klaibyaḿ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha
naitat tvayy upapadyate
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 2.3
O son of Pritha, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Arjuna was addressed as the son of Pritha, who happened to be the sister of Krishna’s father Vasudeva. Therefore Arjuna had a blood relationship with Krishna. If the son of a kshatriya declines to fight, he is a kshatriya in name only, and if the son of a brahmana acts impiously, he is a brahmana in name only. Such kshatriyas and brahmanas are unworthy sons of their fathers; therefore, Krishna did not want Arjuna to become an unworthy son of a kshatriya. Arjuna was the most intimate friend of Krishna, and Krishna was directly guiding him on the chariot; but in spite of all these credits, if Arjuna abandoned the battle he would be committing an infamous act. Therefore Krishna said that such an attitude in Arjuna did not fit his personality. Arjuna might argue that he would give up the battle on the grounds of his magnanimous attitude for the most respectable Bhishma and his relatives, but Krishna considered that sort of magnanimity mere weakness of heart. Such false magnanimity was not approved by any authority. Therefore, such magnanimity or so-called nonviolence should be given up by persons like Arjuna under the direct guidance of Krishna.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
“Do not become cowardly (klaibyam), impotent. O Partha, you are the son of Prtha, but in spite of that you have acted like this. Do not yield to this. This weakness should be checked even in the inferior ksatriyas, but in you, my friend, it is not proper at all.”
“Do not worry about my lack of bravery; do not think I am a coward. One must consider the precepts of dharma in regards to Bhisma, Drona and other elders, and also consider the aspect of compassion in regard to the sons of Dhrtarastra, who, being weaker than I, being afflicted by my weapons, are about to die.”
“This is not discretion based on dharma and mercy, but bewilderment and lamentation, indications of a weak mind (ksudram hrdaya daurbalyam). Therefore give up this weakness of mind and rise up. O conqueror of enemies (parantapa), you, who afflict enemies, fight!”
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
2.1 – 2.3 Sanjaya said — Lord said — When Arjuna thus sat, the Lord, opposing his action, said: ‘What is the reason for your misplaced grief? Arise for battle, abandoning this grief, which has arisen in a critical situation, which can come only in men of wrong understanding, which is an obstacle for reaching heaven, which does not confer fame on you, which is very mean, and which is caused by faint-heartedness.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
The Supreme Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna to yield not to unmanliness, or be overcome by cowardice because it is not befitting a ksatriya and unworthy of him and that Arjuna should immediately cast off this unseemly, contemptible faint heartedness and prepare for battle.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
By addressing Arjuna as the son of Prtha it refers to his mother Kunti who by worshipping Indra, the ruler of the demi-gods received Arjuna as her son endowed with extraordinary might and valor like Indra. Lord Krishna reminds Arjuna of this to instruct him not to yield to this impotence for it does not befit him and that he should discard this weakness of heart. By using the vocative parantapa meaning chastiser of enemies Lord Krishna is reminding Arjuna that at the time of his birth a heavenly voice proclaimed that he would conquer all enemies.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
2.3 Sri Sankaracharya did not comment on this sloka. The commentary starts from 2.10.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
Sri Abhinavagupta did not comment on this sloka.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
kutas tva kasmalam idam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
klaibyam — impotence; mā sma — do not; gamaḥ — take to; pārtha — O son of Pṛthā; na — never; etat — this; tvayi — unto you; upadyate — is befitting; kṣudram — petty; hṛdaya — of the heart; daurbalyam — weakness; tyaktvā — giving up; uttiṣṭha — get up; param-tapa — O chastiser of the enemies.