na caitad vidmaḥ kataran no garīyo
yad vā jayema yadi vā no jayeyuḥ
yān eva hatvā na jijīviṣāmas
te ’vasthitāḥ pramukhe dhārtarāṣṭrāḥ
Arjuna said, “I am unable to decide what is better for us, to conquer them or be conquered by them. Even after killing them we will not desire to live. Yet they have taken the side of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and now stand before us on the battlefield. I do not see any good that can come of this war. If I fight and defeat them or if they fight and defeat us, either way there is no good. How can we kill everyone and then maintain our lives happily? I don’t want to kill everyone simply to enjoy or maintain my life luxuriously.”
Arjuna said to Kṛṣṇa, “You are advising me to kill all of the followers and sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, but if I do so what benefit will come? I will not be able to enjoy that kingdom gained over the blood of all my relatives.”
Rules of Vedic warriors pertain to engagement in warfare, but one should consider whom he fights with. If we go distant from God by becoming attached to so-called guru-varga; if they try to take us away from God, there is no longer a need to stay with them or remain favourable to them. If they remain near us, they will always disturb us. If we maintain attachment for father, mother, sister or brothers thinking that, “If I stay with them, one day I will make them into devotees, changing their materialistic nature,” even though they stubbornly retain a deep desire to enjoy their senses, we will lose all our spiritual enthusiasm.
Therefore, Kṛṣṇa instructed Arjuna, “This is not good, they are kin in name only. In reality they are dacoits and cheaters. They are not your friends. If those who are not your blood relatives, but they are the followers of God from any religion or place, by staying with them devotion to God will arise. On one side someone may appear to be a superior, elder, leader or relative, but by staying with them, if all devotion is lost then they are not truly good or respectable. They are not actually one’s relative or friend, they are the greatest of enemies. If they were not your enemies, why would you be suffering in their company? They will not change and thus they are against, and will want to kill you. Why can’t we understand this? At such times, the brain does not work even after we are reminded again and again that we are in māyā.
Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna, “By dharma you are a kṣatriya, so how can you therefore give up your duty? It is not harmful to give up your life for dharma, but if you maintain your life following adharma and those against dharma, that will be very despicable. I will not support you in this.”
pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ
yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaṁ brūhi tan me
śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam
“Having become overpowered by weakness of heart and bewildered about how to ascertain dharma, I have given up my natural quality of chivalry. I implore You to tell me what is actually auspicious for me. I am now Your disciple and surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.”
Arjuna has now surrendered to Kṛṣṇa and said, “Now I have become like a miser. I lost my intelligence and have cut in half, my ability to understand what is good and bad. Please give me advice. I now submit myself before you as your disciple. I am taking shelter of You. Please teach me what is right and wrong. I am now foolish and my intelligence is lost.”
tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham
Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12
“To acquire knowledge of Śrī Bhagavān, one should approach a guru who knows the real import of the Vedas by carrying the fuel wood of sublime faith as an offering to him.”
One should go to Guru with deep respect and faith in order to acquire spiritual knowledge.
Arjuna surrendered and asked, “Is it better for me to go begging door to door, or to fight with the Kauravas? Please instruct what is good for me.
Gargi asked, “Who is a miser, and who is a brāhmaṇa?
Those who have no relationship with the Supreme Lord are misers, and those who have a relationship with God are brāhmaṇas.”
Now Arjuna is saying, “I am a miser, not a brāhmaṇa. Therefore I do not know what is good or bad. I don’t know what is proper.”
Arjuna said, “I will argue no more. I am your disciple, surrendered unto you. Please instruct me.”
na hi prapaśyāmi mamāpanudyād
yac chokam ucchoṣaṇam indriyāṇām
avāpya bhūmāv asapatnam ṛddhaṁ
rājyaṁ surāṇām api cādhipatyam
“Even if we attain an unrivalled and prosperous kingdom on earth with sovereignty over the devas, I do not see any way to dispel this lamentation which is drying up my senses.”
Here Arjuna is saying, “Even I if I attain all the property and wealth in the world this will not be helpful for me. All my senses have become dry, I am weak and have become as if paralyzed. I cannot give up my lamentation. It is burning my heart. What should I do?”
Kṛṣṇa asks, “You are my friend, so how can you now be my disciple? I have always addressed you as my dear friend.”
Arjuna says, “How can I give up this lamentation? I do not understand. My senses are controlling me, so please give me shelter Prabhu. I see that even if I attain everything, I will not be able to be happy. I performed so much austerity and training and I engaged in combat with such great personalities as Lord Śiva and Indra, but this illusory attachment, moha is a great enemy and I cannot defeat it.”
When this moha comes, it is a very dangerous moment for people. People cannot conquer it. Arjuna is such a great fighter and personality, but by meeting with his so-called family and blood relatives, he became attached to them and could not overcome his moha.
Arjuna previously had a relationship with Kṛṣṇa as a dear friend, therefore he could come back to Him. Now he says, “I am your disciple, no longer your friend. Please help me and kill this enemy of my anarthas.”