klaibyaṁ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha
naitat tvayy upapadyate
kṣudraṁ hṛdaya-daurbalyaṁ
tyaktvottiṣṭha parantapa

“O Pārtha, do not yield to such cowardice as it does not befit you. Abandon this petty weakness of heart O Parantapa, and arise to battle.”


“Don’t act like a eunuch, Arjuna. You are acting neither as a man nor woman.” This means that he is neither on the side of dharma nor adharma, but somewhere in the middle. You left dharma and went toward māyā, but while going to māyā, you also became very sad. When anyone enters the realm of māyā, they forget everything and as if intoxicated, lose all their intelligence. They are not sad for their own unfortunate position, but when someone leaves the side of God and goes over to māyā, then they suffer, having prior knowledge of what it was like to be with God. Many people are in māyā, but they do not understand their suffering condition. Duryodhana, Dhṛtarāṣṭra and all Duryodhana’s followers were ready to give up their life in battle, but they did not lament over this. Why then did Arjuna lament over the situation?

It means that he had become like a eunuch, neither on the side of dharma, nor the side of adharma.

Kṛṣṇa is instructing Arjuna, “At least choose one side. Go fully to the side of māyā and then you will have strength and conviction to fight, but if you come to My side you will understand reality.”

This position comes to many spiritual aspirants. When they are with the Vaiṣṇavas then they are very good, but as soon as they leave and go towards māyā then all bad qualities come back to them and they perform many bad activities. It is as though they return into a sewer, where they remain amidst stool, urine, and worms.

Arjuna’s position was very serious. Kṛṣṇa said, “Get up and come to Me. Give up this weakness of heart. Arise!”

He had told him to come, yet it was not possible for him so easily. God gave him advice, but he had no strength to follow.

Many times people are associated with the guru-varga and pure Vaiṣṇavas, yet from there they return back to māyā, not heeding the advice of the Vaiṣṇavas.

Sometimes they think, “The Vaiṣṇavas are requesting me to stay because they need my help. They are dependent on me.”

They do not think, “The Vaiṣṇavas are very kind and are trying to help me.” Rather they think, “They will not be able to do anything without me, therefore they are pleading with me to stay.”

Kṛṣṇa says, “I will not tell you to do anything which would be bad for you, because you are My own cousin.”

Arjuna has gone distant from Him, therefore Kṛṣṇa has to instill a renewed faith within him by saying, “Don’t think I would ever cheat you.”

When the living entities have doubt in Guru, Vaiṣṇavas and God they lose their intelligence and act foolishly.

Kṛṣṇa reminded Arjuna, “Once, you fought with Śiva Ṭhākura.”

Arjuna once shot an animal/deer in the forest, at the same time that Śiva had fired his arrow while in the guise of a hunter. Arjuna said, “This quarry is mine.” Śiva also said, “It is mine.” Then they began to fight over the kill. Finally, Arjuna defeated Śiva after a great battle and thus, Śiva gave a benediction to Arjuna.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa reminded Arjuna, “You defeated even Śiva Ṭhākura. So why then has this weakness of heart now come over you? Why are you now defeated by māyā?”

So when the jīvas are defeated by māyā, their intelligence no longer works. Good advice also does not help them. In order for Arjuna to obtain renewed faith and strength, Kṛṣṇa gave him His six opulences:

aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śrīyaḥ
jñāna vairāgyayoś caiva ṣaṇṇām bhaga itīṅganā
Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.74

“One who is complete in the six opulences of wealth, power, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation is known as Bhagavān.”


Arjuna went near the side of māyā, and now, Kṛṣṇa gives knowledge of the soul, the Supreme Soul and the glories of association with His devotees and followers. Kṛṣṇa teaches that if you return from the side of māyā, back to His devotees and eternal associates, then you will be happy and all your strength will be revived.

Arjuna was crying, aśru-pūrṇākulekṣaṇam, with a melted heart full of sorrow, his senses were uncontrolled and his mind was restless.

Dhṛtarāṣṭra now saw that Arjuna had become renounced at heart. He thought, “Now my sons will get the kingdom without any opposition.” He became very glad at heart. Sanjaya referred to Kṛṣṇa as Madhusudana, because he had killed the Madhu demon. Kṛṣṇa is therefore referred to herein as Madhusudana to imply that He will destroy the lamentation, sorrow and bad attachment Arjuna is suffering from. Arjuna was weak and uncontrolled as if attacked and defeated by demons. On one side there are demons, and on the other side there are devotees, associates of God. How then can one understand who is a demon and who is a saint? By associating with whom does one slip a way from God and devotion? This implies that I have been arrested by demons and their demonic tendencies. Arjuna had already some relationship with Kṛṣṇa, therefore he prayed to Him.

Arjuna was ready to commit suicide. He even indicated he would give up all arms and let the Kauravas kill him without any resistance. He had cast aside all his weapons and sat down in lamentation. This is the position that comes about by associating with demonic persons.