क्लैब्यं मा स्म गम: पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते |
क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप || 3||
klaibyaṁ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha naitat tvayyupapadyate
kṣhudraṁ hṛidaya-daurbalyaṁ tyaktvottiṣhṭha parantapa
klaibyam—impotence; mā sma gamaḥ—do not yield to; pārtha—O Arjuna!; etat—this; tvayi—to you; na upapadyate—is not fit; kṣhudram—mean; hṛidaya-daurbalyaṁ—weak-heartedness; tyaktvā—giving up; uttiṣhṭha—arise; param-tapa—scorcher of enemies
O Arjuna! Do not yield to impotence. It does not befit you. Cast off this wretched weakness of heart. Arise, O scorcher of enemies!
Impotence: Impotence and weakness are characteristics of a eunach. It is the meanest quality in a man. So the ridicules arjuna for such weakness, and exhorts him not to yield to it.
Courage and fearlessness are the first virtue in man. All other good qualities are acquired through them. Therefore in the 16th Chapter, the lord mentions fearlessness(Abhayam) as the first of the twenty-six virtues which constitute ‘daivasampada’.
Enthusiasm, daring, courage, right decision, power, and heroism – wherever these six qualities exist, there the Gods dwell. Otherwise, why should the Lord, when he opens his lips to speak, enunciate fearlessness as the first of all virtues on the spiritual path? It is this great ‘mantra’ of fearlessness that came out as the first utterance of the Lord. Though the teacher of the Gita presents various creeds in the course of his message, he insists upon fearlessness as the basic virtue common to all paths of religion. Arjuna’s mental disease has assumed a dangerous form, and the great physician, the blessed Lord, takes out of the medicine case this powerful medicine ‘fearlessness’ and administers it to Arjuna at the very outset. Arjuna’s disease is weakness caused by sorrow and delusion and the Lord’s antidote is absolute strength and courage born out of the knowledge of Atma.
Arise: “Uttishtata, Jagrata, Prapya varan nobhodhata !!!” Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached. So the Upanishads exhort mankind. Likewise, the Lord exhorts Arjuna: ” Stand up, be a man of action, do your duty.”
Scorcher of enemies: This epithet is significant. Arjuna has defeated several external enemies on the battle0field. He is now confronted with unseen internal enemies, sorrow, and delusion. The Lord inspires Arjuna to conquer them, as he conquered other enemies.
Krishna, great psychologist that He is, knows very well that soft expressions of sympathy do not invigorate a drooping soul. Lashing words of strength are needed to rouse its forgotten manliness. Compare what the Lord said, under similar circumstances, to Job: “Gird up now thy loins like a man.” (Bible: Job 38: 3)
Swami Vivekananda Says —
In the shlokas beginning with तं तथा कृपयाविष्टं, how poetically, how beautifully, has Arjuna’s real position been painted! Then Shri Krishna advises Arjuna; and in the words क्लैब्यं मा स्म गम: पार्थ etc., why is he goading Arjuna to fight? Because it was not that the disinclination of Arjuna to fight arose out of the overwhelming predominance of pure sattva guna; it was all tamas that brought on this unwillingness. The nature of a man of sattva guna is that he is equally calm in all situations in life — whether it be prosperity or adversity. But Arjuna was afraid, he was overwhelmed with pity. That he had the instinct and the inclination to fight is proved by the simple fact that he came to the battlefield with no other purpose than that. Frequently in our lives also such things are seen to happen. Many people think they are sattvika by nature, but they are really nothing but tamasika. Many living in an uncleanly way regard themselves as paramahamsas! Why? Because the shastras say that paramahamsas live like one inert, or mad, or like an unclean spirit. Paramahamsas are compared to children, but here it should be understood that the comparison is one-sided. The paramahamsa and the child are not one and non-different. They only appear similar, being the two extreme poles, as it were. One has reached to a state beyond jnana, and the other has not got even an inkling of jnana. The quickest and gentlest vibrations of light are both beyond the reach of our ordinary vision; but in the one it is intense heat, and in the other it may be said to be almost without any heat. So it is with the opposite qualities of sattva and tamas. They seem in some respects to be the same, no doubt, but there is a world of difference between them. The tamoguna loves very much to array itself in the garb of the sattva. Here, in Arjuna, the mighty warrior, it has come under the guise of daya (pity).
In order to remove this delusion which had overtaken Arjuna, what did the Bhagavan say? As I always preach that you should not decry a man by calling him a sinner, but that you should draw his attention to the omnipotent power that is in him, in the same way does the Bhagavan speak to Arjuna. नैतत् त्वयि उपपद्यते — “It doth not befit thee!” “Thou art Atman imperishable, beyond all evil. Having forgotten thy real nature, thou hast, by thinking thyself a sinner, as one afflicted with bodily evils and mental grief, thou hast made thyself so — this doth not befit thee!” — so says the Bhagavan: “क्लैब्यं मा स्म गम: पार्थ — Yield not to unmanliness, O son of Pritha. There is in the world neither sin nor misery, neither disease nor grief; if there is anything in the world which can be called sin, it is this — ‘fear’; know that any work which brings out the latent power in thee is punya (virtue); and that which makes thy body and mind weak is, verily, sin. Shake off this weakness, this faint-heartedness! क्लैब्यं मा स्म गम: पार्थ — Thou art a hero, a vira; this is unbecoming of thee.”
