yadyapy ete na paśyanti
mitra-drohe ca pātakam
kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ
pāpād asmān nivarttitum
“O Janārdana, the intelligence of Duryodhana and others has been polluted by greed to attain the kingdom. Thus, they are unable to conceive of the lawlessness that arises from destroying the dynasty or the sin incurred by betraying their friends. Why then should we, who have such knowledge, engage in such improper acts as these?”
Arjuna said, “I am not greedy for a palace, opulence, and sovereignty of the world at the cost of killing all my relatives. I would definitely fall into the darkest regions of hell by killing all my kin. This body is given by God—all the bodies of the living entities are given by God. If I take these away from them independently, this is a great sin. Their souls will curse me, and God as well.” Arjuna thought like this.
Duryodhana was very greedy for the kingdom, therefore he did not understand how this war was sinful or bad for him. “Just because he doesn’t think this is sinful, why should I follow his actions?” Arjuna asked.
In Hindi it is told—Guru se kapat mitra se vair ye andha ye khora—If one cheats his Guru or has hatred for his friends, he will become blind or a leper.
Arjuna said, “I will not treat my friends or Guru badly. They helped me from my childhood, taught and protected me. Now they are against me, but I cannot kill them. This is not good for me.”
The Kūrma Purāṇa states:
upādhyāyaḥ pitā jyeṣṭha-bhrātā caiva mahī-patiḥ
mātulaḥ śvasuras trātā mātāmaha-pitāmahau
bandhur jyeṣṭhaḥ pitṛvyaś ca puṁśyete guravaḥ smṛtāḥ
“He who instructs the Vedas, the father, elder brother, king, maternal uncle, father-in-law, protector, maternal grandparents, paternal grandparents, relatives and those who are elderly all are considered one’s gurus.”
He only received this family relationship after he was born into that particular body. He did not realize that sanātana-dharma is eternal, beyond the purview of one lifetime. If anyone gives up sanātana-dharma or does not follow the principles of its line, they are not one’s friend, Guru, Ācārya or relative. If they are related with sanātana-dharma, then are they are my friend, otherwise they are my enemies. Arjuna lost this discrimination, therefore he thought, “This is bad for me.” In reality however, sanātana-dharma is good, not bad.
Kṛṣṇa tried to tell him this, but Arjuna would not hear it, rather, he offered his own ideas and conceptions to Kṛṣṇa one after the other.
Arjuna thought, “My conception is correct and truthful. Kṛṣṇa should also accept it.” Why was Arjuna speaking like this to Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa had not asked him to do anything at that point.
If anyone loses his brain, becoming completely crazy, seeing someone in front of him he thinks, “This person is not helpful for me, I will tell him my conception and change him.” Arjuna even wanted to change Kṛṣṇa, and make Him follow his own advice and conception. He wanted Kṛṣṇa to speak favorably according to his own desire, he did not seek to know who Kṛṣṇa really was.
If anyone takes up bad association, his intelligence will be lost or defeated by that wicked company. Then, similar to how crazy people always think they are truthful and speak the truth, and they want all others to hear them and follow their desires, intending to be helpful to them, Arjuna did not realize that if anyone does not follow sanātana-dharma or any rules and regulations they are foolish and crazy. Because of his attachment to them, Arjuna also became deluded by their misconceptions, thus he spoke to Kṛṣṇa so many things. He said, “You are Govinda, you are Madhusudana, You are Janārdana.”
Janārdana means that if anyone performs evil acts, He is the one who rectifies and punishes them. He is Govinda. Many demons came to Vraja-maṇḍala and Govinda killed them all.
Arjuna is implying, “You have so much love for the Vrajavāsīs who are Your family members, why then are you ordering me to kill these people? You never killed Your grandfather or gurus, so why are You ordering me to do this?”
Arjuna had this questioning, challenging mood towards Kṛṣṇa. One should never fight with a priest or Ācārya, a guest, child, old man or woman, orphan, doctor, relative, mother, sister, brother, son, wife, daughter or a servant. This is the rule of Scripture. Now, Arjuna was trying to teach Kṛṣṇa or instruct Him. He did not know that the body and mind are relative, and not absolute truth in themselves. Yet if all those people go against sanātana-dharma, then Scripture instructs one to neglect them.
mātrā svasrā duhitrā vā
vidvāḿsam api karṣati
Srimad Bhagavatam 9.19.17
“One should not allow oneself to sit on the same seat even with one’s own mother, sister or daughter, for the senses are so strong that even though one is very advanced in knowledge, he may be attracted by lusty desires.”
They should be respected, but not brought into close proximity, because the senses are very strong and uncontrolled. The senses and nature always act against one. Arjuna did not realize this.