is a worthy son of heroic mother Prtha the other name of Kunti; this pusillanimity was never worthy of him. Arjuna is addressed as Parantapa to remind him of his fame as the scorcher of foes. Supreme Lord censures Arjuna’s ill timed gloom and advises him to discard it and prepare himself to fight since lament has no place on the battlefield, is not approved by the wise, nor is this beneficial to blissful pursuit, it is ignominious, reprehensible and appears due to weakness of heart.
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