If you, my sons, can proclaim this message to the world — क्लैब्यं मा स्म गम: पार्थ — then all this disease, grief, sin, and sorrow will vanish from off the face of the earth in three days. All these ideas of weakness will be nowhere. Now it is everywhere — this current of the vibration of fear. Reverse the current; bring in the opposite vibration, and behold the magic transformation! Thou art omnipotent — go, go to the mouth of the cannon, fear not. Hate not the most abject sinner, look not to his exterior. Turn thy gaze inward, where resides the paramatman. Proclaim to the whole world with trumpet voice, “There is no sin in thee, there is no misery in thee; thou art the reservoir of omnipotent power. Arise, awake, and manifest the Divinity within!”
If one reads this one shloka — क्लैब्यं मा स्म गम: पार्थ नैतत् त्वयि उपपद्यते। क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप ॥ — one gets all the merits of reading the entire Gita; for in this one shloka lies imbedded the whole Message of the Gita.[Source]
— “Yield not to unmanliness, O son of Pritha! Ill doth it befit thee. Cast off this mean faint-heartedness and arise, O scorcher of thine enemies.” … In these and similar passages in the Gita the Lord is showing the way to dharma.[Source]
For all of us in this world life is a continuous fight. … Many a time comes when we want to interpret our weakness and cowardice as forgiveness and renunciation. There is no merit in the renunciation of a beggar. If a person who can [give a blow] forbears, there is merit in that. If a person who has, gives up, there is merit in that. We know how often in our lives through laziness and cowardice we give up the battle and try to hypnotize our minds into the belief that we are brave. The Gita opens with this very significant verse: “Arise, O Prince! Give up this faint-heartedness, this weakness! Stand up and fight!” Then Arjuna, trying to argue the matter [with Krishna], brings higher moral ideas, how non-resistance is better than resistance, and so on. He is trying to justify himself, but he cannot fool Krishna. Krishna is the higher Self, or God. He sees through the argument at once. In this case [the motive] is weakness. Arjuna sees his own relatives and he cannot strike them. … There is a conflict in Arjuna’s heart between his emotionalism and his duty. The nearer we are to [beasts and] birds, the more we are in the hells of emotion. We call it love. It is self-hypnotization. We are under the control of our [emotions] like animals. A cow can sacrifice its life for its young. Every animal can. What of that? It is not the blind, birdlike emotion that leads to perfection. … [To reach] the eternal consciousness, that is the goal of man! There emotion has no place, nor sentimentalism, nor anything that belongs to the senses — only the light of pure reason. [There] man stands as spirit.[Source]
In reading the Bhagavad Gita, many of you in Western countries may have felt astonished at the second chapter, wherein Shri Krishna calls Arjuna a hypocrite and a coward because of his refusal to fight, or offer resistance, on account of his adversaries being his friends and relatives, making the plea that non-resistance was the highest ideal of love. This is a great lesson for us all to learn, that in all matters the two extremes are alike. The extreme positive and the extreme negative are always similar. When the vibrations of light are too slow, we do not see them, nor do we see them when they are too rapid. So with sound; when very low in pitch, we do not hear it; when very high, we do not hear it either. Of like nature is the difference between resistance and non-resistance. One man does not resist because he is weak, lazy, and cannot, not because he will not; the other man knows that he can strike an irresistible blow if he likes; yet he not only does not strike, but blesses his enemies. The one who from weakness resists not commits a sin, and as such cannot receive any benefit from the non-resistance; while the other would commit a sin by offering resistance. Buddha gave up his throne and renounced his position, that was true renunciation; but there cannot be any question of renunciation in the case of a beggar who has nothing to renounce. So we must always be careful about what we really mean when we speak of this non-resistance and ideal love. We must first take care to understand whether we have the power of resistance or not. Then, having the power, if we renounce it and do not resist, we are doing a grand act of love; but if we cannot resist, and yet, at the same time, try to deceive ourselves into the belief that we are actuated by motives of the highest love, we are doing the exact opposite. Arjuna became a coward at the sight of the mighty array against him; his “love” made him forget his duty towards his country and king. That is why Shri Krishna told him that he was a hypocrite: Thou talkest like a wise man, but thy actions betray thee to be a coward; therefore stand up and fight![Source]
And mark you, those things which you see in pusillanimous, effeminate folk who speak in a nasal tone chewing every syllable, whose voice is as thin as of one who has been starving for a week, who are like a tattered wet rag, who never protest or are moved even if kicked by anybody — those are the signs of the lowest tamas, those are the signs of death, not of sattva — all corruption and stench. It is because Arjuna was going to fall into the ranks of these men that the Lord is explaining matters to him so elaborately in the Gita. Is that not the fact? Listen to the very first words that came out of the mouth of the Lord, “क्लैब्यं मा स्म गम: पार्थ नैतत् त्वयि उपपद्यते — Yield not to unmanliness, O Partha! Ill doth it befit thee!” and then later, “तस्मात्त्वमुत्तिष्ठ यशो लभस्व — Therefore do thou arise and acquire fame.” Coming under the influence of the Jains, Buddhas, and others, we have joined the lines of those tamasika people. During these last thousand years, the whole country is filling the air with the name of the Lord and is sending its prayers to Him; and the Lord is never lending His ears to them. And why should He? When even man never hears the cries of the fool, do you think God will? Now the only way out is to listen to the words of the Lord in the Gita, “क्लैब्यं मा स्म गम: पार्थ नैतत् त्वयि उपपद्यते — Yield not to unmanliness, O Partha!” “तस्मात्त्वमुत्तिष्ठ यशो लभस्व — Therefore do thou arise and acquire fame.”[Source]
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 🔻 (72 Verses)