Bhagavad Gita: Understanding One Shloka at a time. (Chp. 1, Verse 29–30–31) — HBR Patel
Trying to understand Bhagavad Gita, one shloka at a time…
वेपथुश्च शरीरे मे रोमहर्षश्च जायते || 29||
गाण्डीवं स्रंसते हस्तात्त्वक्चै व परिदह्यते |
न च शक्नोम्यवस्थातुं भ्रमतीव च मे मन: || 30||
निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव |
न च श्रेयोऽनुपश्यामि हत्वा स्वजनमाहवे || 31||
My whole body is trembling, and my hair is standing on end, my bow Gandiva is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning. O Kesava, I am unable to hold myself steady any longer, my mind is reeling and whirling in confusion, and I can see dire indications of inauspicious omens. O Kesava, I do not see how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in this battle, nor do I desire such victory nor a kingdom or happiness.
Arjuna was about to lose all of his zeal to fight the battle due to the material attachments to his mortal body. The physical condition of Arjuna that is described in the shlokas perfectly highlights the mental state that the Arjuna was in.
Arjuna was trembling and he was unable to stand steady due to his impatience and attachments to his relatives. He was unable to perform his righteous duty due to the reservations he had in his mind regarding the slaying of his relatives. His mighty bow Gandiva is slipping from his hands and he becomes delusional. He sees indications of inauspicious omens and he was unable to render his duty rightfully.
Arjuna was unable to see any good that can come from the killing of his own kinsmen. He did not see any point in slaying his family members for a piece of land. He was reluctant to kill them as there will be no happiness after that in his life.
The only way that Arjuna can right the wrong is done to him by Kauravas was to defeat and slay them. The attachment to the relatives made Arjuna forsake the desire of such victory nor a kingdom because such victory could not bring happiness.
Also, one of the things in this shloka is the name of Bhagwan Shri Krishna that Arjuna uses to address Shri Krishna: Kesava. Shri Krishna killed a demon called Keshi and that is why the name Keshava.
Arjuna has given up and he was unable to render his duties. Shri Krishna will help Arjuna with the help of the motivational words.